Colombia nationals: Specialist (Sustainable Development and Environmental Risk Factors)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Bogota, , CO

The Special Program of Sustainable Development and Health Equity (SDE) of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) represents a multidisciplinary team that, together with other technical departments and collaborating centers, leads innovative, inter-sectoral and strategic efforts to address the determinants of health, to reduce health risks and to promote healthy social and physical environments where people live, study, work and play as a substantial and essential element of Human Security for Sustainable Development and Health Equity.
Under the general supervision of the PAHO/WHO Representative, and the direct supervision of the Advisor, Water and Sanitation, the incumbent will be responsible for, but not necessarily limited, to the following assigned duties:
  1. Provide technical support and collaborate in the planning, development and monitoring of plans, programs and projects related to Sustainable Development, healthy settings and environmental risk;
  2. Provide technical, and policy contributions to local and national health and environmental authorities/partners in the preparation of short, medium and long-term policies and plans related to environmental health;
  3. Support national authorities from different sectors in the definition and in the implementation of programs aimed at the solution of environmental pollution problems due to urbanization, industrialization and agricultural activities;
  4. Support to the Ministry of Health and other partners in the analysis of the main health problems (linked to environmental risk) and to define effective control strategies linked to environmental determinants, inequities and risk factors;
  5. Support the introduction of the principles, methods, and epidemiological techniques in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of environmental health programs;
  6. Collaborate in the knowledge management process, using all the available means for the dissemination of relevant scientific information;
  7. Collaborate actively with Academic Institution, NGO´s, foundations, other partners and the PAHO/WHO Environmental Health Collaborating Centers in the framework of  FENSA(Framework of Engagement with Non-state Actors);
  8. Participate in the development and/or strengthening of sound and sustainable policies related to the environmental risks and occupational health that contribute to reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases;
  9. Collaborate in the preparation of the Representation’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP) and the execution of national technical cooperation, including the analysis of political, technical and socioeconomic realities;
  10. Identify, promote, establish, maintain and coordinate liaison across the Organization, within WHO, with other United Nations organizations in order to maximize programmatic integration, efficiency and effectiveness;
  11. Provide technical support in the strengthening of national and subnational institutions involved in sustainable development and environmental health, including the planning and development of their human resources, the implementation of appropriate technologies, the networking with peer institutions and the coordination of technical cooperation activities with other national and international agencies;
  12. Support and collaborate in the planning, development and monitoring plans, programs and projects related to basic sanitation for health: water supply, sanitation and solid waste management; paying special attention to the development of Water and Sanitation Safety Plans;
  13. Support and collaborate in the planning and development of Global Environmental changes programs like Climate Change;
  14. Support and collaborate in programs related to the regulation and control of toxic substances, and hazardous wastes that present risks to health and the environment, including mining processes;
  15. Perform other related duties as assigned.
Essential: A university degree in public health, social or environmental science, sanitary engineering or a 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.
Essential: Three years of national professional experience in technical cooperation in institutions concerned with public health or environmental health management.
PAHO Competencies:
  • Interinstitutional Action: Displays, through behavior, understanding of PAHO’s values and mission. Seeks information on and acts with understanding of the Organization’s expectations while advancing further the understanding and application of its policies. Shows interest and concern for the activities related to his/her work in conjunction with the mission, values, vision and policies of the organization. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.
  • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting:  Objectively analyzes situations and, based on evidence and knowledge, suggests actions to improve implementation. Bases one’s actions on available information, applies knowledge acquired from experience. Prioritizes the information according to one’s needs or the Organization’s. Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one to six months ahead.
  • Teamwork: Encourages team members, adds significant contribution when participating in internal and external work teams, and leads through personal example the virtues of team success–collaboration, trust, transparency and joint responsibilities. Builds and maintains mutually beneficial productive interpersonal relations based on trust, inside and outside the Organization. Keeps every team member informed as well as shares relevant and useful information.
  • Knowledge Management:  Seeks and proposes better resources to access, process, use and share information with a variety of actors in different environments.  Produces and participates in studies as well as research that meet the publication requirements of media accepted by the scientific community. 
  • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions:  Proposes priority ideas for executing interventions after anticipating their critical points, eventual risks and solutions.  Evaluates proposals for interventions before making decisions to execute them.   Lays the technical foundations for executing technical cooperation interventions following the Organization’s strategy in order to generate the expected results. 
Technical Expertise:
  • Technical expertise in the areas of Sustainable Development and environmental risks factors.
  • Ability to plan, monitor and evaluate the technical cooperation processes.
  • Knowledge and skills on the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria for evaluating program interventions.
  • Skills for the development, implementation and analysis of technical cooperation programs and activities, including budget programming and control
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents.    
Very good knowledge of Spanish with a working knowledge of English. 
IT Skills:
Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and electronic sources in research activities.  Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Project would be an asset.