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Lead Diagnostic Network Advisor
Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) is a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project that serves the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), Tuberculosis (TB) programs and other related initiatives with the following overall objectives: (1) Improve the detection of diseases of public health importance and identification of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in priority infectious diseases including Tuberculosis (TB) through an accessible, accurate, adaptable, timely, and integrated diagnostic network system; (2) Improve the quality of real-time surveillance systems for pathogens of greatest public health concern, including AMR and zoonotic diseases, and; (3) Generate evidence-based guidance and innovative solutions to strengthen in-country diagnostic networks and surveillance systems. The Lead Diagnostics Network Advisor will support the diagnostics systems capacity building work for the IDDS project. IDDS supports select governments and their relevant ministries in the strengthening of their human and animal health diagnostic systems for infectious diseases, TB and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The work will focus primarily on public health systems but may also include private health and other non-governmental diagnostic facilities (laboratories and point-of-care facilities). The position will be based in Rockville, MD, USA and will involve frequent international travel.
The overall responsibilities of this position include working with the IDDS Diagnostics Lead, the TB and GHS Leads and other Advisors, and USAID to implement strategies to enhance diagnostic networks (both human and animal health and point-of-care facilities) as well as linkages to broader surveillance systems in project countries.
Provide technical support to the design, implementation, and monitoring of technical strategies to strengthen diagnostic networks that provide comprehensive coverage and universal access to diagnostic services. Specifically, the Lead Diagnostic Network Advisor will:
- Support the development of country-specific workplans and budgets for diagnostic network activities
- Support diagnostic network and facilities assessments, capacity building initiatives of both human and animal diagnostic networks, and implementation of strategies, programs, or tools to support diagnostic network capacity building.
- Support the monitoring and reporting of network enhancement activities as per approved workplans in close collaboration with other IDDS staff and diagnostic network leaders
- Support the development and implementation of technical assistance, diagnostic network and facility strengthening and quality improvement interventions in line with country national action plans and other assessment reports.
- Provide technical support based upon expertise with diagnostic systems strengthening, methods and strategies, current practice, and established diagnostic and operational standards while also being locally relevant and sustainable.
- Build capacity of country-level, regional or global diagnostic staff.
- Ensure the alignment IDDS supported strategies, workplans and quality improvement programs for diagnostic networks and facilities with accepted international standards and requirements.
- In close collaboration with IDDS surveillance staff, provides technical assistance to diagnostic networks to strengthen the accuracy and timeliness of reporting into national reporting databases
- Work with host country IDDS teams to assist laboratories with preparing for and seeking accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies, contingent on country demand.
- Share new knowledge/evidence and best practices with the project team, partners, and host countries.
- Provide support to emergency response efforts for infectious disease outbreaks.
Applied Knowledge & Skills:
- Project management experience with a large donor funded projects
- In-depth functional knowledge of diagnostic networks, clinical diagnostics and quality management systems applicable to infectious diseases (including TB) and AMR
- Knowledge of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the GHSA and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious threats and AMR
- Good understanding of the external environment and how it affects diagnostic network functioning in general, including political, legal, environmental, financial, and social influences.
- Strong capacity building skills.
- Ability to exchange information, present recommendations and collaborate with colleagues and peers within IDDS and externally.
- A minimum of an MSc in clinical diagnostics or a related field.
- At least five years of experience in diagnostics strengthening in developing countries.
- Proven knowledge and experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (including TB) and AMR including competence in current developments in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including point-of-care and molecular methods.
- Knowledge of strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA or in-country standards.
- A demonstrated ability to work with multiple partners on collaborative projects.
- Experience implementing diagnostic network capacity building
- Ability to travel at least 35% time, post-pandemic restrictions.
- Familiarity with USG strategies and policies
- Ability to communicate verbally and in writing at a professional level in French
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Rockville, MD (MD18)