Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR)

Posted on :

8 May, 2020

Category :

Vacancies South Africa

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).



FELLOWSHIP TITLE: Senior Policy Advisor
LOCATION: Pretoria, South Africa
HOST ORGANIZATION: Health Office, South Africa, United States Agency for International Development
POSITION LEVEL: Senior Technical Advisor
TRAVEL: 5% estimated international and 15% estimated domestic travel


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.



The USAID/South Africa Health Office (HO) manages one of the largest President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs in the world. The PEPFAR/USAID global strategy calls for supporting host-government policies that expedite the attainment of aggressive targets for the control of the epidemic: ensuring that 90% of people with HIV are identified, 90% of people with HIV identified and initiated onto treatment, and ensuring that 90% of people on treatment are virally suppressed. In South Africa, USAID is focused on supporting governments at various levels on developing a national legal and policy framework that promotes policies critical to achieving and maintaining epidemic control in the general population as well as among members of key and priority populations.


The Senior Policy Advisor (Senior Advisor) will lead USAID’s technical support to the South African National Department of Health, Provincial and District Health Departments, the Centers for Disease Control, United Nations, the private sector, and other donors to enact policies that foster epidemic control. The Senior Advisor will act as a senior technical specialist and as a senior subject matter expert on analysis and advocacy of policy issues including:

  • Scale up of index testing and self-screening
  • Elimination of all user fees, both formal and informal, for the poor for HIV services
  • Treat All national roll out and policies supporting streamlined ART initiation and differentiated service delivery models; multi-month dispensing of anti-retroviral drugs; and scale up of TLD for first and second line ARVs
  • Scale up of TB preventive treatment (TPT) for all PLHIV
  • Continued scale up of viral load testing and revision of national treatment guidelines to limit the use of CD4 testing to targeted groups

Reporting structure:

The Fellow will be based in Pretoria, South Africa. They will work closely with the Care and Treatment Teams as well as the Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) Team and receive technical guidance from the HSS Team Lead who will serve as their onsite manager.

Essential Duties and Outcomes:

Outcome 1: Strengthened policy development, analysis, and advocacy that foster epidemic control

  • Serve as the key point of contact for technical assistance to the NDOH on policy matters and technical assistance for health policy reform to program epidemic control.
  • Ensure that USAID-supported programs align with and inform the development of the Government of South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI) program.
  • Identify and promote effective implementation of laws and policies that ensure inclusive, non-discriminatory service provision as part of a health and wellness system that benefits all ages, genders, socioeconomic groups and key and vulnerable populations; protect privacy and confidentiality in the provision of health care services, and proscribe discrimination and stigmatization of marginalized individuals.
  • Coordinate and advise USAID-funded organizations to improve programs to better align with prescribed policies and regulations in an ever-changing policy landscape.
  • Train and mentor USAID, PEPFAR, USAID implementing partners, and South African government staff in policy development and analysis.
  • Lead the design, development, and implementation of health economics and implementation science studies conducted by USAID-funded partners and lead the design of special studies and evaluations to inform policy development.
  • Ensure that evidence generated with USAID support is translated into appropriate policy changes, when required.
  • Participate in the strategic design and procurement of PEPFAR activities.

Outcome 2: Enhanced interagency and intergovernmental coordination with internal and external stakeholders

  • Participate in the U.S. Government Inter-Agency Health Systems Strengthening Technical Working Group.
  • Establish and maintain close working relationships and provide technical leadership on behalf of USAID to all levels of staff at relevant USAID operating units, South African government, implementing partners, the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (including the Inter-Agency Collaborative for Program Improvement), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Embassy Pretoria and other agencies.
  • Prepare policy requirements for the PEPFAR Country Operational Plan for health system strengthening activities, quarterly/semi-annual/annual performance reports (e.g., data completeness checks), and other routine PEPFAR processes.
  • Establish innovative partnerships and linkages with multilateral and bilateral donors, foundations, and/or corporations to strengthen programmatic linkages.
  • Advise f USAID/South Africa health and HIV programs on compliance with South African government and U.S. Government policies and guidelines.

Outcome 3: Technical input on USAID Programming

  • Provide technical input to USAID/South Africa Health Office activity managers on mechanisms in the health portfolio, including technical input on work plans, budgets, as well as administrative aspects of contracts and agreements.
  • Provide technical input to the broad USAID/South Africa Health Office on the following:
    • The design, development, and implementation of health economics and implementation science studies conducted by USAID-funded partners. Ensure that evidence generated with USAID support is translated into appropriate policy changes, when required.
    • Strategic representation of USAID to external organizations and audiences at key professional meetings and conferences; as well as on donor committees and South African government working groups.
    • The strategic design and procurement of PEPFAR activities, as well as the design of special studies and evaluations to inform policy development.
    • Establishing innovative partnerships and linkages with multilateral and bilateral donors, foundations, and/or corporations to strengthen programmatic linkages.
    • Policy compliance by USAID/South Africa health and HIV programs per South African government and U.S. Government policies and guidelines.

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.
  • Cultivate mentorship skills based on the STAR GH mentorship curriculum to more effectively support and improve knowledge transfer and skills acquisition of staff, incoming fellows and interns.
  • Advance leadership skills to successful support capacity building and knowledge sharing activities, and mentor develop junior staff.
  • Apply leadership skills and technical expertise to support programmatic growth and scale up within policy analysis and advocacy within epidemic control programming.



  • Minimum 13 years of relevant technical experience in health policy advocacy and/or evidence generation with master’s degree or a minimum of 15 years of relevant technical experience with bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience successfully analyzing, assessing, evaluating, and managing the execution of evidence-based policies that support the improvement of health in South Africa.
  • Clear understanding of the health policy and HIV program implementation landscape of South Africa.
  • Ability to work both independently with limited direct supervision and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Expert analytic skills and ability to present the findings from complex data analyses to programmatic staff and leadership in easy to use and interpretable formats.
  • Ability to prepare written material in a clear manner and according to professional standards.
  • Strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work within a large cross-cultural team of healthcare technical advisors, program managers and other staff from different USG agencies (USAID, CDC, DOD, DOS, and Peace Corps).
  • Level IV (fluent) English (written and verbal) is required.

Additional skills (preferred)

  • Familiarity with USAID and PEPFAR.
  • Knowledge of USAID policies, procedures, and reporting requirements.
  • Knowledge of epidemiology and HIV and TB service delivery data elements.
  • The ability to orientate, train and guide staff, when appropriate.
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals and managing large studies to inform policy.


All applicants are required to apply for this position through STAR’s online recruitment system at, 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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