The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Surveillance Information and Communication Officer within its Public Health Division. This position will be located at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Public Health Division (PHD) supports members in developing healthier Pacific Island communities by providing assistance in public health surveillance, and in the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The primary focus of the division is to provide scientific and technical assistance and to support the implementation of plans and programmes in member countries and territories. The primary goal for all PHD activities is to promote population health and well-being, help communities prevent disease and restore and/or maintain health, and reduce inequalities in health. PHD is primarily concerned with improving and protecting public (population) health, rather than providing individual treatment services. PHD is comprised of three programmes: Surveillance, Preparedness and Response (SPR), Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Prevention and Control; and Clinical Services (CS).
The role – the Surveillance Information and Communication Officer will be responsible for managing and strengthening the regional epidemic intelligence system of the SPRR. This position will facilitate and contribute to the dissemination of relevant public health surveillance and research information to professionals within and outside of the SPC, including PICTs members of the PPHSN and the media in a timely manner. He/she will support timely reporting of epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific, coordinate the development of communication plans and materials for the SPR programme and the PPHSN. This position will be also responsible for strengthening risk communication for routine and for enhanced public health surveillance during mass gatherings events.
The key responsibilities of the role include the following:
Manage surveillance information and communication
• Leading the SPR programme’s communication and visibility strategy/plan
• Supervising the production of data visualization products (maps or graphs) for the programme communications
• Coordinating external and internal communication to disseminate health information issued by the SPR programme or the PPHSN
• Keeping the SPR programme website maintained and continuously re-developed in line with SPC IT division requirements
• Participation and contribution to the PHD communication activities
Strengthen monitoring, uptake and utilization of information related to regional public health events/threats
• Managing the SPRP regional epidemic intelligence system (EIS)
• Supervising the screening and filtering of selected media and other event-based surveillance information sources
• Collecting data/information on signals/potential health events from routine indicator-based surveillance reports and circulate relevant signals to the team
• Updating the web-based interactive map and the static map on epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific
• Providing updated and accurate summaries/reports of information on epidemics and circulation of communicable diseases in the region
Strengthen response and support service capacity
• Leading planning and scaling up capacity among PICT health professionals on risk communication
• Maintaining and strengthening surveillance and response capacity at regional and national levels
• Providing technical assistance and advice to PICTs in strategic health communication or risk communication and community engagement
Contribute to PPHSN coordination, administration, and communication
• Assisting in organization of Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network regional events and workshops
• Contribution to the preparation and finalization of meeting agenda, PPHSN reports and correspondence
• Supporting the work of the PPHSN Coordinating body
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
· Bachelor’s degree in communication and information or related discipline
2. Technical expertise
· At least ten years of work experience in a publications-related field (in English and/or French), preferably in a health-related or other scientific field
· Proven knowledge and understanding of public health surveillance
· Experience in supervising and coordinating communications in a public health development setting
· High workload management skills with the capacity to work and deliver under pressure
· Demonstrated knowledge and experience in website design and development
· Experience and skills in adult training
· Proficient in the use of data processing and analysis software
· Familiarity with innovative computerised communication technologies
3. Language skills
· Proven and professional written and oral communication skills in English and French, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information and communications for the public
4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Strong people skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.
Remuneration – the Surveillance Information and Communication Officer is a band 10 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 3,490-4,267 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 510,921-624,563 (USD 4,852-5,931; EUR 4,282-5,234). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.
Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8 % of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.**Recruitment principles** – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.
How to apply
Closing date: 22 August 2021 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time).
Job Reference: AL000409
Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
· an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
· a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
· responses to all screening questions
Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.
Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):
Describe a relevant role you have held that prepared you for this position.
Describe how you would manage surveillance data collection and monitor its use for decision making and action in the Pacific.
How will you support risk communication needs of individuals and/or countries where face-to-face interaction is not feasible? Provide some examples.