World Health Organization (WHO)

Advisor (Mental Health and Substance Use)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

OBJECTIVE OF THE OFFICE/DEPARTMENT This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) The Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH) Department promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation activities, directed to the prevention and control of non-Communicable Diseases, mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders, related risk factors and disabilities that are evidence-based and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented. It raises political and public awareness and understanding of the burden of the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental disorders, related risk factors and conditions and leads multi-sector and multi-stakeholder strategic and collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Member States' capacity to promote and protect health through public policies, programs, and services. This will reduce risks and disease burden and contribute to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES Under the general supervision of the Director, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), and the direct supervision of Unit Chief, Mental Health and Substance Use (NMH/MH), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:
  1. Advise, promote and strengthen the development of national capacities of countries in the sub region for delivering mental health and substance use services in order to meet the Basic Needs of the populations;
  2. Develop and coordinate sub regional technical cooperation programs related to the implementation of national mental health and substance use policies; advise in the process for developing action plans and programs leading to the restructuring of health systems and services;
  3. Develop national capacity in countries of the sub region for the implementation of equitable and effective measures in support of the development of mental Health Services in the community and the integration of the component mental health/substance use in primary health care;
  4. Develop and update mental health legislation and other measures to protect human rights of people with mental health issues, and substance abuse disorders;
  5. Support the development of national capacity in countries of the subregion for collecting and disseminating updated scientific information; stimulate the development of national information systems;
  6. Support the Special Initiative for Mental Health in Paraguay to implement its objectives and plan of action in order to advance the process of mental health reform in the country;
  7. Coordinate subregional activities of mental health studies and projects to collect information on mental health substance use systems;
  8. Develop national capacity in countries of the subregion for developing programs meeting the specific mental health needs of vulnerable populations;
  9. Promote and coordinate activities in the subregion for developing mental health/substance use training of human resources, and the development of research projects on mental health, particularly health services;
  10. Collaborate in the Organization’s inter-programmatic activities in priority areas related to mental health;
  11. Promote the mobilization of national and international resources in support of the programs and/or projects in the subregion;
  12. Collaborate in the formulation and implementation of technical cooperation projects at the national and sub regional levels, including the exchange of experiences among the different countries of the Region;
  13. Cooperate with WHO, PAHO field Offices, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers, international cooperation agencies, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders, in order to develop alliances and networks that favor access to quality Mental Health Care, particularly for those most in need;
  14. Participate in team-based project development, execution and evaluation of the program of work and the preparation of the biennial work plan (BWP), related budgets and work plans, progress reports, periodic analytical reports to donors;
  15. Foster networking and cross-fertilization among the subregion; identify and promote potential or actual subregional capacities and opportunities for cooperation among subregions and among the Member States of the subregional processes/entities and their institutions, including Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC), South-South Cooperation (SSC), and Triangular Cooperation (TrC), liaising with CSC, technical entities, development partners, and others as necessary;
  16. When upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  17. Perform other related duties, as assigned.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Education: Essential: A university degree in a health-related profession with a specialization in psychiatry/mental health and a master’s degree in mental health, public health or related field from a recognized institution.

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.

Experience: Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in the planning, management and implementation of mental health services and programs. Experience should include mental Health Policy formulation and implementation, restructuring of mental health services and health management with a particular focus on mental health and substance use.

SKILLS: PAHO Competencies:
  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others - Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
  • Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Listen/Write effectively/Share knowledge - Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly. Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views. Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment: Provide direction - Manages individual and group projects and ensures that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clearly defined, understood and accepted; delegates work appropriately to achieve best results.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results - Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learnt for own and team’s benefit.
  • Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - Sets specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives for own team and/or the Organization; systematically analyses and anticipates priority projects for own team and allocates necessary resources to achieve them; identifies the cross-Organizational resources needed for large- scale projects in line with key Organizational objectives. Anticipates foreseeable changes and adapts own and team’s projects in the face of unforeseen circumstances and/ or challenges; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond: Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration - Builds and negotiates strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of key stakeholders to ensure Organizational results and success. Creates innovative opportunities for promoting synergies inside and outside the Organization to improve Organizational success.
Technical Expertise:
  • Expertise in the area of mental Health Programs and substance use policy development and issues related to the implementation of mental health and substance use community services and programs.
  • Technical expertise in the area Health Promotion, local participatory planning and evaluation methodologies, especially working with multiple sectors, and government, community and academic institutions.
  • Extensive technical expertise of public health aspects of mental health and substance abuse.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multicultural, multilingual and multi-disciplinary settings; leadership and team-building capabilities.
  • Knowledge of international and bilateral organizations, specifically for mobilization of resources; and skills in leading multicountry project activities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy and tact to effectively communicate with senior level officials, multiple stakeholders and professionals from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • 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.
Languages: Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills: Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio and Project would be an asset.

REMUNERATION Annual Salary: (Net of taxes) US$74,913.00 post adjustment Post Adjustment: 49.6% 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

A written test may be used as a form of screening.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit: PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

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