Unit Head (Monitoring Nutritional status and Food safety events)
World Health Organization (WHO)
HQ/NFS Nutrition and Food Safety
Close on 7 Oct 2020
Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
Grade: P5, Chief and Senior Professional
H Hardship
Apply Now
Added 1 week ago
Job Description


The Nutrition and Food Safety (NFS) Department is addressing the burden of disease from physical, chemical and microbial hazards in food and unhealthy diets, maternal and child malnutrition, overweight and obesity. The Department aims to ensure universal access to safe, sufficient nutritious food and effective nutrition actions, through setting science-based international food standards, promoting nutrition action in health systems, fostering sustainable food production and consumption, improving food environments and empowering consumers in all situations, monitoring nutrition status, and managing food safety events at the international level, closely working with Member States, UN partner agencies and non-State actors. The Monitoring Nutritional status and Food safety events (MNF) Unit defines indicators and nutrition surveillance systems, hosts and maintains nutrition databases, monitors nutrition trends and measures the impact of country food and nutrition policies. The Unit manages INFOSAN and collaborates with WHE for the management of major food safety events including Public Health Emergencies of International Concern



Generic duties:

  • Provide technical leadership, coordination and managerial support within the Department/Programme, in the Unit of Monitoring of Nutrition Status and Food Safety Events, ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively;
  • Develop and propose policies and strategies for implementation through collaboration with Regional and Country Offices, provides advice in developing systems to monitor nutritional status, food consumption and food safety events;
  • Manage the programme area in delivering its objectives through efficient management of a small team of technical staff, financial resources and effective work planning to optimize the programme's deliverables in line with the mandate of the Organization;
  • Lead and conducts research on best practices in implementing programmes and activities and dissemination of information for capacity building in the respective area of work;
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the subject area of work of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Programme deliverables;
  • Serve as the technical reference among the peer community, UN Agencies and other stakeholders at the technical levels in the respective area of expertise;
  • Liaise with and utilizes partnerships in other UN Agencies, Donor, or research institutions in the monitoring of nutrition status and food safety events to position the technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies;
  • Represent the programme area of work at various meetings to advocate for monitoring of nutrition status, food consumption and food safety events;
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.

Specific duties:

  • Define indicators, cut-off points and data collection methods for food and nutrition;
  • Support the establishment of national information systems on food, nutrition and foodborne disease;
  • Host and maintain nutrition databases;
  • Monitor trends on food and nutrition indicators and elaborates periodic reports;
  • Establishe food and nutrition data partnerships;
  • Manage INFOSAN.




Essential: An advanced university degree in epidemiology, statistics, public health, food science, medical science or related field related to the functions of the position.

Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.




  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the management of food safety or food and nutrition programs, including experience in the area of health policies and strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience managing human and financial resources.
  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.

Desirable: Epidemiology of foodborne disease, diet related diseases and nutritional status



  • Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.
  • Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.
  • Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
  • Good skills in mobilizing resources.
  • Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Ministries of Health, Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.
  • Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.
  • Strong skills in data analysis and interpretation.
  • Good skills in the establishment of monitoring systems

WHO Competencies

  1. Teamwork
  2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  3. Communication
  4. Ensuring the effective use of resources
  5. Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  6. Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French


Other Skills

Strong presentation skills. Good skills in office packages, and ERP based systems



WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 88,162 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 6509 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.



  • 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: http://www.whed.net/. 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.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit: http://www.who.int.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • 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: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. 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.


About WHO

We are building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.

Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.

Together we strive to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.

We help mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. We ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.

Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system.

Our main areas of work are health systems; health through the life-course; noncommunicable and communicable diseases; preparedness, surveillance and response; and corporate services.