UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full-time position within the Republic of Congo at Brazzaville.

The Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer position will be within UNHCR’s Program Section with a functional line to the UNHCR public health section at the regional Bureau and HQ,

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

  • Title: Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer
  • Duty Station: Brazzaville
  • Duration: One year (Renewable
  • Contract Type: UNOPS IICA-1 (equivalent to P2)
  • Closing date: 04 July 2022
  • Start date: 20 July 2022 (tentative date subject to recruitment process)

Organizational context

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

The UNHCR Operation in the Republic of the Congo was established in 1982, operates from three locations: CO Brazzaville, FO Bétou, and FO Gamboma supporting the protection needs of refugees (protracted situation and L1 emergency), IDPs, host communities, and people at risk of statelessness. The majority of refugees/asylum seekers come from CAR (47%) and from the DRC (38%) and 47% of the 62,821 refugees in RoC are located in the northern part of the country under the FO Bétou. UNHCR is in parallel leading the response to the CAR Situation in the North with an influx of 8,000 individuals having arrived in 2021 following the post-electoral violence in CAR.

UNHCR works at the crossroads of emergency response, protracted situations, and development within the framework of the Global Compact for Refugees. In 2017, the Government committed to promote the socio-economic inclusion of refugees and to enhance basic social services delivery to their host communities and has since shown interesting results. In this context, UNHCR strongly seeks to enhance partnerships with government, humanitarian actors, development partners and the private sector, to continue strengthening the inclusion of refugees into national systems and their access to solutions.

The Likouala Department, the northernmost department of the Republic of Congo, is located near the borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. Of the 40,838 refugees residing in the Congo as a whole, 77 percent (31,404) are located in Likouala. In 2021, over 8,000 additional refugees arrived in the region, having fled post-electoral violence in the Central African Republic. Likouala also hosts 23,590 internally displaced persons and 1,708 asylum seekers. The vast majority of the department’s persons of concern are to be found in and around Bétou.

Likouala is relatively isolated and difficult to access, while high levels of poverty and vulnerability are observed among all populations. Basic social services infrastructure is lacking.

The position

The Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer is a member of a Multifunctional team and will ensure that UNHCR’s public health and nutrition programs meet minimum UNHCR and global health standards in order to minimize avoidable morbidity and mortality among populations of concern (POC) and towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The incumbent provides strong and timely technical guidance to UNHCR senior management and partners including on the design and scope of UNHCR responses in health and nutrition, catalyzes the engagement of other actors, supports resource mobilization efforts, and monitors the response. S/he has close contacts with internal and external stakeholders such as government counterparts, UN Agencies and embassies/donors.

The Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer should also ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, LGBTI persons, and persons with disabilities, including people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR’s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.

Public Health programs include primary health care, secondary health care, community health, reproductive health (including HIV), nutrition, MHPSS and health information systems. In addition, the Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer is expected to be conversant with reproductive health and MHPSS programming and ensure that minimum standards are met. The Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer will work with the direct supervision of the Programme Officer at the country office in Brazzaville to support operational collaboration and joint programming with WHO, UNIICEF and WFP on all health related issues such as nutrition and food security.

The Associate Public Health & Nutrition Officer is supervised by the Program Officer. The incumbent has a functional line with the Public Health Section regarding authoritative guidance and support in technical matters hence is expected to maintain regular contact with the Senior Public Health Officer of RBSA and the PHS in HQ.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

