Author Topic: Project Health Coordinator - Gedo, Somali region, Ethiopia (Merlin)  (Read 12589 times)

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Project Health Coordinator
Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin)
International Health NGO
Closing date: 31 Jul 2009
Location: Ethiopia

Responsible to: Project Coordinator (PC)
Technical Line Management: Country Health Director (CHD)
Location: Gedo, Somali region, Ethiopia
Start date: ASAP
Contract Duration: 9 months
Salary & Benefits: Between £17,798 and £20,023 per annum dependant on relevant experience, an annual cost of living allowance of £4643, insurance cover, accommodation and return flights.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date

Please note this is an unaccompanied position.

Merlin International Profile

Merlin specialises in health, saving lives in times of crisis and helping to rebuild shattered health services. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.

Context and Background

After years of civil war and the subsequent border war with Eritrea, Ethiopia remains one of Africa's poorest states, with a very low income per capita and a population that is almost two-thirds illiterate. The agricultural sector has suffered from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. The devastating drought in 2003 led to widespread malnutrition and diarrhoeal disease, and resulted in more than 13 million people becoming dependent on international agencies for food. The on-going drought coupled with the food and energy price crisis has put more than 8 million people in need of immediate food assistance and wide spread malnutrition affecting both children and adults. Nearly half the population of Ethiopia is without access to healthcare.

Since March 2003, Merlin has been working in the Oromiya Region, one of the areas worst affected by prolonged drought. Merlin works on community-based water and sanitation programmes as well as primary healthcare through mobile clinics.

The recent developments in the Somali Region in the Eastern part of the country have led Merlin to investigate expansion into this area. The Somali Region is the poorest within Ethiopia and is home to 4.5 million people. Merlin is operational in the Gode Zone of the Region since April 2008 with funding from UNOCHA’s HRF funding mechanism. With funding from ECHO and HRF Merlin has continued its intervention in three district of Gode Zone.
A recent assessment from the United Nations conducted in September of last year stated that the humanitarian situation had deteriorated, food prices had doubled and trade blockade had placed unbearable pressure on an already fragile food security situation. The on-going military operations have seriously hampered the access, volume, and quality of humanitarian assistance, including food aid distributions. The report called for three immediate actions:

Conditions should be created to permit a substantial increase in commercial food deliveries throughout the region and actions taken to facilitate increased livestock trade.

Emergency food aid should be provided immediately for approximately 600,000 people for three months. Food distributions should be impartial and should reach all intended beneficiaries.
Drugs for health facilities and support to establish mobile health teams for health and nutrition responses should also be provided immediately.

Humanitarian access is being negotiated at a national level between Ethiopian authorities and the United Nations. It is Merlin’s intention to access, assess, and initiate additional humanitarian activities within the Somali Region. This role will be playing a considerable part in the concerted response to the humanitarian situation in the region.

Main purpose of the role

The Project Health Coordinator will be responsible for leading the effective implementation of quality health programming, grounded in best practice in response to acute and longer-term health needs in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. To achieve this objective, the PHC will be technically supported by the CHD located in the capital base.

The PHC will report directly to the PC and will be technically accountable to the CHD.

Overall Objectives (scope)
- Provision of quality primary and emergency health services through both static and outreach mobile clinic services
- Improving basic preventive health care at community level
- Strengthening of linkages and coordination mechanisms between communities, health facilities and government sector offices
- Establishment of health monitoring and evaluation systems


- Coordinate and functionally manage the planning and direction of Merlin’s health activities at project level.
- Develop and maintain a coherent project strategy fulfilling Merlin’s aims in collaboration with the Project Coordinator.
- Determine project direction in consultation with the Project Coordinator and Country Management Team
- Create a shared vision among all Merlin health staff related to project aims and their role in achieving these.

