• Program Manager, Health Systems Strengthening (HSS)

    Full Time
    Program (Division)
    Country Programs - Country Teams
  • Overview

    The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org


    Despite recent advances, Zambia continues to experience high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. As of 2014, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated to be 398 per 100,000 live births, and the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) was 24 deaths per 1,000 live births.[1] Zambia has one of the highest total fertility rates (6.2 children per woman) in the world. While nearly half of married women use a modern contraceptive, 21% have an unmet need for Family Planning (FP). Adolescent girls are particularly at risk due to societal factors. 32% of adolescents aged 15-17 and 60% of those aged 18-19 are sexually active in Zambia. Almost one in five adolescent girls aged 15-19 are already married (compared to only one in 100 adolescent boys); and 25% of girls aged 17 and 60% of girls aged 19 have already started child bearing.[2]


    Recognizing the need for an innovative and high impact response to reduce the maternal and neonatal mortality rates by 40% over 4 years, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) plans to roll out a comprehensive Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health (SRMNH) program, which uses an integrated approach to ensure that women and babies have access to high quality delivery, postpartum and postnatal services, no matter where a delivery occurs, create linkages through the entire system from communities up to tertiary care, and leaves a sustainable system for on-going impact. 


    CHAI Zambia is seeking a Program Manager, Health Systems Strengthening to join the SRMNH team. The Program Manager will be responsible for implementing health systems strengthening interventions under the SRMNH program. This will involve establishing and implementing an effective in-service training and mentorship system for Community Health Assistants (CHAs), Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) and Skilled Birth Attendants (SBAs). The intended result is that this will lead to increased skills and knowledge, and therefore improve quality of care at the facility and community levels.


    This position will report to the Senior Program Manager, SRMNH and will be based in Lusaka. The Program Manager will manage three Senior Program Officers and manage four District Coordinators. Frequent travel in-country will be required.


    [1] CSO, MOH, TDRC, University of Zambia, and Macro International Inc., 2014.

    [2] 2015 Zambia Health and Demographic Survey


    Technical support:

    • Manage a team that will provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in areas including, but not limited to:
      • Working closely with national, provincial, district and facility MoH teams to improve the use of data to manage programs and target resources for mentoring, training, logistics, and other support
      • Strengthening district forecasts and improve supply planning processes, and building the forecasting and supply planning capability on district teams
      • Developing and coordinating district-level referral mechanisms (community-based and facility-based referral network) for patients in need of emergency obstetrics care and maintain ongoing tracking and appropriate documentation on referrals
    • Coordinate implementation of the system strengthening program at national, provincial, district, facility and community level
    • Develop clear operational plans for execution of program aims, and continually identify opportunities for CHAI to add value and maximize impact
    • Ensure execution of a sustainable system strengthening program along aggressive timelines
    • Collaborate with government at national and sub-national levels throughout planning and implementation phases to ensure skills transfer and government ownership, and provide technical support as needed


    Program management:

    • Support development of regular activity work plans and budgets and ensure that deliverables and milestones are met in a timely fashion
    • Monitor the program progress and deliverables against the work plan
    • Collaborate with the Senior Program Manager to ensure overall program targets are being met
    • Assume responsibility for the program budget including liaising with CHAI Headquarters and donors, ensuring compliance with donor rules and regulations, tracking expenditures, forecasting costs, and ensuring sound financial transactions
    • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual internal and donor reports
    • Manage a team of program officers, including providing mentorship and performance feedback
    • Collect program data to allow for monitoring and evaluation of the program and reporting against program indicators
    • Develop strong working relationships with key stakeholders in government, international partners, donors and NGOs, and ensure coordination of resources and efforts
    • Identify new strategies for program implementation including potential partnerships with donors
    • Provide regular reports on program and work progress to the Senior Program Manager
    • Any other tasks as required


    • Degree in nursing or midwifery or related health field with clinical experience
    • A minimum of eight years’ professional experience in a private or public sector setting (i.e. public health)
    • Previous work experience in public health, especially at the community level
    • Demonstrated strong analytical, organizational, leadership, and problem solving skills
    • Exceptional diplomatic and interpersonal skills, and able to build strong professional relationships with a range of stakeholders in a challenging, multi-cultural environment
    • Ability to work independently and effectively in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously whilst mentoring a team to perform consistently
    • Demonstrated ability to multi-task, be effective in high-pressure situations and adapt to fast-paced and changing environments with a strong commitment to excellence, both internally and externally, and with limited-structural support
    • Exceptional problem-solving skills and ability to make linkages between interventions/programs


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