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Advisor, Public Health Data Engineering

Washington D.C. (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Washington D.C. (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-23

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This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health Department (EIH) is responsible for leading the Organization into the modern era of information for health and aims to strengthen evidence-based decision-making through the use of improved data management, analysis, forecasting and scenario setting, using cutting edge information technology. EIH is responsible for developing models, norms and standards for strengthening governance mechanisms for information systems for health, in line with the Organization's policies and strategies for integrated and interoperable systems. The Department also coordinates the monitoring and measurement of the impact indicators of the Organization’s Strategic Plan and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and measurement of inequity and inequality in health. The Department gathers and provides strategic information and intelligence to develop and support the implementation of evidence-based policies and sound decisions on public health matters in collaboration with all Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB) entities, Member States and partners. EIH coordinates internal PASB data-driven and evidence-based efforts and will collaborate with WHO and other UN and Inter-American system agencies to support the needs of Member States and the Secretariat in the areas under its responsibility.


Under the general guidance of the Director, Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH), the direct supervision of the Senior Advisor, Information Systems for Health (EIH/IS), and in close collaboration with the Information Technology Services Department (ITS), the incumbent is responsible for, but not limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide technical, operational and programmatic advice and guidance on data architecture, including the design, construction, implementation and maintenance of highly scalable data management systems for the Organization’s public health programs;
  2. Provide guidance on and oversee the migration of technical data and information from legacy systems to new solutions;
  3. Provide technical advice and guidance on the implementation of the Organization’s Data Governance Framework, Data Management Policy and Data Management Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and other corporate initiatives related to data and platforms management;
  4. Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs), technical guidance documents, and recommendations for database development and data management that will guide database management practices for the Organization’s public health programs;
  5. Provide PAHO’s technical programs with technical advice and guidance on the adoption and integration of internationally accepted data architecture principles, standards, guidelines and concepts, particularly interoperability, in alignment with corporate policies and processes;
  6. Provide advice on the corporate adoption of best practices for the design of physical databases for major Database Management Systems platforms;
  7. Provide data management support to efficiently guide and document the flow of data through the sequential phases of collection, storage, cleaning, reduction and standardization, using valid statistical principles, archiving, retrieval, and analysis;
  8. Define a standard process for integrated database models, which enables access, movement and blending of multiple-source data for downstream analytics and enhances the usability, integrity, and security of the systems;
  9. Liaise with collaborators such as data managers, statisticians and data analysis experts within the Organization, Ministries of Health or statistical offices and other national agencies to optimize processes for collecting;
  10. Collaborate in the development of alliances and networks for strengthening Data Management practices across the Organization;
  11. Develop and ensure that a governance process is in place to support effective modeling tool usage;
  12. Develop a formal portfolio of data architecture services for the entity’s platforms;
  13. Provide advice and guidance to ensure Data Architecture work is part of the overall process of developing concepts, defining formal corporate projects, planning and initiation of projects within the Organization;
  14. Provide technical support in the implementation of the PLISA (Health Information Platform for the Americas) platform;
  15. Promote and document the exchange of relevant experiences among organizational entities;
  16. Participate in the preparation of the entity’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP), budget and technical evaluation reports;
  17. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  18. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A bachelor’s degree in social or information management science, computer science, mathematics, Information Systems, Data Management or in any of the areas related to the functions of the post, and a master's degree in statistics, health data management, digital health, public health informatics or a related area from a recognized institution

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.


Essential: Nine years of combined national and international progressively responsible experience in database structure systems and data mining, data and information management, including advanced information technologies, management and operation of networks systems and portals.

Desirable: Demonstrated experience with artificial intelligence and big data analysis would be an asset.


PAHO Competencies:

  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others - Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
  • Communication: Share knowledge - Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment: Provide direction - Manages individual and group projects and ensures that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clearly defined, understood and accepted; delegates work appropriately to achieve best results.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results - Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learnt for own and team’s benefit.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - Sets specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives for own team and/or the Organization; systematically analyses and anticipates priority projects for own team and allocates necessary resources to achieve them; identifies the cross-Organizational resources needed for large- scale projects in line with key Organizational objectives. Anticipates foreseeable changes and adapts own and team’s projects in the face of unforeseen circumstances and/ or challenges; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond: Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration - Builds and negotiates strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of key stakeholders to ensure Organizational results and success. Creates innovative opportunities for promoting synergies inside and outside the Organization to improve Organizational success.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical expertise in all aspects related to data management, including database architecture and design.
  • Ability to design and implement effective database solutions, data architecture services and models to store, analyze and retrieve technical data.
  • Ability to examine and identify database structural necessities by collaborating with technical programs.
  • Practical experience to develop, implement and assess database implementation procedures and tools to ensure they comply with international standards.
  • Ability to prepare accurate database design, public interfaces and technical reports for management and executive teams.
  • Ability to oversee the migration of data from legacy systems to new solutions.
  • Practical expertise in line-of-business (LOB) data strategy, data risk management, and data life cycle management.
  • Strong inter-personal skills, diplomacy and tact to effectively communicate with senior level health officials in public and private sector and civil society, multiple stakeholders and professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to manage multiple issues and tasks in a complex organizational environment and to re-prioritize actions on short notice.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use cloud-based solutions, business intelligence tools, Information Security standards, ETLs, SQL, MySQL systems. Other IT skills and knowledge such as Python, DHIS 2, DKAN would be an asset.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US$ 74,913.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 49.6% of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.


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.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit:

PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

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

PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

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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