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Senior Health Economist


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Barcelona
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2022-09-27


TheDivision of the Regional Director (RDD) provides the visionary leadership and,together with BOS, supports the Country Offices and all the other Divisions inthe efficient delivery of the EPW through agile transformation and implementingWHO Value Charter. RDD has the overall responsibility for the planning,execution and evaluation of WHO programmes at the regional and country levelsand in strengthening the alignment and joint work across the three levels ofthe organization. It is the safeguard of the WHO Values Charter. It encompassesthe enabling functions of resource mobilization and alliances, externalrelations and communications, and support to governing bodies of the EuropeanRegion, in addition to organization development, staff development andlearning, and transformation. It alsospecifically includes the representative function of WHO with the institutionsof the European Union., the EURO Ombudsman who reports directlyand independently to the Regional Director, and the committee on staff healthand wellbeing.TheDivision of Country Health Policies and Systems (CPS) assists countries in theRegion with the design and implementation of appropriate health policies andsystems to strengthen universal health coverage. It works to strengthendata-driven, evidence-informed, contextually tailored health policy developmentand implementation at national, regional, and local levels, taking an inclusiveapproach across the life course. The Division advocates strengthening of publichealth leadership, focusing on implementing policies that are people- centred,promote health, prevent illness, and address the social and economicdeterminants of health, while fostering leadership on equity, human rights andgender mainstreaming in health. TheCPS Division focuses on building capacity for health systems innovation toenable the sustainable delivery of high-quality primary health and communityservices that are effectively linked to hospitals, and mental health, publichealth, and social care services. To do so, CPS supports country efforts tofacilitate access, so as to leave nobody behind, to improve financialprotection, to strengthen the health workforce, to increase access toaffordable medicines and technologies, and to promote the uptake andimplementation of digital technology.TheWHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Financing (BAR) supports Member States by promotingevidence-informed policy-making in health financing for universal healthcoverage (UHC). A key part of the work of the Office is to assess country andregional progress towards UHC by monitoring financial hardship due toout-of-pocket payments for health and unmet need for health services. Financialprotection is a core dimension of health system performance and an indicator ofSDG 3.8.2. The Barcelona Office is further strengthening its leadership role inEurope and globally by advocating for equity-sensitive metrics and coveragepolicies, in line with the EPW and GPW 13, to reduce financial hardship forall. The health systems financing programme works closely with all CPS units; itsactivities include governance of the coverage of medicines and the EPW flagshipinitiative on mental health. At the country level, the Barcelona Office worksto support national policy dialogue to reprioritize government budgets toensure sufficient levels of public spending on health and social care duringand after the COVID-19 crisis. It engages with national health authorities tobuild negotiation capacity for investment in health using evidence frommonitoring financial protection and evidence on equity and efficiency. Italso supports countries to identify gaps in health coverage and redesigncoverage policy to address gaps.The European Observatory on HealthSystems and Policies is at the forefront of international evidencegeneration and knowledge brokering for health policies and systems. Its missionis to support and promote evidence-informed health policy-making throughcomprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health systems andpolicies in Europe. The Observatory's aim is to generateevidence and broker knowledge so that policy makers can take better healthsystems 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 policymaking;Mobilizing experience from practice acrossEurope to give insights into policy issues;Working in partnership with governments, internationalorganisations, academics, policy-makers and practitioners to provide evidenceand evidence-informed policy options to national and European policy-makers;Employing (and developing) a range of knowledgebrokering tools to communicate effectively with policy-makers;Feeding evidence into the wider health policydebate.TheObservatory is a partnership hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Itincludes the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland,Norway,Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom; the Veneto Region of Italy; theFrench National Union of Health Insurance Funds (UNCAM); the World HealthOrganization; the European Commission; the World Bank; the Health Foundation; theLondon School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); and the London Schoolof Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The Observatory consists of a SteeringCommittee, senior management team and staff. Its core Secretariat is inBrussels and it has offices in London at LSE and LSHTM and Berlin (TUB).


