Helen Keller International
Technical Advisor, Capacity Strengthening
USAID Advancing Nutrition
Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for our reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.
HKI is a global leader in developing and promoting evidence-based approaches to prevent and
treat blindness, malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases. We build programs based on
scientific knowledge and local situational analyses, and rely on ongoing program monitoring
and evaluation, as well as operations research, to maximize our impact and develop new
scientific and programmatic knowledge. We place high value on documentation and sharing
our work particularly through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific fora.
HKI is a partner in USAID Advancing Nutrition, USAID’s flagship nutrition project, led by JSI
Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners.
Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition implements and provides technical
support to nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. The
project’s multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design,
implement and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. Committed to
using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by
building local capacity, supporting behavior change and strengthening the enabling environment
to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity and advance
The Technical Advisor will provide technical leadership for curriculum design and implementation of capacity strengthening activities across the USAID Advancing Nutrition portfolio, including maternal and young child health, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, food systems, food security and country-specific work in both development and humanitarian contexts. S/he will provide technical leadership for designing and adapting courses for specific audiences and other types of capacity strengthening interventions, including distance learning and mentoring. Working collaboratively with other technical experts, s/he will also play a critical role in supporting the design of needs assessments and measurement approaches for capacity strengthening activates. The Technical Advisor will collaborate and coordinate with technical experts across project staff, host country counterparts, implementing partners and other global stakeholders to ensure expert implementation of project activities, ensuring quality capacity strengthening.
Capacity strengthening activities across our project are especially diverse, including initiatives that reach governments, civil society, national and international NGOs and staff from a range of disciplines, including nutrition, health systems, food systems, agriculture, and food security. The Technical Advisor reports to the Senior Technical Advisor, Strategic Learning and Capacity Strengthening and is based in Arlington, VA.
The Technical Advisor, Capacity Strengthening is advertised through multiple USAID Advancing Nutrition consortium partners and is fully seconded to the project. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply through the single (1) organization they are most interested in working for. Submitting applications through more than one (1) consortium partner is prohibited and could result in disqualification.
The Technical Advisor will:
• Identify promising innovative approaches to building knowledge and skills across the USAID Advancing Nutrition portfolio, providing technical assistance for the design of courses, trainings and other capacity strengthening activities for USAID Washington and priority countries.
• Bring innovative thinking, methodologies and approaches to a diverse set of capacity strengthening activities, including training, learning and mentoring programs
• Set expectations for quality capacity strengthening activities, guiding others toward sound approaches for capacity strengthening that are measurable and yield lasting results.
• Propose quality approaches and measurement plans for capacity strengthening activities that are responsive to budget and time constraints.
• Design dynamic, innovative, evidence-based learning experiences for a range of audiences, including USAID staff, implementing partners and frontline health workers, based on a clear set of learning goals and objectives.
• Develop course content for capacity strengthening activities, including facilitator guides, slide sets, handouts, job aides and other materials as needed.
• Conduct needs assessments to determine the most effective approaches for achieving capacity strengthening outcomes in alignment with USAID goals, strategies, and plans.
• Facilitate learning sessions in both face-to-face workshops and virtual learning platforms.
• Work effectively with technical experts and consultants to develop capacity strengthening programs.
• With the Senior Technical Advisor, ensure that all capacity strengthening activities have clear measurement plans, including sound baseline needs assessments, monitoring plans and an evaluation of how well objectives were achieved.
• Ensure clear communication about the status and outcomes of capacity strengthening activities across technical teams, including the activity team, activity leads, directors and USAID counterparts.
• Manage consultants with specialized curriculum development skills, setting clear expectations and ensuring quality work is delivered and completed on time.
• Contribute to the development of team (both global and country) work plans and budgets, ensuring consistency with project direction and strategy.
• Supervise and mentor Technical Specialists and/or Program Officers to facilitate professional growth and development.
• Other duties as assigned.
- Strong interpersonal skills and social-emotional intelligence; experience working effectively in cross-sector teams and cross-cultural settings.
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate courses, design interactive learning experiences and curricula.
- Knowledge of the principles of capacity strengthening including adult learning, learning styles, participatory methods, instructional design, appreciative inquiry, whole systems design, e-learning and related areas.
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple activities simultaneously and deliver quality results on time and within budget
- Demonstrated ability and affinity for delivering technical assistance in developing countries.
- Ability to develop and apply monitoring and evaluation plans to determine activity results and monitor impact.
- Strong planning, organization, and strategic thinking skills
- Exceptional communication (verbal and written) and presentation skills with a dynamic, engaging facilitation style
- Flexibility and ability to travel internationally for varying lengths of time
- Excellent time management and personal organization skills.
- Confident giving and receiving feedback in a direct, professional manner.
- Ability to direct multiple long and short-term activities simultaneously with minimal supervision.
- Comfortable working in a matrixed, integrated work environment.
- Skilled in word processing, presentation design, spreadsheets (Excel), and web-based programs
- Past experience working with USAID preferred
- Fluency in language(s) other than English and experience working or living overseas preferred.
- Education: Master’s degree or advanced degree in instructional design, human-centered design, organizational development, international development or communication.
- Experience: 7 years of experience working with capacity strengthening programs in international development, ideally with an emphasis on health, nutrition, food security, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, HIV, livelihoods or a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Ability to undertake field travel (approximately 30%)
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Fluency in French, Russian or Portuguese highly desirable.