Unit Head (Equity and Health)

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Friday 25 Nov 2022 at 22:59 UTC

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This is a P-5 contract. This kind of contract is known as Professional and Director staff. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's a staff contract. It usually requires 10 years of experience, depending on education.


The salary for this job should be between 194,242 USD and 243,430 USD.

Salary for a P-5 contract in Geneva

The international rate of 110,869 USD, with an additional 75.2% at this the location, applies.

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The mission of WHO's UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization's 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals. Within the Division, the Department of Social Determinants of Health leads WHO's efforts on addressing the social, physical and economic conditions that impact upon health, by compiling and disseminating evidence on what works to address these determinants, building capacity and advocating for more action. The Department supports Member States and other partners to address violence and unintentional injuries and improve equity and well-being. This will be facilitated through cross-cutting initiatives on improving urban health, addressing economic determinants, and developing strategic frameworks and evidence-based policies. Within the Department, the Equity and Health Unit focuses on the social determinants of health and equity, and has five main areas of work in 2020/2021: (1) normative work, including building the evidence base of what works to address social determinants and the case for investments for equity; (2)building partnerships and networks to scale up implementation of effective interventions in countries; (3)continued strengthening of the Organization's work on the Health in All Policies approach; (4)capacity building in addressing determinants; and (5) global advocacy.


Generic Duties:

  1. Provides technical leadership, coordination and managerial support within the Department of Social Determinants of Health, in the Unit Equity and Health, ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively.
  2. Develops and proposes technical health policies and strategies for implementation through collaboration with Regional and Country Offices and provides advice in developing further the equity and health area for strengthening and improving technical capacity of target clienteles.
  3. Oversees a unit specialized in various domains within their area of expertise and facilitates the efficient flow of team synergies.
  4. Manages the programme area in delivering its objectives through efficient management of a small team of technical staff, financial resources and effective work planning to optimize the programme's deliverables in line with the mandate of the Organization.
  5. Leads and conducts research on best practices in implementing programmes and activities and dissemination of information for capacity building in the respective area of work.
  6. Manages the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the subject area of work of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Programme deliverables.
  7. Serves as the technical reference among the peer community, UN Agencies and other stakeholders at the technical levels in the respective area of expertise.
  8. Liaises with and utilizes partnerships in other UN Agencies, Donor, or research institutions in the equity and health to position the technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies.
  9. Represent the programme area of work at various meetings to advocate for equity and health.
  10. Perform all other related duties as assigned.

Specific Duties:

  1. Working closely with the Director SDH and senior management, define a new narrative for the work on social determinants of health and a strategic programme of work, expanding on existing initiatives as well as identifying priorities for future action.
  2. Collaborating closely with different teams across the Department and Organization to oversee the normative work on social determinants of health, focusing on the development of a World Report on Determinants of Equity and Health, and a Global Action Plan/Strategy on social determinants of health.
  3. Provide technical advice to the Department Director, the Assistant Director/General for Healthier Populations, and to Regional and Country Offices on matters related to addressing determinants of equity and health.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in social sciences, public health, economics, or related fields to the functions of the position.

Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.



  1. A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the management of social determinants of health programmes, including experience in the area of health policies and strategies.
  2. Demonstrated experience managing human and financial resources.
  3. Demonstrated experience at the international level.


Experience in an international organization working on health and national political processes, in particular working in national Ministries of Health and/or national government institutions.


  1. Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes.
  2. Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies
  3. Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
  4. Good skills in mobilizing resources.
  5. Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Ministries of Health, Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.
  6. Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.

WHO Competencies

  1. Teamwork
  2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  3. Communication
  4. Moving forward in a changing environment
  5. Producing results
  6. Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of Other UN languages.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 90,664 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5364 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.

  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.

  • For information on WHO's operations please visit: http://www.who.int.

  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.

  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.

  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.

Added 3 months ago - Updated 2 months ago - Source: who.int