Senior Principal Technical Advisor, MIS

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 8 January 2020

Job Description


The Senior Principal Technical Advisor (SPTA), Management Information Systems (MIS), will provide technical guidance for the development and implementation of innovative strategies to strengthen the availability and use of pharmaceutical information for decision-making. The SPTA-MIS guides the development, updating, and implementation of plans and activities related to Objective 3 in the MTaPS program, “availability and use of pharmaceutical information for decision-making increased,” to ensure that the work is of the highest technical quality and consistent with MSH approaches and mandates. The SPTA-MIS will lead the MTaPS information systems technical area. He/she works closely with Technical Strategy Leads, other SPTAs, Principal Technical Advisors, and Country and Portfolio Managers to identify opportunities to use new and existing tools, to coordinate technical work, and to ensure that MTaPS initiatives are based on and informed by country-level needs and priorities, and are compliant with the latest relevant and recognized international standards. The SPTA-MIS leads MTaPS’ collaborative efforts with other USAID-funded programs and relevant stakeholders in the field of information systems and information for decision-making. The SPTA-MIS will build MTaPS’ internal understanding and engagement in the area of information for decision-making and he/she will be actively engaged with the global technical community, strengthening MTaPS and work with MSH’s Data Analytics and Digital Health Practice Area team to position MSH as a recognized thought leader in this space.

Specific Responsibilities

Provide Strategic Direction and Technical Guidance (20%)

  • Develop strategic approaches for the MTaPS’ information systems technical area ensuring that pharmaceutical-information-systems-related activities are effectively using the latest knowledge and best practices in the field.
  • Define long- and short-term priorities and plans for the information systems technical area in close collaboration with other objective leads, and provide strategic and technical guidance and leadership to the technical area activities.
  • Develop workplans, implementation plans, and monitoring frameworks for MTaPS information systems technical area, including tools and software.
  • Support development, quality review and update of workplans, metrics, regular and ad-hoc data collection, and reporting mechanisms for specific global, regional, and country portfolios of activities on subjects related to MIS and data for decision-making.
  • Develop and implement MTaPS’ conceptual framework for technical assistance in the area of information systems, focusing on planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of activities.
  • Oversee creation, updating and development of technical and policy documents, concept notes, strategic papers, flyers, presentations, and other publications in the area of pharmaceutical information systems.

Oversee Pharmaceutical Information Systems Technical Activities, Ensuring Adequate Allocation and Mobilization of Technical Assistance Resources (35%)

  • Provide technical support to the development and/or review of technical approaches and strategies for pharmaceutical information systems.
  • Provide technical assistance to develop and implement MTaPS-funded pharmaceutical information system activities, including creating, updating, and improving pharmaceutical management tools and software.
  • Provide technical oversight on regular reporting against USAID intermediate results and work plans, ensuring alignment and/or interoperability with existing MSH data collection and analytics mechanisms, such as Dream@MSH.
  • Provide technical oversight for pharmaceutical information systems work and assist in the coordination of initiatives with partners and collaborators.

Manage and Participate in Capacity Building Activities for Internal and External Technical Staff (10%)

  • Plan, organize, and conduct training courses covering pharmaceutical information systems for external audience, MSH, and MTaPS staff.
  • Support implementation of the MTaPS M&E strategy in collaboration with the MTaPS M&E team.
  • Ensure that pharmaceutical information systems activities are adequately evaluated and contributing to MTaPS intermediate results and to its intended health outcomes.

Represent MSH and MTaPS on Specific Initiatives in Collaboration with other Technical Centres and/or Organizations (20%)

  • Increase MTaPS’ presence at relevant strategic meetings and global forums.
  • Lead MTaPS research to identify, evaluate, and promote innovative approaches to achieving technical area goals, internally and externally, publish in peer-reviewed publications and other high-impact venues, and represent MTaPS at conferences and other technical forums. Participate in relevant advocacy work as needed.
  • Serve as the technical focal point person on pharmaceutical information systems representing MSH and/or MTaPS at USAID meetings, global and regional meetings, and other professional events.
  • Liaise with USAID, public and private organizations, donor agencies, foundations, universities, and volunteer organizations. Seek opportunities for dissemination of lessons learned, research, publications, and other development and communications activities.

Oversee Regular, Contractual, and ad-hoc MTaPS Reporting (5%)

  • Provide oversight to MTaPS global, regional, and country reports to ensure MIS-related information is accurate and relevant.
  • Provide quarterly written technical briefs/updates on global technical issues and issues of strategic importance concerning the information systems technical area.

Supervise Designated Technical Staff, Ensuring their Effective Performance (10%)

  • Supervise technical staff as assigned, including tracking achievements, evaluating annual performance, and monitoring workflow and volume to maximize efficiency and productivity of assigned staff.
Qualifications and Experience



  • A post-graduate degree in data science, supply chain, or a health-related field.


  • Specialized training related to pharmaceutical management information systems.



  • At least 10 years of experience providing technical assistance, including for large-scale projects in multiple countries, with demonstrated experience in areas related to pharmaceutical management information systems and data use in low-resource settings.
  • Significant relevant experience in international public health with experience in pharmaceutical systems and information systems in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) context.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and familiarity with USAID-funded projects.


