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Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice:
The central contribution of the Health Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice to the World Bank’s twin goals is to enable the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC), in which all people are effectively covered by essential health services, and nobody suffers undue financial hardship as a result of illnesses. In the quest for UHC, we are building on the progress made in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, an array of analytical and advisory services, strategic partnerships with partner institutions and other financing agencies, and an active lending portfolio.
The East Asia Pacific Region (EAP) is a highly diverse region, with countries of all income levels and wide differences in resource endowments, human capital, and institutional capacity. The HNP Global Practice in EAP has a large lending and advisory services and analytics (ASA) portfolio, with commitments over $3.7 billion. The Unit is actively engaged in most countries in the region, often at the subnational level. The EAP HNP strategy has the objective to improve HNP outcomes and make progress towards UHC, enhancing the performance and resilience of health systems in financially affordable and sustainable ways.
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face unique developmental challenges. They are characterized by smallness in size, extreme remoteness, geographic dispersion, and a high vulnerability to natural disasters. Given this context, many of the health systems in the PICs face constraints with limited internal capacities to draw upon and high cost of service delivery while also having a high level of Government commitment to meet the health needs of the population. There is significant development partner support to most PICs, with the more recent focus on pandemic response and COVID vaccination. The remoteness of the countries provided an initial buffer against COVID, providing time to prepare for outbreaks, including to enable vaccination for most of the population where wanted. Still, there is a need to work on health resource prioritization and strengthen the health systems for the future health emergencies and progress towards national priorities of improved UHC.
The Pacific HNP portfolio includes a suite of operations and analytical activities focused on key priorities in the health sector, anchored by a multi-year program of health sector performance analysis, policy dialogue and capacity development. The World Bank’s operational engagement includes nine projects across Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu aimed at strengthening health systems through a COVID-focused response and/or through broader public health and service delivery investments. This is complemented through a continuing country-focused and regional ASA program covering health resource prioritization, service delivery and resilience themes, that benefits a broader group of Pacific countries.
In Papua New Guinea health outcomes remain poor despite several years of rapid economic growth. The population has low life-expectancy, one of the lowest global rates of immunization and highest rates of child stunting, and an increasing incidence of infectious disease such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. PNG has faced difficulty in vaccinating its population from COVID. PNG faces serious challenges in its quest to improve its financing and delivery of essential health services – either through government or church providers – though the new National Health Plan (2021-2030), launched in December 2021 makes a serious commitment to improving population’s access to and quality of health services.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Pacific Health Specialist will report to the Practice Manager for HNP Global Practice responsible for the EAP HNP portfolio.
The Health Specialist will have the following key responsibilities, inter alia:
• As a Pacific team member, closely support HNP lending operations and analytical work.
• Coordinate, support and facilitate HNP engagement with client ministries and internally within the World Bank.
• Participate in and contribute to technical assistance to support relevant capacity-building activities, including workshops, seminars, etc.
• Partake in and contribute to policy dialogue with government counterparts— including at the national and sub-national levels—and with other relevant partners.
• Coordinate closely with other GPs, the Country Management Unit, and external partners to advance the health agenda at the country level.
• Help teams with building and maintaining partnerships and networks within the Bank (in HNP as well as other sectors) and with external partners.
• Contribute to sector-specific and cross-sectoral inputs for various operational products/outputs (e.g. sector/country briefings, background reports, portfolio performance reviews, etc.).
• Review and contribute to sector-specific and cross-sectoral policy and other documents. Participate in conceptualizing, writing, and disseminating analytical papers in collaboration with the staff of client Governments, World Bank, and international partners.
• Organize and support missions for the HNP team.
• Draft and review operational documents such as visit Aides Memoire, project Implementation Status Reports, management briefs, other formal communications, reports and documents.
• Respond to ad hoc information requests from internal and external parties.
• Provide selective support to other country or regional programs in the region, based on need and on the strengths of the successful candidate.
• Carry out any other activity required as part of the HNP portfolio.
• Graduate degree (Masters required) in public health, nutrition, health economics, health financing, public policy and management, epidemiology, or professional degree (medicine, nursing). Candidates without a core qualification in at least one of these domains need not apply. Candidates with combined degrees will have an added advantage.
• Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: health service delivery and systems development, public/community nutrition, health economics, public health, program management, monitoring and evaluation, operations research in health and/or nutrition. Experience in two or more of these areas is advantageous. Experience working in an international organization would be an advantage.
• Demonstrated understanding of the health needs and health systems in one or several of the Pacific Island Countries.
• Ability to (a) deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments and to work in a team environment; (b) operate independently with minimal direct supervision and support; (c) work effectively and independently as a team member and as a leader alike, including in multi-sectoral teams; (d) share and disseminate relevant information with colleagues, clients, and managers; (e) interact effectively with a range of partners within and outside the Bank, and to apply strong diplomatic and client-engagement skills; and (f) identify and develop new and creative partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations.
• Demonstrated drive for results, including a proven track record of high standards/accountability for work products, meeting target dates, an ability to prioritize tasks within the work program; and the ability to work collectively with others on the team to deliver products of the highest caliber.
• Demonstrated record of making substantive contributions to complex operational engagements, including as team leader or team member with significant operational responsibilities.
• Demonstrated skills in policy dialogue, policy reforms, and/or service delivery innovations, and working across sector boundaries. Demonstrated track record of synthesizing analytics and results into user-friendly written outputs.
• Proven analytical skills and the ability to inform high-level policy dialogue through strong communications (including writing) skills.
• Demonstrated ability in time management and to work under multiple deliverables. The successful candidate should be able to work with multiple team leaders and handle multiple tasks effectively, meet target dates, manage uncertainty, and adjust to a
changing work program.
• Superior client orientation, interpersonal and diplomatic skills, and ability to support dialogue with high-level government officials.
• The candidate must have legal rights to work in Fiji
World Bank Group Core Competencies
The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
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