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Unit Lead (Joint Infectious Diseases)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-10


The Division of Country Health Programmes (CHP) assists country efforts to reduce the burden of non-communicable and communicable diseases and address the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, and promotes policies and actions for health through stewardship of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network. It focuses on health promotion measures; prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, and risks related to tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol; communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, and vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases; elimination and control of vaccine-preventable diseases and advocacy for increased use of vaccines; containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance; addressing existing and emerging environmental health risks, and supporting violence and injury prevention. A determination to ensure universal access to people-centred quality health services across the continuum of care is matched by enriching the evidence base for policy design and interventions using social, cultural and behavioural approaches, to drive implementation of innovation at national, regional and local levels.

Through the lens of the European Program of Work 2020-2025 (EPW) and with the commitment to leave no one behind, the Joint Infectious Diseases unit will identify opportunities and innovations within and beyond health with the aim to direct health policies towards the most effective country tailored interventions and to accelerate progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development on eliminating TB, ending AIDS and malaria, and combatingviral hepatitis. The unit will foster innovation through conducting operational research for the fast uptake of new technological advances, seeking new perspectives and identifying new approaches to unlock country specific bottlenecks to ensure that needs of the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations are met and that provision of affordable quality health servicesfor TB, HIV/STI and viral hepatitis do not incur in catastrophic expenditure. It will also seek synergies to better define the links and develop a response between climate change and expansion of Vector-Borne Diseases in the Region. To ensure patient-centered quality care, the unit will work across the Division of Country Health Programmes, Division of Health Policies and Systems and with relevant Geographically Disbursed Offices, WHO Collaborating Centres, regional platforms, partners, community-based and civil society organizations towards ensuring that elements of decentralization and simplification of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB, HIV/STI and hepatitis are part of and delivered through Primary Health Care and community platforms.


To manage the technical programme including formulation of Regional Policies and Action Plans, country plans and projects, implementation, monitoring, and participation in evaluation of outcomes.

To contribute to attaining health system goals and strengthening public health capacities in member states, by advocating for and supporting action across government and society to improve the health and well-being of populations.

To strengthen leadership and capacity of the Regional Office in the area of prevention, control and management of tuberculosis, and X/MDR-TB as well as HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.

Key duties: Under the guidance of the Divisional Director, the incumbent will assume the following responsibilities and achieve the following objectives: Core responsibilities as JID unit Lead:

1. Direct, coordinate, and evaluate programmes under the domain of JID by also promoting and ensuring intra and interdivisional teamwork including with WHO Collaborating Centres and Geographically Disbursed Offices (GDOs);

2. Foster close collaboration with country offices and Headquarters, translate comprehensive individual disease strategies and workplans into country driven tailored responses by focusing on actionable impact, while coordinating with other partners on a comprehensive country response;

3. Continuously monitor progress at country level, assess WHO's specific contribution, and implement corrective action if needed;

4. Encourage, in collaboration with the Regional Advisers, an environment of change where staff continuously seeks new ideas and perspective within the unit and beyond, and leverages Regional Advisers and team members' strengths and cohesion and recognize and reward collaborative behaviour;

5. Establish, maintain and strengthen partnerships and mobilize resources to ensure a comprehensive response at country level to complement WHO EURO efforts and maximize impact at country level;

6. Foster resource mobilization for JID in collaboration with the Regional Advisers;

7. Lead allocation of budget and resources within country and intercountry workplans in coordination with the Regional Advisers and Divisional Director. Core responsibilities in assisting Member States in relation to JID's areas of work and as part of country efforts to strengthen health systems include:

8. With the support of the relevant technical experts in JID's areas of work and in main partner institutions, dialogue with and advise policy makers on national plans and policies to ensure that policies do not perpetuate social injustices and inequities, nor increase inequalities in access to health services and in health outcomes. Ensure that redefined responsibilities in health systems are shared in a coordinated and pluralistic manner across all stakeholders with clear lines of accountability and transparency, with special emphasis on TB, HIV, hepatitis, STIs, malaria and vector-borne diseases;

