DFID KalaCORE - Programme Director required


Role: Programme Director, KalaCORE Consortium for Control and Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis (DFID-funded)

Effective Date:  October 2016


Mott MacDonald is a leading, employee-owned global management, engineering and international development consultancy, including in health, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene in low and middle-income countries.

The International Health Division operates from three hubs: London, Johannesburg and Canberra, with projects in many countries in African and Asian countries.  In collaboration with international agencies & national governments, we work to advance and improve health systems, combat disease, and reduce the impact of ill-health.

In 2014, The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) contracted Mott MacDonald to undertake the KalaCORE programme to control Visceral Leishmaniasis. The project was for 4.5 years in the six countries that have the highest prevalence of the disease: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Sudan and Sudan. For 2 ½ years, the programme has aimed to reduce the impact of VL by strengthening countries’ own efforts to counter the disease and applying high quality evidence based interventions ..

In South Asia, the support has helped make progress towards elimination of the disease as a public health programme, while in East Africa it is helping the countries to strengthen their capacity for an effective response to epidemics. Key indicators include the percentage of expected cases that have been detected and treated, reduced time between symptoms and treatment, an increase in the number of cases prevented, and (for the Asian countries) the number of sub-districts that reach national targets for VL elimination. 

The KalaCORE Consortium consists of Mott MacDonald as the management agent and three other technical partners: Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine LSHTM), and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF).

The project is well advanced, having operations being undertaken at-scale in 5 countries and building up to-scale in Sudan. There are currently 2 years remaining on the project, scheduled to complete in October 2018. To date, the programme has provided treatment for more than 15,000 patients; information, education and communication interventions have reached more than 3 million people; and more than 10,000 health workers and clinicians have been trained. The programme was recently given its third “A” grade by DfID at the Annual review.


Job Profile

The KalaCORE Programme Director will be responsible to Mott MacDonald Limited (MML) for successful execution of the Programme. This includes ensuring that technical, professional and contractual obligations are carried out and that programme objectives and milestones are achieved in a timely manner and to budget.

The role requires substantial experience at senior level in international health development. Core competencies and knowledge include strong team leadership and team working; effective negotiation; understanding organisational culture in a range of Northern and Southern settings; knowledge of current thinking in health development; and knowledge of a range of health-related challenges facing low and middle income countries and fragile states. Experience of working in a variety of organisations involved in international development would be an advantage. 

The PD will be based in MML’s London office and will report to the Health Practice Manager, International Health. The PD will be a member of the KalaCORE Expert Steering Committee, which includes representatives from the four Consortium organisations.

The PD will travel to other locations as required for the Programme.

The appointee will work 0.8 FTE on KalaCORE, with the remaining 0.2 FTE on other Mott MacDonald matters including business development.


Key responsibilities and accountabilities

Represent MML’s accountability to DFID for the successful delivery of the programme in accordance with DFID’s ToR and logframe and with agreed programme workplans

  • Participate in KalaCORE’s Expert Steering Committee, including in its roles as governance body for the Consortium and, as such, in oversight, guidance and decision-making for the programme
  • Be the primary point of contact with DFID including through liaison with the Health Services Team.
  • Direct the Programme Management Group (PMG) to ensure all elements of the programme are adequately supported, that the management of implementation is responsive to emerging events and remains on track, and that the programme’s operational and financial management continues to meet MML and DFID requirements
  • Along with other ESG members, oversee the execution of the country programmes in accordance with the agreed Workplan and ensure engagement of all ESG members whenever decisions are required about changes to those Workplans
  • Along with other ESG members, ensure that findings from the programme’s operational research (and other relevant studies) are used to adjust implementation of activities or for policy advocacy as appropriate
  • Provide progress reports to DFID in accordance with the agreed schedule and support DFID’s annual reviews, mid-term review and end-of-programme evaluation


Education, experience and competencies


  • PhD or Master’s degree in international public health, international development or equivalent
  • Senior-level experience in management and oversight of large programmes in international health
  • High level of effectiveness in team leadership, team-working and negotiation at senior levels, within and among organisations nationally and internationally (e.g. civil service, academia, civil society etc)  
  • Sound knowledge of current thinking about international development in low and middle income countries including fragile states,  including for example ‘thinking and working politically’ and how to be responsive to emerging knowledge and events
  • Sound knowledge of international development agencies’ ways of working (bilateral, multilateral; civil society), including their use of tools such as logical frameworks and their approaches to delivering results and value for money
  • Strong client focus (internal and external clients)
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to use different styles of leadership and people-management as appropriate
  • Excellence in written and spoken communications
  • Well-developed organisational and administrative skills
  • Ability to cope with pressure and keep track of a variety of critical and interrelated decisions
  • Ability to meet strict reporting deadlines.


  • Knowledge of neglected tropical diseases, in particular VL
  • Qualification in management sciences, business administration or equivalent
  • In-depth understanding of DFID and its approach to health development
  • Understanding of research methods, statistics, epidemiology
  • Experience of working in consortia


 Note: This job description reflects the present requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post holder.


If you are interested in applying, please email your CV directly tosuzanne [dot] angus [at] mottmac [dot] com ( Suzanne Angus)Deputy Manager, Consultancy Services Team