Head of Health, Nutrition and WASH

TITLE: Head of Health, Nutrition and WASH (In Short Head of Health & Nutrition) - [Somalia/Somaliland] Country Office

TEAM/PROGRAMME: Program Development & Quality Department - Technical unit

LOCATION: Somalia/Somaliland


GRADE: Nat 1 / Tier 4

POST TYPE: National/International


Level 3:  the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.


The Head of Health and Nutrition (Head H&N) takes overall responsibility for the strategic direction and coordination of Save the Children International’s work on health, nutrition and WASH in the Somalia/Somaliland programme. As a senior member of PDQ and ESMT the Head of H&N is responsible for leading and overseeing the development and delivery of high quality, innovative, cost effective programmes in Health, Nutrition and WASH (HN&W) both in emergency as well as long-term development, resulting in immediate and lasting change for children. The Head of H& is also responsible for initiating and taking technical leadership in H, N&W focused studies, documentation and dissemination of innovations and good practices by working together with quality programmes team; leading on policy research and advocacy on HN&W through networking and collaboration with relevant civil society organisations and other institutions; playing a leading role in establishing, maintaining and expanding donor relations for the sector. The Head H&N will use their in-depth contextual understanding, technical and practical expertise, and relationship building skills to define and deliver our strategic ambition of Child Survival themes for SC Somalia/Somaliland.  The role will involve building high performance team, lead strategy development and the technical design and implementation of high-quality programmes that deliver change for children and families and save lives in both emergency and development programming. The role will work closely with other Heads of Themes (HoTs) operations colleagues and partners including government. 

In the event of a major humanitarian emergency, the role holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly.


Reports to: Deputy Director for Program Development & Quality

Staff reporting to this post: Staff reporting to this post: 4 direct reports Senior Health TS, Senior Nutrition TS and WASH TS, Health Cluster Co-chair. Also expected to provide coaching and mentoring support to operational and other technical colleagues and local partners

Budget Responsibilities: None

Context: Humanitarian and development

Primary Technical areas: Health and Nutrition, WASH

Primary Sub technical area: Child Health, Maternal and Newborn Health, WASH

Secondary Technical areas: Social Behavior Change, Sexual and Reproductive Heath

Role Dimensions:

The role is expected to foster relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including Save the Children members, the Country Office Programme Development & Quality team, advocacy colleagues, Regional Advisors, technical counterparts in other organisation, donors etc. The role is also expected to engage with internal technical working groups and communities of practice.



Programme Development

  • Work closely with new business development colleagues to identify and pursue funding opportunities that allow for both integration into broader programmes and standalone H&N projects; engage with technical partners, donors and colleagues across Save the Children
  • Lead on development of thematic strategy in HN&W including household health, nutrition and WASH practices, public health, nutrition and WASH services, in programme and policy designs in line with Save the Children’s Country Strategic Plan for Somalia/Somaliland programme
  • Lead in developing and realising ambitious yet practical HN&W plans as part of the Country Annual Plans
  • Work together with quality programmes and operations teams to initiate and design high quality, cost- effective, innovative and sustainable project proposals and concept notes for the sector
  • Proactively seek information on potential donor sources and share project opportunities in HN&W with quality programmes and operations teams linking to Country and Area strategies on HN&W
  • Seek strategic linkage, wherever applicable, with other thematic areas of Somalia/Somaliland programme i.e. child protection, education, food security and livelihoods, DRR and CRG for developing integrated programmes for difficult to reach children in Somalia/Somaliland.

Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

  • Lead the development and implementation of relevant and sustainable capacity building strategy for area teams and partners including consortium partners on HN&W in coordination with the operations teams
  • Provide technical guidance and inputs where relevant to the operations and quality programme teams and consortium partners and do technical review of donor reports to ensure that the reports are of high quality from a technical point of view as per expectations in the project proposals
  • Assist the quality programmes team to enhance the capacity of operations teams (e.g. programme/project managers) in developing appropriate systems for documenting and storing relevant information/data needed for donor and member reporting
  • Provide elaborations and as required directions and trainings to managers in operations teams involved in delivering projects focusing on appropriate approaches and methodologies; conceptual and practical frameworks; standards and tools for effective and quality delivery of HN&W programmes.

Representation and Advocacy

  • Represent Somalia/Somaliland programme in relevant internal and external fora including donor meetings (as appropriate) related to health, nutrition and WASH
  • Work closely with quality programmes and operations teams to develop policy research and advocacy strategy in HN&W in line with the Country Strategic Plan and global strategy of Save the Children
  • Leverage donor interest and government policies for the difficult to reach children in Somalia/Somaliland both in emergency and development situations through targeted advocacy/key messages
  • Identify and capitalise key opportunities and events for Save the Children to position itself as the leading organisation for child and maternal health and nutrition in Somalia and Somaliland
  • Work with consortium members wherever applicable to further Save the Children’s mission for children.

