Public Health Emergency Management – Senior Technical Advisor (PHEM – STA)

*Please send CV and Cover Letter to Jeremy O’Brien at

Position: Public Health Emergency Management – Senior Technical Advisor (PHEM-STA) to the Botswana National Public Health Institute (BNPHI)

Reports to: GU CGHPI Director for Health Protection Practice and CEO BNPHI

Collaborates with: GU CHPHI Technical Advisory Team assigned to BNPHI and the BNPHI Public Health Emergency Management Lead, other BNPHI Unit Leads, and other CGHPI HQ Teams.

External Collaborations: Africa CDC, World Health Organization, CDC Botswana, and other stakeholders involved in Public Health Emergency Management.

The Georgetown University Center for Global Health Practice and Impact (CGHPI) serves countries to sustainably improve health outcomes through the generation and translation of scientific evidence into policy and practice.

To achieve this mission, we catalyze the uptake, spread, and implementation of innovations; triangulate data from different sources and tailor visualization of the information for each audience; design and implement integrated service delivery models; support communities of practice to inform policy and practice through efficient data use and horizontal and vertical collaboration; disseminate best practices and evidence globally through open source learning networks; build global, collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and interprofessional networks; undertake research that is informed by local needs; and invest in local leadership to own, provide oversight, and sustain implemented interventions. The Center operates in more than 7 countries and domestically within the United States and continues to expand. To advance its mission and align with growth plans, the Center seeks a Public Health Emergency Management Senior Technical Advisor (PHEM-STA) based in Botswana to support the Botswana National Public Health Institute.

Position Summary: The PHEM-STA will provide technical and operational guidance on Public Health Emergency Management activities that will result in the strengthening of the local PHEM system to be resilient and responsive to any shocks with due attention to building both national sub-national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks or emergencies, and ensure the health system continues to deliver essential services under duress. The PHEM-STA will strive to further the implementation of evidence-based PHEM interventions and foster alliances that strengthen the country’s PHEM capacity, improve its effectiveness, and facilitate decision-making processes through improved data/information analysis, use, and quality at all PHEM levels. The PHEM-STA will provide advanced technical advice and hands-on implementation, including training and mentorship to support BNPHI in operationalization of  the country’s national PHEM system. The PHEM-STA will support the development of guidelines and standards for PHEM. The PHEM-STA will provide expertise in the development/update of national public health PHEM policies and strategic plans, operationalizing national PHEM infrastructure optimization, and developing core capacities of the country’s PHEM workforce. The PHEM-STA will play a critical role in the detection, monitoring, outbreak response, and provision of scientific evidence to prevent and control infectious diseases. The PHEM-STA will be a member of the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Practice and Impact (GU CGHPI)’s Health Protection Practice and will contribute to the Center’s other initiatives regionally and globally.

Essential Functions: The PHEM STA will work with the National Public Health Emergency Management Director at BNPHI to perform the following functions:

  • Advise, guide, and support national authorities to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and programs to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to national emergencies and disasters caused by all hazards or social conflicts.
  • Provide technical advice and guidance on establishing and/or strengthening national disaster/emergency programs in the health sector, including developing, implementing, and evaluating country strategies and work plans for health emergencies.
  • Provide expertise in the context of the International Health Regulations (IHR) to BNPHI in the prevention, early detection, verification, risk assessment, and investigation of epidemic-prone infectious hazards and the analysis and dissemination of data related to the occurrence of outbreaks in close collaboration with relevant units.
  • Advise national authorities on policies, norms, standards, and guidelines to support the development of critical core capacities for global health security; provide training and support to national authorities to develop critical core capacities.
  • Collaborate and support in preparation for Joint External Evaluations (JEE), State Party Self-Assessment Annual Reporting (SPAR), and other international reporting on surveillance.
  • Support sustaining the country’s representation at IANHPI.
  • Provide technical advice and guidance for implementing health emergency policies, concepts, tools, and strategies at the country level, for the prevention and, where feasible, elimination of diseases/epidemic risks.
  • Promote multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches and activities with key national and international partners at the country level to ensure the successful implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of capacities in line with IHR (2005) requirements.
  • Make recommendations and guide relevant courses of action to be taken in affected and non-affected areas to prevent and/or control the cause of excess morbidity and mortality related to emergencies and disasters.
  • Provide technical assistance to the BNPHI in maintaining relationships and coordination among all health emergency-related actors (Ministry of Health, national and international NGOs, UN organizations, etc.) on all matters related to emergencies and disaster management (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery), including resources mobilization.
  • Provide technical assistance in coordinating, planning, and conducting public health-related emergency preparedness and response training, periodic disaster drills, and exercises (SimEx, AAR, etc.) with applicable units, Incident Manager and PHEOC, other government agencies, and community agencies involved in public health emergency preparedness and response, as well as the public.
  • Provide expertise in the design, writing, and maintenance of public health emergency response plans, manuals, and standard operating procedures by utilizing local national regulatory guidelines and requirements to ensure plans are integrated with emergency response plans of other agencies
  • Provides technical assistance and advice on roles and responsibilities to department staff during emergency response.
  • Provides technical assistance in conducting research, analysis, and planning related to public health emergency response preparedness.
  • Perform other functions as may be required

Essential Qualifications and Experience Requirements

  • A university degree in Medical Sciences (MBBS / B.Pharm.), Behavioural / Social Sciences, Public Health, Demography, Biostatistics, Statistics, or any health-related relevant field with a master’s degree in Public Health/Epidemiology or statistics
  • At least 5 years of providing technical assistance to the National Public health Emergency Management Unit in any country preferably in sub-Sahara Africa
  • Comfortable with a team approach to programming and the ability to manage several major activities simultaneously.
  • Specialized training in emergency and outbreak management or specific training in humanitarian response, disaster preparedness, or risk reduction would be an asset.
  • Deep understanding and knowledge of the health system, particularly public health emergency management: preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Proficiency in word processing, Microsoft Office
  • Willingness to travel within and outside Botswana
  • Abilities: Strategic and analytical thinking skills with the ability to solve problems, make decisions, manage multiple tasks and prioritize, determine activities and projects towards measurable goals, and standard setting in collaboration with other team members.
  • Interpersonal/Individual Competencies: the ability to work with other team members, flexibility, decisiveness, and personal integrity
  • Proven training and mentorship experience
  • Previous experience coordinating and managing public health emergencies