Position Description

Senior Technical Advisor — Global Preparedness and Response Team (Francophone Africa) , Prevent Epidemics
Location Open
Department Prevent Epidemics
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to address important and challenging health issues. We develop and oversee programs to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality, providing expertise in project implementation and management, strategic communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, academic and other partners in a number of low- and middle-income countries to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org/ and https://preventepidemics.org/. In March, Resolve to Save Lives formed a COVID-19 Incident Management System to control and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries and the United States. The focus for this work is strengthening the technical, policy and operational capacity of national partners to effectively control COVID, and we are seeking a Senior Technical Advisor to support these efforts in Africa.

Overall Role:

The Senior Technical Advisor, Global Preparedness and Response Team (GPRT), Prevent Epidemics will provide direct technical assistance to strengthen public health systems’ ability to detect and respond to public health threats. The Senior Technical Advisor will support the translation of internal strategies and global guidance to accelerate implementation in targeted countries in Francophone Africa, including but not limited to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and Cameroon. S/he will work closely with other team members to advance progress of Global Health Security using an evidence-based approach, with a focus on accelerating country-level implementation through technical assistance, coaching, and mentorship – specifically focusing on the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) and National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) processes for national strategic planning and supporting the disbursement of World Bank REDISSE funds to strengthen health systems. The Senior Technical Advisor will also provide technical and implementation assistance to Ministry of Health staff participating in the Program Management for Epidemic Preparedness (PMEP) program, using an accompaniment approach. During the COVID-19 response, the Senior Technical Advisor will also support implementation of strategies to accelerate and improve the pandemic response, including establishing rapid response funding mechanisms, performance management metrics, and identification of bottlenecks to effective case investigation and contact tracing.

Specific Duties
The Senior Technical Advisor, GPRT, will work under the direction of the Director, GPRT. S/he will work collaboratively with the other members of the team and be responsible for duties such as but not limited to the following:

• Provide strategic and technical support, guidance, and mentorship to preparedness A-teams in Francophone countries, with an initial focus and ongoing support to DRC
• Provide accompaniment and coaching to REDISSE IV/Francophone PMEP participants’ projects
• Provide ongoing technical assistance to REDISSE country projects in Francophone countries, as requested either by PMEP participants or by Ministries of Health
• Provide mentorship and guidance for COVID-19 rapid response activities, with a focus on contact tracing and case investigation, in Francophone countries
• Manage prioritization and planning of actions in identified countries and regions to strengthen the implementation of prevention, detection, and response activities
• Develop and maintain high-level partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations
• Ensure high-quality implementation of interventions by partners including grant management, documenting lessons learnt and amplifying best practice.
• Support the development and implementation of advocacy for policy and systems change at the international, national, and state levels to improve achievement of health security.
• Support in-country and international partners to prioritize and accelerate the implementation of priority action interventions
• Identify barriers to and develop practical solutions for rapid progress of key activities including enabling factors such as program management skills.

Required skills and qualifications:

•  15+ years’ experience with a Master’s, or PhD or other tertiary degree and 7+ years’ experience working on global health projects with strong data analysis or evaluation components
• Technical expertise in global public health, specifically in emergency preparedness, surveillance and laboratory systems strengthening
• Expertise in health systems strengthening or health security capacity development
• Experience working with national MoH and multilateral organizations, preferably with experience in project implementation of development bank projects
• Experience in providing mentorship and coaching to technical teams
• Fluency in French and English
• Post-graduate degree in relevant field (e.g. public health, epidemiology, medicine, or other health profession)
• Experience working in low- and middle-income countries • Experience using epidemiologic data for program planning and implementation
• Knowledge of and experience with core public health program principles including contact tracing, surveillance, risk communication, operational response planning
• Training and capacity building skills and experience and the ability to work with development partners/stakeholders
• Strong analytical and organizational skills
• Ability to work independently and self-directed as well as across cultures and in a team composed of a broad range of stakeholders
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills (both written and verbal) including well-honed facilitation, negotiation, and diplomacy skills
• Detail-orientated, hard-working self-starter with a positive attitude, and willingness to learn
• Proficient user of Microsoft Office suite (MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and other productivity tools (e.g. Slack, Monday.com, cloud-based storage)

Desirable Competencies (not required):

• Experience in project management capacity building and bottleneck identification
• Aptitude in statistical analyses, in R or Stata, and ability to teach these skills
• Aptitude in visualization of data, in R, Stata, Tableau, PowerBI, or Datawrapper

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