Key Populations Specialist

Full Time
  • Full Time
  • Nairobi

Ciheb-Kenya.

JOB TITLE: Key Populations Specialist

REPORTS TO: Senior Technical Advisor – Prevention

LOCATION: Nairobi

Introduction

Welcome to an exciting opportunity with the Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (Ciheb) — Kenya! We are seeking a dynamic and passionate Key Populations Specialist to join our team in Nairobi. In this role, you will play a pivotal part in implementing evidence-based behavioral interventions for key populations, contributing significantly to HIV prevention efforts within our designated program locations.

Roles and Responsibilities

As the Key Populations Specialist, you will:

1. Develop Strategy: Provide strategic guidance for the provision of HIV prevention messaging and counseling services tailored to key populations, adhering to national guidelines.

2. Design Interventions: Lead the design of structural interventions aimed at preventing HIV among key populations, addressing gender inequalities, stigma, discrimination, legal rights, and economic barriers.

3. Innovate Approaches: Support the development and rollout of new HIV case finding approaches, including HIV self-testing, partner testing, partner notification services, and social networking strategies for key populations.

4. Scale Up Services: Formulate approaches for scaling up integrated HIV prevention services, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) within public health services for key and vulnerable populations.

5. Coordinate Services: Coordinate assessments, site strengthening, follow-up, and supervision of integrated HIV prevention and treatment services for key, priority, and at-risk populations.

6. Provide Clinical Care: Deliver high-quality clinical patient care, ensuring the implementation of clinical protocols and national guidelines, with a focus on harm reduction strategies.

7. Mentorship and Capacity Building: Provide mentorship to clinical teams, organizing journal review meetings and Continuous Medical Education (CME) sessions to enhance capacity building efforts.

8. Data Tracking and Oversight: Work with the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team to track data/results related to HIV prevention for key and vulnerable populations, overseeing data review activities.

9. Collaboration and Representation: Collaborate with national and county key population program leads, representing the organization in national and county key populations Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and harm reduction TWGs.

Qualifications

To excel in this role, you’ll need:

  • A degree in social sciences, public health, clinical medicine, nursing, community development, or a related field.
  • A clinical background would be advantageous.
  • At least three years of working experience in key populations in Kenya, with two years’ experience in HIV prevention activities in community settings.
  • Familiarity with Kenya’s HIV epidemic and the status of HIV programs among key populations is desirable.
  • Computer literacy and the ability to work with minimal supervision.
  • Strong leadership, facilitation, decision-making, and interpersonal communication skills.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit your application, which includes a cover letter and an updated CV with the names of three professional referees, to CIHEBKENYA_Recruitment@cihebkenya.org by March 3rd, 24. Please ensure to include “KEY POPULATION SPECIALIST” in the subject line of your email.

At Ciheb — Kenya, we are committed to fostering diversity and equal opportunities in our workforce. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further consideration.

Please note that all communications should be conducted in English.


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Expert Tips To Be A Successful Applicant for Key Populations Specialist:

  1. Customize Your Application: Tailor your cover letter and CV to showcase how your skills and experiences align with the specific requirements of the role, emphasizing your experience with key populations and HIV prevention activities.
  2. Highlight Your Impact: Provide concrete examples of how your previous work has positively impacted key populations’ access to HIV prevention services or contributed to reducing HIV transmission rates within communities.
  3. Demonstrate Cultural Competency: Showcase your understanding of the cultural nuances and sensitivities surrounding HIV prevention efforts among key populations in Kenya, demonstrating your ability to work effectively within diverse communities.
  4. Showcase Leadership Skills: Highlight instances where you’ve demonstrated leadership, whether it’s through leading projects, mentoring colleagues, or facilitating training sessions, to underscore your capacity to lead initiatives effectively.
  5. Emphasize Collaboration: Stress your ability to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, government agencies, NGOs, and community stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of HIV prevention programs.
  6. Stay Updated: Demonstrate your awareness of current trends, best practices, and emerging strategies in HIV prevention and key populations’ health by mentioning relevant workshops, conferences, or certifications you’ve attended.
  7. Quantify Achievements: Where possible, quantify your achievements to provide tangible evidence of your contributions, such as the number of individuals reached, increased uptake of services, or improved health outcomes.
  8. Highlight Communication Skills: Showcase your ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, as this is essential for conveying complex health information and building rapport with diverse populations.
  9. Express Passion and Commitment: Convey your genuine passion for public health and your commitment to making a difference in the lives of key populations affected by HIV/AIDS, illustrating your dedication to the cause.
  10. Prepare for Interviews: Anticipate potential interview questions by reviewing common interview topics related to HIV prevention, key populations’ health, and your specific area of expertise, and practice articulating your responses confidently.

SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR A KEY POPULATION SPECIALIST

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Date]

[Employer’s Name]

[Company Name]

[Company Address]

[Nairobi, Kenya]

Dear [Employer’s Name],

I am writing to express my interest in the Key Populations Specialist position at the Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (Ciheb) — Kenya, as advertised. With a strong background in public health and extensive experience in HIV prevention initiatives targeting key populations in Kenya, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to your organization’s mission of improving health outcomes within vulnerable communities.

Throughout my career, I have been deeply committed to advancing HIV prevention efforts and addressing the unique needs of key populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), people who inject drugs (PWID), and transgender individuals. My experience encompasses designing and implementing evidence-based interventions, conducting community outreach and education, and providing clinical care and support services to individuals at risk of HIV infection.

I am particularly drawn to Ciheb — Kenya’s holistic approach to HIV prevention, which encompasses structural interventions, innovative testing strategies, and comprehensive care and support services. I am eager to leverage my expertise in these areas to contribute to the development and implementation of effective prevention programs that address the specific needs and challenges faced by key populations in Kenya.

In my previous roles, I have demonstrated leadership, collaboration, and communication skills, which I believe are essential for effectively engaging with stakeholders, coordinating multidisciplinary teams, and advocating for the rights and well-being of key populations. I am confident that my passion for public health, coupled with my practical experience and academic background, make me a strong candidate for this position.

I am excited about the opportunity to join the team at Ciheb — Kenya and contribute to its impactful work in HIV prevention and key populations’ health. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing how my skills and experiences align with your organization’s needs in more detail.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the key populations targeted in HIV prevention efforts in Kenya?

  • Key populations targeted in HIV prevention efforts in Kenya include men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), people who inject drugs (PWID), transgender individuals, and prisoners.

2. What are some of the challenges faced in implementing HIV prevention programs for key populations?

  • Challenges in implementing HIV prevention programs for key populations may include stigma and discrimination, legal and policy barriers, limited access to healthcare services, and cultural and socio-economic factors.

3. How does the role of a Key Populations Specialist contribute to HIV prevention efforts?

  • A Key Populations Specialist plays a crucial role in designing, implementing, and evaluating HIV prevention interventions tailored to the specific needs of key populations, thereby reducing their vulnerability to HIV infection and improving overall health outcomes.

4. What strategies are effective in reaching and engaging key populations in HIV prevention programs?

  • Effective strategies for reaching and engaging key populations in HIV prevention programs may include community outreach and education, peer-led interventions, stigma reduction initiatives, and the provision of culturally competent and non-judgmental services.

5. How does structural intervention contribute to HIV prevention among key populations?

  • Structural interventions address the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence HIV risk and vulnerability among key populations, such as poverty, gender inequality, and criminalization of certain behaviors, thereby creating supportive environments for HIV prevention.

6. What role does HIV self-testing play in HIV prevention efforts for key populations?

  • HIV self-testing enables individuals to test for HIV in the privacy of their own homes or in community settings, increasing access to testing services and empowering individuals to take control of their health. It can be particularly beneficial for key populations who may face barriers to accessing traditional testing services.

7. How can organizations ensure the confidentiality and privacy of key populations accessing HIV prevention services?

  • Organizations can ensure the confidentiality and privacy of key populations by implementing strict confidentiality protocols, training staff on privacy rights and protections, providing discreet testing and counseling spaces, and utilizing secure data management systems.

8. What are the ethical considerations involved in conducting HIV prevention research or interventions with key populations?

  • Ethical considerations in HIV prevention research or interventions with key populations include ensuring voluntary participation, informed consent, confidentiality, non-coercion, respect for autonomy, and the minimization of harm.

9. How can peer education and peer-led interventions enhance HIV prevention efforts among key populations?

  • Peer education and peer-led interventions leverage the trust, credibility, and lived experiences of individuals within key populations to deliver culturally relevant and tailored HIV prevention messages, promote behavior change, and increase uptake of prevention services.

10. What impact do gender inequalities and human rights violations have on HIV risk among key populations?

  • Gender inequalities and human rights violations, such as discrimination, violence, and criminalization, contribute to increased HIV risk among key populations by limiting their access to healthcare services, undermining their ability to negotiate safer sex practices, and perpetuating stigma and marginalization.

