As the largest bilateral donor in Liberia, USAID works closely with the Government of Liberia (GOL) and strives to align program priorities with the country’s priorities and goals. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has had a ten-year health policy and plan (2011-2021), for which USAID provided technical assistance in its development. The health plan in turn will continue to support the new GOL Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development and Liberia’s Five-Year National Development Plan Towards Accelerated, Inclusive and Sustainable Development (2018-2023) and the Investment Plan for Building a Resilient Health System, Liberia: 2015-2021 (IBRHS-L). The MOH plan will continue to focus on providing an Essential Package of Health Services to all Liberians and strengthening the health system toward sustainability.
The National Public Health Institute (NPHIL) was envisioned in the advent of the Ebola crisis of 2014-2015, which had a devastating impact on the economy of Liberia, its public health system and other basic human services. The GOL recognized the need for creating NPHIL in order to establish an Emergency Operations Center, an Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) and Early Warning and Alert Response Network at the national, county and community levels. In support of this epidemiological surveillance network system, there was a concomitant need to revamp a national reference laboratory system from national to regional levels. On December 27, 2016, the President of the GOL signed the bill establishing NPHIL.
Also in response to emerging disease threats such as the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in February 2014 to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, to bring together over 64 nations to make new, concrete commitments, and to elevate global health security as a national leaders-level priority. GHSA pursues a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both the global capacity and nations’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to human and animal infectious diseases threats whether naturally occurring or accidentally or deliberately spread. USAID is a key GHSA implementing agency for the United States Government (USG).
In December 2017, the US President signed the National Security Strategy which addresses in its Pillar One, a key priority of the GHSA, which is to address potential pandemic, biosecurity threats where they may arise, in order to ensure that these global health security threats are prevented from reaching the US homeland.
The primary function of the Senior GHSA Advisor (Senior Advisor) is to support USAID/Liberia’s GHSA mandate in terms of activity design, technical oversight, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on all GHSA activities as required. S/he will also work closely with GOL counterparts: MOH, MOA, NPHIL et al. on technical issues pertaining to infectious diseases with regard to the GHSA supported activities, as well as general capacity building and support as needed. S/he will also collaborate closely with other GOL entities, bilateral and multilateral donors such as the World Bank, WHO and FAO, as well as local and international NGOs and private sector institutions implementing activities in the health sector. In addition, s/he shall liaise with technical and administrative backstops in USAID/Washington as necessary.
As a technical member of USAID/Liberia’s Health Office, the Senior Advisor will work closely with other teams in the Health Office to plan and implement a broad range of activities. In addition, s/he will have broad latitude in exercising judgment related to technical approaches and best practices. The USAID point of contact for the Senior Advisor will be the USAID/Liberia Health Office’s Infectious Disease Team Lead. The Senior Advisor is expected to respond flexibly and capably to a wide-range of work-related requirements, responding to Washington policy and operational requests, and carrying out ad hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements at the discretion of the Health Office Director.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Senior Advisor will be responsible for:
• Technical Support to Programs Monitoring financial, logistical and reporting aspects of USAID-supported programs to support compliance with USAID and GHSA reporting requirements.
• Leading the technical design and supporting implementation of programs and activities with the goal of ensuring that program design and implementation will achieve planned results and USAID goals.
• Serving as a technical advisor and supporting project oversight, monitoring and evaluation. This may require regular travel to project field sites to monitor and report on project activities, as specified in the Mission Order on Program Monitoring.
• Tracking program activities against planned results, documenting developmental impacts and recommending solutions to any implementation issues in an efficient and professional manner, which includes reviewing quarterly and annual program and financial reports from program partners.
• Working closely with other team members to maximize synergies between various programs and activities within the portfolio.
• Participating in, coordinating, and organizing evaluations and assessments that are conducted in conjunction with GOL, other donors, international organizations and local partners.
Technical Leadership and Strategy Support
• Through USAID’s GHSA implementing partners, support the MOH and NPHIL’s capabilities to make more rapid, visible progress in improving technical capacity and strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation pertaining to the nexus between human and animal health, of particular relevance to the GHSA and OHP.
• Through USAID’s GHSA implementing partners, support the MOA’s efforts to roll out a national strategy for animal health surveillance, to build local capacity for animal health surveillance (e.g. priority zoonotic diseases surveillance) and integrating it into the IDSR as part of the One Health Platform and Global Health Security Agenda.
• Providing technical guidance to the U.S. Embassy’s Interagency Health Working Group in monitoring, scoring and reporting on all GHSA milestones and progress as required on a biannual basis.
• Participating in technical working groups (TWG) pertaining to GHSA, such as on Antimicrobial Resistance, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), the One Health Platform and the laboratory network for infectious disease detection and surveillance.
• Participating in development and implementation of USAID’s ongoing strategies, such as the Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
• Identifying and coordinating the various USAID health-related activities and players to promote collaboration and “smart integration” among USAID activities, with investments of the GOL and other donors.
• Actively engaging with government, other donors and organizations involved in the sector within Liberia in order to promote collaborative planning toward long-term sustainable solutions.
• Compiling, analyzing, and disseminating, on a regular basis, reports to USAID mission staff and USAID/Washington on GHSA, One Health and infectious disease issues and accomplishments as needed.
Collaboration and Partner Relationships
• Advising and collaborating with relevant local government officials on implementation and policy issues. Contributing expertise and guidance to the MOH and county health teams to strengthen systems necessary for implementing activities with USAID funds.
• Establishing and maintaining productive collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners and stakeholders, the MOH, NPHIL, MOA, county governments, multi-lateral partners such as WHO, FAO and UNICEF, and other donors such as the World Bank, and civil society groups and NGOs to effectively assure that USAID’s activities are collaborative, complementary and inclusive.
• Participating in and contributing to technical and coordination meetings hosted by the MOH, NPHIL, MOA, OHP and other partners.
• Developing and implementing strategies for improved networking by partners and sharing of best practices learned in the course of implementing health activities, in order to accelerate program implementation and impact.
CERTIFICATIONS, LICENSE, PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS OR OTHER EXPERTISE REQUIRED. The contractor must have:
• Minimum of a Master’s degree or higher in public health, or other allied field related to public health and/or animal health is required.
• Minimum ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience working with US Government-funded programs, with at least five years of experience in an international setting, supporting health, infectious diseases or development programs is required.
• Demonstrated technical experience/expertise related to infectious diseases is required.
• Prior experience working on zoonotic diseases is highly desirable.
• Familiarity with USG initiatives and legislation related to development assistance, USAID programming policies, regulations, procedures, and documentation requirements for strategy and project design, implementation, management, and evaluation is a strong asset.
• Prior extensive experience with USAID and/or one of its implementing partners in least developed country settings would be highly desirable.
• Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities and environment is a must.
• Demonstrated strong teamwork, diplomacy and interpersonal skills are essential.
• Demonstrated strong written and oral communications skills in English and ability to communicate complex technical information to a variety of audiences and stakeholders including senior-level managers, Congressional and other senior level USG delegations, inter-agency partners and host government counterparts is required.
• Willingness to travel to field sites approximately 25% of the time.
• Computer literacy in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
• US citizenship or US permanent resident is required.
• Ability to obtain and maintain a Medical Clearance and Facility Access/Secret Security Clearance to live and work in Liberia is required.
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