Job Description

Mobile Specialist

Location: Arlington, VA

Position Category: Direct hire, paid in US

Posting Date: 12/07/2018

Deadline Date: Open until the position is filled.

Starting Date: 02/01/2019


For over 35 years, John Snow, Inc. (JSI) has provided high-quality technical and managerial assistance to public health programs worldwide. JSI’s Applied Technology Center (ATC) works to enable JSI to identify, adapt, and apply appropriate, innovative, and effective technology to improve health outcomes.We help projects succeed by promoting best practices through technical assistance, supporting new business development, and providing learning opportunities and guidance to build capacity. The ATC is dedicated to helping find the appropriate technology to make a public health program stronger.

To advance JSI’s Applied Technology portfolio, the Mobile Solutions Specialist will provide direct technical assistance focused on mobile solutions to JSI projects. This TA will be the major focus of the role and is expected to take up 75%-85% of the Specialist’s time, through a mix of desk based and international travel support. Exact portfolio will depend on particular needs and are likely to shift and grow over time. Current expectations are that the Specialist will be actively engaged in content development, testing, vendor and project management for a mobile job aid for health extension workers in Ethiopia, provide support and oversight for the development of a blended learning program for immunization health workers in India, and project management and design stewardship for a “global good” digital family planning activity.

The Specialist will also support new business development and will work on Applied Technology Center initiatives to build resources, capacity, and processes to ensure high quality technology implementation across JSI projects (total of 15%-25% of time). The Specialist will work under the direction of the Deputy Director of the ATC. Location is flexible, though preference is for either Boston or DC.


Provide technical assistance to projects interested in adding mobile health interventions to their programmatic activities, and for other ICT4D activities where appropriate. Projects seek out the ATC as internal consultants at different points in the project life-cycle, and for varying degrees of short and long term support. Beyond direct project work, this role also supports development of the ATC as a new innovative department within the JSI organization, generating broader organizational awareness, understanding, and impactful adoption of mobile technology in JSI projects through efforts in targeted communications and marketing, internal resource creation, trainings, and new business development.

Responsibilities may consist of:

  • Assisting projects in designing mobile-based technology interventions and digital strategy at all stages of the project lifecycle; based on project scope, assistance may range from high-level technical needs assessment and business analysis, down to field-level user experience design and workflow mapping
  • Designing, developing, and testing mobile technology systems for individual project implementations, using a variety of platforms including CommCare, SurveyCTO, and Magpi
  • Mobile technology implementation guidance and support, either ad hoc, or as part of the project team structure
  • Identify opportunities within JSI’s existing portfolio of programs to include ICT4D workstreams as part of the overarching programmatic strategy; cultivate relationships and new collaborations with the ATC across JSI projects, centers, and departments
  • Identifying mobile technology partners and solutions of interest for partnering both globally and in particular country or regional contexts
  • Providing input during proposal development for appropriate mobile technology components of a public health technical approach, including digital health technical writing and guidance regarding budgeting, staffing and partnering
  • Project management of mobile technology components and/or activities from project kickoff through to execution and closeout, in shared collaboration with JSI’s programmatic project management structure.
  • Vendor sourcing and management, including liaising between JSI project teams and technology vendors.
  • Data analysis and development of analytics and/or reporting tools to support meaningful, actionable data use by JSI projects’ mobile data collection tools.
  • Ensure quality of applied technology projects and activities across JSI.
  • Participate in the development of internal resources to build organizational capacity in the use of applied technology, including development and ongoing improvement of organizational knowledge management processes.
  • Support development of the ATC’s internal and external communication and marketing strategy, including creation of new communications collateral.
  • Provide internal and external representation of JSI, including participation in JSI’s working groups, and external multi-agency working groups.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • At least 5-8 years’ experience in providing technology-related support for public health, education, and/or international development programs, managing ICT4D projects and/or providing strategic direction to digital health projects.
  • Experience assessing the landscape for potential applied technology interventions and analyzing and recommending appropriate solutions across multiple domains (such as MNCH, reproductive health, and education).
  • Experience working in LMICs and/or supporting and managing projects in LMIC programs.
  • Clear understanding, experience, and passion for the importance of user-centered design, including conducting design research, prototyping, and collecting and incorporating user feedback into digital solutions.
  • Experience with international donor community, including bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and private foundations.
  • Excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work comfortably with one or more of the following: Magpi, CommCare, ODK and/or ODK-based tools, GIS platforms, Drupal, FrontlineSMS, RapidSMS, Android/iOS development.
  • Familiarity with programming languages and software development methodologies and environments is a plus but not required.
  • Fluent English, with proficiency in French preferred.
  • Preference for an advanced degree but not required.
  • Proven experience and/or interest in cultivating centers of innovation and new technology within large organizations.
  • Interested and able to wear many hats / take on multiple roles.
  • Interested and able to work in a multi-cultural, distributed, and international team setting.
  • Ability, willingness, and enthusiasm to travel internationally (Up to 30%)

Salary commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates should submit their resumes and cover letters online.

No phone calls please.
Principals only please.

JSI is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer committed to workplace diversity. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, gender, disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, genetic information, political affiliation, or protected veteran status in any employment decisions. M/F/V/D

If you are an individual with a disability, or a disabled veteran and unable to apply online for an available position, you may submit your request for reasonable accommodation by calling Human Resources at 617-482-9485.

Please read this notice entitled Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, and this "EEO is the Law" Poster Supplement.