Public Health Surveillance – Senior Technical Advisor (PHS – STA)

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

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

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

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

External Collaborations: Africa CDC, World Health Organization, CDC Botswana, The Global Fund, and other stakeholders involved in Public Health Surveillance.

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

Position Summary: The PHS-STA will promote, coordinate, and implement technical assistance activities directed toward the surveillance, prevention, control, and elimination of public health events that are technically sound and appropriate for the context in which they are implemented. The PHS-STA will strive to achieve a sustainable impact on health by providing normative guidance while furthering the implementation of evidence-based surveillance interventions and fostering alliances that strengthen country surveillance capacity, improve its effectiveness, and facilitate decision-making processes through improved information coverage, analysis, and quality at all levels. The PHS-STA will provide advanced technical advice and hands-on implementation, including training and mentorship in support of BNPHI operationalizing the country’s national public health surveillance system including establishment of case-based, sentinel and events-based surveillance systems. The PHS-STA will support the development of guidelines and standards for surveillance. The PHS-STA will provide expertise in the development/update of national public health surveillance policies and strategic plans, operationalizing national public health surveillance infrastructure optimization and developing core capacities of the country’s public health surveillance workforce. The PHS-STA will support the surveillance unit under BNPHI to develop, roll-out, and maintain a country-wide surveillance information system following the One Health Approach. The PHS-STA will play a critical role in the detection, monitoring, outbreak response, and provision of scientific evidence to prevent and control infectious diseases. The PHS-STA will be a member of the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Practice and Impact (GU CGHPI)’s Health Protection Practice & the Strategic Information Practice and will contribute to the Center’s other initiatives regionally and globally.

Essential Functions: The PHS STA will work with the National Public Health Surveillance Director at BNPHI to perform the following functions:

  • Provide technical assistance to BNPHI on implementing public health surveillance programs and initiatives including, but not limited to, antimicrobial resistance, vector control, emerging and re-emerging diseases in the context of one health and neglected diseases aimed at prevention, control, and elimination.
  • Promote collaboration between the BNPHI and other pertinent sectors to strengthen the capacity to monitor surveillance activity progress and the impact of public health interventions.
  • Provide technical assistance to BNPHI to develop standards, guidelines, and procedures for a surveillance operation and evaluation of surveillance activities while optimizing the use of the country’s public health surveillance systems and related infrastructure.
  • Provide expertise in the application of epidemiological, survey, and surveillance concepts, principles, and methods for the planning, programming, administration, and evaluation of disease surveillance, prevention, and control programs.
  • 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 assistance for developing and managing surveillance information systems to ensure surveillance data availability for monitoring and reporting.
  • Provide expertise in the analysis, systematization, and dissemination of scientific and evidence-based technical information and knowledge to support the development of public health surveillance policies and regulations for disease prevention, control, and elimination.
  • Support technical cooperation with the BNPHI to collaborate with Unit Directors and other sectors in implementing the International Health Regulations (IHR), including the activities of alert, preparedness, and response to epidemics and crises, and public health emergencies.
  • Participate in obtaining extra-budgetary funds by assisting BNPHI in preparing surveillance project proposals for the appropriate national, bilateral, and international financial agencies for surveillance research and capacity building while collaborating in the implementation, monitoring, and reporting of those projects if successful.
  • Promote the surveillance, prevention, and control of public health events with an emphasis on strengthening local health services in the context of primary health care to carry out program activities.
  • 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 and must have attained a master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Epidemiology. A PhD in Epidemiology will be an added advantage.
  • At least 5 years of providing technical assistance to the National Public health Surveillance Unit preferably in sub-Sahara Africa.
  • Comfortable with a team approach to programming and the ability to manage several major activities simultaneously.
  • Proficiency in word processing, Microsoft Office and statistical analysis packages such as STATA, SPSS, SAT etc..
  • 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
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative public health survey methodologies will be an added advantage.
  • Proven training and mentorship experience
  • Verifiable record and experience in disease surveillance