National Consultant – Mercury and Health Project At World Health Organization (WHO)



JOB DESCRIPTION

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QUALIFICATIONS

Area of expertise:

National Consultant – Mercury and Health Project

 

 

Purpose of consultancy:

The consultant is required to provide technical support to develop and implement a national plan to strengthen surveillance of mercury in skin-lightening products and other commercial products in Sri Lanka. The project is expected to help country move towards elimination of mercury containing skin-lightening products and other commercial products from the market, in compliance to the provisions of Minamata Convention on Mercury and the relevant laws and regulations of Sri Lanka.

 

 

Background:

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has provided fund to Sri Lanka on a project on elimination of mercury-containing skin-lightening products. The project is under the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership and is jointly being implemented by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Environment Sri Lanka in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI).

 

 

The project aims to reduce the risk of exposure to mercury-added skin lightening products and in the longer term also in other commercial products. The consultant is expected to work with the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, the National Minamata Covention Steering committee, and other national stakeholders and global project partners in Sri Lanka.

 

 

To implement the project, the consultant, in close consultation with the relevant stakeholders, is expected to develop and implement a national plan to phase out mercury-added skin-lightening products and other commercial products from the market. The consultant is also expected to hold national consultations, develop national knowledge-base on mercury in skin-lightening products and other commercial products, conduct capacity building programs, and develop communication materials to achieve the objectives of the project.

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Deliverables:

Facilitation of of inception workshop which include developing and finalizing the agenda of the meeting, coordination of technical sessions etc. with national and international partners to develop a workplan to implement recommended actions proposed in the meeting.

Preparing a background document on current understanding of national status on mercury and banning of the use of Mercury in cosmetics (which include policies & legislation, status of implementation of regulations/laws, public literacy, assessment of products etc.) in Sri Lanka, and draft recommendations for actions under the project.

Developing a two-year country plan of activities to support the three key pillars of GEF funded project ie. improving existing regulations with strrengthened enforcement capacity, improved monitoring halt local production, trade and distribution, and support WHO led global advocacy at national level. with clear list of outputs and deliverables.

Assisting with the identification of products commonly used in the community for skin lightening; and, as appropriate, assisting with the development of sampling designs to assist with the identification of cosmetic products suspected of using mercury.

Holding a capacity building workshop on cosmetic product testing in collaboration with Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and other technical research partners of the project.

Assisting with the collection of targeted cosmetic products for laboratory analyses of mercury concentrations as agreed by national steering committee.

Developing policy briefs, communication products, and project reports as detailed below

during the implementation phase of the project.

 

 

Scope of work

Provide technical advice and support to prioritize project implementation, including

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  1. Support the national steering committee in developing recommendations to improve regulations; provide guidance on developing compliance and enforcement strategies for legislation in place. 
  2. Provide technical support and advice to Ministries of Health and the Ministry of Environment for national level advocacy campaigns. 
  3. Facilitate implementation of country-level activities e.g. for awareness-raising and advocacy. 
  4. Support as necessary other ministries engaged in the project in carrying out tailored national activities. 
  5. Assist with the monitoring and reporting on development of compliance and enforcement strategies for legislation in place to ban mercury in skin lightening products. 

 

 

Monitor implementation of the project at the national level

  1. Prepare quarterly narrative and financial reports as per project requirements. 
  2. Participate in monthly project planning and progress meetings, held virtually each month, undertaking assigned follow-up tasks as appropriate. 
  3. Prepare a comprehensive report of country-level activities for the quarterly and final narrative reports. 
  4. Maintain regular communication with project personnel including the WHO-Sri Lanka relevant officers, WHO-SEARO Regional Advisor, UN project executing partners at regional level and the project team at WHO about activities at country level. 

 

 

Develop tailored health-related communications materials on mercury in skin lightening product including:

  1. Adapting advocacy and information materials prepared under the project to the regional or national context, including in appropriate languages, and targeted to relevant national audiences, such as policymakers, consumers, health practitioners and tailored to the products found in the national marketplace. 
  2. Maintain regular communication with local authorities, national stakeholders and WHO country and regional advisors, UN project executing partners at regional level and the project team about activities at country level. 
  3. Organize and provide logistical support for project meetings and training workshops and online coordination meetings etc. through the duration of the project. 

 

 

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

 

 

Educational Qualifications:

Essential: University degree in public health, environmental health, biological sciences, from a recognized university.

Desirable: Postgraduate university degree in public health, environmental health, biological or social sciences from a recognized university preferably from international or internationally recognized university.

 

 

Experience

Essential: At least five years of experience in developing, supporting, or managing environmental health, health promotion or product safety-related projects . Experiences and insights on projects involving multiple stakeholders.

Desirable:

Established strong track record and experience in public health or environmental health.

Frequent contacts inside and outside government agencies and international organizations involved in environmental health and/or product safety.

Experience in collaborative programmes supported by bilateral or multi-lateral international agencies would be an advantage.

Experience working on heavy metals in the environment will be an advantage.

 

 

Skills/Knowledge:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the policies and procedures on environmental health and/or 
  • product safety. 
  • Proven ability to think strategically, manage projects and processes to deliver results. 
  • Experience and proficiency in working with government and other partners in an effective 
  • and culturally competent manner. 
  • Well-developed verbal 
  • Excellent written communication skills. 
  • Ability to work harmoniously as a member of a team, adapt to diverse educational and 
  • cultural backgrounds and maintain a high standard of personal conduct. 
  • Advanced computer skills including ability to utilize the standard Microsoft Office programs. 

 

 

Languages and level required (Basic/Intermediate/Expert):

Essential: Expert knowledge of English

Desirable: Expert knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil

 

 

Location

Off site: Directorate of environmental health, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment, with occasional attendance at WHO Country Office Sri Lanka for required coordination.

 

 

Travel

The Consultant may require to travel within the country to hold meetings with relevant stakeholders. Dates and venues to be decided as and when required.

 

 

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):

  • Remuneration: Pay band level – NO-B (LKR 595,636 per month) 
  • Living expenses: Not Applicable 
  • Expected duration of contract (Maximum contract duration is 11 months per calendar 

    year): 17 Months with contract break 

 

 

Additional Information:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level. 
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted. 
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening. 
  • If your candidature is retained for 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: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review. 
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: http://www.who.int. 
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits workforce regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics. 
  • The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its workforce. Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States (https://www.who.int/careers/diversity-equity-and-inclusion) are strongly encouraged to apply for WHO jobs. 
  • Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to  [email protected] 
  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter (https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/our-values) into practice. 
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of short-listed candidates. 
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco. 
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. 
  • WHO shall have no responsibility for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO. 
  • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at [email protected]
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  • This assignment is subject to local recruitment and will be filled by persons recruited in the local commuting area of the duty station/assignment location.

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