Merlin Project Health Coordinator Job in Kenya

Job Description

Position:  Project Health Coordinator (PHC)
Location: Kisii, Kenya
Responsible to: Project Coordinator (PC)
Technically responsible to: Country Health Director (CHD)
Start date: 2 January 2013
Duration:  12 months

Merlin international profile

Merlin specialises in health, saving lives in times of crisis and helping to rebuild shattered health services. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.

Context and background

Merlin has been working in Kenya since 1998 and currently runs programmes in two regions of the country – Nyanza Province in the Western Highlands and Turkana in Northern Kenya – in partnership with the Ministry of Health. 
In Turkana, Merlin offers essential primary health and nutrition services to the drought affected population. Merlin supports 30 health facilities and 72 outreach sites. 
Merlin also supports maternal health services to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, and has recently started a project to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities. 
In the Kisii area of Nyanza Province, Merlin supports the Ministry of Health in the provision of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria preventative and curative services, currently supporting nearly 130 health facilities.

Currently the majority of Merlin’s funding in Kisii comes from the CDC via CARE, in a consortium with CARE called Chagua Maisha.  

That five-year project, initiated in October 2010, focuses on a broad spectrum of HIV/AIDS and TB activities, designed to reduce HIV and TB infection and provide care and treatment for patients, while working closely with the district health teams and facility staff to improve capacity.  
In addition, Merlin is implementing two Global Fund projects, one with CARE as prime, to expand people’s access to HIV testing and counselling (HTC), the other with AMREF as prime to expand community participation in improvement of malaria prevention and treatment.

Main purpose of the role

The PHC will be based in Kisii town of Kisii County and will have overall responsibility for the technical management of Merlin’s projects in the Kisii area in collaboration with the Project Coordinator (PC) and Country Health Director (CHD). 
The PHC will have overall responsibility for the management and development of Merlin health programmes in the area and also ensures that the implementation of the projects are carried out in line with Kenya Ministry of Health policies and guidelines and Merlin’s strategy, internal procedures and policies.

Overall objectives (scope)

  • Plan and implement Merlin’s response to the present unmet health needs in the Kisii area, in close collaboration with the PC and CHD, Merlin programme teams, MoH and other stakeholders
  • Assist in the analysis of health / humanitarian contexts in Kisii and Nyamira Counties
  • Establish mechanisms and strategies for providing response to further identified needs
  • Ensure high technical quality of Merlin’s project interventions
  • Technical Programme Management/Development
  • In collaboration with the PC, be technically responsible for the implementation and further development of Merlin-supported primary health care programmes in the greater Kisii area.
  • Develop and implement quality programmes in the counties in close coordination and collaboration with various district health authorities.
  • Coordination of all health related project activities in close collaboration with beneficiaries, local partners and other stakeholders to ensure objectives are achieved.
  • Coordination with donors, especially with CARE as part of the Chagua Maisha consortium.
  • Liaise with key representatives of Kenya’s Ministry of Health at national, county and district levels to ensure that the programme remains in line with national strategy and to ensure the sustainability of activities at the end of the project period.
  • Develop, plan and implement project activities in close collaboration with medical and non-medical personnel, ensuring coherence and integration of activities and contingencies for changes in project direction and priorities related to the humanitarian context.
  • Ensure accurate collation and analysis of data. Compile epidemiological reports for inclusion in project situation reports and any other pertinent reports, including dissemination of the same.
  • Regularly monitor progress of project implementation and conduct assessments of the health needs of the community and prioritize project activities based on findings. 
  • Together with the PC, responsible for encouraging community participation in health activities to ensure the long term ownership and effectiveness of the programme.
  • Ensure that the medical supplies and consumable stocks are sufficient and that drugs are stored and used correctly.
  • Work with district health facilities, community representatives and persons responsible for training health workers at different levels to ensure close links between health facilities and communities.
  • Be the lead in emergency preparedness and response planning including design of mitigation, response and recovery interventions.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly, mid-term and final technical project reports for submission to the PC.
  • Assist independent consultants in conducting baseline, mid, and final assessments/evaluations of Merlin projects.
  • Assist the PC, CHD, and country management team in designing new programmes including undertaking assessments, proposal and log-frame writing, and budget preparation.
  • Deputise for the PC and perform any other reasonable duties assigned.
Representation and Coordination
  • In liaison with the Project Coordinator, coordinate and represent Merlin with county and district health authorities and ensure all project activities are carried out with their approval in line with national strategy and, as far as possible, their participation.
  • Represent Merlin in meetings with donors in Kisii, Kisumu and occasionally Nairobi.
  • Contribute towards the dissemination of Merlin’s health work through publications (general, health sector, academic) in consultation with PC and CHD.
  • Coordination and representation with the MoH and other NGOs in the region to avoid project activity overlap while sufficiently addressing the full needs of the communities.
  • In consultation and coordination with the PC and CHD, liaise with relevant project donors over matters related to specific projects including reports, amendments and extensions, funding for continuation of projects, as well as answering questions raised by donors.
Programme Support
  • Provide technical support and mentorship to all project team members and review all work plans for technical soundness.
  • Assist PC and CHD to establish systems and standards for regular assessment, monitoring and evaluation of the programme against its strategic aim, objective and expected output.
  • At all times, advocate for cohesion of departments with an aim of consolidating effort towards achieving project goals.
Staff Management / HR
  • Directly line manage all project leads and M&E officer.
  • Work with staff to develop and monitor individual performance objectives, and use the results in conducting semi-annual and annual performance reviews for all supervised staff.
  • Assist with recruitment of technical project personnel.
  • Support project personnel, with the aim of ensuring that individuals work effectively together to achieve project objectives.
  • Responsible for organizing training of all health staff and local partner staff to ensure the maximum use of their skills and their full and effective participation in project activities whilst conforming to Merlin’s policies, MOH protocols and other regulatory bodies (e.g., NEMA, municipal council).
  • Ensure that staffs are fully conversant with and trained in donor and Kenya health authority’s guidelines, protocols and data tools.
  • Conduct induction in the field for new staff on Merlin health policy as well as project aims, objectives, and activities.
  • Coordinate induction and supervision of students and interns attached to Merlin Kisii office.
  • To respect all Merlin organisational and country-specific policies, procedures and regulations.
  • Champion accountability, gender equality and mainstreaming during planning and implementation of the projects.
  • Carry out any other tasks as requested by the PC or CHD.
Person Specification


  • Medical doctor with 5 years’ experience in managing health programmes
  • Previous experience implementing HIV/AIDS programmes (preferably 2 years)
  • Proven experience in project proposal development, logical framework and report writing
  • Experience in budget management
  • Good computer skills to allow reporting and representation
  • Flexibility and relationship-building skills
  • Excellent communication skills, with good spoken and written English and Swahili
  • Ability to understand the cultural and political environment and to work well with local representatives and programme staff in a consultative and participatory approach
  • Proven problem solving and organisational skills
  • Excellent management and capacity building skills to enable the motivation, encouragement, participation and development of team members
  • Post-graduate degree in health-related field such as public health
  • Experience in epidemiological analysis
  • Previous experience within a humanitarian aid organisation
  • Experience in the processes and techniques involved in developing and using appropriate IEC/BCC resources and materials
How to Apply

All applications should be sent to:

HR Department,
Merlin, Nairobi Office,
P.O Box 3350 – 00200, Nairobi, Kenya
Email to:

Application deadline is 5:00pm on Friday, 9 November 2012. Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be shortlisted on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date.

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