Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a project of the Public Health Institute (PHI) supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health (GH) Bureau. Its purpose is twofold: (1) Through individual fellowships, STAR will help strengthen the capacity of diverse American and low-and-middle-income country (LMIC) health professionals at all levels to make innovative contributions to global health (GH); and (2) STAR will create ground-breaking opportunities for both US and LMIC GH academic institutions and other groups, including professional associations, to create systems for open-access knowledge sharing, resulting in effective partnerships.
STAR’s individual and institutional participants are contributing to the development of self-sustaining systems and tools that will produce global citizens with the full spectrum of relevant health competencies. STAR is managed by the Public Health Institute and implemented in partnership with Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).
Job Title: Data Science Advisor
Location: South Africa
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP
The STAR Fellowship is a two-year global health and learning opportunity with:
- Individualized, tailored support to enhance the fellow’s achievement personal and professional goals
- Personalized learning plans and access to learning resources (courses, conferences, mentoring) based on fellow’s learning style and preferences.
- Access to broad professional networks to enhance peer learning and knowledge sharing.
FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
An estimated 7.5 million South Africans are infected with HIV, the highest number in any country in the world. The country is also plagued by a related tuberculosis (TB) epidemic, with the fourth highest burden in the world. The Health Office manages the largest President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program in the world, which focuses on HIV testing, treatment, retention, Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission, tuberculosis/HIV, HIV Prevention, and orphans and vulnerable children programs. The Health Office collaborates closely with other agencies to implement PEPFAR, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Department, and Peace Corps. More importantly, the Health Office works closely with the South African government to further align programmatic priorities and to harmonize the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS activities.
The Strategic Information (SI) Team is responsible for routine Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), ensuring implementing partner compliance with PEPFAR reporting requirements, and the use of routine program data for programmatic adjustment within the Health Office (HO). The SI Team is tasked with managing and enhancing the availability and use of a range of programmatic and epidemiological data in South Africa. The data informs program design, programmatic target setting and activity monitoring.
The magnitude and importance of data in this context cannot be overstated:
Since the beginning of PEPFAR the South Africa program has produced approximately one-quarter of all PEPFAR results globally. Therefore, the quality management and development of the main sources of these data represents a critical function of the Strategic Information Team within the Health Office specifically, and in PEPFAR/South Africa more generally.
The Data Science Advisor (Advisor) provides leadership under the direction of the Strategic Information Team Lead in the collection, analyses, visualization, and utilization of data in the Health Office.
The Advisor will be responsible for:
- Creating and implementing data use plans for partner performance data, to include the dissemination of results and data driven programmatic recommendations.
- Implementing procedures that improve the overall efficiency, quality and effectiveness of partner reporting (quarterly, semi-annual and annual) for PEPFAR and USAID planning and reporting requirements.
- Working closely with the geographic information systems lead to monitor implementing partners and their sub-partner/sites activities at a more granular level and generating visuals/maps to track the HIV related disease burden in South Africa and the public health response to it.
The Advisor will be based at the Health Office within the United States Agency for International Development in Pretoria, South Africa. They will work closely with the Strategic Information Team and receive technical direction from the Health Office Director, who will serve as their Onsite Manager.
Essential Duties and Outcomes:
Outcome 1: Improved creation and use of strategic information in the Health Office:
- Support the strategic development of a data infrastructure that promotes efficiency, productivity, consumption, and sharing.
- Build data pipelines that automate data acquisition, transformation, merging, and validation processes.
- Establish workflows and standard operating procedures for the Strategic Information Team that enable transparency and reproducibility.
- Conceptualize and execute advanced analyses which fully leverage the vast array of data assets available in country, both internal and external to USAID.
- Translate complex analysis into actionable outputs that are accessible, understandable, and tailored to specific audiences to maximize their overall effectiveness.
- Develop office-wide visualization standards that promote a consistent style and adherence to data visualization best practices.
- Promote a data-driven culture throughout the Health Office, and among implementing partner organizations.
Outcome 2: Improved creation and use of strategic information among implementing partners:
- Work with implementing partners to create and implement data use plans for implementing partner performance data to include dissemination of results and data driven programmatic recommendations;
- Implement procedures that improve the overall efficiency, quality and effectiveness of partner reporting (quarterly, semi-annual and annual) for PEPFAR and USAID planning and reporting requirements.
Outcome 3: Improved preparation and overall readiness for the development of the Country Operational Plan
- Assist in the development of the annual COP with a focus on data analyses one quarter before COP drafting begins
- Ensure that a sound target setting approach is developed as well as alignment and agreement on annual PEPFAR targets with the South African government.
Anticipated learning outcomes: * Required 10% time
- Demonstrate proficiency across the core global health competencies defined as development practice, cross cultural awareness, communication, capacity strengthening, ethics of public health, health equity, gender equality and global burden of disease that is necessary for persons practicing in global health.
- Apply strategic information and HIV/AIDS knowledge to strengthen program.
- Apply and distinguish international standards within technical/content area to support programming.
- Cultivate leadership skills based on the STAR GH mentorship curriculum to effectively facilitate capacity building and knowledge sharing activities amongst staff and peers.
- Expand access to knowledge and resources through networking and collaborative practice within global health.
- Minimum 7 years of relevant technical experience with a master’s degree in public health, public policy, epidemiology, demography, social or science, statistics or mathematics, or a related field, and with demonstrated emphasis on relational database development, data analyses, and visualization or other information management or a minimum 9 years of relevant technical experience with a bachelor’s degree.
- A minimum of five years’ work experience in implementing public health or other social sector programs in developing countries, particularly with an emphasis on data analysis or strategic information, is required.
- Experience with data analyses, visualization, and dissemination is required.
- Knowledge of statistics, coding, automation tasks, and data wrangling is required.
- Knowledge of R, Python, SQL or similar statistical software and programing language is required.
- Knowledge of Tableau, Power BI, or a similar business intelligence tool is required.
Additional skills (preferred)
- Knowledge of epidemiology and health services provision in South Africa is highly desired.
- Knowledge of USAID policies, procedures, and reporting requirements is strongly preferred.
- Knowledge of relational database development and management is preferred.
- Experience working with one or more international agency systems, including USAID and/or organizations with USAID Cooperative Agreements, UN Agencies, CDC knowledge and understanding of South African Government, and public and private health systems, and USAID project principles are also strongly preferred.
- PEPFAR/South Africa implementing partner experience preferred.
- Experience conducting training and presenting is strongly preferred.
- Fluency in at least one of the other 10 South African official languages is desired.
All applicants are required to apply for this position through STAR’s online recruitment system at https://www.ghstar.org/, which allows you to store your CV/resume and separate cover letter describing your qualifications and experience, interest and familiarity with issues relating to this position, and how this position relates to your career goals is required for each application.
Application Deadline: 17 May, 2020 by 5:00 pm Eastern time.
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