9. Manage and oversee development and implementation of innovative approaches, adapted to regional/country needs through prompt implementation of operational research with special emphasis on introduction of new drugs or drugs combination for all the diseases (in particular on introduction of all-oral short-course treatment regiments for MDR-TB), new diagnostics for TB and simplification of HIV diagnostics algorithms, adoption of behavior and cultural change to address the most vulnerable populations;

10. Oversee the development of mechanisms for performance assessment and performance management and approaches to enhance effectiveness of stakeholder involvement that directly translates into country support and complements WHO EURO efforts to maximize country level impact of interventions;

11. Advocate for knowledge transmission, and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned for the enhancement of the capacities and skills of Ministries of Health and its agencies in carrying out the elimination agenda of JID related areas of work. Core responsibilities in providing leadership and guidance in directing the advancement of TB, MDR-TB, Malaria, Vector-borne diseases, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis include:

12. Coordinate technical quality and competence in delivery of the Regional strategic priorities of the JID Programme areas including management and quality of all programme deliverables of both country and intercountry workplans;

13. Coordinate development of regional plans to adapt and implement global strategies in JID's areas of work with identification of strategic focus for the Region that would advance the agenda of the individual diseases and where EURO can make a collective difference in terms of impact at country level;

14. Coordinate international activities with relevant organizations and partners in the technical area with a focus of full complementarity on country support with clear definition of accountability to ensure that comprehensive individual diseases strategies are implemented at country level

15. Document and render explicitly pros and cons of various policy options applicable to JID's areas of work in terms of their implications and their impact on the level and distribution of health, responsiveness, and financial protection based on country experiences

16. Manage the collection and granular analysis of Regional specific knowledge- in complementarity to Headquarters' efforts- to serve as a basis for country specific targeted response and disseminate to Member States as required. Lead efforts to evaluate impact of JID's publication products (qualitative and quantitative) against its impact at country level;

17. Work with relevant regional divisions and GDOs to ensure strategic elements of regional strategy of TB, HIV, Hepatitis and STIs are incorporated within primary health care framework;

18. In collaboration with the “access to medicine and health products unit” in the regional office- explore opportunities for WHO EURO to advance the agenda on procurement and access to affordable drugs and diagnostics;

19. To define- in collaboration with the divisional communication officer and regional communication team- JID's communication needs and expand the role of communication as part of a coherent divisional and regional communication strategy;

20. Perform other duties as assigned.



Essential: University degree (Master's level) in medicine, social sciences, public health or epidemiology.
Desirable: Additional university degree in one of the above fields. Additional training in communicable disease prevention and control with a focus on TB or HV/AIDS and hepatitis.


Essential: At least 10 years working experience in communicable diseases, prevention and control, at national and international levels, attaining senior managerial rank. Demonstrated experience in implementing or advising on key domains of TB and/or HIV and/or hepatitis, with particular emphasis in lower- and middle-income countries. Experience in management, planning, monitoring and programme evaluation.
Desirable: Demonstrated experience in advocacy and working with other national/international agencies active in the health sector and community-based organizations.


Comprehensive knowledge of global and regional public health aspects of Joint Infectious Diseases in the WHO European Region; In-depth knowledge of political, social and health systems of countries in the WHO European RegionIn depth knowledge of public health issues at the interface between health systems and communicable diseases; Excellent leadership, project management and performance management skills. Ability to foster teamwork and to establishand maintain effective working relationships at all levels. Ability to motivate and supervise staff. Demonstrated ability to create an environment that continuously fosters changes and monitors impact to advance the agenda of individual diseases, and that encourages new ideas and perspective building and synergies and communalities, and leverages team leads and team members' strengths and cohesion and recognizes and rewards collaborative behaviour; Emotional awareness; the ability to identify and harness one's emotions and apply them to tasks; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one's own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Moving forward in a changing environment
Driving the Organization to a Successful Future
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

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 90,664 (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 4035 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.
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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.