The purpose of this post is to provide comprehensive health financing policy guidance and high-level technical advice on health systems development to Member States by analysing, developing, implementing and evaluating health policies in the context of making progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The incumbent will lead selected country and regional analysis to generate evidence and inform policy in Member States and to foster synergistic working between the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Financing (BAR) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (OBS) supporting initiatives on health financing for UHC, financial protection, health systems development, the economics of health and related areas according to the respective workplans of the BAR and OBS.The incumbent will contribute to delivering the core technical functions of the Barcelona Office and of the Observatory as follows.Key duties: Leadanddeliver(BAR, OBS and joint) technicalprojectswith a thematic and / or country focus respondingtospecificpolicymakerneedsandenabling EuropeanRegionMemberStatestostrengthen healthsystems financing.Play a leading role in work on monitoring financial protection, economics of health and health systems including developing methodologies and adapting evidence generated for policy makers. Work directly with nationalandinternationaldecisionmakersin countries todefinepolicyissues andappropriate responses and provide evidence support particularly on health financing. Work withpotentialdonorstosecureresources and manage donor-funded project work including ensuring quality outcomes and reporting with particular emphasis on EU-funded projects.Commissionandoversee expert support from various sources in the area of health financing and health systems. Develop and manage international expert networks including academics and practitioners. Lead and deliver knowledge brokering activities to support BAR and OBS workplan implementation including policy dialogue, articles, evidence briefings and rapid responses to facilitate knowledge transfer to policy makers in Member States.Coordinate work with and by the Observatory London hub ensuring coherent delivery of the Observatory's work commitments and supporting staff and coordinating work plans. Supervising staff and consultants in Barcelona and London providing technical guidance on content issues and coordinating between BAR and OBS.Support the strategic leadership of the BAR and OBS teams and effective liaison and links with CPS and Observatory Partners. Collaborate within CPS and with other technical divisions as well as WHO headquarters to promote a comprehensive and aligned support to Member States on health systems financingPerform any other duties within the scope of the post as assigned by supervisors.



Essential: Advanced university degree (Master's level or equivalent) in economics,health systems financing, health economics or social policy.
Desirable: PhD in economics, health financing or social policy.


Essential: At least ten yearsof progressive and relevant work experience with countries of the EuropeanRegion of which:At least 5 years at international level providing economic analysis andmodelling, technical assistance to the EU and non-EU Member States in the WHOEuropean Region and policy advice on health systems. A minimum of seven years' experience of analysis of and advice on financialprotection (including experience of monitoring financial protection in multipleEuropean countries), health financing policies and determinants of revenueraising capacity; economics of health including wellbeing and cost drivers ofhealth systems. Experience in knowledge brokering including leadership of policy dialoguewith national and European level decision makers. Research leadership in multi-partner projects and resource mobilization. A substantial track record of publication in peer reviewed journals (i.e.more than 15 in last 10 years).
Desirable: Experiencewith donor-funded project leadership and technical reporting. Experience leadingEU funded projects. Experience in mentalhealth and/or long-term care systems and policies. Relevant experience withinWHO, the United Nations or other international organizations


Demonstrated knowledge of health systems financing and policies atnational, regional and global levels.Knowledge of political, social and health systems in European countries.Demonstrated experience of working effectively with national andinternational counterparts, implementing partners, donor agencies andgovernment authorities.Proven track record of managing international and comparative researchand of working on collaborative projects and supervising and supporting juniorstaff. Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicatecomplex concepts in a clear and accessible manner. Excellent writing skills.Ability to work comfortably in a fast-paced environment.Ability to identify and manage one's own emotions, as well as helpingothers do the same. Knowledge of MS Office and related applications (Word, Excel, Access,PowerPoint). Knowledge of statistical packages (such as Stata or SPSS), econometricanalysis and ability to work with household budget survey data.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Producing results

Use of Language Skills



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 2206 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.