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Health Systems Specialist

Brussels (Belgium)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Brussels (Belgium)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-26

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The Division of the Regional Director (RDD) provides the visionary leadership of the Region and, together with BOS,supports the Country Offices and all the other Divisions in the efficient delivery of the EPW through agile transformation and implementing WHO Value Charter. RDD has the overall responsibility for the planning, execution and evaluation of WHO programmes at the regional and country levels and in strengthening the alignment and joint work across the three levels of theorganization. It is the safeguard of the WHO Values Charter. It encompasses the enabling functions of resource mobilization and alliances, external relations and communications, and support to governing bodies of the European Region, in addition to organization development, staff development and learning, and transformation. It also specifically includes the representative function of WHO with the institutions of the European Union,the EURO Ombudsman who reports directly and independently to the Regional Director, and the committee on staff health and wellbeing.

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies is at the forefront of international evidence generationand knowledge brokering for health policies and systems. Its mission is to support and promote evidence-informed health policymaking through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health systems and policies in Europe.The Observatory's aim is to generate evidence and broker knowledge so that policy makers can take better health systems decisions and improve population health.

Its objectives include:

Describing and analysing health systems and thechanges they undergo;

Mapping trends and making comparisons (including with relevant countries outside Europe) to support European policy making;

Mobilizing experience from practice across Europe to give insights into policy issues;

Working in partnership with governments,international organisations, academics, policymakers and practitioners to provide evidence and evidence-informed policy options to national and European policymakers;

Employing (and developing) a range of knowledge brokering tools to communicate effectively with policymakers;

Feeding evidence into the wider health policy debate.

The Observatory is a partnership hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. It includes the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland,Norway,Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom; the Veneto Region of Italy; the French National Union of Health Insurance Funds (UNCAM); the World Health Organization; the European Commission; the World Bank; the Health Foundation;the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

The Observatory consists of a Steering Committee, senior management team and staff. Its core Secretariat is in Brussels and it has offices in London at LSE and LSHTM and Berlin (TUB).


To build synergies between the Observatory, WHO HQ and the Regional Office for Europe on work on UHC,health governance, primary care and health systems performance and to lead and contribute to technical and knowledge brokering work.

Key duties:

1. Build synergies across levels, so between OBS and HQ and between teams within UHC-Lifecourse more broadly

Develop collaborations and synergies with relevant departments, clusters and stakeholders on areas of common programmatic interest (such as those topics relevant to the UHC Partnership), i.e. primary and integrated care, systems performance assessment, and other health systemaspects that support universal health coverage

Identify suitable funding sources and secure resources to support synergistic work

Expand upon existing and identify further areas of mutually beneficial collaboration, acting as a liaison to ensure that the value-add of each party is adequately leveraged

Utilize windows of opportunities where acollaborative modus operandi offers a solution to a policy question or challenge

Foster synergies outside the Organization insupport of work that cuts across administrative levels and to mobilize andalign resources for policy focused research and knowledge brokering.

2. Lead and deliver on the development oftechnical work on health systems to support the common OBS - HQ agenda

Collaborate with national and international decision-makers to define policy issues particularly in the areas that relateto UHC including primary and integrated care and performance;

Lead discussion with potential donors and fundholders to secure resources;

Supervise primary and secondary research,senior expert contributors, collaborators, staff and resources to achieve coherent work and timely outputs;

Commission and use reviews to deliver quality work that can guide policy; Disseminate the lessons learned to maximize impact.

3. Lead and deliver evidence based technical advice / options and strategic knowledge brokering interventions to support decision-making in countries

Establish effective and trusting relationships with senior decision makers to identify entry points, define policy questions and tailor responses to directly support decision making particularly in relation to systems performance, national health policies, participatory governance, and universal health coverage;

Lead policy dialogue by designing content;mobilizing a solid and credible evidence base; recruiting and briefing leading experts; and facilitating high level discussion so that policy makers can assimilate technical and comparative evidence and apply it;

Coordinate and write rapid evidence responsesby designing content and format; supervising data collection, analysis and staff; and ensuring timely delivery, so that evidence directly addresses policy needs in context and can lead to better informed decisions;

Contribute to global and European level debate on health system issues to inform wider thinking.

4. Lead and contribute to implementationresearch on joint priority areas within the context of the wider joint OBS-HQ role and the synergies created

Develop a system of embedded implementation research within HQ programmes' modus operandi (examples are: UHC Partnership,participatory governance work programme, etc.) based on existing pilot projects

Coordinate the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data within those programmes to understand trends and help shape global thinking

Coordinate and facilitate capacity building programmes in the area of governance, systems performance and related areas,within the framework of the UHC Partnership and beyond.

5. Represent WHO/OBS at relevant interagency,international, regional, and national meetings.



Essential: University Degree (Masters level) in a health, public health, health economics, management, lawsocial science or related area.
Desirable: Additional university degree or a doctorate in any of the above disciplines.


Essential: At least 7 years of professional experience in the field of global and European health systems and policies, with focus on universal health coverage and health system performance and/or governance and/or primary healthcare.Demonstrated experience in knowledge brokering and, in the shaping, and provision of evidence to policy makers with focus on policy dialogues and / or evidence briefings.Demonstrated experience supporting proposal development,resource mobilization and in overseeing projects, and managing a team.
Desirable: Relevant experience of working with WHO HQ and in the WHO European Region. Demonstrated experience providing technical and policysupport to a variety of countries. Experience in project and analytic work on UHC and PHCacross countries and / or of work on participatory governance.Demonstrated experience in supervising senior academics and networks. Experience of working in partnership including with Member States;Experience working with(in) EU institutions in the field of health and development.Track record the provision of evidence to international organizations; track record of publication, and of presenting at international conferences.


Demonstrated technical knowledge in at least one of these areas: primary health care; healthsystems performance; finance; governance; workforce; public health; Health inAll policies; coverage; integrated care; person centeredness; implementation;innovation; economics of health; European health systems. Strongmanagerial and research management skills, i.e. managing thecommissioning, editing and review of chapters in a study. Strongcommunication skills. Provenskills in resource mobilization. Emotionalintelligence; Ability to identify and manage one's own emotions, as well ashelping others to do the same.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Ensuring the effective use of resources
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French,Russian,Germa.


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 74,913 (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 2722 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 prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • 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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