The MERLA Specialist will ensure quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in Uganda under the USAID-funded Act to End NTDs | East program. S/he will oversee the monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of program performance and results for country-led activities and assist in facilitating learning using those results. This role requires regular program data analysis and identifying areas for additional support. The MERLA Specialist will work closely with the Chief of party (COP), Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) and /RTI-HQ MERLA Staff to identify how results will be used for program improvement through programmatic adaptation.
The successful candidate should have robust data management skills especially data analysis expertise, strong attention to detail, and comfort working with large amounts of data at the same time. They should also be adept at packaging data in such a way that it is easy to use and disseminate to different target audiences for learning and adapting program activities for continual improvement. This individual must be able to collaborate respectfully with multiple teams from diverse backgrounds, and particularly with the Ministry of Health colleagues.. .

Essential Duties:
Data monitoring, collection, analysis, packaging, and reporting 40%
• Review data reported from specific program activities (e.g. surveys, mass drug administration, training) to ensure data accuracy and completeness.
• During routine and ongoing data review, communicate any problems with data quality to the relevant program officers/managers to ensure accurate data collection and reporting.
• Complete routine project reporting tools and forms according to the program schedule (work planning, two semi-annual reporting periods, regular updates to survey tracking tools, and additional as needed), collaborating with the Chief of party, Deputy Chief of Party, MOH program managers and HQ-based MERLA staff.
• Provide accurate and timely responses to ad hoc data requests.
Survey development, implementation, and analysis 20 %
• Support the development of protocols and reports for disease-specific assessments, data analysis to inform action-oriented conclusions, and the application of learning in collaboration with MOH/NTD program managers, consultants and the RTI technical team at country and HQ level.
• Supervise various field activities especially disease specific surveys to support high quality data collection and reporting.
• Lead the submission of survey outputs which include, but are not limited to, survey reports, raw survey data, and clean datasets.
• Support the development of protocols and reports for data quality activities, including but not limited to data quality assessments, treatment coverage evaluation surveys, and supervisors’ coverage tools in collaboration with MOH/NTD program managers and the RTI technical team.
• Travel to the field to assist in implementing surveys/provide technical assistance during the surveys and other MDA program activities.
• Liaise with the RTI-HQ electronic data capture team prior, during, and after surveys to finalize survey tools, track data capture, and review final data
Program learning and adaptation through data use 40%
• Support the COP/DCOP and program managers at MOH in ensuring coordination with stakeholders’ (DLG/sub-partner/etc.) agreement on protocols for data collection and reporting, as well as survey design and implementation are achieved and adhered to.
• Ensure country-level work plans and semi-annual reports appropriately incorporate the relevant data, including accurate and high-quality reporting and using data to inform strategy and activities.
• Analyze/use project M&E data to identify trends/patterns/outliers (e.g., low-performing districts) to discuss with the project management team
• Support stakeholders to regularly input information into and use the national data storage platform, such as the Integrated NTD Database, including using it to submit high quality data to WHO (including Joint Application Package [JAP], Trachoma Elimination Monitoring Form [TEMF], and elimination dossiers), etc.
• Provide technical assistance to MOH to facilitate high quality submission of JAP and TEMF.
• Work with in-country and HQ staff to identify opportunities for in-country learning and program adaptation, including operationalizing learning agenda action items.
• Support analysis of MERLA capacity strengthening needs within the program in Uganda, synthesize learnings, and work with project management team on a capacity strengthening strategy to promote in-country learning and adaptation.
• Contribute to cross-program learning by sharing experiences and lessons learned by in-country and HQ staff.
• Provide technical assistance to the MOH to facilitate mainstreaming of MERLA activities, including but not limited to incorporating NTD indicators and reporting into the HMIS system, ensuring continued high-quality reporting of control diseases after elimination, post-validation surveillance, etc.
• Coordinate and facilitate periodic pause and reflect activities, including but not limited to after action reviews post mass drug administration and disease specific assessments, utilizing the Data Action Guide, etc.
• Strengthen the capacity of the MOH and district local governments to conduct MERLA activities and institutionalize the approaches for said MERLA activities.
• Identify opportunities for operational and programmatic research, provide inputs as needed for development of protocol, data collection, data analysis, and report writing, with guidance from the COP/DCOPHQ MERLA team and MOH/NTD program managers.

Minimum Required Education & Experience
• Job Requirements are a combination of qualifications and related experience. Judgment of an acceptable equivalent combination, on an individual basis, is the responsibility of Management
• Master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, bio-statistics, social sciences or other analytics field, plus 6 years of experience; or bachelor’s degree in statistics, with post graduate training in M&E plus a minimum of 10 years’ experience in global health/ governance/ nutrition/ environment programs (a must)

Skills & Abilities
Skills and abilities required to perform the essential job duties of this job are listed below. An addendum that clarifies additional skills and abilities for incumbents in this job may be used in addition to this description
• Must have experience in quantitatively analyzing M&E data and synthesizing findings for programmatic use
• Proficiency with Microsoft Excel (required) and at least one other statistical package such as: R, SAS, STATA, or SPSS (preferred)
• Experience in designing and implementing qualitative studies, analyzing qualitative data and generating learning for programmatic use (preferred)
• Prior USAID experience preferred
• Knowledge of MERLA methods and approaches, as learned through coursework, internship, or work experience
• Experience managing electronic data capture and working with real-time monitoring of data (preferred)
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines under pressure
• Capacity to prioritize and manage multiple tasks
• Strong organizational skills and Detail-oriented
• Hard-working and Ability to prepare good quality reports
• Proven ability to work effectively in a team-oriented setting while also taking initiative to complete assigned tasks with high quality and within tight timelines
• Technical content experience in one or more of the following areas preferable: health systems strengthening, infectious diseases, NTDs, HIV, maternal and child health, nutrition, gender (preferred)
• High level of integrity and respect for RTI values and individuals
• Ability to communicate respectfully in a multi-cultural environment
• High accountability to inclusivity and team results
• Ability to demonstrate flexibility and accommodate to multiple personality and team needs
• An understanding of development issues
• Competency in English (required)

How To Apply

Closing Date : 17 March. 2021

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