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Center Director, Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME)

Sao Paulo (Brazil)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Managerial positions
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-01

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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 Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME) is a specialized center of the Pan American Health Organization. The Center is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Its objective is the promotion of technical cooperation in scientific and technical health information with the countries and among the countries of the Region, with the aim of developing the means and the capacities for the provision and the equitable access to relevant and up-to-date scientific and technical health information, in a rapid, efficient and cost-effective manner. BIREME is a part of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH), which is under the Office of the Assistant Director and is responsible for leading the Organization into the modern era of information for health, including data management, forecasting and scenario setting, using cutting edge information technology. EIH is composed of four functional teams, including BIREME.


Under the general supervision of the Assistant Director (AD), and the direct supervision of the Director, Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties

  1. Provide technical, policy, strategic and programmatic advice for the development and implementation of the technical cooperation program of work of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), in coordination and convergence with the program of work of the EIH department; develop a strategy for enhancing and repositioning BIREME’s leadership role and responsibilities through innovative approaches in convergence with the process of digital transformation of the health sectors of governments
  2. Manage, plan, organize, execute and monitor the Center’s strategic activities of technical cooperation with Member States and its core mandates, to accomplish the mission, objectives and functions, including standardization, training, research and operation of methodologies, technologies, products, services and events on scientific information, knowledge management and scientific communication for health
  3. Manage, plan, implement and monitor the technical cooperation programs and activities with Member States on health sciences information, evidence-based information, knowledge management and scientific communication, in coordination with the PAHO/WHO Office in Brazil and within the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) framework
  4. Manage the Center within the delegation of authority and in accordance with the Organization’s policies, programs and administrative rules and procedures, including, personnel, facilities and equipment
  5. Identify, promote, establish, maintain, and coordinate liaison across the Organization, within WHO, with other United Nations organizations, the Inter-American System and with other partners in order to maximize programmatic integration, efficiency and effectiveness
  6. Contribute to developing strategic networks and horizontal links and communication channels with national institutions and with the internal technical entities of PAHO to identify and support strategic information needs; provide support on specialized scientific searches needed and disseminate evidence-based information to sustain the technical cooperation of the Organization
  7. Promote the development, strengthening, expansion and innovation of information and knowledge translation and knowledge management with specific focus on, but not limited to, evidence-based information resources and web-based systems for decision making processes, through decentralized national and thematic networks of health related knowledge centers, libraries, documentation and information units, editors and publishers to improve the cooperative gathering, indexing and dissemination of health sciences literature produced at local, national and regional levels
  8. Lead regular planning and assessment exercises to report metrics, progress and results of BIREME´s activities at different levels of the Organization and with Member States in support of the strategic programs’ technical cooperation
  9. Cooperate with Member States in the design, planning, and execution of activities related to health sciences information, in coordination with PAHO Country Offices Country Cooperation Strategies (CCS) and the Regional Office
  10. Oversee negotiation and approve projects, contracts and agreements with suppliers, distributors, federal and state agencies, and other national and regional organizational entities related to the mission of BIREME
  11. Establish contingency and business continuity plans for the Center; ensure that relevant staff and other personnel are knowledgeable and trained accordingly
  12. Plan, coordinate and evaluate the preparation of reports and scientific articles regarding all aspects of the Center's work; monitor and ensure their accuracy and technical soundness prior to public release; promote, support and develop evidence-based interventions
  13. Participate in and/or preside over panels and committees according to the bylaws governing BIREME
  14. Coordinate the Center's relationship and work with the host country’s national authorities in coordination with the PAHO/WHO Representative, Brazil; represent the Organization, and the Center at national and international meetings
  15. Identify possible sources of supplementary funds; prepare formal requests for research or program grants and other extra budgetary projects; mobilize human, political and financial resources to strengthen the areas of work under his/her responsibility
  16. Lead and coordinate the development of the Center’s biennial work plan (BWP), including the development of the human resources plan, and the allocation and mobilization of resources; manage the programmatic and financial execution of the BWP, developing new, and strengthening existing partnerships; identify and secure voluntary contributions, and advance other resource mobilization efforts to enable the efficient and effective implementation of the BWP
  17. Provide leadership and guidance to staff; ensure guidance and monitoring of staff though setting of clear work objectives, use of performance reviews and feedback mechanisms, regular communications, and solving interpersonal or technical conflicts
  18. Lead the process of updating the Center’s personnel policies and regulations and salary scales, in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs (LEG) and Human Resources Management Department (HRM)
  19. Provide a stable managerial framework that demonstrates credibility, trust and value to Member States, clients and donors, while optimizing staff performance
  20. Perform other related duties, as assigned



