Country Director, Niger
Helen Keller Intl
Country Director, Niger
Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities that are striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition, and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we ensure every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.
We are currently seeking a Country Director (CD) in Niger to represent Helen Keller, develop new programs, expand our programming and scale, and lead the country office and its programs in a manner that reflects our mission and values and ensures technical excellence in the delivery of all activities.
Country Program Overview
Helen Keller began working in Niger in 1987, and Niger has been a flagship program in vitamin A supplementation, significantly reducing vitamin A deficiency and child mortality. Currently, Helen Keller assists the Government of Niger to improve health and nutrition practices and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We work with other key stakeholders, including diverse government agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations and communities. Helen Keller is working nationwide with about 50 staff and an annual operating budget of approximately $7 million. Our program in Niger is funded by various public and private donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, GiveWell, the Avoidable Blindness Fund, and Roros Foundation.
The CD reports directly to the Regional Director, West Africa, and leads the Country Management Team (CMT). The position directly supervises a team of professional level staff, works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure and may be called upon to participate in global working groups or steering committees. 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.
Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner universities and NGOs, civil society organizations, private industry, donors, and UN agencies. The CD will represent Helen Keller at relevant external meetings.
Scope of the Position
The CD provides strategic leadership and develops action plans that further the mission of Helen Keller and are locally appropriate in the Niger context. They have overall responsibility for ensuring technical and operational excellence in the delivery of all activities to achieve the objectives established in grants and strategic plans, and actively working to expand funding for activities in line with Helen Keller’s mission and local needs. This position is based in Niamey with regular travel to project sites, security conditions permitting.
Overall Management and Leadership
- Provide strategic vision and direction for overall program design, implementation, and proposal development; work closely with the country team to accomplish the strategic goals.
- Lead and oversee all aspects of the implementation of country programs and the management of the country office.
- Represent Helen Keller in formal and informal meetings with government officials, international donor agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to Helen Keller project activities
- Identify opportunities and generate funding from international and bilateral agencies, and donor agencies.
- Develop and nurture in-country donor relationships and identify potential partners to participate in joint proposals.
- Lead and prepare concept papers and proposals and provide other information as needed for submission to donors and others for fundraising and marketing purposes.
- Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity.
- Provide technical input to the government, international donors, and technical advisory groups pertinent to Helen Keller project activities.
- Ensure implementation of strong program monitoring, evaluation and learning functions.
- Oversee research design, methodology and dissemination of information needed to monitor and evaluate project activities and/or advance programmatic and policy changes.
- Disseminate findings from Helen Keller projects that are of importance to decision-makers in a position to fund or implement projects in Niger and internationally.
- Keep the national partners and others informed about progress of the projects, plans for the development of new programs/projects/activities and donor involvement in the overall program.
Operations and Finance
- Supervise all aspects of people management in the country office; including hiring and managing human resources, leading initiatives to develop staff capacity, and promoting team morale and retention.
- Supervise the safety and security function, ensuring that Helen Keller meets its Duty of Care responsibilities to staff, clients and other stakeholders in the context of Niger’s particularly challenging security situation.
- Provide oversight to finance and administrative services including procurement, property management, human resources management, vehicle and facilities management, and staff safety and security.
- Work with the regional office and headquarters to manage the development and implementation of annual country budgets.
- Authorize expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements.
- Ensure the preparation and accuracy and timely submission of financial and narrative reports that comply with grant or contract agreements and ensure compliance with all aspects of donor funding and HKI policies.
Required Qualifications and Competencies
- Minimum ten years of field experience in international public health, nutrition and/or Neglected Tropical Disease programs including demonstrated experience in program management, including design, implementation, and evaluation, plus a minimum master’s degree in public health, nutrition, development or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Experience managing all aspects of program and operations management in a large country office in a challenging context including demonstrated experience and ability to:
- supervise safety and security in a challenging operating environment;
- manage compliance with diverse donor requirements (private foundations, GAC, USAID, etc.);
- supervise key administrative, procurement, and logistics functions;
- supervise financial management, develop and create budgets monitor financial status, and hold budget owners accountable;
- Lead and manage people; and
- Lead program development and management and strategic planning.
- Technical knowledge in an area related to Helen Keller’s mission and programs.
- Demonstrated ability to undertake high-level representation and advocacy.
- Experience working in the Sahel (ideal) and/or elsewhere in Africa, with Ministries, international and local NGOs, and donors based locally, is a substantial asset.
- Demonstrated capacity to mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and proposal writing.
- Experience in designing and implementing workshops, seminars, surveys, monitoring systems, and evaluations. Experience in research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
- Familiarity with and experience promoting health systems strengthening in developing contexts is strongly desired.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including an ability to effectively lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.
- Very good oral and written English and French language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
- Well established and practiced organizational and planning skills;
- Computer literate in use of word-processing, spreadsheet and statistical software.
- Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
- Ability and willingness to:
- flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, as needed.
- travel within Niger and, periodically, internationally.NOTE: All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.
- Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by our namesake and co-founder: courage, integrity, rigor, and compassion.
The initial employment period is for two years with the possibility of renewal.
Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated
to building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.