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Thursday, April 23, 2009

TweetThis! U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam employment opportunity - Public Health Program Specialist (Avian Influenza Advisor)

The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is seeking an individual for the position of Public Health Program Specialist (Avian Influenza Advisor).

Note: All applicants must be residing in country and have the required work and/or residency permits allowing employment in country prior to applying for this position to be eligible for consideration.

The Public Health Program Specialist (Avian Influenza/Emerging Infections) serves under the direction of the Laboratory Support Team Lead, with guidance and direction from the Laboratory Support Chief. The job holder provides comprehensive technical, administrative and managerial advice and assistance to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and other partners in support of building capacity for the development and training of a rapid response team, expanding sentinel surveillance for and establishing laboratory support to manage outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) and other emerging infections in Tanzania.

Program Management

As an expert and advisor in avian influenza and emerging infections surveillance and laboratory diagnosis issues, incumbent takes an active role in developing specific program goals and objectives for AI/emerging infections initiatives. Prepares directives, memoranda, policy statements and proposals to introduce new initiatives and to recommend effective operations consistent with overall program objectives in support of the USG program mission in Tanzania.

The job holder works closely with senior and mid-level staff of Tanzania Government agencies and international organizations to influence other collaborative organizations engaged in avian influenza and emerging infections programs to adopt appropriate strategies for their program activities.

Job holder provides technical direction and evaluation of cooperative agreement proposals for AI/emerging infections programs. Incumbent works with the CDC Procurement and Grants Office (PGO), as well as partner representatives, to ensure that the most current surveillance, response and laboratory support strategies and protocols are included in the signed contract or cooperative agreement.

Job holder provides technical advice and direction to grantees, program collaborators and contractors on management and implementation of contracts and/or cooperative agreements. This ensures consistency with CDC and WHO policies and guidance. Participates with partners in the development of work plans for implementation of activities following contracts/cooperative agreement awards.

Working closely with senior and mid-level Government staff, implementing partners, and CDC management, incumbent is required to follow closely all programs under his/her purview to assure that the specific objectives are achieved and/or appropriate remedial activities are instituted. In liaison with other USG partners, position develops program evaluation strategies, methodologies and indicators for monitoring avian influenza and emerging infections programs in accordance with standard guidelines and protocols. Position ensures that appropriate data management systems to monitor health objectives and indicators for AI/emerging infections surveillance and response programs are in place and takes responsibility for the management of these systems in conjunction with the multi-sectoral task force on avian influenza and emerging infections. Provides advice and recommendations to chief of section and supervisor in interpreting data on health objectives and indicators related to AI/emerging infections surveillance and response activities.

Job holder monitors activities and collaborates with each partner organization on a regular basis to ensure program results are achieved and that all AI/emerging infections programmatic activities and study protocols meet human subject requirements and pass through ethical review with the appropriate agency authority. This involves regular site visits and meetings with representatives of each organization to review progress. Draws attention to inadequate facilities and/or staffing.

Incumbent leads site assessments of CDC-supported AI/emerging infections programs carried out by implementing partners of the USG. Prepares regular and frequent oral and written reports to the chief of party/country director, inter-agency committees and other interested parties on the progress of AI/emerging infections program activities.

Job holder provides updated technical information to partners as it becomes available. Designs practical training courses for various target audiences on how to implement, monitor and evaluate AI/emerging infections surveillance and response programs, use monitoring and evaluation (M&E) data and report progress to key stakeholders. Identifies training needs and participates in the development and implementation of training courses for partner organizations.

Responds to requests from NGOs, health care organizations and medical professionals for information and technical assistance on AI/emerging infections surveillance and response strategies.

The incumbent serves as the designated Activity Manager (or functional Cognizant Technical Officer) for one CDC-funded cooperative agreement. In this capacity, the incumbent plays a major technical role in development of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), review of applications, supplemental awards, and requests for extensions. Liaises with PGO and technical specialists at post and in the U.S. on technical reviews and funding awards for the cooperative agreement, estimated at $300,000 per year. Once the cooperative agreement/contract is in place, oversees the performance of cooperating partners and contractors, carries out technical reviews, reviews progress, identifies potential issues and informs supervisor, recommending actions for amelioration.

In conjunction with the Laboratory Consultant provides technical assistance and oversight to the MOHSW in establishing priorities, goals, and objectives consistent with CDC and the host country and ensuring that they are followed. Develops strategies for and assists in expanding the implementation of quality management standards for laboratories and standard operating procedures for laboratory tests used to support surveillance for and diagnosis of avian influenza and other emerging infections in Tanzania.

