Senior Program Officer

at John Snow
Published May 8, 2022
Location Nairobi, Kenya
Category Management  
Job Type Full Time  




The MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity (M-RITE) project is part of a suite of innovative awards funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to holistically improve family planning and maternal and child health in partner countries around the world. The project applies best practices and explores innovations to increase equitable immunization coverage in USAID-supported countries around the globe. It works to build countries’ capacity to identify and overcome barriers to reaching zero-dose and under-immunized children and older populations with life-saving vaccines and other integrated health services. M-RITE works at multiple levels and in alignment with global strategies such as the Immunization Agenda 2030 and Gavi 5.0.


The project also contributes to ongoing global efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on immunization services and support countries to prepare for and introduce vaccines against COVID-19 once they are available. In Kenya, M-RITE works to strengthen routine immunization (RI) services in Homa Bay and Vihiga Counties and supports COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the national level, with targeted support at the county level.




The Senior Program Officer will lead and coordinate the implementation of M-RITE activities at the national level. The office will also serve as a lead for relationship building and partnerships with USAID M-RITE in Kenya. This position required skilled communications and networking abilities. This individual will work closely with the National Vaccines and Immunization Program (NVIP) and support NVIP activities that strategically align with M-RITE’s workplan to strengthen the immunization system. The Senior Program Officer officer will focus on strengthening the planning, coordination, and partnership management capacity of the NVIP. The successful candidate will need strong communication, collaboration, and partnership-building skills.


This individual will also implement a knowledge management and communication strategy for M-RITE, as needed, which will require streamlining communications efforts within the country team, and developing and strategically disseminating materials and documents about USAID M-RITE to an external audience. (S)he will work with the USAID M-RITE Knowledge Management Director and Country Program Manager to set a clear knowledge management vision and direction, prioritize activities, execute work plans, and lead the production and dissemination of publications and promotional materials. The successful candidate will have excellent writing and editing skills, and will ideally have experience working in USAID projects and public health/international development. This position is based in Nairobi.




Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:




Manage relationships with key Government agenda, partners, and other stakeholders to support the implementation of M-RITE in Kenya.


Represent M-RITE in key meetings on COVID-19 and RI technical advisory, advocacy, and other meetings with national stakeholders and other donors and implementing partners.


Work closely with partners at the NVIP to implement co-created workplans.


Support national-level capacity-building support for COVID-19 vaccination and RI to MOH and other partners and provide technical assistance, as needed.


Develop and maintain a detailed understanding of key immunization issues, including COVID-19 vaccination, in Kenya as well as key policies and government priorities.


Work with M-RITE/Kenya staff, including the Country Lead, Deputy Lead, and Senior Regional Technical Immunization Officer, to ensure that knowledge and information is being shared in a consistent and organized way with key stakeholders.


Lead adaptation and implementation of M-RITE’s innovative partnership framework in Kenya. Liaise closely with M-RITE’s Partnerships Lead on activities, as relevant.




Assist in the development and production of country deliverables such as annual reporting, quarterly reporting, and other required deliverables, including reporting to USAID mission on the reach of communications efforts nationally/regionally.


Work with M-RITE staff in writing, editing, and fact-checking of marketing materials, including success stories, technical briefs, tools, and other reports.


Assist in documenting and disseminating country results, either via newsletters, success stories, quarterly reports, or other reporting mechanisms.


Assist in organizing official visits, meetings, and conferences.


Compile background material and draft papers for seminars and conferences.


Liaise with USAID M-RITE home office to develop and promote activities and achievements via social media and website.


Other duties as assigned by the Country Lead.




In-depth understanding of the immunization program and environment in Kenya.


Excellent communicator, able to synthesize and convey complex information clearly.


Ability to establish and maintain excellent relationships with team members, donors, and other cooperating agencies.


Highly organized and attentive to detail.


Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions.


Holds the partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance, and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


Ability to identify and differentiate between important and urgent tasks, and quickly prioritize in a fast-paced, fluid, start-up environment.


Demonstrates the highest levels of integrity and encourages openness and transparency.


Demonstrated organizational skills in a fast-paced environment with flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and deadlines.


Comfortable independently managing multiple long and short-term tasks simultaneously.


Comfortable with ambiguity and confidence to request clarity when necessary.


Team-oriented, supportive work style with willingness to work outside role when necessary. A good listener respects others’ points of view, engages and motivates others.


Maintain confidentiality and discretion with sensitive information.


Sense of humor.




A minimum of a Master’s degree or higher in a relevant discipline; an advanced degree in medicine, public health, or nutrition preferred.


At least five years of experience in public health or related field; experience with immunization-related activities required.


Demonstrated ability to establish professional relationships and to work collaboratively with the U.S. and host government agencies, ministries, donors, civil society, and CBOs.


Superior leadership, management, and communication skills.


Experience working with health and development programs in the area of communications and/or knowledge management is an added advantage.


Fluency in written and oral English.


Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail.


Experience working in a team setting.


Professional Level:




How to apply


This is a full-time position based in Kenya. Interested candidates should submit their applications with Senior Program Officer as the subject. Your application should include your current CV and a 1(One) paged Cover Letter (describing why you think you are a good fit for this role) JSI shall review the CVs on a rolling basis.

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