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Head of Community Engagement Job at KEMRI, Kilifi

Head of Community Engagement

: Kilifi
Country: Kenya

The post holder is responsible for strategic planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of community engagement in the KEMRI Wellcome Trust research programme in Kilifi County and other geographic areas of its operations in Kenya.

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust programme is an international multidisciplinary health research programme with goals of undertaking high quality responsive research and scientific capacity building in Kenya and East Africa.

The overall aim of community engagement in the programme is to support high quality, ethical biomedical research through maximising mutual understanding between local residents/research participants and programme staff based on a positive, transparent and respectful relationship; and supporting the development of locally appropriate research policy and practice.

This post includes responsibility for communicating with local, national and international collaborators/stakeholders about community engagement policy and practice in the programme.

Community engagement in Kilifi County currently includes interactions with a population of around 260,000 people.

This post will be based in Kilifi but will involve visits to other sites in Kenya where research is being conducted.

Reporting Lines:

Reports to the Scientific Director, KEMRI Wellcome Trust programme.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Development and implementation of short and long term strategic community engagement plans for health research in Kilifi County and other geographic areas of the programme’s operations, through consultation with internal and external stakeholders and on-going monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Development and implementation of short and long term strategic capacity building plans for community engagement for Field Workers and other relevant programme front line staff, including through collaboration with the programme’s Continuing Professional Development department.
  • Management and capacity building for a team of 7 full time community liaison officers and facilitators to ensure that community engagement and front line staff capacity building plans are implemented in a timely and effective way.
  • As part of implementing community engagement plans, ensuring that all important emerging issues (including those concerning communication and policy) are appropriately acted upon; and attending and contributing substantively to discussions in programme governance committees. The ability to critically review the implications of proposed study goals and activities for community interests/engagement is central to this responsibility.
  • Managing budgetary components of community engagement activities, including ensuring efficient use of all resources, and ensuring timely reporting on accounts.
  • Managing the development, production and distribution of print and other informational materials to support community engagement, including development of general leaflets and information booklets on KEMRI and medical research and input to informed consent forms (through CCC), project specific materials and audio visual materials.
  • Effective communication of community engagement activities with stakeholders in and outside the programme, including timely internal reporting, updating relevant information on the programme website and representation of the programme’s community engagement policy and practice with local, national and international stakeholders.
Skills and Competence:

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
  • Graduate in Public Health, Social Science or other related field.
  • Relevant Master’s degree.
  • At least 5 years’ experience mid/senior level management position in a national or international health research or community social/health development institution or organisation, with a central role of managing interactivity or engagement with community members,  and responsibility for supervising staff groups of 7 or more.
  • At least 3 years’ experience working directly with large community groups in health research or community social/health development sectors.
  • High levels of personal integrity and demonstrated commitment to high standards of ethical practice in relation to community interactivity/engagement, including awareness of ethical issues that may be involved.
  • High competency in working with different forms of communication (interpersonal, mass media) and participatory learning approaches.
  • Ability, willingness and strong interest to develop good levels of understanding in any new relevant area, including aspects of biomedical science and research ethics.
  • High competency in budget management and use of Microsoft Office applications
  • Track record of commitment to, and competence in, working collaboratively and taking account of a wide range of perspectives.
  • Kenyan national, fluent Kiswahili and English speaking/writing.
Desirable Criteria:
  • Understanding and experience of working with health research ethics principles a major advantage
  • A relevant PhD would be an advantage
Application Procedure:

To apply for this post you must be a registered user. Log into your account then go to Vacancies, view the post and click on the button: "Apply for this job".

All applicants are required to attach their Current CV, a cover letter and state their current/last salary.

Candidates must supply an email and telephone contact that will be used when offering interviews. 

The application closing date is 10th May 2013. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is an equal opportunity employer.  Direct or indirect canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification.  

KWTRP does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

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