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Unit Head (Fragile, Vulnerable and Conflict Affected Settings)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior level - P-6, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Conflict prevention
    • Peace and Development
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2023-02-15


The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. The WHE Response division (WRE) is responsible for rapidly detecting and responding to health emergencies while leveraging relevant national and international partnerships, ensuring that emergency-affected populations in acute and protracted emergencies have access to essential health services and that systems are maintained and strengthened in fragile, conflict and vulnerable settings while implementing at scale, proven prevention strategies for priority pandemic/epidemic-prone diseases. The HEI Department is responsible for ensuring that emergency-affected populations have access to timely and effective health services, ranging from humanitarian interventions, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Fragile, Vulnerable and Conflict Affected Settings (FCVs) to key high impact epidemic diseases including Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs), Yellow Fever, Meningitis and Cholera. The Department prioritizes support to the most vulnerable and low capacity countries.


Generic duties:

--> Coordinates and provides senior technical leadership in establishing new approaches, evidence-based policies and strategies, surveillance, and capacity building initiatives for implementation across Regional and Country Office programmes in the respective area of work.

--> Provides senior level health technical expertise and advice to the Director and Senior Management in the area of health in FCVs on the development and establishment of new health strategies and policies for implementation into and/or the monitoring and evaluation of national and global policies.

--> Ensures effective coordination, management and accountability of the programme area in delivering its objectives through efficient managing a diverse team of technical experts, financial resources and effective work plan coordination to optimize the programme's deliverables in line with the mandate of the Organization.

--> Ensures the coordination and management of the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the Department's area of work of key performance indicators and global reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Department deliverables.

--> Serves as the scientific/technical reference among UN Agencies and the peer community on the health in FCVs.

--> Builds technical partnerships with other UN Agencies, Donors, research institutions and other stakeholders in the health in FCVs to position the technical area of work and implementation into respective policies.

--> Represents the programme area of work in global fora and capacity building activities.

--> Performs all other related duties as assigned. Specific duties (Three to four specific duties could be added if required linked to the highly scientific/technical functions related to the Unit Head level roles and responsibilities.)

Note: Specific time bound programme priorities should be reflected in the annual Performance Appraisal context.

- Leads the FCV team.

- Leads WHO's work under GPW output 2.3.3.

- Leads WHO's work under SDG 3 GAP FCV accelerator.

- Explores and enhances partnership within WHE and WHO and with external partners, in particular those under the IASC.




  • An advanced university degree in Public Health related to the functions of the position.


  • A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.



  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in the management of health in FCVs, including experience providing senior level advice and guidance to Senior Management/Decision makers, managing human and financial resources.

  • Experience in the area of developing and establishing policies and strategies.

  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.

  • Field experience in managing complex health programmes in FCVs.


  • Experience with a range of organizations, including UN and NGOs.


--> Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.

--> Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.

--> Strong understanding and skills in mobilizing resources.

--> Ability to engage, build consensus and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners and media.

--> Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.

--> Globally-respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in health in FCVs.

--> Proven leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences.
Driving the Organization to a Successful Future.
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond.
Creating an empowering and motivating environment.

Use of Language Skills


  • Expert knowledge of English.

  • Expert knowledge of French.


  • Intermediate knowledge of another WHO Language.


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 102,715 (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 7045 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 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.