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Public Health Officer

Addis Ababa



Under the direct supervision of the Senior Field Coordinator, in liaising with Brach Office Public Health team, the Public Health Officer is expected to provide policy and technical guidance on health, training, carry out joint assessments, coordinate implementation of the programme with WFP and UNICEF, ensure standard settings and protocols, compile and provide data on health situations.
The Public Health Officer is expected to contribute to the development of specific inputs to health programmes. The incumbent will be working with minimum supervision in project submissions, revisions and reallocations throughout the project lifecycle in health programmes, including emergency operations.



  • Sufficient technical support is provided in the field of public health thus UNHCR is able to meet the needs of persons of concern.


  • Ensure that health care service delivery in UNHCR operations, including nutrition, is based on Ministry of Health, UNHCR and/or internationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
  • Work closely with UNHCR programme, 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.
  • Develop a Public Health strategy and guidelines for use by UNHCR and partners as appropriate.
  • Monitor technical and financial aspects of the UNHCR health and nutrition programme with emphasis on Health Information System, application of standard guidelines and protocols.
  • Monitor use and distribution by implementing partners of UNHCR provided drugs.
  • Provide technical support and guidance to implementing/operational partners where required.
  • Promote programme evaluation to enable the identification of gaps in programme implementation and standards, and to further promote evidence-based activities and guidance.
  • Coordinate health and nutrition activities and promote inter-sectoral coordination within and outside UNHCR operations in Ethiopia, including organisation of health sector meetings with partners.
  • Update and disseminate information materials on health and nutrition based on standard practices and policies among partners.
  • Provide input/participation to periodic joint assessment missions including food, health, nutrition etc. when appropriate, disseminate results and follow up on recommendations.
  • Review and update selective feeding programmes in refugee camps, as appropriate.
  • Participate in the development and review of project proposals and budgetary submissions in health and nutrition for UNHCR Ethiopia.
  • Maintain and update contingency plans for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movements.
  • Develop formal and informal training to build the capacity of refugees, UNHCR and its partners in health and nutrition sector.
  • Support health focal points in UNHCR sub and field offices to develop a training plan, organise and act as resource person in workshops and training both in-service (formal) and on the job (coaching).
  • Share with local and international partners on the ground relevant guidelines and information materials on refugee health--including reproductive health and HIV/AIDS--and nutrition.
  • Support health focal points to promote the establishment of refugee Health Committees to enable their active participation in the process of health planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Support field offices in case of emergency or other health-related need.
  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Represent UNHCR in national fora concerning refugee health and nutrition.
  • Intervene with implementing partners on public health and nutrition issues.
  • Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all public health standard operating procedures.


  • Advanced university degree in Public Health, Nutrition, Social Science or related fields.
  • Minimum 6 years of previous relevant job experience.
  • Very good computer skills.
  • Excellent knowledge of English.


Working knowledge of French.

Position Competencies

C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X004L3 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 3
X009L3 - Change Capability and Adaptability Level 3
X006L3 - Policy Development & Research Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3


The incumbent of the position will oversee and supervise the Public Health programmes in Gambella, and provide strong technical guidance to partners, monitor and evaluate the programme and ensure and lead the bi-weekly health coordination meetings. The incumbent will demonstrate strong representational, networking and negotiation skills with internal and external stakeholders such as the Government counterparts, NGOs and UN Agencies.


Ethiopia has long been hosting large number of refugee population. Currently, 751,893 refugees and asylum seekers are registered in Ethiopia, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. They fled the consequences of natural disasters, ethnic clashes and armed conflicts in their respective countries of origin. Gambella is the Region of Ethiopia located in the south-western part of the country and also has a long history of hosting refugees from South Sudan. As a result of violence that erupted on 15 December 2013 between the Government of South Sudan and opposition groups, 309,136 refugees arrived in Gambella region. The Ethiopian Government has reported a continued influx of new arrivals into the Gambella region since September 2016. Refugees are hosted in seven refugee camps, including the recently established new camp Nguenyiel. UNHCR covers these camps from Sub-office in Gambella, Field Office in Pugnido, and a field unit in Okugo. 86% of the newly arrived refugees in Gambella are women and children, altogether more than 56,000 children are below the age of 5.

Health services in the refugee camps are implemented through a network of health centres and health posts which provide 24/7 health services and are linked to referral hospitals. Mortality rates are within UNHCR standards but the health status of the population remains fragile and camps remain prone to outbreaks of communicable diseases. Global acute malnutrition prevalence remains above the emergency threshold of 15% in four camps surveyed in 2016.


The diversity of topography in Ethiopia has resulted in a wide variety of climate in the country. The climate in Gambella is classifies as tropical. The hottest season of the region is in March/April and temperature may rise up to 45 °C, followed by a long rain season. Road network within the region is often affected by the heavy rainfall during the rainy season. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. The average annual temperature in Gambella is 27.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1148 mm.


Glabella is classified as Level 4. The security situation in Glabella region has seen a significant deterioration in early 2016. The region is at present classified as security level 4. The restriction of movement is imposed on the movement of the staff member and the activities in the field, depending on the development of security situation. The security situation is expected to remain the same with no major changes according to the current reading of the situation.


Experience in Registration, RSD, RST, Child Protection and SGBV, and detention issues, preferably in an urban context;
Ability to support the operation in designing trainings and capacity building;
Demonstrated ability to manage a large team and coordinate with other Sections in the Country Office as well as with a Field Office;
Ability to coordinate various units within the Protection Section and to provide on-the-job coaching and mentoring; Demonstrated excellent drafting skills in English;
Ability to come up with innovative and creative solutions to operational challenges; Change management, as required.

Please apply through the UNHCR website at under International vacancies

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNHCR
  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Public Health and Health Service
  • Closing Date: 2017-04-11

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