SPO, Routine Immunization

Abuja, Nigeria

About Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000 by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.  It is the largest private foundation in the world with an endowment of US $50.7 billion as of 31st December 2017.  The foundation aims to improve the quality of life for billions of people worldwide, providing research and working with other organizations to tackle global problems and drive change. 

The Global Development division (GD) leads a diverse range of program areas aimed at finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in poor countries who need them most. Their strategies focus on Emergency Response, Family Planning, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Nutrition, Polio Eradication and Vaccine Delivery. A common theme of these programs is innovative and integrated delivery, including an emphasis on strengthening of primary health care systems.

Based in Seattle, the foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,500 people and is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. They have offices in the United States, Europe, India, China and Africa.

You can find further details on their website: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/

Senior Program Officer (SPO), RI Strengthening in Africa  

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invites applications for a Senior Program Officer position aimed at strengthening routine immunization programs in select countries in Africa. Their aim is to sustainably improve routine immunization coverage in subnational geographies at risk of poliovirus transmission, with a particular focus on francophone countries. The foundation works in close collaboration with country governments and their Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) staff, as well as immunization stakeholders such as Gavi, WHO, UNICEF, NGOs, and donors. They seek field-oriented, bilingual candidates familiar with routine immunization programs on the continent to help design, implement and monitor strategies that safeguard children from vaccine-preventable diseases across some of the highest risk areas of Africa. The Senior Program Officer will also work closely with the foundation’s Vaccine Delivery and Polio teams, as well as the Africa and Global Policy, Advocacy & Communications teams. The position will be based in Abuja, Nigeria and will be expected to undertake up to 40% international travel.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), RI Strengthening in Africa, will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Engage national and sub-national immunization technical staff on an agreed strategy to strengthen government routine immunization program leading to sustainable improvements in immunization coverage
  • Support the development of annual work-plans at the sub-national level that strengthen the cold chain, improve immunization planning and operations, increase oversight of immunization activities through supervision and monitoring, engage families and communities on the importance of immunization, and make use of quality data to inform overall program performance
  • Monitor field activities on a regular basis, together with government counterparts and development partners, to validate planned activities, support amendments to strategy and provide feedback to local health teams
  • Engage sub-national political leadership on the importance of routine immunization as a development priority, improve visibility for immunization activities and encourage their accountability for health outcomes
  • Coordinate with Gavi and other immunization partners, including WHO, UNICEF, CDC, and civil society organizations on activities in select sub-national geographies
  • Manage consultants and grantees in priority countries, in alignment with national government health and immunization strategy plans
  • Liaise with high-level government and donor leadership as required
  • Expectation of up to 40% international travel

This position will report to Deputy Director, Health, Nutrition and Eradication of the Nigeria Country Office.

12-18 months Key Deliverables

  • Strong relationships established with key government officials, implementing partners and stakeholders in assigned focus country/countries.
  • Strong relationships established with the Gates Foundation teams in Seattle and Africa, with a solid understanding of the foundation’s processes, systems, organization and culture.
  • Partnership agreement(s) signed with national/subnational governments in assigned focus country/countries.
  • Implementing partners identified and grants/contracts disbursed to support these agreements.

Leadership and Culture

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation believes that energized people, working well together, fuelled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do extraordinary things.

Required Competencies

  • Leadership abilities to work with multiple stakeholders, including government, other donors, grantees to create a common vision and visualize simple and effective but implementable solutions to complex problems
  • Strong strategic thinker with experience developing evidence-based strategic or operational plans as well as shaping and managing sustainable and scalable ventures
  • Experienced coalition builder and background of creating effective partnerships and establishing cross-sectoral linkages
  • Ability to engage in fieldwork and provide local support for the focus countries
  • Demonstrates strong personal initiative and ability to be self-directed, but also a strong collaborator and team member
  • Fluency in both French and English is a must
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, political, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people
  • Works with efficiency and diplomacy
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of partners and audiences, including with the foundation senior management

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree in public health or community health, medicine, public policy or related field
  • At least 10 years of direct experience in routine immunization programming in Africa, preferably in a francophone country and in low-resource and/or conflict settings
  • Understanding of, and ideally direct experience with, vaccination or other health programs, including basic planning, delivery, and community engagement strategies

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position. As part of standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in English (Microsoft Word format), along with any relevant documentation to Ms. Apoorva Tyagi, at [email protected]. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.



Application form