Co-develop Data Collection Standards, Guidelines and Protocols for MOH Surveillance Unit
- Virtual Service Description: Co-develop data collection standards, guidelines and protocols for MOH Surveillance Unit
- Reference Number: VSPP426
- Country: Guyana
- Host Country Partner: Guyana Ministry of Health
- Number of VSPPs Requested: 2
- Eligibility: All RPCVs/RPCRVs are eligible to express interest regardless of where they served
- Engagement Start Date: On or about November 2021
- Engagement End Date: On or about April 2022
- Length of Engagement: The length of engagement may be up to 6 months long, including onboarding and off-boarding
- Sector: Health
Host Country Partner : Surveillance Unit, Ministry of Health, Governmental Agency
Type of Entity: Government Department within a Ministry
Host Country Partner’s Mission and Goals: Improve the quality surveillance and response interventions through better data management and health systems strengthening
In the past year the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the impact COVID 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 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. The VSPPs will work with different actors in the health sector.
Virtual Service Engagement and Tasks
The VSPPs will review the components of the surveillance and response system and provide suggestions for its improvement.
The tasks would include but would not be limited to the following:
- Develop guidelines, standards and/or protocols around data collection that would enable the unit to effectively strengthen their national data collection efforts
- 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
Optional Additional Activities
The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- 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. A number of recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities are outlined here.
- Master’s Degree in Statistics, Epidemiology, Medical Surveillance, Health Informatics, Health Information Systems or other 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
- Experience working in multi-cultural environments
- Patience and understanding when working with people of varying levels of education and expertise.
- Demonstrated mentoring or coaching experience. VSPP attributes (flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance of ambiguity, able to work independently, etc.)
- Resourceful, creative, flexible and patient; and genuinely motivated to serve
- PhD in Medical Statistics, Health Information Systems, Public Health, Health Informatics, Epidemiology or other related field
- Knowledge on the use of data analysis software tools such as SPSS and EPI Info
- Experience collaborating with government partners and multilateral agencies
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
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. Their host country counterpart will need to have access to a computer with internet in order for regular communication and collaboration as well as relevant software agreed on by VSP and Counterpart in order to implement activities identified when the work-plan is created.
VSP will be expected to sign a confidentiality agreement between the participant and Ministry of Health, Guyana in relation to having access to datasets and other information generated by the Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit.
It is expected that the Virtual Service engagement will last 24 weeks, including one week each for onboarding, with a time commitment of 15 hours per week. The 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 8am and 4pm Monday through Friday local time. 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 15 hours.
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.
Engagement Specific Safety and Security
The VSPP will receive a safety and security training on virtual engagement during orientation with Peace Corps. 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.
The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will also be expected to schedule regular check-ins with the designated counterpart within the partner organization .