Regional Technical Advisor, Data Science 138 views

About the Program 

Vital Strategies is looking for a Regional Technical Advisor, Data Science for an exciting new program to reduce maternal mortality in three countries. Our new Data-Driven Policy Initiative to Improve Women’s Health (DDP for WH) aims to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality resulting from unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth in Bangladesh, Rwanda and Uganda. The program will work closely with national ministries of health to strengthen capacity to collect, analyze and apply data to develop evidence-based policies. This initiative applies a data-to-policy model to support improved access to, and surveillance of, family planning, contraceptives, abortion care, and other sexual and reproductive health services. The program complements existing efforts in these three countries and leverages Vital Strategies’ expertise in health data, epidemiology, surveillance, health policy and public health law, and strategic communication and advocacy.

The program’s theory of change is based on the assumption that clear and compelling data and evidence, along with effective advocacy, is fundamental to create meaningful and impactful policy and program improvements. Anchoring the first year activities in building capacity and understanding in the data and its gaps will serve as the basis for policy analysis and development, and through support and partnership with others currently working in this space, will complement ongoing advocacy and communications, and implementation efforts in the initial year and beyond.

Note:  This position is open to candidates based in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia


The Position

The Regional Technical Advisor, Data Science will serve as a subject matter expert in epidemiology/health data/Health Management Information Systems and will guide and provide support for a technical portfolio across all of the three implementation countries. Reporting to the Program Director and based in Sub-Sahara Africa or South Asia, the primary responsibilities of this position will be to advise and share global best practices, and  bring innovative and pragmatic solutions to reproductive health data systems at the country level. This position will collaborate closely with the Regional Advisor for Health Policy, each of the Vital Strategies country teams (local Team Lead/epi/data advisors), local government ministry of health counterparts and other key stakeholders in country (civil society, multilateral organizations, etc.). The Regional TA may have some responsibilities in the overall planning, budgeting, reporting and financial management of the program, and in the identification and on-boarding of data-related consultants. This is a one-year, grant funded position but may extend for additional years. This role requires expertise and experience in the technical dimensions of this work, i.e. reproductive and sexual health, familiarity with sources and  analytic approaches for data related to reproductive health, safe abortion and post-abortion care, and the use of data for policymaking and program management.


Specific duties may include: 

  • Design and provide expert epidemiologic technical assistance to the program country teams, uniquely tailored to the needs of each country (Bangladesh, Rwanda, Uganda)
  • Provide in-depth assessments, analyses and recommendations regarding maternal health and reproductive health information systems in each of the program implementation countries
  • Develop or identify tools and technical resources (documents, manuals, or human/expert) that may help strengthen HMIS/health data to be used by policymakers
  • Design and directly provide technical assistance to MOH government agency leadership and staff on data-driven planning, management and policymaking to strengthen their capacity to conduct policy-relevant data analysis based on existing vital statistics and survey data
  • Coordinate with program and country teams to identify and generate data analyses to support proposed policy solutions.
  • Deliver technical assistance through variety of modalities, including coaching, training, and producing guides and technical resources for partner benefit
  • Support planning and organization of in-country training with partners, local staff and key stakeholders on new or innovative data analysis methods or processes, in coordination and invitation of in-country teams
  • Foster and maintain strong collaborative relationships with government partners.
  • Monitor and evaluate program conduct via indicators to ensure the program is reaching its stated goals
  • Identify the need for, and development of scopes of service for technical consultants
  • Contribute to the development of all donor reports, provide input and recommendations to donor on strategy and operations
  • Identify and develop opportunities for inter-program collaboration across the organization
  • Represent the Program to governmental and non-governmental partners, participate in partner meetings and working groups to discuss the work of the program
  • Support organizational business development around data system/data use strengthening, as requested
  •  Oversee additional specific program activities, as required


Qualifications and skill set: 

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., public health, epidemiology, public policy) with 10+ years of relevant experience in public health practice OR Doctoral degree (PhD or MD) in public health or other relevant field with 8 years of relevant experience in public health practice
  • Demonstrated expertise in public health policy development or public health law
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative analytic skills and experience; proven track record in using data to ground or strengthen public health policy
  • Experience in the global reproductive health or maternal health community in LMIC context
  • Commitment to equity- and human rights-based approaches to reproductive and sexual health
  • Experience working specifically in the government health sector, international public health organization, applicants with direct experience with national ministries preferred
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in epidemiology and the use of data for public health policy development
  • Strong quantitative analytic skills and experience; proven track record in using data to ground or strengthen public health policy
  • Experience in the global reproductive health or maternal health community in LMIC context
  • Experience working specifically in or on behalf of the government health sector, international public health organization, applicants with direct experience with national HMIS departments preferred
  • Written and oral English language proficiency; proficiency in other languages a plus
  • Commitment to equity- and human rights-based approaches to reproductive and sexual health
  • Strong interpersonal skills; strong organizational and verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in team leadership and management a plus
  • Ability to work independently and remotely
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally, if/when required
  • Budget management


How to Apply:

Please submit a resume and cover letter through the Vital Careers page. The application deadline is January 22, 2021.

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