Merlin Nutrition Coordinator Job in Lodwar, Turkana, Kenya

Position: Nutrition Coordinator

Programme: Merlin – Kenya Programme

Responsible To: Project Coordinator

Location: Turkana – Lodwar

About Merlin

Merlin is an international health charity, saving lives in the world’s toughest places.

Merlin’s global mission is to prevent the needless loss of life in fragile contexts caused by a lack of effective health care. 

We deliver medical aid and expertise with and we stay on to help revive and build lasting health care through our work with governments and local communities.
Merlin has worked in Kenya for over ten years, initially responding to disease outbreaks in northern and western Kenya. 

Since then we have expanded to provide a wide range of primary health care, reproductive health, nutrition and disease prevention and control Programmes in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners.
Merlin is currently operational in in Turkana County in northern Kenya. In addition to the country office in Nairobi. In Turkana county Merlin is supporting the implementation of an integrated high impact nutrition intervention (HINI) and the recently launched Scale up of Nutrition (SUN) funded by UNICEF, OFDA  and partly EC.
Main purpose of the role

The Nutrition Coordinator is responsible for providing technical support to field health and nutrition teams for overall design and implementation of Nutrition programme activities that will encompass Program management in line with county and national guidelines with focus on HiNi, SUN and in close collaboration with the CHMT and the DHMTs.

Overall Objective (scope)

This position demands both the technical knowledge and the work experience, needed to coordinate a nutrition programme. 

The Nutrition Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring management of the nutrition programme is executed in line with County, national and international humanitarian standards and donor guidelines.

This position demands an ability to manage, organize and implement all aspects of Merlin’s nutrition programme in Turkana in line with the nutrition sector priorities and in collaboration with other partners in the sector and other related sectors; including active participation in the nutrition sector coordination forum, other agency liaison, training and supervising staff using techniques and tools available and appropriate to Turkana.



