Position Type: Full Time
Company/Division: JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. / Building Healthy Cities (BHC) Project
Reporting to: Deputy Project Director
The Building Healthy Cities (BHC) project aims to embed a health equity lens into city policies, planning, and services while improving data flow for existing Smart Cities in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Nepal. Health and Smart Cities planning are related; decisions about transport, environment, sanitation, education, recreation, information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, and the built environment can have a major impact on health, despite being outside of the health sector. When this decision-making is harmonized, it can improve access to health services, decrease lifestyle and environmental risk factors for poor nutrition and non-communicable diseases, reduce speed of transmission during infectious disease outbreaks, and increase availability of usable data for urban health decision-making.
Building Healthy Cities will be working in special partnership with Kathmandu to support roll out of their Kathmandu Valley Air Quality Action Plan (KVAP) at the municipality level. BHC activities will begin to 1) develop a local network of governmental support for the implementation of this plan and support them to design, budget, and implement the plan, and 2) develop content and create an informational campaign on key interventions or concepts related to the KVAP which are relevant for maternal and child health to increase community awareness of the severity of this issue. It is anticipated that BHC’s engagement is an entry point for an upcoming USAID KVAP support project with a longer-term engagement.
In support of Activity 1 this project will:
- Complete a brief review of KVAP for maternal and child health impacts, and for where health partners may need to be more explicitly included in the implementation process.
- Work with Department of Environment to define how many and in what way the 18 municipalities of the Kathmandu Valley will be engaged to provide technical assistance.
- Conduct introductory meetings with key city stakeholders to share activity plans, gauge interest, and assess communication formats suitable for the current COVID-19 context. These meetings may be split into national, municipal, and non-governmental meetings, especially if these meetings need to be held in non-traditional formats due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Identify ways for municipalities to achieve quick results based on available resources, with a focus on actions relating to increasing environmental health and equitable access to improved air quality for mothers and children. For example, there are no defined outputs or target indicators in the KVAP, aside from reducing air pollution toward the level of accepted national guidelines. BHC can help stakeholders define more specific goals that will help to prioritize their activities and identify how the entire activity list may unintentionally interact to support or detract from specific goals.
- Facilitate coordination and cooperation across relevant stakeholders through participatory systems mapping exercises, in particular how relevant health authorities can be most effectively engaged for successful implementation of the KVAP. BHC will adjust this process to focus on how the existing defined activities interact, help or hinder progress toward goals, determine what stakeholders could feasibly expect as tangible outputs/targets, and what needs to be mitigated to ensure a successful implementation. This process will include identification of, and engagement with, local non-profit, academic, and private sector allies who could amplify the effectiveness of this Action Plan.
- Support municipalities in creating long-term strategies for implementing the Action Plan, including how to more explicitly incorporate health goals in the implementation plans.
- Furthermore, in support of Activity 2 it is envisaged that this project will also engage and develop content for local media, who can help relay messaging about air pollution and health to the broader public. At the conclusion of this activity, a workshop will be organized for municipalities to share results, network, and learn.
Based in Kathmandu, the Senior Project Officer will be supporting the BHC operations in the city. S/He will coordinate with key officials in various sectors including Smart City Project authorities, municipal bodies, health, urban development, environment, transport, data systems, NGOs/CSOs and other stakeholders. The Senior Project Officer will be a member of a team of three staff under the direction of the Deputy Project Director, with terminal oversight provided by the BHC Project Director and technical connections to other global staff.
- Manage day-to-day activities of the Project aligned with project expectations and approved global and city work plans.
- Actively participate in various government interactions and build relationships as senior technical representative of the Project. Primary sectors to be engaged include Environment, Transport, Urban Development, and Health, from the national level down to the municipality level.
- Assist in developing memorandums of understanding with government, private sector entities, and local institutions partnering with BHC.
- Comply with rules and regulations of the Project Authorities and comply with local laws.
- Keep the Deputy Project Director apprised on complex and/or sensitive issues and work closely with the country support team to troubleshoot these and identify the appropriate course of action.
- Monitor progress of assigned activities against targets; take corrective action where necessary to realize project commitments.
- Support local university partner as needed in systems mapping activities, including helping to write up workshop reports, editing slide decks describing findings, and contributing to technical reports produced by university partner.
- Collect project monitoring data such as budgets, reports, datasets, and the like.
- Provide basic analytical support for city project monitoring data.
- Attend BHC staff meetings on regular basis to share and receive information across country teams.
Qualifications and Skills
JSI seeks a results-oriented individual with the ability to produce high quality deliverables, manage multiple concurrent tasks, and meet tight deadlines with attention to detail. The successful candidate is required to have:
- Postgraduate degree in any of the following fields: Environmental Health, Urban Planning, Public Planning, Sociology, Social Work, Public Health or related fields.
- Experience of working in air pollution/environmental health /urban development or related fields desirable.
- Strong networking skills with senior government officials, NGOs and private sector.
- Excellent written and oral communications skills and ability to make high quality presentations to senior officials.
- Some experience with qualitative research is preferred but not required.
- Demonstrated ability to interact with key stakeholders in the city.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office required.
- Fluent in English and Nepalese, both written and oral.
- Based in Kathmandu (Nepal) or willing to relocate to Kathmandu.