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Innovations Country Manager: Malawi

Concern Worldwide
Location: Malawi
Last Date: August 13, 2011
Email:  (Reference:

Concern Worldwide is an international non-governmental, humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Founded in Ireland in 1968, Concern works in 25 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean with a team of 3,500 personnel providing emergency relief, and long term assistance in the areas of education, health, livelihoods and HIV and AIDS.

Concern’s Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is an initiative that seeks to identify, support, and field test bold, innovative ways to overcome barriers to delivering proven solutions to women and children in Malawi, India and Sierra Leone. Concern Worldwide US, which manages this project, is recruiting a Country Manager to lead the initiative in Malawi.

The Innovations Country Manager (iCM) is responsible for ensuring that Innovations attains its goal of contributing to increased coverage of equitable MNCH interventions in the country through the identification and implementation of innovations that address key implementation problems. S/he plays a critical role in positioning Innovations’ work to inform policy dialogue on effective innovations that can be brought to national scale. The iCM is a senior manager who will build and lead the Innovations country team, manage all aspects of Innovations in the country, represent Innovations to key external stakeholders, build key relationships and partnerships, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and deliver on objectives and milestones within agreed budgets and timelines.

As a key member of the Innovations Project Team, the iCM will provide timely information, reports and learning from the country; ensure good stewardship of all resources; track progress; and participate in key local and international meetings. The iCM will also undertake other duties assigned by the Director in conjunction with Innovations and changes therein.

The CM reports to the Project Director (PD) – Innovations for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (Innovations). All Innovations country staff (technical and administrative) report to the Country Manager. Concern’s office is located in Lilongwe, Malawi; travel within the country, and to other project countries will be necessary at times.


•Contribute to overall project vision and strategy, in consultation with other Country Managers, Project Director, Project Deputy Director (DD)
•Adapt global project strategy to national context; create national-level strategies and plans; manage key risks
•Manage all aspects of the Innovations project at country level and ensure project goals are achieved
•Ensure Innovations project is aligned with overall Concern country-level strategy, contributes to Concern’s health approach for the country (if applicable), and links to national health-sector plans, initiatives or structures
•Build, motivate, and lead national project team
•Establish quality assurance principles and procedures in the selection and oversight of consultants, partners, and other persons/entities involved in developing or field-testing ideas
•Represent the project with key external stakeholders, including UNICEF, development partners, sector-wide networks, and government (in coordination with Malawi Country Director)
•Monitor national landscape relating to innovation, MNCH developments, and policies affecting the project


Pilot Project Implementation
•Act as the focal person coordinating project design and implementation, obtaining necessary inputs/guidance from DD and PD and ensuring program goals are achieved
•Develop agreements, contracts, ToRs (in consultation with Finance & Operations Manager)
•Create and monitor budgets (in consultation with Finance & Operations Manager)
•Develop and monitor progress on workplans (in consultation with Deputy Director)
•Develop and maintain project management systems, including communication, reporting, authorities and decision-making protocols
•Facilitate oversight of research partner by DD

Idea Generation and Incubation
•Adapt to local context and manage the implementation stages of the revised approach to idea generation and development as envisioned in the approved revised proposal/workplan with the donor
•Generate: Plan and execute various strategies, as agreed with PD and in alignment with global strategy, for soliciting and generating innovations
•Greenhouse: Evolve promising ideas to determine suitability for further investment
•Pre-select: From best proposals, select a group for incubation over 3-6 month period
•Incubate: Provide mentoring, resources, expertise, support, space, infrastructure to teams assembled to implement proposed innovations
•Select: Oversee process for selecting top ideas post-incubation for full scale pilot implementation
•Implement: Design implementation strategy (team, project design, research plan) under direction of DD and PD (see above Duty)

Financial Management
•Using the existing developed financial procedures within Concern Worldwide country office, plan and manage the Innovations country budget and expenditure, including review and revisions of the budget with the relevant finance officer
•Ensure that activities are managed in accordance with approved budgets
•Ensure financial reports are in line with agreed guidelines and timelines and within the financial framework of the Concern country program.
•Review monthly financial reports to monitor expenditure and variances, agreeing prompt action where required

HR Management
•Lead and develop the Innovations team
•Under the leadership of the Director and in consultation with the Concern HR Officer, plan and execute the recruitment of staff
•Ensure that regular Performance and Development Reviews (PDRs) are undertaken and documented for all direct reports and are in keeping with the guidelines of Concern's country program
•Review and support staff development in consultation with the Project Director
•Ensure adherence to relevant policies of Concern Worldwide

Systems Oversight
•Work closely with Assistant Country Director—Systems and team to ensure Innovations planning, administration, logistics, IT and other systems support are consistent with Concern Malawi policies, procedures and best practices
•Implement and maintain at country level and with local implementation and research partners PB Works information management platform (under leadership of Finance & Operations Manager)

External Relations
•In close consultation with the Malawi Country Director, establish and maintain strong external relationships with government, donors, multi-laterals, other NGOs, private sector organizations and community groups
•Support and work closely with the National Advisory Group and National Innovations Network
•In collaboration with the Country Director, liaise regularly with national health authorities (and, if necessary, support implementation teams with advocacy and coordination with district-level officials) to update on implementation progress and issues of program and policy significance
•Engage counterparts in the UNICEF field office in strategic decision making related to implementation and the use of data for action
•Proactively seek and actively participate in forums that link the Innovations Initiative to the broader development community
•Support country-specific advocacy efforts related to the testing of innovations in MNCH and the scale-up of successful innovations for national impact

•In close collaboration with the Malawi Country Director and Central Management Team’s Communications Manager, develop and effectively deliver a communications plan for Innovations
•Serve as primary in-country media liaison on Innovations Project
•Ensure effective internal communications between Innovations project and country office
•Create communications tools as required to achieve project goals
•Contribute country information to the Innovations website and other central communications activities


•Masters degree and/or substantial management experience in the development sector
•At least 4 years relevant senior management and/or program management experience at State and/or country level
•The ability and reputation to champion the project to national level stakeholders
•Experience of negotiating with government, multilateral, bi-lateral and national level organizations and leaders
•Proven people management experience, including the ability to motivate, develop and harness the skills of a multidisciplinary team, and work as part of a dynamic global team
•Strong leadership qualities, including the ability to innovate, take risks, manage change and effectively apply learning
•Demonstrated ability to make sound decisions and provide leadership in pursuit of Concern’s organizational goals of innovation, influence and impact
•Excellent organizational and planning skills, ability to prioritize a diverse and heavy workload, and meet tight deadlines
•Experience in representation with the media, including developing communications strategies and plans
•Strong interpersonal, networking, communications (written and oral in English), problem solving and analytical skills
•Willingness to travel regularly, including to challenging locations
•Commitment to the core values and vision of Concern Worldwide, and empathy with Concern’s ethos, values, strategy and longer term objectives.

•Experience in the global health sector
•Research, monitoring and evaluation experience
•Links with social innovation networks, social entrepreneurs, and social enterprise incubators

Interested applicants should submit:
•One- to two-page cover letter outlining how your experience meets the person specification and include current compensation and compensation expectations.

All applications should be submitted to  

Concern Worldwide is an equal opportunities employer. No phone calls please.


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