5 Oct 2020

Malaria Data Advisor at Public Health Institute Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources

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Background:

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is an interagency initiative led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The PMI Strategy for 2015-2020 to work with PMI-supported countries and partners to further reduce malaria deaths and substantially decrease malaria morbidity, towards the long-term goal of elimination. Since its launch in 3 countries in 2005, PMI has expanded to 27 country programs.

 

To succeed in eliminating malaria, countries and their partners need to deploy the right resources at the right place and at the right time. By getting better, more accurate insights from existing data and accelerating the data-to-action cycle, countries and their partners can better respond to changes in on-the-ground conditions. That is why in 2018, PMI began a major transformation towards greater use of data to inform decisions on resource allocation. As part of this new effort, PMI launched a new quarterly reporting process to ensure operational decision-making at country level is based on timely and granular program-relevant data. In addition, at the headquarters level, PMI is developing a web-based data platform (“PMI M-DIVE”) with analytics tools that will facilitate the triangulation and use of relevant datasets, including visualizations of epidemiological, supply chain, entomological, demographic, programmatic, and financial data. Building on decades of investments in malaria surveillance, monitoring and evaluation (SM&E), PMI is expanding its support for the strengthening of malaria-related data systems and building institutional capacity within ministries of health and national malaria control programs to improve data quality and use.

 

Ghana was selected as a PMI focus country in Fiscal Year 2007. PMI/Ghana team members are based at USAID and work with the Government of Ghana to oversee the $28 million annual U.S. Government investment in Ghana.

 

Across all PMI supported countries, the role of a Malaria Data Advisor – is to dedicate their time to supporting PMI’s increased focus on enhancing country data-driven decision-making and helping accelerate partner country transition from paper-based to digital health information systems.

 

Introduction:

Working in close collaboration with the Accra-based PMI/Ghana Team, the USAID/Ghana Malaria Data Advisor (Advisor) will assist in the development and implementation of strategies to improve data quality and data sharing, while also establishing a stronger culture of data-informed resource allocation within both the National Malaria Control Program and the PMI/Ghana program. Internally, the Advisor will liaise with PMI backstops, as well as Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation (SM&E) and Data Integration technical teams at USAID/Washington and CDC/Atlanta and USAID personnel working within and overseeing the Mission’s activities related to malaria control.  Externally, responsibilities include regular contact and collaboration with counterparts in Ghana’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), the Program Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) in charge of HMIS, and the Stocks, Supplies and Drugs Management (SSDM) in charge of LMIS, of the Ghana Health Service (GHS),  and other relevant government ministries and agencies, as well as in a wide range of non-governmental and private sector organizations, other donor and international organizations and other United States Government (USG) entities working in malaria prevention and control. As appropriate, the Advisor will provide technical support to the NMCP Coordinator and the staff to build capacity within the NMCP in the areas of data analysis and use. The Advisor will provide technical advice in the conceptualization, development, design, administration, and monitoring of the various information systems necessary for malaria control, including for malaria case management, vector control, and the supply chain of malaria commodities. They will discover, facilitate and promote efficient ways to collect, organize, clean, store, analyze, and share disparate, complex datasets with attention to security and confidentiality.

 

Reporting structure:

The Advisor will be based at the National Malaria Control Program in Accra, Ghana. The Advisor will work closely with the NMCP Manager to plan weekly primary issues in malaria data management, and receive technical direction from the Senior Malaria Resident Advisor with regards to PMI data priorities, who will serve as the onsite manager.

 

Responsibilities:

 

Improve strategies on implementation of data management activities:

  • Provide technical support to all areas of data management—including ensuring appropriate data ingestion (manual and automated), inventorying and cataloguing in the PMI data platform—for all malaria-related datasets (e.g. financial, programmatic, epidemiological, entomological, supply chain, demographic).
  • Review and provide technical feedback on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plans submitted by PMI-funded implementing partners.
  • Conduct data quality assessments on key performance indicators included in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plans of PMI-funded implementing partners, as required under USAID policy (ADS 200).
  • Support the NMCP and implementing partners in the planning and implementation of a baseline national Data Quality Assessment (DQA) to enable measurement of change in data accuracy, timeliness, and completeness overtime.
  • Support the NMCP in data validation processes and in the implementation of routine DQAs at facility/district/national levels.
  • Support the development and /or review of the HPNO/Ghana Program Management Plan and work with PMI-funded implementing partners to ensure their data management plans adequately describe datasets, access and sharing, data collection and analysis methodology, intellectual property rights, ethics and privacy and storage and backup.
  • Facilitate the establishment and institutionalization of data use processes, with a focus on reducing the time in the information to decision cycle within PMI and the NMCP.
  • Implement efficient and secure procedures for data handling and analysis.
  • Assist with the development of core metadata components, including indicator reference guides, data dictionaries, malaria commodity lists, master facility lists and API-accessible health facility registries.

