Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR
|Organization||United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
|Job Title||Assistant Public Health Officer|
|Location||El Gedaref, Sudan|
|Family Location Type||Non-Family|
This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants.
Procedures and Eligibility
Interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS). Applicants must be nationals of, and be locally recruited within the country of their employment.
Duties and Qualifications
Assistant Public Health Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Assistant Public Health Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR’s public health programmes meet minimum UNHCR and global health standards in order to minimise avoidable morbidity and mortality among populations of concern (POC) and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The incumbent provides strong and timely technical guidance to UNHCR management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR¿s responses in health and nutrition, catalyses the engagement of other actors, supports resource mobilisation efforts and monitors the response. S/he has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and NGOs.
The Assistant Public Health Officer should also ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities , including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR’s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
Public Health programmes include primary health care, secondary health care, community health, reproductive health (including HIV), nutrition, MHPSS and health information systems. In addition to public health staff, major operations may also have dedicated staff focusing on any of these components but public health professionals are expected to be very conversant with reproductive health programming and ensure that minimum standards are met. Depending on the size of the operation the incumbent may have responsibilities for nutrition and MHPSS responses. In the absence of more senior public health staff, Assistant Public Health Officer may be required to work with the programme staff (or other designated staff member) to support operational collaboration and joint programming with WFP on nutrition and food security.
The Assistant Public Health Officer is normally supervised by a (Senior) Public Health Officer or by the Head of Office/ Senior Operations/ Assistant Representative (Operations). The incumbent has a functional line with the Public Health Section in Geneva regarding authoritative guidance and support in technical matters and is expected to maintain regular contact with the PHS and the Regional Bureau.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
Coordination and Partnership
- – Assist in the co-ordination of public health, reproductive health, nutrition and HIV activities within the Area of Responsibility (AOR) in support of the government¿s responses and in conjunction with other UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners, including development actors to ensure delivery of public health and nutrition services to beneficiaries (POC and host community) meet UNHCR and /or nationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
- – With support from the supervisor, support the Operation to define the level and scope of UNHCR¿s involvement in public health and nutrition responses in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations and beyond.
- – In line with the Global Compact on Refugees work with governments and humanitarian and development partners to ensure a complementary approach to meet the health needs of POCs.
- – Represent UNHCR in health coordination and other meetings including inter-sectoral groups such as Technical Working Groups for MHPSS and nutrition.
- – Engage in relevant partnership fora, including in line with UNHCR¿s role as a UNAIDS co-sponsor of the Joint Programme on AIDS and co-lead with WFP of the Division of Labour area of HIV in Humanitarian Settings.
- – Support operational collaboration with WFP including the implementation of Joint Assessment Missions and corresponding Joint Plans of Action in line with global commitments on targeting of assistance to meet basic needs and data sharing to support assistance distribution (in collaboration with programme and protection colleagues),
- – Support emergency responses to new refugee influxes or outbreaks or other situations in line with the Public Health Emergency Toolkit and UNHCR’s Emergency Handbook and the SPHERE Handbook.
Strategic planning and development
- – Contribute to the implementation of UNHCR’s Strategic Plan for Public Health and adaptation at country level.
- – Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for refugees, returnees and other POC’s access to local public health, reproductive health (RH) and HIV, MHPSS and nutrition services (including food assistance where relevant) and lobby for inclusion of refugees, returnees and other POC as a specific group in government policies and plans related to health, RH and HIV as well as major donor programmes such as the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria.
- – Contribute to public health strategies addressing known gaps in health and nutrition programming based on country-specific needs assessments with due consideration to neonatal and maternal health care, TB and viral hepatitis, palliative care, health services for LGBTI individuals, health and protection services for persons selling sex and programming for persons with disabilities including access to assistive technologies and appropriate associated services.
- – Support the monitoring of country specific medium to long term inclusion plans in support of the Ministry of Health and other relevant Ministries (e.g. Social Welfare) and in partnership with development and other actors.
- – Work with stakeholders, including UN agencies, NGOs, Ministries of Health and academic institutions in the development of public health response plans associated with refugee movements (including in repatriation programmes).
- – Maintain and update contingency plans within the AOR for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movements.
