Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement


Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement; May 13 2023



Organization: UNHCR

Position: Assistant Public Health Officer

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Employment: Full Time, Contract

Date of Announcement: May 13 2023

Deadline: May 28 2023






Job Overview


Hardship Level: B

Family Type: Family

Residential location (if applicable)

Grade: NOA

Staff Member / Affiliate Type: National Professional Officer

Remote work accepted: No

Target Start Date: 2023-08-14

Job Posting End Date: May 28, 2023



Standard Job Description

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.

Capacity Building

– 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.


Minimum Qualifications

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 Not specified (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.

Functional Skills

EL-Monitoring and Evaluation

PH- Public Health Epidemiology

MD-Reproductive Health

PH-Community Health-Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation

UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

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.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.


Desired Candidate Profile

The Assistant Public Health Officer should have a broad public health background or experience. He/She will join the public health team based in Addis Ababa and support the advancement of the public health goals for persons we serve. She/He should have good interpersonal skills, good negotiation skills and good communication skills. The candidate should have good monitoring skills and a good understanding of the healthcare context in Ethiopia. The candidate should be able to consult with communities and should have analytical skills. The candidate should be able to analyze and interpret data and derive solutions that can support improvement of public health.


Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:


Nature of Position:

Ethiopia currently hosts almost 800,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers over five regions. The refugees and sheltered in 26 camps, several rural settlements as well as in urban areas including urban Addis Ababa.


UNHCR, through multiple partnerships including with Administration of Refugee and Returnee Affairs (RRS), national and international NGOs as well as regional health bureaus offers refugees with access to health services in an equitable manner with the hosting population. The health services offered include camp-based primary healthcare services – both facility and community-based as well as referral care services to regional and national level secondary and tertiary health care services. Health services are offered through partners and coordinated with other UNHCR sectors.


UNHCR’s role in the health sector include coordination among partners to ensure uniformity in coverage and mitigate gaps, coordination with regional and national health authorities in order to further integrate refugees into national health programmes and systems, monitor health status of refugees through implementation of a functional health information system, build capacity of UNHCR and partner staff, advise senior management on health-related matters – among others.


UNHCR-program is seeking to recruit Assistant Public Health Officer to be part of the public health team based in its representation office. The Assistant Public Health Officer will report to senior public health officer based in Addis Ababa and work in collaboration with nutrition and WASH teams in Addis Ababa and in the sub-offices.  The incumbent collaborates with programme, protection, CBI, social inclusion, livelihood and supply units, among others. There is no supervisory responsibility.


The incumbent of this position will be responsible for:

The Primary Health Care strategy is supported and prioritized focusing on preventive and basic curative health, including mental health, reproductive health and HIV.

There is a viable standard Health Information System in place for data collection, analysis and interpretation to serve as evidence base for planning and interventions.

The programming exercise to draw proposals and budgets related to public health.

Health integration strategy is developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Technical support missions are conducted on regular basis in the country.

Monthly health coordination meetings are conducted with all relevant partners.

Immediate respond is provided to refugee emergencies.

UNHCR is an active member of UNAIDS as a cosponsor and respond to HIV needs.

Living and Working Conditions:

Addis is the capital of Ethiopia. the city has an estimated population of 3 million inhabitants. It is where the African Union is headquartered. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as various other continental and international
organizations. Staff reside in commercial accommodation available in town (cf. UNDSS TRIP WEBSITE for the list of UN recommended hotels). There are limited medical facilities in Addis that are equipped to deal with moderate medical cases. Evacuation opportunities are also limited.
However, air ambulance evacuation can be organized for life- threatening emergencies during daytime. Candidates with conditions requiring regular treatment or medical supervision should be appropriately advised.

The climate of Ethiopia and the regions varies greatly. It is temperate on the plateau and hot in the lowlands. Generally, the high elevation of the land affects one’s adjustment to the environment. At Addis Ababa, which ranges from 2,200 to 2,600 m (7,218 to 8,530 ft), the maximum temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F) and minimum 4 °C (39.2 °F). The weather is usually sunny and dry, but the short (belg) rains occur from February to April and the large (meher) rains from mid-June to mid-September.

The economy of Ethiopia is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector. The Government of Ethiopia is in the process of privatizing many of the state-owned businesses and moving toward a market economy. However, the banking, telecommunication and transportation sectors of the economy are dominated by Government-owned companies.

The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr. Foreign currency may only be changed at authorized banks and hotels. Exchange of foreign currency outside the regulated banks (Black Market) is a criminal offence, and international UN personnel caught by police sting operations have been
known to be arrested and detained for several days. Any entry or exit of cash in excess of US$3,000 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies) must be declared to the customs authority.

ATM cash withdrawals are largely available in Addis. AMEX is generally not accepted. Payment with credit card is possible in a few selected shops and tourism areas, but this form of payment is expanding. There is an acceptable access to communication means, such as internet, telephone sim cards etc. PAMA is also available at the Offices.


Additional Qualifications



EL-Monitoring and Evaluation, MD-Reproductive Health, PH-Community Health-Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation, PH- Public Health Epidemiology, UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities






Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration



How to Apply


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