Regional Technical Advisor, Health Policy 115 views

About the Organization:

Vital Strategies, in partnership with other global public health organizations, oversees programs to strengthen health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Public health programs include road safety, mental health, and activities to strengthen public health data systems and the use of public health data to guide policy and decision-making. Activities are based in low- and middle-income countries and municipalities in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific.


About the Program:

Vital Strategies is looking for a Regional Technical Advisor, Health Policy 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 for Health Policy will serve as a subject matter expert in public health policy development and will oversee and coordinate 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 to bring innovative and pragmatic solutions to reproductive health policy development at the country level. This position will collaborate closely with the Regional Technical Advisor for Data Science, 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 technical 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, and familiarity with best-evidence policies to improve access to and outcomes of reproductive health services and rights, and on the use of data for policymaking and program management.


Specific duties may include: 

  • Conduct a rapid, in-depth assessment of the government’s policy processes and authority (legislative, regulatory, administrative) with regard to health policies
  • Implement best practices for data use in policymaking; ensure that all data is scientifically rigorous, based on the country’s specific burden of disease (e.g., maternal mortality, PAC, etc.)
  • Formulate data queries and coordinate with program and country teams to generate analyses that support proposed policy solutions.
  • Oversee and advise on appropriate methods and techniques for conducting policy-relevant analyses
  • Support country teams in the writing of policy briefs that clearly outline the problem, the policy solution, predicted health effected, estimated health and economic impacts from the proposed policies
  • Conduct or participate in stakeholder and political analysis around proposed policies
  • Contribute to the country-lead processes to move a policy proposal through its life cycle, culminating in policy adoption
  • 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
  • Identify the need for, and participate in the oversight of technical consultants
  • Coordinate with advocacy and communications teams to support policy changes.
  • Foster and maintain strong collaborative relationships with government partners.
  • Participate in all program monitoring and evaluation efforts
  • 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 for decision-making 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
  • Written and oral English language proficiency; proficiency in other languages a plus
  • 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 cover letter and resume through the Vital Strategies Career page. The application deadline is January 22, 2021.

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