Senior Adviser, Public Health Services at WHO – University of Copenhagen

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02 August 2017

Senior Adviser, Public Health Services at WHO

Contractual Arrangement:  Fixed-Term Appointment
Contract duration: 1 year
Closing Data: 8 August 2017, 4.59:00 PM
Primary Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Organization: EU/DSP Health Systems and Public Health
Schedule: Full-time

Objective of the programme

All the Member States of WHO in the European Region share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right. All of WHO actions are based on this and rooted in the underlying values of equity, solidarity and participation. The seven point global health agenda contained in WHO's Eleventh General Programme of Work (2006-2015) includes:

  • investing in health to reduce poverty;
  • building individual and global health security;
  • promoting universal coverage, gender equality and health related human rights;
  • tackling determinants of health;
  • strengthening health systems and equitable access;
  • harnessing knowledge, science and technology;
  • strengthening governance, leadership and accountability.

WHO's mandate revolves around six core functions:

  1. providing leadership on global health matters;
  2. shaping the health research agenda;
  3. setting norms and standards;
  4. articulating evidence-based policy options;
  5. providing technical support to countries;
  6. monitoring and assessing health trends.

The European Region (EURO) of WHO is made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people. The diversity of people and health situations requires, on the demand side, a solid understanding of the emerging socio-economic, epidemiologic and demographic patterns and trends at both aggregate as well as national and sub-national levels, with due sensitivity to disadvantaged populations and vulnerable segments of the society. On the supply side, it is equally crucial to have a solid understanding of the commonalities and divergences of the health systems, the circumstances and political economy under which they have evolved and operate. Mission of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Objective of the Division of Country Health Systems and Public HealthThe mission of the WHO Regional Office for Europe is to support Member States in:

  • developing and sustaining their own health policies, health systems and public health programmes;
  • working to prevent and overcome threats to health;
  • anticipating future challenges;
  • advocating public health.

The objective of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health is to develop in the WHO European Region the strategic capacity to assist Member States to design, establish and promote comprehensive public health and health systems policies; to enable countries to benefit from international experience in reforming their health systems and public health services stressing quality, accessibility and efficient use of resources. The Division contributes to the development and promotion of the new European Health Policy Health 2020, the strengthening of the European Public Health Strengthening Action Framework, National Health Policies, Plans and Strategies, and the knowledge base in the broad thematic areas of health systems governance, financing, organization, service delivery and resource generation, in collaboration with other relevant international, regional, national and non-governmental partners. The Public Health Services programme supports Member States to ensure the delivery of effective and efficient public health services, with a focus on the areas of human resources for public health, financing of public health services, organization and governance, and public health law.

Description of Duties

Under the guidance of the Programme Manager for Public Health Services, the incumbent will assume the following responsibilities and achieve the following objectives:

  1. Works with the Programme Manager to plan and implement the PHS programme agenda in the areas of human resources for public health, financing of public health services, organization and governance, and public health law
  2. Provides the Programme Manager with advice on attainment of programme objectives and execution options, developing concrete proposals and implementation plans for concrete actions.
  3. Partners with national research institutes, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations to advance the perspectives and programmatic imperatives of public health services in countries of the European Region, working with multi-stakeholder participatory processes to foster shared ownership and implementation
  4. Develops and implements innovative approaches for strengthening public health services in Member States
  5. Integrates contributions from across the organization, promoting the strengthening of public health services
  6. Provides technical support to Ministries of Health in the formulation of national policies and programmes to strengthen public health services
  7. Promotes awareness among Member States and identifies opportunities for collaboration that lead to greater focus on public health services and help secure funding and other resource streams
  8. Assesses leading practices and research on public health services and identifies innovative approaches and models for integration into the Regional Office's overall initiatives on public health services
  9. Develops new methods for enhancing the technical capacity of national public health services leading to improved performance and new avenues for WHO services.
  10. Provides technical leadership drawing scientists from related fields and institutions into an active network of cooperation with WHO on strengthening public health services, advancing the organisation's leadership role 
  11. Provides technical and managerial direction to WHO Inter-Country and Country Offices on planning of public health services, assuming the visible role as primary interlocutor on programme formulation, implementation and delivery.

There where the assigned duties overlap with those of the Programme Manager, specific areas of responsibility (e.g. specific countries or specific technical projects) will be agreed between the incumbent and the Programme Manager.

Required qualifications


Essential: Advanced university degree (Master`s level) in public health or a relevant sub-discipline (e.g. occupational health, environmental health, epidemiology).
Desirable: Doctoral degree in public health or a relevant sub-discipline (e.g. occupational health, environmental health, epidemiology).


Essential: At least 10 years of relevant experience, of which at least 5 years at the international level. Experience in assessing public health services and advising governments on the strengthening of public health services. Proven track record of publishing in peer-reviewed international journals. Experience leading the implementation of multi-stakeholder participatory processes.
Desirable: Experience working in the European Union countries and Newly Independent States is a strong asset. Experience in developing multi-sectoral policy, governance mechanisms and approaches to improve population health and well-being. Experience organizing policy dialogues. Experience with the contextualization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Experience in WHO and/or UN system, as well as experience of working with or in other multi- and bilateral development agencies active in the health sector.


Proven skills in public health services evaluation and performance measurement and assessment. Proven skills in health system strengthening and policy development. Proven abilities to provide sound policy and technical advice to institutions and governments. Proven skills in implementing participatory processes and fostering collaboration. Desirable: Knowledge of political, social and health systems of countries of the European Region.

WHO Competencies

Teamwork Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Communication Knowing and managing yourself Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Intermediate knowledge of a WHO or WHO/EURO language.
Desirable: Basic knowledge of a WHO/EURO 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 84,721 (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 3798 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.

Additional information

  • 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.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • 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.

For further information and application guidelines please see WHO original job postTil toppen