Vacancy Announcement: Senior Health Information Systems (HIS) Advisor


VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
SENIOR HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEMS (HIS) ADVISOR
Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C.

This is a contract position.

The annual salary range for this position is $95,000 to $115,000.

(Actual pay will be set within the range specified in this vacancy announcement and will be based on the qualifications, education, experience, training, and availability of funds.)

The ability to obtain a security clearance at the Secret level is required.

Expressions of interest, including resumes and salary requirements, should be submitted by no later than Friday, November 16, 2012 to parkertn2@state.gov.

Background

The Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC) is responsible for implementing the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) -- the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. Thanks in large part to U.S. leadership, tremendous progress has been made in the fight against global AIDS. PEPFAR is supporting countries in providing HIV prevention, treatment and care to their people. As the cornerstone of the U.S. President’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), PEPFAR represents U.S. leadership in meeting the shared responsibility of all global partners to make smart investments to save lives. With a special focus on improving the health of women, newborns and children, the Global Health Initiative’s goal is to save the greatest number of lives by increasing and building upon what works and supporting countries as they work to improve the health of their own people. The U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, who reports directly to the Secretary of State, oversees and directs all resources and activities of the U.S. Government to implement PEPFAR and combat the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, including U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and relations with other countries and multilateral organizations. S/GAC leads an integrated U.S. global HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care program; works with partner governments; multilateral organizations; the private sector; faith-based and non-governmental organizations to foster engagement in the fight against HIV/AIDS; and ensures that U.S. Government policies are harmonious, programs are synergistic, and operations are efficient and effective. Additional information about S/GAC and PEPFAR is available at www.pepfar.gov.

Introduction

This position is located within the Strategic Information (SI) unit of the Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC). Strategic Information assures accountability of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the development of communication of knowledge-based practices to improve program performance. SI is responsible for the systematic definition, collection, storage, analyses and reporting of information about PEPFAR’s progress in reaching its goals and about the impact of programmatic activities funded to reach these goals. Strategic Information covers a number of technical and science areas, including surveillance, health management information systems, program monitoring and evaluation, targeted evaluations and SI capacity building. It includes all Emergency Plan countries, both focus and other bilateral countries. To achieve these goals, SI: 1) Provides leadership in the development and implementation of the annual Country Operational Plan and Results (COPR) System, specifically by ensuring content and guidance consistent with PEPFAR policy, 2) Coordinates SI activities with international donors and organizations by participating in meetings, reviewing and analyzing relevant position papers, harmonizing country HIV data and organizing communications around common SI issues, 3) Coordinates U.S. Government reviews of COPs and 5 Year Strategy strategic information sections and of program targets, and 4) Provides analyzed information including targets and results for S/GAC Annual Plan, State Department BBP, and PARTs.

PEPFAR calls for immediate, comprehensive and evidence-based action to turn the tide of global HIV/AIDS. Numerous agencies are tasked with implementing programs to address this commitment. USG participating agencies develop, implement, monitor and support programs in resource-constrained countries to deal with this pandemic. Health information systems (HIS) activities are a key component of PEPFAR Strategic Information (SI) programs. At the facility and community level, HIS assist health care workers in providing high quality and timely care. At the national, regional and headquarters level, HIS assist public health managers in finding answers to key questions about the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the delivery and process of prevention, care and treatment services, the effectiveness of these services, the capacity needed to improve programs, as well as to plan and report and reach goals impacting the epidemic. Many countries lack robust information systems and the related information and communications technology infrastructure (ICT) needed to access and report high-quality data. Wherever possible, PEPFAR HIS activities build on existing data and information system standards and infrastructures in program countries. HIS activities target the design, development, implementation, operations, maintenance and evaluation information systems and technologies.

The HIS Senior Advisor supports and reports to the Health Information Systems Coordinator in S/GAC. Responsibilities include providing the USG team, Ministries of Health, and other implementing partners with technical recommendations and expertise in the design, development, improvement, and maintenance of information systems that strengthen health service effectiveness and efficiency. The position requires both advisory and managerial acumen, including IS technical expertise, results-oriented analysis, clear communication, and close collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders including USG Headquarters personnel, host ministries, PEPFAR country teams, implementing partners, and donors. Due to the highly integrated nature of HIS in all PEPFAR programmatic decision making, the Senior Advisor may be requested to advocate IS issues with any and all of these stakeholder communities.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Program Management

§ The IS Senior Advisor supports the HIS Coordinator in contacts between S/GAC and implementing agencies by analyzing existing management information systems and recommending, both orally and in writing, priority strengthening initiatives. The Senior Advisor also assists with the coordination of strategic partners involved in these initiatives including the larger USG team, multi-stakeholder technical working groups, and host country Ministries of Health (MOH).

