Public Health Informatics – Senior Technical Advisor (PHI – STA)

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

Position:  Public Health Informatics – Senior Technical Advisor (PHI-STA) to the Botswana National Public Health Institute (BNPHI)

Reports to: GU CGHPI Director for Strategic Information and CEO BNPHI

Collaborates with: GU CHPHI Technical Advisory Team assigned to BNPHI under the leadership of the Director for Health Protection and the BNPHI Pillar Leads and other CGHPI HQ Teams.

External Collaborations: Africa CDC, World Health Organization, CDC Botswana, and other stakeholders in the Health Protection ecosystem.

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 Informatics Senior Technical Advisor (PHI-STA) based in Botswana to support the Botswana National Public Health Institute.

Position Summary: The PHI-STA will provide advanced technical advice and hands-on implementation, including training and mentorship in support of BNPHI operationalizing the BNHPI health information system. The PHI-STA will support the development of guidelines and standards for health informatics and will provide expertise in the development/update of its policies and strategic plans. The PHI-STA will provide technical support to ensure that country informatics projects function effectively and meet requirements while coordinating the system analysis, data systems integration, design of informatics projects, interacting with developers in the field, and assisting with business development activities. The PHI-STA will provide technical expertise in software development, software project management, strategic information, eHealth, mHealth, and software modeling for projects across health protection programmatic and thematic areas. The PHI-STA will support all the BNHPI units to develop, roll-out, and maintain a country-wide information system. The PHI-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 PHI STA will work with all the BNPHI Unit Directors to perform the following functions:

  • Provide technical input into the design, planning, and delivery of projects, particularly software development projects
  • Work with the GU CGHPI counterparts to oversee the development and implementation of various global informatics projects, including activities such as strategizing informatics approach, requirement analysis, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and quality assurance of software products and tools developed.
  • Devise and recommend methods and procedures to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness, inclusive of developing and maintaining ICT SOPs for processes within the organization
  • Formulate new technology partnerships and collaborations, strengthening relationships for country ownership of projects
  • Serve as a key advisor to internal teams of BNPHI, external partners, and the Ministry of Health to identify new opportunities, approaches, and strategies to improve surveillance and public health campaigns through the application of new digital tools, improvements to existing information systems, and/or systems integrations.
  • Develop and document coherent and technology-appropriate software and hardware specifications for meeting user requirements in the country for user workflows, data collection forms, dashboards, systems integrations, and other platform components as needed, in line with programmatic objectives and data use needs.
  • Play a translational role in communicating technical approaches, user requirements, and software/hardware specifications to BNHPI technical staff and within its management.
  • Provide technical assistance in the creation and management of detailed health informatics (HI) and IT project plans, including governance structures, timelines, product management processes, and communication mechanisms to progressively design, develop, and test systems and mobile tools; pro-actively ensure HI projects are progressing and aligned with end goals
  • Provide technical assistance to BNPHI in the management of ongoing tracking and prioritization of software development activities while proactively managing changes in project scope, identifying potential challenges and roadblocks, and supporting the development of contingency plans
  • Provide expertise in solving HI and IT technical challenges to meet BNHPI objectives, including management of developers, challenges in technical design and architecture, and integrations
  • Test developer outputs and provide regular feedback on bugs and functionality to ensure solutions are being developed according to specifications.
  • Assist in the configuration of data collection, management, and reporting tools as needed, including user-friendly dashboards
  • Develop system roll-out plans and support system installation and device set-up ahead of implementation
  • Assist with capacity building for BNHPI staff by developing manuals, SOPs, and training materials in the use of information technology
  • Assist to cultivate a culture of data use within BNPHI by monitoring and strengthening the quality of data inputs, refining analytical outputs, and developing context-appropriate strategies to strengthen the usage and analysis of data by BNHPI.
  • Work actively and closely with BNHPI teams to design and implement M&E plans to routinely assess the performance of digital solutions as part of broader program M&E plans
  • Provide technical support for design, content development, and field implementation for electronic information systems. This function will include providing technical leadership for the hard coding of software applications and assisting other members of the programming team in developing actual logic statements for the coding of both surveillance and M & E indicators and software business rules where necessary and checking that all software development is done according to already established standards and procedures.
  • Ensure that the software and database tools developed meet the intended reporting and data output requirements for both internal and external uses.
  • Provide technical assistance for developing and implementing a systematic data analysis process of data outputs from the electronic information systems.
  • Perform backup and recovery of all databases. Manage database users and appropriate measures to ensure the security and confidentiality of program data.
  • Perform other functions as may be required.

Essential Qualifications and Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. A Master’s degree in a relevant field (information systems, computer science, medical engineering, etc.) will be highly considered in the final selection of a successful candidate.
  • Minimum 5 years of programming experience.
  • Broad experience designing, programming, and implementing large information systems including data systems design and interoperability solutions.
  • Ability to provide in-depth evaluation and analysis of unique complex technological issues.
  • Familiarity with broad surveillance data ecosystems in a country
  • Knowledge of OpenMRS, DHIS2, IPMS will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Experience with version control tools, like GIT, GitHub, SVN
  • Must work well in both a team environment sole contributor
  • Comprehend and communicate solution workflows and interactions with integrated systems (including but not limited to client devices 3rd party software)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Advise on best practice approaches
  • Knowledge of SOAP Web Services
  • Knowledge of RESTful API
  • At least 3 years of experience in software development and Linux environmen
  • 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
  • Professional Certification: Certifications in any software development are desirable but not required
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative public health survey methodologies will be an added advantage.
  • At least 3 years of providing technical assistance to the National Public health IT Unit