Senior Associate – Cold Chain Equipment at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
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.
We are recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: Senior Associate Cold Chain Equipment
Employment Type: Full time
Program (Division): SRMNCH – Global Vaccines
CHAI’s Vaccines program
Immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions in history. National immunization programs reach >100 million infants every year and have, across the globe, averted two to three million deaths every year since the launch of the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) in 1974. The introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and rotavirus vaccines could save a further ~1 million lives per year. Furthermore, great advances in the development and financing of new vaccines provides countries the opportunity to further reduce the burden of diseases such as human papillomavirus (HPV).
However, despite these successes, 1.5 million children still die each year of vaccine-preventable diseases. Many of these are in low-income countries, where immunization programs face unprecedented challenges in accessing vaccines and ensuring they reach all targeted children.
Since 2010, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has worked to save lives and reduce the burden from vaccine preventable diseases by improving access to immunization services in resource-limited setting. CHAI does this by strengthening national immunization programs at the country level, and the leveraging that experience to improve the global immunization ecosystem. Within that effort, CHAI is pursuing six complementary strategic goals:
- Improving affordability and supply security of immunization products;
- Accelerating the uptake of new or under-utilized vaccines;
- Enhancing the performance of vaccine cold chain and logistics systems to increase effective immunization coverage;
- Improving the design and implementation of service delivery to reach the unreached;
- Supporting successful transition from Gavi support; and
- Strengthening the management system and capacity of immunization programs.
CHAI’s vaccine program closely supports the national immunization programs in 11 focus countries – Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam – and also engages with global stakeholders such as Gavi, WHO and UNICEF to inform global policies and practices.
Cold Chain Equipment
Most vaccines must be stored and transported at refrigerated temperatures of two to eight degrees Celsius to maintain their potency. This network of storage and transport points is known as the “cold chain”, and is the backbone of immunization programs around the world.
However, countries often struggle to maintain their cold chains in good condition, particularly as an influx of newer vaccines increases the strain on an already-taxed system. For example:
- A recent study estimated that 37% percent of vaccines in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) are exposed to freezing temperatures while in storage, risking their effectiveness. A further 20% is exposed while in transport.
- Countries’ existing cold chains are often under-capacity to store new, life-saving vaccines. For example, the introduction of PCV and Rotavirus vaccines increases storage demands by 232% per fully immunized child.
- Finally, maintaining this equipment in good condition is a complicated task, and many countries struggle to find and manage the necessary resources. As a result, Gavi estimates that over 20% of existing cold chain equipment (CCE) is non-functional today, disrupting both supply chains and immunization services.
To manage this, countries must improve both the makeup and management of their cold chains. In practice, this means enabling immunization programs to:
- Equip their cold chain with sufficient and high-performing storage and transport capacity, with that aim of ensuring consistent vaccine availability and potency.
- Manage the performance of the cold chain, including both monitoring platforms and the systems that maintain equipment in functional condition.
- Identify cold chain interventions (e.g. network extension) that can increase the reach and accessibility of immunization services.
- Implement logistics systems in a sustainable and affordable manner, to ensure that provide performance over the long term.
We are seeking an Associate to join the Global Vaccines Delivery Team to strengthen CHAI’s work in Cold Chain Infrastructure and Management, both at global level and in focal countries. This role falls within the global Cold Chain Logistics (CCL) team, which works with governments to remove cold- and supply-chain issues as a barrier to improved coverage.
This role is preferably based in one of CHAI’s Vaccine Program focus countries in West Africa (pursuant to CHAI country team leadership approval). Significant travel (at least 35%) is expected.
