Deputy Director - Evidence, Learning, Policy

Job Locations US-DC
Posted Date 3 months ago(11/16/2017 9:48 AM)
# of Openings
Health Financing


ThinkWell is a health systems development organization that is in a major growth phase.  Our focus is on driving transformation in the global health space through navigating pathways that will lead to more effective use of public and private resources in the health sector and ultimately better health for all. We are looking for a deputy director to develop and manage a learning agenda that generates new evidence, informs policy, and drives practice in health financing for preventative services.

This position is designed to be a key part of a small team that provides thought leadership and management oversight to two major programs funded by the Gates Foundation:

Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN): A three-year project that aims to increase the visibility, availability, understanding, and use of evidence on the cost of delivering vaccines to work towards sustainable and predictable financing for vaccine delivery. ThinkWell is working in collaboration with John Snow Inc. (JSI) and country partners on costing studies in India, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam to address challenges at the top of their health and immunization financing agendas. The deputy director role will ensure that results of these studies are used for improved resource allocation, planning, budgeting, and performance improvement of the country immunization programs. The role will also focus on building country capacity around interpretation and use of cost evidence, and facilitating cross-country and global learning on immunization costing and financing.

Strategic Purchasing for Family Planning (SP4FP): A five-year project that aims to support countries in developing health financing strategies that use strategic purchasing to support the achievement of universal health coverage. ThinkWell is working in collaboration with Marie Stopes International (MSI) to identify opportunities and co-design interventions with purchasers and policy makers in six countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, and 3 countries TBD) to more effectively purchase family planning. ThinkWell will assess effectiveness in terms of access, quality, and choice; test feasibility of scale and impact; and generate strong, relevant evidence. The deputy director role is focused on conceptualizing, designing, and supervising a broad range of evidence-generation and learning activities in the priority countries.

In addition to excellent project management skills, the successful candidate will have experience engaging in policy dialogue with senior health and finance officials, engaging country governments in health financing policy design and implementation, supporting country-level planning and budgeting. The ideal candidate will bring knowledge of health financing policy and strategy, health sector planning and budgeting, and strategic purchasing. The ideal candidate will ideally have experience working on primary and preventative health services, including immunization and family planning.

The candidate will be prepared to work independently, and as part of a high level, distributed team. Open, frank, routine communication will be a priority, using calls as well as project team software to build a collaborative environment within the team.

Job Location: We are looking for full-time candidates to be based either in our Washington, DC office or in one of the program countries, but location may be flexible depending on the candidate’s needs/preferences.  

Reports to: ICAN and SP4FP Project Directors


To support the two projects, the incumbent will be expected to travel at least 30% of his/her time. 

Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN):

  1. Coordinate the execution of all programmatic workstreams and partner portfolios to manage the achievement of project objectives;
  2. Provide ‘hands on’ technical leadership, working with JSI and country level research and government counterparts, in the following areas: packaging of evidence for different stakeholder audiences, using cost evidence to inform plans and budgets, designing general health policy, and supporting program performance improvement efforts; 
  3. Engage in policy dialogue with country research partners, senior health and finance officials, and donors and development partners to translate immunization cost evidence for use in planning, budgeting, resource allocation, and performance management processes;
  4. Support ThinkWell team members and country research partners in the development of high-quality policy and technical deliverables, including presentations, reports, and policy notes;
  5. Provide inputs into country level and global knowledge dissemination strategy, and facilitate knowledge diffusion and policy advocacy within and across the project countries and the global community;
  6. Develop a learning agenda and facilitate learning across the four countries to include co-production of knowledge on immunization costing and financing, policy translation, and planning and budgeting;
  7. Develop country case studies on use of cost evidence in country policy processes;
  8. Manage relationships with the Steering Committee, funding organization, and subcontractors.

Strategic Purchasing for Family Planning (SP4FP)

  1. Design the overarching ‘learning agenda’ to support the testing of evidence-informed approaches, facilitate knowledge diffusion, and drive policy advocacy to ensure country adoption, scale, and sustainability;
  2. Manage the learning agenda, collaborating with in-country partners, quality assuring the process, and leading on analysis and feeding back learning to stakeholders;
  3. Collaborate with country actors and program management to design and implement evidence-informed approaches to answer the questions that are most relevant and pressing to local policy makers around purchasing family planning services;
  4. With stakeholders, identify the most appropriate ways to generate strong evidence to answer their questions;
  5. Work with partners and other stakeholders to monitor progress, review evidence, and learn and adapt programming based on that evidence;
  6. Design a project knowledge management structure and build an effective community of practice both within and across the countries to facilitate knowledge sharing and co-production, linking where complementary with other existing learning networks;
  7. Promote collaboration and learning among local, national and regional-level intergovernmental bodies, donors, partners and other stakeholders;
  8. Develop global and country level knowledge dissemination strategy, and facilitate knowledge diffusion and policy advocacy within and across the project countries and the global community;
  9. Identify and engage with opportunities to share learning between our work and the broader strategic purchasing and family planning communities, in addition to other primary health care strategic purchasing developments, and specifically those related to preventative services.


  1. Graduate (Masters or higher) in Global Health, Health Policy, Health Economics, Health Financing, or Health Care Management;
  2. Minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in health financing policy design and implementation in low- and middle-income countries, with experience in policy reform and implementation, including planning and budgeting;
  3. Experience working with ministries of health and finance;
  4. Experience of working in a low income or lower middle-income country;
  5. Knowledge of primary health care, including immunization, with knowledge of family planning a bonus;
  6. Native or complete fluency in written English;
  7. Willingness to travel essential, including to low income countries. 

Skills and Competencies

  1. Creative technical approach that pushes boundaries; 
  2. Understanding of how to navigate relationships and advocate for bold ideas within complex environments such as ministries of health and large funding organizations; 
  3. Ability to manage client expectations and deliver on client needs; 
  4. Ability to represent ThinkWell’s expertise convincingly and credibly; 
  5. Ability to advocate for ThinkWell’s role and value during business development negotiations; 
  6. Exceptional ability to write compelling technical reports and synthesize information for different stakeholder audiences; 
  7. Quantitative and qualitative policy analysis related to health financing;
  8. Strong facilitation, oral, and written communication skills;
  9. Effective management of multiple projects, tasks, and deadlines;
  10. Comfort in speaking to and engaging a range of different audiences on technical concepts; 
  11. Ability to work in a lightly structured environment and effectively collaborate with remote team members; 
  12. Drive to challenge conventional wisdom; 
  13. A combination of humility and confidence. 

To Apply

Applications must be submitted through our online job portal:  


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