Akros is a cutting edge organization that establishes data-driven systems to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged communities. We pride ourselves in our ground-level knowledge of the service delivery systems where we work, and our ability to provide novel, lasting solutions implemented in developing regions. Our technical emphasis leverages open-source technology for community-led development. Projects range from supporting national Health Information Systems strengthening, to malaria case detection via mobile phone, to electronic data reporting for rural school administrators. The breadth of Akros’ projects has enabled our teams to establish working relationships at the sub-national and community levels in every province in Zambia (across nearly 40,000 villages) as well as at the central level in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. Akros staff members work with a broad range of donors, partners and stakeholders to pursue this mission, including USAID, Sightsavers, government officials and traditional leaders.
Akros is seeking an Informatics Program Associate to support data collection and data transmission activities. Since Akros programs constantly shift and grow, this Associate must be willing and able to independently develop flexible technical solutions that can quickly adapt and scale with little oversight. S/he will work under the oversight of Akros’ Country Director and Regional Director.
Programming, Database Architecture, and System Maintenance
- Configure, customize, test, and deploy new databases, such as DHIS2, Open Data Kit, iHRIS, and/or OpenMRS
- Manage and monitor mobile data transmission from diverse stakeholder base
- Install, maintain, troubleshoot, and update operating systems and user applications
- Train managers to optimize surveillance systems to adapting needs
- Conduct quarterly system audits to keep systems functioning optimally
- Handle bug fix requests or system improvement requests
- Recommend system changes as programming requirements change over time
- Work with programme managers to fully understand the systems and end-users, documenting these and adapting theories of change accordingly
- Test new applications and provide thorough feedback
- Create custom data transmission tools for Akros programs, including but not limited to, custom indicators in DHIS2, data transmission through automated HTML report, configuring of mobile J2ME applications, object-relational mapping between database systems, and capturing/importing of village coordinates
- Identify gaps in health policies and tools which impede the ability of decision makers to adequately target scarce malaria and HIV resources to target populations.
- Provide training and support towards regular data and record review to understand trends in disease reporting and application of diagnostic tests.
- Support development of systems for malaria case surveillance including the application of spatial tools.
- Engage government officials and program implementers to assess existing surveillance tools and brainstorm solutions to improve functionality.
R&D, Innovations, and Feature Development
- Brainstorm and document practical applications for development informatics
- Provide technology strategy assistance including, but not limited to, researching solutions, engaging with potential vendors or solutions, making recommendations for technical approaches
- Train employees and partners on software and ICT systems.
- Employ “Systems Thinking” and “Design Thinking” approaches to complex data collection and data dissemination challenges in low-resource contexts
- Contribute to technical concept development to facilitate Business Development process
- Create novel applications and widgets for Akros systems, pushing final release to core code of open source platform
- Other duties as assigned
- English written and oral fluency
- Bachelors degree (required) or Masters degree (preferred) in Computer Science, Information Technology, Informatics, Public Health Information Systems, or other related focus
- Experience in data management software such as R, SQL, STATA, SAS
- Demonstrated experience working with government and/or implementing partner staff to successfully achieve program goals
- Ability to lead in a multicultural environment and motivate other staff to excel
- Self-starter who will thrive through exemplifying ownership and initiative. Candidate should be highly productive and internally motivated
- Demonstrated ability to work well against complex and challenging delivery schedules
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Familiarity with DHIS2 database structure and Java Runtime Environments a plus
- Familiarity with Open Data Kit, Tableau, KoboToolBox, OpenMRS, iHRIS, Frontline SMS, ArcGIS and/or open source GIS applications, and/or Commcare a plus
- Experience leading technical software trainings, technical documentation, or knowledge management a plus
- Experience in health informatics a plus
- Experience in public health applications, particularly malaria a plus
Location, Term and Travel
This position will be for a period of 12 months. (Extensions may be available contingent upon performance and funding). The position will require about 50% travel to communities that benefit from Akros programs.
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