Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Program Officer (Polio Behavior Change & Community Engagement)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Job Description

As a key member of the Polio Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) team, the Program Officer (PO), Behavior Change & Community Engagement will support the team’s efforts to increase polio vaccine acceptance in the region; working directly with and through government and partners to address misinformation. Core Responsibilities
  • Provide advisory, strategic planning and Technical Support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partnership and individual grantees seeking to address resistance in vulnerable and/or underserved communities and community engagement gaps while dispelling misconceptions about vaccination.

  • Coordinate with consultants and grantees as they strive to increase local ownership of the polio program through the engagement of relevant influencers.

  • Develop and manage a portfolio of investments, establishing effective working relationships with both established and new partners.

  • Support foundation efforts to identify and address immunity gaps that sustain circulation of wild polioviruses in sub-populations (e.g., migrant groups, nomadic population, and hard-to-reach children).

  • Collaborate with national and provincial governments and partners on strategies to improve immunization services to children affected by Security and conflict situations.

  • Collaborate across Program Strategy Teams (PSTs) and foundation leadership to ensure the successful implementation of the overall global strategy to eradicate polio.

Core Knowledge & Skills We are seeking an action-oriented team member with proven experience driving behavior change through community engagement.  You should have:
  • Proven success in developing and implementing efforts that positively influence behavior, ideally health seeking behavior.

  • Proven track record forging strong partnerships and relationships, building momentum and driving action in matrixed environments.

  • Ability to identify new and opportunistic partnerships to achieve program goals.

  • Familiarity with the faiths, beliefs and cultural practices of target communities (especially minority community).

  • Experience in developing country settings with knowledge of government Health Systems and political structures, ideally experience working with global partners such as Gavi, WHO, UNICEF.

  • A knack for establishing cross-sectoral linkages.

  • A high level of personal initiative and capability to be self-directed, combined with great teamwork skills.

  • Comfort participating in a wide range of cultural, political, geographic and operational situations; ability to demonstrate culturally sensitive behavior.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; capability to clearly and effectively communicate with a wide range of partners and audiences, including with the foundation senior management.

Education & Experience
  • 7+ years of experience in social mobilization, community engagement, communications for development, behavior change, and/or social Marketing in a developing country setting; preference for those with experience working in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

  • Language proficiency in Pashto and Urdu a strong plus.

  • Experience related to immunization and/or polio eradication preferred but not required.

  • Preference for an advanced degree in Public Health, Social Sciences, communications or management

  • Ability to travel up to 40%; largely internationally / within the EMR

*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
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