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Director, Fragile & Conflict Countries

Geneva, Switzerland.

The Director, Fragile & Conflict Countries leads engagement with Gavi-eligible countries that face significant fragility due to challenges such as very weak government institutions, high economic and political instability & displacement of people due to conflict, natural disasters, etc. These countries require a differentiated approach that includes simplified and more flexible processes, strengthened engagement with broad range of partners including international NGOs and local civil society organisations, and an increased risk appetite to enable Gavi and its partners to deliver programmes in highly challenging environments. Gavi’s 2021-2025 strategy makes equity – with a focus on reaching “zero-dose” (those children who have not received any routine vaccines) and under-immunised children with a full course of vaccines – our overarching priority.

The Fragile & Conflict Countries team is composed of six Senior Country Managers (SCMs) and four Programme Managers (PMs), and is responsible for effective stewardship of Gavi resources in 12 countries to deliver timely and sustainable results in accordance with Gavi’s strategy 2021-2025. Their role is to proactively identify opportunities for tailored and result oriented Gavi support, maintain close oversight on performance and risks for timely course correction, detect timely and specific issues and challenges and work towards their resolution through effective relationship building, coordination and communication with country governments and in-country partners of the Gavi Alliance.

Key Functions and Deliverables

  • Ensure strategic, evidence-based, and outcome-oriented use of Gavi support to strengthen immunisation delivery in Fragile & Conflict countries, with a focus on achieving equitable (reaching zero dose children and missed communities) and sustained coverage.
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with humanitarian organisations and CSOs at the global, regional, and country levels that allow Gavi to lever their expertise in reaching displaced populations and other vulnerable communities in fragile and conflict countries.
  • Provide leadership to establish and maintain effective risk management (both programmatic and fiduciary) in fragile & conflict countries that is in line with Gavi’s differentiated risk appetite model, in coordination with Gavi’s risk management functions.
  • Drive performance and achievement of the relevant key performance indicators (equitable and sustainable uptake of vaccine programmes).
  • Ensure adherence to, and optimisation of, Gavi portfolio management processes.
  • Coordinate and strengthen collaboration with Alliance partners and other partners and stakeholders at the global level.
  • Encourage a diverse mix of partners across immunisation, health and beyond to leverage comparative advantages.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with senior counterparts in government, especially Ministries of Health and Finance, as well as other development partners at country level.
  • Drive excellent coordination and cross-team collaboration between Fragile & Conflict Countries and other teams in the Country Programmes department as well as other Gavi departments.
  • Lead and manage the Fragile & Conflict Countries team to stay ahead of the curve and be perceived as proactive, action oriented and knowledgeable by partner Governments and other Alliance partners/ stakeholders.
  • Provide guidance on leveraging the Fragility, Emergencies and Refugees Policy (FER) for tailored and adapted approaches to address needs in fragile, humanitarian, and other emergency settings.
  • Strengthen advocacy efforts to engage communities, governments, and other partners – and enhance political will, potentially including efforts to advocate for the prioritisation of immunisation and health system strengthening within humanitarian assessment and planning processes, and within humanitarian coordination mechanisms.
  • Be a driver for change by fostering amongst the team an innovation ecosystem that supports breakthrough solutions and transform vaccine delivery.
  • Facilitate and nurture effective partnerships and identify synergies with other financiers such as the Global Fund, the GFF and bilateral donors.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic direction for health systems and community strengthening such as integrating health services at the community level, strengthening local organisations working in the health sector and leveraging existing partnerships with these organisations to deliver on immunisation goals.
  • Organise, manage and lead the Fragile & Conflict Countries team responsible for overseeing planning, delivery and impact of Gavi support to reach zero-dose children and missed communities in complex country contexts.
  • Leverage Alliance partners at global/regional/country level to deliver Gavi support to Fragile and Conflict countries that achieves high impact, in line with Gavi’s 5.0 Strategy (2021-2025), Partnership Engagement Framework, and Corporate and Alliance KPIs.
  • Contribute strategic and thought-provoking reports to Gavi’s Board and governing bodies as needed with focus on delivering results and accountability for outcomes in fragile countries.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with relevant global/regional/country actors, including humanitarian organisations and non-traditional partners, as well as with other secretariat teams.
  • Ensure the timely application of Gavi’s adapted processes and tools for fragile & conflict countries.
  • Ensure deep and regular engagement with leadership across governments in these countries through advocacy, liaison and high-level representation related to Gavi’s efforts in these countries
  • Identifying and institutionalising excellent relationships with local institutions who can support the mission (e.g., local universities, CSOs).
  • Ensuring tailored equity and sustainability strategies (also through leveraging the FER) for each country with dedicated, regular performance reviews.
  • Contribute to corporate and strategic thinking of the Secretariat as a member of Gavi’s global leadership team.
  • Foster the continuous growth and performance of Fragile & Conflict Countries team members by: helping set impactful goals and priorities in line with program priorities; supporting and holding the team accountable to the delivery of high-quality work; providing frequent effective feedback & coaching; and supporting professional development.
  • As a member of the Country Programmes Management Team, shape the culture and dynamics of the department through regular communication and activities that build team effectiveness and cohesion across geographies and work streams.

