OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME
The Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) is part of and contributes to the work of the Universal health coverage/Communicable and non-communicable diseases (UHC/UCN) cluster in the WHO African region. The strategic agenda of the cluster is to reduce disease burden in the WHO African Region, by guiding disease control agenda in Africa, and using analytics to inform strategic investments and tailored interventions for disease control”. This approach is underpinned by the guiding principles of comprehensive whole of society, people-centered, integrated approaches to disease control. The comprehensive whole of society approaches to disease control involves: (a) coherent implementation of triple response – technical response: implementing diseases specific normative guidance, promoting intervention mixes and deploying medical commodities; health systems response: building capacities of district service delivery systems in disease mapping and stratification, interventions tailoring, and sector/subsector planning; and multi-sectoral response: addressing socio-economic and environmental determinants of diseases through mobilizing non-health sectors, communities and stakeholders; (b) disease control partnership of public and private sectors, health and non-health sectors; and (c) community involvement in targeted high risk communities, focused on managing determinants of diseases, health services demand creation and accountability by local health stewards. The people centered, integrated approaches to disease control involves: (a) integrated guidance on disease control for each health service delivery platform, a move away from stand-alone disease specific guidance; and (b) integrated and efficient disease control investments in strengthening the capacity of appropriate health services delivery platforms through deployment of appropriate technologies and analytics to guide stratification of disease risks across population groups in order to develop and deploy comprehensive packages of interventions appropriate for each population group and health service delivery platform, as well as monitor population access, coverage and impact to leave no one behind.
The specific objectives of the UCN cluster to which the ESPEN programme contributes, are to: (i) provide leadership on disease control coordination, partnership and resource mobilization; (ii) contribute to the development of WHO disease control technical products, services and tools including adoption of new technologies and innovations; (iii) support generation and use of strategic information for action and decision making including optimizing investment; and (iv) provide or facilitate provision of technical support in deployment of WHO technical products and services and institutional capacity building, including support to national disease programmes and regulatory authorities.
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
The incumbent is expected to contribute towards:
- 1. Leadership on disease control coordination, partnerships and resource mobilization
- Initiate and lead innovative and enhanced resource mobilization targeting of both traditional and new donors in order to increase the capacity of WHO country offices and countries to deliver results.
- Ensure people-centred approaches across the life course to address the priority health problems of different population sub-groups through building and coordinating a competent and committed team of PC-NTD experts in the development and implementation of regional NTD policies, strategies, programmes and strategic initiatives for PC-NTD control, elimination or eradication control in the region.
- Lead regional office PC-NTD strategic and operational planning, monitoring and evaluation. This will be done in in collaboration with other WHO technical clusters, and partners in an integrated manner in the context of Universal Health Coverage, ensuring people-centred approaches across the life course to address the priority health problems of different population sub-groups.
- Provide leadership and manage the staff under his/her responsibility; ensure their performance, continuous development and engagement, promoting a culture of working across boundaries, while promoting the principles of equity, and value for money, integrity and a respectful workplace in accordance with the Organization’s policies, rules, procedures, and values.
- Drive the team members’ collaboration with other clusters and programmes to ensure that PC-NTD interventions are integrated in strategies on universal health coverage, primary health care, sexual and reproductive health, and communicable diseases.
- Lead regional office PC-NTD strategic and operational planning, monitoring and evaluation of work plans and budgets within the framework of WHO Staff Rules and Regulations, financial rules and AFRO accepted procedures, while promoting integration of similar interventions in the ESPEN Team.
- Conduct high level advocacy and policy dialogue and establish/strengthen partnerships, including with academia, professional associations, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions, the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) for the harmonization and alignment of actors and resources in the formulation and implementation of national action plans, as an integral part of strengthened and resilient national health systems, in order to improve access to quality essential NTD services at all levels, including paying particular attention to the PHC level;
- Lead application of analytics in NTDs to drive improved targeting and impact of NTD interventions.
- Lead the conceptualization, formulation, implementation and monitoring of bold strategic initiatives on PC-NTDs in the WHO African region.
- Contribute to the development of annual “Regional Disease Outlook” including country profiles.
2. Development of WHO disease control technical products, services, and tools
- Contribute to discussion on priority PC-NTDs Target Product Profiles based on identified country and regional disease control needs.
- Support the strengthening of research and innovation that contribute evidence for developing and/or deploying WHO PC-NTDs products and services in the region.
- Coordinate the development and dissemination of scientific papers on PC-NTDs, as well as multiyear reports on PC-NTDs in the WHO African region.