Duties and responsibilities

Coordination, Leadership and Partnership

  • Coordinate public health, reproductive health, nutrition and HIV activities in support of the government’s responses and in conjunction with other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other partners, including development actors to ensure the delivery of public health and nutrition services to beneficiaries meet UNHCR and /or nationally recognized and most up-to-date standards and policies.
  • Support the operation to define the level and scope of UNHCR’s involvement in public health and nutrition responses in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations and beyond.
  • Support the operations engagement in the public health-related aspects of contributions of major donors to refugee responses, including the World Bank, taking part in assessments, design of projects, monitoring and evaluation.
  • In line with the Global Compact on Refugees work with governments, humanitarian and development partners to ensure a whole-of-government (i.e. relevant national and local authorities for health and nutrition response) multi-stakeholder approach and planning to harness the comparative advantages of different partners to meet the health needs of POC.
  • Represent UNHCR in public health coordination and other meetings including relevant inter-sectoral groups such as Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for MHPSS and nutrition, reproductive health, and community health, among others.
  • Engage in relevant partnership fora, including in line with UNHCR’s role as a UNAIDS co-sponsor of the Joint Programme on AIDS and co-lead with WFP of the Division of Labour area of HIV in Humanitarian Settings.
  • Support operational collaboration with WFP including the implementation of Joint Assessment Missions and corresponding Joint Plans of Action in line with global commitments on targeting of assistance to meet basic needs and data sharing to support assistance distribution (in collaboration with programme and protection colleagues).
  • Support robust and timely emergency responses to new refugee influxes or disease outbreaks or other public health-related emergencies in line with UNHCR’s Public Health Emergency Toolkit, Emergency Handbook and the SPHERE Handbook.
  • Strategic planning and development
  • Contribute to development and/or implementation and monitoring of UNHCR’s Strategic Plan for Public Health and adaptation at country level.
  • Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for refugees, returnees and other POC’s access to local public health, reproductive health (RH) and HIV, MHPSS, nutrition (including food assistance where relevant) and water and sanitation services and lobby for inclusion of refugees, returnees and other POC as a specific group in government policies and plans related to health, RH and HIV as well as major donor programmes such as the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria.
  • Provide guidance and make recommendations on the overall strategy and focus of public health and nutrition programmes within the Area of Responsibility (AOR), including ensuring public health strategic approaches are developed in a multi-sectoral and coordinated manner in co-operation with government, UN agencies, NGOs and other humanitarian partners with due consideration to the approaches outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG3.
  • Provide up-to-date assessment and identification of needs for public health strategies, recognize and support the contributions of governments and other actors align with and support national health system as much as possible; include curative, preventive, promotive, rehabilitative and palliative care; recognize the different approaches required for the stage of the humanitarian response (preparedness, emergency, stabilization and longer-term inclusion) as well as for settlement or camp-based POC and those in urban or non-camp situations.
  • Contribute to public health strategies addressing known gaps in health and nutrition programming based on country/field-specific needs assessments with due consideration to neonatal and maternal health care, TB, HIV and viral hepatitis, non-communicable diseases including mental health, palliative care, health services for LGBTI individuals, health and protection services for persons selling sex and programming for persons with disabilities including access to assistive technologies and appropriate associated services, adolescents and the elderly.
  • Support the development and monitoring of country-specific medium to long term inclusion plans in support of the Ministry of Health and other relevant Ministries (e.g. Social Welfare) and in partnership with development and other actors.
  • Work with stakeholders, including Ministries of Health, UN agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, POC and other relevant partners in the development of public health preparedness and response plans associated with refugee movements (including in repatriation programmes).
  • Maintain and update contingency/ preparedness and response plans within the AOR for potential public health events including disease outbreaks and public health aspects of refugee and returnee movements.

Technical integrity and risk mitigation

  • Update and disseminate standard practices on public health, MHPSS, nutrition, HIV and reproductive health among partners.
  • Support the prioritization of primary health care (including preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care)
  • Ensure, in close coordination with other humanitarian actors, that health care services provided to POC are based on Ministry of Health, UNHCR and/or internationally recognized and most up-to-date standards and policies.
  • Establish and/or adapt UNHCR internal operating procedures including the public health strategies, medical referral SOPs and databases, and health data systems to ensure they are in line with UNHCR and/or international standards and improve the efficiency of programme activities; this further includes – but is not limited to – referral health care, medicines and medical supplies procurement and management, medical resettlement and resettlement of persons with health needs, cash-based assistance for health care coverage and referral between units and inter-sectoral collaboration.
  • Monitor and support compliance with, and integrity of, all Public Health standard operating procedures in conjunction with Project Control and Programme staff and in line with delegated authorities, including flagging to senior managers when these are not in line with global guidance or not being followed.

