Strategic Lead, Health and Wellbeing At International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies

Organizational Context

“This is a national staff position open to nationals and others who are legally eligible to work in countries where IFRC has legal presence: Buenos Aires (Argentina), San José (Costa Rica), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Kingston (Jamaica), Managua (Nicaragua), Panama City (Panama), Lima (Peru), or Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago). Candidates must be able to provide proof of their eligibility to work in those countries during application phase”

The Strategic Lead Health and Wellbeing reports directly to the Head of Health, Disasters, Climate and Crisis. The position is located preferably at the Americas regional office in Panama or alternatively other locations in the region were IFRC has LSA. He/She is responsible for the overall management of health and water and sanitation. The staff of the unit may be located either in Panama or in one of the decentralised offices that make up the Americas Region.


Populations in the Americas face a complex epidemiological picture in three principle areas:

  1. chronic diseases which, in addition to its high mortality, exert great pressure on health services. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 4.5 million deaths in the Americas each year with 35% of these occurring prematurely in people under 70 years old;
  2. infectious diseases with high rates of morbidity especially in children under five years of age.. Recent outbreaks such as Zika, dengue and Chikungunya have generated high demands on health systems; and
  3. an increasing burden of disease related to injury from accidents, interpersonal violence and sudden onset disasters , resulting in a significant demand for care, particularly during emergencies.

Climate change and urbanisation are also increasing the risk profile in the region and posing challenges to health systems that require innovation in health care delivery.

The health strategy in the Americas is built upon the IFRC’s 3-pronged Global Health Strategy of Community and Emergency Health, WASH and Health in Complex Settings. The health strategy provides health and water and sanitation equity through ensuring both services to large numbers of people affected by disease, emergency, conflict or mass movement as well to communities in their ongoing processes of development.

The role of the health and care unit in the Americas works is to create an Interactive and multi-thematic health network, with sustainable mechanisms coordination, and led by National Societies and the Secretariat in a more integrated manner.

Reporting to the Head of Health, Disasters, Climate and Crisis and with a technical reporting line to the Health and Care department in GVA, the Regional Strategic Lead Health and Wellbeing is responsible to define the programmatic strategic orientations of the health and water and sanitation areas of focus. S/he will ensure overall guidance and implementation of all aspects of the IFRC’s health and water and sanitation strategy, providing consistent advice to National Societies and supporting their programme implementation. S/he is expected to work closely, as part of a global team, with all units in the HDCC and ARO as well as with other regions and colleagues in Geneva to ensure a consistent approach tailored to the specific needs of individual countries to promote the global health and watsan strategy in both developmental and disaster/conflict situations.

Job duties and responsibilities

Policy, strategic direction and planning:

  • Actively participate in all global policy and strategy development and planning processes
  • Provide expertise and strategic advice on health and care to NS
  • Prepare integrated annual operational and financial plans consistent with identified strategic directions
  • Provide technical leadership with planning, developing and implementing activities as set out in the Americas Regional Plan ensuring global alignment
  • Provide quality assurance of health aspects of programme proposals and applications to partners/donors

Technical support and quality assurance including Emergency Response

  • Coordinate technical support to national societies in the region including providing technical guidelines, procedures, methodologies and tools to NS for the effective implementation of their health and watsan programming
  • Facilitate development of quality assurance tools (impact monitoring and baselines for health programmes) and processes and facilitate their application
  • Provide rapid quality input in emergency assessment and the development of DREFs and appeals
  • Support the roll out and adaptation of Federation global health tools and strategic frameworks, develop best practice information and capacity in training to contribute to effective management of the health portfolio. An important component of this will be a clear follow-up strategy for measuring impact
  • Monitor regional epidemiological data, standard health indicators and disaster patterns for analysis and early detection of trends and epidemic outbreaks and contribute to weekly global health watch presentations and discussions on emerging health risks
  • In conjunction with the Operations, Evolving Crisis and Disasters Unit (in HDCC) provide strategic and operational leadership in any health related emergency
  • Work with Country Cluster Delegations and National Societies to build capacity in monitoring of health programmes, including community health, prevention and communicable diseases; develop information, tools and training in monitoring


  • Support the Health and Care team to maintain strong links with the relevant technical file holders in the ARO, health staff in other regions and the Geneva Health and Care Dept. and contribute to regular reporting on health progress in the Americas, mapping, evaluation and reviews
  • Strengthening of the regional health network, space that will promote development of cross country co-operation and identify mechanisms and opportunities that enable NS to form action-oriented country level partnerships that respond to the health problems of the most vulnerable.
  • Coordinate with health related global and operational alliances
  • Promote co-ordination and co-operation between Federation supported public health related activities and those supported bilaterally by PNS, ICRC, UN and other agencies while always working through NS
  • Collaborate with other Federation Departments and Units (at regional and national levels) and the Federation Reference Centres to ensure National Societies address relevant community health and watsan issues in an integrated and comprehensive manner
  • Represent the co-lead in Health Technical groups, such as REDLAC, R4V or RC Movement Technical Tables.

