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Country Director, Malawi Country Program

Dignitas International
Location: Zomba, Malawi
Last Date: November 19, 2010

Position: Country Director, Malawi Country Program
Location: Zomba, Malawi
Start Date: March 2011
Duration: Minimum 2 year commitment

Dignitas International Profile

Dignitas International is a medical non-government organization founded by a team of global health and research specialists. The premise on which Dignitas was founded is that resource intensive, physician-led approaches to the provision of HIV/AIDS-related services are not viable in many resource-limited countries that struggle with a severe lack of healthcare capacity. The mission of Dignitas is to increase access to prevention, treatment, care and support for people affected by HIV/AIDS, and to develop tools and guidelines for a sustainable healthcare delivery approach that can be disseminated quickly and cost-effectively throughout Malawi and to other resource-limited contexts across the globe.

Dignitas meets these goals by implementing programs through a health systems strengthening approach through providing capacity-building, operational support and technical assistance, and developing evidence-based models through operations research and knowledge translation. Program implementation increases access for individuals affected by HIV through the decentralization of care from hospitals to health centres and down to communities. This process includes health systems integration, task shifting among healthcare workers, and the training and integration of community-health workers. Operations research and vigorous monitoring and evaluation are used to refine and validate tools and guidelines developed to improve community-level access to health systems and quality care to patients.

General Description of the Role
The Country Director (CD) leads the strategic development and overall management of the rapidly growing Dignitas International Malawi Country Program.
The CD is overall responsible for building the capacity of the Malawi team and for cultivating a results-focused culture, ensuring program, research and operational departments work in an integrated manner and towards a common vision. The CD anticipates and manages risks, fostering a culture of accountability, and ensuring organizational resources are used in a cost-effective manner to maximize impact.

The CD is also responsible for positioning Dignitas as a leading organization in the health sector in Malawi through actively representing Dignitas at national policy forums and managing its partnership with the Ministry of Health and relationships with other relevant Government departments. In addition, the CD builds strategic partnerships and institutional relationships, which will further Dignitas’s organizational mandate. The Country Director ensures that knowledge generated by the Country Program is effectively documented and shared in order to inform ongoing quality improvement processes in Dignitas’s programming, and its advocacy and policy engagement initiatives in Malawi, Canada and globally.

Core Responsibilities
Strategic Program Development
• Provides vision and guidance in overseeing the development of the Malawi Country Program’s multi-year and annual plans in line with Dignitas’s vision, mission and strategic priorities, including narrative, action plans and budgets. Actively contribute to the international organization’s overall strategic planning processes.
• Leads direct reports in the delivery of annual plans, providing strategic direction through prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and organizational objectives, as well as providing technical input and advice. Provides oversight to ensure that program and research activities are implemented in line with organizational standards and best practices, and in accordance with internal and external commitments. Ensures that Dignitas is appropriately accountable to program beneficiaries, the Ministry of Health, other partners, and complies with all guidelines and laws relevant to its sector work and overall operations.
• Manage Dignitas’s partnership with the Ministry of Health and relationship with other relevant Government departments. Builds strategic partnerships and institutional relationships with like-minded actors and organizations which will further Dignitas’s organizational mandate. Oversees the negotiation and management of formal partnership agreements, to ensure all parties meet their commitments and achieve the intended impacts.
• Oversees the management of donor grants and ensures full compliance with donor agreements including the delivery of committed results, appropriate management of financial resources in line with donor regulations, and timely submission of reports.
For major program grants from Malawi-based donors, act as the official channel of communication for donor contacts and negotiate any agreement amendments/addendums and budget revisions.
• Provides oversight and direction to ensure alignment between programmatic work and the organizational M&E framework, routine collection of M&E data in accordance with internal and external requirements. Ensure that M&E data is routinely used to assess and improve program performance, to report on results, and to contribute to overall organizational learning.