- Support evaluation of interventions and tools to inform deployment or enhanced deployment of WHO PC-NTDs technical products and tools in the region.
3. Generation of analytics-driven strategic information for disease control agenda setting and interventions tailoring
- Lead monitoring of socio-political and health situations in member states, facilitating political and social analysis for health action in the region.
- Support development of capacities for analytics to drive PC-NTDs and other disease control agenda setting and to guide investments; advocate and support use of triangulated data on disease occurrence (incidence and mortality), interventions coverage, health services access, determinants information, to developed tailored national policies and operational responses in member states.
- Support mainstreaming of GER in PC-NTDs service delivery.
- Support surveillance systems strengthening and tracking of biological and other threats using available PC-NTDs tools and interventions, and use of the same information for threat containment in member states.
4. Technical support and institutional capacity building for disease control support
- Coordinate implementation of people-centered and integrated approaches to PC NTD control through development of tools and guidance; advocacy with partners, collaboration with programmes and teams; and capacity building, monitoring and evaluation.
- Oversee the development and implementation of regional and country capacity-building policies, strategies and approaches towards the implementation of best practices on all aspects of PC-NTD prevention and treatment scale-up, including improving access to medicines.
- Lead dissemination of PC-NTDs technical products and tools in the region, advocating for their rapid deployment in member states according to WHO guidance and local contexts.
- Facilitate appropriate technical support in the implementation of WHO PC-NTDs technical products and services, including guidance on comprehensive, whole of society approaches, as well as people-centered and integrated approaches to PC_NTDs and disease control investing.
- Oversee the collaborative and proactive support to countries in the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation policies and strategies to facilitate reporting on trends in health systems performance and on progress towards regional and national PC-NTD targets, including promoting the dissemination of lessons learned and good practices.
- Contribute to the coordinated investment of PC-NTDs and other disease programme resources in strengthening health services delivery platforms to deliver optimally for disease control in the region.
- Contribute to mapping and prioritizing existing institutions and capabilities in member states with focus on prioritizing institutions for WHO capacity strengthening towards providing technical support under WHO oversight, for PC-NTDs and other priority diseases; contribute to managing partnerships and collaborations with the prioritized institutions and to strengthening their capacities to provide technical support under WHO oversight.
- Lead the strengthening of WHO collaboration with the national public health institutes (NPHI) in member states in the region and specialized networks on PC-NTDs, with the aim of facilitating coherence and collaboration.
- Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.
Essential: Medical degree and postgraduate degree in epidemiology, public health or communicable disease control.
Desirable: Post graduate training or qualification in public health and/or training in strategic planning.
- A minimum of 10 years of international and national experience in prevention and control of communicable diseases, large-scale parasitic disease control/elimination programmes, of which at least five years are at the international level.
- Experience in overseeing implementation, review and updating existing strategies and guidelines and recommending new initiatives.
- Experience in resources mobilization and working with a variety of partners at international level.
- Experience in facilitating coordinated approaches to effective programme management and implementation.
- A track record of research, with publications at senior authorship level in academic journals.
- Work experiences that are diverse, incorporating private sector, NGOs, other UN, or governmental Health related agencies will be an advantage. Knowledge of national, regional, and global partnerships and networks. Extensive experience, with a result focuses approach, in prevention and control of diseases.
- Extensive experience in thought leadership, problem solving approaches, and use of the logical framework in health programme development.
- Globally respected level of technical expertise and knowledge in public health and NTDs with broad practical knowledge of related programmes, policies and strategies and their application in developing and developed countries.
- Extensive disease-specific and programmatic knowledge of large-scale PC programmes, and integrated monitoring and evaluation approaches for the control and elimination of NTDs.
- Basic knowledge of research in NTDs.
- Proven leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which should include the implementation of NTDs control programmes;
- Demonstrated expertise in strategic and multisectoral planning; research; performance monitoring, as applied to programmes and reporting; extensive knowledge and skills in use of data and information for decision-making and strategic planning; track record of recognizing and addressing changing conditions.
- Working knowledge of WHO rules and procedures, mandates, strategies and action plans (global, regional and country-specific);
- Budgeting and financial management; partnership and resource mobilization; communication and people management.
- Ability to exercise leadership and to work effectively with colleagues at national and international levels.
- Promoting the Organization’s position in Health Leadership
- Building and Promoting Partnerships across the Organization and Beyond
- Creating an empowering and motivating environment
- Promoting Innovation and Organizational Learning
Use of Language Skills
Essential: Excellent knowledge of English and/or French with a good working knowledge of the other.
Desirable: Working knowledge of Portuguese.
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 89,837 (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 4874 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.