The MERL Activity
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Activity collaboratively works with USAID/South Africa’s Health Office to achieve results by creatively finding innovative solutions, supplementing and complementing existing staff capacity, and enhancing capacity in performance management; data analysis and visualization; evaluation and research; and systematic collaboration, continuous learning, and adaptive management.
To meet the needs of USAID, the MERL activity will need to significantly expand and scale-up it’s technical support. The USAID Health Office through its implementing partners generate large data sets that require streamlined data processes and real time analytics to inform decision making. The MERL technical team will also expand to meet these needs and will need a data scientist and visualization specialist based in the US to support the analysis and development of various visualizations. This position will use analysis and visualization to make large data sets useful and meaningful by presenting key information in a variety of ways.
Description of Position
The Data Scientist & Visualization Specialist will provide technical expertise to the data science team. She/he will conduct data analysis and develop various visualization products to support Panagora South Africa, the USAID Health Office and/or its implementing partners demonstrate results, tell their story, highlight scalable best-practices and innovations, and deep dive into already collected information to identify areas where programmatic adjustments could achieve results. This position will be based in the US to leverage on time zones and working hours to produce high quality work to support USIAD/South Africa.
This is a long-term position based in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The employee will be responsible for the following:
Work alongside the data science team and in collaboration with the MERL Deputy Chief of Party to support, advise and guide the USAID Health Office and/or its implementing partners on appropriate data infrastructure, data schemas, tools, processes, guidelines and data products.
Support with the development and/or procurement of appropriate data infrastructure to streamline data acquisition and capture; maintenance; synthesis; usage; storage and archiving.
Design, define, and develop metrics, run and interpret analytics, create dashboards, draw causal inferences, and generate recommendations from modeling and measurement.
Design and develop databases, applications, and Google forms.
Design and develop a wide variety of data visualization products to support users to understand results, use information to make programmatic decision and changes and to highlight what is and is not working.
Determine the best way to present data, tell stories, and convey messages to different audiences using qualitative and quantitative insights.
Design and build publication-ready data visualizations using unstructured and structured data.
Support with the development of guidelines and best practices related to data science.
Support the integration of data visualization tools and products into the program cycle, particularly the monitoring, evaluation and learning processes.
Conduct capacity development and training for USAID Health Office and/or its implementing partners.
Assist the data science team with coordination of outside entities, technical experts, and service providers to ensure all aspects of the project are in line with contractual requirements and client needs.
In addition to the responsibilities described above, the employee may be assigned additional responsibilities to support overall MERL objectives.
An advanced degree with 6-11 years of experience or Bachelor’s with 8-14 years of experience in computer science, statistics, mathematics, public health or the equivalent
Experience with USAID and/or PEPFAR programs and indicators and a general knowledge of the issues concerning global health.
Experience facilitating data analysis and visualization projects through concept, iterative design and execution, delivery and on-going support.
Passion for finding opportunities to streamline operations
Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
Fluency with data visualization software such as Tableau, QlikView, and other business intelligence tools
Proficiency in SQL, programming and coding preferred
Experience working with unstructured data
Proven capacity to take initiative and willingness to learn new skills as needed
Strong work ethic and the ability to work well independently and as part of a team
Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to interact with individuals at all levels
Excellent verbal and written English language skills
The employee will report to the Panagora Health Office Director or her/his designee.