Technical integrity and risk mitigation
- – Update and disseminate standard practices on public health, MHPSS, nutrition, HIV and reproductive health among partners.
- – Support the prioritization of primary health care (including preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care)
- – Monitor, in close co-ordination with other humanitarian actors, that health care services provided to POC are based on Ministry of Health, UNHCR and/or internationally recognized and most up-to-date standards and policies.
- – Support the adaptation of UNHCR internal operating procedures to ensure they are in line with UNHCR and/or international standards and improve efficiency of programme activities; this includes – but is not limited to – referral health care, medicines and medical supplies procurement and management, medical resettlement and resettlement of persons with health needs, cash-based assistance for health care coverage and referral between units and inter-sectoral collaboration.
- – Monitor and support compliance with, and integrity of, all public health standard operating procedures in conjunction with Project Control and Programme staff and in line with delegated authorities, including flagging to senior managers when these are not in line with global guidance or not being followed.
- – Support linkages of public health to WASH programmes throughout all stages of the programme cycle including in outbreak preparedness and response, emergency responses to refugee influxes, WASH in health facilities, and menstrual hygiene management.
- – Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between public health and nutrition with WASH, education, environment, shelter, and protection in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.
- – Assist with the review and analysis of relevant project proposals and budgetary submissions presented by UNHCR partners within the context of the UNHCR programming cycle.
- – Seek the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and LGBTI in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR¿s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
- – Contribute to the implementation of the UNHCR Health Information System and other relevant data collection tools including the balanced scorecard, maternal and neonatal death audits, Health Access and Utilisation Survey and other corporate tools where relevant; support the analysis, interpretation and use of public health data.
- – Advocate for the inclusion of refugees and other POC in national surveys such as demographic and health surveys, multi-indicator cluster surveys, AIDS indicator surveys including where possible a separate sample for refugees allowing for comparisons and trend analysis over time.
- – Support national health systems to disaggregate data by refugee and nationals in key areas based on country specific needs in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- – Assist in the monitoring of public health and nutrition programmes against standard UNHCR and international indicators, to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive and cost-effective manner.
- – Support the planning, implementation, analysis, dissemination and use of nutritional surveys (Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys, SENS), health-related surveys and post-distribution monitoring exercises (in collaboration with WFP).
- – In line with policies for Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) ensure POC have access to feedback and accountability mechanisms relating to public health and nutrition services including the collection and analysis of data on their satisfaction with regards to public health and nutrition services.
- – Draft regular sectoral reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required by the office at country level.
- – Provide timely updates to enable adequate reporting and briefings to donors and management.
- – Support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to address public health, nutrition, reproductive health, HIV, MHPSS programming in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way and disseminate relevant guidelines and information materials.
- – Undertake and/or support capacity building needs assessments of UNHCR staff and partners and develop approaches to address capacity gaps including identifying internal and external training opportunities.
Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Medicine, Medical Science, Medical Doctor, Nursing, Public Health
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
– Knowledge of public health, reproductive health and nutrition
– Good communicator with strong interpersonal and negotiations skills.
– Additional qualifications in Nutrition and WASH and a thorough understanding of the linkages with public health and Food security.
– Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of Public Health.
- MS-Monitoring & Evaluation
- MD-Public Health Epidemiology
- MD-Reproductive Health
- MD-Community Health – Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation
- UN-UNHCR’s Mandate/Policy and Global Strategic Priorities
- (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
See below for this postion’s Operational Context
- In November 2020, military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in Ethiopia¿s Tigray region, which borders both Sudan and Eritrea, prompted thousands of people to flee the region seeking safety in neighbouring Sudan.
- Prior to the current emergency, East Sudan was receiving an average of 4,000 new arrivals per year, mostly from Eritrea. By end of January 2020, more than 60,000 Ethiopian crossed the border who are hosted in transit sites and gradually relocated to new settlement sites such as Um RaKuba, Tunaydba in Gedaref State.
- The refugee influx to East Sudan started on 9 November with 146 individuals arriving from Humera (Ethiopia) through two border entry points, Lugdi and Hamdayet. Since then, the movement dramatically increased with a daily average of over 2,700 individuals crossing into Kassala and Gedaref. Most of the arrivals enter through Hamdayet (Kassala state) and in proximity to Village 8 in Gedaref State, including for example Ludgi border point. These border points are in extremely remote locations, only accessible via sand tracks and other non-paved roads.
