Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health – SEMA Reproductive Health – is a new, innovative partnership that aims to transform sexual and reproductive health (SRH) markets so that people everywhere have sustained access to comprehensive, quality, and affordable SRH products. It emerged from a collective reflection by partners that although we have made tremendous improvements in SRH markets, we need to do business differently moving forward.
The partners recognised that shaping SRH markets is challenging using a global, central model (akin to GAVI or the Global Fund) given financial trends and the uniqueness of each country’s context. Therefore, SEMA was designed with a model that moves the centre of gravity to countries to be closer to consumers and other stakeholders. It relies upon a lead representative in each priority country who engages with local stakeholders to understand and align on the current state of the public and private market; define a market vision, prioritise problems, and drive coordinated strategies and investments to advance the vision – to support countries to be stronger stewards of their markets. In addition, SEMA provides a collaborative platform for country stakeholders, donors, and other partners to align on multi-country and global market problems, jointly problem-solve, and coordinate resources and activities more efficiently. This work aims to improve the market-shaping capacity of the field and improve SRH country, product category, and global markets. And SEMA approaches this work by adhering to principles such as being consumer-responsive, taking a holistic portfolio or market approach, and looking for systemic vs short-term solutions to improve SRH markets and meet consumers’ needs.
SEMA was announced in 2021 alongside the Generation Equality Forum in France, with country governments from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Uganda; financial support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MAE); and strategic partnership from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition.
SEMA is being incubated within Amref Health Africa and will spin out to form an independent entity once established. It is overseen by a small governing body (currently five voting members), including country leaders and donors. And it leverages a Technical Oversight Committee of a diverse group of experts from various countries for strategic and technical advice.
About the Role
The Country Lead will report to the Head of Markets. The Country Lead will support country stewardship of a total market and ultimately drive towards a more healthy, equitable, and resilient SRH market. The Country Lead will also leverage SEMA funding and work with other funders (government, USAID, UNFPA, GFF, and others) to identify and align investments and activities to advance the SRH market.
The Country Lead will embody the fundamental changes called for in SRH market-shaping. This will include supporting government market stewardship, responding to consumers, taking a holistic and total market approach, capturing and sharing best practices, crowding new players, aligning funding efficiently, and looking for cross-product, systemic, and sustainable solutions.
The Country lead is responsible for engaging with other Country Leads to share best practices, adopt the SEMA model, and ensure country issues and priorities inform the global/multi-country SEMA agenda. The Country Lead will also collaborate and support the broader Management Team to launch, grow, and scale SEMA towards a $200m+ organisation. This will ultimately transform SRH markets so that people everywhere can access the SRH products they want and need to control their health and future.
Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Head of Markets, this individual will be a part of the Management Team and have the following responsibilities:
Country Market Strategy Support
- Advance the country’s progress to become a stronger and more effective steward of public and private SRH markets
- Assist in positioning SEMA as a go-to strategic partner and resource to the country government and local partners to understand and tackle SRH market challenges – including its expertise, information and resources related to market data, consumer insights, implementation of best practices in market-shaping/solutions, etc.
- Engage with local partners to support a country-led process that leverages data and analysis to develop an evidence-based, country SRH market strategy
- Identify and align any activities or investments (e.g., market data analysis, consumer insights research, technical assistance) to support this strategy process with other donors (e.g., USAID, UNFPA, GFF) and ensure support is of high quality and rigour
- Ensure the strategy process engages critical actors such as other donors, civil society, private partners, and technical experts
- Support partners to link the market strategy to other related efforts (e.g., country health strategy, local budgeting, GFF investment case, etc.) to integrate into the broader health agenda and mobilise financial resources from different sources to achieve the goals.
Global Market Strategy Support
- Support SEMA to ensure country issues and priorities inform the global/multi-country work plan and priorities.
- Engage with SEMA and local partners to ensure lessons learned and best practices in market-shaping from the country are documented and shared with the broader ecosystem.
Workplan and Investment Management
- Develop and oversee the effective execution of an annual work plan for country-specific work, including budget and monitoring, learning and evaluation
- Manage processes to identify investment opportunities to support country work, scope the opportunities, and identify recipients (potentially leveraging an independent technical review panel), consulting with local stakeholders as appropriate.
- Communicate and represent SEMA organisation to global and country stakeholders to build familiarity, guidance, and advance SEMA’s mission and work
- Serve as SEMA focal point to country government and other local stakeholders (civil society, technical experts, private partners, etc.) to build understanding and advance goals and market strategy priorities.
- Communicate updates on country work to SEMA leadership, working groups, and technical bodies to guide and advance SEMA’s mission and work.
- Collaborate with and support SEMA Management Team to:
- Design and grow an effective organisation, including the country operating model and supportive processes
- Recruit and onboard staff and support the desired culture
- Mobilise funding
- Meet donor reporting requirements
- Identify, build, and nurture effective partnerships
Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate for this role is someone who has the necessary skills and enjoys creation. This role requires someone who will be a trusted and respected leader with a diverse set of stakeholders in the specific geography who has a combination of market-shaping, strategy development, partnership management, and programme coordination/operations skills. The individual must provide solid judgement and skills to forge alignment among partners around a vision and facilitate coordination to achieve results. The successful candidate also must be comfortable working in a start-up organisation and can embrace uncertainty, changes, learning and adapting along the way.
- Master’s degree or higher in medicine, public health, social science or closely related field
- At least ten years of professional experience working in the global health field
- At least three years of experience in sexual and reproductive health
- At least three years of experience in shaping health markets; experience working in SRH market-shaping desired
- Proven ability to design and drive a process to forge alignment among different partners around strategic vision and advance an agenda leveraging data and analysis while managing political context
- Demonstrated experience driving process to indirectly influence actors to coordinate strategies, investments and activities
- Demonstrated aptitude to design and support the process to enable stakeholders to strategically assess the current state of the health market in a country, including an understanding of the various dimensions for evaluating the health of the market and potential drivers to problems (desired)
- Strong familiarity with SRH stakeholders in Burkina Faso
- Proven experience working effectively with key stakeholder groups such as country governments, bilaterals, multilaterals, civil society, advocacy groups, private companies, technical experts, and implementing agencies, preferably in Burkina Faso
- Strong understanding of health markets’ local, regional, national, and global dynamics, including financing and procurement flows, new product introduction, and private sector.
- Familiarity with broader market-shaping concepts such as pricing, quality, and consumer research is desired.
- Familiarity with the SRH market in Burkina Faso is desired.
- Excellent organisational and time management skills, including the capacity to manage concurrent priorities and meet deadlines
- Track record of translating strategies into the work plan, budgets, and metrics and reporting on progress
- Experience developing proposals and mobilising diverse funding is desired
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including presentation and report writing areas.
- Experience presenting to senior leaders in government and/or agencies is desired.
- Fluency in English and French is required.
- Ability to work independently but also be a team player – including showing up for the organisation and leadership team
- Comfort and interest in a start-up environment, including willingness to be a leader, sometimes doing a bit of the grunt work if necessary.
- Commitment to and interest in creating a safe and inclusive space to listen to different perspectives and voices to create a culture where everyone belongs
- Humble and curious
- Comfortable in ambiguity and embracing change
- Understanding, interest and personal commitment to comprehensive SRHR, including the right to safe abortion