Job Summary / Responsibilities:
The Senior Diagnostic and Health Security Advisor (SDHSA) will provide leadership, and technical oversight to support implementation of diagnostics systems capacity building work for an anticipated CDC Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Grant for East and Central Africa. The project will support GHSA through implementation of programs and activities that focus on preventing and improving health globally through partnerships to advance the prevention, detection, and response to mitigate threats from infectious diseases of international concern. The project has the following general objectives:
- To improve prevention of avoidable epidemics including naturally occurring outbreaks and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens
- To improve ability to rapidly detect threats early, including detecting, characterizing
- To report emerging biological threats by responding rapidly and effectively to public health threats of international concern.
The position will be based in the FHI 360 office in Nairobi, Kenya and will involve frequent international travel. Technical responsibilities include working with the Principal Investigator/Project Lead, country diagnostic specialists, monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance staff, FHI 360 senior leadership, and partner representatives across the project consortium to enhance diagnostic networks (both human and animal health) in focus countries as well as the broader surveillance systems. The successful candidate will coordinate activities across multiple countries and will facilitate sharing of best practices across that network working with other laboratory programs and partners.
*Recruitment is contingent upon successful award of the project and the selection of the final applicant is subject to donor approval.
The SDHSA DA provides technical support to the design, implementation and monitoring of technical strategies to strengthen diagnostic networks that provide comprehensive coverage and universal access to diagnostic services. This will include diagnostic network and facilities assessments, capacity building initiatives of both human and animal diagnostic networks, and implementation of strategies, programs or tools to support diagnostic network capacity building in support of the GHSA. Specifically:
- Leads the development and implementation of technical assistance, diagnostic network and facility strengthening and quality improvement interventions in line with joint external evaluation (JEE) reports, country national action and strategic plans, and other assessment reports.
- Leads the development of country-specific workplans and budgets for diagnostic network activities aligned with national action plans and local stakeholder improvement goals.
- Leads the implementation of diagnostic network enhancement activities in countries which may include capacity building activities for core diagnostic components such as specimen referral mechanisms, quality management systems, supply chain, management information systems, diagnostic SOPs and tools, qualified workforce, expansion of point-of-care diagnostic service points, and biosafety and biosecurity.
- Leads and implements country and regional strategies for south-to-south technical assistance and sharing of knowledge, experience, resources, and lessons learned.
- Support the establishment and implementation of country and regional strategies to enhance diagnostic networks to mitigate complex emerging infectious disease threats.
- Supports country diagnostic staff to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity through updates to national strategies and guidelines, locally adapted SOPs, mentorship, and training.
- Collaborates with country diagnostic leaders to establish and test systems to detect and respond to emerging infectious threats.
- Leads reporting of diagnostic network strengthening activities.
- In close collaboration with project staff and diagnostic network leaders supports the implementation and monitoring of network enhancement activities as per approved country or regional workplans.
- Provides technical support based upon expertise with implementation of diagnostic systems strengthening, methods and strategies, current practice, and established diagnostic and operational standards while also being locally relevant and sustainable.
- Designs and leads interoperability initiatives to facilitate sharing of resources and knowledge between the human, animal, and environmental sector.
- Assists in coordinating the implementation of multi-sectoral activities to strengthen and improve relationships cross relevant ministries, which includes high level coordination of key stakeholders, donor and other partners for decision making and knowledge exchange.
- Builds capacity in country-level, regional or global diagnostic staff.
- In close collaboration with project surveillance staff, provides technical assistance to diagnostic networks to strengthen the accuracy and timeliness of reporting into national reporting databases such as DHIS2.
- Will be required to coordinate and work with a diverse group of organizations, such as; the Ministry of Health and Agriculture, diagnostic leaders and facility staff, several international and national development partner organizations, and the donor.
Qualifications and Experience
- A minimum of an MSc in clinical diagnostics with a focus on microbiology or an international equivalent.
- 8-11 years of experience (combination of long-term in-country placement and short-term technical assistance) in the oversight and implementation of diagnostics strengthening in developing countries in Africa (East and/or Central Africa preferred) with a focus on GHSA priority pathogens and concerns.
- Proven knowledge and experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases and anti-microbial resistance including specific hands-on clinical and/or veterinary diagnostics experience.
- Competent in current developments in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including point-of-care and molecular methods.
- A demonstrated ability to work with multiple partners on collaborative projects;
- Demonstrated strategic planning, staff development and capacity building experience.
- Demonstrated experience in leading and managing complex projects that span multiple countries.
- Must be able to read, write, and speak fluent English.
- Strong consultative and negotiation skills.
- Ability to build teams, recognize, acquire and retain talents.
- Sensitivity to cultural differences and understanding of the ethical issues surrounding research and surveillance
Minimum of 25 % international travel.
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Reports To: Project Director, EpiC
FHI 360 is seeking applications for the position of Technical Advisor, Clinical (Technical Officer II) for the EpiC project in Kenya.
The Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) is a five-year global project funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is dedicated to achieving and maintaining HIV epidemic control. The project provides strategic technical assistance (TA) and direct service delivery (DSD) to break through barriers to 95-95-95 and promote self-reliant management of national HIV programs by improving HIV case-finding, prevention, and treatment programming. In Kenya, EpiC is implementing an HIV service delivery project among key populations, which aims to reduce HIV infections in pursuit of reaching 95-95-95 goals. To achieve this goal, the program will work closely with USAID/KEA, other USAID/KEA funded partners providing care and treatment, the Ministry of Health through the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), international partners and KP-focused civil society organizations (CSOs) to identify higher risk KPs and their networks, provide HIV testing, and link them to appropriate services for prevention or treatment as needed.
The EpiC Technical Advisor Clinical (Technical Officer II) is a senior member of the EpiC staff in Kenya and will provide technical leadership to the Kenya EpiC project. The primary responsibility of the Technical Advisor, Clinical (Technical Officer II) is to ensure successful implementation of the EpiC work plan and achievement of the project’s targets and goals. The EpiC Technical Advisor, Clinical (Technical Officer II) provides technical oversight and assistance to the project in the clinical aspects of the EpiC program as well as provide technical support for all aspects through the HIV cascade. He/she will ensure that clinical efforts are evidence-based, community-driven and will contribute to the deliverables in the annual EpiC implementation plan. This position is critical for the development of quality and evidence-based approaches for the clinical support of HIV and STI testing and counselling, referrals, condoms and lubricants distribution, peer outreach and navigation activities for MSM, FSW and TG persons.
Essential Job Functions: Duties and Responsibilities
- Responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of technical activities in the annual EpiC work plans.
- Supervise and provide technical guidance and mentorship to the EpiC team providing technical assistance on project implementation.
- Provide technical and programmatic expertise in HIV prevention, care and treatment activities for female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people including community-based outreach, peer education/navigation, health clinic/hospital/other public and private facility service provision, behavior change communication, treatment and care and referrals for HIV, STI, GBV, and FP services.
- Oversee production of timely and accurate technical reports to FHI 360 and USAID as required.
- Coordinate advocacy work with key population groups for universal access to HIV leveraging other USG and donor funding to address the legal framework to overcome structural barriers.
- Ensure quality work on standard operating procedures contextualized to the Kenya environment assuring confidentiality and mitigation if required for key population groups.
- Identifies structural barriers to the uptake of HIV clinical services for key population groups and ways to address those structural barriers working with civil society, private businesses and government.
- Assist on assuring that commodities such as STI test kits, STI drugs, ARVs, HTS test kits, condoms and lubricants are available on a consistent basis at all clinical service provision facilities.
- Work with the Government of Kenya (GOK) to ensure quality of clinical care and services for FSW, MSM and TG persons.
- Work with community organizations, local health centers and the GOK to increase the uptake of HTC at the clinical level by increasing capacity and providing technical assistance.
- Work with GOK and local health facilities to ensure all clinical care providers have been trained in discrimination and stigma-free provision of services for FSW, MSM and TG persons.
- Contribute to the achievement of high-quality results in accordance with the targets identified in the work plan and Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.
- Contribute to program quality according to FHI 360 standards including quality assurance and quality improvement initiatives.
- Contributes to work plan activities; ensures appropriate levels of technical assistance in program operations; coordinates partner efforts in program implementation including assisting in the provision of technical assistance to each grant partner for the provision of high-quality services; ensure appropriate program monitoring and reporting.
- Contributes to the development of Scopes of Work (SOW), memorandums of understanding (MOUs), technical management of activities for consultants and local institutions partnering with EpiC to ensure that activity timeframes and budgets are met, and products are reviewed and finalized.
Minimum Requirement Standards:
- Proven skills in the implementation of HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs for female sex workers, and/or men who have sex with men, and transgender persons in Kenya or other countries in the region.
- Knowledge of processes for developing and implementing HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs with key population groups in Kenya.
- Understands the HIV-related needs of key population groups in Kenya, including female sex workers, and/or men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals and have worked to support and implement activities to reduce stigma and discrimination.
- Design, implementation, and management of public health/international development programs funded by USAID.
- Proven skills in mentoring, leadership and networking.
- Sensitivity to cultural differences and understanding of the political and ethical issues surrounding public health issues among key populations in Kenya.
- Ability to manage and complete numerous tasks with a high degree of organization and limited resources.
- Experience working with civil society organizations to plan and implement clinical HIV programs.
- Experience of proactively identifying risk, addressing issues and appropriately communicating these to the project staff and USAID.
- Experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different organizations and cultures.
- Experience identifying, designing and brokering public-private partnerships.
- Ability to meet deadlines with strong attention to consistency, detail, and quality.
- Ability to travel within country or region and internationally if needed.
- Knowledge of PEPFAR programming and reporting.
- Bachelor’s level degree in Public Health or related field or equivalent with 5-7 years’ relevant experience or Masters preferred with 3-5 years’ relevant experience.
- Preferably clinical but not necessarily a Medical Doctor. Medical doctor is desirable but not mandatory.
- At least 5 years or more of demonstrated key population group technical expertise, with substantial HIV prevention, care, and treatment experience with female sex workers, and/or men who have sex with men, and/or transgender individuals.
- At least 5 years or more of demonstrated excellence in a technical advisor and leadership position, preferably in an international development context and working with key population groups.
- Experience with U.S. government rules and regulations and experience working in an international NGO environment desirable.