Laboratory Specialist - LHSS COVID-19 Kazakhstan

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 23 March 2020
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Job Description

Job Summary

Abt Associates seeks a qualified Laboratory Specialist – Central Asia Region for the USAID-funded Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) project COVID-19 response activity. The Lab Specialist will support the laboratory capacity building and specimen process components of COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, detection, and response activity in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and possibly Kyrgyzstan. This position is temporary and currently expected to be a six-month assignment. We are looking for individuals who are committed to exceeding expectations and who strive to improve the lives of people worldwide.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The Lab Specialist will support laboratory, health facility, and laboratory personnel focused capacity development activities in the region to rapidly strengthen COVID-19 specimen collection, handling, processing, and diagnostics processes. This as part of the larger LHSS efforts to scale case detection, provide detailed case surveillance information, and strengthen the diagnostic and clinical management of COVID-19. This position will work with a team of specialists from local Ministries of Health, the World Health Organization, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, USAID and other stakeholders to develop and implement a coordinate response to the COVID-19 virus.

Activities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide technical guidance to strengthen and implement both general and COVID-19 focused laboratory infection control protocols (IPC) to help ensure safe specimen handling and laboratory working practices.
  • Work with host country counterpart to:
    • Develop IPC compliant procedures for COVID-19 specimen point-of-care collection, handling, transport, and processing per country guidance
    • Strengthen laboratory surge capacity by providing technical assistance as relevant for interventions (such as) extending working hours, enhancing laboratory physical space, streamlining testing protocols, offloading other routine specimen processing, recruiting additional laboratory HR, or rationalizing resource use
    • Conduct COVID-19 specific trainings in lab safety and infection prevention/control.
  • Collate relevant laboratory IPC, QA/QI, and general guidance for COVID-19 for dissemination to Abt home office
  • Use international and national best practice and guidelines, prepare training materials and deliver trainings to staff in COVID-19 engaged specimen collection points and laboratories.
  • Coordinate and support selection, procurement, distribution, and maintenance of laboratory equipment, consumable supplies, and instrumentation for laboratories performing COVID-19 specimen collection and/or PCR processing.
  • Provide technical assistance to integrate new COVID-19 specimen collection or diagnostic options as they become available.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or other advance degree in biological or laboratory sciences within a clinical or diagnostic discipline or specialty
  • Minimum 6 years of experience with working with infectious diseases and/or laboratory systems strengthening
  • Demonstrated experience in training and mentoring staff and others
  • Experience working with ministries, WHO, international NGOs is preferable
  • Ability and aptitude to perform quality assurance (QA) laboratory audits and assessments against accepted national and international standards and regulations
  • Ability and demonstrated aptitude to provide technical assistance for quality improvement (QI) interventions to raise standards and quality of laboratory services
  • Fluent Russian, professional fluency in English is desirable
  • Local candidates strongly encouraged to apply.

This position is based in one of the following countries: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, or Uzbekistan.


Minimum Qualifications

  • (6+) years of experience and a master degree OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation; driving innovation and measurable impact for more than 50 years. What sets us apart is our evidence-based and multi-disciplinary approach to solving tough challenges in health, social and environmental policy and international development.

Specific areas we work in include:

  • Health
  • Education and workforce development
  • Climate change and the environment
  • Food security and agriculture
  • Housing and communities
  • Survey and data collection


Abt is a mission-driven company with a staff of 2,600. Our focus is on using evidence and cutting-edge methods to improve the lives and economic well-being of people worldwide.

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