What to do if you missed a phone call from your prospective employer?
- BY Amber Wilson
Role or Purpose of Position
VA seeks to develop its maternal and child nutrition program in South Africa by engaging a part-time Independent Contractor (e.g., Consultant) to identify indigenous, non-governmental organizations (NGO) interested in helping at risk population in need- specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five- gain access to life changing vitamins and minerals.
Once identified, the consultant will provide these NGOs with micronutrients, deworming and appropriate technical assistance necessary to be able to deliver essential micronutrient products to pregnant women and pre-school children – preferably as one component of a more robust health and nutrition program already operated by each partner NGO.
In practical terms, VA seeks a Consultant to identify and work with local partners (e.g., NGOs, civil society organization, and in very limited cases with affiliates of the national health system) willing to accept responsibility for the problem of micronutrient deficiency and implement a locally sustainable system to address under-nutrition. This system should operate concurrent with health/nutrition services they already offer to the public OR other non-health services that present a unique and innovative opportunity to achieve micronutrient distribution among at-risk pregnant women and pre-school age children in need of nutrition services. Under limited circumstances, VA may help a governmental authority to launch micronutrient distribution services, but only in conjunction with a NGO partner with local operations.
VA seeks to advance maternal and child nutrition interventions that are: i) evidence-based, ii) planned and designed consistent with internationally accepted best practices adapted to local needs, iii) coordinated to the extent feasible with other parallel health/nutrition activities already ongoing by governmental or NGO groups to avoid unnecessary overlap, iv) conformant with VA’s strategic plan and VA’s guidelines for universal supplementation projects, and v) consistent with the legal requirements of the country in which supported interventions are to be undertaken. The Consultant’s key responsibilities are:
Advocacy – to advocate with local institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as appropriate, for their participation in efforts to incorporate targeted micronutrient interventions as a component to comprehensive health and nutrition services for under-nourished women and children,
Planning – to create, consistent with VA’s strategic and operational plans, a country strategy and implementation plan that reveals how the Consultant will: identify potential distribution partners comprised primarily of indigenous NGOs, activate VA supported micronutrient interventions by individual distribution partners (i.e., grantees to VA), coordinate VA supported distribution activities among distribution partners to ensure smooth operation of sourcing and deployment of micronutrients and other supplies (from VA) to the network of distribution partners, and expand – gradually – the network of distribution partners in a manner that is coordinated with local governmental authorities and consistent with best public health practices,
Identification and activation of VA supported interventions by individual distribution partners – to screen potential partners, gain agreement from primarily NGOs qualified to participate as a distribution partner, and help each partner to activate VA supported interventions,
Deployment of resources committed by VA for program/project implementation – to mobilize and deploy resources committed by VA (e.g., personnel, financial, in-kind donations) by providing logistical support to ensure implementation and tracking of VA’s services to grantees and to activate the delivery of VA supported distribution services by the distribution partner,
Technical assistance – to provide local distribution partners with requisite technical services or arrange for VA’s technical services department to provide comprehensive technical assistance (e.g., training, periodic monitoring, and on-going follow-up/problem solving assistance) needed to activate and maintain high quality service delivery by all local distribution partners consistent with VA and internationally accepted best public health practice, by providing follow-up support, training, and technical assistance,
Provision of local administrative and financial oversight to VA activities – to ensure application of appropriate financial and administrative controls and procedures to VA sponsored activities in the country,
Local coordination – to liaise with all local VA implementation partners, grantees, technical counterpart agencies, and governmental authorities in furtherance of VA’s country programming activities consistent with evidenced-based practices and local law.
S/he applies expertise in all aspects of program design, management and implementation while working to promote, exemplify and further the mission, values and culture of VA.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (Required and Desired)
Challenges of the Position
The challenge to individuals hired as an Independent Consultant to Vitamin Angels is functioning in an environment characterized by autonomy and managing long distance communication with the VA home office. On an ongoing basis, the main challenge to the Independent Consultant is an ability to thrive in an environment that requires significant self-initiative, collaboration among many team members both internal and external to VA, and an ability to work effectively and efficiently with VA staff situated in several time zones and accessible only by phone, Skype, and email.