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Principal Programme Officer, Disease Surveillance an Intelligence at African Union (AU)

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).  We are an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Principal Programme Officer, Disease Surveillance an Intelligence

Requisition ID: 741
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Organization: African Union Commission – AUC

Reports to: Head of Division – Disease Surveillance and Intelligence, Africa CDC

Directorate/Department: Africa CDC

Division: Disease Surveillance and Intelligence

Job Grade: P4

Contract Type: Regular

Purpose of Job

    • The Principal Programme Officer – Disease Surveillance and Intelligence will be responsible of  providing technical assistance  to advance African CDC strategic priorities and initiatives by working with Member States and relevant regional implementing partners to strengthen health-related surveillance systems for improved public health decision making and action.
    • The activities are designed to improve the health of the people of Africa through the use of surveillance data to enhance public health preparedness and response to emergencies and other health events (including outbreaks, man-made and natural disasters, and public health events of regional and international concern) and building capacity to reduce disease burden in the continent.
    • In carrying out the work of the Division, the Principal Programme Officer supports the implementation of public health surveillance and epidemiologic activities, workforce development, strengthening of information systems, laboratory networks, and other related health systems strengthening activities.

Main Functions

    • Provide technical and intellectual support and guidance in the management of various elements related to the area of expertise
    • Identify best practices and monitor effectiveness of the Office’s support to AU.
    • Assist in the development of the strategies and business continuity plan and participate in/ensure their implementation
    • Take charge of development of guidelines, policies and manuals that can guide programmes, system improvement initiatives and overall decision making by higher management in the respective area of expertise.
    • Foster and ensure implementation of initiatives related to area of specialization;
    • Assist in the organization of thematic networks, make high level technical contribution during consultations and meetings
    • Develop materials and provide necessary training and support to Organization Units as required.
    • Provide technical guidance on matters relating to system review and implementation project in area of specialization, as required.

Specific Responsibilities

The Principal Programme Officer shall:

    • Provide technical support to ensure the vision, mission and guiding values of the Africa CDC are developed, communicated, and implemented by Africa CDC and implementing partners as appropriate;
    • Plan, develop, and implement Division specific policy and programme objectives, strategic plans, annual work plans, activity action plans, resource plans and budgets, staff performance plans necessary to achieve core strategies, outcome-oriented goals, and objectives.  Evaluate and report on progress;
    • Provide expert advice and consultation to Member States, RCC’s, NPHI’s, key stakeholders and partners regarding implementation of Africa CDC surveillance initiatives and programmes, e.g., Events Based Surveillance (EBS), emergency preparedness and response, strengthening disease monitoring and surveillance and laboratory systems and health information systems, workforce development and other activities through the regional integrated surveillance and laboratory networks (RISLNET);
    • Provide technical assistance to improve existing event-based surveillance systems for outbreak detection, including efforts to incorporate information streams from laboratories, clinical care facilities, communities and across other sectors.
    • Work closely with the office of the Head of Management and Administration to ensure all resource requirements for Division activity implementation are communicated, processed and delivered. Facilitates and ensures monitoring and reporting for Division expenditures.
    • Facilitate and coordinate, and lead when appropriate, the design of technical proposals/programmes and/or write, contribute and/or review proposals for implementation of agency initiatives, programs and projects;
    • Facilitate, coordinate and contribute to the development of briefing notes, strategy documents, guidelines, and standard operating guidelines. Help lead efforts to document results and lessons from projects, in white papers or journal articles. Prepare input for reports, slides, and other materials as required
    • Under the direction of the designated Africa CDC Incident Commander, provides technical services delivery in support of Africa CDC Emergency Response activities as appropriate and assigned.
    • Facilitate and coordinate development of standard operating procedures and monitoring and reporting mechanisms for strengthening regional and national surveillance systems;
    • Facilitate and coordinate the development of tools and systems for the analysis, interpretation, and use of surveillance data for public health policy making and to guide decisions on allocation of public health resources;
    • Facilitate and coordinate development of planning tools and reference guidance for regional surveillance capacity strengthening, working in collaboration with the NHPIs;
    • Facilitate and coordinate crosscutting surveillance support across Divisions and Regional Collaborating Centres as appropriate.  Special emphasis will be placed on Emergency Operations Center activities involving outbreak response, including disease surveillance, investigations, analysis, and reporting of disease threats across Africa;
    • Perform other duties as assigned.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

