World Health Organization (WHO)

Roster for Who Representative

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

  As the designated representative of the Director General and under the guidance of the Regional Director, the WHO Representative (WR) is the senior-most WHO staff member at the country-level. The WR acts as a leader, diplomat and advocate to advance the health agenda in full alignment with national policies and priorities of the General Programmed of Work (GPW13) and 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development. She/he effectively manages WHO’s country level planning, resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of results.

The WR serves as a credible, trusted, effective, influential and accountable leader in health at the country level; working across different sectors and at all levels of government, the UNCT (United Nations Country Team), other partners, nonstate actors, civil society and communities. Supported by all levels of the Secretariat, the WR delivers excellence in her/his various policy, technical, political, diplomatic, managerial and advocacy roles.

Objectives of the Programme and the immediate Strategic Objectives

As the only Member State Organization in global health, WHO’s technical cooperation and engagement with governments, partners and communities at country level is central to the achievement of the Organizations’ overarching goal; the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Through the General Programme of Work (GPW13), WHO is embarking on an ambitious process that is not just about transforming WHO but about transforming global health and ultimately human lives in the SDG context. GPW 13 is based firmly on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reiterates the call for action by all countries to cooperate to end all forms of poverty, ill health, fight inequalities and tackle Climate Change while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The GPW13 is structured around three interconnected strategic priorities to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages:
  • achieving universal health coverage: 1 billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage
  • addressing health emergencies: 1 billion more people better protected from health emergencies and
  • promoting healthier populations: 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being
The “triple billion” goal requires a need for both Collective Action and accountability, as well as for demonstrating the contribution made to outcomes and impact.

WHO’s offices in 152 countries, territories and areas, are the Organization’s main platform for delivering WHO's technical cooperation in countries. The offices are uniquely positioned to provide leadership on public health matters to Member States and convene partners to address essential health needs and strategic priorities in line with the SDGs.

Nature of WHO support to countries

  1. Policy dialogue - effectively support and advocate for policy actions in line with national and global priorities. The focus and topics of this policy dialogue will vary depending on the maturity of the national health system and other relevant country profile data.
  2. Strategic support – aimed at strengthening the health system to maximize robustness and performance in terms of health results, equity and financial sustainability. This includes provision of expert advice on various aspects of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) including social and economic health determinants.
  3. Technical assistance - tailored to country needs, working with the Government and other partners to identify, respond to and overcome bottlenecks, attract sufficient financing and build more robust institutions over time.
  4. Service delivery Coordination – provided in States and settings characterized by fragility, vulnerability or the existence of large-scale conflict. This involves coordination of the health cluster including the international and national partners providing direct provision of services and supplies. WHO may, exceptionally and for short periods, have to serve as provider of last resort in coordination with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian actors.

