Health Regional Lead

Deadline to apply: February 9, 2024

About the Opportunity

Job Description


IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) group, located within the Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) Department, provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.
IRC’s Technical Excellence team is comprised of five teams or sector “Units” which have deep expertise in their respective fields: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, and Violence Prevention and Response, as well as teams which provide measurement and finance/grant management support. Technical teams are also matrixed with a team that focuses on the quality and content of cross-sectoral programming in emergency responses.
IRC’s Technical Excellence teams offer five core services to IRC country programs and the wider organization:
1. Program Design: We support country and regional teams to design state of the art programming, incorporating the best available evidence, cost data, and expertise of what has worked elsewhere, with the knowledge that country teams, partner organizations and our clients bring to the table.
2. Quality Assurance: We partner with our measurement teams to design and drive the use of indicators to measure progress towards outcomes; we partner with regional and country teams to review program delivery progress and help address implementation challenges and adapt interventions to changed circumstances.
3. Business Development: We partner within and outside the IRC to design winning bids and identify winning consortia; we deploy technical expertise in public events and private meetings to position IRC as a partner of choice.
4. Research & Learning: We partner with our research lab to design cutting edge research to fill evidence gaps, and with country teams to learn from implementation such that we continuously improve our future design and delivery.
5. External Influence: We showcase the IRC’s programs, technical insights and learning in order to influence and improve the humanitarian sector’s policy and practice.
Technical Excellence is currently going through a change process called “Regional and Technical Alignment.” We are doing this to ensure that the impact of our programs and the influence of our ideas create meaningful change for people affected by crisis. This next phase of IRC’s commitment to program quality will more deliberately resource and link global thought leadership with practice on the ground. Updated Technical Unit structures will have new roles with clearer mandates. The Regional Lead is a new leadership role introduced by this change process.
Health Unit
IRC’s health programs comprise the largest proportion of its overall program budget and are essential to both IRC emergency response and long-term programming worldwide. 
The Health Technical Unit is a dynamic team of more than 70 professionals in Primary Health Care, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Nutrition, Mental and Environmental Health. They provide IRC’s 40 plus country offices and emergency response team with world class technical expertise, capacity building and a cross country view of what works to achieve outcomes in terms of both evidence and practical experience. They also lead focused research agenda, influencing donor policy to support interventions and innovations proven cost effective to achieve positive change in people’s lives.
Middle East & North Africa Regional Overview:
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) have been working in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for more than forty years. Today, the IRC has more than 2,200 staff working across the region, including in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen to support those affected by some of the world’s most complex and protracted humanitarian crises.
An estimated 70 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the MENA. This includes people caught up in protracted conflict, those displaced by crisis, and those affected by global shocks, changing climates, and natural disasters, such as last year’s devastating earthquakes that struck southern Türkiye and Syria. Across the region, vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and people on the move, continue to be disproportionately affected, all while rising economic instability and often weak national governance exacerbate levels of extreme poverty and disrupt the provision of basic services.
The IRC responds to people’s acute and longer-term needs with integrated programs that improve health and safety, prioritize children’s education, foster economic wellbeing, and empower communities to regain control over their lives. Our work gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, conflict sensitivity, coordination, and impact.
Job Overview 
Health Unit Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Lead provides coherence and direction to the provision of technical support for Health Unit in the MENA Region. As a member of both the regional team and the technical unit Leadership team, the Regional Lead has accountability for technical quality and responsibility for assuring the advice from Technical Advisors is taken into appropriate action by the country office.
The Health Unit Regional Lead (RL) will lead a highly effective, strategic Health Unit regional team to ensure the MENA Region has high quality, sound technical support needed to deliver on global program goals and effectively serve our clients. The role will serve as a functional leader, advisor, and a thought partner to both TU leadership and Regional leadership, with a particular focus on leading the operationalization of outcome strategies in MENA region, multi-sector and sub-sector program integration, evidence-based design, business development, and quality assurance for high-impact and scale strategic projects. The Regional Lead will coordinate across individuals and projects, ensuring clear priorities are set and communicated, and navigating the challenges inherent in being an advisory function. They will be an excellent people manager, with great team building/animation skills, able to help technical staff succeed and grow in their careers. The Regional Lead will invest deeply in understanding the context and dynamics of the country and regional teams and the challenges they face. They will ensure coherent ways of working within and across the regional technical team, as well as within the wider Health Unit, to align high quality technical support with the operational realities of the country offices. By doing so, the Regional Lead will ensure high quality programming across the Health practice areas in MENA region, high quality coordination and partnership with regional teams, effective team performance, and efficiency and impact of technical excellence service offering to MENA region and country programs. 
Major Responsibilities 
Functional Leadership, Coordination, and Implementation Support:
• Provide technical leadership across the region, including by contextualizing the Health Outcome Strategy at the regional level in partnership with Technical Advisors, DRDs, + DDPs and in line with Country Program Strategic Action Plans
• Promote programming coherence and strategic direction of the Health programming portfolio including identifying opportunities for intra and cross-sectoral integration
