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Senior Medical Officer


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Medical Practitioners
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level


Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

Senior Medical Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The position is under the supervision of the Staff Health and Welfare Service (SHWS) in the Division of Human Resources (DHR). The Division's mission statement indicates that DHR is a strategic, trusted and innovative business partner in enabling UNHCR to protect and respond to persons of concern by attracting, motivating, retaining and developing a talented, diverse and agile workforce, while nurturing a culture of excellence, respect and wellbeing for all. The incumbent of this position supports establishment of HR strategic priorities and the reconfiguration and transformation of the Division from a largely transactional model into a strategic business partner for field operations and senior management. UNHCR has a highly mobile, global workforce which comprises around 11,000 staff members and nearly 5,000 colleagues on flexible working arrangements serving in over 460 locations in 130 countries. Some 40% or more of UNHCR's workforce is posted in difficult and remote duty stations where working and living conditions can be challenging. Some locations are impacted by security risks and ongoing conflicts and ensuring their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance. The Staff Health and Wellbeing Service (SHWS) is a part of the Division of Human Resources (DHR) responsible for ensuring that the workforce of UNHCR has a safe and healthy work environment, in the interests of good functioning and productivity. Occupational health focuses on enhancing and maintaining: - the health of people at work, ensuring they operate safely; and - the organisational effectiveness of UNHCR by providing expert advice to management. The Medical Section includes 7 regions with more than 25 professional and support staff providing occupational medical services and support to UNHCR staff. The Senior Medical Officer reports to the Chief, Medical Section, and will have supervisory responsibilities. In addition to work with individual staff and teams in direct person-to-person service, the Section is responsible for overall implementation of the UNHCR's Duty of Care commitments as well as for the development of relevant policy documents that promote staff health and psychosocial wellbeing. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties - Visit the workplace and perform health risk assessments of duty stations, high risk environments. Advise on the provision of safe and healthy conditions. - Develop and manage emergency response to complex situations. - Successfully run travel medical services for staff on official travel/missions/emergency deployments. - Provide occupational health and safety management. - Develop, implement and supervise projects and programs in line with the SH&Ws and Regional Strategic Objectives. - Provide support with relevant UNHCR polices and standing administrative instructions, as well as promote compliance with relevant health and safety legislation. - Manage resources: request, justify and monitor annual budget for the region, manage own human resources under his/her supervision. - Provide first aid and emergency services in response to accidents occurring in the workplace. - Provide surge capacity to the corporate and UN System. - Recommend, facilitate and support emergency medical evacuations of national and international staff and dependents. - Consider and report on matters affecting the health, safety and welfare of persons at work. - Assess and clear the centres for medical evacuations for UNHCR workforce and family members. - Review, assess and take decisions about work accommodations, fitness for work, and mobility that are based on individualized medical risk assessments. - Implement and monitor existing health and psychosocial welfare policies. - Access to confidential staff medical data. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Years of Experience / Degree Level For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education *Diploma of Medical Doctor (MD) (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Certification in OHS. Certification in emergency medicine (PHTLS, ACLS or equivalent) (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential Minimum 8 years of clinical practice as a Medical Doctor/ Practitioner of which at least 1-2 years should be in an international organization and/or in hardship duty stations. Experience in occupational health and safety and/or travel medicine and/or tropical and infectious disease, and /or emergency medicine, minimum 2 years'experience. Project design and management experience (education and competency to successfully lead and direct projects).minimum 2 years' experience. Training in project management and minimum 2 years' experience in implementing health related projects. Supervisory experience of other health personnel. Excellent communication, presentation and drafting skills. Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. Desirable Advance Degree in occupational health/public health/community medicine/family medicine/international health. Experience in managing employee assistance programs like HIV or substance abuse or other wellbeing programmes. Demonstrated leadership and team building skills. Functional Skills CO-Drafting and Documentation MD-Tropical and Infectious Diseases WB - OSH risk assessment MD-Travel Medicine (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

Desired Candidate Profile

The candidate is a medical doctor and must have demonstrated managerial skills, be confident, client oriented and with strong analytical thinking. Must be able to lead a team of health care providers and other stakeholders with vision and problem solving attitude maintaining professional medical integrity and ethical principles.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

Living and Working Conditions:

Current operational circumstances require frequently long working hours as well as emergency coverage. Frequent travels to high risk environments will be required. Stressful work context, therefore capacity for self-care is critical.


Additional Qualifications



BA: Health (Required), BA: Medical Doctor (Required), BA: Medicine (Required), BA: Occupational Health And Safety (Required), BA: Public Health (Required)


Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Innovation & creativity, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance
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