Senior Diagnostics Network Advisor- Rockville, MD
ICF seeks a Senior Diagnostics Network Advisor (DNA) to provide support to the USAID-funded Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance project. 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 DNA will support the diagnostics systems capacity building work for the 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. This position reports to the IDDS Deputy Project Director based in Rockville, this position operates under the management and oversight of the IDDS project senior management team, led by the IDDS Project Director.
The DNA provides 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. This will include 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. Specifically:
- Supports the development and implementation of technical assistance, diagnostic network and facility strengthening and quality improvement interventions in line with joint external evaluation (JEE) reports, country national action plans and other assessment reports.
- Supports the development of country-specific workplans and budgets for diagnostic network activities aligned with JEE and local stakeholder improvement goals.
- Supports the implementation of diagnostic network enhancement activities in countries which may include capacity building activities for core diagnostic components such as specimen referral mechanisms, quality management systems, supply chain, management information systems, diagnostic standard operating procedures and tools, qualified workforce, expansion of point-of-care diagnostic service points, and biosafety and biosecurity.
- Supports reporting of diagnostic network strengthening activities.
- Supports the monitoring of network enhancement activities as per approved workplans in close collaboration with other IDDS staff and diagnostic network leaders
- Provides 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.
- Builds capacity in country-level, regional or global diagnostic staff.
- Ensures 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 such as DHIS2.
- Works with host country IDDS teams to assists laboratories with preparing for and seeking accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies, contingent on country demand.
- Shares new knowledge/evidence and best practices with the project team, partners and host countries.
- Will be required to coordinate and work with a diverse group of organizations, such as; the Ministry of Health and Agriculture, diagnostic leaders and facility staff, several international and national development partner organizations, and the donor.
- An MSc in clinical diagnostics or related field.
- 5+ years' of experience (combination of long-term in-country placement and short-term technical assistance) in diagnostics strengthening in developing countries.
- Proven knowledge and experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (including TB) and AMR including specific hands-on clinical diagnostics experience.
- Competent in current developments in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including point-of-care and molecular methods.
- Good understanding of the external environment and how it affects diagnostic network functioning in general, including political, legal, environmental, financial and social influences.
- Knowledge of strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA or in-country standards.
- Knowledge of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the GHSA and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious threats and AMR.
- A demonstrated ability to work with multiple partners on collaborative projects.
- Ability and willingness to travel at least 35% in challenging country contexts.
- Experience implementing diagnostic network capacity building.
- Previous diagnostic network experience in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia
- Knowledge of French
Selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.
Working at ICF
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Rockville, MD (MD18)