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  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2019-07-28

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Unit Leader (Health Informatics and Information Systems)

Copenhagen (Denmark)


All Member States of WHO in the European Region share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right All WHO actions are based on this and rooted in the General Programme of Work. The 13th General Programme of Work defines the mission of WHO as one to promote health, to keep the world safe, and to protect the vulnerable. The GPW calls for heightened accountability, prioritizing impact and outcome at country level, and to improve the lives of three billion people through universal health coverage, through addressing health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations.WHO's mandate revolves around six core functions\: (i) providing leadership on global health matters; (ii) shaping the health research agenda; (iii) setting norms and standards; (iv) articulating evidence-based policy options; (v) providing technical support to countries; and (vi) monitoring and assessing health trends.The WHO European Region is made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people. The diversity of people and health situations requires, on the demand side, a solid understanding of the emerging socio-economic, epidemiologic and demographic patterns and trends at both aggregate as well as national and sub-national levels, with due sensitivity to disadvantaged populations and vulnerable segments of the society. On the supply side, it is equally crucial to have a solid understanding of the commonalities and divergences of the health systems, the circumstances and political economy under which they have evolved and operate and, more specifically, how these bear upon the way the health system stewardship function of health ministries is carried out.

The Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation (DIR) coordinates the work in health information, research and use of evidence in policy-making through the WHO network, the European Health Information Initiative (EHII). Under the direction of the Director, the Division is the secretariat for the EHII. The objective of DIR is to facilitate production of health information as a corporate function of the Organization. All activities of DIR are conducted under the principles and workplan of the EHII. The EHII is a high-level mechanism which embodies the strategic direction of the Division in the Regional Office and which has the support of Member States, the European Commission, OECD and non-state actors. DIR provides Member States and the Regional Office staff with reliable health information derived from health statistics and other sources of evidence on topics that are of interest both for Member States and the Organization. DIR manages the programmatic knowledge about information and evidence in the WHO Regional Office for Europe, including databases and information platforms in order to position the Regional Office as a leading reference in the field of international health. It coordinates health statistics and health information systems among the technical units in the Regional Office and with WHO Country Offices, and collaborates closely with national and international partners to harmonize and avoid duplication of efforts. DIR fulfils this function through maintaining databases, issuing publications, participating in professional networks, conducting research and providing knowledge and evidence platforms. This also includes the translation, publication and dissemination of information by various means. DIR maintains communication with National Counterparts in order to facilitate the flow of information to and from Member States. It closely links information, knowledge and evidence to the field of monitoring health status and facilitating health research.


To identify and conceptualize priority areas and directions of WHO/Europe health informatics activities; manage the HIS Health Informatics team; provide managerial and technical guidance to the Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation (DIR) of the WHO Regional Office for Europe in strengthening health information systems; and manage and strengthen the European Health Information Gateway.

Key duties\:

1. Lead the HIS team and be responsible for all technical aspects of the conceptualization, development and maintenance of the WHO Europe Regional Office's integrated health information system (an information infrastructure capable of integrating databases of all technical areas and programmes) and, through the maintenance of the Gateway, offer user-friendly, interactive access to information across programmes and divisions.

2. Plan, delegate, supervise and participate in the development of the different components of the WHO/Europe integrated health information system platform, including the data-model and data-warehouse.

3. Lead the development of operationally-sound databases and software for specific health-related activities following the concepts of requirement assessment, business process analysis and case description.

4. Design and coordinate the implementation of a data-warehouse structure consisting of thematic ‘data-marts' with functionality in place for automated updates from operational database content. Overall planning and supervision of, as well as direct contributions to the development of data applications and services. Analysis and definition of technical requirements and staff resources; delegation and assignment of responsibilities and tasks.

5. Manage and coordinate the HIS programme and planning of activities; provide comprehensive guidance, technical and managerial leadership; plan and evaluate future needs; advise and communicate with senior management, policy groups, HIS stakeholders, WHO Europe collaborating centres, WHO headquarters, and regional and country offices.

6. Responsible for technical programme and project database and data-warehouse development, including all facets of software engineering and development such as\:- Project planning- Requirements definition- Feasibility and sustainability analysis- Systems analysis and design- Implementation, integration and testing- Acceptance assessment- Maintenance and change management

7. Plan and coordinate all HIS day-to-day operational activities and tasks related to the improvement of existing technical databases, data warehouse, web services, web applications and modules according to the strategic plan and requests by clients (i.e. technical units). Design, develop and maintain data exchange interfaces and mechanisms with external partners and data collection focal points.

8. Continual analysis of WHO/Europe data collection and management systems, as well as content quality; identify gaps and problems and suggest solutions. Ensure that the information is accessible and analyzable for technical programmes and other clients.

9. Develop concepts for quality control and performance monitoring indicators in HIS database-related activities and processes in close coordination with colleagues in technical units in other divisions and in DIR.

10. Liaise with partner organizations and collaborating centres regarding information exchange and the harmonization of data management systems.

11. Provide support to the operational research and reporting activities. Support and coordinate the collection, analysis, aggregation and spread of data as required.

12. Analyze trends in information technologies, especially those pertaining to public health. Provide strategic advice and recommendations on the use of new information technologies in technical areas within DIR and WHO/Europe.

13. Supervise and manage HIS staff and ensure timely completion of staff evaluations and other aspects of good human resources management, as required.

14. Perform other duties as assigned.



Essential\: University degree (Master's level) in information sciences, computer sciences or a related field. Management certification (e.g. PRINCE 2).


Essential\: At least 7 years of continuous and progressively responsible experience in the development and implementation of databases, data warehouse and data-driven application architecture design. Relevant work experience in the field of data collection, data processing, improved visualization and database integration.
Desirable\: Relevant experience working with national and international agencies active in the field of health information. Relevant experience in WHO or other UN agencies, NGOs or bilateral agencies. Previous practical work experience with GIS software and Internet mapping systems.


Demonstrated conceptual and strategic analytical capacity to understand information system and business operational issues, so as to be able to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical systems' matters.Demonstrated knowledge of statistical principles, methods and software packages and data analysis, preferably with a special focus on health and demographics.Advanced database development skills to build and customize data-driven applications, and other tools to automate data processing.Proven skills and demonstrated knowledge in the following information technologies and platforms\:--> Windows Server--> SQL Server, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services--> Business intelligence systems and tools (Microsoft SQL Server 2012 BI advantageous)--> Subversion or other code repositories--> SilverLight, LihtSwitch, C#, .Net 4.x, JavaScript, JSON, Ajax, JQuery, HTML, CSS, XML, SQL, TSQL, OLAP, OLTP, LINQ, ADO.Net, Entity Framework, MVC, RIA--> Web services, WCF, OData--> SOA, data services--> Enterprise (server based) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) administration and maintenance, ArcGIS--> Web design and publishing--> Data mining concepts--> Cloud-based services and tools--> Development of mobile applications

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Moving forward in a changing environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential\: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable\: Intermediate knowledge of French, Rus., German.


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 72,637 (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 3656 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\:// 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.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • 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\:// 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.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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