People Management, Mentoring and Development

  • Drive the TE transformation project and ensure TSs/TEs benefit from the TE project by closely working with SMT TE transformation lead.
  • Ensure that all technical staff in HN&W understand and are able to adapt their roles in both emergency and development contexts
  • Manage the HN&W team; define expectations, provide leadership and support as needed, and evaluate direct reports regularly
  • Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion of staff as appropriate; ensure availability of and support appropriate professional development opportunities for staff in HN&W
  • Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process
  • Oversee that all HN&W staff proactively build and maintain technical skills and competencies required for leading and/or inputting for first class programmes - both development and emergency nature
  • Manage the performance of all direct reports in HN&W through effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measurable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations; coaching, mentoring and other developmental opportunities; recognition and rewards for outstanding performance; documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvement workplans
  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our dual mandate values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent customer service for our members and donors.

Programme Quality

  • Ensure all Child Survival (CS) Quality benchmarks are up to date and properly rolled out and actions points from QBMs are followed. 
  • Assist quality programmes team to ensure that all HN&W projects and components have robust monitoring plans, baselines, reviews and evaluations in line with project designs and donor guidelines
  • Technically assist quality programmes team in measuring achievement and progress towards program goals and results through the M&E system
  • Lead and work closely with quality programmes team to identify and lead strategic ground-breaking research in HN&W for development of innovative programmes and issue-based advocacy
  • Facilitate appropriate dissemination of research findings and good practices documentations in the projects internally and externally to donors, governments, consortium partners and other key actors strategic for immediate and sustainable development of children in Somalia/Somaliland.

Common Approaches

  • Ensure in each Child Survival award, Common Approaches are routinely considered, and are included at every opportunity
  • Where appropriate, opportunities for incorporating Common Approaches into new and existing awards are pro-actively identified and integrated
  • The relevant indicators and Quality Benchmarks from the Common Approach technical package are included in the project designs and are tracked during implementation
  • Common Approaches outputs, outcomes and/ or impact is systematically assessed during implementation
  • Key results, experience, evidence and learnings from the implementation of the Common Approach are shared and evidence and learnings from Common Approaches are built into Advocacy and Comms efforts
  • Ensure all Child Survival (CS) staff are familiar with all Common Approaches including new approaches and know how to access more information on OneNet and Workplace related to Common Approaches and have taken the relevant Bronze and Silver Courses.

Knowledge Management

  • Serve as a technical knowledge, skills and experience hub for the sector in Somalia/Somaliland and in doing so play a leading role in introducing innovations in HN&W programmes (gained from existing and emerging Save the Children’s global knowledge and practices) and in turn documenting and sharing best practices and innovations for replication and advocacy together with quality programme team.
  • Work with technical resources among Save the Children members to facilitate sharing and learning in HN&W good practices and leverage their support for strengthening HN&W related studies, assessments, innovations, advocacy and capacity building in favour of children in Somalia/Somaliland.


  • Master’s degree in Health, Nutrition, Public Health or related field or equivalent experience
  • Nutrition, Health, Medical or Public Health undergraduate or related qualification.



  • Knowledge of current global and regional public health debates especially with reference to “child and new-born health” and emergency obstetric care
  • Recommended a minimum of eight years of relevant technical experience including at senior level
  • Proven experience of developing and managing high quality, innovative and cost-effective technical HN&W projects in fragile and insecure environments, preferably in Somalia context and with International NGOs
  • Proven experience and skills in research and advocacy and influencing institutional, private and/or corporate donors and writing up high quality donor reports
  • Experience of working with local/national governments and capacity building of systems, partners and staff
  • Ability to extensively travel for project monitoring and provide on-site technical support to field teams
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international and matrix management environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mindsets
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy in
  • Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming surge teams, in the event of emergencies
  • Fluency in English, both verbal and written, required
  • Commitment to Save the Children values.

Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures. The post holder must commit to work in an international agency that respects racial diversity and fights racism in all forms; and to model positive behaviours and respect to all colleagues, partners and communities.

Child Safeguarding:

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Safeguarding our Staff and Adult Safeguarding:

The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy, all employees are also expected to carry out their duties in accordance with the SCI protection from sexual exploitation abuse policy.

Health and Safety

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.

Save the Children is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ and assign the best qualified talent.

JD reviewed by: Binyam Gebru (D/PDQ Director)

Date of Review: 31 March 2021

JD agreed by:


Updated By:





Job description:

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description here Job description

Date advertised: 6 Apr 2021

Closing date: 14 Apr 2021 - 21:59 BST

Location: Hargeisa, Somalia

Department: Programme, Development and Quality

Type: Fixed-term contract

Schedule: Full-time

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