Job Title: Public Health Specialist-Laboratory/Quality Improvement
Employer: American Embassy – Tanzania
Duty Station: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Application Deadline: 6th March 2014
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Incumbent serves as principal coordinator for laboratory quality assurance and quality improvement systems and services within the host country and is responsible for planning and implementation of capacity building of all laboratories to ensure consistency of results.
• In general, he/she reviews laboratory quality procedures and systems against acceptable international standards and protocols to ensure consistency.
• Job holder participates in developing and reviewing major initiatives including planning and writing the laboratory portion of Country Operational Plan (COP) each year and review of all cooperative agreements to assure that quality assurance and quality improvement practices are implemented in laboratories throughout Tanzania. He/she works with Counseling & Testing, Care and Treatment, Blood Safety, Prevention, Strategic Information and QI colleagues to ensure that programs are working together to complement support and capacity building.
• Assists in the planning, administration and supervision of on-going USG audits (such as SMS site visits) and participates in the inspection of operations, documentation, coordination and conducting of audits; and initiates corrective actions as appropriate.
• Job holder represents CDC Tanzania Laboratory Support Program at public health, technical, policy and strategic planning meetings with collaborators. Provides guidance and direction to grantees, program collaborators and contractors on management and implementation of quality assurance/quality improvement activities to ensure consistency with PEPFAR and international policies and guidance.
• Incumbent serves as a member and advisor on the USG technical working group for strengthening linkages and coordination of laboratory services quality improvement activities within USG PEPFAR programs and at national level. Participates in the development of protocols for evaluation of the quality of laboratory services and recommends improvement strategies following results.
• Represent CDC Tanzania in national and international meetings and workshops, and works in collaboration with NHLQATC and other laboratory cooperative agreement partners to writes abstracts for presentation in national and international forums.
• Provides technical assistance and oversight to the MOHSW, NHLQATC and other partners in the implementation of laboratory capacity building activities, including the evaluation of all proposals for testing programs and Public Health Evaluation (PHE) projects of PEPFAR partners, ensuring that quality assurance standards are being met, that protocols are being followed appropriately and recommends amendments/approval to supervisor. The annual budget for external laboratory programs in Tanzania in fiscal year 2014 is $9.5 million.
• Assesses national referral and regional laboratory capacity to implement quality assurance standards in the support of surveillance and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS and HIV-related risk behaviors, STI, TB, blood transfusion and other opportunistic infections (OIs) as well as international emerging infections. Develops strategies to strengthen capacities and capabilities based on assessment findings. Develops training plans and ensures competent instructors to provide training for personnel at laboratories within the Tanzania Laboratory Network.
• Ensure healthcare workers are trained and informed in quality procedures and practices.
• Plans, oversees and coordinates cooperative agreements with the host government for activities in areas of laboratory diagnostics, including the establishment and maintenance of the national quality assurance program. Institutes Quality Assurance (QA) programs, including internal and external quality control standards. Works with host government to support the accreditation process of laboratories that have been targeted for that process.
• Participates in the development of quality standards to enhance capacities of regional and referral hospital laboratories in support of surveillance for HIV, STD, TB, OIs and malaria. Standardizes testing protocols for diagnostics and surveillance to include quality assurance practices. Develops and updates national guidelines for laboratory systems at all levels of operation.
• Liaise as necessary with other organizations and relevant authorities, and provide assistance and cooperation concerning audits and remedial actions.
• Independently plans and summarizes reports on laboratory assessments and operational research studies for presentations at national and international meetings on HIV/AIDS, blood transfusion and other diseases.
• He/she assists in the standardization of lab equipment and preventive maintenance and provides technical specifications for the acceptability of procured essential laboratory equipment and supplies.
• Provides technical assistance on the architectural, structural, security and biohazard design aspects of on-going work related to laboratory renovation and establishment of new laboratories.
• Ensures proper budgeting of all national referral and regional laboratory activities supported by PEPFAR. Ensures validity of data and authorizes entry in appropriate data base.
• Serves as activity manager and main point of contact for 3 Laboratory branch cooperative agreements and contracts.
• Once cooperative agreement is in place, oversees performance of partner/contractor, carries out technical reviews, reviews progress, identifies potential issues and informs supervisor, recommending actions for amelioration.
• Provides guidance to laboratories requisitioning equipment and supplies on the international market.
• Works with host country to develop forecasting capacity for laboratory commodities.
• Maintains effective liaisons with program officers and partner staff to ensure that partners meet monitoring requirements for supported cooperative agreement activities (e.g., quarterly reports, continuation applications, and supplemental applications).
• Reviews cooperative agreement narrative and financial reports to assess progress in meeting stated objectives and the status of expenditures in relation to planned budgets.
• Conducts site visits to assess progress of partner organizations in meeting program objectives.
• Analyzes and evaluates program activities and writes reports and abstracts on findings for presentation at national and international conferences and meetings. Provides guidance and technical assistance to partners in analyzing and evaluating program activities and developing reports and presentations for conferences and meetings.