  • Develop and ensure that nutrition proposals conform to the needs of Turkana and are in line with the county priorities.
  • Provide technical support to Merlin staff, partners and government authorities on the planning, implementation and management of the nutrition programmes, nutrition surveillance and nutrition information services
  • Provide technical support in the development and implementation of annual work plans, procurement plans and spending plans in line with donor regulations.
  • Provide technical support in the design and implementation of key thematic areas in nutrition and not limited to: IMAM, MNDC, MIYCN, M and E, Community aspects; Advocacy and communication.
  • Ensuring that a coherent and consistent implementation Nutrition strategy is developed, that activities are implemented in accordance with this.
  • Ensure that the implementation of the nutrition Programmes conforms to internationally accepted standards, country and county guidelines
  • Ensure nutrition programme implementation is line with the nutrition sector’s partnership framework and the Kenya national nutrition action plan (2012 – 2017) and the CNAP.
  • Assist in response and management of any nutrition emergencies e.g. acute food shortages in the county and participate in the development of disaster preparedness and emergency response systems
  • Provide support and supervision on nutrition activities to Merlin staff implementing health and nutrition Programmes in Kenya and capacity strengthening to the government counterparts.
  • Provide guidance to staff implementing nutrition Programmes on the integration of a nutrition component into the overall primary health care Programmes and curative services.
  • To take a lead role in expansion of Merlin’s nutrition programming in Turkana with reference to SUN.
  • Lead in Nutrition commodity management in liaison with the MoH, UNICEF, WFP and other key partners
  • In collaboration with partners (MoH, WFP and UNICEF) support field sites with the organization of logistics of food commodities.
  • Together with Project Health Coordinators and CHTs, ensure proper communication, coordination and harmonization of tools with the different stakeholders involved in food/nutrition activities
  • Provide technical leadership and support for conducting nutrition surveys and coverage assessments in all project sites
  • Support the counties where Merlin is operational with the roll out of the Scale Up Nutrition framework in collaboration with the county health authorities.
  • Participate in the development of project proposals
Staff Management and Development
  • Ensure that appropriate qualified staffing levels are in place and provide regular support, supervision and implementation of other staff management processes including staff performance management.
  • Provide technical support to supervisory staff ( curative, nutrition, HIS, M and E)  and promote learning based on nutrition programme objectives and activities and ensure documentation and sharing of learning with other sectors and Programmes
  • Ensure that staff responsibilities are clearly defined and understood with performance objectives set against work plans and regularly monitored. Ensure that staff requirements are identified and that staff are given every opportunity to increase their competencies, capacities and own personnel development.
  • Provide thematic responsibilities and support  to staff based on Nutrition core implementation agenda 
  • Ensure effective involvement of staff in running the programme through participatory approach to planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and decision-making.
  • Ensure that staff perform well and they are monitored in monthly basis to fulfill the indicators of the program
  • Enforce merlin’s code of conduct in management of staff including human resources and accountability related issues.
  • Ensure the establishment and strengthening or nutrition monitoring activities and train health staff (Merlin and partners) in case detection and referral mechanisms.
  • Conduct and train health staff on surveys, causal analysis and other assessments of nutritional status of target groups.
  • Be innovative in enhancing nutrition program quality.
Monitoring and evaluation
  • Provide technical lead in the design, implementation and follow up of nutrition routine monitoring and supervision plan in liaison with the CHMTs; including joint monitoring plans.
  • On a quarterly basis organize for Review and update of progress of nutrition program against set targets with key program staff and Key CHMTs.
  • Conduct nutritional surveillance in Turkana based on agreed evaluation methodologies including surveys, process monitoring, LQAS, SQUEAC and other rapid methods.
  • Take lead in guidance and documentation of best practices in the program; including case studies
  • Provide, participate and support the supervision on nutrition activities to Merlin staff implementing health and nutrition Programmes in Kenya.
  • Coordinate compilation and timely submit weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports of the program.
  • Routinely monitor nutrition stock levels for IMAM and MNDC and provide commodity  requisition support
  • Together with Merlin health information officer maintain nutrition information data base
  • Monitor Nutrition program expenditure against budgets
Coordination and representation
  • To liaise, according to Merlin distribution of responsibilities, with the County health- Ministry of Health’s division of nutrition, the CNO and other agencies (UNICEF, OFDA and WFP) to ensure appropriate provision of service and use of resources.
  • To advocate with all partners on improving access to quality nutrition care for vulnerable populations through multi-sectoral and interagency coordination.
  • To maintain and strengthen established links with NGOs, and other agencies including government ministries and agencies.
  • Within delegated authority represent Merlin and maintain working relationship with relevant host government ministries, UN agencies, International and local non-governmental health organizations.
  • Participate in nutrition and county relevant meetings with a mandate to promote the nutrition agenda with an aim to influence policies of Government, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors with regards to nutrition.
  • Maintain regular and effective communication with Head Office based Nutrition Advisors to ensure that learning feeds into Merlin’s global work
  • Ensure the effective and efficient use of all Merlin resources in order to keep costs low and ensure safety in the workplace
  • Internally coordinate the work of Nutrition officers and clinical officers to ensure holistic service delivery and staff development.
  • Full adherence to Merlin Kenya security procedures.
  • Full adherence to Merlin Kenya field communication protocols and standard operating procedures, informing fellow team members and the Program Coordinator immediately of any security incident.
  • To behave at all times in a manner which positively promotes Merlin and its work and actively maintaining Merlin’s acceptance strategy in Merlin operational areas.
Skills and behaviours (our values in practice)
  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Merlin’s values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Merlin, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically.
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to
  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks
  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency
  • Commitment to Merlin Values
Qualifications and Expertise
  • Degree level qualification in public health nutrition or related disciplines, with preference to a master’s degree.
  • At least 4+ years of experience in managing nutrition treatment and prevention programs in underdeveloped/crisis contexts.
Skills and Experience
  • Humanitarian field experience, preferably at a national coordination level.
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience as professional in international NGO context, with a sound knowledge of the essential nutrition actions.
  • Good knowledge of the SMART, SQUEAC and Rapid Nutrition Assessment methodologies.
  • Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office
  • Good budgeting and grant management skills
  • Good anticipation, planning skills, especially in changing work contexts.
  • Experience in communicating in different cultural work environments & with a wide diversity of culture.
  • Good communicator: verbal and written. Diplomatic skills a plus.
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and able to work under pressure.
  • Experience in liaison with a broad range of stakeholders, including international donors, UN agencies and INGOs, national authorities, national/local partner agencies and emergency-affected communities.
  • Excellent training, coaching and mentoring skills.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Independent, can guide the nutrition team as well as ask for guidance and follow instructions.
To apply for this position
All applications including cover letter and cv should be sent to:

HR Department,
Merlin, Nairobi Office,
P.O Box 3350 – 00200, 

Nairobi, Kenya


Email to:

Application deadline is 5:00pm on Tuesday, 28th January 2014. 

Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Data Protection: Please note that in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act, Merlin will hold and use personal information that you have given for the purpose of recruitment and employment. This information can be stored in manual and/or electronic form. This information may also be disclosed to third parties in accordance with the Data Protection Act.  In cases where a job offer is conditional on ensuring that potential employees’ names do not appear on counter terrorism lists generated by the United Nations, European Union or the United States due to donor funding requirements, Merlin will use the information that you have given for checking that your name does not appear on these lists.

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