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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.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

At Ariadne Labs, the MAKLab Technical Specialist 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 Technical Specialist will be responsible for supporting the design and implementation of the MAKLab. In year 2 of the MOMENTUM Knowledge Accelerator project, 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 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 MAKLab 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.

The MAKLab Technical Specialist will also 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.


Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • 5+ years of relevant work experience in a relevant field of expertise such as implementation research, health systems delivery, program implementation in low or middle income countries, monitoring and evaluation, adaptive learning or management

Additional Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree is strongly preferred
  • Advanced clinical degree, PhD or DrPH or DrSci (ScD) is a plus
  • 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 well as a demonstrated ability to work efficiently and diplomatically 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
  • Knowledge of and experience with context specific, mixed methods data collection approaches, awareness of new digital/mhealth methods and/or participatory/community based approaches preferred
  • Experience with USAID-funded projects highly preferred, including working with national or subnational stakeholders
  • Professional proficiency in a second language, French preferred
  • Leveraging the networks, talents, and expertise of individuals within and external to their network and organization to develop and apply expertise to address the needs of the MAKLab request 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
  • Develops and maintains senior level external relationships through in-person and virtual communication preferred
  • Integrates Ariadne Labs’ design and innovation expertise from the Ariadne Labs Innovation platform and existing base of experience preferred
  • Works collaboratively with multidisciplinary colleagues and partners on large, complex initiatives preferred
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills; synthesizes and organize complex ideas and information, and with a strong attention to detail 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
  • Communicate priorities with diplomacy and confidence to a range of audiences, consistently displaying responsiveness and engaging with stakeholders with diverse needs preferred
  • Leads through and manage the ambiguity and the early stages of project or program development preferred

To apply or for more information please visit the Harvard Careers Portal and search Requisition “52323BR”