Technical Advisor & Technical Support Coordinator
(Flexible location in Asia; Cambodia preferred.
Many staff currently working from home due to pandemic, depending on location.)
Helen Keller International is a global health organization dedicated to eliminating preventable vision loss, malnutrition and diseases of poverty. Cofounded by Helen Keller – and guided by her fierce optimism and belief in human potential – the organization delivers life-changing health solutions to vulnerable families where the need is great but access to care is limited. In the US, Africa, and Asia, Helen Keller’s proven, science-based programs empower people to create opportunities in their own lives and build lasting change.
Helen Keller is seeking a Technical Advisor with both broad public health project implementation knowledge and experience, and technical expertise in areas relevant to our programs. The Technical Advisor will provide specialized support to projects and will coordinate the work of the team providing technical assistance to country programs in Asia. The Advisor is expected to be an active participant in specific proposal development.
Technical Advisors with expertise in one or more of the following areas are encouraged to apply: Health Systems, Food Systems, Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, Nutrition Epidemiology, Market-based and Market-linked Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Security, and/or Resilience.
Reporting to the Vice President, Nutrition, the Technical Advisor & Technical Support Coordinator will work closely with all members of the global team supporting projects, including public health, management, finance and compliance professionals. Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.
As a Technical Advisor, the position co-supervises senior country office project staff within his/her assigned portfolio and will liaise with donors and partners. The Advisor will participate in senior level consultation regarding the management of the assigned portfolio of projects.
As a Technical Support coordinator, the position will coordinate a team of professionals providing technical support to country programs. This involves managing communication within the team and to country programs, representing and assigning others to represent Helen Keller in relevant fora, and across departments to ensure alignment. S/he will also coordinate with senior staff and finance to assign and monitor resource allocation.
Scope of the Position
The Technical Advisor & Technical Support Coordinator position has two primary areas of responsibility:
1. Provide technical guidance for an assigned portfolio. Work closely with country office management staff to provide program technical guidance to ensure effective design and planning, implementation, monitoring and documentation of that portfolio; and connecting the team to additional support, resources and experts, as needed. S/he will guide and help prepare technical presentations and reports, scientific abstracts, and peer-reviewed publications. S/he will also will provide expert input to new project proposals.
2. Coordinate technical support. Review and coordinate the provision of technical support with country teams in partnership with the Vice President, Nutrition and the Chief Program & Innovation Officer. Identify technical needs and gaps of programs, draw on technical expertise across the organization to meet those needs, coordinate and follow-up with focal point for each project who is tasked with providing direct support. This position will also coordinate regular meetings of country office and global technical staff as well as Helen Keller representation at external meetings.
The position is based in Asia and is expected to require 30-40% international travel for the monitoring & evaluation, quality assurance, planning meetings, and trainings; for meetings with donors and implementing partners; and to attend global scientific and technical meetings. (Staff are not currently traveling due to the pandemic; estimates apply to the post-pandemic period).
- As a member of the global program team, participate in strategic planning and direction setting for our programs, lending your unique perspective and expertise to the process.
- Participate in international work groups as assigned to develop global policies and/or optimize systems and procedures.
- Collaborate with local and global colleagues:
- in the development of quality, evidence-based technical tools and guides used to increase capacity of and support to our projects; and
- to suggest strategic topics for operational research and play an active role in the writing and editing of articles for submission to peer-reviewed publications.
- Produce up-to-date, evidence-based technical and policy briefs, and develop and manage the creation of evidence-based program standards with key stakeholders.
- Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your department and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.
- Act as a focal point for an assigned portfolio of projects.
- Provide high-quality technical assistance to assigned portfolio: co-lead program design and development of activities and tools through engagement in the work planning process by contributing strategic thinking as well as detailed implementation planning and budgeting of activities ensuring consistency with project direction and strategy.
- Guide implementation teams to achieve high-quality project deliverables and ensure they meet project objectives and donor requirements.
- Engage with internal and external subject matter experts to solicit timely support as needed.
- Advise country offices on best practices for implementation of program activities, including evaluations to measure the impact of program activities.
- Develop and/or backstop country office-led research and evaluation activities, as well as the preparation of abstracts and journal articles.
- Work with program colleagues on strategic quality improvement initiatives within the portfolio and monitor progress.
- Meet with donors and implementing partners; represent Helen Keller in international meetings.
- Work with staff to achieve goals and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
- Mentor indirect reports and engage in regular peer to peer performance conversations.
- Contribute to recruitment and ongoing supervision and evaluation of program staff in assigned portfolio and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
- Work with the External Relations department and/or the Business Development unit to assist country offices with the development of proposals, briefs, and success stories to be shared with internal and external audiences.
- Independently develop documents for review by team, and act as peer editor for colleagues.
- Train in-country staff and partners on topics within area of expertise. Participate in review of training materials and processes.
Technical Support Coordination
- Review and evaluate country office needs for technical assistance and recommend assignments of focal points for each project, for approval by senior program staff.
- Monitor finance reports to ensure assistance is being delivered as planned; explore variances and recommend course corrections, as needed.
- Plan and chair regular meetings of assigned focal points to facilitate coordination of additional resources, as needed.
- Participate in coordination meetings of global staff supporting programs in Asia.
- Plan and facilitate meetings of global and country office technical staff.
- Coordinate assignment of Helen Keller representatives to key technical meetings. Consult with team to prioritize and strategize and with External Relations to align messaging and communications support.
- Master’s Degree in public health plus at least 8 years of relevant work experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Specific technical expertise and training experience in an area relevant to Helen Keller programming such as Health Systems, Food Systems, Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, Nutrition Epidemiology, Market-based and Market-linked Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Security and Resilience.
- Strong interpersonal skills and social-emotional intelligence; experience working with cross-cultural teams.
- Experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis, program monitoring and evaluation, creating and monitoring budgets and knowledge of financial processes.
- Experience working overseas and in program implementation is required; experience in Asia strongly preferred.
- Understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components of public health initiatives.
- Experience working with a range of in-country partners, including USAID missions, government, implementing partners and local organizations.
- Experience with research design, data collection, analysis and manuscript preparation.
- Experience translating complex technical material and research findings into dissemination-friendly formats.
- Ability and willingness to work under pressure with a positive attitude, as a part of a matrixed global team.
- Ability to prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow tasks through to completion.
- Highly computer literate with knowledge of Microsoft software products, including strong Excel skills, required; use of data analysis software such as STATA is preferred.
- Oral and written proficiency in English is required.