§ In close coordination with S/GAC and agency SI colleagues, technical leads and program managers for prevention, care, treatment and other PEPFAR-funded programs, the incumbent coordinates and contributes to the design and development of information systems strategies. These systems and strategies are intended to improve data storage, use and flow from patient-level facility-based systems to integrated national and regional information systems. The IS Senior Advisor ensures the presence of adequate administrative controls, information and data quality, procedural efficiencies and adherence to internationally recognized information system and standards for interoperability.

§ As requested by the HIS Coordinator, the IS Senior Advisor provides technical advice to PEPFAR country teams, Ministries of Health, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to assist with systems selection, and determination of goodness of fit/ease of use and interoperability. The Senior Advisor also assists with data quality and data analysis techniques where appropriate. The Senior Advisor is expected to remains current in the principles and practices of information technology and shares this updated technical information within the PEPFAR community.

§ The IS Senior Advisor also responds to requests for specialist-level advice and assistance in the area of IS policy, strategic planning, development and implementation, as well as in monitoring and evaluation. This advisory role inspires other collaborative organizations engaged in HIV/AIDS programs and across health programs to adopt appropriate IS standards and adhere to normative guidelines for their program activities.

Administrative Management

§ Working closely with the HIS Coordinator and S/GAC colleagues, the IS Senior Advisor assists with the technical oversight of the FACTS Info system and related program management systems and components. The IS Senior Advisor coordinates activities within and between contractors and grantees under contractual mechanisms designed to provide critical mission and program support.

§ The Senior Advisor prepares regular and ad hoc written progress reports on PEPFAR HIS activities, makes oral presentations to agency and other officials on the progress of HIS program activities, and maintains files and records specific to these activities and programs. The Senior Advisor also collaborates with the HIS Coordinator to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and security of information in the databases, particularly as related to named individuals.

Interagency Coordination

§ Due to the highly integrated nature of HIS to all PEPFAR programmatic decision-making, the Senior Advisor plays an active leadership role in PEPFAR Technical Working Groups (TWG). As requested by the HIS Coordinator, the Senior Advisor attends other technical, policy and strategic planning meetings, including meetings with collaborators and donor agencies. The Senior Advisor may brief senior agency officials, PEPFAR country team and officials of other USG agencies as appropriate and may attend administrative and strategic planning meetings. These meetings will generally include all USG PEPFAR implementing agencies (Departments of State, Defense, Labor, Commerce, and Health (including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Food and Drug Administration, USAID and Peace Corps). The purpose of such meetings is to coordinate USG efforts to target most urgent IS needs and to avoid overlap of IS support.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

Education

Masters degree (or equivalent) in one of the following disciplines is required: Information Systems, Health Information Management, Computer Science; Computer Engineering, Information Systems or related field.

Work Experience

Five years of experience in designing, developing, implementing and maintaining information systems to support and evaluate large-scale (i.e. national) program activities is required. Two additional years of experience at the managerial level is required. Health information system experience preferred.

Job Knowledge

The incumbent must possess extensive knowledge of information systems, health information technology and applications, especially in the application of program management data and systems as it pertains to the improvement of program operations. The incumbent must have a detailed understanding of the structure and functions of PEPFAR, including knowledge of PEPFAR agencies’ roles and functions in support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Senior Advisor must also demonstrate good working knowledge of team management techniques to plan, organize and direct multi-disciplinary project teams and activities.

Skills and Abilities

The incumbent must possess the ability to analyze and understand new management information systems, as well as ICT program design, management and implementation approaches. The incumbent must possess the ability to oversee the design or modification of sophisticated computer applications to meet data collection requirements. Strong oral communications skills are required to develop and maintain effective, sustainable working relationships with USG, host ministry, national and international working partners. Good writing skills are required to report on various IS activities. Good leadership skills are required to operate independently with limited direct supervision of day-to-day activities and to lead results-driven project teams and workgroups. The incumbent is expected to exercise tact and diplomacy in applying PEPFAR guidelines in public health settings, as the programs are highly complex and can be threatening to stakeholders. Highly developed persuasive skills, ingenuity and innovation are required.

U.S. Citizenship is required in order to obtain a mandatory security clearance at the "Secret" classification level.

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