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Program Assistant West Africa

Simulare Medical

Simulare Medical

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2024

Program Assistant, West Africa

Job description

Smile Train is changing the world one smile at a time. We’re always on the hunt for curious, passionate, and innovative thinkers to join our team, to help us do what we do better. If that’s you, please read on.

Smile Train is the World’s Largest Cleft focused organization, with a sustainable and local model of supporting surgery and other forms of essential Care. Over the last 25 years, we have supported safe, high-quality, and FREE cleft care for 1.5+ million children and continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve. Our mission is to transform the life of every person impacted by cleft lip and palate. We train and support doctors and medical professionals to provide free life-changing comprehensive cleft treatment to our beneficiaries. We are in 90+ countries to date and we’re just getting started. We are truly changing the world one smile at a time.

We are seeking a Program Assistant to support our work in West Africa. The overall purpose of the role is to devise, plan and implement local strategies to achieve the mission and goals of Smile Train in terms of high-quality and safe cleft lip and palate care through effective management of programs and partnerships in West Africa. Be the 'face' of Smile Train in the region. Act when and where necessary to ensure the best interests of the organization and our programs. Prepare and monitor the program. Be responsible for ensuring full compliance with Smile Train’s Safety & Quality Protocol and organizational Guidelines.

The incoming Program assistant will report to the Senior Program Manager, West Africa. Significant travel is expected (approximately 70%). Ideal candidates are fully fluent in English.

This is a full-time opportunity based in Ghana, starting on or around July 15, 2024.


  • Assist the Senior Program Manager in developing and implementing an annual budget and long-term and short-term action plans to reach as many cleft-affected children as possible with cleft treatment, as quickly as possible, in the most cost-effective manner, whilst maintaining high standards of safety and quality. Submit the budget for regional review and once finalized, implement the same in the best possible manner.
  • Within the framework of the approved budget, draw up operational plans with measurable targets, specific checkpoints, and clear financial commitments.
  • Assist the Senior Program Manager to receive, review, and analyze all grant requests from local stakeholders, most typically local partner hospitals, and carry out ‘due diligence’ to either reject or approve those that fall within the agreed financial authority and plans, sharing with appropriate line supervisors when additional approvals are required.
  • Manage and support existing partners and grant recipients for their administrative needs to ensure that programs are aligned with the overall goals, mission, priorities, and policies of the organization.
  • Build and nurture strategic linkages with suitable external partners, e.g. local Corporate, medical and educational institutions etc. that can function as ‘force multipliers’ to bolster our program plans.
  • Ensure all operations are legally and financially transparent and in compliance with all local laws and laws of the U.S. that apply to local business practices.
  • Be the local representative and spokesperson for Smile Train, and the ‘eyes and ears’ within the assigned area. Speak up, when and where necessary, about the organization’s aims, values, and practices; keep track of cleft-related issues and developments and share this feedback internally and with partners.
  • Lead efforts to share Smile Train’s global messaging locally and help to increase the brand and awareness of Smile Train programs in West Africa. To this end, develop and maintain effective communications with all key external constituencies, e.g. medical professionals, social and voluntary organizations, government functionaries, the media and patients/guardians.
  • Capture and share stories, images, and videos that help to tell Smile Train’s story and that could be used across the organization to further Smile Train’s mission.
  • Assist the Senior Program Manager in serving as a point of contact for operations within assigned area and communicate regularly with the appropriate line supervisors to keep the Management informed about all significant developments and key plans.


Our ideal candidate has/is

  • A BA or advanced degree in Medicine, Public Health, Social sciences, International Relations, Law or Accounting or any other relevant degree.
  • Thorough familiarity with the cultures of West Africa and must write and oral (English) mandatory.
  • 3+ years related work experience in a coordination or management position in a multinational or national for-profit or not-for-profit organization with significant project management experience.
  • Computer Literacy: Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) and ability to navigate databases and datasets.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Public speaking and presentation ability
  • Interpersonal Skills: Ability to work with a global team, exhibiting cultural sensitivity, a commitment to Smile Train’s mission, strong time management skills, and capacity to work independently with minimal or no supervision.
  • Ability to travel, work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Detail oriented, adaptable, organized and able to successfully manage multiple projects and tasks.
  • High levels of energy and commitment to excellence


  • Pre-approved travel budget where necessary. The budget would be submitted to the Senior Program Manager for approval prior to travel.

Application information

Smile Train is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates from all groups and communities to apply.