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9 Nov 2019

Strengthening Project Support Officer at British Government

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The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)

Global Issues Team

Main purpose of job:

The post-holder will support PHE’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Programme in Zambia. The IHR Strengthening Programme aims to contribute towards improving global health security through increased compliance with the IHR in selected countries and regions in Africa and Asia. The design phase of the programme has been completed, and the implementation phase (2017-2021) has started, with medium and long-term activities planned and underway.

The post holder will deliver a range of administrative, logistical and project co-ordination activity, on behalf of the IHR Strengthening Programme in Zambia, enabling the delivery of expertise on the ground. The post holder must be fluent in English, have excellent organisational prioritisation and coordination skills to meet complex logistical and operational deadlines. The post-holder will provide support to the PHE Country Lead for Zambia, who is also based in Lusaka, to ensure the coordination and delivery of identified outputs, playing a crucial role in supporting the various projects within the workplan agreed with the Zambia National Public Health Institute/MOH, ensuring activities are delivered to time, within scope and resource allocation.

The post holder will be able to work using their own initiative to achieve results and will have strong communication skills, be able to work in a team and independently. He/she must also be able to engage effectively and develop excellent working relationships with a wide range of individuals and stakeholders at local, national and international levels. This post will be based in Lusaka with some travel to other areas of Zambia if relevant. Occasional international travel (eg to other countries in the sub region, or to the UK) may be required.

Role and responsibilities:

  1. Office Management
  • Provide comprehensive administrative and logistical support to the IHR Programme in Zambia, including country lead and PHE technical teams
  • Summarise correspondence, reports and compile letters, both routine and ad hoc, ensuring that deadlines are met
  • Manage incoming correspondence and emails, including that of a confidential and sensitive nature, exercising independent judgement to initiate appropriate action
  • Assess and prioritise own workload within given timeframe, to meet project schedules
  • Support projects by developing and identifying resources required, ensuring all materials and resources are current and appropriate
  • Organise logistics support for incoming PHE teams, by liaising with hotels, training venues and transportation etc.
  • Manage own workload and activities, including emails and diary management of other relevant team members,
  • Participate in self-development to continually improve performance/systems and undertake development activities that are identified

Project Support

  • Trouble shooting any minor technical and operational issues. Alert country lead to urgent/serious issues arising
  • Write briefings and reports as required, compiling information from a range of sources and using judgement and analytical skills to evaluate option
  • Identify errors or problems, take action as necessary to resolve and/or notify the Country Lead
  • Monitor progress of defined aspects of specific projects and business processes, identifying problems or opportunities, take action as necessary and/or notify Country Lead
  • Plan and organise defined aspects of project delivery under the guidance of the country lead
  • Track programme activity and support the project team to maintain oversight
  • Regularly review procedures or systems to identify improvements, simplify processes and decision making, capturing changes in operational ways of working and incorporating these into the programme’s SOPs
  • Assist with the orientation of PHE technical teams on arrival in Zambia providing local knowledge and understanding.
  • Provide support to help PHE understand the cultural context of Zambia and provide feedback on our approach for cultural nuances.

Communication and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Communicate with a wide range of health and other professionals both locally, nationally and internationally
  • Provide an effective and professional service when liaising with colleagues, partners, stakeholders and the public using tact and diplomacy to encourage effective working when dealing with any communication difficulties
  • Liaise and negotiates with staff and other teams to support the efficient running of projects and business functions including communications
  • Respond to enquiries from key stakeholders to provide information in line with agreed protocols and procedures
  • Deputise for the country lead at relevant meetings
  • Maintain regular contact with key government ministries and key stakeholders in the absence of the Country lead to maintain project momentum and facilitate good work relationship, ensuring that actions agreed are on track.
  • (potentially if ever required) assisting with any translation issues arising
  • Manage/support the planning of meetings, high level events and conferences, working with the local service provider and Country lead

The above is an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. You will carry out any other duties as may reasonably be expected by PHE. These responsibilities may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of the organisation

  • Degree qualification or equivalent experience
  • Previous experience in similar role in project/ programme management in public sector or with bilateral/multilateral organisations.
  • Proven administrative experience, including complex diary management, arranging high profile meetings and events.
  • Experience drafting briefing papers, reports and presentations.
  • Knowledge of administrative procedures, project management and information analysis.
  • Experience interpreting and implementing corporate policy e.g. HR policies and procedures.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills on complex matters, often requiring persuasion and influence.
  • Effective organisation, prioritisation and planning skills.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and organise own workload without supervision working to tight and often changing timescales
  • Adaptability, flexibility and ability to cope with uncertainty and change
  • Ability to handle strictly confidential information from internal and external sources whilst always adhering to best practices of confidentiality.
  • Computer literate and proficient user of Microsoft programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel and SharePoint
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems

  • Further training, experience or training in project management
  • Understanding of public health in Zambia/global health in low and middle income countries
  • Experience of organizing evennts/confrences/workshops
  • Ability to analyse and interpret information and recommend appropriate actions
  • Proficiency in local languages

Seeing the Big Picture, Changing and Improving, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering

22 November 2019
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