Practice Leader, Knowledge Management

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 27 May 2020
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Job Description


Knowledge management (KM) and learning are essential components of MSH program offerings, program delivery, and advocacy efforts. The Practice Lead for KM leads this effort and achievement of MSH’s strategic goal of excellence as a learning and evidence-based organization. Success will require consistent and expert guidance in leading knowledge management and organizational learning approaches and methods. S/he will lead home office and field colleagues to develop evidence-based KM and learning strategies for improving the performance of MSH programs and staff and documenting successful approaches and experiences to facilitate replication and scale up and promote evidence-based practice. S/he will also develop a monitoring and evaluation plan to track implementation and progress of existing and new KM and learning strategies, identify areas of weakness, and provide guidance and coaching to improve performance. Important areas of collaboration envisioned are with the Monitoring and Evaluation team and practice area lead given the need to measure and assess MSH approaches and practice. Another important area of collaboration will be with policy and advocacy and communications given the focus on ensuring replication and scale up of the successful approaches and responding to donor requests to document lessons learned.

Main Responsibilities:

The PL for KM will integrate with MSH and GHSI’s technical units to create and implement innovative KM approaches, solutions, and support throughout the project lifecycle and will draw upon MSH’s global reach and experience, interfacing with other MSH experts to coordinate KM technical assistance in all of our core areas of excellence and new capabilities related to the practice area. Specifically, the PL KM will:

  • Create and communicate learning and knowledge management solutions in totality, from concept and design through execution and assessment.
  • Ensure MSH’s ability to quickly identify and implement emerging trends for improving KM and learning techniques in a globally dispersed organization.
  • Guide MSH HQ departments and field programs through the process of developing KM and learning strategies that will integrate learning and knowledge sharing behaviours into operational processes to enhance performance.
  • Coordinate and oversee support for MSH’s KM platforms, including MSH’s intranet (Ollie), LeaderNet, institutional memory, journal and database access, and MSH’s Technical Exchange Networks as well as any new KM platforms.
  • Ensure that MSH staff receive the necessary orientation/training on how to use MSH’s KM platforms, approaches, and tools.
  • Facilitate MSH staff access to and use of evidence so that technical work and proposals at MSH are informed and shaped by the best evidence available.
  • Coordinate, develop, and actively manage communities of practice and technical exchange networks within MSH’s departments and field programs to optimize sharing of information and learning.
  • Lead and participate in design of new projects and proposals for funding by donors.
  • Develop and facilitate a matrix team of MSH staff from across country and global programs to realize the goals of the KM program.
Specific Responsibilities

Knowledge Management Leadership, Strategy, and Innovation (55%)

KM and learning strategies

  • Guide teams across the organization through the process to develop learning strategies that will integrate learning and knowledge sharing behaviours into program processes and results.
  • Create learning and knowledge management solutions in totality, from concept and design through execution and assessment.
  • Enhance MSH’s ability to quickly identify and implement emerging trends in learning techniques for globally dispersed organizations.
  • Develop monitoring and evaluating mechanism for tracking progress of implementation of learning strategies and develop approaches to improve performance.

Capacity Building

  • Design and conduct virtual programs and seminars on key organizational learning topics, such as learning practices in fragile states, institutionalizing management and leadership practices, team building, strategic alignment sessions, and organizational interventions leading to systematic learning.
  • Build capacity of MSH staff to integrate learning into their work through face-to-face and virtual training on effective KM tools and approaches.
  • Develop standard operating procedures and documentation for knowledge management and learning.
  • Provide direct knowledge management and learning technical assistance support to MSH projects.

Knowledge management platforms

  • Oversee KM platforms to ensure access to MSH knowledge resources, including MSH’s intranet (Ollie), LeaderNet, institutional memory, journal and database access, and MSH’s Technical Exchange Networks as well as any new KM platforms. This includes governance, training, quality assurance, and performance monitoring.

Communities of Practice

  • Coordinate with departments across MSH to optimize technical exchange networks through ongoing monitoring and provide training as needed for staff.
  • Conduct reviews of progress to date and recommend ways to improve usage and impact of communities.

Strategic Participation and Integration

  • Define long and short-term area priorities and plans in close collaboration with the other Practice Leaders and provide strategic and KM leadership to the practice area activities.
  • Increase MSH presence at relevant strategic meetings/global forums.
  • Lead MSH research to identify, evaluate, and promote innovative approaches for achieving practice area goals, internally and externally; publish in peer-reviewed publications and other venues; represent MSH at conferences and other forums. Participate in relevant advocacy work as needed.
  • Develop a practice network of interested MSH staff and consultants who can organize around the vision and mission and support our efforts in the KM practice area.
  • Interact with and support projects and country teams to pioneer and apply a superior KM lens and input into all MSH activities.

