Senior Program Specialist

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

1.  Initiative Development

  • Identifies opportunities that will contribute to meeting the objectives of the Maternal Child Health (MCH) Program and the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Initiative in terms of relevance, quality, policy impact, capacity building and in terms of visibility (reputation) of the Program/Initiative and IDRC;
  • Participates in the elaboration of the Initiative’s project themes through, inter alia, team meetings, internal and governance committees, in-house and external research, global outreach and stakeholders’ engagement, seminars, and workshops;
  • Ensures that regional and global perspectives are brought to bear on Program planning at the CRVS Initiative, MCH Program and Inclusive Economies Program Area levels;
  • Establishes contact and exchanges information with national, regional and global institutions and organizations, decision-makers, researchers in the South and the North, and with the international donor community; and
  • Keeps up to date with, and contributes to, research and current developments in the disciplines/areas covered by the CRVS Initiative/MCH Program and in the regions where the work is conducted and at the international level.

2.  Strategic Engagement and CoE-CRVS/IDRC Representation

  • Takes the lead in engaging with Canadian, regional and international institutions, to ensure that the Centre of Excellence adds value to and strategically strengthens existing platforms and systems for CRVS;
  • Identifies critical issues in the areas of strengthening CRVS systems, including gaps in existing CRVS infrastructure and develops options for closing said gaps;
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of a plan for CoE-CRVS strategic engagement with key stakeholders, in order to ensure impact of CoE-CRVS work on policy and practice at national, regional and global levels;
  • Supports the governance body of the CoE-CRVS, including any advisory committees that may be constituted;
  • Participates in strategic networking with other donors, lenders, research institutions and policy makers; and
  • When traveling, liaises with Canadian diplomatic representatives, to inform them of CoE-CRVS efforts as well as broader IDRC programming in countries where Canada has diplomatic accreditation.

3.  Project Development and Management

Under the guidance of the Program Leader, and the Director Program Area:

  • develops a detailed workplan for the CRVS Initiative in consultation with Global Financing Facility (GFF) and key stakeholders;
  • identifies and assesses proposals, including conceptual, methodological, operational, evaluative, and financial aspects, in accordance with IDRC policies;
  • brokers technical assistance to strengthen CRVS systems and related capacities at country level by developing and managing an international multidisciplinary pool of experts;
  • promotes and supports activities to ensure that global standards and tools are timely accessible and used;
  • explores the potential for support and participation by the Canadian research community;
  • develops partnerships with other funding and international agencies to support project activities;
  • manages, in consultation with the Resources Branch staff, the preparation of contracts and grant letters, materiel purchases, travel arrangements, analysis of financial statements, adjustment of budgets and schedules, and project closures;
  • provides technical supervision in support of projects and the CRVS Initiative;
  • encourages and negotiates with researchers, civil society organizations and policy makers to increase the use they make of evidence and established standards and tools as input in strengthening CRVS systems;
  • leads the development, improvement and dissemination of information and knowledge material (including primary research publications, synthesis products, and standards and tools);
  • identifies and encourages links with other IDRC programs and between regions;
  • prepares project documents for approval;
  • assists researchers in writing, editing, and publishing research results;
  • participates in public and scientific fora;
  • plans and manages evaluations related to the CRVS Initiative, its projects and other activities; and
  • prepares project completion reports.

4.  IDRC-wide Collaboration

  • Participates in regular CRVS Initiative meetings, and when required in other Program Area, Branch and Corporate meetings and committees;
  • Contributes to knowledge dissemination and utilization;
  • Contributes to IDRC-wide public relations efforts, working with the Communications Division;
  • Collaborates with regional specialists (in Ottawa and Regional Offices) in the identification and evaluation of emerging and key development trends and priorities in a particular region; and
  • Collaborates with IDRC supported projects working in the same research and development areas as the MCH Program and other relevant PIs to create synergies between them.

Job Scope

Within the Inclusive Economies Program Area led by the  Director of the Program Area, the Senior Program Specialist is expected to:

  • takes the lead in engaging with Canadian, regional and international institutions, to ensure that the Centre of Excellence adds value to and strategically strengthens existing platforms and systems for CRVS
  • provide intellectual leadership for areas of the CRVS Initiative and for other areas of the MCH Program connected with his/her specialized knowledge;
  • manage a portfolio of projects with a large degree of independence and discretion within the policies of IDRC and the plans set out in the Program Area Implementation Plan and to set an example of good practice for more junior staff;
  • take Initiatives to identify and adopt new developments in the disciplines and areas of development covered by the CRVS Initiative and MCH Program;
  • to be entrepreneurial in identifying and developing additional sources of funding for IDRC/CoE-CRVS-supported projects;
  • to identify when IDRC/CoE-CRVS-supported research merits publication or some other form of wider dissemination to both scholarly and development audiences and to play role as editor, contributor of analyses and syntheses in the production of the work.