Saturday, June 16, 2012

Merlin Health Advisor Job Vacancy in Harper, Liberia

Responsible To: Project Coordinators (Operational line manager) Country Health Director (Technical line manager) Responsible For: Field Medical Teams including Field Medical Coordinators, Clinical Supervisors, Community Health Supervisors, MCH Supervisors and HIS officers. Works With: Operations, Logistics,
Health, Finance/Admin Teams and Partners including the County Health
Team Location: Harper, Maryland County, Liberia
Contract Duration: 6 Months
Starting Date: ASAP
Salary: £27,180 - £27,930 per annum (dependant on relevant experience), inclusive of annual Cost of Living Allowance Benefits: Insurance cover, accommodation, R&R, annual leave entitlement of 24 days per annum rising to 30 days at the completion of 12 months of continuous employment with Merlin.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date.

Please note that this is an unaccompanied position –

Merlin Undaunted and determined, Merlin saves lives. We deliver medical expertise to the toughest places. And we stay to help build lasting health care.

Our mission is to end the needless loss of life in the poorest countries caused by a lack of effective health care. We help communities set up medical services for the long term including hospitals, clinics, surgeries and training for nurses and other health workers.

We do whatever it takes and we stay for as long as it takes.

Context and Background Merlin has been operational in various counties throughout Liberia since 1997 and has developed a good reputation as a key partner of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW) in Liberia. The main focus of Merlin's programme in Liberia at present is supporting the (MoH&SW) with the provision of quality primary and secondary level health care services and influencing policy at the national level. In the course of implementing its activities in Liberia, Merlin supports over 800 MoH&SW workers through incentive payments. Merlin actively collaborates with the MoH&SW, UN Agencies, local partner NGOs, and other INGOs and agencies such as Mentor Initiative and International Committee of the Red Cross.

Merlin's activities include technical, capacity building and logistical support to the County Health and Social Welfare Teams (CH&SWTs) as well as capacity building health facility staff through training, mentoring and/or supervision to ensure improved quality of care in the supported facilities. In 2012 Merlin will be supporting 66 primary health care facilities in Maryland, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Grand Gedeh counties, and 5 hospitals in Grand Gedeh, Greenville, Barclayville and Harper. Merlin also has a Reproductive Health /Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) team to mainstream maternal health promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention into all Merlin projects as a cross-cutting theme.

Merlin Liberia is working with the MoH&SW and CH&SWTs in each supported county to create a more coordinated strategy in line with the MoH&SW lead partner approach.

Main purpose of the role Merlin is seeking a Health Advisor to provide technical support to the Merlin Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties and put in place quality assurance mechanisms that will enable a rapid improvement in the standard and quality of health care offered at the primary and secondary health facilities as well as at the community level. The Health Advisor will also assess current community health activities and formulate a community health strategy which will enable a more focused and strategic implementation of Merlin's community health project in both counties. The Health Advisor position will involve providing technical assistance to the County Health Teams and the Merlin Health Program staff and also support the implementation of integrated Community, Primary and Secondary Health Programming based on MOH&SW approved Essential Package for Health Services across all the Merlin supported health facilities and catchment communities in both counties.

Overall Objectives
The project is at an exciting junction as it moves from an emergency response to a post recovery and developmental phase of the response. Merlin is seeking an experienced professional that can lead this dynamic team whilst ensuring quality and effective programming. This position involves ensuring quality services at hospital level, as well supervision of the PHC component of the programme and in addition working closely with the County Health Team to support and mentor them in providing quality health care.


Coordinate and functionally manage the planning and direction of Merlin's health activities at project level.
Develop and maintain a coherent project strategy fulfilling Merlin's aims in collaboration with the Project Coordinators.
Determine project direction/strategy in consultation with the Grand Gedeh and Maryland based teams, the CH&SWT and the Merlin Country Health Director.
Create a shared vision among all Merlin health staff related to project aims and their role in achieving these.

Programme Support
Provide technical and managerial support to all health team members in fulfilment of their duties according to project objectives.
Develop, plan and implement project medical activities in close collaboration with medical and non-medical personnel, ensuring coherence between activities and contingencies for changes in project direction and priorities related to the humanitarian context
Ensure the production and use of appropriate medical protocols and data collection forms in collaboration with local health representatives and Merlin's CHD, ensure the team is fully conversant with and trained in the use of the same
Ensure, in collaboration with the CH&SWT, Project Coordinators and the Field Medical Coordinators that there is encouragement of community participation in health activities to ensure the long term ownership and effectiveness of the programme
Identify gaps in skills (Merlin and Governmental health staff), and ensure all medical staffs receive appropriate training to ensure the maximum use of their skills thereby leading to their full and effective participation in medical activities
Ensure health activities are implemented in accordance with Merlin policies, Liberian MoH&SW guidelines and internationally recognised standards.
Ensure that the medical stocks, supplies and other logistic supports are properly managed in collaboration with logistics staff and the PC.
Responsible for the timely preparation and approval of all medical orders, in collaboration with the CHT, all this to ensure that there are no medical stock outs
Ensure appropriate follow up on Reproductive health, GBV, HIV&AIDS activities and appropriate communication with the respective coordinators within Merlin
Support to disease outbreak response where necessary

