The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Program Quality Unit (PQU) provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.
The Program Quality Unit has three central objectives that we work towards:
1) Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence
2) Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs
3) Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives
The Program Quality Unit is comprised of seven technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Gender Equality, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, and Research Evaluation and Learning (REL).
The health technical unit is organized in four sectors; primary health, reproductive health, environmental health and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between technical assistance core and important functions versus other specialized support/thought leadership functions in order to best meet the needs of country programs and regions. In 2017, the health technical unit supported programming in 6 regions and 27 countries.
This position is responsible for providing technical support to country programs on IRC’s work in immunization. The position provides the technical assistance and oversight necessary for strategic, TU-led projects—including considerable research and/or evaluation components focused on improving immunization outcomes. For all TU-led immunization projects, this position is ultimately accountable to provide the necessary support to the implementation team allowing for timely achievement of project results. This includes the integrated family health and immunization Pfizer project being implemented in Uganda and Ethiopia and the Pfizer humanitarian immunization grant in Kenya and support to a GAVI project in Somalia. The position will also be responsible for working with other subsectors in the Health Unit to see find opportunities to integrated child health into other services as well as develop ideas for integrated programming.
Length of Assignment: 1 year, potential to extend
It is expected that the Immunization Officer will spend at least 80% of their time providing technical support to TU-led projects. The remaining 20% of their time will be focused on the provision of technical support to improve the quality of country-led immunization programming, in close collaboration with Primary Health Care Technical Advisors (PHC TAs).
The Officer’s specific responsibilities are as follows:
• Identify and/or develop global tools/resources/curricula relevant for quality immunization programming and research.
o Work with PHC TAs, and country program staff when applicable, to operationalize these tools/resources/curricula.
• Represent IRC at targeted conferences and support development of specific publications (issues papers, technical documents, presentations and peer-reviewed articles) relevant to advancing IRC’s mission and strategy, related to immunization program strategies and research results.
TU-led Project Coordination:
Engaging in program design and business development
• Support efforts related to proposal development, including:
o Support writing of technical narrative, when necessary.
o Indicator and output/outcome selection.
o Coordination of budget development.
o Determination of role divisions among partners and sub-grants negotiation.
o Review of final technical proposal, focused on intervention design and alignment to IRC’s outcomes.
• Support recruitment of project staff and their onboarding.
• Support grant opening meeting activities.
• Oversee project implementation and quality of service delivery, including:
o Development of monitoring & evaluation plan and tools.
o Oversight of data analysis to inform periodic course correction.
• Coordinate and contribute to the development of all external project reporting.
o Review, provide all technical edits and submit narrative and financial reports per grant timeline.
• Participate in coordination activities with partners and donors
• Coordinate with PHC TAs the technical assistance country programs receive.
• Ongoing remote support and regular field visits (i.e. facilitation of capacity building, planning and preparatory efforts related to new vaccine roll-out).
• Short- and Intermediate-term backstopping to country program staff and/or consultants on specialized projects
Representation and engagement
• Represent the project with Ministries of Health, UNICEF and other key technical stakeholders at global and national levels, as needed.
• Communicate with project donor(s) as necessary.
• Represent the project internally.
o Promote project strategy and/or results for increased visibility opportunities and internal resources, where applicable.
Core and Important Technical Assistance Responsibilities for Country-led Immunization Programming:
Engaging in program design and business development
• Review and provide input on technical quality of proposals, at the request of PHC TA focal points, including review of immunization interventions, results, indicators, and alignment to IRC’s outcomes.
Building technical capacity of country program staff
• Conduct technical trainings and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff related to immunization programming quality improvement.
• Identify areas for integration of immunization with other subsectors in the Health Unit
• Support tool development and monitoring for integrated programming
• Support input on technical proposals for integrated programming involving immunization
• Share latest relevant evidence and cross-context learning with PHC TAs, and country program staff when applicable.
Key working relationships:
Position Reports to: Primary Health Care Technical Advisor for Great Lakes, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe located in New York
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Regular communication with all PHC TAs and the extended Health Unit, as well as REL, governance, the AirBel Center and the gender equality technical unit teams. Interacts with IRC internal departments, including business development, external relations and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of immunization programming and research initiatives.
External: Serve as an external representative for IRC’s immunization work at global, regional and national fora. Represent IRC in meetings related to immunization with stakeholders including donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations such as WHO, UNICEF, CDC, Gavi, etc.