World Health Organization (WHO)

Who we are


Founded in 1948, WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health.


What we do


WHO leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage. We direct and coordinate the world’s response to health emergencies. And we promote healthier lives – from pregnancy care through old age. Our Triple Billion targets outline an ambitious plan for the world to achieve good health for all using science-based policies and programmes.

Role purpose

The incumbent works closely with the Sexual Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) Director to provide up-to-date political analysis, expert policy advice and strategic planning relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights to HRP and United Nations cosponsors and partners, WHO, Member States, and other stakeholders. In conducting this work, the incumbent develops, coordinates, and leads international collaborative efforts, engages in WHO Organization-wide initiatives, and provides senior-level technical expertise into the policy development and advocacy activities in the field, contributing to the broader goal of improving sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.


Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objective

The UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (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 and sexual and reproductive health programmes.


HRP was established by the World Health Assembly in 1988 under WHA Resolution 41.9, and is co-sponsored by UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank. HRP is executed by WHO, from within the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH). The Department draws on HRP research and global expertise to generate evidence, strengthen health systems, and impact through work to set norms and standards and develop global guidelines, and to support programme development in sexual and reproductive health and rights. More information about SRH and HRP can be found at https://www.who.int/teams/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-research-(srh)/human-reproduction-programme.


Organizational Context

Under the leadership of the Director, the incumbent performs a scientific and technical leadership and reference role relating to the area of work. They will meet with and advise government officials of Ministries of Health at the highest level and other governmental bodies and with officials of national sexual and reproductive health programmes to promote research and programme development activities relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The incumbent will also liaise with high-level officials of WHO Regional and Country Offices and officials of cosponsoring agencies to provide authoritative advice. In supporting the research agenda in this area of work, the incumbent will work with researchers of WHO Collaborating centres and other academic and research institutions.


It is noted that the above responsibilities require a particular sensitivity to controversial issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and consistent sustained attention to gender and human rights issues; a lack of diplomacy in external contacts could adversely affect the work of the entire Organization. The incumbent will be guided by relevant resolutions of the World Health Assembly, WHO Executive Board, and WHO Regional Committee resolutions, recommendations of HRP's Policy and Coordination Committee, the HRP Standing Committee of Cosponsors, HRP Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, HRP Gender Advisory Panel, and other relevant advisory bodies. Work is carried out under the WHO staff regulations, rules, policies, and entitlements apply.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Building on WHO's leadership in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights the incumbent will:
  • Serve as a senior technical and scientific reference in political and policy analysis in sexual and reproductive health and rights among the peer community, Member States, cosponsors and other UN Agencies, and other stakeholders, in close collaboration with WHO Regional and Country Offices.
  • Oversee and develop research priorities, drawing on the scientific expertise and literature, recommendations of HRP advisory bodies, input from Member States and cosponsoring agencies, colleagues, managers and other stakeholders. Based on research priorities developed, the incumbent will ensure the development and establishment of short-term operational plans and longer-term strategic plans for research and development in this area.
  • Lead and oversee policy research activities, including (i) the conceptualization and development of research protocols, (ii) identification and recruitment of national partner research institutions, (iii) conceptualization and production of research agreements, (iv) organization of scientific meetings, (v) coordinate the facilitation of training workshops, (vi) conducting research site monitoring visits, (vii) collaborations with data management companies or organizations, (viii) oversight of the network of institutions and UN cosponsoring agencies participating in the research, (ix) analysis, write-up and publication of results, (x) evaluation of processes and results in preparation for subsequent research projects.
  • Synthesize evidence on sexual and reproductive health policy, carry out and commission systematic reviews of the literature in the field, input to evidence-based clinical and managerial guidelines.
  • Ensure the writing and preparation of technical progress reports to governing and advisory bodies, WHO reporting requirements, and donors.
  • Ensure adequate publication, conceptualize and draft manuscripts in the scientific literature of outputs, and lead related communications activities to strengthen the dissemination, adaptation and use of WHO and HRP outputs by WHO Member States, working in close collaboration with the HRP communications team and the WHO Department of Communications.
  • Build and maintain strong partnerships with governments, NGOs, private sector, and other stakeholders to generate and use evidence for increased access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Lead fundraising activities for increased financial support this programme of work.
  • Carry out other tasks, as required by the Director.



  • Teamwork          
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences      
  • Communication             
  • Driving the Organizational Position in Health Leadership             
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond


Functional Knowledge and Skills

  • Expert knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights policy within the context of global health
  • Strong policy analytical and scientific writing skills, as evidenced by an extensive track record of publication in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Evidence of strong management and coordination skills with national and international bodies
  • Fundraising knowledge and skills, as evidenced by previous success in mobilizing resources.
  • Strong communication and diplomatic skills


Education Qualifications

  • Essential: Advanced level university degree in public health, public policy, international relations, or another field related to policy analysis



  • Essential: At least 10 years of experience in policy analysis and strategic advice relating to sexual and reproductive health, including experience at the international level
  • Direct experience in coordinating or leading projects
  • Working experience in a UN agency or with national governments, or international nongovernmental organizations related to work in low- and middle-income countries


Language Skills

  • Essential: Expert knowledge of English
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of other UN languages


Other Skills

  • Ability to use e-mail, scheduling, word processing and presentation software independently and efficiently
  • Ability to use team collaboration and communication platforms such as MS Teams and Zoom
  • Ability to carry out complex searches using electronic bibliographic databases such as PubMed


How to Apply

To apply for this position, please ensure you complete the Application Form provided below by 08 January 2024. It is essential that you submit your CV in English, specifically in Microsoft Word format (.doc .docx).


Applications in other languages or formats will not be considered.


Rest assured, all information will be handled with the utmost confidentiality.


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


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