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Consultant (Review Mental Health Act for Zimbabwe)
World Health Organization (WHO)
AF_ZWE Zimbabwe
Job Expired 21 Mar 2023
Posted 2 weeks ago
Job Description


  1. Purpose of the Consultancy

The purpose of this engagement is to provide technical support to review, update, operationalise, and implement the Mental Health Act of 1996 (roadmap, program, action plan for the operationalisation).

  1. Background

Mental health conditions contribute to poor health outcomes particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where the largest treatment gap exists. Mental health conditions are responsible for premature death human rights violations, global, and national economic loss. Mental health has been identified as an area for accelerated implementation in WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13). One of the five priorities of the Zimbabwe Mental Health Strategic Plan (2019- 2023)  is to “Improve Quality of Patient Care and Service delivery” 

There remains much to be done to ensure all people achieve the highest standard of mental health and well-being. While Zimbabwe's mental health care system has several strengths in terms of availability of mental health treatment in psychiatric hospitals, the services that are offered are governed by outdated legislation.


Zimbabwe has many legislations that specifically inform the mental healthcare system. The government of Zimbabwe established the Mental Health Act of 1996 and Regulations of 1999 (Health Statistics and Information Systems & World Health Organization, 2015). The Act includes protocols for managing patients who require treatment against their will (Health Statistics and Information Systems & World Health Organization, 2015). It is important to note that these laws have not been revised since 1996 and 1999, respectively (Health Statistics and Information Systems & World Health Organization, 2015).


It is against this backdrop that MOHCC with support from WHO and partners, will review the Mental Health Act, aligning with international standards and UN conventions on human rights and the extended MHAP 2013-2030, advancing promotive, preventative, recovery, and rehabilitative approaches that attend to the life course mental health needs of Zimbabweans.



  1. Scope of work

      In alignment with the national mental health strategic plan and under the overall guidance of the WHO Representatve in                         Zimbabwe, the consultant will work closely with local experts, WHO technical team, ministry of health and other partners in NCDs         and mental health to:

  1. Review the existing National mental health act with the aim of establishing its relevance to current mental health best practices
  2. Review of public health related legal instruments with the view of determining their relationship with the envisaged mental health act
  3. Consider existing mental health laws in developing the inception report.
  4. Undertake consultations with all stakeholders through meetings, workshops and other appropriate fora as agreed, on the relationship between related public health instruments with mental health act
  5. Develop the principles to the Bill in alignment with international law e.g. conventions and treaties
  6. draft mental health bill with particular focus on institutional reforms, harmonization, coordination, and mental health governance.
  7.  Perform any other related work as asigned by the WHO  technical team
  1. Concrete deliverables
  • Inception Report
  • Principles to the mental health bill
  • Mental health bill
  • Reports on the process and engagements
  1. Technical supervision
  1. The WHO Representative
  2. UCN Team Lead
  1. Recruitment profile
  1. Functional Knowledge
  1. Sound technical knowledge on mental health legislations
  2. Technical competence in the field of mental health matters
  3. Technical  writing  skills,  good  facilitation  skills,  knowledgeable  in  basic  computer  programs, efficient organizational and management skills
  1. Language:
    1. Fluency in written and spoken English
    2. Another UN language would be an added advantage
  1. Education qualification:

Essential: A Masters degree in Law, mental health, or related field  from a recognized university.

      Desired: PhD will be an added advantage

  1. Experience required
    • Minimum of five(5) years relevant work experience in public law and/or health practice
    • Familiar with the health system and community system in Zimbabwe
    • Experience working with the corporate world, UN system or other global/international
    • The consultant should have proven record of similar assignment with reputable institutions.
  1. Skills and competencies
  1. Proven knowledge and skills in data collection, literature review etc.
  2. Strong organizational and communication skills including ability to negotiate with national authorities and international partners.
  3. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues at national and international levels.
  4. Strong ability to execute and manage national health programme.
  5. Good computer skills in Microsoft Office, SPSS etc.


  1. Place of assignment:

      Incumbent will be based in Harare at the WHO Country Office with travel to the provinces and districts of the country as required.


Additional Information:

This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

A written test may be used as a form of screening.

If your candidature is retained for 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.

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.

Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.

WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice -

Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.

WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.

WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.

WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.





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