    • Candidates must have a Master’s Degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Science, Health-Services Research or related health discipline with at least ten (10) years of relevant work experience, out of which six (6) and three (3) years should be at expert and supervisory levels respectively OR
    • Candidates must have a Bachelor degree in a relevant discipline such as, but not limited to, Public Health, Epidemiology, Health-Services Research, Health Outcomes Research, Biostatistics, Environmental Science or Decision Sciences with at least twelve (12) years of relevant work experience out of which six (6) and three (3) years should be at expert and supervisory levels respectively
    • Clear understanding of health systems on the African continent and fair knowledge of operations of the Ministry of Health in Member States.
    • Knowledge of public health programmes, health sciences research and health systems strengthening, and experience in supporting projects and programmes under government ministries and external donors. Knowledge and experience in supporting Public Health programmes or other public sector projects and programmes under government ministries and external donors.
    • Knowledge of public health issues in Africa, and at least 10 years previous experience working in Africa.
    • Relevant* experience should be in implementing public health programmes, with special emphasis on epidemiology and surveillance or other public health programme and/or health sciences and outcomes research in any setting, including a governmental agency, an academic institution, a research organization or a life-sciences company.
    • *Relevant experience is defined as implementing/coordinating public health epidemiology and surveillance or other public health programme and/or health sciences research programme.

Required Skills

Functional Skills:

    • Technical expertise and experience in supporting and/or managing complex, public health programmes related to disease prevention and control, epidemiology and surveillance and other health information systems.
    • Familiarity with the administrative and management practices and processes typically employed by public health and other public sector programmes.
    • Sound technical writing skills, in addition to narrative and financial reporting skills.
    • Excellent organizational and time-management skills and a proven ability to deliver under tight deadlines and works well under pressure.
    • Resourceful and skilled at collecting, analyzing and using data to recommend, make and communicate decisions of a technical nature for both technical and lay audiences.
    • Excellent computer skills, including office administration and statistical software applications and online digital information systems.
    • Proficiency in one of the African Union working languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish) is required. Knowledge of one or more of the other AU working languages would be an added advantage.
    • Excellent skills and abilities applied to translating technical information into presentations, briefings and report and funding proposals for both technical and lay audiences.
    • Excellent interpersonal skills to work in a multicultural environment
    • Excellent communication (oral and written) and good presentation skills, provide programme consultation, and credible response to inquiries.
    • Excellent technical and scientific writing skills, in addition to narrative and technical reporting skills.

Personal Abilities:

    • Ability to work under pressure, stay on track and meet deadlines
    • Good analytical and problem solving skills
    • High level of autonomy at work, yet with profound team-spirit
    • Adaptive, patient, resourceful, resilient and flexible
    • Pro-active and solutions oriented
    • Ability to use clear, concise language in correspondence as well as including content fitting for the purpose and audiences when preparing written briefs and reports
    • Ability  to work in a multicultural environment

Leadership Competencies:

    • Strategic Insight
    • Developing others
    • Change Management
    • Managing Risk

Core Competencies:

    • Building Relationships
    • Foster Accountability Culture
    • Learning Orientation
    • Communicating with Influence

Functional Competencies:

    • Conceptual thinking
    • Job Knowledge and Information Sharing
    • Drive for Result
    • Continuous improvement orientation

Enure of Appointment

    • The appointment will be made on a regular term contract for a period of three (3) years, of which the first twelve months shall be considered as a probationary period.
    • Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and deliverables.


    • Proficiency in one of the AU working languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish) and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage


Indicative basic salary of US$ 42,879.00  (P4 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$ 26,208.00 (per annum), and education allowance (100% of tuition and other education-related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$ 10,000.00 per child per annum), for internationally recruited staff and a maximum of $3,300 per child per annum for locally recruited staff.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Gender Mainstreaming: The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply

Application Deadline  22nd November 2021.

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