Possible Key Populations Specialist Interview Questions With Answers

1. Can you describe your experience working with key populations in Kenya?

  • Answer: Certainly. Over the past three years, I have been actively involved in HIV prevention initiatives targeting key populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), people who inject drugs (PWID), and transgender individuals. My experience includes designing and implementing evidence-based interventions, conducting community outreach and education, and providing clinical care and support services to at-risk individuals.

2. How do you stay informed about current trends and best practices in HIV prevention among key populations?

  • Answer: I make it a priority to stay updated on current trends and best practices in HIV prevention through attending relevant workshops, conferences, and trainings, as well as actively engaging with peer-reviewed literature and professional networks. I believe that continuous learning and adaptation are essential for delivering effective and culturally competent services to key populations.

3. How would you approach designing a structural intervention to address HIV risk among key populations?

  • Answer: When designing a structural intervention, I would begin by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment to identify the social, economic, and environmental factors contributing to HIV risk and vulnerability among key populations. I would then collaborate with community stakeholders, government agencies, and other partners to develop targeted interventions that address these underlying determinants, such as advocating for policy changes, promoting gender equality, and improving access to healthcare services.

4. Can you provide an example of a successful HIV prevention program you have been involved in?

  • Answer: One example of a successful HIV prevention program I was involved in is a peer-led outreach initiative targeting female sex workers in urban areas. This program utilized a peer outreach model, where trained peer educators conducted outreach activities, provided education on HIV prevention and risk reduction strategies, and facilitated access to testing and support services. Through this program, we were able to reach a significant number of sex workers, increase HIV testing uptake, and promote safer sex practices within the community.

5. How do you ensure cultural sensitivity and competency when working with diverse key populations?

  • Answer: Cultural sensitivity and competency are paramount when working with diverse key populations. I ensure cultural sensitivity by actively listening to community members, respecting their beliefs and practices, and adapting interventions to align with their cultural norms and values. I also prioritize building trust and rapport with community leaders and stakeholders, fostering open communication and collaboration throughout the program implementation process.

6. What strategies would you employ to overcome barriers to accessing HIV prevention services among key populations?

  • Answer: To overcome barriers to accessing HIV prevention services among key populations, I would employ a multi-faceted approach that includes community outreach and education, peer-led interventions, stigma reduction initiatives, and the provision of culturally competent and non-judgmental services. I would also advocate for policy changes and structural interventions to address systemic barriers, such as legal and policy barriers, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare services.

7. How do you ensure the confidentiality and privacy of individuals accessing HIV prevention services?

  • Answer: Confidentiality and privacy are fundamental principles in HIV prevention services. To ensure confidentiality, I would implement strict confidentiality protocols, train staff on privacy rights and protections, provide discreet testing and counseling spaces, and utilize secure data management systems. I would also prioritize building trust and rapport with clients, reassuring them of the confidentiality of their information and their right to privacy.

8. Can you describe a time when you had to navigate a challenging situation while working with key populations? How did you handle it?

  • Answer: Certainly. In a previous role, I encountered a situation where there was resistance from community leaders to our HIV prevention program targeting men who have sex with men (MSM) due to cultural and religious beliefs. To address this challenge, I initiated dialogue with community leaders, listened to their concerns, and provided evidence-based information on the importance of HIV prevention efforts for MSM. Through ongoing engagement and collaboration, we were able to overcome resistance, gain community support, and successfully implement the program.

9. How do you ensure the sustainability and long-term impact of HIV prevention programs for key populations?

  • Answer: Sustainability and long-term impact are critical considerations in HIV prevention programming. To ensure sustainability, I would focus on building local capacity and leadership, strengthening community networks and partnerships, and advocating for policy changes and resource mobilization. I would also prioritize monitoring and evaluation efforts to track program outcomes and make evidence-based adjustments to enhance effectiveness and impact over time.

10. What motivates you to work in the field of HIV prevention, particularly with key populations?

  • Answer: I am deeply motivated by the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly key populations who face disproportionate barriers to accessing prevention and care services. I am passionate about promoting health equity, social justice, and human rights, and I believe that by working collaboratively with key populations, we can create positive change and reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS in our communities.

Best wishes in your application process! Remember, at Ciheb — Kenya, we are committed to attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds in our continued effort to become a better development partner. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not charge any application/recruitment fee, whether refundable or not.

Good luck!

THE KENYAN JOBFINDER

To apply for this job email your details to CIHEBKENYA_Recruitment@cihebkenya.org


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