Senior Public Health Advisor

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Terms of Reference

Vacancy: Senior Public Health Advisor

I. General Information

Post/Title: Senior Public Health Advisor

Position Type : Diaspora Expert

Date of issue: 14 November 2023

Duty Station: Mogadishu, Ministry of Health, Federal Government of Somalia

Duration of Assignment: 12 months

Deadline for applications : 4 December 2023

II. Background Information

About the MIDA FINNSOM III, Health and Education Project

The past decades have seen continued migration from various African countries, causing a “brain drain” that has debilitated various public sector systems across the continent. Through the IOM Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) programme, Somali diaspora professionals have supported institutional capacity building, service delivery, and policy development of health and education institutions across Somalia since 2015.

The MIDA FINNSOM PHASE III – Health & Education project – contributes to strengthening the Health and Education sectors in Somalia towards achieving specific priorities in the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) and the Essential Package for Health Services (EPHS), as prioritized and outlined by the government. The project aims to do so by engaging and enhancing the role of qualified Somali diaspora experts willing to temporarily return to their country of origin. In particular, through assignments within key ministries and public institutions (including hospitals and universities), Somali diaspora experts contribute addressing gaps and enhancing strengths in the planning and delivery of health and education services, coherently with the needs identified through the dedicated baseline assessment conducted during the inception phase of the project. Furthermore, a component of the project is devoted toward contributing to the creation of stable and sustainable access to employment opportunities in the health and education sectors for local experts and interns, who will work in close coordination with the Somali diaspora experts – therefore reaping long-terms benefits of knowledge transfer, competencies sharing and skills development.

III. Duties and Responsibilities

The Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Health and Human services (MoHHS), through the technical assistance provided by the IOM MIDA FINNSOM III Health and Education project, seeks to build the skills of its national health workforce, including its public health teams.

Under the guidance and supervision of the MoHHS Coordinator, the Senior Public Health Advisor will carry out the following duties and responsibilities:

The Senior Public Health Advisor (SPHA) will serve as a technical advisor to the MOHHS. S/he will provide high-level technical and programmatic guidance on a wide range of health areas including maternal and child health (MCH), reproductive health and family planning (RH/FP), infectious disease prevention, International Health regulation, Health in All Policies, Human-animal diseases interface. S/he will contribute to the strategic planning, development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of program activities in order to achieve short-term and long-term results aligned to the Health Strategy of MOHHS. S/he will also work with the Health Departments and teams including Health Services, Health Systems, Tuberculosis, Zoonosis, and other health Programs and Operations, as well as supporting other Mission Program areas in identifying and operationalizing ways to maximize interventions across the health programs, i.e., identifying opportunities for complementarities in health and education, food security, nutrition, humanitarian assistance, and health communication.

The SPHA will also provide technical guidance on the development and execution of the activities implemented by collaborating agencies such as THL. S/he will engage with a range of partners, such as other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), Cooperating Agencies, and private partners, to help ensure that activities are consistent with the National Health Strategy and Health priorities with emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and maternal and child health. The advisor will help ensure the communication flow between public and private health partners, and actively contribute towards bringing the various actors together. S/he will also engage with other donors active in the health sector and identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination of interventions.

The SPHA will further support the health team’s engagement with senior-level Somali government officials in planning, designing, and implementing public health activities of the health program and policy development. This involves regular contact and collaboration with counterparts in the MOHHS, and other government ministries and agencies. The SPHA will also support engagement with a wide range of civil society organizations, private organizations, other donors, and international organizations (UNICEF, UNFPA, European Union, WHO), as well as other agencies working in the public health sector in Somalia.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Technical Leadership

  1. The SPHA will keep the MOHHS updated on relevant health-related research, developments, and emerging issues, and formulate strategies and technical recommendations to improve program implementation.
  2. S/he will lead and represent the MOHHS in donor engagements and in the implementation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan, as well as engagements with other stakeholders in sector-wide approaches working to ensure integrated planning.
  3. S/he will draft briefing papers, operational plans, reports, talking points, and other documents related to the health-assigned activities and issues. The SPHA will also provide cross-cutting health support to other IOM MIDAFINNSOM V technical issues as needed.
  4. S/he will foster partnerships with a variety of internal and external stakeholders to advance health programming in Somalia.

Management of Activity Implementation

  1. The SPHA will provide strategic technical guidance and advice to the health teams and implementing partners to ensure sound management of health interventions and provide recommendations for improvement.
  2. The SPHA shall help review activity work plans, conduct monitoring site visits, and evaluate deliverables provided by health teams and grantees, in accordance with MOOHS policies and strategic plan for program management regulations and procedures, and practices.
  3. S/he will review and analyze data and information on relevant technical areas as a basis for providing up-to-date information on impact, effectiveness, output, and inputs to programs.
  4. S/he will help to ensure that MIDA FINNSOM health V project activities are complementary to the efforts of other donors and the MOHHS.

