Opportunity

Director, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research

World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland

About the World Health Organization

 
WHO is building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.
Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere. 

WHO strives to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.
WHO helps mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. They ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need. 
Their goal is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being. 

You can find further details on their website https://www.who.int/


Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research Role Profile 
The purpose of the position is to provide strategic direction and vision across a multidisciplinary programme area of work within the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) and the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). The Director will perform a leadership and reference role among United Nations agencies and partners in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights within the international development agenda, with a focus on research, research capacity strengthening, evidence synthesis, normative guidance, and technical support to national health systems. The Director will politically position the work of the Department and HRP Special Programme and act as the global representative and overall spokesperson of the Department and HRP Special Programme, engaging internationally in dialogue with senior officials of global health organizations, as well as with Ministers of Health, Development Agencies, Donors, HRP cosponsors, and other stakeholders. The Director provides senior level advice and guidance to senior management of WHO and other HRP cosponsors and is accountable for the overall management and galvanization of Department teams to meet the objectives of the Organization and HRP Special Programme.

The World Health Organization's Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) includes the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). HRP is the main instrument within the United Nations system for identifying research priorities on sexual and reproductive health and rights; for promoting, conducting, evaluating and coordinating related interdisciplinary research; for collaborating with countries to build national capacity to conduct research; and for promoting the use of research results in policy making for sexual and reproductive health programmes. The SRH Department draws on the research and global expertise of HRP to set norms and standards and develop WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights, provides leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and provides technical support to countries to strengthen their health systems' capacity to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, thereby contributing to UHM. More information about SRH and HRP can be found at https://www.who.int/teams/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-research/

Reporting to and under the general guidance of the WHO Chief Scientist and the Executive Director, Universal Health Coverage/Life-course Division the position provides global leadership and direction to the Department and HRP Special Programme to ensure efficient management of a multidisciplinary staff in achieving the objectives of both WHO and the HRP Special programme as outlined above. To achieve these objectives the Director builds strong partnerships and fosters consensus building with External Partners, Member States, UN Agencies, Donors, HRP Cosponsors and other research partners, cutting edge research institutions and other stakeholders. The incumbent maintains excellent relationships with senior officials of the HRP cosponsors and member states of HRP's governing body and ensures strong coordination and collaboration with other stakeholders. The incumbent meets and negotiates with senior staff of government regulatory agencies and with the pharmaceutical industry in order to facilitate the development and registration of new products by HRP and WHO.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

1.    Leads the Department and HRP Special Programme in providing technical expertise to Member States and other stakeholders with guidance, evidence and data required for the development, implementation, and monitoring of national and/or global policies and programmes.
2.    Provides the overall leadership, management accountability, and direction of the Department and HRP Special Programme in delivering its objectives through managing and galvanizing a diverse workforce and financial resources to optimize the department deliverables and mandate.
3.    Provides senior level technical advice and expertise to Senior Management of WHO and HRP Cosponsors in sexual and reproductive health and rights, in order to position the Department and HRP Special Programme as leaders in the area.
4.    Leads the development and periodic update of a prioritized research and capacity strengthening agenda for the HRP Special Programme,
in consultation with WHO, HRP cosponsors, Member States and a broad range of other stakeholders.
5.    Directs and leads overall establishment and development of the Department's evidence-based policies and strategies for roll out and delivery for implementation by WHO Regional and Country Offices and HRP cosponsors.
6.    Serves as the scientific/technical reference among UN Agencies, HRP governing bodies, and other key players in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
7.    Promotes the integration of WHO Regional and Country Office, and HRP cosponsor perspectives and operational capacities into the Department's programme area of work
8.    Establishes and maintains a network of research and policy institutions and works synergistically to complement existing research agenda items; interacts with the private sector, pharmaceutical companies and financing institutions for product development, negotiating public-sector prices and promoting support to scale up programmes in national settings.
9.    Builds strong partnerships and fosters consensus building with external partners, Member States, UN Agencies, donors, members of HRP governing bodies, HRP cosponsors, cutting edge research institutions, non-state actors, and other stakeholders in the subject area to politically position the technical area of work and its implementation into national and/or global policies.
10.    Represents WHO and the HRP Special Programme in a diverse array of global fora to position WHO and the HRP Special Programme as leaders in the global health community.
11.    Mobilizes partnerships and networks for promoting investment in research and development in sexual and reproductive health products, including resources for WHO and   the HRP Special Programme.
12.    Represents WHO, the Department, and the HRP Special Programme at policy and governance meetings of WHO and other agencies and institutions, as well as at international scientific meetings, acting as a spokesperson on WHO and HRP's work in, and as an advocate for, sexual and reproductive health and rights.
13.    Directs the organization of HRP's annual governing bodies, the Policy and Coordination Committee, Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Gender and Rights Advisory Panel, the HRP Alliance Advisory Board and the Standing Committee of HRP Cosponsors. Develops governing body documents and proposals, including budget proposals, for approval by both HRP and WHO governing bodies.
14.    Directs monitoring, evaluation and reporting activities of the Department and HRP Special Programme to ensure development of key performance indicators and global reporting requirements and mechanisms to ensure optimal performance.
15.    Perform other related duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications

 
Education
Essential: An advanced university degree in a health-related field, with a post-graduate qualification in a discipline related to sexual and reproductive health.
Desirable: A PhD in any health field related to sexual and reproductive health

Experience
Essential: A minimum of 15 years of relevant work experience of which at least 10 years in research and research management, including experience at the international level. At least 5 years of experience of sexual and reproductive health programmes and their public health aspects in national health systems, including in low- and middle-income countries. Proven leadership and experience with team management at middle or senior organizational levels.
Desirable: Experience of working within a UN agency.

Skills
•    Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing health system polices and strategies, including for low- and middle-income countries.
•    Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
•    Strong understanding and skills in mobilizing resources.
•    Ability to engage, build consensus and communicate effectively and diplomatically with Member States, partners and media. Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
•    Globally-respected level of technical expertise and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights and their public health aspects in national health systems, including the gender equality, equity and human rights dimensions. 
•    Proven vision, political acumen, and dynamic leadership skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes. 
•    Strong research, analytical and scientific writing skills, as evidenced by an extensive track record of peer-review publication relating sexual and reproductive health and rights.
 
Competencies
•    Teamwork
•    Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Communication
•    Promoting innovation and organizational learning Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership Creating an empowering and motivating environment
 
Language
Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of WHO official language
 
Location: Geneva, Switzerland


How To Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV. 

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

If  you have an initial inquiry rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected].

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by WHO to undertake this assignment.

 

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