Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement

Assistant Public Health Officer – UNHCR Vacancy Announcement, November 28 2023



Organization: UNHCR

Position: Assistant Public Health Officer

Employment: Full time

Location: Asosa

Deadline: December 10, 2023






Job description


Hardship Level: D

Family Type Non Family with Residential Location

Family Type Non Family with Residential Location

Residential Location (If Applicable) Addis Ababa,Eth Fed Dem Rep

Grade NOA

Staff Member / Affiliate Type National Professional Officer

Reason Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote Work Accepted No

Target Start Date 2024-03-01

Job Posting End Date December 10, 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.

– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.


Job requirements


Minimum Qualifications

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.

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
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)

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

he Assistant Public Health Officer at UNHCR Assosa sub-office should have demonstrated experience in health emergency responses as well as understanding of health systems and have experience in social health protection. The incumbent should have a strong command of the full range of refugee health policies, guidance and approaches. He / she should have experience and expertise in advancing on the mainstreaming/inclusion of refugees into national health programmes, advocacy for refugees’ inclusion into national universal health coverage plans, including health insurance and other social protection schemes. S/he should have proven ability to articulate complex issues in a simple and convincing manner to internal and external stakeholders and have an ability to draft clear, concise documentation on such issues. The incumbent should have a demonstrated ability to pro-actively identify problems and propose solutions. S/he should be able to work in an integrated manner in a multicultural team composed of colleagues in the branch office of Addis Ababa, field offices and regional health institutions. S/he must also anticipate supporting field missions and provide updated briefings on health and nutrition issues in and out of camp situations, including providing concise sectoral trend info to support concept notes and resource mobilisation efforts of the office. The incumbent must be able to advance the principles of the GCR (Global Compact for Refugees) and apply a humanitarian-development nexus lens to UNHCR public health programming. Ability to coordinate with external stakeholders and play a catalytic role will be desirable. Finally, operational experience in a context with resource constraints, security challenges and focus on solutions to refugees, IDPs or similar situations would be helpful to quickly adapt to the dynamic and unpredictable context of Assosa Sub office.

Required Languages (Expected Overall Ability Is At Least B2 Level):

Desired Languages

Operational Context

Occupational Safety And Health Considerations:

Frequent tribal conflicts, gunfighting and road blockages are common, and the situation in most parts of the region is tense and unpredictable. There has been curfew in force since 2022 from 8pm and ending at 6am, but currently this is quite relaxed (though not officially lifted). Staff members must adhere to security directives periodically disseminated by UNDSS (UN Department for Safety and Security). Movements to field locations require security clearances and must be requested 72 hours prior to travel. Staff must be vigilant in public places and be aware of any potential risks (such as pickpocketing) that may occur in their surroundings. Fuel, electricity and basic commodities are very scarce due to roadblocks and general security and the socio-economic conditions prevailing in parts of the country. These directly impact the speed of operational delivery to the populations we serve. Medical facilities are limited but health referrals and medical evacuations are done to Addis Ababa in a timely manner.

Nature Of Position:

This position in UNHCR Assosa sub-office is crucial in addressing the unique public health and nutrition challenges faced by displaced populations in the Benishangul Gumuz region, at the western part of Ethiopia. The role encompasses planning, execution, monitoring, and evaluation of health programs tailored to the local context. The role is heavily influenced by Assosa’s specific health and nutrition needs. The officer is responsible for implementing targeted interventions, such as vaccination drives, maternal health programs, and malnutrition screenings, in collaboration with local health authorities. The incumbent will coordinate a range of health-related activities, including reproductive health, nutrition and preventive mechanisms to avert infections and epidemics in camps and other population groups in close collaboration with government agencies, other UN bodies, NGOs, and community leaders to ensure a unified and effective response. The officer is instrumental in aligning UNHCR’s public health initiatives with both global health standards and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Assosa, this includes prioritizing interventions that address prevalent health issues such as waterborne diseases and malnutrition.

Ensuring the technical soundness of health programs is a key responsibility. The officer will employ data-driven approaches to monitor and evaluate program effectiveness against UNHCR and international health indicators. This includes conducting regular needs assessments and updating contingency plans specific to the Area of Responsibility (AoR). The incumbent will engage with local communities and key stakeholders to build health capacity. This includes liaising with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, other UN agencies and NGOs active in Assosa. Capacity-building efforts which may involve organizing and participating in regional webinars and information-sharing sessions. This role is at the UNHCR Assosa sub-office is multifaceted.

Living And Working Conditions:

Assosa is currently classified as security level -phase 3.  The security situation in Benishangul Gumuz Region is quite significant and at times deteriorating. It is remote, with limited banking, medical, entertainment and shopping facilities. UNHCR has fair internet connectivity and inter-office telephone communication as well as in the refugee camps. Connectivity for mobile telephone communication is not always reliable. There are three daily commercial flights between Addis Ababa and Assosa.

The climate in Assosa is classified as tropical. The hottest season of the region is in March/April and temperature may rise to 35 °C, followed by a long, cold and rainy season from June to November. Flights to Assosa are sometimes affected by bad weather for flights during the rainy season, hence flight cancellations or deferrals should be expected. Flexibility, the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort are essential.

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


Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medical Doctor, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medical Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Medicine, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Nursing, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Public Health


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

An eliminatory or complementary written test may be conducted which will be followed by a competency based oral interview.
Female candidates are encouraged to apply.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

Functional Clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance


How to Apply




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