Public health expert/epidemiologist for consulting NGO consortium on Russia

A group of Russian and European organizations jointly implementing human rights programming in Russia for the next 2-3 years are looking for an experienced epidemiologist/infectious diseases expert or public health expert with substantial experience in humanitarian crisis or epidemic settings. The expert will consult us on the development of a protocol for our work that allows us to keep our staff, our partners and beneficiaries safe and contribute to optimal public health outcomes in Russia. The protocol will be based on the realities of our and our partner organization’s work, a Do No Harm ethic and mainstream human rights principles.

We and our partners (community-based human rights organizations across Russia) conduct a wide range of typical human rights programming (legal consultations and representation in court, raising awareness, documentation, education, youth programming, public events, visiting prisons etc). Between us, we engage with thousands of residents of Russia, all across the country, many of whom are vulnerable to COVID-19 as well as to the effects of social isolation and quarantines as well as the imminent economic crisis. We also engage in publicity work through the media and by maintaining our own social media accounts and blog.

We are looking to recruit a public health expert or epidemiologist who can help us create a protocol for reviewing and adjusting our work, so that we will not unintentionally put people’s lives and health at risk and use our combined impact to promote public health and safety. This protocol would be established collaboratively, during a workshop-style exercise (if online), with the expert explaining the public health impact of our typical work, recommending adjustments to reduce or eliminate any unintentional harm and alert us to potential effects of our work and challenges we are not yet aware of. The expert will also answer any of our team members’ health and safety-related questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic. After the creation of the initial protocol, the expert may be contacted over several months with follow-up questions and requests for advice.

Candidates interested in this role should meet the following requirements:

Mandatory:

  • Degree in medicine and/or advanced degree in public health or epidemiology
  • Strong grasp of emerging research on the coronavirus and COVID-19 sickness, as well as of public health measures implemented by governments and private organizations around the world
  • At least 3 years professional experience in public health program-/policy-design and implementation
  • Experience in infectious disease or other public health or humanitarian emergencies
  • Experience designing public health policies and protocols with multiple, diverse stakeholders
  • Experience leading collaborative workshops
  • Ability to communicate public health content effectively to stakeholders in other fields
  • Strong grasp of Do No Harm and human rights-based ethics

Preferred:

  • Russian language skills (sufficient to perform all roles without interpretation)
  • Experience working with civil society organizations and/or human rights activists
  • Experience contributing to or designing public health and informational campaigns
  • Proven ability to mainstream the needs of women, girls, LGBTQ individuals and other vulnerable groups into public health program design

Interested candidates that are available on an immediate basis should send their resumes and a cover letter to vacancies@peacebuildinguk.org. In the cover letter, candidates should briefly describe how they propose to guide our consortium of human rights organizations through the adoption of a practical and effective protocol for working through the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia.

We aim to hire a consultant as soon as possible and therefore encourage interested candidates to apply as soon as possible.

The consultant will facilitate online group discussions by approximately representatives of human rights organizations to identify areas in their work that directly intersect with the pandemic and policies that have been adopted to mitigate it; would provide technical (medical and public health) input and expertise to help these organizations write protocols to ensure their work avoids or minimizes unintended harmful consequences and supports sound public health policies; would, over the coming months, provide intermittent feedback and answers to questions on an as-needed basis. We estimate that the entire consultancy will comprise a maximum of 10 days.

The consultant would need to be available on relatively short notice/as soon as possible, for several days of intensive preparation, consultation, facilitation and drafting. However, these days can be scheduled with some flexibility. After the initial intense period, the consultant may be retained to answer questions as needed, which would take up no more than several hours each month. All work will be conducted remotely/through virtual interaction.

Compensation will be based on a negotiated day rate, based on the consultant’s employment history, expertise and experience. Applicants may list their standard day rate in their cover letters.