Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Public Health Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR's public health programmes meet minimum UNHCR and global health standards in order to minimise avoidable morbidity and mortality among populations of concern (POC) and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The incumbent provides strong and timely technical guidance to UNHCR senior management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR¿s responses in health and nutrition, catalyses the engagement of other actors, supports resource mobilisation efforts, including with the private sector, and monitors the response. S/he has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and embassies/donors.
The Public Health Officer should also ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities , including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR's policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
Public Health programmes include primary health care, secondary health care, community health, reproductive health (including HIV), nutrition, MHPSS and health information systems. In addition to public health staff, major operations may also have dedicated staff focusing on any of these components but public health officers are expected to be very conversant with reproductive health programming and ensure that minimum standards are met. Depending on the size of the operation the incumbent may be expected to have major responsibilities for nutrition and MHPSS responses. The Public Health Officer will work with the (Senior) Programme Officer (or other designated staff member) to support operational collaboration and joint programming with WFP on nutrition and food security.
Coordination, Leadership and Partnership
Co-ordinate public health, reproductive health, nutrition and HIV activities in support of the government¿s responses and in conjunction with other UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners, including development actors to ensure delivery of public health and nutrition services to beneficiaries (POC and host community) meet UNHCR and /or nationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
Support the Operation to define the level and scope of UNHCR's involvement in public health and nutrition responses in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations and beyond.
Support the Operation¿s engagement in the public health-related aspects of contributions of major donors to refugee responses, including the World Bank; taking part in assessments, design of projects, monitoring and evaluation.
In line with the Global Compact on Refugees work with governments, humanitarian and development partners to ensure a whole-of-government (i.e. relevant national and local authorities for health and nutrition response) multi-stakeholder approach and planning to harness the comparative advantages of different partners to meet the health needs of POC.
Represent UNHCR in public health coordination and other meetings including relevant inter-sectoral groups such as Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for MHPSS and nutrition, reproductive health, community health, among others.
Strategic planning and development
Contribute to development and/or implementation and monitoring of UNHCR's Strategic Plan for Public Health and adaptation at country level.
Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for refugees, returnees and other POC's access to local public health, reproductive health (RH) and HIV, MHPSS, nutrition (including food assistance where relevant) and water and sanitation services and lobby for inclusion of refugees, returnees and other POC as a specific group in government policies and plans related to health, RH and HIV as well as major donor programmes such as the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria.
Provide guidance and make recommendations on the overall strategy and focus of public health and nutrition programmes within the Area of Responsibility (AOR), including ensuring public health strategic approaches are developed in a multi-sectoral and co-ordinated manner in co-operation with government, UN agencies, NGOs and other humanitarian partners with due consideration to the approaches outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG3.
Provide up-to date assessment and identification of needs for public health strategies, recognise and support the contributions of governments and other actors align with and support national health system as much as possible; include curative, preventive, promotive, rehabilitative and palliative care; recognise the different approaches required for the stage of the humanitarian response (preparedness, emergency, stabilisation and longer term inclusion) as well as for settlement or camp-based POC and those in urban or non-camp situations.
Technical integrity and risk mitigation
Update and disseminate standard practices on public health, MHPSS, nutrition, HIV and reproductive health among partners.
Support the prioritization of primary health care (including preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care)
Ensure, in close co-ordination with other humanitarian actors, that health care services provided to POC are based on Ministry of Health, UNHCR and/or internationally recognized and most up-to-date standards and policies.
Establish and/or adapt UNHCR internal operating procedures to ensure they are in line with UNHCR and/or international standards and improve efficiency of programme activities; this includes - but is not limited to - referral health care, medicines and medical supplies procurement and management, medical resettlement and resettlement of persons with health needs, cash-based assistance for health care coverage and referral between units and inter-sectoral collaboration.
Work closely with UNHCR programme, technical, field and protection staff to identify priority health issues and key data requirements for programme planning and monitoring to ensure that minimum UNHCR and international standards are being met.
Support linkages of public health to WASH programmes throughout all stages of the programme cycle including in outbreak preparedness and response, emergency responses to refugee influxes, WASH in health facilities, community health education and menstrual hygiene management.
Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between public health and nutrition with WASH, education, energy, environment, shelter, and protection in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.
Participate in the review and analysis of relevant project proposals and budgetary submissions presented by UNHCR partners within the context of the UNHCR programming cycle.
Ensure that project plans or proposals submitted to UNHCR for funding adhere to internationally accepted standards, and are based on a comprehensive PHC strategy, rights based and meet the needs of vulnerable persons.
Support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to address public health, nutrition, reproductive health, HIV, MHPSS programming in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way and disseminate relevant guidelines and information materials.
Undertake and/or support capacity building needs assessments of UNHCR staff and partners and develop approaches to address capacity gaps including identifying internal and external training opportunities.
In conjunction with the Public Health Section in HQ, Global Learning and Development Centre, bureaux and external actors support development of capacity strengthening tools and materials including webinars, e-learning materials and online learning tools and contribute to relevant communities of practices.
Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Medicine, Medical Science, Medical Doctor, Nursing, Public Health
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Knowledge of public health, reproductive health and nutrition in humanitarian situations.
Exposure to UNHCR mandate, its priorities and principles.
Good communicator with strong interpersonal and negotiations skills.
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
How to apply
Interested candidates are requested to apply at www.unhcr.org/careers by clicking on 'Vacancies' and entering job ID 25097.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Please note that the closing date for vacancies advertised in this addendum is Thursday 4 March 2021 (mid-night Geneva time).