SCIENTIST (HQ/17/NHD/FT1)

19 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/17/NHD/FT1
 
Title: Scientist
 
Grade: P4
 
Contract type: Fixed-term Appointment
 
Duration of contract:  Two years - Renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and continuing need for the post
 
Date: 4 January 2017
 
Application Deadline: 24 January 2017 Vacancy Filled
 
Duty Station:  Geneva, Switzerland
 
Organization unit: HQ/NHD Nutrition for Health and Development (HQ/NHD) /
HQ/EPG - Evidence and Programme Guidance (HQ/EPG)
 
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME :
The Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) builds and implements a science-informed, comprehensive, integrated and action/policy oriented 'Nutrition Agenda' at global, regional and country levels that addresses the whole spectrum of nutrition problems towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and other nutrition-related international commitments, including the 2025 Global Targets for the comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition endorsed by the World Health Assembly.

This Department coordinates nutrition efforts in WHO emphasizing the areas of global nutrition surveillance, country technical support, and evidence and programme guidance. NHD acts globally and internationally to raise awareness and commitment, as well as to build alliances, networks and partnerships in a human-rights and multi-stakeholder perspective towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Evidence and Programme Guidance (EPG) unit follows an evidence-informed guideline development process for guidelines on nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions in stable and emergency settings. The implementation of the recommendations contained in these nutrition guidelines requires support for adaptation and adoption by governments all across the world and their partners. This position will help NHD in further ensuring that guidelines are implemented in the adequate context and help Member States overcome factors limiting effectiveness and sustainability.

The overall objective will include provision of guidance on how to implement nutrition actions in different contexts and population groups and integrate them into existing health programmes, through the use of evidence on how interventions are actually implemented in different social settings, thus integrating quantitative and qualitative analysis and information on programme effectiveness. The generation of guidelines based in evidence, provide Member States with recommendations to initiate or to integrate in existing health and nutrition programmes.

The strategic objective includes the generation of evidence-informed guidelines to improve nutrition in populations, developed through a systematic process for retrieving, summarizing and assessing the global evidence and support countries go through a process of addressing their own specific needs and capacities in the adoption and adaptation of the recommendations. While the biomedical evidence shows very positive health outcomes of various key interventions (efficacy), reality calls for addressing successfully barriers such as inadequate capacities, resources, and/or delivery systems, as well as inequities in access to interventions. The Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit (EPG) provides comprehensive technical guidance and implementation support to Member States in different contexts and population groups for integration into existing or innovative health programmes at the country and at sub-national level.
Description of duties:
Purpose of the Position:
This position will assume a crucial role in generating evidence-informed nutrition guidance and implementation support to Member States and their partners for achieving Global Targets 2025 on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals 2030, particularly SDG2: Ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture and SDG3: Ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

The scope entails a broad work in nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions focusing on addressing malnutrition in all its forms for the achievement of universal health coverage and sustainable development. This work will provide comprehensive support to the technical work carried out in the World Health Organization with respect to guideline development, technical assistance in a country-specific basis and other public health nutrition work. The work should provide input on how to use evidence and good practices to improve the diagnosis, prioritization and prevalence of nutrition problems, with emphasis in micronutrient related issues, either by deficit or excess, and also to help with the implementation of nutrition and health actions by Member States.

Organizational context:
Reporting to the Coordinator, Evidence and Programme Guidance (EPG), the technical officer supports the Department and unit within and outside WHO for activities related to lead the generation of systematic reviews of implementation experiences (summary of implementation research) to answer questions on how best to implement and integrate nutrition and nutrition-sensitive actions into health and development programmes in different contexts and the preparation of non-systematic reviews of when available evidence requires non-standardised, innovative effects of interventions, diagnostic accuracy tests, and other methodological approaches to inform practice, and provides technical country support for guidelines implementation aligned with WHO nutrition agenda.

Following the recently updated WHO Handbook for Guideline Development and under the overall guidance of the Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit coordinator and the Director of Nutrition for Health and Development, the incumbent will contribute to the development of guidelines for innovative and comprehensive nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions via the provision of evidence that will lead to the promotion of optimal public health and nutritional care, including both communicable and noncommunicable diseases.

