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Consultant – WHOs Special Initiative for Mental Health

Multiple locations

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: Closed

Purpose of consultancy

To provide technical and strategic expertise related to the implementation and management of the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health.


The work of the Director’s Office in WHOs Department of Mental Health and Substance Use (MSD) has become more ‘hands-on’ over recent years. This has been a consequence of globally expanding interest in mental health, increased global advocacy about mental health, and WHOs Universal Health Coverage agenda, which prompted an accelerated focus on mental health and commencement of the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health: Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health. The initiative is currently underway in 9 countries, across WHOs 6 regions (additional countries may be added, pending resource mobilisation efforts).


  • Deliverable 1: Technical guidance to WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health countries to ensure quality implementation and reporting of planned activities throughout the contract period.
    • Provide technical and strategic inputs that focus on assisting country implementation of project-specific initiatives (as per each country’s logframe and stage of implementation).
    • Participate in weekly WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health team meetings, and fortnightly WHO department meetings.
    • Assist WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health countries to write and submit quarterly 6-monthly narrative and financial reports (internal to WHO only) and ensure timely submission of quarterly monitoring and evaluation (M&E) reports to prepare cross-country M&E summary reports for quarterly SIMH-webpage updates of high-level results.
    • Contribute to drafting and developing proposals and donor reports, incorporating feedback from countries, regions and HQ.
    • Collaborate with SIMH country, regional and HQ focal points in Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe to ensure MHPSS emergency preparedness plans are documented and approved.
  • Deliverable 2: Coordinate operational and communications activities associated with the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health .
    • Coordinate with artwork designers for the professional presentation of communications resources for the webpage, newsletter, public presentations and other communications resources.
    • Coordinate with Department of Communications (HIA Unit Head and HIA Focal Point for Mental Health) to ensure SIMH communication products for external audiences (including all resources for WHO web and digital channels) are aligned with DCO standards and policies.
    • Work with special initiative countries and their communications personnel to document impact stories (with images) – minimum 2/year per country (=18 stories) – arranging for their use in donor reports, social media, newsletters and the special initiative webpage. Coordinate with HIA focal point for mental health on feature stories.
    • Prepare end of calendar year summaries for each country, featuring annual highlights and priority plans for the forthcoming calendar year, working with artwork design for webpage and country-poster versions.
    • Coordinate monthly cross-country meetings, prioritising information for sharing, learning and development of implementing countries.
    • Deliver quarterly updates of Special Initiative web page content and a twice-per-year newsletter (February & September 2024).
    • Coordinate at least 2 x Regional Special Initiative for Mental Health Learning Events in 2024, with a focus on learning exchanges between SIMH and non-SIMH countries (locations and dates to be confirmed).
    • Coordinate the presentation of Special Initiative for Mental Health learnings for a side-session of the Mental Health Forum (in Geneva, October-2023).
  • Deliverable 3: Collaborate and consult to establish plans and resources for the ongoing implementation of activities in readiness for a second iteration of the Special Initiative for Mental Health.
    • Collaborate with Special Initiative for Mental Health country, regional & HQ focal points to map individual country resource mobilisation opportunities, with a focus on local-level funding for continued activities post-HQ support.
    • Coordinate the strategic discussions and documentation with phasing out Special Initiative countries.
    • Coordinate WHO-country-regional-HQ and other stakeholder consultations for inputs on a second iteration of the Special Initiative for Mental Health, in line with WHOs forthcoming General Programme of Work (GPW14).
    • Document a strategic plan for a second iteration of the Special Initiative for Mental Health, including development of dissemination plans for the new strategy.
    • Collaborate with country, regional & HQ focal points to prepare for phase-out actions and priorities in line with the strategic direction for the revised (second iteration) Special Initiative for Mental Health strategy.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:


  • University degree in a mental health specific field (e.g., Global Mental Health, Public Mental Health, Rights and Mental Health, Psychology, Psychiatry, Clinical Social Work, etc.).


  • Advanced university degree in a mental health specific field (e.g., Global Mental Health, Public Mental Health, Mental Health in Humanitarian crises, Rights and Mental Health, Psychology, Psychiatry, Clinical Social Work, etc.).



  • At least five years’ experience implementing activities contributing to mental health-related public health project(s) in a low resource setting(s), including meeting donor reporting requirements and the coordination of multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience in engagement with communications resources and materials, including experience working with artwork designers.


  • Experience in all aspects of the aid and development project management cycle including knowledge of theory of change, design of logical framework with M&E, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and programme reporting.


  • Expertise in hosting and coordinating multi-country, complex meetings that are engaging and supportive of individuals from multiple countries and in multiple languages.
  • Sound technical knowledge of the global mental health sector and its application to low resource settings.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills. Excellent, administration, organizational and scheduling skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders across different cultures, technical sectors and levels of experience.
  • Self-discipline with the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team, with a focus on meeting deadlines.
  • Research knowledge to inform systematic collection and analyses of M&E and learnings data.

Languages required:


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of another UN language.


Off site: Home-based.


The consultant is expected to travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):


Band level B - USD 7,000 - 9,980 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):


Expected duration of contract:

11 months.

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
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  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. 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 short-listed candidates.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
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This vacancy is now closed.
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