Summary of duties

The WR’s duties can be categorized under 3 main areas: 1. Strategic health leadership, diplomacy and advocacy
  • Promotes and strengthens the steering/governance role and essential public health functions of the government, in its efforts to ensure UHC and healthy equity
  • Negotiates with and advises the government, advocates for health and promotes ’Health in All Policies’ and whole-of-society approach by a) empowering MoH with evidence and b) engaging heads of state, parliamentarians, all relevant ministries across various levels of governments, bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies, the UN system, non-governmental organizations and other partners
  • Provides health authorities with evidence-based impartial advice and updates on global health evolutions, including the implications for national health programmes
  • Provides Technical Support and builds consensus through evidence and science to the development of cost-effective national health policies, strategies and plans, including risk assessment and response to humanitarian disasters and public health emergencies
  • Convenes partners/stakeholders, civil society, communities and the private sector, on complex health agendas including during public health emergencies
  • Identifies priorities for action, leads the development and/or renewal of the WHO country cooperation strategy (CCS)
  • Promotes development cooperation effectiveness amongst health development partners under the leadership of the MoH and in line with the principles of national ownership, harmonization, alignment and mutual accountability
  • Promotes horizontal, south-south and/or triangular cooperation for health development and innovation for strategic advancement of country’s priorities through exchange of resources, technology, experience and knowledge with other Member States
  • Leads on health within the UNCT under the overall coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and ensures that the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UN SDCF) or equivalent includes a health component that is in line with national, regional and global health priorities and with the CCS
  • Follows-up with national authorities on governing bodies' resolutions and strengthens the capacity of the Member State to contribute to regional and global health priorities and WHO’s work under the GPW -
  • Engages with the diplomatic corps and donor community to sensitize them on health agendas
2. Coordination of demand- and results-driven technical assistance
  • Supports the country/territory/area to adapt and adopt norms, standards and technical guidelines for implementation and facilitates the formulation and translation of evidence-based policies into action plans
  • Identifies areas requiring technical cooperation and institutional strengthening, and leads the provision and brokering of the required technical support, in coordination with regional and Headquarters technical units
  • Supports the government to host and participates actively in the Health/Development Partners Coordination platform as well as in other coordination mechanisms as relevant such as the Interagency Coordinating Committee and Country Coordination Mechanism, etc.
  • Coordinates health actors in response to public health emergencies, ensuring as health cluster lead, the implementation of the country health cluster in emergency situations requiring an international humanitarian health response
  • Provides guidance and technical cooperation in countries affected by chronic crisis or in early recovery and transition on issues related to sustainable measures for addressing health needs
  • Supports efforts to strengthen national capacity to comply with global agreements and covenants
  • Supports efforts to strengthen national capacity to collect, analyze, disseminate and use national data for monitoring the health situation, trend assessment and reporting on GPW impact framework and SDGs and their targets
  • Where appropriate, mobilizes resources for health including domestic resources, and/ or strengthens national capacity for resource mobilization
  • Leads the WHO office team, and promotes teamwork within the office, across the Secretariat and within the UNCT in close collaboration with the UNRC; and collaboration and partnership with international financial institutions, academy, civil society and communities to ensure coordinated technical cooperation that drives impact
3. Operational management and accountability
  • Gathers country intelligence to keep senior management abreast of pertinent developments
  • Ensures the optimal use of WHO financial, technical, logistic and human resources in full compliance with WHO procedures, rules and regulations
  • Coordinates, develops and monitors the WHO office biennial work plan including budget, activities and human resources plan
  • Ensures full transparency and accountability for the implementation and reporting of work plans, according to the result-based management framework of the organization, the Internal Control Framework and compliance and risk management best practices
  • Takes responsibility for overall planning, monitoring and reporting on results at the country level and WHO’s contribution in country in line with the GPW framework
  • Manages WHO country communications and publications, including web-based, social media and local press releases to ensure the optimization of WHO’s visibility and reputation in country
  • Oversees local recruitment of staff and participates in the recruitment of international staff
  • Oversees all office staff performance management and professional development to ensure a skilled and competent workforce
  • Undertakes all measures to ensure an ethical and conducive work environment for staff, free from all forms of harassment.
  • Undertakes all measures to ensure the safety and security of all WHO staff and dependents under the UN security accountability framework
4. Performs all other related duties as assigned.


  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment
  • Promoting the Organizations position in health leadership
  • Driving the Organization to a successful future

Functional Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to provide high level political leadership, advocacy and policy dialogue on health-related SDGs (political acumen)
  • Knowledge of WHO and/or UN System strategies, policies and programmes
  • Broad technical knowledge on public health
  • Strong knowledge and skills in engaging with UN Country Teams and UN Resident Coordinators to advance a health agenda through UN SDCF within national SDGs framework
  • Excellent spoken, written communication and diplomacy skills;
  • Proven skills in programme planning and human resources management
  • Proven inter-personal skills to work with tact and diplomacy in a diverse/multi-cultural context

Use of language skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English Desirable: A working level knowledge of another official language of the Organization.

Education Qualifications

Essential: A first university degree in health-related or social sciences with an advanced university degree in public health, epidemiology, health Administration, health policy or health economics.


Essential: A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience for recruitment at P5 level and 15 years for recruitment at D1/D2 level including:
  • Demonstrated experience in political acumen
  • Senior level management of large or complex health programmes and/or health systems and/or coordination of demand driven technical support with a track record of delivering health impacts;
  • Work at both national and international levels with WHO, other UN agencies or other development organizations
  • Diplomacy and policy dialogue on UHC, promotion of healthy life through multisectoral approach, health related SDGs etc.
  • Cross-sector work with a range of stakeholders, including community in health programme delivery or policy development
  • Convening/ negotiating complex issues with partners/ stakeholders, including international financial institutions, academy, civil society, communities, and private sector
  • Building strategic partnerships, managing resource mobilization and grant management
  • Effective management of teams and people
  • Planning and management of work plans, budgets and systems and processes for monitoring and reporting result
  • Experience in effective and proactive engagement with UN Country Teams and UN Resident Coordinators to advance a health agenda through UN SDCF within national SDGs framework
  • Experience in humanitarian health response in emergency settings
  • Experience in advancing universal health coverage considered an asset


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position(s) comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 89,837 (P5); USD 102,715 (D1); and USD 113,621 (D2) (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.

Additional Information

  • Candidates who are already on the Roster need not apply.
  • Successful candidates will normally be expected to be available for a minimum of five years before mandatory retirement age.
  • Special selection procedures will apply.
  • It is mandatory to submit a covering letter with your application.
  • Successful candidates will be added to the roster from which individual WR vacancies will be filled.
  • Candidates for the post of internationally recruited WR in Country, Territory or Area will be considered only if they have successfully completed a formal assessment.
  • 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.
  • 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: 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 women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
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