Senior Program Officer II

Maryland, United States
$81,512 - $142,615
14 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
14 Jan 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MG 
Starting Salary Range: [[$81,512 - $142,615]]
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: [[Monday - Friday, 8:30a - 5:00p / 37.5 hrs per wk]] 
Exempt Status: Exempt ​​​​​​​ 
Location: 05-MD:School of Public Health 
Department name: 10001207-PFRH Gates Institute 
Personnel area: School of Public Health

General Summary/Purpose

The Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (GI), Department of Population, Family & Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is seeking a Learning Advisor for an exciting project called The Challenge Initiative (TCI), a multifaceted program focused on the rapid expansion of urban family planning programs worldwide but with focus on the largest cities in Asia and Africa.This position reports directly to the Director of The Challenge Initiative. TCI represents a strategic shift away from the traditional model of aid because local governments must now contribute their own funds, which are then leveraged with seed monies from the Gates Foundation as well as other investors to provide incentives for the rapid scale up of urban family planning programs through a framework of accountability measures, demand driven participation of cities, and technical support via at least four regional accelerator hubs.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

The Senior Learning Advisor will be responsible for the overall learning agenda S/he will work closely with the leadership of TCI, the M&E Team, the Knowledge Management Team (KMT), and the hub leaders to develop overall strategic direction for the development and execution of the learning portfolio. IN n addition to managing the internal learning portfolio, s/he manage the external advisory group (called “Beyond Imagination”) made up of thought leaders from diverse fields who will be convened on a semiannual basis to provide TCI with fresh perspectives review results, challenge its thinking and recommend how to strengthen TCI’s approaches to learnings about scaling up and sustainability. S/he will work very closely with the KMT and the M&E teams to document the processes and achievements across TCI’s Pathways to Scale and Sustainability (PASS).

Specifically, the SLA will be expected to:

  • The SLA will develop the strategy to position TCI into the forefront as a learning organization, leading and coordinating the documentation of a robust learning agenda on the challenges of rapid scale of sustainable best practices.
  • Lead the conceptualization of TCI’s scale-up model and sustainability framework, situating them within the broader literature and publish academic articles on TCI’s contributions to this field.
  • Identify appropriate implementation science approaches and partners to work with on answering questions within the Learning Agenda.
  • Work with KMT, TCI leadership, other partners to refine the overall learning strategy, including approaches to measuring change at the health system level.
  • Provide leadership on executing qualitative data collection – including Most Significant Change (MSC) technique, interviews and focus group discussions with implementers in the geographies.
  • Collaborate with the project management team, including field-based colleagues, to review stories and learnings captured from the field by the KMT to inform the uptake of best practices based on emerging evidence across the project.
  • Devise guidelines and standard operating procedures for development and execution of learning activities and devise a system for managing and tracking learning activities. Link up with the process of information collected from KMT to answer the learning agenda questions.
  • Ensure that the team escapes the potential pitfall of groupthink by adopting certain practices that mitigate groupthink.
  • Support KMT and hubs to identify compelling questions related to the project’s subject area and utilize available modalities to address these questions.
  • Review the data and the trends and triangulate the data with the learnings and pull together the story around sustainability and the TCI scale up model.
  • Provide expertise to the KMT, the Communications Officer, and TCI leadership on the packaging of information on key emerging lessons for internal dissemination among all country and technical teams.
  • Leverage the project’s internal capacity in order to contribute to a culture of learning and adaptation within and across project.
  • Participate as part of key management team of a large and complex field-oriented project.
  • Leverage expertise available within the project on an as-needed basis.

Minimum Qualifications

Master's degree in public health or a related field required.

  • Six years senior-level field-based health development program management experience.
  • Additional relevant experience and/or training may substitute for some education.

Preferred Qualifications

Advanced Degree in public health or related field, PhD preferred. 10 years of related experience preferred.

Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Experience in developing and implementing learning agenda activities
  • Strong track record of technical leadership, and proven ability to produce demonstrable results
  • Excellent facilitation, writing, diplomatic and interpersonal skills with an ability to be a strong presence in work plan meetings, data workshops, donor and stakeholder meetings
  • Experience in family planning will be an added advantage
  • Ability and willingness to travel for up to 20 percent of the year
  • Strong background in implementation science and implementation research
  • Familiarity with a wide range of implementation science methods, frameworks and models
  • Experience with creating and managing learning resources and knowledge for cross-functional development teams
  • Strong understanding of applied research in a variety of community and facility settings
  • Strong conceptual and operational skills and the ability to think conceptually beyond family planning
  • Understanding of and experience with standard tools like facility assessments, household surveys, quality improvement checklists, among other
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Ability to translate research findings into practical recommendations
  • Ability to work in a complex environment with multiple tasks, short deadlines and pressure to perform
  • Exceptional communication skills including clear and concise writing, an engaging presentation style, and expertise in group facilitation. Very strong writing skills are required.
  • Strong leadership and teamwork skills, with a demonstrated ability to collaborate across teams and roles. Ability to work with and motivate people and teams (i.e., M&E, Knowledge Management, Hubs)
  • Experience strengthening the capacity of in-country staff to conduct and utilize program implementation research
  • French skills also preferred to help support the Francophone West Africa (FWA) Hub in its learning activities and analysis of the learnings coming out of FWA

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.

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