Senior Program Officer

R4D, Washington, United States

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th April, 2020

Job Description

Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative, and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.

Program summary:

The Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (Accelerator) is a five-year program funded by USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that provides catalytic support to countries as they tackle vexing health systems challenges and accelerate innovation and self-reliance. The Accelerator focuses on strengthening countries’ capacity to drive health systems change in a sustainable and institutionalized manner, while helping them tackle specific systems issues that hinder progress toward improved health outcomes. In addition to R4D, the Accelerator consortium includes the Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF), ICF, the Global Challenge Corporation and a growing number of local and regional organizations.

The Accelerator is partnering with countries in West Africa to provide integrated Health Systems Strengthening support toward improving community health outcomes. The Accelerator will work with USAID Missions, country leaders, communities, and other development partners to prioritize systems-level barriers hindering community health outcomes, understand entry points for change, and apply integrated systems improvement approaches.

More information about the Accelerator can be found at:


R4D is seeking a highly motivated and dynamic Senior Program Officer (SPO), who will play a key managerial and technical role on the team. Together with in-country and regional partners, the post-holder will play a key role in developing and applying evaluation and adaptive learning methods and approaches as a core part of a holistic approach to supporting countries to analyze systems challenges, develop theories of change, translate knowledge from other contexts, co-create innovations where needed, facilitate prioritization of action and adapt the approach based on learning. In some cases, this will entail direct leadership of design and implementation, and in other cases this will entail providing support for in-country or regional partners to take the lead. Within R4D, this position’s primary appointment will be with the Global Health Team with a direct relationship to the Evaluation and Adaptive Learning Team.

The successful candidate will be an energetic, mission-driven and collaborative professional with a track record of supporting country health system strengthening efforts and working with country partners to support collaborating, learning, and adapting activities, as part of USAID’s CLA approach. This can include experience in developing and implementing a country-driven process for setting the research and learning agenda, working with technical and implementing team members to develop monitoring, evaluation, or implementation research designs, and leading research and/or analytical activities on country engagements informed by the principles of CLA. S/he will be self-aware, flexible, adaptive, positive, resilient, and proactive. The candidate must be able to successfully manage and prioritize multiple tasks and work streams, have a keen eye for detail, and have exceptional written and oral communication skills in French and English.

This position is based in Washington, DC.


Strategic and Technical

  • In collaboration with other members of the Evaluation and Adaptive Learning and Health teams, as well as R4D partner organizations: develops and executes a strategy for applying evaluation and adaptive learning approaches as a core part of the Accelerator’s health systems strengthening activities in francophone West Africa
  • Designs and implements a problem-driven approach to supporting countries to strengthen their systems, and setting the research and learning agenda for a given engagement, with approaches ranging from theory of change to systems thinking to root cause analysis to political economy analysis
  • Collaborates with country partners and decision makers to design and conduct implementation research studies and other adaptive learning activities to provide timely and relevant feedback on programs and policies
  • Generates learning from the work in West Africa to advance the development of low cost, embedded implementation research approaches that are applicable to engagements in other geographies
  • Contributes to the growth and expertise of partners and other R4D staff through training, mentoring and twinning on research and learning activities
  • Program Management and Implementation Support
  • Develops scopes of work for the Accelerator’s health systems support, workplans, reports and other key technical deliverables in dialogue with funders and stakeholders.
  • Liaises regularly with Program Director on the direction/status of technical work and manages daily workflow in support of the program objectives and deliverables.
  • Anticipates potential challenges and identifies proactive measures to mitigate against them.
  • Provides project management support for the design, creation and revision of HSS and learning activities
  • Initiates and oversees work processes at appropriate times to ensure delivery and compliance.
  • Coordination, Networking, and Representation
  • Cultivates and manages relationships with key partners, including the USAID in-country missions, health institutions, government officials, NGOs, civil society, academic institutions, private sector, and other development partners.
  • Actively participates in business development/proposal development/new initiative processes.
  • Contributes to the development of new and existing partnerships with support from Program Director and HSS Accelerator management team.
  • Communications, Reporting and Knowledge Management
  • Leads the reporting of all project activities including plans, implementation progress, annual reports, and workshops.
  • Monitors and evaluates project progress and performance, including tracking progress against the theory of change and results framework, reviewing deliverables, and adapting project activities as needed.
  • Leads the translation, dissemination and use of knowledge products.
  • Identifies opportunities to document and communicate lessons learned on the implementation of program activities.
  • Links lessons from the HSS Accelerator country level activities to the overall implementation of the HSS Accelerator and more broadly to R4D.
  • Liaises regularly with HSS Accelerator Communications Director on the direction/status of all internal and external communications work.
  • Liaises regularly with the Evaluation and Learning Team to share experiences and document learning across internal teams and with partner organizations.


  • Demonstrated interest in the use of evidence and data to improve international development policies and programs, particularly around health systems strengthening
  • Professional level written and verbal communication skills are required in both English and French, including demonstrated ability to effectively facilitate high-level meetings, prepare and deliver clear and concise emails, presentations and reports and translate findings for non-technical and policy audiences.
  • 7 years of relevant on the ground professional experience in West Africa on issues related to health systems strengthening. Within West Africa, previous experience specifically in Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Guinea is highly desirable.
  • MD and/or master’s degree in a relevant field (public health, measurement and evaluation, health economics, public or social policy, public administration, business, management or similar).
  • Strong analytical and research skills, including implementation research, political economy analysis and program evaluation.
  • Strong facilitation skills, and experience facilitating development of theories of change.
  • Proven leadership in conceptualizing, planning and implementing projects or programs, including those funded specifically by USAID.
  • Experience collaborating with partners to provide technical assistance and implement program activities.
  • Experience building partnerships with government health agencies and other key health stakeholders.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team, and deliver high quality results within tight timeframes.
  • Excellent qualitative and quantitative analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage work in a fast-paced environment and be responsive to country partners and funders.
  • Skilled in developing, managing and overseeing budgets.
  • Enthusiasm about working in a diverse and multicultural environment.
  • High level of Microsoft Office proficiency, including Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
  • Willingness to travel to the West Africa region up to 25%


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