Partner Relationships

  1. The SPHA will establish and maintain productive collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners and stakeholders including senior and central divisions of the MOHHS and their Regional Health Teams, Global Fund, WHO, UNICEF, other donors, and NGOs dealing with issues focusing on SRH interventions.
  2. S/he will develop and maintain relationships with these partners and stakeholders in order to support the MOHHS in ensuring that all health activities are complementary to other stakeholder efforts to enhance the impact of health programs in Somalia.
  3. S/he will participate in donor technical working groups and provide senior technical leadership in influencing the health sector in Somalia.

The project will give particular attention to gender mainstreaming strategies by promoting women´s participation as MIDA experts, their participation in trainings as local staff, and women´s and girls´ access to quality SRHR services as project beneficiaries.

IV: Requirements:

Besides the specific outputs mentioned in section III, MIDA FINNSOM Health project phase V is requiring the following deliverables to be submitted throughout the assignment. These are the standard requirements for all assignments under this project:

  1. Transfer of skills: The main responsibility of the qualified Somali expatriate—which he/she will be measured against—will be to ensure continuous and systematic transfer of knowledge and skills as related to the assignment. It will have to be agreed with the beneficiary institution that staff will benefit from this knowledge.
  2. Work plan: A work plan must be developed with the Supervisor during the first week of the assignment to provide clear and time-bound activities to successfully implement the outputs of the assignment. This work plan will be shared with the supervisor, MOHHS coordinator, MOHHS M&E Specialist and IOM M&E Officer. This work plan can be revised during the assignment to reflect on new developments or changes.
  3. Quarterly and Final Reports: Quarterly progress reports will be submitted by the expert to the supervisor, MOHHS Coordinator, MOHHS M&E Specialist and IOM M&E Officer. At the end of the assignment, the participant must also provide a final report covering the duration of his/her assignment.

Exit interview: An exit interview will be conducted to ensure that a proper exit plan has been put in place to sustain the achievements, upon completion of the assignment.

V: Qualifications

Level of Education:

Master’s in public health, Healthcare Management, Epidemiology and other relevant health

Years of work experience in what area(s):

More than 5 years

Languages needed:

  • Fluent in English.
  • Fluent in Somali.
  • Arabic language will be an advantage.

General Skills / Other Requirements:

  • Experience of leadership roles in the management of health programs is required.
  • The advisor should have at least 7 years of progressive experience in designing, implementing, and managing public health programs and activities in developing countries.
  • Demonstrated technical leadership, program management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, policy development experience, and problem-solving skills, working on complex projects are required.
  • Experience with a wide range of health and broader health development issues such as health financing, health information management system, health sector coordination, emergency response and preparedness.
  • Experience of working in Somalia health sector at federal and state levels.
  • Prior experience of working with Federal and State Ministries of Health
  • Expert knowledge of program performance monitoring and reporting; procurement policies and procedures; strategic planning; and evaluation of programs/projects/activities.
  • Experience working with development partners- donors and technical partners including UN or another international development organization or non-governmental organization in Somalia.
  • Knowledge of the objectives and operations of the MOHHS program activities and of other international donor or non-governmental organizations, in Somalia.

VI: Subsistence Allowance

The monthly stipend amount will be determined by the MIDA FINNSOM III, Health and Education project, based on degree and years of relevant experience. VII: Security and insurance modalities

Security and insurance modalities

Health insurance—including evacuation due to a medical emergency—will be covered by the project. However, experts will be requested to provide a recent medical certificate stating that they are physically fit and able to work in a ‘hardship’ country.

Please note that IOM, according to the contract, will not be responsible for the security of qualified Somali expatriates. The host beneficiary institution will be responsible for the security of the individual.

Before leaving the country of residence or upon arrival in Somalia, the qualified Somali expatriate will receive a pre-service briefing including security advice and cultural background.

How to apply

VII: How to apply

All applications must be sent via email to: with the following reference as a subject in your e-mail: APPLICATION – as mentioned in the vacancy announcement. For further inquiries about the MIDA positions, you can reach out to:

To be considered, applicants must provide a cover letter, CV, and the contact information (email and phone number) of two professional references by the closing date of this vacancy. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The closing date of this application is 4 December 2023, at 12.00 PM EAT.

While this project is geared toward the Somali-Finnish diaspora, members of other Somali diaspora communities are also welcomed to apply. Females are highly encouraged to apply and participate in the MIDA FINNSOM III Health and Education Project.