Senior Program Officer

Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs - Lusaka, Lusaka

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Senior Program Officer

Background: Breakthrough ACTION is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead its social and behavior change (SBC) programming around the world. Primed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), Breakthrough ACTION partners in Zambia include Save the Children, ideas42, and ThinkAction. The vision of the project is to ignite collective action using next generation behavior change approaches to empower households and communities to become healthier and more prosperous. Breakthrough ACTION — Zambia is funded initially for three years with the possibility of a two-year extension. It is designed to support increased adoption of healthy behaviors related to HIV and AIDS, maternal child health, family planning, malaria, nutrition as well as potential investments in economic opportunities and education-related behaviors that collectively contribute to improved outcomes.

Job Title: Senior Program Officer

Reports to: Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)/SBCC Advisor

Job Overview: The Senior Program Officer provides effective leadership, management and coordination of field programs through technical, programmatic and administrative support. S/he will primarily be responsible for independently working with and managing activities that involve local partners at the national, provincial and district levels in designated program areas under Breakthrough ACTION — Zambia. S/he may be responsible for managing and supervising the work of consultants, vendors and junior program staff.

Duties and Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned):


  • Model CCP’s desired practices in knowledge management, communication and use of technology as well as new approaches like behavioral economics and design thinking
  • Assist and liaise with DCOP and Chief of Party (COP) to keep track of program activities and ensure all deliverables are met in a timely manner.
  • Represent the Breakthrough ACTION Zambia project and CCP during SBC-related meetings, workshops and conferences with MOH and other partners.
  • Liaise with various health divisions within the Ministry of Health (MOH), USAID implementing partners and SBC Technical Working Groups to review and update strategies, implementation guidelines and other technical materials.
  • Understand, synthesize and share relevant information from meetings, workshops and conferences with the MOH and other partners.
  • Liaise with MEL staff to gather and distill successes and lessons learnt.
  • Document Breakthrough ACTION Zambia’s progress and share success/lessons learnt with various audience groups in appropriate packages.
  • Provide technical assistance to the design, implementation and evaluation of designated program activities and assure that work plans are implemented timely manner.
  • Collaborate with technical specialists, other team staff and stakeholders beyond Breakthrough ACTION to ensure coordination of materials and communication message strategies and avoid gaps and overlaps.
  •  Liaise with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) staff to ensure SBC materials and activities are evidence-based and in line with CCP’s strategic communication processes as well as national guidelines.
  • Liaise and work with partners from various sectors (e.g. public, private and non-governmental) to implement project activities.
  • Support the project’s MEL team in the planning and implementation of research and monitoring activities.
  • Organize and facilitate orientation meetings and training activities at the district, provincial and community levels.
  • Assist with other activities as directed by his/her supervisor.


Work with program, administrative and finance staff to:

  • Coordinate meetings and workshops, document proceedings and follow up with stakeholders for implementation.
  • Ensure smooth flow of information between activities in the field office and CCP headquarters (HQ) in Baltimore.
  • Prepare and follow up on activity approvals, subcontracts and other paperwork, as necessary.
  • Develop specific activity budgets, as required, and ensure that resources are appropriately managed.
  • Prepare special documents, professional presentations and proposals.
  • Coordinate and ensure timely writing of project success stories and best practices.
  • Work with vendors, consultants and subcontractors and monitor their work, as needed.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Public Health or Social Sciences including Health Promotion and Management, Social Studies, Communication and related disciplines
  • Minimum 8 years’ experience working in SBC and relevant health areas
  • Excellent English writing and documentation skills
  • Strong working experience with local partners at the national, provincial and district levels, both in the private and public sector

Strong interpersonal communication skills


Min education
Primary school
Required experience
4 Years
Not defined
Not defined
Not defined



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