• Closely coordinate with Global Practice Leads and HQ functions to facilitate translation of global standards to the region and of country-generated innovation and learning to global practice 
• Support regional Technical Advisors to address implementation bottlenecks and critical quality concerns in the region’s programming portfolio, in partnership with the Deputy Regional Director
• Increase quality of technical collaboration across the region by fostering cross-regional dialogue with other regional technical teams
• Provide technical oversight of regional strategic projects as appropriate and/or budgeted, escalating quality assurance challenges as needed
• Foster relationships with a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders to make strategic connections and identify opportunities
• Provide stop-gap direct implementation support as/if appropriate and budgeted on CP-grants
Staff management, learning, and development
• Lead and line manage a high performing team of Health regional Technical Advisors, to design and support Health programming across the region, and generate evidence and learning for local and global strategies
• Accountable for ensuring TAs maintain core knowledge and expertise and apply global best practices to their work across health sub-sectors
• Work closely with Regional and CRRD HQ People & Culture colleagues to devise strategies of attracting, onboarding, developing, and nurturing diverse regional technical staff at the Advisor and Coordinator levels, and ensuring an inclusive work environment.  In collaboration with the DRD, Regional and CRRD HQ P&C, and Global Practice Leads, plan and implement professional development for staff ensuring targeted learning.
Program Design and Business Development
• Provide technical leadership and oversight to region-led (multi-country) business development, as well as particularly large single-country opportunities, together with the Technical Advisors, Global Practice Leads and others as relevant.
• Support and promote technical and programmatic innovation in the region, based on technically-sound and contextually-grounded creativity and/or insights
• Collaborate with other technical area Regional Leads and Technical Advisors to promote regional uptake of solutions that are proven to increase scale and deepen impact, with close attention to where integrated programming would multiply efficacy and efficiency
• Work with Deputy Regional Directors, Directors of Awards Management and Deputy Directors of Programs for country programs to understand the region’s donors for the Health sector, the donors’ priorities in the region, and the regional funding priorities of Country Programs for Health Outcome area
• Support regional donor engagement to deepen donor understanding of IRC’s work the region, strategically foster and develop new donor relationships in close coordination with the regional team, and support the development of regional business development opportunities
• Support the development and growth of strategic partnerships with mission-aligned organizations at the regional level who share commitments towards scale and impact and have complementary areas of expertise for collaboration towards delivering better outcomes for clients
• Accountable for coordinating across expert staff to better integrate cross-cutting issues into [sector] programs (e.g., gender equality, diversity and inclusion, climate adaptation, etc.).
Knowledge Management, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning
• Lift up program learning for sharing across the region and to inform global strategic direction of (relevant) Global Practice Areas
• Facilitate interpretation and use of sector data in regional learning routines and put in place routines and accountability mechanisms to encourage uptake of data-driven recommendations made by TAs
• Collaborate with Regional Measurement Advisors to ensure that Regional Technical Advisors support good MEAL practice for Health programming in MENA, including the use of high-quality indicators, the use of IRC standard data tools, and the inclusion of MEAL activities in project plans
External Influence and Representation
• Engage in regional sector coordination groups and bilateral relationships as appropriate, to represent IRC and support priority policy and practice shifts
• Support regions in addressing policy & practice shifts needed to enable program impact and scale
• In close collaboration and partnership with the Deputy Regional Director, regional AMU and Advocacy focal points, ensure effective networking and representation in relation to the [Technical Unit] practice areas, through mobilizing input from global practice leads. 
Key Working Relationships 
• Position Reports to: Dual reporting line to Deputy Director, Health Unit and DRD, MENA
• Direct Reports: Technical Advisors
Key Internal Relationships: 
• Health Unit Leadership Team
• Health Unit Global Practice Team(s)
• Health Unit’s Policy and Advocacy, Partnership and Program Development, MEAL leads
• Regional Leads and Technical Advisors supporting the region from other Technical Units
• Regional Measurement Advisor
• Regional Leadership Team, Country Directors, DDPs, CRRD colleagues across multiple roles 
• Regional Advocacy and Comms leads
• Regional Safety & Security lead
• MENA Awards Management Unit team
• CRRD Senior Management Team and Leadership Group; Regional Leadership Teams 
• Global HQ and AMU focal points  
Key External Relationships: 
• Regional Health Programming Cluster leads and stakeholders, INGOs, Red Cross/Crescent Movement counterparts, Donor and policy makers, counterparts in relevant UN agencies

Eligibility Criteria

Desired Experience and Skills 
• Highly seasoned professional with at least 8+ years of progressive technical and management experience leading and managing technical teams. 
• Established technical expertise in at least one of the Health Global Practice Areas relevant to MENA. Professional and/or lived experience in MENA context and sound understanding of the region is a huge advantage.
• Strong track record of leading multi-location technical programs with excellent management and leadership skills including coaching, mentoring, and performance management
• Strong track record of driving uptake of evidence-based practice
• Experience managing multiple projects with multi-disciplinary collaborators
• Demonstrated ability to influence across a wide range of diverse stakeholders internally and externally
• Strong track record of identifying and converting business development opportunities (when leading and managing the leader) 
• Knowledge and understanding of the respective regional context
• Ability to work, manage, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment; outstanding business acumen, critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills required
• Superb inter-personal, written and verbal communication skills with ability to collaborate across countries, cultures, and departments 
• Fluency in English required; any other regional language is a huge advantage
• Ability to travel regionally and globally up to 35% of the time, occasionally on short notice
Education: Masters’ degree in Public Health, and/or related fields or an equivalent professional experience background is required. Sound training on the use of data and research evidence for programmatic decisions and rigorous analytic skills are an advantage.

Application Process

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