United Nations University (UNU)

UNU Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Job description

About United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States. For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe. For more information, please visit (link)

About Institute (UNU-IIGH)

UNU-International Institute for Global Health is one of 13 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IIGH was established in 2005 with the mission to advance evidence-based policy on key issues related to sustainable development and global health. UNU-IIGH aims to build knowledge and capacity for decision-making by UN agencies, UN programmes and the Member States towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Leveraging its position within the UN, UNU-IIGH works with a network of academic, policy and civil society experts to serve as a platform for critical thinking and the exchange of knowledge and tools for policy influence and consensus-building. Its goal of UNU-IIGH is to advance equitable and evidence-based policymaking on crucial issues related to sustainable development and public health, through three pillars of work: 1) translating evidence into policy,

2) generating policy-relevant analysis related to gender and health, and

3) strengthening capacity for local decision-making.

The current work of the Institute includes conducting research, promoting policy change and facilitating policy implementation around a number of global health topics including gender and health; decolonisation and global health governance; health systems policy; implementation research in health; digital health; communicable disease control; and the commercial determinants of infant and young child feeding; and health equity.

Role and Responsibilities of this position


The successful applicant will be responsible for managing a multi-country programme of work in five Sub-Saharan African countries: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique. The programme will be delivered with and through a core partner organisation in each country as follows:

  • Senegal West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO)
  • Burkina Faso West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO)
  • Uganda School of Public Health, Makerere University
  • Tanzania – Ifakara Health Institute
  • Mozambique – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane

The aim of the programme is to promote and produce maternal, newborn, sexual and reproductive health (MNSRH) policy improvement through a model of external assistance that is: a) nationally led and considerate of the need to strengthen local research and policy-making systems and institutions; b) positively synergistic with other externally-driven initiatives, and c) committed to prioritising equity in terms of both processes and outcomes.


1) Partnership management

A key responsibiity is managing and optimizing a variety of relationships involving UNU-IIGH, and the core partners organizations and policy stakeholders in each country. This will include:

  • Helping to manage and nurture the relationship between UNU-IIGH and each of its core partners
  • Strengthening and help sustain effective relationships between the programme and government policy-makers
  • Enabling effective relationships between the programme and other key stakeholders

2) Development and implementation of programme methods and work plans

The programme lead will also be involved in the development of methods to assess and analyse the MNSRH policies, programmes and needs in each country and support country partners to develop and implement their workplans for making policy improvements.

3) Evaluation

The programme lead will be primarily responsible for helping to develop, lead and implement an evaluation of the programme and produce country case studies of the efforts to improve MNSRH policy.


Education and certification

  • Minimum qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Public Health, Public Policy, or related field

Work Experience

  • At least 7 years of work experience in public health or public policy or development or health systems strengthening, including experience of work with government policy makers

  • Experience of project management and leadership
  • At least 5 years of work experience in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Track record of being able to work independently with little supervision
  • Track record of build positive working relationships with and between multiple stakeholders
  • Track record of first-author publications


  • Team player with skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Ability and willingness to adhere to the standards of conduct as expected by the UN


  • The programme lead would need to be based in Sub-Saharan Africa, ideally in one of the five countries listed above


  • Bilingual language skills are a requirement, with fluency in English combined with an ability to work in French; or vice versa.


The successful candidate will be employed under a PSA contract. UNU will provide a monthly salary of up to USD 6,203.00 commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days of annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment for a duration of 18 months.

Expected start date: As soon as possible How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • include a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information. Application Deadline: 14 August 2022 Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special notice

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU.

Tags: burkina faso, child feeding, conflict prevention, disease control, global health, health equity, health systems, health systems strengthening, project management, reproductive health, standards of conduct, sustainable development, west africa