Develop Health Data Collection Standards, Guidelines, and Protocols


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

In the past year the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the impact COVID-19 has had on the health sector in Guyana, The Ministry of Health has been called on to meet the urgent data collection, analysis, visualization and related needs in order to meet the pressing public health needs. The epidemiology and surveillance unit, within the Ministry of Health, recognizes that development and implementation of key interventions must be informed by the understanding of the existing operational challenges related to surveillance and epidemiology. At the same time, the unit has also identified gaps that need to be addressed in this area. The current gaps identified relate to data analysis at a granular level, as well as to the development and distribution of surveillance products such as epi-bulletins among others. Therefore, the unit is currently working to address those gaps by implementing several changes to improve its functions in relation to data collection, analysis, interpretation of data and management. The Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) will be a part of this strategy, and will work closely with the leadership of the surveillance department within the Ministry of Health Guyana to design and implement strategies and activities linked to the goal of improving the quality surveillance and response interventions through better data management and health systems strengthening.

The VSPPs will help the Ministry of Health in operationalizing some components of its surveillance plan and collaborate with different actors in the health sector. The VSPPs will also review the components of the surveillance and response system and provide suggestions for its improvement.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

In collaboration with Host Country Partners, the VSPP will engage in the following tasks:
• Co-develop guidelines, standards and/or protocols around data collection that would enable the unit to effectively strengthen their national data collection efforts
• Co-develop a manual and data tools for national data collection activities
• Provide feedback on the status quo of in-country surveillance activities through interactive sessions with key actors including the leadership/delegate(s) from the surveillance unit and regional health offices and other VSPPs
• Have interactive training sessions with the surveillance unit and provide feedback on their work
• Prepare work plans in keeping with identified needs
• Review key documents
• Have interactive sessions with key MOH team members to support the development of relevant documents
• Have interactive sessions with key stakeholder groups as needed to support development of tools

It is expected that the Virtual Service engagement will last 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart which will be weekly calls, emails, which can be mutually initiated and bi-weekly check-ins through phone calls, Zoom meetings with counterpart with Peace Corps staff. These meetings will be between 8:00am and 4:00pm Monday through Friday local time.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in statistics, epidemiology, medical surveillance, health informatics, health information systems or related field

• At least 3 years of experience with data analysis tools such as SPSS and Epi Info
• Experience implementing research methodologies
• At least 3 years of public health experience

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: PhD in medical statistics, health information systems, public health, health informatics, epidemiology or related field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Excellent oral and written communication skills

• Experience collaborating with government partners and multilateral agencies
• Demonstrated mentoring or coaching experience

Partner background

Name: Surveillance Unit, Ministry of Health

Type of entity: Government

Mission and goals:

Improve the quality surveillance and response interventions through better data management and health systems strengthening.

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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