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Advisor, Disabilities & Rehabilitation

Washington D.C.

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Rights
    • Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DD&R)
    • Disability Rights
  • Closing Date: Closed


This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH) Department promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation activities, directed at the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and related risk factors, mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders and disabilities, and promotion of optimal nutrition and road safety, that are evidence-based and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented. It raises political and public awareness and understanding of the burden of the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental disorders, related risk factors and conditions and leads multi-sector and multi-stakeholder strategic and collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Member States' capacity to promote and protect health through public policies, programs, and services. This will reduce risks and disease burden and contribute to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Noncommunicable Diseases, Violence and Injury Prevention (NMH/NV), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide technical, strategic advice and programmatic direction for the implementation of the Organization’s Plan of Action on Disabilities and Rehabilitation; provide technical cooperation to Member States in the prevention and management of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities), and the development and implementation of comprehensive social and health policies for promoting health care and social protection practices to address the needs of persons with disabilities in the Region;
  2. Coordinate the development of technical and management guidelines and best practice standards for the strengthening and the development of prevention and management of disabilities and rehabilitation services within the framework of health system strengthening and Health Sector Reform;
  3. Develop and recommend norms and procedures concerning the technical, administrative and social aspects of disabilities and rehabilitation services;
  4. Develop and promote policies for the comprehensive care of persons with disabilities; promote the participation of communities in improving access to disability care and prevention through the development of manuals, policies, handbooks, etc;
  5. Collect, analyze, synthesize and disseminate scientific and technical information related to disabilities and rehabilitation, and facilitate the use of the information in planning and evaluation of country programs and services;
  6. Collaborate and cooperate with staff in the department and other relevant PAHO departments to promote and ensure coordination and synergies for disabilities and rehabilitation, to ensure integration of cross cutting topics such as equity, gender, and ethnicity; as well as to ensure greater effectiveness and utilization of organizational resources;
  7. Provide technical input, contribute to, and ensure regional considerations are provided to WHO’s initiatives on disabilities and rehabilitation;
  8. Promote and raise the visibility of the work of the Organization on disabilities and rehabilitation, including hosting regional webinars, training, and advocacy;
  9. Establish and foster partnerships and alliances with international organizations, academia and civil society groups to collaborate on disabilities and rehabilitation programs and services;
  10. Collaborate and promote training programs for health personnel to contribute to implementing comprehensive, quality care and protection of persons with disabilities, including rehabilitation programs; collaborate with national and international health personnel working in the development of psychosocial and vocational aspects of rehabilitation;
  11. Promote and collaborate in mobilizing national and international resources to facilitate the implementation of disability and rehabilitation programs and plans at the national, sub-regional and local level;
  12. Promote research activities and capacity building in the areas of rehabilitation programs;
  13. Support the development of grant proposals related to disabilities and rehabilitation at the regional and national level and supervise technically the regional and country-based projects;
  14. Represent the Organization in technical meetings, seminars, congresses and academic events in the area of disabilities and rehabilitation programs;
  15. Collaborate in the preparation of the Biennial Work Plan (BWP) and the execution of international cooperation projects, including the analysis of political, technical and socioeconomic issues and performance assessment;
  16. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  17. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession and a master’s degree in public health, or any other field related to the functions of the post, from a recognized university.

Desirable: A doctoral degree would be an asset.

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.


Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in prevention and management of disabilities and rehabilitation, conducting public health care programs with emphasis on disabilities and rehabilitation, as well as the development of policies and programs for the implementation of disability and rehabilitation services.

Desirable: Public health work experience in Latin America and the Caribbean region.


PAHO Competencies:

  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others - Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
  • Communication: Write effectively/Share knowledge - Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results - Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learnt for own and team’s benefit.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - Sets specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives for own team and/or the Organization; systematically analyses and anticipates priority projects for own team and allocates necessary resources to achieve them; identifies the cross-Organizational resources needed for large- scale projects in line with key Organizational objectives. Anticipates foreseeable changes and adapts own and team’s projects in the face of unforeseen circumstances and/ or challenges; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond: Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration - Builds and negotiates strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of key stakeholders to ensure Organizational results and success. Creates innovative opportunities for promoting synergies inside and outside the Organization to improve Organizational success.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical expertise at the highest level in all aspects related to the prevention and management of disabilities and rehabilitation programs, systems and services.
  • In-depth knowledge and practical expertise in applying the concept, to disabilities and rehabilitation, of people-centered services; core health systems functions, primary health care, including the needs of persons with disability.
  • Skills and abilities in knowledge management for disabilities and rehabilitation, including retrieving, analyzing and disseminating data and information.
  • Technical expertise in developing, implementing and executing training programs related to disabilities and rehabilitation.
  • Thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of project development, managerial principles and practices, as well as good judgment to plan and execute tasks and to supervise actions.
  • Knowledge and skills in the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria and instruments for evaluating disability and rehabilitation program interventions.
  • Managerial skills for the development, implementation and analysis of technical cooperation programs and activities, including budget programming and control.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendation on key political and technical issues.


Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use current technology and software, including spreadsheets and presentation tools, as well as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and management information systems. Other IT skills and knowledge of software programs such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneDrive, Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint are considered essential.


Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US $77,326.00 post adjustment

Post Adjustment: 63.5% of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.


This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit:

PAHO/WHO is an ethical organization that maintains high standards of integrity and accountability. People joining PAHO are required to maintain these standards both in their professional work and personal activities.

PAHO/WHO also promotes a work environment that is free from harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and other types of abusive behavior. PAHO conducts background checks and will not hire anyone who has a substantiated history of abusive conduct.

PAHO/WHO personnel interact frequently with people in the communities we serve. To protect these people, PAHO has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. People who commit serious wrongdoing will be terminated and may also face criminal prosecution.

PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity. PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

This vacancy is now closed.
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