Public Health Officer (Emergency Health) Leave a comment

Position Title : Public Health Officer (Emergency Health)

Duty Station : Kabul, Afghanistan

Classification : Professional Staff, Grade P3

Type of Appointment : Special short-term graded, six months with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date : As soon as possible

Closing Date : 28 October 2021

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. Read more about diversity and inclusion at IOM at

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates

  2. Candidates from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba (Netherlands); Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Congo (the); Cook Islands; Cuba; Fiji; Gabon; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Holy See; Iceland; Kingdom of Eswatini; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the); Latvia; Libya; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Montenegro; Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states.


Afghanistan has one of the lowest scores on the Human Development Index, impacted by displacement, migration and return. The intensified armed conflict in 2021 and the resulting upheaval in August 2021 have resulted in further escalating humanitarian needs and a significant deterioration of the protection environment for civilians in the country. These factors exacerbate the vulnerabilities of a population already burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent economic downturn, and a severe drought across the country (declared in June 2021). Internal displacement inside Afghanistan is driven by both conflict and natural disaster. There is now an estimated number of 5.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country, including both protracted and the 634,000 newly displaced by conflict in 2021. The region is characterized by significant cross-border movements into neighbouring countries from Afghanistan, as well as returns.

The pandemic continues to pose a significant challenge to the health and wellbeing of Afghans, considering the country’s underdeveloped and fragile health systems, general living conditions and high rates of poverty. The recent announcement of severe funding cuts to the health system will have long-lasting implications, as organizations and donors step in to try and fill the gap. The high trends of cross-border mobilities with the neighbouring countries, on-going dynamic and deteriorating security environment significantly impact all health indicators. Low testing and vaccination rates for COVID-19, a reluctance on the part of community members to be tested, and socio-cultural norms have combined to further deter health seeking behavior. Afghanistan’s history of protracted violence has had a direct impact on the physical and mental health status of affected populations and compromises the overall functional capacity of health care services especially in remote/rural areas. This is also characterized by significant increases in the number of war trauma cases. The country also suffers from a high burden of Communicable Diseases (CDs) like tuberculosis and increasing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Other major health challenges in the country also include high maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity. Afghanistan also has low routine immunization coverage and is one of the three remaining polio endemic countries in the world. Afghanistan also faces more challenges in its response to the increasing needs for emergency health services due to the upheaval in August 2021.

The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Migration Health programme, with over 160 staff is actively supporting the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen health service capacity at Points of Entry (PoE), in affected communities and through additional support to other response areas such as health facilities and laboratories to effectively prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 and other public health threats. IOM provides integrated surveillance and disease control training for frontline health staff, necessary medical and health commodities, analyses and reports on population mobility trends in priority health zones to inform preparedness efforts, as well as risk communication to sensitize impacted areas.

Under the overall supervision of the Migration Health Officer, the successful candidate will holistically manage, support and coordinate the implementation of Health Assistance to Crisis Affected populations (H3) activities/emergency health programming, including implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). The Public Health Officer is expected to carry out his/ her duties in accordance with the strictest ethical standards and with due respect for gender and socio-cultural sensitivities.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. Substantively support the operationalization of the Country Office’s (CO) public health and emergency health preparedness, response and recovery strategy.

  2. Manage and coordinate project activation, implementation, reporting and evaluation of emergency health programs in coordination with the Migration Health Officer.

  3. Develop and/or support the development of proposals in coordination with the program support unit, and ensure regular reporting requirements are met, including on achievements, projects, problems encountered, pertinent developments, and strategic needs.

  4. Lead in the pilot roll out of International Health Regulations at PoE in Afghanistan in close collaboration with the MoPH, WHO and other relevant United Nations (UN) agencies and stakeholders, and assess implementation, providing advice, guidance, feedback and recommendations.

  5. Strengthen national disease surveillance capacity in coordination with relevant stakeholders, alert and response capacity of border level/PoE staffing, and support the development of early warning systems (including events based and indicator based surveillance).

  6. Regularly coordinate with IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) unit to ensure utilization of mobility data for health programme planning and response, and coordinate with other units, including the Program Support Unit, Cross-Border Response (CBRR) and other units as necessary

  7. Prioritize and ensure information sharing between internal units, cluster partners and IOM and other emergency response actors to facilitate effective and efficient coordination;

  8. Provide expert technical support and advice for vulnerability assessments, risk mapping and development of preparedness/contingency planning at the provincial level.

  9. Monitor and ensure that national health staff and partners are familiar with internationally recognized tools and standards and lead organizing trainings/capacity building on an ad-hoc/as needed basis on migration health.

  10. Lead organizing meetings, workshop, orientations and training for different stakeholders on implementation of International Health Regulation and disease surveillance.

  11. Represent IOM at Health Cluster meetings and other relevant cluster meetings and liaise and coordinate with national and international health and humanitarian assistance authorities, agencies and organizations regarding the planning and implementation of health-related activities. Key counterparts include the MoPH, WHO and Health Cluster partner agencies, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Working Group and other stakeholders.

  12. Undertake duty travel, as required and in line with prevailing security restrictions, related to project implementation and oversight, staff training, and liaison with partners including regular travel duties to the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, and the Sub-Offices, to coordinate, develop and/or support programme implementation.

  13. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


• Master’s degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, Information Management, Health Administration or a related field from an accredited academic institution with five years of relevant professional experience; or

• University degree in the above fields with seven years of relevant professional experience.


• Minimum three years of relevant working experience in the implementation of International Health Regulations/public health in conflict settings and response at national and international levels;

• Experience in proposal development, and reporting required;

• Working experience with the UN, IOM or INGOs preferred;

• Cluster experience is an advantage;

• Experience working in hardship duty stations and emergency settings with complex operating environments preferred;

• Sound computer background, including experience with databases, Microsoft applications, spreadsheets, word processing, and SPSS/STATA.

• Clinical experience an advantage.

• Operational and field experience in migration, refugee and displaced persons related programming an advantage.


• Excellent writing skills.

• Ability to work effectively in high-pressure, rapidly changing environments.

• Very good people skills, and demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with stakeholders and partners.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).

For all applicants, fluency in English is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto is an advantage.

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


The position will likely be based at IOM’s satellite office in Islamabad, Pakistan, with regular travel to the field in Afghanistan. There may be possible re-location to Kabul if the security situation permits.

1 Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database


Required Competencies:

Values – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.

Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.

Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.

Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.

Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.

Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.

Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.

Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.

Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link.

Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members. For this staff category, candidates who are nationals of the duty station’s country cannot be considered eligible.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

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