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Senior Technical Specialist


MOMENTUM is a suite of USAID-funded projects that seek to accelerate reductions in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity in high-burden, USAID-supported countries by increasing the capacity of host country institutions and local organizations to introduce, deliver, scale up, and sustain the use of evidence-based, quality, equitable maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), voluntary family planning (FP) and reproductive health (RH) services.

MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator is a five-year project led by prime grantee Population Reference Bureau (PRB), with collaboration from sub-grantees, John Snow Inc. (JSI) and Ariadne Labs (both PRB and JSI are based in Washington D.C.). MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator is focused on monitoring and evaluation, innovation and adaptive learning, knowledge management, and strategic communication for a suite of USAID awards under the MOMENTUM umbrella. The consortium will synthesize and package key program data, information, and learning from across the suite of awards; promote and track the use of data and learning for improving MNCH/FP/RH programming; share best practices with key regional and global stakeholders through various live and digital platforms; and raise broad awareness about the project’s impact.

As part of the work to achieve these goals, MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator will catalyze innovations that advance the fields of Monitoring and Evaluation, Adaptive Management, and Knowledge Management through a virtual learning lab called “MAKLab.” This effort will serve as a virtual platform and convening mechanism to support testing and adoption of innovations in measurement, adaptive learning, and knowledge management supporting the MOMENTUM suite of projects to increase their ability to meet the goals of improving access and uptake of quality, equitable and accessible maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), voluntary family planning (FP) and reproductive health (RH) services.

The scope of MAKLab is still being developed but will include providing support/opportunities for: 1. advancing new metrics to address gaps identified through the MOMENTUM partners and the MNCH-FP community, 2. identifying and providing support to adapt and implement new tools and approaches to support adaptive learning, and 3. providing opportunities to partners across MOMENTUM to design, test, and spread innovation in measurement, adaptive learning and knowledge management.  The MAKLab will draw from the experience of USAID’s Learning Lab and Global Development Lab, the CLA work and other work to accelerate learning and improvement. The MAKLab work is highly integrated into the broader work of the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator and will be developed with guidance and input from each of the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator partners.

Core Duties:

MakLab is seeking a highly motivated professional to join their team as the Senior Technical Specialist (STS). They will be a confident and collaborative team player that comes equipped with experiences in research, monitoring and evaluation, and program implementation. The STS will regularly draw upon their analytical and critical thinking skills in order to synthesize and organize complex ideas and information with a high level of attention to detail. The STS develops and aligns goals and plans, and communicates priorities with diplomacy and confidence to a range of audiences — consistently displaying responsiveness and engaging with stakeholders with diverse needs.

The STS will report to Ariadne Labs’ Chief Medical Officer, the Principal Investigator for Ariadne Labs on the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator grant. The MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator project team at Ariadne Labs also includes the Innovation & Adaptive Learning Senior Advisor (external), a Project Manager, and multiple members of Ariadne Labs’ Science & Technology and Innovation teams.

The MAKLab’s Sneior Technical Specialist will be responsible for supporting the design and implementation of the MAKLab. In collaboration with the Innovation & Adaptive Learning Senior Advisor, the MAKLab Technical Specialist will:

–       Lead the design and planning of MAKLab’s operationalization, including collaborating with the project’s leadership in defining the set of core MAKLab activities and the operational plan to develop the capacity and capabilities needed to carry out the work and achieve the MAKLab goals.

–       Once the MAKLab is functional, The MAKLab Senior Technical Officer will work closely with the Innovation & Adaptive Learning Senior Advisor and the project’s technical leadership, on the design and implementation of MAKLab, including identifying and responding to requests from other MOMENTUM award partners for adaptive learning and implementation research, and targeted capacity building on the integration of adaptive learning plans and practices.

–       In years 3-5 of the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator grant, it is anticipated that the MAKLab Senior Technical Specialist will continue to lead the expansion and iteration of MAKLab design and activities to contribute to MOMENTUM’s goals.

Within Ariadne Labs, the Senor Technical Specialist will:

–       Play a key role in assembling and coordinating the necessary expertise of Ariadne Labs’ Innovation, Science & Technology, and Implementation platforms, as well as maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health, and measurement expertise from Ariadne Labs’ project teams, and other expertise from other Harvard University partners as needed in support of the MAKLab activities.

–       Be responsible for representing the MAKLab for MKA-related communication and convenings, including with MOMENTUM award and USAID partners, and in situations where the Innovation & Adaptive Learning Lead or the Innovation & Adaptive Learning Senior Advisor are not able to be present,.

PLEASE NOTE: When normal business operations resume, this position will require occasional travel to Washington DC to meet with MOMENTUM partners and USAID.

PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term appointment of one year from date of hire with the possibility of extension.

PLEASE NOTE: Shortlist candidates will be required to submit a writing sample.

PLEASE NOTE: Until our return to campus and full operational status, which is still to-be-determined, this interview process and position will take place in a modified manner – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work.

Term Appointment End Date: 

 One year from date of hire with the possibility of extension


Education Requirements

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required.

Experience Requirements 

7+ years of related experience required.

Preferred Education (i.e. – Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, etc.)

–       Master’s Degree is strongly preferred.

–       Experience with maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning and / or reproductive health (MNCH / FP / RH) strongly preferred.

–       Experience with adaptive learning and / or adaptive management practices, particularly for measurement, monitoring & evaluation, implementation, and/or quality improvement content areas strongly preferred.

–       Experience conducting health care or related research or evaluation in low or middle income countries, preferentially implementation research or health systems delivery research or evaluation strongly preferred.

–       Experience in a role requiring leadership and collaboration both within an organization and with external partners, as experience in efficiently and diplomatically working as part of a team effort preferred.

–       Experience in program implementation, providing implementation training, and/or other capacity building activities in managing public health programs in low or middle income country settings preferred.

–       High level of data literacy, including metric design and utilization at the global, national, sub-national and facility levels, particularly in global health fields preferred

–       Multitasks, prioritizes, and recognizes when concerns need to be escalated in a fast-paced environment preferred

–       Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including presenting scientific ideas and results both verbally and in writing preferred

Leads through and manage the ambiguity and the early stages of project or program development preferred

For more information or to apply please visit the Harvard Careers Portal and search Requisition “52640BR”.