Leadership and Development (20%)

  • Lead, motivate, and develop the matrixed KM practice team leveraging diverse competencies, identifying and promoting talent, providing and receiving candid and actionable feedback, and creating the incentives needed for a high performing and energized team of professionals.
  • Continuously expand and deepen the KM talent pipeline through leadership development, succession planning, and strategic retention of high-caliber staff.
  • Manage and model healthy, collaborative intra and inter-practice working relationships. Partner with the other practice leaders to ensure all units are providing timely, quality support to their respective teams and portfolios.
  • Actively promote effective collaboration and cooperation across business units.
  • Attend management meetings and contribute to strategic and business plans.

Business Development (5%)

As a KM leader, participate in new business development efforts when needed.

  • Use network and connections to identify and build relationships with strategic partners.
  • Support strategic plans for growing the business portfolio for MSH technical practice areas.
  • Work in close coordination with MSH’s Business Development and Partnerships (BDP) Unit reviewing bid opportunities, determining the opportunities that MSH should pursue.
  • Provide strategic guidance and insight into pre-positioning bids as needed.
  • Work in coordination with BDP Unit to track funding opportunities. Lead and/or participate in pitching ideas to donors and funders on practice area topics.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with key players among US government and non-US government donors and partners.
  • Partner with MSH’s BDP Unit in scanning both the market and potential competitors.

External Representation (5%)

  • Establish and manage relationships with relevant organizations.
  • Partner and build strong relationships with thought leaders and engage new audiences in the area of practice.
  • Represent MSH at industry conferences and workshops as appropriate and as funding permits.

Team Management (15%)

  • Lead and manage KM practice area team members assigned to be supervised by this position.
  • Ensure all staff performance annual reviews are completed by all practice unit members supervised by this practice area leader.
  • Monitor the workflow and work volume of all direct reports to maximize efficiency and productivity of practice area staffs supervised by this practice leader.
  • Review, approve, or request additional information for timesheets of direct reports.
  • Oversee KM staff and consultant recruitment.
Qualifications and Experience


  • MA in the Social Sciences, Organization Learning, Knowledge Management, Public Administration, Public Health, or fields related to the practice area.


  • Minimum eight years’ experience, preferably 10 or more, with progressive responsibility in the field of knowledge management and learning, monitoring, evaluation and learning or implementation science in global health.
  • At least five years’ experience working in international development work, preferably in global health.
  • Demonstrated experience developing knowledge management and organizational learning concepts, strategies, and interventions and conveying these concepts through facilitated processes and activities to program staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and mentor knowledge management and organizational learning techniques and skills to other colleagues.
  • Experience in building internal technical networks in order to become a learning, improving, and more effective organization.
  • Experience establishing good working relationships with multiple stakeholders around the world in multiple time zones.
  • Experience successfully mobilizing resources for programs, including proposal development experience with USAID in addition to other funding sources.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Proven leadership, management, and organization skills are a priority along with the ability to inspire highly capable technical staff and remotely lead or support diverse teams.
  • Strong ability to lead by example, with integrity, purpose, and commitment to the attainment of MSH’s goals and commitment to technical excellence.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills evidenced by effective collaboration with professional colleagues in a broad range of nongovernmental, governmental, and international organizations, in varied socio-cultural contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach knowledge management and organizational learning techniques and skills to colleagues, partners, and local organizations in developing countries.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills evidenced by effective collaboration with professional colleagues in a broad range of nongovernmental, governmental, and international organizations, in varied socio-cultural contexts.
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills. Written and spoken fluency in English required. French a plus.


  • Demonstrated competence in concepts and issues in knowledge management processes and organizational learning approaches. Experience in monitoring, evaluation, and learning and implementation science a plus. Experience in evidence reviews such as systematic reviews and evidence-based policy and practice a plus. Experience conveying these concepts through facilitated processes and activities to technical staff.
  • Collaborative leadership approach that contributes to positive team environment, and builds strong relationships with people from all backgrounds, genders, cultures, and viewpoints.
  • Excellent ability to build personal networks at all levels, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organization in relation to the practice area.
  • Energetic, forward-thinking, and creative with intellectual flexibility and depth and strong ethical reasoning.
  • High level capacity to work in a variety of cultural settings, complex environment, and fragile states.
  • Proven record of aligning diverse, multi-level teams towards a shared vision.

