Position Description

Senior Health Security Specialist
Location Open
Department Prevent Epidemics
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to address important and challenging health issues. We develop and oversee programs to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality, providing expertise in project implementation and management, strategic communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, academic and other partners in a number of countries to strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org/ and http://preventepidemics.org/

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed over $20 billion to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The purpose of this position is to enhance ADB capacity to contribute to improved health security of its 38 Developing Member Countries (DMCs) across Asia and the Pacific. ADB, in collaboration with multilateral partners, national government, academia, and private sector specialists, has developed a “menu” of priority interventions for strengthening health security during COVID-19 response and recovery. Country demand for COVID-19 response and recovery resources exceeds current ADB capacity. Additional technical support is required to ensure that the unprecedented amount of resources available for COVID-19 are leveraged to produce significant and sustainable improvements in the region’s health security and also building resilient health systems that contribute to achieving Universal Health Coverage. The Senior Health Security Specialist will be embedded within ADB’s Health Sector Group to support ADB’s overall three-pronged response to COVID-19 by: (i) generating evidence, (ii) convening partners, and (iii) financing response activities. In seconding a Senior Health Security Specialist to ADB, Vital Strategies / Resolve to Save Lives is contributing to ensuring the effective use of ADB resources for health security strengthening in Asia and the Pacific.

  1. Generating evidence. The Senior Health Security Specialist will conduct analyses to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of health security-related projects in the region.
  2. Convening partners. The Senior Health Security Specialist will work with partners to support program implementation and keep him/herself and the whole organization abreast of technical matters related to pandemic preparedness and response and any other matters related to health security.
  3. Financing response. The Senior Health Security Specialist will play a key role in developing projects to strengthen local, national, and region-wide capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19 and other communicable disease threats.

This is a contract position for 12 months with the possibility of renewal. The role will be remote until it is possible to relocate to ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines.

Key responsibilities:

Under the leadership of the Chief of the Health Sector Group, and in collaboration with the Health Sector Group Secretariat, the Senior Health Security Specialist will work to ensure the effective use of ADB resources for COVID-19 response and recovery to build resilient health security systems. S/He will work on:

Project development and implementation

  • S/He will liaise with project officers and country stakeholders to identify country and region specific needs to strengthen health security capacity
  • S/He will assist in the development of country and regional projects to strengthen health security and contribute to universal health coverage in Asia and the Pacific
  • S/He will assist in project management and evaluation of COVID-19 response projects and other projects with health security components

Policy review and technical guidance

  • S/He will review existing technical guidance for investments, developed by partner organizations and develop guidance, as appropriate for future investments in strengthening health security, facilitating alignment with other donors’ approaches.
  • S/He will develop training material for country partners and other internal stakeholders on health security strengthening and technical updates
  • S/He will develop and/or share tools related to strengthening health security for capacity building
  • S/He will provide advice and guidance to project officers and others who are developing COVID-19 specific recovery programs

Contributions to cross cutting work

  • S/He provides technical inputs on health security matters to a range of internal stakeholders, including project officers, regional departments, and other sector groups.  

Partnerships

  • S/He works in close collaboration with partners, including normative agencies such as WHO, and attends relevant meetings and knowledge exchanges to keep him/herself and the whole organization abreast of technical matters related to health security and collaborates closely on partnership strategies for ADB.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree in public health/epidemiology and/or medicine
  • At least 15 years’ experience working in health systems preparedness and response
  • Experience with international agencies, and ideally multi-lateral agencies, on health security matters
  • At least 5 years’ experience in health system strengthening in a resource poor settings/ fragile, conflict and vulnerable environments (preferably in multiple DMCs)
  • Proven experience in developing health security related policies, tools, and technical guidance
  • Knowledge of best practices for health security related to pandemics, especially COVID-19
  • Exceptional technical writing skills in English
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate with others
  • Excellent knowledge of English; knowledge of other languages would be an asset
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