Programme Development
Undertake a comprehensive review of Merlin community health activities in both counties and develop a new community health strategy based on the Liberia MOH&SW Community Health Services Policy with the aim of achieving greater operational alignment between the Health Care facilities and community health activities
In collaboration with the Field Medical Coordinators and the Project Coordinators, identify key community health objectives, target groups and the specific strategies needed to reach these goals and respond to specific target group needs.
Undertake comprehensive training assessment of all staff involved in community health activities (including Community Health Supervisors and Community Health Focal Persons) and the primary health facility staff (including OICs and Certified Midwives).
Working in collaboration with the Field Medical Coordinators and the Country Health Director, design a medium and long term capacity building plan for the CHTs and Merlin staff.
Constantly monitor the health and humanitarian situation in the project area and propose appropriate action(s) in collaboration with the Project Coordinators and the Country Health Director.
Undertake/ assist needs assessment and survey if necessary.
Prepare and write timely and accurate donor proposals and reports in collaboration with the Project Co-ordinators. These documents should reflect progress against set objectives and/or newly defined needs supported by appropriate data presentation and contextual analysis
Prepare and write timely and accurate monthly medical activity reports for inclusion in the monthly situation report submitted to the County Management Team (Monrovia)

Program Monitoring and Evaluation
Oversee the implementation of Quality Assurance Systems and Liberia MOH&SW approved Standard Operating Procedures including Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) in all the Merlin supported health facilities including the hospital
Oversee the implementation of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) in all the health facilities, including monitoring and preliminary impact evaluation
Oversee the preliminary implementation of the new MOH&SW Community Health Services strategy.
Streamline the Community Health Management Information System and implement data collection and quality monitoring tools for all community health activities with supported comprehensive referral systems linking catchment communities to the health facilities.
Ensure that context appropriate MOH&SW approved IEC materials exist in all the health facilities and the catchment communities in order to support the implementation of the Liberia community health strategy.

Co-ordination & Representation
Co-ordinate and represent Merlin to the CH&SWT, Community Health Committees (CHC) and other counterparts to ensure that all project activities are carried out with their cooperation and participation in order to achieve project objectives.
Support the Project Coordinator in any negotiating with the CH&SWT and other counterparts relating to the health services in the county.

Staff Management / HR
Managing health staff as per organization protocols.
Undertake medical staff appraisals for staff under direct line-management and ensure for others to undertake appraisals of medical staff under their management
Maintain good inter-team communications, engender good team dynamics, and take suitable action when problems occur
Take an active role in the development of a training plan for the project sites.

Staff Health
Responsible for project based international staff health and well-being as outlined in Merlin Staff Health Policy.
Ensure up-to-date medical evacuation procedures are in place at all times and that staff are aware of their respective roles.
Ensure that appropriate PEP stocks and procedures are in place in both counties

Adhere to security guidelines and encourage team members to adhere to them
Pro-actively monitor the health, political, military and security situation in the project area and respond accordingly
Attend relevant meetings / forums and ensure the Project Coordinators and the Country Health Director are informed of the current humanitarian environment
Actively participate in the updating of security guidelines.

Carry out any other responsibilities as requested by the Project Co-ordinators or Country Health Director.
Produce written handover notes at the end of contract.
Deputise for the Project Coordinators when needed, requiring budgetary and basic accounting knowledge.

Person Specification

Essential Qualifications, experience and competences
Medical Doctor with strong post qualification experience and preferably with Masters in Public Health or equivalent work experience in public health
Previous experience in the field of Public health system analysis, health project management , coordination and capacity building in post conflict affected populations and/or in emergency settings.
Experience of implementing community health programmes .
Successful experience of managing health teams with the ability to motivate and encourage staff in development or humanitarian aid field work
Strong experience of representation at all levels, specially, with the government counterparts and public bodies
Experience in epidemiological data analysis and familiarity with DHIS including strong experience of data analysis
Strong communication skills with excellent written and spoken English,
Strong interpersonal skills and work experience in multi-cultural and multidisciplinary team with proven ability to facilitate cooperation and coordination.
Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office
Experience of a flexible approach to managing and prioritising a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
Previous working experience in West Africa and willing and able to live and work under pressure and in remote environment
Relevant experience working in a transitional environment and supporting/mentoring county health authorities
An understanding of, and commitment to, Merlin's mission and values
Excellent mentoring and coaching skills
Excellent drafting and reporting skills

Desirable Qualifications, experience and competences
Previous working experience in sub - Saharan Africa
Relevant experience working in a transitional environment and supporting/mentoring county health authorities

How to apply:
To apply for this position To apply for this job, please go to and apply using our online recruitment system. In order to apply for a job with Merlin online you will need to complete a short registration process and create an account – the online recruitment system explains how to do this. Once your account has been created, you will be able to save the information that you have entered in your application and re-visit it at any time before you submit it.

If you are unable to apply online for any technical reason, please contact

Please note that we do not accept CVs. Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Closing Date: Monday, 25 June 2012

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