To date, Covid-19 has cost more than 4 million lives. High income countries are showing the incredible power that vaccinations have to save lives and allow economies to recover. But while countries such as the UK, Italy and the US have fully vaccinated around two thirds of adults, less than one per cent of people on the African continent have received one vaccine.
This is everyone’s concern. Until the whole world has been vaccinated no one is truly safe—we have seen repeatedly that Covid-19 does not respect borders.
Africa is losing the race to vaccinate: when vaccinations become available, logistical challenges, insufficient resources and vaccine hesitancy pose risks to their deployment in time or to populations that need it the most.
Turning this situation around is a priority for the Tony Blair Institute. We are supporting a number of African governments to:
- improve national and local government coordination
- find, triage and ensure delivery of donor support
- operate a complete, secure and widely shared vaccine data collection and analysis system
- develop and implement a strategic communications plan to overcome fears and misinformation about the vaccines
- help coordinate and deliver supplies of vaccines to where they are most needed
This work could not be more important or urgent. Case numbers are rising rapidly on the African continent due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, but vaccine supply will begin to rise rapidly towards the end of the year.
We are seeking talented and dedicated individuals to join our new Africa Vaccine Programme ( AVP ) who want to play a direct role in ensuring as many lives as possible are protected from Covid-19. The Programme will operate in over eight of our existing countries from September 2021 onwards, and our team will be made up of senior Delivery Advisors and those with targeted public health expertise.
We are looking to hire a talented Programme Manager who will be responsible for the overall success of the AVP Programme. The postholder will:
- ensure delivery of supportive, high-quality advice to governments to ensure they quickly vaccinate their target populations
- build, lead and support remote teams to deliver multiple projects concurrently across the African continent
- show thought leadership, creative problem solving and the tenacity to spot opportunities to further the aims of the programme
- complete the detailed programme design and agree bespoke support to up to ten countries
The role will report to the Head of Sector Practices and have a close working relationship with relevant Regional Directors and Country Heads in our Africa Advisory division, and our External Relations team.
The Programme Manager will work closely with our central Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning ( MEL ) team to deliver a clearly articulated and deliverable MEL plan.
This is an 18 month fixed term role which can be based in London, Accra or Nairobi.
The Programme Manager will directly lead a small team of around five and will jointly coordinate a wider team of around 20 people across different countries. The specific responsibilities are:
Coordinate the provision of high-quality advice and support
- Working closely with hiring managers (who in the case of in-country staff are TBI’s Country Heads), ensure timely recruitment and deployment of high-calibre Advisors, experts and associates/analysts as required by the Programme’s workplan
- Provide strategic and technical support to Advisors under the Programme, as well as to Country Heads, ensuring the implementation of an agreed workplan
- Ensure rapid escalation of problems to avoid delays and collectively solve problems
- In collaboration with TBI’s project leader at the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), recruit and support a delivery dashboard advisor to be embedded at the ACDC and provide the support needed to ensure the success of this role
Design, agree, and deliver a concurrent set of projects
- Build and lead – in some cases indirectly via Country Heads – a growing team of around 20 staff with a mixture of backgrounds and skills, using collaborative and adaptive leadership styles to ensure the team feels engaged, listened to and supported
- Set the tone, pace, ambition and foster the culture of the Progamme team and ensure it becomes a successful part of existing country teams
- Manage the Programme’s budget and operations to ensuring a high standard of financial management and appropriate allocation of the programmes financial resources
- Ensure compliance with the funding frameworks and regulations including but not limited to invoices, expenses, flights, contracts and timesheet management
- Create milestones and project targets which are closely and transparently tracked, and work with in-country teams to help ensure such milestones and targets are attained
Maintain a complex set of relationships
- Create, maintain and promote a strong network of connections with colleagues, partners, and within TBI, to advocate for the growth of the Programme and ensure alignment with ongoing and future work to increase the chances of success. In particular, maintaining at all times a strong working relationship with Country Heads. Delivery Advisors and experts funded by the Programme will be line managed by Country Heads, and will have a dotted line to the Programme Manager. Clear and transparent communication is critical
- Produce funding proposals with TBI’s Fundraising Team if and when required
- Promote and advocate for the Programme to explain its aims and enthuse others to cooperate and support
Manage partner relationships and oversee a reporting framework to ensure results are delivered
- Based on regular inputs from country teams, prepare and manage a comprehensive overview of partnership implementation and impact including quarterly reports, weekly check-in calls, etc
- Participate in quarterly reflection and learning sessions of each country team to incorporate learnings from monitoring data into programme adaptation and theory of change
- Collaborate with the MEL team to ensure deliverables from MEL consultants, generate internal learning and insights and monitor deliverables. Generate results data from country teams
- Inspire the Programme team to maintain a strong focus on delivering the Programme’s priorities, allowing people space and authority to deliver whilst holding them to account, and swiftly respond to changing requirements
Provide direct support and thought leadership on vaccine roll-out policy
- Provide advice to identify and overcome bottlenecks and serve as the main communication channel between advisors and headquarters
- Create relevant reports or documents to help provide direction and advocate for increasing vaccine supply in Africa
- When necessary, provide bespoke support to government partners
- Directly line manage a small team of central staff working on Covid policy and advocacy, vaccine and support access for Africa
- Create and use “thought leadership” products to further conversations with partners and position TBI as a trusted actor in vaccine delivery in Africa
This is a demanding and high profile role, which requires exceptional leadership and regular workings with senior leadership at TBI, including with our Executive Chairman. The postholder will be comfortable shaping and delivering a programme that comprises projects at different points in their lifecycle and is comfortable working in ambiguous and fast-moving environments.
We are looking for candidates that can demonstrate the following:
- project and programme leadership in ambiguous and complex environments
- self-leadership and the ability to quickly situate themselves within existing teams
- relationship management especially in different cultural settings
- an ability to appraise project success and learn lessons quickly to adapt delivery to changing circumstances
- a pragmatic, can-do attitude to solving problems and the ability to support and coach others to find solutions, especially without direct line management
- the confidence and credibility to interact directly senior figures in the vaccine delivery system and with African governments
There is no ideal career experience for this role, rather, candidates must have:
- Senior leadership experience, particularly in creating a complex programme or process, ensuring its aims were achieved
- Extensive programme and project management experience, especially taking decisions and delivering in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments
- Exceptional listening, oral and written communication skills with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
- An ability to build and manage effective relationships with senior individuals and organisations
- Strong MS Office skills and ability to produce documents to a good presentational level
Experience working in Africa, and with governments, is preferred.
For applicants wishing to work in Nairobi, they must have the right to work in Kenya.
About The Institute
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people.
We do this within two connected divisions:
Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.
Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:
· Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics
· Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution
· Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world
As an organisation the core beliefs we all embrace are:
· Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
· Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
· Optimistic Changemakers: you’ll be focused on results
How to Apply
TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work. It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\’re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.