Nutrition Technical Advisor
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. The health technical unit supports programming in 6 regions and 27 countries. This position provides leadership and technical support in the design, development and implementation of Nutrition programs in countries in conflict, crisis, post-conflict and post-crisis settings.
The Nutrition Technical Advisor (TA) will lead a team of advisors and a specialist providing technical assistance to country programs and organizational thought leadership in nutrition. The Nutrition TA is responsible for management of the team as well as support to tool and resource development, country technical support, sharing of evidence, and external representation as needed. The Nutrition TA will spend 60% of their time delivering technical assistance in-person and remotely to country program colleagues, coordinating within the health unit and with other technical units and departments. The Nutrition Technical Advisors’ specific responsibilities are as follows:
· Supervise a team of nutrition advisors and a specialist to ensure their alignment with the IRC2020 Strategy, the overall health unit and nutrition vision
· Provide technical support to the Emergency Nutrition Coordinator
· Represent the health unit and the IRC in inter-agency working groups and various global/regional fora as needed
· Provide nutrition technical guidance to IRC’s communication teams on media related to assigned countries
· Develop strategic technical unit led proposals in nutrition as needed
· Continue development of global tools and resources as outlined by the Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition to support the quality of our programs in the community based management of acute malnutrition and infant and young child feeding
· Support the roll-out of the standard measurement package for the community based management of acute malnutrition
Engaging in business development (up to 20% of the time):
- Support country program staff to design programs and projects, ensuring that they are:
- Aligned with the IRC’s 2020 strategy, which includes supporting country program staff with contextualizing outcomes and the malnutrition theory of change, and selecting interventions based on the best available evidence and the local context;
- Responsive to client needs and preferences
- Based on sound context and gender analysis
· Support selection of indicators for country programs
- Review technical quality of proposals, including review of technical strategies, interventions and activities and ensuring alignment to IRC’s nutrition outcome
- Provide input on budgets required for project delivery
Building technical capacity of country program staff to ensure ongoing program quality and innovation (up to 10% of the time):
· Conduct technical training during field visits and ongoing technical coaching for country program staff remotely
· Support senior country nutrition program staff recruitment and onboarding
Project delivery support (up to 20% of the time):
· Work with nutrition country program colleagues to help analyze data that inform periodic review and course correction as-needed; support documentation of lessons learned
· Conduct at least 2 technical support visits of assigned countries
Management and Coordination (up to 10% of the time):
· Coordinate and plan with nutrition country coordinators and health technical unit sector advisors the technical assistance country programs receive.
· Participate in coordination efforts within the health unit and with other technical unit and departments as required.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: the ComPAS Project Director
Position directly supervises: three nutrition staff
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Regular communication with education, violence prevention and response, health, economic recovery & development, governance, research, evaluation and learning, and gender equality technical unit teams. Close relationships with regional and country program teams. Interacts with IRC internal departments, including business development, external relations and advocacy departments, to keep them informed of program activities.
External: Serve as an IRC program representative in outside regional meetings and global meetings and academic forums with donors, other non-governmental organizations, inter-agency groups and foundations as needed.
Education: Master’s/post-graduate degree in Public Health Nutrition or equivalent. Expected to share knowledge and skill sets within the unit and with country programs.
Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years of international field experience in nutrition, of which at least 3 in managerial/coordination positions with Non-Governmental Organizations in humanitarian or post-conflict settings working in nutrition. Significant experience in the community management of acute malnutrition and infant and young child feeding programs is required. Experience in nutrition assessments (e.g SMART, SQUEAC, IYCF) is an asset. Experience in strategy development and working across sectors or disciplines is highly desired.
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated expertise in working with donors, project design, proposal development, and monitoring and evaluation, with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action. Able to work with remote, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams. Strong interpersonal verbal and written communication skills and ability to facilitate collaboration. Outstanding capacity to understand the country context, portfolio, and overall programmatic needs, and pull and coordinate the relevant technical assistance from within and outside the health unit. Ability to transfer technical knowledge and skills. Demonstrated commitment to renewing and maintaining currency with best practices.
Language Skills: Fluency in English required; proficiency in French is an advantage.