Helen Keller International
National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN)
Helen Keller International (HKI), co-founded in 1915 by our namesake, is committed to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable by combating the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health, and malnutrition. We envision a world where no one suffers from malnutrition, disease, preventable vision loss, or blindness. HKI is well known and respected in the global health and development sectors for our expertise in translating science and research into innovative, effective programs. Our programs empower millions of people to achieve their potential through the delivery of preventative and curative solutions in eye health, nutrition, and neglected tropical diseases. Headquartered in New York City, Helen Keller International works in 19 countries across Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States
In Bangladesh, HKI has a long history and a large, diverse portfolio of programs and donors. In partnership with the Government of Bangladesh and non-governmental organizations, HKI-Bangladesh implements programs focused on improving maternal and child nutrition and eye health, including Enhanced Homestead Food Production and a diabetic retinopathy program.
We are currently seeking a Technical Director to lead and manage HKI-Bangladesh’s National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) project, which is an initiative of the European Commission supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Description of the Project
The NIPN initiative aims to strengthen national capacity to manage and analyze information and data from all sectors which have an influence on nutrition, and to disseminate and use the information to better inform the strategic decisions the Government of Bangladesh is faced with in order to prevent undernutrition and its consequences by improving policies and programs. Since January 2018, HKI-Bangladesh has been implementing the NIPN initiative in partnership with the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, specifically the Ministries of Planning, Food, and Health.
The Technical Director reports to the HKI-Bangladesh Country Director and works closely with him to realize the objectives of the initiative. Due to the nature of this multi-sectoral research project, this position routinely coordinates with eight government departments under the Ministries of Planning, Food and Health and supports the NIPN Analysis Unit at the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) to bring together information and data for analysis.
The Director will also facilitate meetings of the NIPN Project Management Committee, liaise with the NIPN Policy Advisory Committee and represent NIPN at country and international events, as needed.
HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within geographic hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts who guide and support their work. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally, are essential to make this structure thrive.
Scope of the Position
The Technical Director for the NIPN Project is responsible for the supervision and management of the project, including organizing coordination meetings, facilitating project working groups and ensuring timely, high quality technical and financial reporting.
The Technical Director will provide expert technical advice, training, and guidance to the staff working in and with the NIPN Analysis Unit on how best to analyze quantitative data to better understand the causes of malnutrition, the reasons for improvements in nutrition over time, the reasons for differences in nutritional status within the country, and the effectiveness of programs and interventions to improve nutrition.
This position will be based 80% in the BBS office (4 days per week) and 20% (one day per week) in the HKI-Bangladesh office.
Train and support staff of the NIPN Analysis Unit, staff of ministries, and statisticians employed on contract by the project to:
• Undertake the methodical collection and archiving of data sets, questionnaires and project reports related to nutrition using standard software, to create a searchable database, with support from a Data Manager.
• Develop an understanding of sources of data and the procedures needed to obtain data sets.
• With support from nutritionists and sector experts, guide the collection, analysis and synthesis of background and contextual information on nutrition in Bangladesh and internationally, based on questions posed by the NIPN Policy Advisory Committee.
• Train analysis staff to critically assess and evaluate the quality of data sets and report on how data quality could be improved.
• Support the production of summary statistics, such as by regions and districts, that could contribute to data dashboards that may be developed by the project.
• Assess and build capacity of government and project staff to undertake statistical analysis of data and interpret the results, while recognizing the limitations and weaknesses of the underlying data.
• Support government and project staff to produce high quality analytical reports.
• Make presentations of the work of the NIPN Analysis Unit.
Manage the NIPN Project, and specifically:
• Plan the work and outputs of the NIPN Analysis Unit.
• Facilitate meetings of the NIPN Project Management Committee.
• Make presentations and represent NIPN at country and international events as needed.
• Ensure that the structures set up to implement the NIPN are functioning and efficient; that the platform responds to requests for information; and that the work of the project supports national governance mechanisms and multi-sectoral efforts for nutrition.
Provide regular updates to the CD for coordination purposes and, when necessary, seek support in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the project.
- Minimum seven years of experience managing international public health programs including demonstrated experience in program development, implementation and evaluation; and
- MPH (minimum) or PhD (preferred) in public health, statistics, economics or relevant field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Excellent quantitative analysis skills in STATA, including developing datasets, synthesizing complex datasets, and developing dashboards and data visualization tools.
- Demonstrated experience and skills in leadership, staff management, program development and management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.
- Demonstrated experience with high-level representation and successful advocacy to secure approvals and motivate more effective policies.
- Experience working in Bangladesh and/or elsewhere in South Asia would be seen as an advantage.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to effectively lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.
- Excellent oral and written English language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
- Computer excellence in the use of word-processing, spreadsheet and statistical software, as well as experience in data analysis and interpretation.