Program Officer – Primary Health Care at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, 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. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people- especially those with the fewest resources – have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Program Officer – Primary Health Care

Ref No: B019323
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Job Type: Full time
Report to: the Deputy Director, Health, Nutrition and Eradication in the Nigeria country office (NCO)

Your Role

  • The Program Officer (PO), Primary Health Care (PHC), will manage a complex portfolio of grants and provide technical assistance at federal level and in selected states to improve health outcomes in Nigeria.
  • This will be done specifically through supporting interventions to accelerate the implementation of the foundation’s health strategy to support the Government of Nigeria and its partners to design and implement high impact interventions to improve PHC outcomes.
  • The PO will work closely with government, private sector, and civil society partners to catalyze these efforts. The focus of the foundation’s work will involve development, testing and scale-up of high impact and cost-effective solutions in selected areas to get results and influence scale across Nigeria and potentially other similar contexts within the region and Africa.
  • This role will report to the Deputy Director, Health, Nutrition, and Eradication in the Nigeria country office (NCO).

What You’ll Do

  • Support the implementation of the NCO health strategy for Nigeria under the leadership of the Deputy Director, and in partnership with other Nigeria Country Office (NCO) health staff, Seattle-based Program Strategy Teams (PSTs) and the Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) team. This strategy will explore support for levels of policy, planning, institutional strengthening, and sustainable financing using public and private sector perspectives.
  • Identify, negotiate, implement and monitor performance-based contracts/grants to operationalize the foundations health strategy in Nigeria. This will entail playing a role in increasing foundation’s engagement in the implementation of National and State Primary Health Care Development Agencies as well as engagement with other partners working on PHC issues in Nigeria.
  • In partnership with State Leads collaborate with development partners, and the Foundation to drive implementation of the National and sub-national PHC Strategies to strengthen the PHC systems.
  • Serve as a member of the Nigeria Country Office health team, acting as a technical resource on Nigeria PHC issues and liaise with the foundation PHC PST.
  • Represent the foundation in working groups on health financing at state and federal levels – this would include delving into issues from the policy level to state level implementation engagements (in agreement with the DD health).
  • Provide technical expertise and guidance on capacity building, planning, implementation and monitoring to key government agencies and partners in the development of achievable, measurable plans and objectives for implementation of innovative health financing options for Nigeria. This will entail designing, implementation and monitoring of foundation’s support for capacity building and ensuring these efforts are integrated with work on HRH, supply chain, and service quality improvements.
  • Work closely with the MNCH D&T PST and NCO MNCH SPO to support the scale up of innovations to address maternal anaemia and post-partum hemorrhage, improve neonatal health outcomes, and innovative midwifery practices.
  • Support and advise colleagues within the foundation and their grantees in the design and execution of projects and initiatives to ensure integration of services to strengthen PHC health systems.
  • Manage partnerships and grantee relationships to ensure learning and impact, for example, by conducting site visits, convening meetings of key partners, monitoring and evaluating components of grants.
  • Provide technical advice, recommendations and analytical opinions for the NCO strategy and activities in relation to the achievement of its strategy and goals.

Job Requirements
Your Experience:

  • Master’s Degree in Public Health or Master of Science (M.Sc) in related Health fields, Epidemiology and Human Resources for Health.
  • PhD in Public Health is desirable.
  • Significant experience in strategy planning, organizational development, change facilitation and process management in the health sector.
  • Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared/joint objectives, both internally and externally. Ability to orchestrate effective decisions across a broad range of issues and partners, assess progress, analyse gaps, and make necessary changes.
  • Ability to think/act like an investor and a creative and generative solver. Manage complexity and ambiguity effectively.
  • Developing and delivering communications that convey complex situations in a clear and concise manner with a broad and diverse audience.
  • Demonstrable experience with effective interactions between country level and headquarter offices.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a low-income country context, or equivalent experience, in working with ministries of health and finance, donors and implementing agencies in shaping the health care financing agenda is preferred.
  • Established track record of carrying out analytical/diagnostic work and preparing high-quality technical reports, policy briefing materials, and presentations to influence health financing policy decision making and implementation at national and subnational levels.
  • Experience in the use of diagnostics and other decision tools to improve quality, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of care. Track record of building strong relationships with implementing partners, donors, and officials at all levels of government.
  • Understanding of the Nigerian health system and of federal and state health policy, with on-the-ground experience in northern Nigeria in particular.
  • Experience with large-scale health systems strengthening interventions – including multiple approaches to strengthening that range from interventions and sectoral-specifics.

Other Attributes:

  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Ability to travel up to 40% domestically and internationally.
  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply


  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.
  • Hiring Requirements: As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
  • Candidate Accommodations: If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

  • We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion – of voices, ideas, and approaches – and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.
  • All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.

Application Deadline 4th August, 2023.