The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Surveillance and Research Officer within its Public Health Division. This position will be located at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Public Health Division (PHD) supports members in developing healthier Pacific Island communities by providing assistance in public health surveillance, and in the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The primary focus of the division is to provide scientific and technical assistance and to support the implementation of plans and programmes in member countries and territories. The primary goal for all PHD activities is to promote population health and well-being, help communities prevent disease and restore and/or maintain health, and reduce inequalities in health. PHD is primarily concerned with improving and protecting public (population) health, rather than providing individual treatment services. PHD is comprised of three programmes: Surveillance, Preparedness and Response (SPR), Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Prevention and Control; and Clinical Services (CS).
The role – the Surveillance and Research Officer will specifically strengthen the SPR programme regional epidemic intelligence (EI) system that encompasses the collection, triage, verification and timely dissemination of information on epidemic and emerging disease in the Pacific. She:he will maintain and further develop the epidemic intelligence databases with routine indicator-based and event-based surveillance data and information; will analyse data and produce reports; and will contribute to SPR programme capacity development on field epidemiology, operational research and information and communication activities.
The key responsibilities of the role include the following:
Strengthen the Epidemic Intelligence system, and maintain the Epidemic Intelligence databases
• Contributing to the SPR Programme regional epidemic intelligence system that support timely reporting of epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific
• Screening and filtering selected media and other event-based surveillance information sources every day to collect raw data/information on signals and circulate relevant signals to the team
• Collecting data/information on signals/potential health events from routine indicator-based surveillance reports and circulate relevant signals to the team
• Updating the web-based interactive map and the static map on epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific
• Maintaining and updating the Epidemic Intelligence databases throughout the epidemic intelligence process
• Ensuring proper data storage and backups
• Exploring new technologies to improve the databases
• Assisting the team with database management during Mass Gatherings
Analyse data and produce reports or publications
• Providing accurate summaries and analyses of information on epidemics and circulation of communicable diseases in the region
• Assisting with the writing of scientific papers, annual reports and publications
Contribute to capacity development on field epidemiology and operational research
• Providing assistance in the delivery of capacity development programme on field epidemiology and operational research
• Contribute to operational research activities within SPR Programme, including undertaking literature reviews and drafting study protocols
Provide support to information and communication
• Assisting in producing data visualization products for the programme publications/communications
• Assisting in drafting thematic messages for PacNet
• Assisting in layout of scientific posters
• Presenting at regional or international conferences and forums
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
· Postgraduate degree in public health, epidemiology or other relevant scientific discipline
· At least 3 years of work experience in data analysis and management, preferably related to health issues
· Applied skills in public health surveillance
· Knowledge and understanding of outbreak-prone diseases and ability to analyse trends
· Experience in managing, updating and maintaining databases with large datasets
· Experience in data analysis software
· Experience in writing articles and reports
· High workload management skills with the capacity to work and deliver under pressure
· Experience and skills in training delivery, preferably related to public health
· Good organization skills
· Experience in producing information and data vizualisation products
· Fluency in English is required, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Strong people skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.
Remuneration – the Surveillance and Research Officer is a band 9 position in SPC’s 2022 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 3,140-3,829 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 449,687-548,326 (USD 4,491-5,476; EUR 3,768-4,595). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.
Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8 % of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.**Recruitment principles** – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.
How to apply:
Closing date: 22 May 2022 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)
Job Reference: AL000469
Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
· an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
· a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
· responses to all screening questions
Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.
Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):
Describe your experience in public health surveillance, from the collection to the dissemination of data and information, including data analysis and management of databases with large datasets? What were the key challenges and how did you address them?
What challenges do you think you will have in this job if you are hired?
Outline your experience in delivering field epidemiology and operational research training or other capacity building initiatives at regional or country level.