Summary of assigned duties:

1. Lead the preparation of systematic reviews of evidence on priority topics in WHO nutrition agenda including nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive guidelines into integrated actions, biomarkers of nutritional status, micronutrient requirements, including revision of anaemia thresholds. This work entails also non-traditional methods approaches, risk assessment for multiple co-interventions providing nutrition actions in integrated health and development programmes with other sectors in addition to health;

2. Coordinate the development of guidelines and technical support related to nutrition interventions, biomarkers, chemical forms and thresholds suitable to diagnose and manage micronutrient deficiencies, insufficiencies or excess at individual and public health levels, following the WHO systematic process for retrieving, summarizing and assessing the global evidence, and supporting the adaptation and adoption by countries;

3. Provide technical support to countries and develop practical guidance in strategic application of nutrition interventions and micronutrient fortification programmes, identifying key elements required to start and maintain effective interventions, namely: evidence and magnitude of the problem, update and impact of ongoing programmes and initiatives from all sectors, awareness of the consequences of micronutrient deficiencies in the general population, resources and infrastructure in the country for monitoring and evaluating the programmes, as well as identifying research gaps.

4. To identify priorities in nutrition, to develop the scope and purpose, call for authors and organize technical consultations, in collaboration with the Evidence and Programme Guidance (EPG) Unit team and based in World Health Assembly mandates.

5. Plan and provide direct technical support to Member States for the development of policies, programmes and interventions on addressing all forms of malnutrition, including micronutrient malnutrition prevention, maternal and child nutrition, prevention of stunting and overweight/obesity; as well as the promotion of optimal nutrition throughout the life-course;

6. Develop and strengthen the dialogue, interaction and actions with other governmental sectors, United Nations (UN) agencies, academia, civil society and appropriate private industry in order to foster a social basis for fulfilment of national commitments for maternal and child nutrition, and optimal nutrition throughout the life-course to ensure optimal health and development;

7. Promote and provide technical cooperation on the assessment of diet and nutritional status in populations throughout the life-course, as relevant to national needs;

8. Integrate relevant technical facts, review and analyse data, consolidate and disseminate technical and scientific information related to nutrition throughout the life-course throughout the Organization and at global, regional and country level; identify research priorities and promote epidemiological, behavioural and management studies in this area;

9. Support the Coordinator and the Director in fundraising activities and other duties in support of the Department's work plan.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
Education:
Essential:
A first level university degree in nutrition, medicine or health sciences, and a master's level degree in human or international nutrition, public health or related field from a recognized institution.

Desirable:
A Ph.D. in a nutrition-related area.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/ . Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.
Skills:
1. Knowledge of WHO's comprehensive implementation plan of maternal and young children nutrition and the global targets 2025.
2. Ability to lead appropriate projects and support public health nutrition actions in stable and/or emergencies settings.
3. Demonstrated ability to analyse technical issues, to write and present scientific technical information clearly and concisely with good communication and presentation skills.
4. Maturity, initiative, tact and a high sense of responsibility.
5. Ability to work in close collaboration with different nationalities, scientific fields and cultural backgrounds
6. Demonstrated ability in the management of public health initiatives and provision of technical support at national and international level in integrated health nutrition programmes.
7. Technical expertise in the development of policies and programmes, and the ability to negotiate and coordinate with various relevant sectors of government, the private sector (where appropriate), international agencies and organized community groups.
8. Proven record of scientific publications in peer reviewed journals.
9. Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization as well as academic and policy papers.
10. Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programmes such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook. Other IT and specific nutrition-related software (e.g. EpiInfo and other evidence assessment programmes) and for systematic reviews (RevMan, GRADEPro, EndNote) would be an asset.

WHO competencies:
1. Producing results
2. Knowing and managing yourself
3. Communicating in a credible and effective way
4. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
5. Fostering integration and teamwork
Experience:
Essential:
At least 7 years of work experience in the field of nutrition and health, including experience in implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programmes, at country level.
Experience in the development of evidence-based recommendations in nutrition and health.
Experience in the collection and assessment of evidence to prepare systematic reviews.

Desirable:
Experience in presenting scientific evidence to different audiences, including policy makers, community health workers or non-academic professionals.
Relevant WHO or UN experience.
Languages:
Essential:
Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable:
Intermediate knowledge of French and Spanish.
Additional Information:
This vacancy is published in English only.

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WHO:
http://www.who.int (to learn more about WHO's operations)
http://icsc.un.org Click on: Quick Links > Salary Scales > by date

WHO’s salaries are calculated in US dollars. They consist of a base salary and a post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, home travel, education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance.

WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
Applications from qualified WHO staff from other duty stations are encouraged, as long as they have completed half of their standard duration of assignment (SDA) and have been in their current position for at least two years.
Annual salary: (Net of tax)
USD 69'032 at single rate
USD 74'130 with primary dependants
Post Adjustment: 80 % 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.

A written test and interviews may be used as a form of screening

Online applications are strongly encouraged to enable WHO to store your profile in a permanent database. Please visit WHO's e-Recruitment website at: www.who.int/employment. 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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