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Healthcare Management, Public Health, Health Systems,

Research Officer E-Commerce And Healthcare

JOB TITLE: Research Officer/Doctoral Fellow
REPORTING TO: Project Team Leader

Open Phences and @iLabAfrica (Strathmore University) have partnered with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical (UK) and The George Institute for Global Health (India) to carry out a study of the e-pharmacy markets in Kenya and India. Access to medicines is a critical role of health systems, but many low and middle-income countries (LMICs) continue to face substantial challenges in ensuring medicine accessibility, affordability, and quality. The recent growth of medicine sales online represents a major disruption to pharmacy provision, presenting both challenges and opportunities across the globe. Whilst e-pharmacy businesses were initially the preserve of high-income countries, they have been growing rapidly in LMICs, and have gained attention due to public health concerns. Regulatory systems are crucial in managing these risks and opportunities but are hampered by
excessive ecosystem fragmentation, lack of consensus on appropriate approaches to novel e-commerce models, inadequate skills and capacity among regulators, and difficulties in using
national regulatory frameworks to control markets operating across country boundaries. This project aims to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the e-pharmacy markets,
understand the ecosystem structure and players and their operations and performance, examine the policy and regulatory architecture, and bring ecosystem actors together to develop an
improved governance, regulatory and operations and service delivery of health services and products through e-commerce platforms. A wide range of actors will be involved, including
government (national and county) and the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as the broader e-commerce industry players, innovators, researchers, and regulators.
The project is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and the
Wellcome Trust. We are seeking to recruit a Research Officer (and potentially, Doctoral Fellow) to oversee the operations and management of the project.
A. Research

Specifically, initial research work will include:
• Literature reviews on the operation of pharmaceutical and e-commerce markets, the theories and structure underlying their governance and regulation, and the implications for delivery of
safe, affordable, and effective services and products.
• Exploration of current legal, policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks guiding ecommerce, e-health broadly, and e-pharmacy in more detail, in Kenya and globally
• Undertake quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, including a review of epharmacy websites, mystery shopper survey at e-pharmacies, and in-depth interviews with a
wide range of stakeholders.
B. Ecosystem development
• Support the project team’s ecosystem-building efforts aimed at bringing together key actors to both shape the project and utilize findings for higher impact.
• Serve as the key focal point throughout the life of the project, linking the diverse sets of actors to the project purposes. Actors will include government ministries responsible for
health and ICT, semi-autonomous government bodies/regulators like the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the Communications Authority of Kenya, health and pharma industry
providers at different levels of the system, bodies responsible for quality management and accreditation and importantly, consumers and consumer representatives.
• Contribute to the broader Open Phences mandate of creating cohesive and adaptive ecosystems that deliver public good through co-creation of ideas and investment cases, coinvestment, and collaboration in planning and execution.
C. Teaching and supervision/mentorship Depending on the candidate’s inclination, this role may transition into a doctoral fellow position, in which case the successful candidate will develop an independent program of work linked to the broader project and register for the Strathmore PhD in Healthcare Management program. The fellow will be expected to:
• Help develop and deliver relevant courses based on the work being undertaken
• Help develop specific study modules on key areas like innovation and technology, and governance, regulation, and accountability in health systems. These are for use in academic
training and in training of health care managers
• Co-supervise and mentor students and colleagues at the partner institutions
• Contribute to seminars and symposia that support the academic development of PhD studies in healthcare management and health systems research
• An undergraduate degree in a health-related area. For this position, strong preference will be given to those with an undergraduate degree in pharmacy.
• A master’s degree in healthcare management, public health, health systems, health economics or other areas relevant to healthcare management.
• Strong preference will be given to candidates who have a strong interest in e-health, epharmacy, telemedicine. Demonstration of some experience (e.g., Masters research project focused on aspects of e-health/health informatics) will be an added advantage.
• Understanding of LMIC health systems
• Experience managing healthcare organizations/health system, including ability to mobilize ecosystem actors towards a shared purpose (NOTE: Strathmore doctoral fellows in healthcare management are required to have some management experience).
• Demonstrable interest in a career in health systems research
• Experience and skills in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods
• Demonstrate ability to work independently to oversee teams and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds
• Demonstrable excellent interpersonal and written communication skills
• Demonstrable excellent organizational skills and prior experience managing more junior research team members
• Ability to ensure timely delivery of results against objectives

How to apply
If you are interested in this position and have the skills we are looking for, we would like to hear from you. Please forward an application letter together with a copy of your updated resume
quoting ‘Research Officer’ on the email subject to the Manager, People and Culture, Strathmore University Business School, by end of the day (5:30 PM) Friday 22nd July 2022.

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