• As an in-country expert on matters pertaining to the quality of testing and quality management systems of laboratories located within Tanzania, job holder represents CDC/Tanzania at technical, policy and strategic planning meetings, including meetings with collaborators and donor agencies. Briefs agency officials on the results of such meetings and prepares written reports for submission to other interested parties.
• Represents the agency in discussing and developing financial commitment proposals for laboratory programs at administrative and strategic planning meetings. This includes all USG PEPFAR implementing agencies (Departments of State, Defence, Health and Human Services (including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health), USAID, and Peace Corps).
• Participates in internal and interagency technical working groups to ensure adherence to internationally accepted/directed standards for laboratories within the host country.
Note: Incumbent will be required to perform other duties as assigned by the agency.
• Bachelor’s level degree or Advanced Diploma in Applied Biology (Molecular Biology), Medical Laboratory Technology or related science (medicine, biology, microbiology or chemistry) is required. Completion of additional post graduate training in medical laboratory technology (minimum 6 months), such as specialist training in specific lab section, Molecular Biology, Quality Assurance Laboratory Testing Standards or MPH is required.
• A minimum of five years with Bachelor Degree or eight years with Advanced Diploma working in a laboratory setting, supporting HIV/AIDS health care, national reference laboratory or other public health laboratory.
Post Entry Training:
• Attendance at conferences and workshops addressing laboratory practice including HIV conferences and workshops. Agency-specific leadership and development and grants/cooperative agreements management training are required.
Language Proficiency: Level IV (fluent) in English and Kiswahili in (speaking, reading and writing) are required.
• Comprehensive knowledge and experience in advanced laboratory techniques is required including comprehensive knowledge of procedures for laboratory diagnostics and associated technologies. Thorough public health knowledge of current HIV/AIDS, as well as opportunistic infections issues is required. Good working knowledge of the principles of laboratory management including strategic planning, personnel, forecasting and management of procurement, supplies and equipment.
• Comprehensive knowledge of the host government laboratory facilities, health care system and structures including familiarity with MOH policies, program priorities and regulations is required. Good working knowledge of USG public health programs, strategies, methods, processes and techniques used to plan, develop, implement and evaluate results is required.
• Good working knowledge of team management techniques to plan, organize and direct multi-disciplinary project teams and activities and overall administrative requirements, budgeting and fiscal management in support of contracts/cooperative agreements/grants/purchase requisitions is required.
Skills and Abilities:
• Strong oral and written communications skills are required. Ability to analyze, understand and discuss program design, management and implementation approaches is required. This includes the development of evaluation designs, use of reliable and valid instruments, and methods for data collection, analysis and reports. Ability to lead project teams and workgroups and to develop effective working relationships with national and international working partners is required.
• The incumbent will be expected to exercise considerable ingenuity and tact in applying guidelines to unique and different settings, as the work is highly complex and can be threatening to stakeholders. Considerable innovation will be required to influence other collaborative organizations engaged in laboratory programs to adopt appropriate strategies for their program activities and to work with partners on national strategic planning for laboratory programs.
• Intermediate user level of word processing, spreadsheets and databases is required. Advanced knowledge of statistics and data analysis is required.
How to Apply:
Interested candidates for this position must submit the following for consideration of the application:
Universal Application for Employment as a Locally Employed Staff or Family Member (DS-174). A hard copy of the application form (DS-174) is also available at the American Embassy, gate 3; or
A combination of both; i.e. Sections 1 -24 of the UAE along with a listing of the applicant’s work experience attached as a separate sheet; or
A current resume or curriculum vitae that provides the same information found on the UAE (see section 3A below for more information); plus
Candidates who claim US Veterans preference must provide a copy of their Form DD-214 with their application. Candidates who claim conditional US Veterans preference must submit documentation confirming eligibility for a conditional preference in hiring with their application.
Any other documentation (e.g., essays, certificates, awards) that addresses the qualification requirements of the position as listed above.
3A. If an applicant is submitting a resume or curriculum vitae, s/he must provide the following information equal to what is found on the UAE.
Failure to do so will result in an incomplete application.
A. Position Title
B. Position Grade
C. Vacancy Announcement Number (if known)
D. Dates Available for Work
E. First, Middle, & Last Names as well as any other names used
F. Date and Place of Birth
G. Current Address, Day, Evening, and Cell phone numbers
H. U.S. Citizenship Status (Yes or No) & status of permanent U.S. Resident (Yes or No; if yes, provide number)
I. U.S. Social Security Number and/or Identification Number
J. Eligibility to work in the country (Yes or No)
K. Special Accommodations the Mission needs to provide
L. If applying for position that includes driving a U.S. Government vehicle, Driver’s License Class / Type
M. Days available to work
N. List any relatives or members of your household that work for the U.S. Government (include their Name, Relationship, & Agency, Position, Location)
O. U.S. Eligible Family Member and Veterans Hiring Preference
Q. License, Skills, Training, Membership, & Recognition
R. Language Skills
S. Work Experience
Submit Application To:
Human Resources Office
P.O. Box 9123
Dar es Salaam
Telephone: 229 4000, Ext: 4137/4148/4233/4024
Fax: 2294726 or 2294970