Senior Program Officer- Community, India

Senior Program Officer- Community, India

Organization: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Apply By: 10 May 2019

Location: New Delhi(Delhi)

About The Organization:

Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy and productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.

Job Description:


The goal of the foundation’s Community initiative is to strengthen and leverage community institutions to the benefit of India’s health and development SDG goals.  To date their  investments have focused on Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and their federated structures.  Self-Help Groups (SHGs) refer to groups of poor women (10-20) formed at a micro-local level through social affinity working towards a common purpose and providing access to savings, lending, and information with the aim of improving livelihoods, agriculture, health, and empowerment.

Over the last seven years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has deployed human and financial resources in India to assist the development of the SHG platform while integrating critical interventions that have the potential to transform the lives of women, their families, and the communities in which they live.  Among these, one notable example is the integration of health and nutrition messaging in SHG meetings, for which external evaluation results showed significant increase in coverage of many lifesaving health and nutrition behaviors among SHG members and their families, alongside improved social cohesion, collective action, and empowerment.  SHGs are an integral part of the foundation’s strategies in, not only health and nutrition, but also agriculture, gender, and financial inclusion.


The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will serve as the lead for the foundation’s Community Initiative in India, providing overall leadership to develop, refine, and execute an integrated platform strategy that serves to advance health and development goals.  The SPO will liaise closely with India Country Office Initiative Leads in vertical areas such as MNCH, Family Planning, Nutrition, Gender, Agriculture, WSH (Water Sanitation & Hygiene), and FSP (Financial Services for the Poor) to understand how the Community platform might best be leveraged to serve their goals.  The SPO will also liaise closely with Seattle-based colleagues who curate global evidence and learning on SHGs.  Working with and through a matrixed Initiative Team, the SPO will oversee the portfolio of Community investments and engagements that support the Community Initiative strategy, directly managing some investments and advising on others. The SPO will manage strong relationships with various stakeholders such as NGOs, state and national level political and administrative leadership, Indian institutions working in this space, academic and research institutions, and other development partners that promote community mobilization approaches, in order to ensure coordination and collaboration for greater collective impact.


  • Conceptualize and lead strategy development for the India Community Initiative in consultation with the internal and external stakeholders and undertake refinements to the strategy informed by latest evidence and experience.
  • Design and develop approaches to capture results and integrate lessons from the foundation’s Community investments across the various health and development verticals.
  • Forge alliances and work closely with leadership of Rural Development and linked programs at national and state level to facilitate community engagement to integrate and promote health, livelihoods, social development, and empowerment.
  • Develop, process, and manage investments (grants and contracts) to execute activities in support of programmatic goals, while ensuring that interventions and investments can be replicated and sustained at scale.
  • Serve as a single point person for issues related to community mobilization within the India Country Office of the foundation
  • Convene and participate in meetings/conferences to advance learning and provide opportunities for shaping the community mobilization agenda
  • Collaborate with the Monitoring, Learning, & Evaluation (MLE) team at ICO to ensure high quality results frameworks, monitoring, and evaluation of investments and to enhance use of data to improve program performance and to inform strategic decisions and future investments.
  • Collaborate with internal experts in Health Systems Strengthening, Frontline Workers, Behavior Change, Information Communications Technology, to ensure that work through Community Initiative is complementary and maximizing the impact of foundation’s investments
  • Identify and work closely with selected set of technical experts nationally and internationally to set standards and monitor progress

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Advanced degree (preferably in Rural Management or Social /Development Studies or Business Management)
  • Minimum 15 years of relevant work experience, with minimum 5-6 years of experience in community mobilization management
  • Relevant experience in strategic planning, investing, and/or policy and advocacy is preferred.

Core Knowledge, Skills and Competencies:

  • Expertise in design and execution of large scale community mobilization projects with proven results in community empowerment, health, and development indicators
  • Deep appreciation for community mobilization principles and approaches to address health and development issues, and knowledge of systems and processes related to community mobilization and social development in Indian (or similar) context.
  • Experience in a global donor or philanthropic agency in grant making capacity is desirable.
  • Demonstrated success in a role requiring collaboration in complex internal and external organizations, as well as ability to work with efficiency and diplomacy.
  • Proven track record of building trust-based, productive advisory relationships, especially with senior leadership in government and external stakeholders.
  • Rigorous thought leadership, zeroing in quickly on core issues. Demonstrated success in roles requiring logical, systematic thinking while managing multiple priorities in a highly dynamic environment.
  • Ability to scope and structure high-return, well risk-mitigated investments.
  • Results-driven and self-motivated with ability to inspire the pursuit of excellence
  • Strong understanding of data and evaluation, with ability to use diverse kinds of data to design and manage strategy and investments
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Familiarity with policy, advocacy, and strategic communications for advancing programmatic goal
  • Ability to travel up to 40% of time domestically and internationally


How to apply

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