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Geneva (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-20

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The Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing supports a world where by 2030, every woman, newborn, child, adolescent and aging person in every setting realizes their rights to physical and mental health and well-being.This will be achieved by supporting WHO's General Programme of Work and universal health coverage for all. The department provides support to countries with a focus on high burden countries to ensure evidence-based policies and strategies are in place to achieve universal access to high quality health services for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and ageing (MNCAH&A), and increase coverage and quality of effective MNCAH&A interventions among pregnant women, newborns, children, adolescents, young adults and older people, and to create mechanisms to measure the impact of those strategies.


To coordinate and identify, in consultation with leading experts from within and outside of WHO, research priorities and evidence gaps around interventions to enhance the promotion of the effective engagement of individuals, families and community members for improved maternal and newborn outcomes as well as interventions to strengthen the experience of care for MNH. Lead a global research portfolio with international research experts to identify and address research priorities and ensure harmonization among key global partners, including implementation research around the delivery of interventions for improving individual, family, community health and for improving the experience of care from the users' perspective. Coordinate and lead the development of the MCA Department health promotion strategy, sensitive to the diversity of Member States, ensuring strategic collaboration within WHO to strengthen health promotion approaches across the continuum of care and different health areas. Lead efforts to support capacity development for global, regional, national and district planning on evidence-based health promotion for maternal and newborn health, strengthening health promotion policy structures, strengthening community/health service capacity to interact to improve engagement of individuals, families and communities, increased safe care and increase use of services and improved experience and satisfaction with MNH services. Lead strategic collaboration with other UN agencies, bilateral agencies, donors, international and national NGOs to build consensus and harmonize efforts to accelerate large-scale implementation of priority health promotion interventions and interventions to strengthen the experience of care for maternal and newborn health. Oversee technical support and WHO HQ contribution to regional and country efforts to raise awareness of the importance of health promotion interventions for maternal and newborn health and of strengthening health service efforts to improve the experience of care for maternal and newborn health, and engage in dialogue with key policy makers to support the uptake and implementation of evidence-based interventions in national and sub-national MNH strategies. To establish, coordinate and strengthen effective linkages with other relevant WHO programmes as well as other UN agencies and partners engaged in activities in maternal and newborn health research and evidence-generation. To advocate and mobilize resources for maternal and newborn health. Specific duties include: Coordinate and lead global efforts and ensure the evidence base for accelerating implementation of health promotion and community engagement interventions and interventions for strengthening the experience of care for maternal and newborn health; Coordinate and lead technical advice to, and on behalf of the Organization on health promotion and community engagement and improved experience of care in the area of maternal and newborn health. Identify gaps in capacity for planning and implementing health promotion and community engagement and interventions to improve the experience of care for maternal and newborn health and ensure that these gaps are addressed; Participate in organizational activities related to maternal health; Ensure that highest technical standards are consistently reflected in WHO's work in this field; Strengthen WHO's efforts to build evidence on complex interventions and integrate social science in MNH evidence processes including data analyses; Collaborate with other senior research and policy experts in partner organizations e.g. UNICEF, UNFPA, donors and major NGOs, as appropriate.



Essential: An advanced level university degree (Masters) in social science, public health related science or another health technical field directly relevant to the profile of this position.
Desirable: An additional advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in social science, public health related science, international development, or another health technical field directly relevant to the profile of this position. Postgraduate training in health promotion and/or health research.


Essential: A minimum of 10 years national and international experience in the field of health promotion for maternal and newborn health, with demonstrated experience at both the global level and in low- and middle-income country settings. Experience in development of guidelines for maternal and newborn health. Excellent research skills, experience in leading, planning and implementing implementation research on community-based programmes in low- and middle-income settings. Experience in analyses of multi-country data sets. Proven experience in project management. Experience working with NGOs or CBOs at country level. At least 10 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of health promotion, community engagement or other relevant subject area. Demonstrated experience in evidence reviews and in research prioritization processes.
Desirable: Experience in resource mobilization. Experience in leading and participating in related international working groups.


Excellent knowledge of maternal and newborn health (MNH) programmes including the social determinants of maternal and newborn health and their inter-related aspects. Excellent knowledge of the theories, principles, methods and processes of health promotion for maternal and newborn health and of the evidence base. Advanced technical expertise in evidence synthesis for complex interventions and in guideline development processes; Technical expertise and experience in planning, implementing, reviewing and documenting large-scale community-based and facility-based programmes related to maternal and newborn health that integrate health promotion activities and that address the experience of care for users. Ability to maintain close contact with research partners, Member States, and associated funding agencies on all matters related to planning, coordination and monitoring of activities in this field. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, senior management, donors, international and national staff at all levels. Ability to develop guidelines, programmatic guidance and practice tools, produce manuscripts and produce reports and papers for dissemination. Ability to present information clearly, both orally and written. Knowledge of statistics and statistical and data analysis.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Other UN Language.


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 89,837 (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 6161 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: 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: 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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