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
CHAI’s health financing program is working in 10 countries to support Ministries of Health to substantially and sustainably improve access to essential health services for their populations. Health financing is often insufficient and overly reliant on donors and individuals paying out of pocket at facilities. Low income countries in Africa and South East Asia see over half of the global disease burden, are home to 40% of the global population and account for only 3% of health spending. Donor contributions for health have plateaued, and in many countries are likely to decline in the coming years. Domestic resources for health are increasing, but the rate of growth in government spending dedicated to health fluctuates and is often insufficient to meet population needs. In addition, resources that are made available may not be spent efficiently. Healthcare providers face stock-outs, ration services among patients and charge informal or formal user fees, which can act as a deterrent for patients, and particularly the poor, to seek care.
CHAI’s health financing teams work with governments and key stakeholders to remove financing as a barrier to increased coverage of life saving interventions. Staff members work closely with Ministry of Health partners, to support evidence-based decision-making and design systems to mobilize sustainable resources and ensure those resources go as far as possible so that providers can deliver quality care and patients can access that care.
Malawi has the world’s third lowest per capita GDP ($268/year); partners provide more than 70% of health funding in the country. Within this context, the goal of the CHAI Sustainable Health Financing program in Malawi is to support the government to progressively move towards universal health coverage through sustainably bringing more resources into the health sector and to ensuring they are distributed and utilized equitably, efficiently and effectively for the delivery of high-quality health services. The CHAI Malawi Sustainable Health Financing team works closely with departments across the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), and in particular with the Department of Planning and Policy Development and District Health Management Teams, to provide technical assistance, develop analytical tools, and strengthen capacity to manage spending in Malawi’s health sector.
CHAI Malawi seeks an Associate, Sustainable Health Financing based in Blantyre to help the Government of Malawi address critical funding shortfalls and inefficiencies in financing the health sector. The Associate will report to the Technical Advisor, Sustainable Health Financing, within the office’s Universal Health Coverage and Sexual Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Health Cluster.
The CHAI team has historically supported the MoHP to conduct annual resource mapping, which provides visibility into health sector resources. This work has expanded into the development of an aid coordination tool that matches resources against HSSP II priorities in order to highlight resource gaps, support evidence-based resource allocation, and better donor coordination. Translating this work to districts, to reduce inefficiencies associated with operational fragmentation at the district level, the program is working with MoHP and District Health Management Teams in select districts with the aim of strengthening its planning and budgeting processes through development of streamlined tools that enable evidence-based planning and resource allocation, improved alignment to national strategic plans, and joint planning and coordination with partners. This work will help in reducing duplication and inefficiencies and directing more donor resources towards district priorities, while building capacity for planning and budgeting.
The Associate will support district health managers in select districts in the Southern region of Malawi to identify and overcome health financing and health systems constraints to the provision of critical services to the population, including strengthening the use of evidence in health financing decisions through targeted use of data. In particular, the Associate will be responsible for supporting District Health Management Teams in the development of sustainable systems and processes for evidence-based planning and partner coordination, as well as building organizational capacity and management for delivering essential health services across the target districts. The Associate will be part of a team that works closely with senior leaders in the MoHP and District Health Offices as well as donors, NGOs, and civil society organizations.
This is a challenging but rewarding position, which presents an opportunity to work closely with a government that is committed to finding opportunities for sustainable financing of the health sector, providing strategic advice and developing tools that will deliver improved healthcare for the people of Malawi.
Reporting to the Technical Advisor, Sustainable Health Financing, the Associate will work in close collaboration with selected District Health Management Teams in the Southern Region of Malawi to strengthen health sector financing, planning and coordination at the district level and translate results to national level. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
- Serve as a trusted technical assistant to District Health Management Teams on a broad range of health financing and systems strengthening issues, enabling districts to plan, allocate and utilize resources equitably, effectively and efficiently.
- Facilitate the implementation of government planning, budgeting, and donor coordination processes and tools to improve efficiency and joint accountability as well as revise/ develop new tools where necessary.
- Assess health systems bottlenecks at district level and work with government to design solutions.
- Build government capacity on evidence-based planning, public financial management, and effective management of external funding by delivering targeted training and skills development.
- Support the implementation and monitoring of District Implementation Plans through joint reviews with donors and selection of core health indicators to track progress.
- Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) and toolkits to promote the sustainability and institutionalization of planning and partner coordination processes.
- Work across districts to share lessons learned and build a community of practice for mutual learning and capacity-building on evidence-based planning and translating these lessons back to national level.
- Build strategic relationships and facilitate meetings with government, donors and external stakeholders to drive operational and policy changes.
- Proactively suggest process improvements on planning and budgeting for adoption at the national level.
- Perform any other relevant duties as assigned by the Technical Advisor, Sustainable Health Financing.Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Health Economics, Health Policy and Planning, Finance, Health Systems, Public Health, Public Policy, or similar subject; Master’s degree is an added advantage.
- Minimum of three years of professional experience, at least two of which should be in health system strengthening, health economics, health financing, public health, health research, public policy, public sector finance, health economics, health financing, consulting, or other relevant field.
- Knowledge and experience in health systems and health financing and/or public sector financing, particularly in low- and middle-income countries and at the national and sub-national level.
- Outstanding analytical skills and advanced proficiency with MS Excel and PowerPoint.
- Strategically minded and able to think creatively about long-term program goals and objectives, and the detailed steps necessary to achieve these goals.
- Structured thinker with experience analyzing complex datasets to identify key trends and to translate them into actionable options for decision makers.
- Strong diplomatic and interpersonal skills and ability to build strategic relationships with government partners, donors and other stakeholders.
- Demonstrated ability to deliver excellence in high-pressure situations, set priorities and adapt to rapidly changing environments.
- Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills without need for extensive structural or operational support.
- Strong writer, facilitator and oral communicator, able to distill and explain complex concepts to varied audiences.
- Experience working with government ministries and/or multilateral or bilateral donors.
- Experience with programming/coding, including VBA coding.
- Experience conducting large-scale research and data collection, cleaning, analysis, and reporting.
- Experience in shaping or contributing to national or district health policy decisions.
- Knowledge of the Malawi health system and experience with district level implementation.
- Experience working in resource-limited settings and a multicultural office environment, particularly in the health sector and in Sub-Saharan Africa.