Collaboration

  • Work closely with UNHCR programme, technical, field and protection staff to identify priority health issues and key data requirements for programme planning and monitoring to ensure that minimum UNHCR and international standards are being met.
  • Support linkages of public health to WASH programmes throughout all stages of the programme cycle including in outbreak preparedness and response, emergency responses to refugee influxes, WASH in health facilities, community health education and menstrual hygiene management.
  • Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between public health and nutrition with WASH, education, energy, environment, shelter, and protection in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.
  • Participate in the review and analysis of relevant project proposals and budgetary submissions presented by UNHCR partners within the context of the UNHCR programming cycle.
  • Ensure that project plans or proposals submitted to UNHCR for funding adhere to internationally accepted standards, and are based on a comprehensive PHC strategy, rights based and meet the needs of vulnerable persons.
  • Ensure consultation with communities seeking the diverse views of men, women, girls and boys, adolescents, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and LGBTQI in assessing needs, designing, implementing and monitoring responses in line with UNHCR’s policy on age, gender and diversity mainstreaming.
  • Ensure implementation of the UNHCR Health Information System and other relevant data collection tools including the balanced scorecard, maternal and neonatal death audits, Health Access and Utilisation Survey and other corporate tools where relevant; support the analysis, interpretation, dissemination and use of public health data.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of refugees and other POC in national surveys such as demographic and health surveys, multi-indicator cluster surveys, AIDS indicator surveys including where possible a separate sample/oversampling to include refugees thus allowing for comparisons and trend analysis over time.
  • Support national health systems to disaggregate data by refugee and nationals in key areas based on country specific needs in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Monitor public health and nutrition programmes against standard UNHCR and international indicators, to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive, cost-effective and efficient manner.
  • Support the planning, implementation, analysis, dissemination and use of nutritional surveys (Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys, SENS), health-related surveys and post-distribution monitoring exercises (in collaboration with WFP).
  • Promote applied research and programme evaluation to enable the identification of gaps in programme implementation and standards, and to further promote evidence-based activities and guidance.
  • In line with policies for Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) ensure POC have access to feedback and accountability mechanisms relating to public health and nutrition services including the collection and analysis of data on their satisfaction with regards to public health and nutrition services.
  • Prepare regular sectoral reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required by the office at country level.
  • Ensure adequate and accurate reporting, timely updates and briefings to donors and management.

Capacity Building

  • Support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to address public health, nutrition, reproductive health, HIV, MHPSS programming in a coordinated, multi-sectoral way and disseminate relevant guidelines and information materials.
  • Undertake and/or support capacity building needs assessments of UNHCR staff and partners and develop approaches to address capacity gaps including identifying internal and external training opportunities.
  • In conjunction with the Senior Public Health Officer of RBSA. Public Health Section in HQ, Global Learning and Development Centre, and external actors support the development of capacity strengthening tools and materials including webinars, e-learning materials and online learning tools and contribute to relevant communities of practices.
  • Plan, organize, facilitate and participate in workshops in conjunction with the Senior Public Health Officer of RBSA, Public Health Section in HQ, Global Learning and Development Centre and external actors.
  • Perform other related duties as required. Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

Field(s) of Education

  • Medicine, Medical Science, Medical Doctor, Nursing, Public Health or other relevant fields.

Certificates and/or Licenses

Relevant Job Experience

Essential

  • Minimum 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1-year relevant experience with Doctorate degree
  • Knowledge of public health, reproductive health, and nutrition in humanitarian situations. Exposure to UNHCR mandate, its priorities, and principles. Good communicator with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills.

Desirable

  • Additional qualifications in Nutrition and WASH and a thorough understanding of the linkages with public health and food security. Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of Public Health.

Functional Skills

  • MD-Reproductive Health
  • EL-Monitoring and Evaluation
  • PG-Programme Monitoring
  • PH- Public Health Epidemiology
  • PH-Community Health-Health Data Collection/Analysis/Interpretation
  • CO-Strategic Communication
  • UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities
  • FO-Complex field emergency operations
  • MD-HIV/AIDS situation management

Location

The successful candidate will be based with the team in Brazzaville, The Republic of Congo with possible monitoring missions in deep field (mainly to Betou & Gamboma Field Offices)

Conditions

This position is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00 am to 17:30 pm Monday to Friday.

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit https://bit.ly/3tuWYsf

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).