Hardship Level: E (most hardship)
Family Type: Non Family with Residential Location
Family Type: Non Family with Residential LocationDanger Pay
Residential location (if applicable): Nairobi (CO), Kenya
Staff Member / Affiliate Type: National Professional Officer
Reason: Regular > Regular Assignment
Target Start Date: 2024-04-01
Job Posting End Date: December 3, 2023
Standard Job Description
Assistant Public Health Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Assistant Public Health Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR’s public health programmes meet minimum UNHCR and global health standards in order to minimise avoidable morbidity and mortality among populations of concern (POC) and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The incumbent provides strong and timely technical guidance to UNHCR management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR’s responses in health and nutrition, catalyses the engagement of other actors, supports resource mobilisation efforts and monitors the response. S/he has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and NGOs.
The Assistant Public Health Officer should also ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities , including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR’s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
Public Health programmes include primary health care, secondary health care, community health, reproductive health (including HIV), nutrition, MHPSS and health information systems. In addition to public health staff, major operations may also have dedicated staff focusing on any of these components but public health professionals are expected to be very conversant with reproductive health programming and ensure that minimum standards are met. Depending on the size of the operation the incumbent may have responsibilities for nutrition and MHPSS responses. In the absence of more senior public health staff, Assistant Public Health Officer may be required to work with the programme staff (or other designated staff member) to support operational collaboration and joint programming with WFP on nutrition and food security.
The Assistant Public Health Officer is normally supervised by a (Senior) Public Health Officer or by the Head of Office/ Senior Operations/ Assistant Representative (Operations). The incumbent has a functional line with the Public Health Section in Geneva regarding authoritative guidance and support in technical matters and is expected to maintain regular contact with the PHS and the Regional Bureau.
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.
Coordination and Partnership
– Assist in the co-ordination of public health, reproductive health, nutrition and HIV activities within the Area of Responsibility (AOR) in support of the government’s responses and in conjunction with other UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners, including development actors to ensure delivery of public health and nutrition services to beneficiaries (POC and host community) meet UNHCR and /or nationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
– With support from the supervisor, support the Operation to define the level and scope of UNHCR’s involvement in public health and nutrition responses in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations and beyond.
– In line with the Global Compact on Refugees work with governments and humanitarian and development partners to ensure a complementary approach to meet the health needs of POCs.
– Represent UNHCR in health coordination and other meetings including inter-sectoral groups such as Technical Working Groups for MHPSS and nutrition.
– Engage in relevant partnership fora, including in line with UNHCR’s role as a UNAIDS co-sponsor of the Joint Programme on AIDS and co-lead with WFP of the Division of Labour area of HIV in Humanitarian Settings.
– Support operational collaboration with WFP including the implementation of Joint Assessment Missions and corresponding Joint Plans of Action in line with global commitments on targeting of assistance to meet basic needs and data sharing to support assistance distribution (in collaboration with programme and protection colleagues),
– Support emergency responses to new refugee influxes or outbreaks or other situations in line with the Public Health Emergency Toolkit and UNHCR’s Emergency Handbook and the SPHERE Handbook.
Strategic planning and development
– Contribute to the implementation of UNHCR’s Strategic Plan for Public Health and adaptation at country level.
– Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for refugees, returnees and other POC’s access to local public health, reproductive health (RH) and HIV, MHPSS and nutrition services (including food assistance where relevant) and lobby for inclusion of refugees, returnees and other POC as a specific group in government policies and plans related to health, RH and HIV as well as major donor programmes such as the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria.
– Contribute to public health strategies addressing known gaps in health and nutrition programming based on country-specific needs assessments with due consideration to neonatal and maternal health care, TB and viral hepatitis, palliative care, health services for LGBTI individuals, health and protection services for persons selling sex and programming for persons with disabilities including access to assistive technologies and appropriate associated services.
– Support the monitoring of country specific medium to long term inclusion plans in support of the Ministry of Health and other relevant Ministries (e.g. Social Welfare) and in partnership with development and other actors.
– Work with stakeholders, including UN agencies, NGOs, Ministries of Health and academic institutions in the development of public health response plans associated with refugee movements (including in repatriation programmes).
– Maintain and update contingency plans within the AOR for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movements.
Technical integrity and risk mitigation
– Update and disseminate standard practices on public health, MHPSS, nutrition, HIV and reproductive health among partners.
– Support the prioritization of primary health care (including preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care)
– Monitor, in close co-ordination with other humanitarian actors, that health care services provided to POC are based on Ministry of Health, UNHCR and/or internationally recognized and most up-to-date standards and policies.
– Support the adaptation of UNHCR internal operating procedures to ensure they are in line with UNHCR and/or international standards and improve efficiency of programme activities; this includes – but is not limited to – referral health care, medicines and medical supplies procurement and management, medical resettlement and resettlement of persons with health needs, cash-based assistance for health care coverage and referral between units and inter-sectoral collaboration.
– Monitor and support compliance with, and integrity of, all public health standard operating procedures in conjunction with Project Control and Programme staff and in line with delegated authorities, including flagging to senior managers when these are not in line with global guidance or not being followed.
