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Programme Manager - Bihar

Based in Patna

Application deadline: 11 April 2021

About Suvita

Suvita is an impact-focused start-up non-profit working to boost uptake of routine childhood immunisations in India. We currently deliver two evidence-based, scalable programmes in Bihar:

  1. Identifying natural community influencers and supporting them to act as immunisation ambassadors. We recently piloted this remote programme across several villages in Saran district. This year, we continue to iterate on the programme design, while scaling towards full coverage of Saran, with plans for further scaling next year.

  2. Sending SMS reminders directly to new parents and caregivers, to help them remember when their child is due for a vaccination. Over the past year, we have enrolled around 60,000 families who had a registered birth at any Primary Healthcare facility in Saran. Over the next six months, we plan to expand this programme to an additional two districts in Bihar.


As Suvita’s programmes scale significantly, we require a dedicated lead for our Bihar work, who will drive successful delivery of programmes at the state level, with a constant eye to evidence-based improvement and scalability within the state context. We are also hiring for an equivalent role in Maharashtra, and both PMs will report to the Head of Programmes.

About the role

You will lead on the implementation, improvement and scaling of our programmes across Bihar, in line with Suvita’s organisational strategy. You will work closely with the Head of Programmes to input on Suvita’s strategic goals and plans, whilst also working closely with the Programme Assistant and Survey Supervisors to put the plans into action at the state level. This will involve coordinating with team members across geographies, spending time on different focus areas (ranging from programme planning to team management to M&E to government relationships), as well as building programmes from scratch in new districts where Suvita does not yet work.


This exciting role therefore requires someone strong at both high-level and detail-oriented planning, who is highly organised and proactive, has excellent communication skills in Hindi and English and has a strong understanding of the basic principles of evidence-based programming.


Your responsibilities will cover the following areas:

  1. Be the linchpin connecting strategic planning to programme implementation and scaling in Bihar.

    • Oversee high-quality programme delivery in Bihar and ensure that this upholds Suvita’s organisational strategy (for example you will be planning survey activities, planning hiring rounds, leading government comms). This will involve working closely with the Programme Assistant and Survey Manager(s).

    • Work closely with the Head of Programmes on Bihar programme strategy, ensuring that this accounts for contextual factors (such as government requests, local data infrastructure) in Bihar.

    • Drive rapid scaling of Suvita’s programmes in Bihar, and contribute to strategic decisions about when/where/how to scale across the state.

  2. Lead on the improvement (in terms of impact and scalability) of programmes in Bihar.

    • Ensure a rigorous and evidence-driven approach to identify and prioritise programme improvement opportunities, utilising information from a range of sources including:

      • Suvita’s M&E systems (You will be responsible for implementing our new M&E framework in Bihar and analysing its quantitative & qualitative findings. You will also work with the Head of Programmes and the Maharashtra PM to improve our M&E systems.)

      • Your own ideas, based on your overarching knowledge of programmes in Bihar

      • Other members of the Bihar team (ensuring that colleagues are encouraged and supported to share their unique perspectives on the programmes, fostering a culture of continuous improvement)

    • Present and justify top improvement ideas to the Head of Programmes and Co-founders, and contribute to decision-making about what to implement

    • Deliver priority programme improvements. This could involve e.g. changing programme design at the micro or macro level, strengthening team training/management, etc.

Who should apply?

If you are a self-motivated, systems thinker with strong data analysis and Monitoring & Evaluation skills, please consider applying. 


A Programme Manager’s day at Suvita

If you can see yourself thriving in the scenario below, please apply.

Morning - you are planning the week/day against project deadlines and priorities; check-in with Programme Assistant and Field Manager on program implementation and monitoring activities.

Afternoon - you are playing with data, writing a brief for your meeting with the Additional Director at Bihar State Health Society next week, or working on setting up a monitoring dashboard.

Evening - You jump on your weekly call with the Head of Programmes to flag issues and brainstorm ideas for programme improvement and scaling, or join our after-work Friday chai-pakora hang-out to play spaceteam, pub quiz and to debate the answers to life, universe and everything in between.

Essential requirements

  • You have a strong quantitative background with a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) in public policy, economics, statistics, engineering or another quantitative field

  • You are proficient in STATA / R/ Python or highly skilled in other programs for data analysis 

  • You have excellent oral and written Hindi and English skills, and are adept at getting information across in simple language to different stakeholders


What we are looking for

  • You are a conscientious self-starter who is highly organised and able to set up your own routine, without requiring lots of supervision and oversight

  • You are excellent at planning, with a natural ability to breakdown a large project into manageable tasks, and a tendency to identify critical tasks before they become a bottleneck

  • You are excellent at leading the work of a team. You are personable and a team player. You communicate clear context and purpose which connects individuals’ work to the organisational strategy. You ensure that colleagues have the right combination of autonomy and freedom alongside support and guidance. You help colleagues solve tricky problems whilst also nurturing their problem-solving skills.

  • You are agile, able to work flexibly and enjoy working in a startup environment where the needs are likely to change week to week

  • You are passionate about contributing to Suvita’s mission and impact; and driven to support our users to improve their families’ health and wellbeing

Bonus qualities

These qualities are not a requirement for the role and the best candidate may have none of them, but they are nice to have:

  • Experience with running public health / behavioural economics programmes in collaboration with government bodies

  • Skills/experience in quantitative/qualitative research methods (e.g. previous experience working on a randomised controlled trial)

  • Proficiency in Bhojpuri and/or Maithili


  • Work in a mission-driven, impact-focused organisation with strong values

  • A friendly, passionate, curious team

  • A high-leverage role in a young organisation. Our programmes in Bihar are poised for huge growth in the next year, and we are in the early stages of setting up the M&E systems in the organisation, so there are plenty of opportunities for personal impact. 

  • Independence, autonomy and a flexible work schedule (though please note government asks and timelines may leave less room for flexibility). 

  • 30 days’ paid holiday leave per year plus 12 days’ sick leave at full pay

  • Reimbursement towards an annual health insurance policy


  • Hours: full-time.

  • Duration: fixed one-year term with plans to make long term subject to performance and organisation plans and budgets.

  • Location: based in Patna.

  • Pay: Rs 80,000-Rs 100,000 per month.

  • Reports to: Head of Programmes  (this role is currently performed by Nithya Nagarathinam, Programme Manager, and you can read her role & profile here).

  • Manages: Programme Assistant (Tanay Chanda); Survey Manager(s) (Deepak Bansal, plus you will lead on hiring additional Survey Managers as the field team expands in Bihar).

  • Application timeline: 

    • Application form deadline (round 1):

      • Early deadline: 11 April 2021 (to be guaranteed consideration).

      • Late deadline: 18 April 2021.

    • Test task (round 2): 1 week to complete, immediately following the application deadline.

    • Interview (round 3): during the week after the test task.

    • We aim to make an offer shortly after interviews are complete.

    • Start date: as soon as possible - we are aiming for April 26 but can discuss any specific timeline needs with shortlisted candidates.

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