Essential: A university degree in a health or social science, and a master´s degree in public health, computer science, data science management, biostatistics, information systems or health analytics, with emphasis on knowledge management/transfer, knowledge communication, information systems or any other field related to the functions of the post, from a recognized university

Desirable: A Ph. D. in epidemiology, public health, health information or related field would be an asset

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide a scanned copy of the degrees required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited in the World Higher Education Database (WHED) link: PAHO will also use the databases and to support the validation process.


Essential: Thirteen years of combined national and international experience in the management, operation and technical cooperation in scientific information, research, knowledge management and evidence-based scientific communication programs, products and services concerned with public health, international cooperation and public health services.


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: 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: Advocates for collaboration across the Organization - Creates and encourages a climate of team- working and collaboration across the Organization; sees cooperation as a key Organizational priority and creates collaborative systems and processes to achieve Organizational goals. Actively identifies and tackles disagreements between internal and external counterparts that compromise the Organization’s goals and mandate; diplomatically facilitates the resolution of conflicts between others and ensures strategic partnerships with a range of key stakeholders; maintains and extends an effective collaborative network of individuals inside and outside the Organization
  • Communication: Share knowledge - Shares decisions and directives of senior management and communicates them in a manner that ensures both understanding and acceptance; shares knowledge and best practice at the three Organizational levels (country, regional and global), as necessary
  • 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
  • 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
  • Driving the Organization to a successful future: Constructive leadership style/ Set the vision and build commitment - Leads and develops a road map for successfully achieving real progress in the Organization’s mandate, including consultation with key stakeholders; demonstrates respectful, trustworthy, transparent and accountable behavior in order to develop a reliable and coherent identity for the Organization. Creates a coherent Organizational vision of shared and successful goals; fosters a culture of vision and long- term goals, recognizing and rewarding efforts to maximize the Organization’s value

Technical Expertise:

  • Technical: Extensive expertise at a senior decision-making level in particular in managing complex public health information programs/systems and new concepts on information and knowledge management at both national and international levels. Wide and varied knowledge of public health information sources and systems, including innovative use of new technologies and methodologies; monitoring and performance assessment in the health or social sector, and disciplines related to strategic planning. Expertise in research and knowledge translation projects or studies related to health information and knowledge management, evaluation of information use and impact in public health decisions and interventions
  • Managerial: Extensive expertise in senior, progressively responsible positions in the management of a large public or private administration of administrative and technical matters requiring sensitive negotiation, and high-level intervention. Demonstrated ability to provide professional leadership to strategic, organizational, managerial and analytic work in health; resourcefulness, initiative, highly developed judgment and interpersonal skills to deal with difficult situations and sensitive areas. Must further possess a recognized capacity to lead, strategize, and supervise by persuasion and through consensus building. Courtesy, tact, sensitivity to manage confidential information, and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different professional levels, disciplines, nationalities, and cultural backgrounds
  • Administrative: Skills in resource mobilization (including fundraising and partner collaboration) and financial management for the delivery of expected results


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

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Demonstrated understanding of and experience with scientific, web-based and open-source information systems as well the ability to operate desktop, web related applications and knowledge management technologies and methodologies.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US$89,837.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 27.5% of the above figure. This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur.


This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

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