Project Support Officer

British High Commission in Nairobi

Job Summary

The post-holder will support the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Programme in Zambia. T

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 3 years

Job Description/Requirements

Job Category  

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)

Job Subcategory  


Job Description (Roles and Responsibilities)  

Main Purpose of Job

The post-holder will support the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Programme in Zambia. The IHR Strengthening Programme aims to contribute towards improving global health security through increased compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) in selected countries and regions in Africa and Asia.

The post holder will deliver a range of administrative, logistical and project co-ordination activity, on behalf of the IHR Strengthening Programme in Zambia, enabling the delivery of expertise on the ground. The post holder must be fluent in English, have excellent organisational prioritisation and coordination skills to meet complex logistical and operational deadlines. The post-holder will provide support to the UKHSA IHR Streagthening Programme team in Zambia to ensure the coordination and delivery of identified outputs, playing a crucial role in supporting the various projects within the workplan agreed with the Zambia National Public Health Institute/Ministry of Health, ensuring activities are delivered to time, within scope and resource allocation.

The post holder will be able to work using their own initiative to achieve results and will have strong communication skills, be able to work in a team and independently. He/she must also be able to engage effectively and develop excellent working relationships with a wide range of individuals and stakeholders at local, national and international levels. This post will be based in Lusaka with some travel to other areas of Zambia if relevant. Occasional international travel (eg to other countries in the sub region, or to the UK) may be required.

Roles and responsibilities

1.     Office Management

  • Provide comprehensive administrative and logistical support to the IHR Programme in Zambia, including country lead and UKHSA technical teams
  • Summaries correspondence, reports and compile letters, both routine and ad hoc, ensuring that deadlines are met
  • Manage incoming correspondence and emails, including that of a confidential and sensitive nature, exercising independent judgement to initiate appropriate action
  • Assess and priorities own workload within given timeframe, to meet project schedules
  • Support projects by developing and identifying resources required, ensuring all materials and resources are current and appropriate
  • Organize logistics support for incoming UKHSA teams, by liaising with hotels, training venues and transportation etc.
  • Manage own workload and activities, including emails and diary management of other relevant team members,
  • Participate in self-development to continually improve performance/systems and undertake development activities that are identified 

2. Project Support

  • Trouble shooting any minor technical and operational issues. Alert Higher Project Support Officer to urgent/serious issues arising
  • Write briefings and reports as required, compiling information from a range of sources and using judgement and analytical skills to evaluate options
  • Identify errors or problems, take action as necessary to resolve and/or notify the Higher Project Support Officer.
  • Monitor progress of defined aspects of specific projects and business processes, identifying problems or opportunities, take action as necessary and/or notify Higher Project Support Officer
  • Plan and organize defined aspects of project delivery under the guidance of the Higher Project Officer.
  • Track programme activity and support the project team to maintain oversight
  • Regularly review procedures or systems to identify improvements, simplify processes and decision making, capturing changes in operational ways of working and incorporating these into the programme’s SOPs
  • Assist with the orientation of UKSHA technical teams on arrival in Zambia providing local knowledge and understanding.
  • Provide support to help UKHSA understand the cultural context of Zambia and provide feedback on our approach for cultural nuances.

3.     Communication and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Communicate with a wide range of health and other professionals both locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Provide an effective and professional service when liaising with colleagues, partners, stakeholders, and the public using tact and diplomacy to encourage effective working when dealing with any communication difficulties
  • Liaise and negotiates with staff and other teams to support the efficient running of projects and business functions including communications
  • Respond to enquiries from key stakeholders to provide information in line with agreed protocols and procedures
  • Deputizes for the UKHSA team members including country lead at relevant meetings
  • Maintain regular contact with key government ministries and key stakeholders in the absence of the other UKHSA country team members including Country lead to maintain project momentum and facilitate good work relationship, ensuring that actions agreed are on track.
  • Manage/support the planning of meetings, high level events and conferences, working with the local service provider and Higher Project Support Officer.

The above is an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. You will carry out any other duties as may reasonably be expected by UKHSA. These responsibilities may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of the organization.

Essential qualifications, skills and experience  

  • Minimum of three years previous experience in similar administrative role in public sector or with bilateral/multilateral organisations.
  • Proven administrative experience, including complex diary management, arranging high profile meetings and events.
  •  Experience drafting briefing papers, reports and presentations.
  •  Knowledge of administrative procedures, project management and information analysis.
  •  Excellent written and oral communication skills on complex matters, often requiring persuasion and influence.
  •  Ability to work on own initiative and organise own workload without supervision working to tight and often changing timescales.
  •  Adaptability, flexibility and ability to cope with uncertainty and change.
  •  Ability to handle strictly confidential information from internal and external sources whilst always adhering to best practices of confidentiality.
  •  Computer literate and proficient user of Microsoft programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel and SharePoint. 
  •  An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems.

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience  

  • Understanding of global health including the health challenges of low and middle-income countries.
  • Experience of organizing events/conferences/ workshops
  • Ability to analyse and interpret information and recommend appropriate actions.

Required competencies  

Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace, Engaging Internationally

Application deadline  

10 December 2021


B3 (L)

Type of Position  

Fixed Term, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal

Duration of Post  

3 months





Location (City)  


Type of Post  

British High Commission



Start Date  

3 January 2022

Other benefits and conditions of employment  

Working Hours:

Office hours at the BHC are from 0800 to 1630 Monday to Thursday and 0800 to 1300 on Friday, with a one-hour break for lunch. Weekly conditioned hours and 37.5 for all staff.

Annual Leave

On joining the BHC, except in compassionate circumstances, staff are only entitled to take leave once they have worked continuously for six months. The six months period is inclusive of the probationary period.
Staff are entitled to 27 days paid leave per annum.

Public Holidays

In addition to normal paid leave, the BHC observes a number of Zambian and British public holidays, all of which staff are entitled to take as days off without using their paid leave entitlements. A list of public holidays is issued each year.

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