In collaboration with CHAI country teams, CCL team leadership/members, and regional managers, provide high-value strategic and programmatic support to dramatically improve the performance of country cold chains
- Provide critical input on the approaches needed to meet in-country grant and program objectives related to cold chain, in line with the program strategy and model
- Support development of both program-wide and country-specific objectives and strategies regarding cold chain, emphasizing ambitious and transformational goals
- Contribute to the design, planning and execution of high-impact projects to sustainably transform the vaccines cold chain in CHAI focal countries. Projects could include:
- Supporting in-country and global efforts to procure and deploy high-performing cold chain equipment, with a focus on the design and implementation of Gavi’s $250M Gavi Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform (CCEOP)
- Introducing effective cold chain management systems, with a focus on the routine performance monitoring, maintenance of CCE, and planning for capacity needs
- Identifying cold chain network extension strategies that increase access to immunization in under-served and/or low coverage areas
- Supporting the piloting of next-generation vaccine carriers and coldboxes, and developing business cases to bring successful products to scale
Support CHAI’s ability to deliver high-quality and impactful work across diverse operating contexts and content areas:
- Support the continuous development and effective dissemination of programmatic strategy across CHAI teams, including the development ‘tool kits’, lessons learned, and other know-how related to cold chain
- Support the ramp up of new and existing CHAI staff (at both global level and in focus countries) in cold chain topics, leveraging the institutional knowledge from the CHAI vaccines program and new insights developed by the associate
Inform global practices and policies related to vaccines cold chain:
- Cultivate robust evidence bases, insightful analytical perspectives, and lessons-learned from CHAI and other partners in order to inform global policies/practices and promote improved cold chain outcomes
- Distill CHAI’s programmatic insights into formats that can influence the global immunization community, global policies and country practices beyond CHAI focus countries. This includes supporting CHAI’s participation in key working groups (e.g., EPI manager meetings, ESA regional meetings, Immunization Supply Chain Steering Committee, CCEOP Working Group, TechNet, etc.)
- Develop and expand productive relationships with critical global stakeholders (e.g., Gavi, BMGF, UNICEF SD/PD, PATH, JSI, VillageReach) and foster effective exchange of know-how across them
Support program and grant management (with a focus on vaccines cold chain work) in collaboration with program, regional and country leadership:
- Assess progress against overall objectives and milestones in focus areas and help prepare high-quality briefings for donors and CHAI management, including achievements to date, action plan going forward, and key risks/opportunities
- Working with regional and program management, ensure that progress is properly monitored and evaluated, in line with grant commitments and internal review needs
- Contribute as a member of the global vaccine team to the effectiveness and collegiality of the team, helping identify opportunities and improve CHAI’s vaccines program and team
- Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred); preference for fields related to business, health policy, logistics systems
- Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, with a proven ability to build relationships in a multicultural (and often remote) work environment
- Demonstrated capacity to synthesize evidence into an effective presentations and actionable recommendations for a broad range of audiences, anticipating working in-country (e.g. Ministries of Health, district officials) and globally (e.g. donors, policy makers)
- High emotional intelligence, patience and thoughtfulness even in high-pressure, stressful situations. This includes a proven ability to build and maintain strong relationships in a complex environment with occasional tensions or conflicts
- At least 4 or 5 years of relevant professional experience
- Exceptional skills in problem-solving and system design
- Strong analytical skills, including qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. data, business case, and health impact analyses)
- Excellent communication skills in English, including synthesis and presentation across common business media (summary reports, slide decks, other presentations)
- Proven project management skills, including the ability to work effectively in a high-pressure environment, handling multiple tasks simultaneously
- Entrepreneurial mindset, including ability to set priorities, self-motivate, propose and implement new initiatives
- Strong commitment to CHAI’s and the Vaccine team’s mission; a dedicated team player
- Ability to travel extensively (at least 35% of time) to focus countries and other locations as need for work (for in-country support, global working groups, conferences, etc.)
- Knowledge of vaccines, health programs, health supply chains, or cold chain
- Understanding of capacity development and change management approaches
- Experience in a top tier management or supply chain consulting firm
- Experience working with in developing countries or ‘last mile’ operating environments – preferably within health or public sectors