Reporting, lessons learnt and knowledge sharing:

  • Facilitate development of quality assurance tools (impact monitoring and baselines for health programmes)
  • Ensure monitoring and evaluation of Federation-wide health activities
  • Ensure that lessons learnt and good practice are well documented and shared within internal and external partners
  • Support Federation and National Society health and care networks and establish/reinforce systems for knowledge sharing within the zone including systematic mapping of capacities
  • Provide guidance and input into developing and regularly updating health resources, with an emphasis on community health promotion and water and sanitation, comprising of books, reference materials, best practices, reports and relevant documents, in line with the Community Resilience Strategic plan, to assist in building capacity in knowledge management
  • Promote coordination with academic institutions to generate knowledge from the analysis of our interventions, with a methodological and scientific approach

Effective representation and advocacy:

  • Represent the Americas Region in appropriate health fora at the global and regional levels with other international organisations and provide support to NS to do the same at the national level especially with government
  • Stimulate and create the right level of working relationship between NS and their governments especially with health related ministries in collaboration with Regional and Country Representatives
  • In conjunction with the Health and Care Team in Geneva, maintain lateral links within the Red Cross movement and other organisations involved with community health & water and sanitation such as Ministries of Health, WHO / PAHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF and across the Zone in line with the Urban Risk & Community Resilience Unit strategy
  • Maintain closer collaboration with organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO-PAHO Regional Office, and compile recent biomedical and public health advances and share with NSs on timely basis to make them ready for application when need arises (occurrence of epidemics or natural disaster)
  • Support the Health team to work in conjunction with country cluster teams to support National Societies to actively engage with their governments to pursue policies that address key health trends and the reduction of associated risks and vulnerabilities
  • Represent the IFRC in relevant health forums and, in cooperation with Country Cluster Offices and other ARO departments/units, develop and strengthen relations international organisations, donor governments and other organisations represented in the region
  • Contribute to advocacy/media activities relevant to health programming

Resource Mobilization:

  • Support and facilitate fundraising initiatives for NS and Federation health programmes in collaboration with resource mobilization teams
  • Manage Federation resources in accordance with Federation secretariat procedures and regulations
  • Contribute to advocacy/media activities to health programming.
  • Take initiatives to raise operational funds in support of the Regional Office and Country Cluster Offices long term planning and operational plans as they pertain to health programming


  • Line manage health and care teams in the region and follow up on their professional and technical competencies
  • Conduct timely appraisals, plan and supervise staff development activities.
  • Ensure that reporting requirements are met in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Provide technical support to assessments, reviews and evaluations of health programmes
  • Undertake other tasks as required


  • Bachelor’s degree in a health or care related discipline
  • Post-graduate degree in public health (MSc, MPH), , nursing or paramedical sciences from an internationally recognized university or other major post-graduate qualification with a significant educational component


  • 8-10 years’ experience in health program management with a strong community-based focus management, of which three years are in a senior position in the Federation, NS, government department, national/state level NGO or international bi-lateral or multi-lateral organization
  • Experience in team management including distance management
  • Experience in resource mobilisation and partnership development
  • Work experience in the Region
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation of health projects/programs
  • Demonstrated experience in report writing and presentations
  • Experience working within the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, preferred
  • Curriculum development employing standardized tools and formats, preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

  • Demonstrated skill in analytical and strategic thinking.
  • Knowledge and understanding community health trends and priorities across the
  • Americas Zone including water and sanitation
  • Able to represent the organisation at international level
  • Advocacy, representation and negotiation skills
  • Team leadership and Team Building skills
  • Budgeting and financial skills
  • Ability to work in a cross cultural and cross functional environment


  • Fluently spoken and written English
  • Fluently spoken and written Spanish

Competencies, Values and Comments

VALUES: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability
CORE COMPETENCIES: Communication; Collaboration and Teamwork; Judgement and Decision Making; National Societies and Customer Relations; Creativity and Innovation; Building Trust
MANAGERIAL COMPETENCIES: Managing Staff Performance; Managing Staff Development; Strategic Orientation
FUNCTIONAL COMPETENCIES: Strategic Orientation; Leadership; Empowering Others

How to apply

CLICK HERE TO APPLY  No later than March 17, 2023.

Join Now

Download our App Now