Advisor (Water and Sanitation)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Bogota, Colombia 🇨🇴

The Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis Department (CHA) promotes, coordinates, and implements technical cooperation activities directed toward the surveillance, prevention, control, and elimination of communicable diseases and zoonoses that are technically sound and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented.  It strives to achieve a sustainable impact on health by providing normative guidance, furthering the implementation of evidence based interventions, and fostering alliances that strengthen country capacity, improve the effectiveness of inter-country collaboration, and facilitate policy and decision making processes through improved health information coverage, analysis and quality at all levels. 
Under the direct supervision of the PAHO/WHO Representative, and the technical guidance of the Director, Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis (CHA), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:
  1. Provide technical cooperation to the Ministry of Health and other national health authorities to ensure access to safe water and sanitation facilities by the population; propose, monitor and evaluate technologies and strategies for their effective implementation;
  2. Provide technical cooperation in the design and implementation of Water Safety Plans (WSPs) and Sanitation Safety Plans (SSPs), as well as relevant monitoring and evaluation of initiatives;
  3. Cooperate with government agencies in the development, improvement and promotion of Water Quality Surveillance Systems, fostering the linkages between water quality data and epidemiological data;
  4. Advise and collaborate in the planning, development and monitoring of plans, programs and projects related to water supply and sanitation: master plans of water and sewage systems, risks assessments, contingency plans for droughts and flooding, prevention measures for neglected tropical diseases (malaria, LF, dengue), by promoting health and hygiene promotion strategies, programs, plans and activities;
  5. Advise and coordinate  wash-related response to waterborne disease outbreaks and natural disasters, in collaboration with health response to emergencies;
  6. Provide technical advice, follow-up and support to activities related to social and environmental determinants of health, including the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the conclusions of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and PAHO Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas;
  7. Provide technical cooperation in the planning, development and monitoring of health promotion programs and projects for healthy settings, including healthy cities, applying health promotion and local development strategies, concepts and techniques;
  8. Provide technical cooperation for the strengthening of national institutions involved in sustainable development and social and environmental health; advise and collaborate in evaluating and solving environmental and consumer protection issues due to urbanization, industrialization and agricultural activities; guide the formulation of relevant policies, plans and programs; develop and maintain the coordination of technical cooperation with national and international agencies;
  9. Support the development of tools and methodologies to help promote health in all policies and mainstreaming of sustainable development in health throughout governmental institutions; support the development and functioning of networks of institutions, organizations and individuals in the area of health promotion and prevention;
  10. Support the establishment of programs related to the regulation and control of toxic substances and hazardous waste that present risks to health and the environment, including those produced in hospitals and other health facilities, with a special focus on air pollution;
  11. Advise, promote, and coordinate worker’s health programs with public and private organizations to determine occupational risk, and foster the extension of occupational health services to un-served populations;
  12. Advise and collaborate in the establishment of programs related to the regulation and control of toxic substances and hazardous wastes that present risks to health and the environment, including those produced in hospitals and other health care centers;
  13. Systematize, document and disseminate the successful experiences, preferably those at the local level, implemented for the development and continuous improvement of the services of promotion and prevention of environmental diseases.
  14. Promote knowledge management activities in the areas of responsibility, using all the available means for the dissemination of relevant evidence-based and scientific information.
  15. Promote inter-programmatic and decentralized work at the different levels of the Organization in order to achieve the maximum of efficiency and effectiveness;
  16. Mobilize national and international resources to support the implementation of programs under areas of responsibility; represent the Organization in technical meetings, seminars, congresses and academic events in the area of sustainable development and environmental health.
  17. Promote and advise national authorities on the evaluation and solution of environmental pollution problems due to urbanization, industrialization and agricultural activities with special attention to biological and chemical pollution, as well as in the formulation of plans and programs for their prevention and control;
  18. Collaborate in the preparation of the Representation’s Biennial Work Plan (BWP) and the execution of international cooperation, including the analysis of political, technical and socioeconomic realities.
  19. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities.
  20. Perform other related duties, as assigned.
Essential: A university degree in a health, sanitary engineering, social or environmental science and a master’s degree in public health, environmental health,  or a related field from a recognized institution.
Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in technical cooperation in institutions concerned with public health management, including health promotion, environmental health and related activities.
PAHO Competencies:
  • Intrainstitutional Action: Leads team efforts toward full understanding of the policies the organization must operate within as well as the Standard of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Leads employees and co-workers toward operating in a fair, consistent and equitable manner, and displays such behavior by example. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.
  • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting: After analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge, leads one’s area of responsibility toward individual and collective actions.  Encourages the importance of continual analysis. Verifies and promotes that action is taken in situations that will require future intervention, based on ongoing analysis.     Leads others in decisions needed to implement required actions. Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one and two years ahead.
  • Information Management: Processes and analyzes the data objectively, presenting it clearly and equitably. Leads the effort to acquire relevant and selected information that facilitates the achievement of organizational results.  Evaluates/leads the evaluation of information systems on the basis of its advantages/disadvantages for processing information relevant to the area of work.
  • Teamwork: Embraces and leads consensual decision-making,  that is, leading  the fulfillment of team decisions, even when they may not fully coincide with one’s own opinions or proposals. Knows how to manage difficult team situations and promotes consensus building. Takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.
  • Devising the budget for interventions and cost optimization: Demonstrates initiative and managerial capacity in obtaining alternative sources of financing and in mobilizing extrabudgetary resources for interventions. Acquires adequate funding, based upon the resources allocated in intervention plans.
  • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions: Selects priority ideas for executing the interventions after anticipating their potential problems and solutions. Participates in the preparation of strategic plans, providing input about their impact, quality, critical points, and risks.
  • Leadership: Uses complex strategies to promote team morale and productivity. Obtains needed personnel, resources and information for the team. Makes sure the practical needs of the team are met.
  • Resource mobilization: Works in an objective manner to obtain and apportion resources (financial and non-financial) according to need. Supports and advises technical areas to enable best use of resources are aligned with the mission and vision of the Organization. Is able to work in a multicultural environment. Is flexible and has the ability to work well under pressure.  Is able to give feedback to partners within and outside the organization about the use of the resources and the results acquired.
Technical Expertise:
  • Technical expertise in the area of sustainable development and environmental health, including technical cooperation in projects related to basic sanitation, and activities for sustainable development, management or evaluation of environmental health programs and health promotion in developing countries.
  • Technical cooperation expertise in local and social development programs including those involving more than one country.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of the social and environmental aspects of the primary health care, health promotion and social participation.
  • Knowledge and skills in the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria for evaluating program interventions.
  • Managerial 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 for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.
Very good knowledge of Spanish or English with a 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 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.