Note: The essential functions listed in this section are not exhaustive of the job responsibilities; other duties may be assigned in line with the department needs.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 15 years of professional experience managing programmes at national/ international levels in health and other development sectors, preferably in a humanitarian organisation.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience of managing and leading collaborative, engaged and service delivery teams in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in fragile and/or conflict settings is essential.


  • Experienced manager with a successful track record of working at a senior and strategic level in a humanitarian organisation and/or delivering health service in multiple fragile contexts.
  • Experience of working in highly complex and demanding environments, understanding of programmatic and fiduciary risks associated with grants
  • Ability to adopt differentiated and flexible approaches to guide and support the Fragile & Conflict Countries team in scaling up results through Gavi’s catalytic investments in resource constrained and challenging settings
  • Experience in immunisation programmes and/or health systems.
  • Demonstrated experience of working in and delivering through multi-partner environments and experience of delivering results through a matrix-style management structure.
  • Demonstrated capacity to successfully manage situations of considerable complexity and/or political sensitivity
  • Demonstrated experience of representational duties at international level and conferences.
  • Experience in roles requiring extensive networking, relationship and alliance building.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of French desirable.

Academic Qualifications

Advanced university degree in public health, social sciences, health economics or related fields.


  • All Gavi Secretariat teams.
  • Gavi Governance bodies; Gavi Alliance partners, including UNICEF, WHO, implementing country representatives, donors, civil society, vaccine manufacturers, product development partnerships, academic researchers.

Purpose of Position: Lead the Fragile & Conflict Countries Team

Team: Country Programmes Mgmt

Reporting to: Managing Director, Country Programmes

Additional Information

Gavi is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

To apply, please send a full CV together with a supporting statement, briefly highlighting your experience and skills against the requirements of the role, to Please quote the role title and assignment code 2102-033L in the subject heading of the email. All applications will be acknowledged.

The closing date for applications is 10 March 2021.

Gavi is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

The Gavi Governance Structure

Originally hosted by UNICEF at its launch in 2000, Gavi became a Swiss foundation in 2009 and has been granted international institution status in Switzerland with special privileges and immunities. The reorganised governance structure combines attributes of public sector and corporate governance systems. The board, comprising 28 members from governments, partner organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector, is chaired by José Manuel Barroso, former Prime Minister of Portugal and President of the European Commission.

More information on the Gavi governing board’s function and composition can be found here:

The Gavi Secretariat

The Secretariat is a knowledge-based global strategic health/development partnership comprised of approximately 280 staff. It is responsible for managing the operations of the Gavi business, including
strategy and policy development; advocacy and resource mobilisation; programme delivery, incorporating programme monitoring and evaluation; approving and disbursing funds; collaboration and coordination with other global health agencies; legal and financial management; and support and administration of the Gavi Board and Committees. Offices are located in Geneva and Washington DC. The Secretariat is led by the CEO, Dr Seth Berkley, and supported by the Deputy CEO, Anuradha Gupta, and several teams.

This job is posted by GAVI Alliance.


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