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Epidemiologist, Research Associate, Panama

Panama (United States of America)

  • Organization: CHAI - Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Location: Panama (United States of America)
  • Grade: Associate Level - Open for both International and National Professionals - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Administrative support
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Medical Doctor
  • Closing Date:

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Epidemiologist, Research Associate, Panama

Panama City
Full Time
Program (Division)
Infectious Disease - Global Malaria

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries, while strengthening the capabilities of governments and the private sector in those countries to create and sustain high quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit:

CHAI’s global malaria program provides direct technical and operational support to countries around the globe to strengthen their malaria programs and reduce the burden of this preventable, treatable disease. We support governments to scale up effective interventions for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance, with the goals of sustainably reducing the number of malaria-related illnesses and deaths worldwide in the short-term and accelerating progress towards malaria elimination in the long term.


Over the past five years, CHAI has engaged in Panama and helped them make meaningful steps towards orienting their national strategic plans and systems towards the historical goal of malaria elimination by 2025.


Overview of Role:


CHAI is seeking a highly motivated individual with experience in disease surveillance systems, data analysis and public health research. This individual will assist with malaria surveillance system design and implementation to improve reporting and the quality of surveillance information, data analysis, mapping/GIS activities, and operational research studies to support malaria elimination in Panama. The aim of this support is to ensure that the national malaria program is using robust evidence to inform their strategic and operational decision making. Strong communication and organizational skills are needed as s(he) will work closely with CHAI's Global and Regional Malaria Teams and will help to translate epidemiological evidence to malaria programs and other partners in country. Further, it is expected that the Research Associate will have strong relationship management skills as they will be asked to lead projects with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and third-party organizations in order to achieve results.


The Research Associate will report directly to CHAI’s Program Manager in Panama while receiving technical guidance and backstopping from regional epidemiologists and Health Information specialists.


The candidate must be able to multi-task, work independently, and build strong relationships to consolidate CHAI’s partnerships and drive progress. Furthermore, the candidate must have deep personal commitment to producing results and a willingness to travel to relatively remote regions with limited infrastructure and medical care. Additionally, the candidate will be highly motivated with robust organizational, problem-solving, and communication skills. CHAI places great value on relevant personal qualities including resourcefulness, tenacity, independence, patience, and humility.


Strengthen the malaria surveillance system, including improving data collection, data management, analysis, and data visualization:

  • Support the national scale-up of the electronic malaria surveillance system, and promote its integration with other flows of information (e.g. interventions, entomology, etc…);
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of the malaria surveillance platform, identify bottlenecks (e.g. low reporting) and assist the MoH with troubleshooting issues and identifying solutions;
  • Co-develop with the MoH additional elements of the electronic reporting system
  • Assist the MoH in the design and pilot of surveillance dashboards;
  • Plan for and help to implement the use of new mobile reporting tools;
  • Help to design new reporting forms for the inclusion of additional malaria-related variables, including intervention data;
  • Promote and implement activities to strengthen the routine use of surveillance data by the malaria program to inform elimination activities.

Provide analytical support to the National Malaria Program, the Department of Epidemiology and the CHAI Country Team to inform malaria elimination:

  • Collate, organize and merge available data, assessing its quality and suitability for various analyses;
  • Conduct descriptive analyses of epidemiological and entomological data;
  • Analyze geographic data with GIS software, including mapping malaria incidence and intervention coverage;
  • Monitor and evaluate the roll-out of malaria specific interventions;
  • Work with academic partners and CHAI’s Regional Technical Advisors to conduct hypothesis tests, linear and multiple regressions, spatial analyses and risk mapping;
  • Translate results to government and non-government partners to support evidence-based decision-making including planning and implementation of malaria activities.

Serve as a trusted adviser to the MoH staff on issues related to surveillance and malaria elimination:

  • Proactively develop and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders across government and non-governmental organizations;
  • Represent CHAI as a technical voice at regular meetings with the Panama MoH malaria program and in-country partners;

Participate in research and discussion of topics relevant to the goal of malaria elimination:

  • Synthesize results and communicate them internally and externally at international venues;
  • Disseminate findings through high-quality presentations, reports, and publications;
  • Perform scientific literature review as needed;
  • Any other tasks identified.
  • Master's degree in Public Health, Epidemiology or related field;
  • 1+ years of related working experience;
  • Fluency in Spanish (written and oral), and English;
  • Knowledge of malaria and/or other major global infectious diseases and disease surveillance and information systems;
  • Proven experience with monitoring, evaluating and strengthening surveillance systems;
  • Experience working with electronic surveillance platforms, data collection tools (e.g. ODK) and/or data visualization applications (e.g. Tableau);
  • Experience in epidemiological and spatial analysis of disease data, and statistical and geospatial analysis programming (e.g. using R, SAS, STATA, ArcGIS and/or other relevant software);
  • High levels of proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and internet applications;
  • Ability to work independently in unstructured settings and to adapt to new environments and challenges;
  • Ability to manage complex projects and stakeholder relationships;
  • Experience applying research methods to address global health problems;
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills;
  • Willingness to travel in-country (up to 20% of the time) and internationally (~5%).


  • Experience working and communicating with government officials and multilateral organizations;
  • Experience living or working in resource-limited countries;
  • Experience working remotely with a decentralized team.

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