Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement


Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement, June 10 2023



Organization: UNHCR

Position: Assistant Public Health Officer

Location: Bokh, Ethiopia

Employment: Full Time

Date of Announcement: June 10 2023

Deadline: June 18 2023




Job description


Hardship Level: E (most hardship)

Family Type: Pending

Family Type: Pending

Residential location (if applicable)

Grade: NOA

Staff Member / Affiliate Type: National Professional Officer

Reason: Fast Track > Fast Track

Remote work accepted: No

Target Start Date: 2023-08-01

Job Posting End Date: June 18, 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. Duties 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. ¿ Collaboration – 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.


Job requirements


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. Desirable

– 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 incumbent should have proven competencies and experience in (to be put in order of what is deemed essential and what is deemed to be an advantage):
– Experience in implementing humanitarian activities for displaced populations in Ethiopia, especially in the public health sphere.
– Knowledge of the Ethiopian Government Health Care System and health service delivery mechanisms at different levels, including zonal, woreda and kebele.
– Interagency coordination, including with national, regional and local government authorities
– Monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian projects, including excellent documentation and report writing skills
– Accomplished training with a medical degree (midwife, nurse, medical doctor) with additional Public Health related training (Certificate, Diploma or Degree)
– Fluency in Somali language and a working knowledge of Amharic will be an asset


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




Desired languages




Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit:


Nature of Position:

The Assistant Public Health Officer supports UNHCR efforts to minimize avoidable mortality and morbidity among the people we serve, alongside the Somali Regional Government Health Bureau. The incumbent participates in appropriate consultative and monitoring framework and provides technical guidance to partners and participates in the coordination of public health activities by the Woreda and Zonal Health authorities within the Area of Responsibility. He/she will be a member of the public health team and will ensure effective coordination and support to partners on public health aspects.

The incumbent will be required to visit the health facilities and areas where health and nutrition services are carried out for refugees, including outreach, quite often to provide technical guidance through monitoring and supervision alongside the Woreda and Zonal health authorities. He/she will complement the efforts of the Woreda health authorities and supports the systems, ensuring that quality standards are maintained for service delivery, through catalyzing other actors where necessary.

The incumbent will work together with the Woreda health authorities and other UN agencies and partners to support in planning and implementation of community health disease surveillance systems to prevent and respond to diseases of outbreak potential. He/she will work with the Woreda and Zonal health authorities to ensure that the essential package of healthcare services are provided to refugees through the existing national health systems. He/she will support the strengthening of the national health systems in coordination with other partners. The incumbent will ensure that systems are in place to enable refugees to access healthcare services beyond the primary healthcare level, as part of the existing system. He/she will ensure that reporting systems capture data accurately and disaggregated data for both refugees and the host community can be availed.


Living and Working Conditions:

Further to the conflict in and around the Laascanood area of Somaliland state of Somalia (Sool region) of early 2023, an estimated 100,000 refugees crossed into the Doolo zone of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. In order to respond effectively, UNHCR set up a base in Bokh, a small town located in Doolo zone of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia and headquarters of the Bokh woreda (district), with an estimated population of 50,000 people. Bokh is situated 170 kms from Wardher, the zonal capital of Doolo zone and some 80-100 kms from the Ethiopia-Somalia border. Bokh is also located at almost 700 Kms from Jijiga, the headquarters of the Somali Regional State Government where UNHCR Sub-Office is based.

Given the remoteness of the area and its proximity to the border with Somalia, the security situation in Bokh is considered to be fluid and requires a sense of vigilance and alertness. UNHCR’s Field security Advisor on ground in collaboration with UNDSS provides security advisories regularly to all staff in Bokh and the surrounding field locations to which adherence is expected. There are a few upcoming private real estate investments in Bokh and national staff will be expected to explore available options and secure rental accommodation in the town. Security briefing is mandatory upon arrival at the duty station. All travel itineraries should report to the radio room before departure and continue reporting their position every 60 minutes, until back to base. Official working hours are Monday through Thursday:  08:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00 hours; while on Fridays 08:00 – 13:30 hours.

Bokh is served by a Government Health Centre and a Level-1 Hospital in Wardher, both of which offering basic medical services.  It should be emphasized that the medical facilities in the area are insufficient to treat complicated medical cases. The UN Team in Bokh is working on a plan to establish a UN Clinic with a full-time doctor and nurses to provide onsite medical assistance to staff and also process referrals as may be needed. A medevac plan is also under discussion in collaboration with the Medical Services Team at the Regional Bureau in Nairobi and the UN Health Care Centre in Addis Ababa; the latter provides 24/7 health care services for eligible UN staff and their dependents in different specialized Medical Units. Bokh also has small markets, restaurants and shops from where food and other household items can be purchased. Banking services are very limited in Bokh and it always advisable to carry cash. The only Ethiopian Commercial Bank branch is located 170 kms away in Wardher where financial services, including ATM machines, can easily be accessed. However, a microfinance agent exists in Bokh and facilitates some small financial transactions in the local currency.

Transportation in and out of Bokh is by road. However, the UN Team is mobilizing donors to facilitate the establishment of an airstrip in Bokh so that UNHAS can operate regular flights to Addis Ababa. Land for the airstrip has already been provided by the authorities and technical surveys undertaken by UNHAS. In the meantime, travel is either through Jijiga (served by Ethiopian Airlines daily) or through Kebridehar where Ethiopian Airlines flies from Addis Ababa twice a week, and then onward on a road journey of some 7 hours on a dusty road.



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

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Additional Information

The Position is only for Ethiopia Nationals
A written test for shortlisted candidates may be conducted.
Female candidates are encouraged to apply.
Only Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.



How to Apply


To Apply for this vacancy Click on the ‘Apply Now’  button below. Please make sure that you have read the requirements section very well before you apply.









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