International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Project Director, Maternal and Newborn Health.

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Requisition ID: req28709

Job Title: Project Director, Maternal and Newborn Health

Sector: Research & Development

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Job Description

Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. The Airbel Impact Lab, IRC’s Research & Innovation team, contributes to this vision by designing, testing, and scaling life-changing solutions in humanitarian contexts. We apply right practices from human-centered design, behavioral insights, incubators and accelerators, strategy and research. Combining these capabilities and approaches with IRC’s extensive field presence and deep sector expertise, we believe it is possible to craft and scale breakthrough programs that can impact millions of people affected by conflict and disasters.

One of IRC’s research and innovation priorities focuses on maternal and newborn health. This position provides project management leadership for two major projects:

  1. EQUAL Maternal and Newborn Health Research Consortium (equalresearch.org)

The IRC leads Ensuring Quality Access and Learning (EQUAL) for Mothers and Newborns in Conflict-Affected Contexts Consortium, a research consortium funded through FCDO’s ‘Filling the Gaps in Evidence: Building Stronger And More Resilient Health Systems Research Programme Consortia (RPC)’ mechanism. The IRC-led RPC strives to produce high quality evidence that improves the health of the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries. The IRC is the Prime Contractor and responsible for the delivery of the programme. IRC leads a consortium, which includes Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, Somali Disaster Resilience Institute, Université Catholique de Bukavu (DRC), and a team of consultants in South Sudan. The objective of this project is to produce rigorous, operationally relevant research and evidence to improve maternal and neonatal health in low-income, conflict-affected contexts. This project will produce evidence that is accessible to decision-makers influencing strategic investment, policy and programming to improve MNH, at the national and global level.

2) Launch of community-based maternal and newborn health care programs

The IRC is launching the development, implementation, and testing of a scalable community-based maternal and newborn care in contexts such as South Sudan and Somalia. The program launch brings together several teams, including the human-centered design and behavioral insights teams for program design, research and evaluation team, data modeling team, policy and advocacy team, and program implementation team.

Job Overview: The MNH Director provides management support to the Airbel Impact Lab portfolio in maternal and newborn health (MNH). The Director will be a part of the Airbel Sexual & Reproductive and Maternal & Newborn Health (SRMNH) Global Research and Innovation Priority Team as well as the EQUAL consortium management team.

Major Responsibilities:

General responsibilities include:

  • Lead project governance structures, cycles, and appraisal methods.
  • Lead delivery across several projects with cross functional, multi-disciplinary teams. Ensure that projects are delivered to agreed goals, on time and on budget.
  • Overseeing program budgets and ensuring targets are being met within the team.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative and positive relationships with internal and external partners through effective communication and engagement.
  • Clear monitoring and reporting (monthly, quarterly and annually) against program level results and Key Performance Indicators.
  • Support project staff by crafting and maintaining a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, transparency, mutual respect, and recognition and empowers staff to take ownership, thus enabling an environment for dedication

Specific to EQUAL:

The Project Director will be accountable for the delivery of the EQUAL contract and lead the EQUAL research consortium:

Experienced project leadership

  • Provide high level leadership and direction, across the project to guide effective implementation to achieve the desired outputs and outcomes.
  • Lead the overall project by establishing, in collaboration with the Research Director, a strategy with both operational and research-focused key performance indicators, achievements, timelines and work plans in adherence with technical quality standards and donor guidelines.
  • Supervise the development of budgets and spending plans and monitor the financial health of the project.
  • Supervise and monitor project activities in accordance with the FCDO contract.
  • Ensure IRC meets FCDO contractual project, legal and financial requirements and represent the IRC and the consortium as primary liaison focal point with FCDO.
  • Responsible for contract compliance and results.
  • Responsible for project risk management and appropriate critical issue.
  • Provide oversight to the EQUAL project team.
  • Supervise the monitoring and evaluation of the EQUAL contract implementation for IRC and consortia partners.

Consortium leadership

  • Develop and leads a well-functioning and encouraging consortium that consistently delivers high quality research, experienced technical expertise to FCDO country offices and programs, and research uptake. As part of this, develop and maintain strong lines of communication and collaboration.
  • Lead excellent cooperation with and between consortium partners; partner organizations and government officials ensuring alignment as well as instituting clear processes and protocols for surfacing any issues or challenges in a timely manner.

Job Requirements:


  • Master’s degree in public health or related field.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum 10-15 years progressive experience in the public health sector.
  • Experience leading complex consortia, including academic institutions, NGOs, and for-profit organizations.
  • Preferred experience working in technical delivery of maternal and newborn health projects.
  • Preferred experience with relationship management with donors and other external partners.
  • Preferred experience managing projects in fragile, and conflict affected settings.
  • Extensive experience implementing FCDO commercial contracts, with strong knowledge of commercial contract rules and regulations.
  • Experience leading research projects.

Demonstrated Skills and Proficiencies:

  • Demonstrated experience and ability leading teams and individuals across multiple areas of technical expertise and geographic locations.
  • Ability to give feedback in a constructive way that supports staff improvement; ability to receive feedback and adjust behavior.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Solid organizational skills: ability to work well under pressure, lead competing priorities in a fast-paced team environment.
  • Strong analytical problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to think and plan at the ‘big picture’ level.
  • Experience in maternal and newborn health.
  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Understanding and practical experience of project management principles throughout the full project cycle.

Language Skills:

  • Fluent in English; French language proficiency strongly preferred.

Working relationships

Position directly supervises the following staff:

  • EQUAL Research Program Coordinator
  • EQUAL Finance Coordinator (Management in partnership with Airbel Deputy Director of People and Operations)

Working Environment:

  • Standard office working environment
  • Some international travel as needed up to 30%


The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.




One response to “International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Project Director, Maternal and Newborn Health.”

  1. Riziki salim athman Avatar
    Riziki salim athman

    Looking forward to work with you

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