– Support linkages of public health to WASH programmes throughout all stages of the programme cycle including in outbreak preparedness and response, emergency responses to refugee influxes, WASH in health facilities, and menstrual hygiene management.
– Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between public health and nutrition with WASH, education, environment, shelter, and protection in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.
– Assist with the review and analysis of relevant project proposals and budgetary submissions presented by UNHCR partners within the context of the UNHCR programming cycle.
– Seek the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and LGBTI in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR’s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
– Contribute to the implementation of the UNHCR Health Information System and other relevant data collection tools including the balanced scorecard, maternal and neonatal death audits, Health Access and Utilisation Survey and other corporate tools where relevant; support the analysis, interpretation and use of public health data.
– Advocate for the inclusion of refugees and other POC in national surveys such as demographic and health surveys, multi-indicator cluster surveys, AIDS indicator surveys including where possible a separate sample for refugees allowing for comparisons and trend analysis over time.
– Support national health systems to disaggregate data by refugee and nationals in key areas based on country specific needs in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
– Assist in the monitoring of public health and nutrition programmes against standard UNHCR and international indicators, to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive and cost-effective manner.
– Support the planning, implementation, analysis, dissemination and use of nutritional surveys (Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys, SENS), health-related surveys and post-distribution monitoring exercises (in collaboration with WFP).
– In line with policies for Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) ensure POC have access to feedback and accountability mechanisms relating to public health and nutrition services including the collection and analysis of data on their satisfaction with regards to public health and nutrition services.
– Draft regular sectoral reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required by the office at country level.
– Provide timely updates to enable adequate reporting and briefings to donors and management.
– Support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to address public health, nutrition, reproductive health, HIV, MHPSS programming in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way and disseminate relevant guidelines and information materials.
– Undertake and/or support capacity building needs assessments of UNHCR staff and partners and develop approaches to address capacity gaps including identifying internal and external training opportunities.
– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Medicine, Medical Science, Medical Doctor, Nursing, Public Health
or other relevant field.
Certificates and/or Licenses
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Knowledge of public health, reproductive health and nutrition. Good communicator with strong interpersonal and negotiations skills.
Additional qualifications in Nutrition and WASH and a thorough understanding of the linkages with public health and Food security. Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of Public Health.
MS-Monitoring & Evaluation
MD-Public Health Epidemiology
MD-Community Health – Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation
UN-UNHCR’s Mandate/Policy and Global Strategic Priorities
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
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.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
The Assistant PH Officer will Provide technical support to the field colleagues to strengthen UNHCR during the emergency response and also contributes to the expert support of the UNHCR Public Health programming (Health, Nutrition, WASH, mental and Psycho-Social programs) ensuring IPs are providing appropriate responses to PWS.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (www.unhcr.org).
As of the end of October 2023 in South Sudan, the registered refugee and asylum-seekers population was 336,609 individuals (77,042 Households) located in over 21 different locations across South Sudan. The Sudanese refugee population remains the largest at 30311,160 individuals (93.4%), followed by 12,890 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (3.9%), 4,749 individuals from Ethiopia (1.4%), 2,408 individuals from the Central African Republic (0.7%), 361 (0.1%) Burundians and 34 individuals of other nationalities. Most of the refugees are hosted in Upper Nile (four camps) and Ruweng Administration Area (three camps) in South Sudan representing 91% of the total population. The camps have established primary healthcare facilities that are run by partners under close supervision of UNHCR. Additional measures have been introduced as per COVID-19 guidelines.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is supporting comprehensive primary health care services at PHCUs, PHCCs and hospitals located in different refugee settlement sites. These services include but not limited to outpatient consultations, reproductive health (Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Care, Adolescent health, and family Planning), TB and HIV/AIDS programming through coordination with various agencies, government counter parts and UN sister agencies.
UNHCR Public health programs are located respectively in Upper Nile State at Bunj Hospital, Gentil Kaya, Gendrassa, Doro, Yusuf Batil PHCCs and PHCUs); Unity State (Pariang Hospital, Pamir, Ajuong Thok and Yida PHCCs); Western Equatoria State (Yambio state Hospital and Makpandu PHCC) and Central Equatoria State (Gorom and Lasu PHCCs). For the objective to be achieved, UNHCR works in partnership with Relief International (RI), CARE International, Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), International Rescue Committee (IRC), AAHI, World Vision, ACROSS, CORDAID, ACTED and Mentor Initiative organizations.
Nature of Position:
The Assistant Public Health Officer will be supervised by Snr Programme Officer. The incumbent will support and provide technical guidance and support for Public Health, Nutrition, Food Security, WASH, Mental Health, and Psychosocial Services. He/she will provide technical support in the emergency response for HIV/AIDS, Reproductive health, Epidemic Preparedness and Response measures (including EVD, Measles, Malaria, Cholera, Meningitis, and others), Pharmaceutical Management, Integrated Refugee Health Information Systems (IRHIS) and establishing referral mechanisms.
Living and Working Conditions:
EL-Monitoring and Evaluation, MD-Reproductive Health, PH-Community Health-Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation, PH- Public Health Epidemiology, UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medical Doctor, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medical Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medicine, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Nursing, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Public HealthCertifications
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration
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All shortlisted candidates will require to sit for written test, and it is eliminatory in nature
This position requires Functional Clearance