Pacific Community (SPC)



Job Type


Closing Date

15th Aug 2021

— Description —

The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Team Leader - Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Programme located at its regional office in Suva, Fiji.




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 organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, 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 healthsurveillance, and in the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The primary focus of thedivisionis to providescientific and technical assistance and to support the implementation of plans and programmes in member countries and territories. Theprimarygoals 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 providingindividual treatment services. PHD is comprised of three programmes: Surveillance Preparedness and Response; Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD);Prevention and Control; and Clinical Services.


The role – Team Leader - Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Programme will strengthen and contribute to public health surveillance, research and response in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories and the Pacific region through: (1) capacity enhancement and competency building on data utilization and epidemiology; (2) enhanced surveillance system and activities, including but not limited to, mass gatherings in the Pacific; (3) collaborative conduct of operational/implementation research studies with PICTs; (4) health promotion and strategic health communication activities; (5) strengthening preparedness and response to public health threats or events through application of epidemiological skills.


The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Team management, administration and communication
  • Strengthen capacity for coordinated regional surveillance
  • Enhance evidence-based service delivery through research
  • Strengthen public health surveillance and field epidemiology both nationally and regionally
  • Strengthen health information systems
  • Strengthen preparedness and response to public health threats or events


For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description online.


Key selection criteria



  • Master’s degree in public health or related discipline


Knowledge and experience

  • Knowledge of international public health and disease surveillance, with strong knowledge in applied epidemiology, including communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • At least 10 years of substantial professional experience in positions of progressive responsibility including positions at international or national level
  • Experience in establishing and/or maintaining health information systems and in the design, delivery and evaluation of public health programmes and projects
  • Experience developing and delivering training courses in public health surveillance and applied epidemiology
  • Experience responding to outbreaks and public health emergencies


Essential skills

  • Forward looking, effective and efficient leadership and management skills
  • Programme/project management skills
  • Ability to undertake operational research and write scientific reports and papers, including protocol development, data management and analysis
  • Capacity to represent PHD and SPC at external meetings and conferences
  • Strategic thinker with ability to organize, plan and prioritize work
  • Willingness to travel frequently (up to 30% of the time) in the Pacific region and internationally


Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage


Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment and respect diversity


Salary, terms and conditions


Contract Duration – 3 years


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 Team Leader - Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Programme is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,478‒4,348 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 10,504–13,130 (USD 4,835–6,043; EUR 4,266–5,333). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications.Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.


Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. 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 bilingualism, 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 be given to the Pacific Islander.


Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.


Application procedure


Closing Date – 15 August 2021 at 11:45pm Fiji time


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
  • 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.


Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.


For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to the Fijian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.


Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions.  If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.


Screening Questions:

  1. How would you strengthen public health surveillance in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories?
  2. What do you think are 3 key priorities for Health Information Systems?
  3. How would you enhance evidence-based service delivery through research in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories?