Technical Officer (Social Determinants of Health) @ WHO

The mission of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.

Vacancy Notice No: HQ/17/PHE/FT9

Title: Technical Officer (Social Determinants of Health)

Grade: P4

Contract type: Fixed-term Appointment

Duration of contract: 1 year, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and continuing need for the post

Date: 5 January 2017

Application Deadline: 26 January 2017
Currently accepting applications

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Organization unit: HQ/PHE Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants (HQ/PHE) /
HQ/SDH – Social Determinants of Health (HQ/SDH)

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The objective of the Department for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health (PHE) is to address the environmental determinants of health in a comprehensive way, working through the health sector and with other relevant sectors. The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) Unit is entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating WHO responses to support Member States in the implementation of the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health and the World Health Assembly resolution WHA65.8 (Outcome of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health). To this end, the SDH unit leads WHO’s secretariat translation into WHO programmes and initiatives of the social component of the 12th General Programme of Work Leadership Priority 2014-19 on addressing the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health as a means to promote health and reduce health inequities within and between countries. To do this, the team currently focuses on three areas of work:
1. Improved country and regional policies and capacities for intersectoral actions and health programme reorientation to address the social determinants of health and reduce health inequities through skills trainings and technical support;
2. Technical guidance on important policy linkages between social and environmental health determinants, and between social and health policies with an specific focus in the area of health and housing and built environment;
3. Monitoring trends and progress on action on the social determinants of health and health equity, including within the universal health coverage, sustainable development goals and post-2015 development frameworks.

Description of duties:
Purpose of the position
The main purpose of this position is to provide technical advice towards the integration of social and environmental determinants of health into health and other sectors with particular emphasis on housing and health.

Organizational context
The Technical Officer works under the supervision of the Coordinator, and in close collaboration with other teams within the department, across the Organization, other UN Agencies and with WHO Member States. The incumbent serves as the focal point for integrating social and environmental determinants of health in the areas of health and other sector policies, strategies, plans and programmes with a special focus in the area of health and housing and built environment. The incumbent interacts with colleagues in other WHO departments and regions and collaborates with a wide range of external partners, with the purpose of assisting in expanding the delivery of capacity building products, aimed at strengthening country and WHO capacity in the field of SDH. The incumbent is expected to make independent decisions and provide strategic advice in relation to the above areas of work. The incumbent provides support to Member States for the implementation of Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health and the World Health Assembly resolution WHA65.8.

Summary of assigned duties
-To interact at senior level with representatives involved in public health programmes in countries, WHO and other key UN Agencies on the mainstreaming of SDH for better health equity outcomes with an emphasis on the wider dissemination and use of the relevant tools.
-To manage the integration of social determinants of health into environmental health programmes in WHO and other Agencies with a particular focus in the area of health and housing and the built environment, and small scale artisanal gold mining.
-To develop and broaden the scope of WHO’s housing and health guidelines, including planning and supporting the implementation of the guidelines recommendations, such as development of tools, capacity building and country initiatives.
-To follow development of UN processes related to housing and health and urban health, e.g. Habitat III.
-To build strategic partnerships, networks and alliances to strengthen the capacity of WHO and Member States in integrating social determinants of health into the health and other sectors within the framework of the SDGs.
-To represent WHO in national and international meetings on social determinants of health.
-To assist in key institutional processes such as the Programme Budget, Governing Bodies Reports etc.
-To perform other duties as required.




Advanced University Degree in Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences or Public Health.

A PhD in Social Sciences.
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 these will be reviewed individually.

Additional competency: Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences. Capacity to innovate, integrate and create new public health initiatives and programmes based on equity fundamentals. Ability to work in interdisciplinary and inter-institutional and inter/sectoral teams. Excellent programme management, communication and partnership building skills. Sound understanding of WHO values, policies, programmes and initiatives related to equity and social and environmental determinants of health. Knowledge and experience in statistical analysis software is desirable

WHO competencies
1. Producing results
2. Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
3. Communicating in a credible and effective way
4. Fostering integration and teamwork
5. Moving forward in a changing environment

Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience at national and international levels in public health involving intersectoral work. Proven experience in integration of social and environmental determinants of health along the mandate of the Rio Political Declaration on the SDH. Experience with WHO normative work, with an emphasis on the development of technical guidelines. Demonstrated experience with housing and health work, including the development of survey, science reviews and normative guidelines on housing and health and the built environment. Extensive experience in working with the UN, in the direct support to countries and within international processes relevant to SDH, e.g. Habitat III process.

Demonstrated experience in programme and project management, strategic planning and partnership building.

Expert knowledge of English and French.

Intermediate knowledge of Spanish.

Additional Information:
This vacancy is published in English only.

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WHO: (to learn more about WHO’s operations) Click on: Quick Links > Salary Scales > by date

WHO’s salaries are calculated in US dollars. They consist of a base salary and a post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, home travel, education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance.

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 qualified WHO staff from other duty stations are encouraged, as long as they have completed half of their standard duration of assignment (SDA) and have been in their current position for at least two years.

Annual salary: (Net of tax)
USD 69,032 at single rate
USD 90,038 with primary dependants

Post Adjustment: 80 % 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.

A written test and interviews may be used as a form of screening

Online applications are strongly encouraged to enable WHO to store your profile in a permanent database. Please visit WHO’s e-Recruitment website at: The system provides instructions for online application procedures.

All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.
WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

Currently accepting applications


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