Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Position Available: Project Manager for Maternal and Neonatal Health Project

The Welbodi Partnership, a small but growing UK registered charity that supports improvements in neonatal, child and maternal health in Sierra Leone, is looking for a Project Manager. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who wants to work in a young, dynamic organisation making a difference in healthcare in West Africa.

Please distribute this notice widely to those who might be interested in this opportunity to help improve maternal and neonatal healthcare in Sierra Leone

Location: Princess Christian Maternity and Ola During Children’s Hospitals, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Reports to: Country Director, Welbodi Partnership
Supervises: Women’s Group Coordinators
Contract length: 12 months, with possibility of extension
Start Date: Between mid-August and early September 2014
Remuneration: Competitive with similar positions

Application deadline:  June 15, 2014

Welbodi Partnership is a UK-registered charitable organisation based at Ola During Children’s Hospital (ODCH) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. For the past five years, Welbodi has been working towards improved paediatric care and a reduced child mortality rate in the Western Area of Sierra Leone through hospital infrastructural development, staff training, and community engagement. Welbodi is now undertaking a new initiative to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in the Western Area by improving the quality of care at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) and Primary Health Units (PHUs) by empowering communities, particularly women, to carry out health promotion activities, seek appropriate skilled care, and create and implement solutions to improve maternal and neonatal health (MNH). PCMH is the national maternity hospital, performing around 5,000 deliveries and providing 8,000 antenatal and postnatal consultation visits per year. It also delivers obstetric and gynaecological training for medical and nursing students. Sierra Leone has one of the worst neonatal morality rates in the world, and according to recent WHO data, the worst maternal mortality rate in the world.

Welbodi Partnership’s maternal and neonatal health project comprises two complementary interventions: engagement with women in the urban communities of the Western Area and health system strengthening initiatives to improve the quality and accessibility of essential obstetric and neonatal healthcare services at PCMH. Welbodi’s UK-based technical partner, Women and Children First (WCF), has the expertise and experience to provide valuable consultation on the implementation of the community women’s groups.  The groups will use a proven methodology, supported by WCF, to engage pregnant and lactating women in participatory learning and action cycles to identify and prioritise problems during pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum and to plan and implement locally feasible strategies to address these problems. Quality Improvement groups will provide a platform for hospital staff at PCMH and three nearby primary health units (PHUs) to discuss barriers to the provision of quality care, and make improvements through projects including but not limited to upgrading medical equipment, supplies, and facilities, in-service training for health workers, and clinical quality improvement interventions.

The Project Manager will be responsible for managing the maternal and neonatal project resources (human, financial and material) and ensuring that the project objectives and outcomes are monitored, evaluated, and met. Likely activities include but are not limited to:

General Management
  • Liaising with key stakeholders of MNH in Sierra Leone, primarily: The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), PCMH and ODCH clinical and management staff, and The Sierra Leone Institute of Child Health (SLICH)
  • Recruitment of two Women’s Group Coordinators
  • Managing women’s group coordinators, conducting performance reviews, and providing ongoing supervision, support, and learning
  • Managing project funds and reporting to Country Director and UK Finance lead
  • Supervise the development of a computerised medical records database at PCMH and training of MOHS medical records clerks
  • Providing technical support to the M&E officer and/or outside consultants responsible for the baseline, mid-term, and final evaluations of the project. Sharing these results with key stakeholders. 
  • Disseminating learning to communities, local health sector partners, and international networks

Health Systems Strengthening and Quality Improvement
  • Recruiting members of five Quality Improvement groups (15 members each); two based at PCMH and one at each of the three designated PHUs
  • Facilitating all QI groups on a monthly basis (twice a month in first three months); discussing strategies to overcome barriers to care; teaching Plan-Do-Study-Act model
  • Providing technical support to individuals and groups carrying out QI projects
  • Providing support and supervision to M&E officer and specific project leads responsible for monitoring and reporting of project data
  • Distributing quarterly list of approved QI projects and reports on all completed QI projects to SLICH, Women’s Groups, PCMH management, and Welbodi Partnership’s in country team and Board of Directors.
Community Engagement: Women’s Groups
  • Working closely with WCF for technical expertise on initial needs assessment, design of intervention, adaption of manuals, and training on project delivery for women’s groups
  • Review and approve Women’s Group Coordinators’ adaption of WCF’s women's group training and facilitation manuals to the Sierra Leone context
  • Supervising Women’s Group Coordinators in recruitment and training of 25 women’s group facilitators
  • Quarterly attendance of women’s group monthly meetings to observe implementation of participatory learning and action cycle developed by Women’s Group Coordinators
  • Providing technical support to the women’s groups coordinators in the collection of monthly group data; report quarterly to the Welbodi Board of Directors

  • Graduate level degree in relevant field or equivalent experience
  • Minimum 3 years health sector and project management experience
  • Proven leader with experience supervising a culturally diverse team
  • Excellent people skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Proven financial management competency
  • Excellent computer skills in Excel, Word, etc.
  • Excellent written and spoken English communication skills
  • Commitment to the goals and principles of Welbodi Partnership
  • Knowledge of and/or experience delivering evidence-based approaches to improving maternal and neonatal health
  • Knowledge of and/or experience delivering participatory community-based projects
  • Experience living and working in a developing country, preferably in Africa
  • Competency in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis; experience with SAS, SPSS, STATA, Epi Info, R, or another statistical analysis software
  • Krio or other local language ability a plus
The Project Manager will join the Welbodi Partnership team in Freetown between mid-August and early September 2014. Benefits include a competitive salary, shared accommodation, transportation to and from work, travel insurance, one return flight from your country of origin to Sierra Leone, cost of visas and residence permits, office space, and other logistical support in Freetown.

Interested candidates should email a copy of their CV, cover letter, and a list of three relevant references to jobs@welbodipartnership.org by June 15, 2014. Please include the title of the position in the subject line of your email. We welcome applicants of any nationality, including Sierra Leoneans at home or in the diaspora. Only those applicants shortlisted for an interview will be notified.

Equality and Diversity Statement

The Welbodi Partnership confirms its commitment to a comprehensive policy of Equal Opportunities in volunteering and employment in which individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities and are given Equal Opportunities within the organisation. It is the Welbodi Partnership’s policy as an employer to treat all people equally irrespective of race, ethnic origin, nationality, sex, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, creed, disability, age or political belief.

Applicants for this position should be aware that if successful, they will be requested to complete a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check, or equivalent in countries other than the UK. The Welbodi Partnership complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice. The entirety of the Welbodi Equality and Diversity statement is available upon request.

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