23 October 2017
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The mission of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.
Vacancy Notice No: HQ/14/DGD/FT83
Title: Ombudsman
Grade: D1
Contract type: Fixed-term Appointment
Duration of contract:  1 year (renewable*)
Date: 7 March 2014
Application Deadline: 19 March 2014 Vacancy Filled
Duty Station:  Geneva, Switzerland
Organization unit: HQ/DGD Offices under the Director-General (HQ/DGD) /
HQ/ODG Office of the Director-General (HQ/ODG)
The Ombudsperson mediates and facilitates conflict resolution, related to a wide range of staff issues and disputes that may emerge in the workplace including on technical matters; monitor trends in support of early detection of issues of potential significance at institutional level, and advises on appropriate remedial and preventive action; supports anticipatory action, helping individuals, managers, teams and departments limit avoidable mistakes; contributes to developing and strengthening a workplace and culture that uphold the values of the Organization, its ethical and functional integrity, respect for the dignity, diversity and rights of staff, in compliance with the Organization's Staff Regulations, Rules and Manual provisions and the Code of Conduct for International Civil Servants. The Ombudsperson has access to all records concerning staff. The exceptions to this are medical records that are not available without the express consent of the staff member concerned and records of an ongoing investigation until all formal proceedings have been completed and administrative decision taken. Reports of the HQ Board of Appeal will be routinely shared with the Ombudsperson unless the appellant objects. The Ombudsperson organizes information meetings and publishes an annual report on activities. The annual report covers the entire organization and includes anonymous information from Headquarters, the regional and country offices on the number of cases and types of issues addressed, the extent to which issues were resolved, patterns and trends over time and between offices and emerging issues as well as general comments and recommendations on any aspect of the Organization relevant to the Ombudsperson's functions.
Description of duties:
As lead Ombudsperson for the Organization he/she will:
- Hear and advise staff members with problems or grievances relating to the terms and conditions of their employment, their working conditions and/or work relations with colleagues with a view to enhancing the overall working environment.
- Assist all parties concerned to reach a fair solution through fact-finding, mediation, discussion and involvement of all parties.
- Act as a resource for best practices in relation to the Ombudspersons functions across the Organization and facilitate the exchange of information and experience in this respect.
- Provide the DG with, and publish across the Organization, an annual report of OMB activities across WHO to capture among others, comparisons and trends over time.
-Identify trends, issues and concerns on policies, procedures, overall performance of duties and responsibilities and work climate, provide a global overview in collaboration with regional ombudspersons and counterparts across the three levels of the Organization, without breaching confidentiality or anonymity.
-Intervene where he/she deems necessary to escalate issues; ensuring that all reasonable steps have been taken through normal channels for due process, justice and fairness to prevail.
- Organize regular meetings with OMB offices and counterparts in the regions, to exchange information, guidance and referral as may be appropriate.
- Develop mechanisms and use IT tools to ensure regular evaluation of the impact of the Ombudsperson's office and services across the Organization in collaboration with OMB offices in the regions.
- In collaboration with HRD and regional counterpart develop/update the mediation policy of the Organization and within an agreed framework and division of roles and responsibilities manage/coordinate this important function including through external service providers.
- Advise the internal justice mechanism of the Organization and relevant formal or informal stakeholders (e.g. Staff Association, HBA, HRD, LEG, CRE, HMS, Staff Counselor, health technical units, IOS, Global Advisory Committee, etc.) in the formulation of solutions and mechanisms for conflict resolution and relevant preventive measures including mediation, counseling and relevant capacity development activities (e.g. trainings).
- Advice the Director-General on corrective and preventive action as may be appropriate.
- Maintain an active understanding of professional developments in their area of work, for example through close collaboration and engagement with the International Ombudsman Association and the annual and regular meetings of the network of ombudspersons from the United Nations and related International Organizations.
- Undertake administrative responsibility for OMB, including leading and managing the staff of his/her office and managing the resources and budget allocated to OMB.
Advanced university degree or equivalent in public health, management, administration, social science, law, organizational development or related area.
Training and/or equivalent experience in the area of alternative dispute resolution or mediation in major business/corporate conflicts.
1. Demonstrates a full commitment to the mission and values of the Organization by aligning the area of work with the strategic direction of the Organization. Is fully conversant with and behaves consistently in accordance with the rules, principles and environment that define the scope and standards of his/her professional practice, e.g.(a) UN system, WHO structure, ethical values, administrative rules and regulations, and the Code of Conduct for International Civil Servants.(b) Conforms to the principles of practice of the International Ombudsman Association: accessibility, confidentiality, independence, impartiality, neutrality, reasonableness.
2. Has demonstrated experienced and mature professional judgment:(a) In assessing and balancing the respective importance of administrative, personal, technical and communication aspects of a given conflict situation.(b) In assessing practical conditions and context within which rules and principles have to be applied, e.g. dealing with confidentiality versus imminent risk of serious harm.
3. Leads by example towards a culture of learning based on respect. Establishes a culture of learning, encouraging through one's own behaviors and initiatives, to keep up-to-date on trends in developments in the field.
4. Has excellent leadership and managerial skills and a strong understanding of management practices and the functioning of a major international organization. Displays, through leadership and decisions, understanding of political systems and underlying Drivers.
5. Is able to support staff in knowing and managing themselves, their communication and relations with colleagues better, thus enhancing the working environment and opportunities for improved dialogue and partnerships across the Organization.
6. Has excellent communication skills and ability to interact effectively with staff members at all levels. Instills a culture that encourages effective communication in multicultural environments.
7. Has extensive experience in the application of principles and techniques of conflict management and resolution in the workplace, alternative dispute resolution, counseling, coaching and cross cultural awareness. Practical knowledge of organizational development and disciplines related to general management, strategic planning, organizational change, and human resource management. Has experience in negotiation, high level intervention, and extensive organizational development.

WHO competencies:
1. Communicating in a credible and effective way
2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
3. Producing results
4. Fostering integration and teamwork
5. Promoting innovation and organizational learning
At least 15 years of relevant work experience, including:
- at least 5 years as a mediator/ombudsman/conflict resolution manager or leader or as an expert in conflict resolution and/or in mediation management.
- at least 5 years experienced in managing projects and staff as well as in planning activities of various natures with several staff and experts involved.
Experience in organizing and conducting staff training and awareness raising events in conflict resolution and mediation management.
Previous experience of management at senior level in international, intergovernmental organization, government or national public institutions.
Expert knowledge of English and French.
Additional Information:
Other similar positions at the same level may be filled from this vacancy notice.
A written test may form part of the screening process.
This Vacancy Notice is published in English only.

The successful candidate will have the status of a WHO staff member appointed exclusively and solely to the position of WHO Ombudsman.

*This appointment is for an initial period of one year, renewable up to a maximum duration of five years at which point the appointment from WHO will be terminated, except in the case of WHO staff members on continuing appointments for whom specific rules will apply.
Annual salary: (Net of tax)
USD 95,394 at single rate
USD 103,204 with primary dependants
Post Adjustment: 103.3 % of the above figure(s). This percentage 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 fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

Online applications are strongly encouraged to enable WHO to store your profile in a permanent database. Please visit WHO's e-Recruitment website at: The system provides instructions for online application procedures.
All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

Vacancy Filled

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