Senior Technical Advisor, Primary Health Care

Job Type
Full Time
Job ID
Date Posted
New York, NY
Company Information
International Rescue Committee

Background/IRC Summary:
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.

Job Overview/Summary: The Senior Technical Advisor (STA), Primary Health Care (PHC) leads the Primary Health Care team which is comprised of two branches: 1) a regionally aligned cohort of Technical Advisors who provide evidence-based, outcome oriented technical assistance to IRC country programs and 2) a cross-regional cohort of technical staff who provide cross-sectoral and cross-organizational work in field epidemiology, immunization, and mental health. The STA will have ~10 people in her/his team. The STA will also play an important role in donor engagement, advocacy, and IRC representation related to Primary Health Care.

Major Responsibilities:
1. Provide overall leadership for the delivery of Primary Health team technical assistance to IRC country program staff so that they can design, implement and improve PHC programs. The STA should ensure that technical assistance aligns to the TA model’s core and important functions and that technical assistance is continuously improving and well-received by regional and country program colleagues, as evidenced in field feedback in biannual surveys. The STA is expected to proactively reach out to country program colleagues to establish strong working relationships and trouble-shoot challenges as needed. With the support of the Deputy Director, the STA will also lead the development of standards, tools and procedures for PHC support to country health programs, including updating the Primary Health-related Outcomes and Evidence Framework (OEF) tools annually and making sure they remain live and useful to programs.
2. Provide necessary management and technical support to the PHC team, supporting their continuing professional growth and improving their performance. This involves: clarifying job expectations, setting performance objectives and measurable targets, providing appropriate and timely feedback on performance, including full implementation of the staff performance management process; supporting training/continuing technical education; and leading by example.
3. If needed, provide ongoing technical support to designated country health programs, including guidance on strategy action plans, project/program design, fund-raising, and monitoring and evaluation. This involves: routine interaction with health coordinators; liaison with colleagues in the health unit; development of in-country health teams through training, coaching, mentoring, and other guidance; periodic meetings with the Deputy Director of Programs; and at least one annual visit to each country supported.
4. Collaborate with STAs from the Reproductive Health, Environmental Health, and Nutrition Teams to ensure technical assistance is seamless and coordinated to each country and region.
5. Provide coordination and supervision of cross-sectoral work in field epidemiology.
6. Oversee mental health work cross-regionally and coordinate across units with Violence Prevention & Response Unit (VPRU) and US Programs.
7. Support the Measurement Unit’s strategy as it applies to primary health care.
8. Contribute to the development of health unit led project proposals as needed.
9. Stand in for Deputy Director or other senior colleagues during absences.
10. Represent IRC in global partnerships and relevant conferences.
11. Responsible for other tasks as assigned.

1. Medical, nursing, or other clinical degree plus MPH or equivalent; a doctoral degree in public health is a plus. 2. At least 8 years public health experience in senior technical and management positions, with evidence of progressively increasing responsibilities and authorities. Experience should include: at least three years of residence in developing countries; some work in a humanitarian setting (with refugees and/or internally displaced population); management and/or technical roles at headquarters/regional office. 3. Demonstrated expertise in multiple technical areas (e.g., child health and reproductive health), strategic areas (e.g., governance, health systems strengthening and research), and program management and fund-raising (e.g., program development, proposal writing, monitoring & evaluation, and management of donor relations). 4. Excellent leadership and team management skills - the ability to lead a team, motivate staff and promote productivity, resolve conflict, and contributes to a pleasant work environment. 5. Excellent communication skills - the ability to write professional documents, and create and deliver presentations to different audiences: project/program staff, management staff, mature professionals, policy makers, donors etc. 6. Solid organizational skills - the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment. 7. Professional-level fluency in English; or Arabic proficiency will be a huge plus. 8. Ability to travel approximately 20% of the time.
Please submit your application via the IRC career portal at: