Specialist, Noncommunicable Diseases

Managua, Nicaragua
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Specialist, Noncommunicable Diseases

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Application closing date: 29 March 2018 

Objective of the Office/Department

PAHO Country Offices are responsible for ensuring that the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) country program of technical cooperation and its country presence provides adequate support to the national health development process and, at the same time, enables countries to shape the sub regional, regional, and global health agendas. The PAHO/WHO Country Office is the basic organizational unit for technical cooperation with the country/ies, drawing on PAHO/WHO resources from all levels and all parts of the Organization.

This is undertaken in close coordination with the Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH) Department  which promotes, coordinates, and  implements technical cooperation activities directed at the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and related risk factors, mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders and disabilities, and promotion of optimal nutrition and road safety, that are evidence-based and appropriate for the political and sociocultural context in which they are implemented.  It raises political and public awareness and understanding of the burden of the most common non communicable diseases (NCDs) and mental disorders, related risk factors and conditions and leads multi-sector and multi-stakeholder strategic and collaborative efforts aimed at strengthening Member States’ capacity to promote and protect health through public policies, programs, and services. This will reduce risks and disease burden and contribute to improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the population.

Description of Duties

Under the direct supervision of the PAHO/WHO Representative, and the general guidance of the Director, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health (NMH), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to the following assigned duties:

  1. Advise and promote the implementation of the technical cooperation program of work for the prevention and control of  noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to strengthen national capacities to adequately respond to the burden of NCDs, including chronic kidney diseases of non-traditional causes;
  2. Provide technical advice to the Ministry of Health  and other national institutions to implement an integrated approach to the promotion of mental health and the prevention and control of NCDs including chronic kidney diseases of non-traditional causes, risk factors and determinants of health, following a multi-disciplinary and inter-programmatic approach, in coordination with the subregional, regional and global levels of the Organization;
  3. Collaborate in the development, implementation, and the evaluation of prevention programs and health services for the control of NCDs,  chronic kidney diseases of non-traditional causes and mental health, with emphasis on the strengthening of the integration, continuity and quality of the health services from different providers;
  4. Promote and support the development of relevant intersectoral networks, alliances, and multi-stakeholder partnerships needed to successfully develop, implement and evaluate non-communicable disease prevention and control programs, including mental health,   chronic kidney diseases of non-traditional causes, risk factors and determinants;
  5. Support the development of standards, guidelines, and procedures for the organization, operation and evaluation of national NCD programs; collaborate in the application of concepts, principles and methods to the planning, programming, administration and evaluation of disease surveillance, prevention and control programs, including functions related to the community level, integrated programs, local health systems, and health promotion;
  6. Cooperate in the development and strengthening of human resources, relating to disease prevention and control, especially in epidemiology, research methodologies, prevention and control programs for noncommunicable diseases; collaborate in the development of strategies for continuing education;
  7. Disseminate appropriate and relevant scientific, technical, and policy information, sharing experiences of successful practices from other countries in integrated prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases;
  8. Promote and strengthen public health research by assisting in identifying research priorities and institutions in the field of public health and promoting multi-disciplinary studies;
  9. Collaborate in the development of national systems of information and public health surveillance for noncommunicable diseases, using as appropriate standard regional and global tools; provide models and support in the use of data for decision-making regarding policies and programs for the prevention and control of chronic diseases;
  10. Mobilize resources, financial and non-financial by assisting national authorities in the preparation of project proposals and plans to appropriate national, bilateral and international agencies and by facilitating south-south and triangular cooperation for health development;
  11. Cooperate and collaborate with other projects to achieve efficient coordination of activities, systematic utilization of resources and comprehensive development of study, research and analytical capacities required for the control and prevention of NCDs;
  12. Contribute to the coordination of delivery of the Organization’s technical cooperation programs, working as part of the team of consultants assigned to the Country Office;
  13. 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;
  14. Perform other related duties, as assigned.

Required Qualifications


Essential:A university degree in a health – related discipline from a recognized institution.

Desirable: A master’s degree in public health or related field would be an asset.


Essential: Seven years of professional experience in the development and evaluation of programs for prevention and control of NCDs, including disease surveillance and health care planning; managing of health services, including primary and secondary health care.

Desirable: Experience working with Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-traditional Origin (CKDnt) would be an asset.


Technical Expertise

  • Theoretical and practical expertise level in all aspects related to surveillance, prevention and control of Noncommunicable diseases, and the promotion of health, as well as a thorough knowledge of epidemiology, prevention, and control methods.
  • Knowledge of health services policies and administration within the framework of the model of family and community health.
  • Knowledge and skills in project planning, management and evaluation, including resource mobilization and grant management.
  • Knowledge and skills in the formulation of technical cooperation interventions and in the development of criteria for evaluating program interventions
  • Ability to analyze factors, trends, and forecast scenarios based on current surveillance systems and possesses the capability to develop and plan innovative and appropriate solutions for their improvement.
  • Strong public health and strategic thinking background showing resourcefulness, initiative, leadership qualities and skills to deal with difficult situations and sensitive areas; demonstrated ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendation on key political and technical issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and tact to effectively communicate with senior level officials, multiple stakeholders and professionals from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • 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.


Essential: Very good knowledge of Spanish and a working knowledge of English.  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. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Project would be an asset.

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