Assists in standardization of lab equipment and maintenance assistance and provides technical specifications for procurement of essential laboratory equipment and supplies. The incumbent develops technical specifications for specialized laboratory equipment and reviews vendors’ proposals for equipment on technical merit. Makes purchase recommendations of equipment based on the technical merit of the vendors’ proposals, receives equipment, and works with vendors and other consultants to ensure appropriate installation and proper training of laboratory staff in the use of the equipment.

Administrative Management
Incumbent is responsible for providing oversight and monitoring the budgets allocated to AI/emerging infections cooperative agreement implementing partners. This includes reviewing budget requests for appropriateness, monitoring use of funds for adherence to proposed activities, quarterly pipeline reviews and budget status reports, following up on irregular findings, and providing advice for realignments and/or redirection of budgets.

Job holder maintains files and records in the AI/emerging infections data collection and reporting process specific to the activities and programs for which the incumbent is responsible. Job holder is responsible for data integrity and security of information in the reporting databases. Other program files include reports, meeting summaries and minutes, copies of all cooperative agreements/contracts, research determinations, panels, and awards. Whenever possible these records will be filed electronically and entered into the reference system.

Job holder prepares regular and ad hoc progress reports on CDC partner activities related to AI/emerging infections projects and activities. Readers of these reports include agency and post management, other agency officials, U.S. headquarters offices and are ultimately used in reports to the U.S. Congress. Reporting responsibilities are monthly, quarterly and annually.

Prepares and presents briefings for Congressional and Executive delegations, VIP visitors; participates in making arrangements for visits and serves as spokesman as required. Serves as control officer for site visits for agency and inter-agency senior-level officials.

Interagency Coordination
As a regional expert on matters pertaining to surveillance, response and laboratory support procedures for avian influenza and emerging infections, job holder represents CDC Tanzania at technical, policy and strategic planning meetings, including meetings with collaborators and donor agencies. Briefs agency officials and CDC Tanzania management on the results of such meetings and prepares written reports for submission to other interested parties.

Job holder represents the agency in discussing and developing financial commitment targets for avian influenza and emerging infections programs at administrative and strategic planning meetings. This includes all USG implementing agencies (Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and USAID).

Incumbent represents CDC on the national task force and committees for AI and emerging infections issues. The national task force and committees help to ensure consistency in the implementation of best practices for AI/emerging infections issues on a national level. Based on information received in the national committees, job holder may recommend revisions to the CDC program policies and guidelines for AI/emerging infections programs.

NOTE: All applicants must address each selection criterion detailed below with specific and comprehensive information supporting each item.

Education: Graduation from an accredited university with a master’s level degree in public health, epidemiology, laboratory science, veterinary medicine or related field.

Prior experience: A minimum of 5 years of work experience in public health program activities with at least 2 years of that experience managing a public health program.

Language proficiency: Level IV (Fluent) English and Kiswahili (reading/writing/speaking) are required.

Knowledge: The position requires an advanced knowledge of the epidemiology of avian influenza (AI) and emerging infections, disease surveillance principles, laboratory procedures and methodologies used in testing for AI and emerging infections, quality assurance standards and methods, and equipment used for specialized laboratory procedures. Detailed knowledge of the host government health care system and structures, including familiarity with GOT policies, program priorities and regulations is required. In-depth specialist knowledge of U.S. government public health programs and strategies, methods, processes and techniques used to plan, develop, implement and evaluate results of public health programs is required. Good working knowledge of team management techniques to plan, organize and direct multi-disciplinary project teams and activities is required. Good working knowledge of overall administrative requirements, budgeting and fiscal management in support of contracts/cooperative agreements/grants/purchase requisitions is required.

Skills and Abilities: Excellent oral and written communications skills to develop and maintain effective, sustainable working relationships with national and international health partners are required. The ability to lead results-driven project teams and workgroups is required. Ability to analyze, understand and discuss new program design, management and implementation approaches is required. This includes the development of evaluation designs, use of reliable and valid instruments, and methods for data collection, analysis and reports. The incumbent will be expected to exercise considerable ingenuity and tact in applying guidelines to unique and different settings, as the work is highly complex and can be threatening to stakeholders. Considerable innovation will be required to influence other collaborative organizations engaged in AI/emerging infections programs to adopt appropriate strategies for their program activities. Intermediate user level of word processing, spreadsheets and databases is required. Strong skills in interpretation of program monitoring and evaluation data are required. Numerical skills for data analysis are required.

Applications outlining relevant qualifications, printed C.V. with names of three (3) references, any other documents (e.g. essays, certificates, awards, copies of degrees earned) that address the qualification requirements of the position as listed above and your contact telephone number(s), e-mail, and/or mailing address. Application should be sent via post or dropped off at the Embassy main gate for the attention of:

Human Resources Section
American Embassy
P.O. Box 9123
Dar es Salaam

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