Senior Policy Advisor – MoH Burkina Faso Strategic Purchasing for Primary Health Care

  • Posted on 19 February 2019

Job Description


ThinkWell is a health sector development organization with deep experience in designing, implementing, evaluating, and diffusing new solutions to persistent health system challenges. Using approaches rooted in analytics, we have supported health financing reforms in over 30 countries.

ThinkWell is implementing the Strategic Partnership for Primary Health Care (SP4PHC) project, a five-year program focused on improving how pooled government resources are used to pay for primary healthcare services – especially family planning (FP) and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) in the context of pro-poor health financing schemes. The project is operating in six countries of which Burkina Faso is one.

The Senior Policy Advisor position, based in the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Health in Ouagadougou, will lead implementation of the SP4PHC program in Burkina. Our goal is to support government to more effectively purchase family planning (FP) and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) services in partnership with both the Ministry of Health and the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie Universelle (CNAMU) and in alignment with the Global Financing Facility (GFF).

The successful candidate will have experience in providing high level technical advisory services to national governments and will have political skills to build and navigate partnerships. The candidate must be prepared to work independently, and as part of a small, distributed team.

Job Location: This is a full-time position based in the Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Reports to: Joint Management between SP4PHC Director and MoH Counterpart (TBD)


SP4PHC Program:

  1. Provide technical support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) on strategic purchasing, focussing on primary health care (PHC) quality measurement, validation, and motivation, and always prioritizing poor and vulnerable populations;
  2. Contribute to the evolution of MoH plans to ensure appropriate institutionalization of quality monitoring (including potential work with an institute of excellence);
  3. Broker increasing coherence between GFF / RBF quality measurement and MoH plans, including through the review and development of indicators and tools (with a focus on PHC, especially family planning (FP) and maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH);
  4. Support MoH to effectively incorporate established civil society monitoring and accountabilityapproaches (including those developed through gratuité schemes);
  5. Lead engagement with MoH, RBF partners and CNAMU to build consensus around a pilot program that incorporates MoH / RBF quality results into integrated and sustainable CNAMU payment mechanisms;
  6. Lead detailed design, implementation and evaluation of this pilot, building on the opportunity of a natural experiment from overlap between RBF and gratuité schemes. Compare outcomes between;
    1. Gratuité with no RBF
    2. Gratuité with parallel RBF
    3. Gratuité with integrated quality payment – experimental arm in pilot districts;
  7. Explore potential links from ANC to nutrition programming – supporting protocol development and identify opportunities to incorporate into pilot work;
  8. Lead the incorporation into policy and practice of successful schemes;
  9. Identify other regional gratuité schemes, and lead engagement and sharing of learning with these under ThinkWell’s SP4PHC community of practice, including potential engagement with the Ouagadougou partnership for FP;
  10. Supervise the SP4PHC technical advisor at CNAMUand ensure alignment of approaches to strategic purchasing between CNAMU and MOH.

ThinkWell Strategy and Leadership:

  1. Represent ThinkWell in Burkina Faso. In partnership with senior ThinkWell management, lead the development and take ownership of ThinkWell strategy in Burkina Faso;
  2. Lead the implementation of the SP4PHC program in Burkina, and take overall responsibility for program results;
  3. Actively engage key stakeholders in Burkina, supporting and guiding ongoing discussions around the purchasing of primary health care. Deploy technical knowledge and experience to contribute to technical decision making. Build consensus with partners about ways in which SP4PHC can best support plans going forward;
  4. When applicable, engage in strategic and technical communications with ThinkWell staff globally to promote knowledge transfer and cross-fertilization of ideas. Actively support knowledge sharing across the company;

Participate in company initiatives and teams in accordance with the incumbent’s areas of interest and the company’s/team’s needs, e.g. staff development/talent management, technical, quality assurance, etc.

  1. Masters or (preferably) Doctoral level qualification, preferably with academic publications, in public health, health economics, public administration, business/management, business administration or equivalent fields;
  2. Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, providing national level, strategic health systems policy advice, either in government, or in an academic institution, management consulting firm, bilateral or multilateral development agency, or development NGO;
  3. Fluent French, excellent English


  1. Outstanding leadership skills;
  2. Excellent interpersonal skills, approachable management style, and ability to build relationships and forge compromises;
  3. Effective management of multiple projects, tasks and deadlines, and ability to effectively set priorities and handle competing time and resource demands;
  4. Technical expertise in health systems work, and specifically in health financing, including experience in policy engagement with national governments;
  5. Highly numerate, with strong ability to analyse and interpret data;
  6. Detailed understanding of the current health financing environment in Burkina Faso;
  7. Clear understanding of the key public health issues facing Burkina Faso, with a sense of the importance of primary and preventative health care in general and family planning in particular;
  8. Demonstrated proactive approaches to problem-solving with strong decision-making capability;
  9. Ability to work in a lightly structured environment and effectively collaborate with remote team members, strong skill set in coordinating and communicating with a virtual team;
  10. Ability to manage client expectations and deliver on client needs;
  11. Strong and compelling writing, and strong presentation skills to diverse, global and national audiences;
  12. A combination of humility and confidence, open to and empowered by critical feedback;
  13. Drive to challenge conventional wisdom.

About the Organization

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.

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