  • Expertise and experience in information systems, including system architecture, application design, current and innovative technologies, and open source solutions and standards.
  • Practical experience with data governance to ensure sustainable solutions and adequate data protection, integrity, and use.
  • Experience in improving data availability and use, and in establishing a data-use culture through motivation, incentives, and confidence in data quality and capacity building.
  • Knowledge and relationships with relevant implementing partners and technology service providers, as well as country and donor policies and interests.
  • Experience developing and using web-based and mobile systems for collecting and analyzing data on medical products or services in LMICs.
  • Demonstrated experience recruiting, managing, leading, supervising, and/or developing a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and technical professionals.
  • Recognized expertise and technical achievement within the information systems technical community, as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications and/or participation in technical working groups.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Demonstrated competence to assess priorities and manage a variety of activities in a time-sensitive and changing environment and meet deadlines with attention to detail and quality.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English are required.
  • Proven leadership, management, and organizational skills are a priority, along with the ability to inspire highly capable technical staff, and remotely lead or support diverse teams.
  • Skilled at creating a climate where high technical performance at all levels of the team is recognized and valued.
  • Skilled at delegating appropriate responsibility, accountability, and decision-making authority.
  • Proficiency in French or Spanish is desired, as are languages of other USAID-supported countries.


  • Demonstrated ability to lead innovative portfolios in MIS and to uptake and follow the latest lessons learned concerning MIS in LMICs.
  • Navigating the Environment, Strategic Agility, and Political Savvy.
  • Ensuring Delivery of Results: Functional/Technical skills, Client Focus, Process Management, and Timely Decision Making.
  • Leading with Credibility: Managing others, Building Effective Teams, Managing Vision and Purpose, Motivating others, Approachability and Developing Direct Reports.
  • Core Personal Competencies: Ethics and Values, Integrity and Trust, Listening, and Written Communication.
  • Core MSH Competencies: Adaptability, Communication, Problem Solving, Creativity and Innovation, Timeliness of Work, Quality of Work and Team Relationships, and Resource Utilization.

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to travel internationally and domestically up to 40% of the time, as required.
  • Keyboard use, pulling drawers, lifting papers <10lbs.

About the Organization

Management Sciences for Health, an international nonprofit organization, is dedicated to closing the gap between what is known and what is done about public health problems. MSH saves lives and improves health by helping public and private organizations throughout the world to effectively manage people, medicines, money, and information. Working from more than 30 country offices and our US headquarters, our staff from 65 nations is highly regarded for its technical expertise, integrity, and commitment to making a lasting difference in health.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a nonprofit international health organization composed of more than 2,000 people from 73 nations. Their mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Together with their partners, they are helping managers and leaders in developing countries to create stronger management systems that improve health services for the greatest health impact.


MSH takes an integrated approach to building high-impact sustainable programs that address critical challenges in leadership, health systems management, human resources, and medicines. Simply put, they support stronger health systems for greater health impact.

Their expertise in these areas falls into the broad categories of management functions—for example, leadership and governance or pharmaceutical management—and health areas like tuberculosis or maternal, newborn, and child health. They apply their expertise by

  • Partnering with governments, local organizations, and communities in developing nations to build their own capacity for long-term health impact;
  • Providing global leadership in critical areas of health management and health care delivery;
  • Bringing the best of MSH from around the globe to the people we serve, working as One MSH with a focus on lasting health system improvements.



Leadership, Governance, & Management

They work with in-country partners to build stronger health systems to improve:

    • the management and leadership of priority health programs, health organizations, and multisectoral partnerships such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, developing a critical mass of managers at all levels of the health system who can lead and inspire teams to achieve results;
    • the management systems of health organizations in the public and private sector, transferring practical approaches and skills to ensure that management structures contribute to sustainable organizational success;
    • the governance and management of health organizations and multisectoral partnerships, facilitating change and transferring knowledge to enable organizations to administer their resources efficiently and scale up their services.


Health Service Delivery

MSH combines extensive public health expertise, proven service delivery approaches, and evidence-based interventions in five critical areas:

    • HIV & AIDS
    • Tuberculosis
    • Maternal, newborn, and child health
    • Family planning and reproductive health
    • Other communicable diseases, including malaria and pandemic and avian influenza

Human Resources for Health

MSH helps governments develop multisectoral strategies and policies to plan and manage their health workforces. We use a comprehensive approach that addresses all the facets of human resources for health needed to achieve an adequate supply of well-trained and motivated health workers. MSH offers capabilities in leadership, human resource management, education, partnerships, policy, and finance to achieve these goals.

Pharmaceutical Management

Vital to our success is a participatory approach to project design and implementation, which cultivates broad-based support from all stakeholders. We also build and improve infrastructure and local capacity to effectively purchase, store, deliver, and use quality essential medicines.

Health Care Financing

MSH helps governments and NGOs assess their current financial situation and systems, understand service costs, and develop initiatives to use existing funds more effectively and generate additional revenue—all with the goal of supporting a nation’s health priorities.

Health Information

MSH has developed proven methods for rapidly strengthening the analysis and use of existing health data—normally at the province, district, and facility levels—without revising existing recording and reporting requirements. With an emphasis on learning through action, district teams undertake assessments of health services, identify gaps in performance, and design solutions to support better decision-making and, therefore, better management of improved services.

MSH has worked closely with the Health Metrics Network of the WHO to develop a comprehensive approach for enhancing the performance of health information systems and data by employing a practical, strategic planning process that can be carried out by national working groups.

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