Overview: The Laboratory Advisor (LA) will lead the laboratory capacity building work for a US-CDC funded project that will serve the Global Health Security Agenda to strengthen detection of priority infectious diseases, specifically COVID-19 and influenza in Myanmar and regionally as requested. The project will support the Myanmar government and their relevant ministries in the strengthening of their laboratory systems, primarily public health but including private health and other non-governmental laboratories. The position will involve frequent travel in country as permitted based on local restrictions related to COVID-19. The LA will have both administrative and technical responsibilities. The administrative responsibilities include managing assignments, the associated staff including those of any partners, logistics and budgets. The technical responsibilities include working with CDC and other technical partners implementing complementary programs in the country to assess and provide capacity building technical assistance to target laboratories and the associated diagnostic network in Myanmar. Such strategies to strengthen the overall surveillance systems for priority diseases. The primary responsibility of the LA is to ensure successful implementation of the project laboratory work plan and achievement of all FHI 360 targets and deliverables in Myanmar while managing and remaining within the approved budget. This position reports to the Principal Investigator or their designee. This position is based in Yangon, Myanmar.
Technical Responsibilities: The LA provides technical and scientific leadership to the design, implementation and monitoring of technical strategies, laboratory assessment and capacity building initiatives, laboratory data analysis and reporting, programs or tools to support laboratory capacity building for the project. Specifically:
- Leads the development of technical assistance, laboratory strengthening and quality assurance/quality control materials and programs.
- Responsible for the planning, conduct, and reporting of assessments of health laboratories supported by the project.
- Leads the follow-up to laboratory assessments with actionable improvement plans and technical assistance to achieve agreed improvement goals and enhance continuous improvement systems.
- Lead the development and/or enhancement of the specimen management and transportation systems in the country coordinating with all current systems that have a role in the same to improve access to diagnostic services.
- Responsible for developing and implementing continuous improvement initiatives to build laboratory capacity and quality with reference to accepted standards and requirements.
- Collaborate with surveillance colleagues (internal and external to the project) to enhance sentinel surveillance systems including strategic information systems.
- Encourage and assist laboratories with preparing for and seeking accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies.
- Assesses current technical, scientific, managerial and operational efficiencies at the country and regional level as appropriate.
- Provides guidance to ensure that program implementation adheres to appropriate laboratory technical standards and guidelines and that programs are technically sound.
- Other duties as assigned.
The LA provides technical advice based upon expertise and knowledge of evidence- based methods and strategies, current practice, and established laboratory and operational standards to ensure quality and rigorous design. Provides scientific leadership by staying current of evolving laboratory technical standards, guidelines, and program developments in area of expertise and sharing those with project-support laboratories, stakeholders, and project staff. The LA will be required to coordinate and work with a diverse group of organizations including CDC, the Ministry of Health laboratory staff and leaders, laboratory quality organizations, several international and national development partner organizations, and the donor in order to complete work.Accountabilities
Applied Knowledge & Skills:
- Provides technical leadership in laboratory quality and quality management systems.
- With technical oversight, provide technical leadership in design, development, planning, implementation, and capacity building of the detection components of COVID-19 and influenza.
- Responsible for accomplishing assigned job responsibilities and following the standards and practices of FHI 360 and the Laboratory Sciences Division.
- Responsible for planning and scheduling own workflow and timetables and that of other FHI 360 staff working on laboratory activities and that of recipient laboratories and partners supporting laboratory activities.
- Identifies areas for improved efficiency or effectiveness within prescribed parameters, and institutes enhancements to procedures.
- Maintains a constructive dialogue and technical exchange with field counterparts and technical staff of implementing and Consortium partners.
- Develops and maintains collaborative relationships with donor/client organizations, relevant government agencies, bilateral and other NGOs.
- Ensures that project implementation adheres to accepted international laboratory quality standards.
- Contributes to planning and making recommendations for project, operations, and/or implementation.
- Influences design and scope of initiatives and programs.
- Reviews, analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of the project and makes recommendations for enhancements.
- Develops strategies and tools for the design and implementation of laboratory capacity building components.
- Ensures the quality of implemented technical activities and systems at all levels.
- Represents the organization to external entities at professional meetings and conferences.
- Maintains collaborative relationships with donor/client organizations, relevant government agencies, bilateral and other NGOs and consistently maintained and viewed as a knowledgeable resource in their technical area.
- Continually maintains a dialogue and technical exchange with field counterparts and technical staff of implementing partners.
- Coordinates with employees and consultants, on-site and in the field for situations that is less routine and more unusual.
- In-depth functional knowledge of clinical laboratory medicine and laboratory quality management systems.
- In-depth functional knowledge of the diagnostics for infectious diseases (including COVID-19 and influenza).
- In-depth knowledge of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the Global Health Security Agenda and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious threats
- Good understanding of the external environment and how it affects laboratory functioning in general and FHI 360, including political, legal, environmental, financial and social influences.
- Good understanding of how laboratory systems and network support disease surveillance efforts.
- Strong diagnostic, analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to exchange information, present recommendations and collaborate with colleagues and peers within the organization and externally.
- Ability to influence others of the benefits/importance of an idea or plan of action and to gain their support or commitment.
- Strong negotiation skills and ability to reach mutual points of agreement and benefit among peers and colleagues.
- Will be required to lead diagnostic network coordination and work with a diverse group of national organizations including the Government and other diagnostic network leaders, development partners, other regional and global CDC staff and other complementary programs being implemented in the country.
- Master’s degree or its’ international equivalent in laboratory sciences with a specialism in microbiology;
- At least eight years of experience in clinical laboratory medicine in developing countries with at least five years’ experience in a laboratory quality management role; direct experience in Myanmar is preferred;
- Proven knowledge and experience in the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases
- Competent in current laboratory developments in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including point-of-care and molecular methods.
- Knowledge and experience with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA.
- A demonstrated ability to work with multiple partners on collaborative projects;
- Familiarity with international biosafety regulations and implementation in laboratories;
- A demonstrated ability to create and maintain effective working relations with host country governments and international organizations operating in country; and
- Experience to manage projects, set realistic priorities, and plan for the successful implementation of activities.
- May supervise junior staff members in country.
- Plays a coaching and mentoring role for others.
At least 35% in-country
This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.
This job posting summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.
FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.
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