Operations Oversight
• Provides leadership, management and development of national and international staff. Line manages members of the senior management team (SMT), mentoring key position holders, identifying capacity-building needs.
• Responsible for the overall financial management of the Malawi Country Program. Ensures financial controls, accountability standards, procedures and records are in place and adhered to as per Dignitas’s financial policies and procedures. Oversee the management of the allocation of resources and assets, ensuring that appropriate monitoring and control mechanisms are in place and that these are maintained at all levels. Manage the overall country budget within approved spending levels and oversee monthly cash flow to ensure steady and adequate funds for operational and program expenditure. Maintains an overview of potential/current funding gaps and ensures these are incorporated into HQ and Malawi-initiated proposals/donor asks.
• Ensures adherence by all Malawi Country Program staff to Dignitas organizational policies and procedures.

Advocacy and Representation
• Represents Dignitas to local and national authorities, donors and relevant partners, and as part of media and external visits. Actively participate in national policy forums and working groups, and other relevant forums in Malawi and internationally, in order to further Dignitas’s vision and mandate. Ensure programmatic work is informed by, and responsive to, national and international developments in policy and practice, and where appropriate, contributes to developments in and changes to policy/practice.
• Contribute to the ongoing development of Dignitas’s advocacy strategy and agenda, ensuring programmatic alignment to its global objectives and translating these into appropriate action in the Malawian context. In collaboration with other actors (civil society, government, donor and/or multi-lateral), identify areas of potential influence and ensure that knowledge and evidence generated by Dignitas’s Country Program and organizationally is effectively applied at local, national and international levels in order to realize Dignitas’s vision and bring positive change to its target groups.

Fund Development
• Explore, assess and present in-country and regional funding opportunities relevant to Dignitas’s strategic priorities and the Malawi Country Program plans to HQ. Develop and maintain positive relationships with in-country donor agencies.
• Develop an annual in-country fund development plan and negotiate annual in-country fundraising and cost-recovery targets with HQ. Oversee the implementation of the plan; support and direct related fund development in the Malawi Country Program Office.
• Contribute to the writing and review process of institutional proposals initiated in Malawi or by HQ, ensuring alignment to plans and identified funding needs.

Organizational Development
• Assess opportunities for organizational development and growth within the Malawi Country Program and the resources/systems/capacities required to support these potential areas. Identify areas of current work that requires further support, capacity building and/or resources.
• Participate in strategic organizational discussions, processes and working groups to expand current, or develop new, areas of programmatic work (outside of Malawi). Contribute to organizational policy development processes, contributing Malawi experience and perspectives.

• MPH or equivalent post graduate degree in International Health, Development Studies, International Relations or similar discipline
• Experienced leader with at least 8-12 years senior management experience in multiple countries; at least 3-5 years as the head of a medium to large country program of an INGO that focuses on health, preferably in Africa
• Minimum of 5 years international experience working in public health, health systems strengthening and HIV/AIDS programming; strong knowledge and experience of the health sectors in a developing countries
• Extensive experience in high level representation at policy level, managing government relations and working in partnership with MOH’s and other national level stakeholders, with demonstrated success in bringing about evidence-based policy change at the organizational and local/national government levels
• Demonstrated success in country program strategic planning, program design and organizational development
• Track record in building, leading and developing high performance teams with a range of backgrounds and expertise
• Proven track record is building a sustainable funding base for programs including securing medium to large-scale institutional grants
• Extensive experience in budget control, budget management and donor compliance, previous experience in implementing USAID/USG grants is highly desirable
• Proven experience in monitoring and evaluation of complex programs; practical understanding of quantitative and qualitative research data collection in support of program development
• Sound understanding of practical innovation within the health sector and the ability to foster organizational culture that champions this approach
• Ability to identify and analyze opportunities that contribute to strategic aims, and translate them into practical plans and actions
• Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal, relationship-building, negotiating communication and diplomatic skills; excellent verbal and written English skills

How to Apply
Qualified applicants should send resume and detailed cover letter, referencing the position title in the subject by November 19th, 2010, to

Only short-listed applications will be contacted. Applications will be short-listed on a regular basis and the position may be filled prior to the closing date.


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