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Microplanning Program Manager - Kenya

Job Summary

We are looking for a skilled, technical program manager who is able to work with our field-based implementation teams, understand the field needs, and translate those to system design and modifications.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 5 years

Job Description/Requirements

What’s so great about Akros?

At Akros, we bring innovative ideas for gathering and using data to development challenges through a “boots on the ground” approach. We’ve built our organizational culture and nuanced approach to implementation by being where our work is. Akros has been supporting government and partner counterparts from our home base in Lusaka, Zambia for over 10 years. This close, on the ground, partnership has helped to contextualize our work to ensure that we are only scaling the ideas and approaches which will work and will be sustained in under-resourced settings over time.


What impactful projects are we starting in Kenya?

Akros is designing, building and implementing systems that make significant health impact in cost-effective ways. Akros, in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the END Fund and AIHD, is embarking on a two-year project that will improve the quality of neglected tropical disease (NTD) micro-planning in routine deworming programs in Kenya, in line with the government’s Breaking Transmission Strategy (2019). Akros is responsible for microplanning, a process to collect, consolidate, and apply data that allows implementers to (1) improve reach of mass drug administrations (MDAs) through a better understanding of the size and distribution of their target population and its burden of disease, (2) quantify and allocate the material and human resources required for high-quality MDA, and (3) develop an appropriate monitoring framework to guide interventions and assess program performance.


Who are the people we are looking for?

Akros employs passionate, results-orientated self-starters who are willing to take the plunge with us. We are an energetic, fast moving team who often have to divide and conquer to get the job done. We are looking for people to invest in, to learn from, and to share and grow our lessons learned so far. And we are looking for those who can bring new ideas, new perspectives and new bursts of energy and innovation to our team. We have a deep history of people coming to Akros, coming alongside our founders, supporting the same vision they are seeing: to make tangible impact in sustainable ways for the vulnerable populations we are working among. Many past employees or fellows have created a lasting legacy at Akros through their own innovations which we have helped expand, and in some cases take to scale. If you have an idea that is going to create impact on global health and it fits within our wheelhouse - we are willing to help take that idea to fruition.


Position overview:

We are looking for a skilled, technical program manager who is able to work with our field-based implementation teams, understand the field needs, and translate those to system design and modifications. The PM will establish an in-country presence and close working relationship with Kenya’s NTD teams, will spearhead coordination with all stakeholders and will maintain a strong understanding of all moving pieces within the project, managing and tracking tasks against timelines. Best candidates will be ready to jump in and work with our technical teams to expand an existing platform for smart ‘spatial intelligence’ data collection and intervention planning. The PM will coordinate with other project stakeholders to ensure that the project is adequately monitored and evaluated, and that all perspectives and experiences are captured and incorporated into learnings for future microplanning package improvement and iteration. The PM will also work with our implementation teams to understand existing country and use case context, and to configure and deploy the existing open-source platform to swiftly meet the client needs.


Specific Responsibilities

● Represent Akros to government and implementing partners. Liaise with Neglected Tropical Disease Programs and in-country implementing partners to build capacity for microplanning, facilitate integrations with existing datasets, and guide field protocol training and operational management for health workers who are administering interventions.

● Engage with national and local (county and sub-county) stakeholders to support the initial needs assessment to understand current micro-planning and intervention protocols and processes, as well as areas for improvement;

● Work with in-country staff to field verify and map all administrative unit hierarchies, including health facility catchment areas in targeted sub-counties;

● Engage with national stakeholders to support resource planning based on risk mapping methodologies and targeted intervention areas;

● Support the implementation and use of data and tools during the district microplanning activities for all targeted sub-counties;

● Collaborate with Akros technical teams and with software development team(s) through participation on quality assurance and live-fire field tests of the mobile application, forms and web interface, and program manager dashboards.

● Support the documentation and adaptation of standard operating procedures and protocols for implementation in Kenya.

● Conduct in-country data collector training, including training and support for sub-county decision-making protocols in the targeted sub-county/ies.

● Work alongside country ministries of health and in-country staff and partners to provide in-field support for the duration of the campaign in the targeted sub-county/ies, according to program protocols.

● Work with the Ministry of Health and stakeholders to identify key champions at national, county, and sub-county level and train and transfer capacity to these local personnel to support the microplanning, data collector training and in-field support activities during the subsequent MDA campaigns.

● Engage national and local stakeholders in Kenya to solicit feedback and identify areas for improvement, including the identification of additional tools and processes that could increase efficiency in planning, as well as overall program performance.

● Document best practices for system configuration, protocol design, and end user training.

● Actively participate in design team discussions of new product features.


The appropriate candidate will possess:

● Bachelor’s Degree or higher in a relevant field, with at least 5 years of strong public health experience.

● Demonstrated project management skills and experience (stakeholder collaboration; planning; budgeting; implementation; problem-solving; etc.)

● Technical, field-based implementation experience; experience with neglected tropical diseases and mass drug administrations considered a plus.

● Previous experience with project and organizational representation to Ministry of Health officers at national and county levels.

● Demonstrated data system design and data visualization expertise.

● Experience with spatial intelligence to plan and guide public health programming; past experience using GRID3 data and paper-based maps preferred. Best candidates will also have GIS expertise and use of GIS tools such as qGIS and ArcGIS for spatial epidemiology.

● Experience with training design and facilitation targeting health workers (both facility and community based); capacity building in the area of health planning, and/or monitoring and evaluation preferred.

● Ability to learn new topics and settings quickly and turn that learning around to create solutions to problems

● Technical writing capability

● Demonstrated ability to operate with minimal instruction in a fast-paced environment

● Demonstrated ability to productively communicate with remote teams


Useful skills will also include

● Data analysis using mainstream statistical packages (Stata preferred)

● Information system design would be a bonus


**French speaking would be a bonus


Term, Location and Payment

This position will be for a period of 12 - 24 months. Salary will be dependent on experience. This position is located in Kenya (TBD: likely Nairobi or Kisumu). An estimated 30% field travel is anticipated.


Application instructions

Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis and are encouraged to apply early. To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV with references to careers@akros.com with “Application: Microplanning Program Manager – Kenya” as the email’s subject line.

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