- UNHCR has an exiting sub-office in Kassala and a field office in Girba then re-opened the field office in Gedaref, which are in close proximity to current border entry points. Both Girba and Gedaref offices will be reporting to Sub-Office Kassala.
- UNHCR/COR (Government of Sudan) manage a small transit centre at Hamdayet where wet feeding, screening and onward transportation to a designated camp are provided. Um Rakuba Camp with a population around 20,000 was opened in late November and Tunaydba Camp with a population 14,000 opened on 3 January 2021. The profile of refugees is mainly from the Tigray region in Ethiopia. Eritrean refugees residing in Ethiopia are likely to move to existing camps and seek asylum. Due to security reasons, except Hamdayet, UNHCR staff is daily commuting to Village 8, Um Rakuba and Tunaydba.
- The Refugee Working Group (RWG) in East Sudan is the main coordination forum for the emergency response, while the Refugee Consultation Forum (RCF) provides coordination at national level. In Gedaref level, there are 10 sub-working inter-agency groups and 4 of them were co-chaired with INGOs. There are around 28 partners working on the ground so there is a need to have a good coordination skill by all UNHCR staff. In addition to that, there are four Joint Committees on Education, Public Health, WASH and Protection that Governor of Gedaref and UNHCR are co-chairing in order to coordinate emergency response among Governmental entities in Gedaref State.
- The RCF launched an inter-agency Emergency Refugee Response Plan to respond to the Ethiopia situation, to meet the urgent needs of nearly 100,000 Ethiopian refugees expected to be fleeing into Sudan.
- There are over 3 million Persons of Concern in Sudan out of which some 1 million are refugees and asylum seekers and 2.4 million are IDPs. The South Sudanese refugees are the largest community with over 815,000 persons living across Sudan, followed by 121,000 Eritreans, Ethiopians 60,000. Over 70% of the refugees are hosted in urban areas among host population and 40% in camps and settlements. The UNHCR operation responds to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs, Sudanese refugee and IDP returnees and stateless persons. UNHCR leads the inter-sectoral response to the Ethiopia refugee response through the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM), and works with a variety of implementing partners (Government, UN, International, National NGOs and Community Based Organizations). UNHCR has 13 sub and field offices throughout the country, responding to emergencies as well as protracted refugee situations in urban, camp based and rural settlement contexts and IDPs.
The Assistant Public Health Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR’s public health programs meet minimum UNHCR and global health standards in order to minimize avoidable morbidity and mortality among populations of concern and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The incumbent will be responsible of the response towards the Ethiopian refugees¿ emergency in East Sudan, which is covering two camps (Um Rakuba and Tunaydba) along with two reception/transit centres. S/he will supervise the Nutrition and Food Security interventions implemented by the partners in all sites and coordinated with government entities, identifying the gaps and needs both for host and refugee community and consequently allocate available resources while maintaining protection aspects integrated within all Public Health activities
The incumbent provides technical guidance to UNHCR management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR¿s responses in health and nutrition, coordinates with other actors, and monitors the public health response. The incumbent interacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and NGOs.
The incumbent should also ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girl and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, LGBTQI persons, persons with disabilities, including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR¿s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
Public Health programmes include primary health care, secondary health care, community health, reproductive health (including HIV), nutrition, Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Network (MHPSS) and health information systems. In addition to public health staff, major operations may also have dedicated staff focusing on any of these components, but public health officers are expected to be very conversant with reproductive health programming and ensure that minimum standards are met. Depending on the size of the operation the incumbent may be expected to have major responsibilities for nutrition and MHPSS responses.
The Assistant Public Health Officer will be supervised by the head of Field Office in Gedaref. In addition, the incumbent will be expected to work within multi-functional and interdisciplinary teams including with protection staff. The incumbent has a functional line with the Public Health Section in Geneva regarding authoritative guidance and support in technical matters and is expected to maintain regular contact with the PHOs at CO, Regional Bureau and PHS.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional, and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity, and respect for diversity