Position Description

Project Manager – Rapid Mortality Surveillance in COVID-19 Response
Location Open
Department Data For Health
# of openings 1
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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 www.vitalstrategies.org 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.

Terms of Reference

Title: Project Manager – Rapid Mortality Surveillance in COVID-19 Response
Contract Type: Consultant
Contract Duration: July 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Start Date: July 1, 2020
Application Deadline: June 24, 2020

The Consultancy

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative 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. The Program involves 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.

In addition, the CRVS Team is a global leader in advancing the collection and use of Rapid Mortality Surveillance (RMS) data in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RMS consists of weekly reporting of all deaths occurring a national or sample population by age, sex, and location on a weekly basis. Vital Strategies’ role has been to lead the development of and support the uptake and use of the RMS Technical Package: https://preventepidemics.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RMS_Report.pdf. Currently we support work at the global and regional levels with WHO and other partners. At country level, Vital Strategies provides technical assistance and funding for RMS work in eight nations, with expectations of expanding to several more. We also support a regional partner in Africa, AFENET, to provide technical assistance to five additional countries.


• Monthly donor reporting, and other reporting as needed
• Data outputs from the Rapid Mortality Surveillance system for each country we are supporting

Core Responsibilities:

This is a full-time, six-month consultant role that will provide project management support and donor reporting for:

• Up to 14 country RMS projects directly supported by Vital Strategies Technical Advisors
• Up to 5 country RMS projects implemented by AFENET
• Up to 5 country RMS projects in Asia/Pacific

Key Responsibilities

• Maintain situational awareness of a quickly evolving portfolio of 10+ CRVS/RMS projects
• Ensure existing project management tools (Smartsheet, Monday.com) are routinely updated by project leads
• Develop and expand project management tools as necessary to capture evolving details and meet needs for visibility by colleagues
• Serve as a liaison for CRVS and other Vital Strategies team members requiring project details or status updates
• Contribute project updates to donor reporting materials
• Coordinate communication with internal teams as well as partners from external agencies
• Monitor ongoing projects and direct follow-up items from meetings to appropriate team members to ensure completion
• Provide support for requests to Director of CRVS Improvement and Deputy Director, Technical Implementation
• Perform additional tasks as requested by Director of CRVS Improvement and Deputy Director, Technical Implementation related to RMS work

Consultant background must include:

• 6+ years of project management or similar experience in rapidly moving environment
• Bachelor’s degree in relevant field (e.g., public administration, public health)
• Familiarity with public health and/or health systems strengthening preferred
• Experience working with Smartsheet and Monday.com preferred
• A quick grasp of subject matters with a strong work ethic, insight, and accountability
• Proven capacity to work with colleagues in multidisciplinary or multiagency setting
• Ability to work well remotely and across different time zones, with flexibility to attend meetings outside of traditional working hours
• Advanced written and oral communication skills in English. Spanish proficiency a plus


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