Malaria Data Specialist

  • Mid-level, Long-term consulting assignment
  • Posted on 19 May 2020

Job Description


Working in close collaboration with the Cotonou-based PMI/Benin team, the USAID/Benin Malaria Data Specialist shall 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/Benin program. Internally, the Malaria Data Specialist shall liaise with PMI backstops, as well as Surveillance, Monitoring & 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 Benin’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) of the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Health Management Information System (HMIS) Unit 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.


Data Management (50%)

  • 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
  • Develop the PMI/Benin team’s data 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
  • 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
  • Track and enforce PMI implementing partner submission of all datasets, in machinereadable format, to the USAID Development Data Library (DDL)

Data Visualization, Reporting and Use (30%)

  • Provide technical assistance to the NMCP and PMI/Benin team to integrate, analyze and visualize data, and build the culture of data use for decision-making
  • 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 Benin
  • 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
  • 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
  • Facilitate negotiation of data sharing agreements between PMI and relevant institutions of the Government of the Republic of Benin, including the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the Central Medical Store (ONPPC), and the National Meteorological Directorate (DMN)
  • 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

Country Data Systems Development (up to 20%)

  • Collaborate with implementing partners and other donors to support the MOH and NMCP’s transition from paper-based to digital health information systems
  • Assist with the development and expansion of key platforms used by the MOH and the NMCP, including DHIS2 and eLMIS, and ensure adherence to the RBM MERG, the WHO Digital Health Interventions Guideline and the USAID Digital Health Strategy
  • 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
  • Participate in the development of costed national HIS strategy, and actively participate in national HIS governance mechanisms—promoting strong NMCP involvement
  • Work with the PMI-funded embedded SM&E advisor at 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;
  • 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.


In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must meet the Minimum Qualifications. Applications will be pre-screened and only those that meet the Minimum Qualifications will be considered. These are the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the position:

a. Education: Education – Minimum of a master’s degree in applied quantitative discipline such as statistics, economics, computer science, epidemiology, or health informatics from a recognized institution.

b. Prior Work Experience -The Malaria Data Specialist will have at least 5 years of professional experience applying data visualization, data analysis, and/or business intelligence to inform decision making. S/he must have strong knowledge of data wrangling, analysis and visualization practices. Demonstrated ability to securely and efficiently manage large, disparate datasets and problem-solving skills working on complex projects in a highly sensitive environment are required. The incumbent must demonstrate 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 is also important. Previous experience in managing malaria epidemiological data and a good knowledge of DHIS2 platform.

c. Post Entry Training: The incumbent will have to take required mandatory training.

d. Language Proficiency: Level IV (Fluency) Writing and Speaking in both English and French is required.

e. Job Knowledge: The incumbent must have strong knowledge of data wrangling, analysis and visualization practices. Demonstrated ability to securely and efficiently manage large, disparate datasets and problem-solving skills working on complex projects in a highly sensitive environment are required.

f. Skills and Abilities: The Malaria Data Specialist must possess highly specialized technical expertise in an applied quantitative discipline such as statistics, economics, computer science, epidemiology, or health informatics, and be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the malaria epidemic in Benin. Proven ability to communicate quickly, clearly and concisely – orally and in writing – in both English and French. Demonstrated ability to communicate highly technical information to both subject matter expert and nonexpert audiences.

In addition, s/he must possess the following skills:

  • Excellent written communication skills 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

Closing Date: 03 August 2020

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