Consultant - (Research Coordinator) Extending the benefits of healthy ageing across the life course.
Purpose of consultancy
The consultant will provide technical expertise and contribute to the project on “Extending the benefits of healthy ageing across the life course”, conduct research, organize related meetings and workshops and contribute to progress and technical reports.
The WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health endorsed in 2016, and the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021-2030 action plan endorsed in 2020, identifies strategic objectives to enable older adults to optimize their functional abilities and priority areas of action within each country: strengthening integrated care, long term care, age friendly environments and combatting ageism.
The focus of the Strategy and Decade is on older adults aged 60 years and over.
Yet common questions posed by stakeholders include: when does healthy ageing begin? with increasing life expectancy, what choices do people have on how to live these “extra years”? Longer lives require promoting healthy ageing and greater flexibility of systems across the life course. This requires efforts to connect life stages, and evaluate the evidence to operationalize a life course approach to healthy ageing and development.
WHO can identify, channel and consolidate evidence on ways to improve the trajectory of healthy ageing, to inform improved design of programmes within countries – in health and in areas that contribute to healthy ageing and development. This is within the domain of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Ageing (MCA) department and its cross-cutting area of work on trajectories, and the recognition that multiple sectors contribute to good health at each life stage.
Overall, this project requires evidence synthesis and filling in gaps in research where necessary.
WHO will therefore need to bring together researchers, centers and global thinkers who are currently working on separate areas, for example:
- Each life stage (children, adolescents/ youth, adults, and older people) – to consider how to measure, gather evidence across life course
- Epidemiology of life course – to enlarge field from descriptions to evaluation of interventions and their cumulative impact
- Child development, adult health and healthy ageing – as currently these are in separate areas
- Education, labor, health and social protections – to consider how systems can have aligned goals to enable functional ability at all ages and what innovations can be developed to increase flexibility and choice.
The consultant will produce the following outputs:
Output 1: Further develop a new network of research centers (with the aim that these will extend healthy ageing concepts, identification of actions to support positive trajectories, and measures to earlier life stages), towards extending cumulative benefits across the life course.
- Deliverable 1.1: Identify additional life course centres and complete interviews with them identifying the stages of life they cover, the type of measurement / monitoring of intrinsic capacity and functional ability they perform or collect information on, the scope of their research, their cross sectional and longitudinal data, utilization of research to date (how and by whom), and strategies and plans for future projects.
- Deliverable 1.2: Finalize short document providing an overview by life course centre indicating the work they will contribute to and schedule of contribution in relation to each of the agreed upon products for year 1 and 2 of the project.
Output 2: Develop coordinating research outputs for years 1 and 2 (outputs 1-2-3-4-6 of the project).
- Deliverable 2.1: Develop a draft plan for research activities in the two tracks, with relevant inputs.
- Deliverable 2.2: Facilitate the creation of working groups for outputs 1-2-3-4-6 of the project, identifying which institutions will conduct: systematic reviews in each of the and which institutions and experts will take part in the working group for drafting the framework for life course.
- Deliverable 2.3: Coordinate the work of the six working groups towards advancing research and measurement outputs; trouble shoot to maintain schedules as planned.
Output 3: Contribute to and facilitate organization of meetings and writing workshops.
- Deliverable 3.1: Facilitate general meetings of life course centers. (virtual)
- Deliverable 3.2: Facilitate separate meetings for each of the 6 working groups (virtual)
- Deliverable 3.2: Facilitate a writing week in Geneva to advance drafting of the framework for life course (Output 1 of the project) (hybrid modality: both in person and virtual); be a contributing author; and ensure framework is drafted by contributing authors and peer reviewed
Qualifications, experience, skills and languages
An advanced university degree in gerontology or public health and/or related discipline with related research methods relevant to the project themes relating to life stages (children, youth/adolescents, adults and older persons) and sectors (health, education, labor, social protection).
- Over 10 years of relevant experience in at least one of the project areas, including in depth technical analysis and writing.
- Demonstrated experience with evidence synthesis in the area of health and older persons, and in other areas with impact on health.
- Experience at the national level.
- Experience in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment.
- Knowledge of current literature, debates and concerns in relation to at least one area (health, education, labor, social protection) and older persons; familiarity in several is a plus.
- A proven ability to translate knowledge into publications for both expert and lay audiences representing technical tasks of high complexity.
- Demonstrated expertise in writing policy and research publications and working in an environment that supports research to practice.
- Experience in communicating and engaging with stakeholders and high-level experts from different backgrounds.
- Demonstrated expertise in at least one of the four life stages (children, adolescent/youth, adults, older persons).
- Demonstrated ability to review and synthesize data and evidence.
- Skills in stakeholder outreach, writing communications with researchers and policy makers, and conducting interviews/discussions.
- Excellent organizational and programme management skills.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Demonstrated ability to think laterally and integrate knowledge from different disciplines, approaches and viewpoints, and align with the WHO’s mandate.
- Ability to function effectively in team settings in multi-stakeholder and cross-cultural environments.
- Willingness to work on multiple tasks simultaneously and prioritize.
Expert knowledge of English
At least one other UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish)
Off-site - Home based.
The consultant is not expected to travel.
Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):
Band level C - 10,000-12,500 USD per month, depending on qualifications and experience.
Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):
Expected duration of contract:
11 months at 50% (part time). Remuneration will be pro-rated accordingly.
- This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
- Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
- A written test may be used as a form of screening.
- If your candidature is retained for 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: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
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