Programme Support
- Provide technical and managerial support to all health team members in fulfilment of their duties according to project objectives.
- Develop, plan and implement project health activities in close collaboration with health and non-medical personnel, ensuring coherence between activities and contingencies for changes in project direction and priorities related to the humanitarian context.
- Prepare the project health protocols and data collection forms in collaboration with local health representatives and ensure the team is fully conversant with and trained in the same.
- Responsible with the Project Coordinator for encouraging the community participation in health activities to ensure the long term ownership and effectiveness of the programme.
- Ensure all medical staff receive appropriate training to facilitate the maximum use of their skills and their full and effective participation in medical activities.
- Ensure health activities are implemented in accordance with Merlin policy and inter/nationally recognised standards.
- Ensure that the medical stocks are properly managed in collaboration with the pharmacy officer and logistics staff.
- Responsible for the timely preparation and approval of all medical orders.
- Assist in the development of emergency preparedness activities of Merlin Ethiopia – e.g. preparedness planning and training activities.

Programme Development
- Constantly monitor the health and humanitarian situation in the project area and propose appropriate action in collaboration with the Project Coordinator and Country Health Director.
- Undertake/ assist needs assessment as necessary.
- Prepare and write timely and accurate donor proposals and reports in collaboration with the Project Co-ordinator. These documents should reflect progress against set objectives and/or newly defined needs supported by appropriate data presentation and contextual analysis.
- Prepare and write timely and accurate monthly health activity reports for inclusion in the monthly situation report submitted to Merlin HQ.
- Support the Project Coordinator with negotiating new / changes to project activities with local health authorities.
- Together with the Project Co-ordinator, ensure reports are delivered to local counterparts in time as stipulated in the project agreement.

Co-ordination & Representation
- Co-ordinate and represent Merlin to local health authorities at district level to ensure all project activities are carried out with their collaboration and participation in order to achieve project objectives.
- Co-ordinate and represent Merlin to WHO, UNICEF, and other I/NGOs to avoid project with activity overlap whilst sufficiently addressing the full needs of the communities
- Ensure key stakeholders receive regular activity reports and statistics.

Staff Management / HR
- Line manage health staff effectively, using appropriate delegation
- Monitor health staff performance through regular appraisal
- Recruit Merlin national medical staff including the development of clear job description.
- Enhance technical and health management skills of national health staff through formal & informal training in conjunction with international medical officers.

Staff Health
- Responsible for project based international staff health and well-being as outlined in Merlin Staff Health Policy.
- Ensure up-to-date medical evacuation procedures are in place at all times and that staff are aware of their respective roles.

- Carry out any other responsibilities as requested by the Project Co-ordinator or Country Health Director
- Produce written, end of post handover notes.

Person Specification

Essential - Qualifications, experience and competences
- Qualified doctor or nurse with post qualification experience.
- Qualification or experience in tropical medicine and/or public health.
- Excellent management and personnel skills to enable the motivation, encouragement and participation of international and national health team members
- Ability and flexibility to understand the cultural and political environment and to work well with local health representatives.
- Ability to assess health conditions quickly and calmly under pressure as required.
- Excellent communication skills, with good spoken and written English
- Experience managing primary healthcare projects
- Experience of working in emergencies
- Good computer skills to allow reporting and representation.
- Experience in epidemiological analysis including data representation and basic survey techniques (use of Excel & Epi-Info)
- Commitment to Merlin’s values and aims
- Previous experience within a humanitarian aid organisation.
- Ability to remain calm and to be diplomatic, both with the local health authorities and with the community.
- Good organisational skills with good leadership skills and/or willingness to develop them.
- Work in remote and insure environments

Desirable - Qualifications, experience and competences
- Post graduate qualification.
- Experience in Ethiopia or Horn of Africa.
- Qualification in Nutrition or experience working on nutritional projects.

How to apply
Please download an application form from our website Completed applications should be emailed to stating in the subject field the job title, country and reference number (if any)

Reference Code: RW_7SWJ2A-90

Source: ReliefWeb

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