MSH Core Job Competencies

  • Navigating the Environment: Country perspective and orientation, donor responsiveness partner collaboration and collegiality, organizational agility, political and strategic agility.
  • Ensuring Delivery of Results: Technical KM skills, client (donor and country) focus, measuring work in terms of effort and progress, negotiating positions in terms of beliefs and principles, information sharing within and across the GHSI. Priority-setting supports activity requests and schedules, with necessary problem-solving and timely decision-making.
  • Leading with Credibility: Based on extensive experience with KM topics, focusing on countries and programs. Creating an active, relevant and innovative KM practice network to engage all expertise around the global working at MSH.
  • Managing Others: Building effective teamwork and collegiality across and within KM practice area, dispute management through collaborative pursuit of products and objectives, managing and supporting agreed visions and purpose, demonstrated integrity and trust through transparency. Motivating others through example and productivity. Full approachability and development of direct rapport with others.
  • Core Personal Competencies: Maintain highest professional ethics and values. Style of work is based on proven principles of effective technical cooperation, integrity and trust. Ability to listen to partners and clients. High level of professional verbal and written communication.
  • Core MSH Competencies: Responsive communications within and across the practice area. Problem-solving through collaboration and collegiality. Creativity and innovation in support of organization and practice success. Generate highest quality and timeliness of work while maintaining close team relationships. Maximize effective human and financial resource utilization.

Physical Demands

  • Travel requirements: domestic and international travel up to 15%.

About the Organization

Management Sciences for Health, an international nonprofit organization, is dedicated to closing the gap between what is known and what is done about public health problems. MSH saves lives and improves health by helping public and private organizations throughout the world to effectively manage people, medicines, money, and information. Working from more than 30 country offices and our US headquarters, our staff from 65 nations is highly regarded for its technical expertise, integrity, and commitment to making a lasting difference in health.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a nonprofit international health organization composed of more than 2,000 people from 73 nations. Their mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Together with their partners, they are helping managers and leaders in developing countries to create stronger management systems that improve health services for the greatest health impact.


MSH takes an integrated approach to building high-impact sustainable programs that address critical challenges in leadership, health systems management, human resources, and medicines. Simply put, they support stronger health systems for greater health impact.

Their expertise in these areas falls into the broad categories of management functions—for example, leadership and governance or pharmaceutical management—and health areas like tuberculosis or maternal, newborn, and child health. They apply their expertise by

  • Partnering with governments, local organizations, and communities in developing nations to build their own capacity for long-term health impact;
  • Providing global leadership in critical areas of health management and health care delivery;
  • Bringing the best of MSH from around the globe to the people we serve, working as One MSH with a focus on lasting health system improvements.



Leadership, Governance, & Management

They work with in-country partners to build stronger health systems to improve:

    • the management and leadership of priority health programs, health organizations, and multisectoral partnerships such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, developing a critical mass of managers at all levels of the health system who can lead and inspire teams to achieve results;
    • the management systems of health organizations in the public and private sector, transferring practical approaches and skills to ensure that management structures contribute to sustainable organizational success;
    • the governance and management of health organizations and multisectoral partnerships, facilitating change and transferring knowledge to enable organizations to administer their resources efficiently and scale up their services.


Health Service Delivery

MSH combines extensive public health expertise, proven service delivery approaches, and evidence-based interventions in five critical areas:

    • HIV & AIDS
    • Tuberculosis
    • Maternal, newborn, and child health
    • Family planning and reproductive health
    • Other communicable diseases, including malaria and pandemic and avian influenza

Human Resources for Health

MSH helps governments develop multisectoral strategies and policies to plan and manage their health workforces. We use a comprehensive approach that addresses all the facets of human resources for health needed to achieve an adequate supply of well-trained and motivated health workers. MSH offers capabilities in leadership, human resource management, education, partnerships, policy, and finance to achieve these goals.

Pharmaceutical Management

Vital to our success is a participatory approach to project design and implementation, which cultivates broad-based support from all stakeholders. We also build and improve infrastructure and local capacity to effectively purchase, store, deliver, and use quality essential medicines.

Health Care Financing

MSH helps governments and NGOs assess their current financial situation and systems, understand service costs, and develop initiatives to use existing funds more effectively and generate additional revenue—all with the goal of supporting a nation’s health priorities.

Health Information

MSH has developed proven methods for rapidly strengthening the analysis and use of existing health data—normally at the province, district, and facility levels—without revising existing recording and reporting requirements. With an emphasis on learning through action, district teams undertake assessments of health services, identify gaps in performance, and design solutions to support better decision-making and, therefore, better management of improved services.

MSH has worked closely with the Health Metrics Network of the WHO to develop a comprehensive approach for enhancing the performance of health information systems and data by employing a practical, strategic planning process that can be carried out by national working groups.

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