Malaria Consortium is one of the world’s leading non-profit organisations specialising in the comprehensive prevention, control and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases among vulnerable and under privileged populations. We increasingly find our work on malaria can be effectively integrated with other similar public health interventions for greater impact and therefore expanded our remit to include child health and neglected tropical disease interventions.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Operational Research & Surveillance Specialist
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Role type: National
Length of contract: 2 years
Reporting to: Senior Project Manager
Direct reports: Consultants (Data collectors and supervisors)
Dotted Line Manager: Country Technical Coordinator
Travel involved: In-country
Country and project background
The Nigeria Country Office with office in Abuja, started operations in 2008, through the DFID/UKaid funded Support to National Malaria Programme, SuNMaP (2008 – 2016). The office had presence in 23 states of the country and has managed at various times, about 15 programmes and projects. It follows the mandate of the parent organization in Nigeria and has been working specifically in the following areas:
- Malaria control/elimination;
- Integrated community case management (iCCM) for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea;
- Nutrition; and
- Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Malaria Consortium has recently received grant from the Good Ventures to implement SMC in three West African countries including Nigeria. In Nigeria, malaria consortium has decided to use the fund to continue SMC implementation in the 4 states it has been supporting since 2013 with UNITAID (Sokoto and Zamfara), DFID (Katsina and Jigawa) and BMGF (Katsina) funds.
Under this new funding and any anticipated additional funding, all malaria consortium SMC activities in county will be consolidated into a single project and managed by senior project manager who will report to the country programme manager. A Zonal Project Manager will head each of the states.
- The Operational Research Specialist will provide technical inputs into OR designs for SMC.
- H/she will lead in implementation, data management, reporting and dissemination of project key outcomes relating to OR, ensuring standards and quality in project activities.
- S/he will contribute to the development of SMC learning agenda, particularly in operational research, working closely with the other technical experts in the project to maintain scientific soundness of activities and protection of research participants.
- The position holder will contribute to evidence base and support peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, conferences and presentations.
Scope of Work:
- The Operational Research Specialist will report to the Senior Project Manager and will be responsible for providing direct support and technical assistance in operational research to the project and its partners.
- The post holder will be a member of Malaria Consortium’s Research Group (one of the communities of practice).
- The post holder will work with the Senior M&E Officers, Data Analysis Specialist, M&E Specialist, Regional Epidemiologist and Country Technical Coordinator to share responsibility in ensuring that high quality operational research approaches are implemented in SMC Project.
Key Working Relationships:
- The Operational Research Specialist will work closely with the Senior Project Manager, an OR consultant as well as other M&E team members under the leadership of the Country Technical Coordinator.
- In the implementation of data collection activities, he/she will need to liaise with stakeholders such as the Federal Ministry of Health, State Ministry of Health, partner organisations and subcontractors.
- The position holder will support recruitment and maintenance of a network of data collectors and supervisors in SMC supported states. H/she will also work closely with a research advisor from the academia.
Key Accountabilities (percent of time spent on each area)
Operational Research contributions (75%):
- In conjunction with other project team members develop OR protocols and lead in pre-implementation activities such as securing ethical clearance and waivers where necessary, particularly where proposed procedures are not approved in national implementation guidelines
- Coordinate day-to-day technical preparations, implementation and supervision of research activities in SMC states
- Support the Data Analysis Specialist in statistical analysis of operational research data, and contribute to reports and publications to disseminate among partners
- Write periodic research-related reports for project for donors and other audiences as required
- Coordinate the implementation of in-country dissemination and research uptake activity plans, such as stakeholder consultations, media engagements, and country specific project learning outputs
- Advise and support the SMC state teams in managing activity plans, consultants and budgets for specific operational research activities.
- Support, and as appropriate lead, the documentation of operational research and lessons learnt from the project including drafting of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, learning briefs, learning papers and general documentation (e.g. narrative reports, infographics).
- Support the dissemination of lessons learned to national and global audiences through conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and technical reports.
Quality Assurance of Operational Research (10%):
- Ensure adherence to OR protocols during implementation. Flag any necessary changes to protocol and seek approvals as appropriate either from the CTC or the research ethics committees. Supervise SMC operational research project implementation and outputs, quality control of data collection and carry out regular project performance assessments as planned and other reports as required
- Working with the SPM, contribute to the adherence of research guidelines and embedding into research studies, standards of operational research quality
Capacity building and institutional strengthening (10%):
- Participate in building project capacity in operational research, mainly in the NMEP and SMEPs but also where appropriate within SMC team
- In liaison with the SPM and CTC, support capacity building initiatives of the project’s M&E team and contribute to the organisation’s strategic objectives
External Representation (5%):
- Participate in national or regional technical working groups as relevant