 

Strengthen the capacity of the NMCP and PMI/Ghana to use various digital health information systems necessary for malaria control:

  • Collaborate with implementing partners and other donors to support the GHS and NMCP’s ongoing transition from paper-based to digital health information systems.
  • Define, manage, and routinely review identity and access management (IAM) framework to ensure roles and access privileges of individual platform users.
  • Ensure the PMI/ team’s electronic databases and archives are protected from security breaches and data losses.
  • Troubleshoot data-related problems and country-level modifications to the internal data platforms/repositories.
  • Liaise with the Mission’s IT officer and USAID/CIO to ensure adherence to Agency rules and regulations on information management and the open data policy.
  • Maintain an up-to-date understanding of the national HIS landscape and architecture (platforms and stakeholders and how they interact) –ensuring all digital HIS tools funded by PMI and other donors are inventoried in the WHO’s Digital Health Atlas to avoid duplication and maximize investments.
  • Track PMI implementing partner submission of all datasets, in machine-readable format, to the USAID Development Data Library (DDL).
  • Participate in periodic assessments of national health information systems to evaluate their performance and discover ways of enhancing them (e.g. capacity building, technology upgrades).
  • Maintain an up-to-date understanding of the national HIS landscape and architecture (platforms and stakeholders and how they interact) –ensuring all digital HIS tools funded by PMI and other donors are inventoried in the WHO’s Digital Health Atlas to avoid duplication and maximize investments.

 

Strengthen capacity of NMCP and PMI/Ghana team to integrate, analyze and visualize data:

  • Apply sound data science principles and methods to objectively and systematically track epidemiological and entomological changes and measure progress towards national targets for malaria control in Ghana.
  • Conduct rigorous analysis and triangulation of data from a variety of sources to unearth implementation obstacles and opportunities and employ cutting edge approaches and tools to generate compelling data visualizations.
  • Train and mentor the NMCP and PMI colleagues in data analysis and visualization.

 

Enhanced coordination of country level data systems:

  • Facilitate negotiation of data sharing agreements between PMI and relevant institutions of the Government of the Republic of Ghana, including the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service/PPME and SSDM) Divisions, the Ghana Statistics Service (GSS), the Temporary Central Medical Store (TCMS), the Imperial Health Science (HIS) store, and the National Meteorological Directorate (DMN).
  • Assist with the development and expansion of key platforms used by the GHS and the NMCP, including DHMIS-2 and GhiLMIS, and ensure adherence to the RBM MERG, the WHO Digital Health Interventions Guideline and the USAID Digital Health Strategy.
  • Participate in the development of costed national HIS strategy, and actively participate in national HIS governance mechanisms—promoting strong NMCP involvement.
  • Work with the NMCP to assist with coordination, national M&E strategic plan development, standard DHIS2 malaria module implementation, monthly/quarterly data review meetings at district and national levels, as well as district level scorecards to foster a culture of data use and accountability.
  • Support data compilation and production of periodic reports, including the PMI Quarterly Report and Annual Performance Report, as well as ad hoc briefing summaries on status and progress.

 

Anticipated learning outcomes: * approximately 10% time

  • Apply malaria and data analysis 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.

 

FELLOWSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Required:

  • Master’s degree with 7 years’ experience in an applied quantitative discipline such as statistics, economics, computer science, epidemiology or health informatics or Bachelor’s degree and 9 years’ experience in an applied quantitative discipline such as statistics, economics, computer science, epidemiology or health informatics.
  • Minimum three (3) years of relevant professional experience applying data visualization, data analysis and/or business intelligence to inform decision-making.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the malaria epidemiology in Ghana.
  • Demonstrated ability to securely and efficiently manage large, disparate datasets and problem-solving skills working on complex projects in a highly sensitive environment.
  • Strong knowledge of data wrangling, analysis and visualization practices.
  • Strong portfolio of static and dynamic visualization, from simple graphics to complex stories, based on data visualization theory and techniques and built using leading tools (such as at least of the following Excel, Tableau, Power BI, R, D3.js, Adobe Illustrator, DHIS2, or similar).
  • Experience facilitating data analysis projects through concept, iterative design and execution, delivery and on-going support.
  • Ability to conduct introductory training on data analysis, and visualization and use.
  • Basic understanding of principles related to change management, data governance, and systems architecture.
  • Skills in working effectively with health personnel of diverse cultural backgrounds, negotiating agreements on matters of program strategy and performance, writing, administration, and management. Ability to navigate and manage politically sensitive issues.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are critical to this position. Proven ability to communicate quickly, clearly and concisely – orally and in writing – in English.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate highly technical information to both subject matter experts and non-expert audiences.
  • Excellent written communication skills are required to prepare regular and ad hoc reports, activity documentation and briefing papers.
  • Ability to work in a team environment and with a broad range of collaborators. Ability to work both independently and in a team environment to test and define data requirements and use cases.
  • Proven ability to work in a dynamic and agile environment with changing requirements and priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to take direction to iteratively define and implement solutions as requirements are being identified and finalized.
  • Ability to work independently, to manage several activities at once and work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Management and organizational skills to work with numerous teams, identifying priority actions and taking initiative if follow-through is needed.
  • Ghanaian citizenship required.



Method of Application

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Closing Date : 30 Oct, 2020




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