Technical Advisor

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Vital Strategies
Closing date: 28 Aug 2020

Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific; the Overdose Prevention Program is our first initiative in the U.S. Please visit our website at to find out more about our work.

Vital Strategies offers highly competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits. Vital welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment.

The Position

This position supports the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative which aims to enhance public health data collection and use in low- and middle-income countries. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that a billion more people live in countries where data are used to steer public policy and program decisions. Under the Initiative, Vital Strategies, in partnership with other global public health organizations, is implementing a multi-year program to improve civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) in numerous countries and municipalities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific. Vital Strategies has full responsibility for provision of technical assistance to several of these.

The CRVS Improvement Program involve interventions designed to improve the registration of births and deaths; improve the availability and quality of cause of death information for both facility- and home-based events; and improve the timeliness of available vital statistics information and reports.

The Technical Advisor will lead technical assistance provision in two or three countries in Africa, including planning and implementation of work plans, and managing Country Coordinators and Country Implementation Teams. The Technical Advisor (TA) will also provide limited technical assistance to CRVS awardees of our Global Grants Program grants in the region or elsewhere. The TA will work under the supervision of the Project Director.

Specific Duties:

  • Participate in Outreach and Engagement visits to enroll new countries into the initiative
  • Establish relationships and collaborate with senior government officials to develop country-owned work plans
  • Work with government counterparts to develop detailed budgeted implementation plans and prioritize activities to maximize local impact
  • Manage the allocation of available resources (e.g. staff time, money, materials) to maximize country results
  • Manage the identification and engagement of at least one country coordinator and of a local fiscal agent in each country, where required
  • Manage the development and signing of collaboration agreements, MOUs and grant agreements with governments and fiscal agents
  • Manage the implementation of activities in a way that promotes country ownership and leadership, leads to the institutionalization and sustainability of CRVS system improvements, and builds local capacity
  • Manage and coordinate the provision of all topic specific technical assistance to the country by communicating with government officials, internal technical advisors and external consultants
  • Manage drafting and ensure execution of agreements with relevant in-country stakeholders and external consultants (e.g., Memorandum of Understanding, Sub-grant agreements, and other contracts)
  • Manage Program Assistants to coordinate operational, logistics, and financial support to the implementation of activities in the assigned countries
  • Manage Country Coordinator and Country Assistant teams to facilitate in-country implementation of activities
  • Monitor progress of the implementation of country level activities and track impact against key project milestones and deliverables (e.g. institutionalization of interventions)
  • Travel in-country as needed (up to 30%)
  • Perform other duties for the Director, Deputy Directors, or Regional Manager

Qualifications and skill set:

  • Post-graduate degree in relevant field (e.g. public health, epidemiology) from a recognized university
  • At least 8 years’ experience working on international development projects, ideally on projects in multiple low- and middle-income countries and on projects with strong data and information or M&E components
  • Previous experience in CRVS strengthening or mortality surveillance a major plus
  • Strong project management skills including financial and technical oversight
  • Experienced in working collaboratively and remotely with internal and external team members to meet expectations and deliver the necessary technical assistance in a timely manner
  • Ability to work independently and self-directed as well as across cultures and in a team of a broad range of government, academic and other stakeholders
  • Proven ability to manage multiple ongoing tasks
  • Patience and adaptability to rapidly changing environments
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Capable of quickly understanding and analyzing complex problems and situations and identifying solutions to achieve objectives
  • Detail-orientated, self-starter with a positive attitude, and willingness to learn
  • Proficient user of Microsoft Office suite (MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), familiarity with Smartsheet or MS Project a plus
  • Possess a genuine interest in the mission and vision of Vital Strategies
  • English proficiency required. Amharic proficiency a plus
  • Work experience on multiple continents a plus
  • This Vacancy Advertisement is open to Ethiopian Nationals and candidates holding a valid work resident permit for Ethiopia. Vital Strategies strongly encourages qualified female candidates to apply.

How to apply:

Please submit a CV and cover letter, including salary expectations, through the Vital Strategies Career Center. The deadline for applications is August 28, 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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