Technical Officer, Malnutrition and Food Systems

  • Salary:
    € 104,84 - € 140,48
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    3 days ago
  • Category:
  • Deadline:





This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH) Department promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation activities, directed at the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and related risk factors, mental, neurological and substance use disorders and disabilities, promotion of optimal nutrition and road safety, and violence prevention, that are evidence-based and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented.  It raises political and public awareness and understanding of the burden of the most common NCDs and mental disorders, related risk factors and conditions and leads multi-sector and multi-stakeholder strategic and collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Member States’ capacity to promote and protect health through public policies, programs, and services. This will reduce risks and disease burden and contribute to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population.

The incumbent will be part of a multi-faceted team, operating within the framework of the approved Biennial Work Plan (BWP) and directed by regional health priorities. He/she will work on the development and implementation of technical cooperation in the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), with a focus on the development and implementation of technical cooperation under the Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, the Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and related WHO resolutions, the Framework for Action of the Second International Conference on Nutrition, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025, the nutrition-related recommendations of the Global and Regional Action Plans for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, the Regional Action Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Children and Adolescents, the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting and any other related global and/or regional mandates, in order to develop and propose interventions that contribute to the elimination of all forms of malnutrition in the Region, focusing on priority countries. The incumbent is expected to exercise independent judgment, making recommendations, and demonstrating initiative working in coordination with colleagues both internal and external to the Organization. Externally he/she will create and maintain strategic alliances with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Collaborating Centers (CC), universities, faith-based organizations, agencies of the United Nations and Inter-American System and other development agencies to coordinate activities and resources.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Risk Factors and Nutrition (NMH/RF), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide technical and programmatic support to the Risk Factors and Nutrition Unit, particularly for the Caribbean Subregion, in the development and implementation of the technical cooperation program of work for the prevention and control of all forms of malnutrition; provide technical cooperation to build country capacity to develop and implement national intersectoral and inter-programmatic policies, plans and programs, including the promotion of optimal nutrition throughout the life-course as part of a comprehensive food systems’ approach;
  2. Provide technical cooperation to implement and monitor the Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition (2012-2025); the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and related WHO resolutions; the  Framework for Action of the Second International Conference on Nutrition; the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025); the nutrition-related recommendations of the Global and Regional Action Plans for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting  and any other related global and/or regional mandates;
  3. Provide technical cooperation to build countries’ capacity to enact, implement, monitor and enforce policies to eliminate industrially produced trans fatty acids;
  4. Plan and provide direct technical cooperation to Member States for the development of policies, programs and interventions on maternal and child nutrition, prevention of wasting, stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight/obesity, as well as the promotion of optimal nutrition throughout the life-course through implementation of essential nutrition actions;
  5. Provide technical cooperation to strengthen capacity to conduct surveillance, as well as monitoring and evaluation of community- and population-based interventions programs to assess the nutritional status of populations and groups at high risk of malnutrition;
  6. Promote and provide technical cooperation on the incorporation of indicators on maternal and child nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding, wasting, stunting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight/obesity in the national health surveillance systems;
  7. Promote and provide technical cooperation on the assessment of diet and nutritional status in populations throughout the life-course, relevant to the national needs;
  8. Build country capacity to assess, design, implement, enforce and monitor nutritional programs, regulations and guidelines to respond to all forms of malnutrition;
  9. Build alliances and networks and strengthen coordination mechanisms among technical entities, United Nations agencies, NGOs and other internal/external partners;
  10. Coordinate with UN Nutrition and the Regional Nutrition Cluster interagency initiatives to address malnutrition in emergencies and development;
  11. Support the creation and functioning of a Regional Food Systems and Nutrition and Development Advisory Group for strategic and planning support to the Regional Nutrition Cluster.
  12. Mobilize national and international resources and extra-budgetary funds in support of national and regional programs to address malnutrition;
  13. Perform other related duties, as assigned.



Essential:  A bachelor’s degree in nutrition or other health science from a recognized university.

Desirable: A master’s degree in nutrition, public health, a social science or related field from a recognized university would be an asset.

If your candidacy is retained for an interview, you will need 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 accredited/recognized institution 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 following link: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.


Essential: Seven years of combined national and international experience in the fields of nutrition and public health, including food and nutrition policies to address all forms of malnutrition, including the social determinants of health and sustainable food systems.

Desirable: Practical experience working in public health projects at the international level in Latin America and the Caribbean and/or experience working in the design, development, implementation, and monitoring of nutrition programs and policies would be an asset.


PAHO Competencies:

  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others/Deal effectively with conflict – Creates team spirit; promotes collaboration and open communication in the team; proactively supports others; welcomes team responsibilities and drives team results; promotes knowledge sharing in the team.  Proactively identifies conflicts and facilitates their resolution in a respectful manner; tactfully resolves conflicts between or with others and takes action to reduce any possible tension; effectively builds a rapport with individuals and teams, establishing good personal and professional relationships, as well as minimizing risk of potential conflict.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences:  Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity – Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Listen/Write effectively/Share knowledge – Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly.  Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views.  Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures.  Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Producing Results:  Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results/Take responsibility – Prioritizes work, monitors own progress against objectives and adapts plans as required; communicates adjustments as necessary. Acts proactively and stimulates action as needed; handles problems effectively and constructively. Produces high-quality results and workable solutions that meet clients’ needs. Works independently to produce new results and sets own timelines effectively and efficiently.  Shows awareness of own role and clarifies roles of team members in relation to project’s expected results. Makes proposals for improving processes as required and takes responsibility for own work and/or actions, as necessary.  Demonstrates positive attitude in working on new projects and initiatives. Demonstrates accountability for own success, as well as for errors; learns from experience.
  • Moving forward in a changing environment: Propose change/Adapt to change – Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations.  Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results.  Welcomes, and actively seeks to apply, new ideas, approaches and working methods and technologies in order to improve own and/or team’s work processes and results; demonstrates commitment to Organizational change initiatives.
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond:  Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration – Effectively and easily networks to enhance own team’s and/or department’s results and fosters mutually beneficial working relationships to create synergies across the Organization and with external stakeholders.   Promotes synergies between the work of the Organization and that of external partners in order to improve outcomes.

Technical Expertise:

  • Technical expertise in the areas of nutrition and public health.
  • Technical expertise in the design, implementation and monitoring of policies, and the ability to negotiate and coordinate with all relevant sectors of government, private sector, international agencies, social movements, and organized community groups.
  • Technical expertise in formulating and developing tools for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition policies.
  • Managerial skills for the development, implementation and analysis of technical cooperation programs and activities, including budget programming and control.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendations on key political and technical issues.
  • Excellent organizational and analytic skills combined with strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Outlook. Knowledge of software programs for qualitative, statistical, and econometric analyses would be an asset.


Monthly Salary: (Net of taxes)

$5,343,42 (Salary is non-negotiable)

Post Adjustment:

$3,393.07  This amount 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 identify candidates to fill other similar short-term professional positions, at the same grade level.
  • Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this position as a form of screening.
  • The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.
  • For information on PAHO please visit:
  • PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • PAHO is an ethical organization that maintains high standards of integrity and accountability. People joining PAHO are required to maintain these standards both in their professional work and personal activities.
  • PAHO also promotes a work environment that is free from harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and other types of abusive behavior. PAHO conducts background checks and will not hire anyone who has a substantiated history of abusive conduct.
  • PAHO personnel interact frequently with people in the communities we serve. To protect these people, PAHO has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. People who commit serious wrongdoing will be terminated and may also face criminal prosecution.
  • PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are encouraged.
  • All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.