National Professional Officer/Non-communicable Diseases

Under the supervision of the HSS Technical Officer and the WHO Representative in South Africa, and in collaboration with the HSS team members and other professional staff, the purpose of the post is to provide technical assistance in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of strategies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in South Africa and will perform the following duties:

  • Carry out activities to strengthen the capacity of local and central policymakers, and relevant institutions to in support of planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national policies and strategies for non-communicable disease control and health systems development in South Africa, including injuries and violence, and risk factor reduction (thereafter referred to as “NCDs”);
  • Disseminate global and regional commitments and best practices, identify their application in South Africa, and develop country specific and locally appropriate action plans for implementation, including for WHO regional committee resolutions and WHA resolutions and action plans. Provide support in developing comprehensive plans of collaboration in non-communicable disease control, risk factor reduction, injury and violence (NCDs) in line with regional and global frameworks;
  • Support national counterparts in conducting needs assessments and burden of disease, and collating the evidence-base about the non-communicable disease burden, risk factor reduction, injuries and violence (NCDs) in South Africa;
  • Support national counterparts in collating evidence globally, regionally, and within South Africa about appropriate policy, public health, environment, and clinical interventions to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, risk factors, violence and injuries (NCDs);
  • Provide technical support in non-communicable disease surveillance, and in high quality analyses for monitoring and evaluating interventions to control NCDs;
  • Provide technical assistance and coordination to technical meetings to national counterparts in formulating national policies on addressing NCDs;
  • Establish network of technical partnerships within government, regulatory authorities, academic, private sector, non-government organizations, and international agencies. Establish strong linkages with non-governmental organizations and civil society;
  • Provide directly and access technical support for the implementation of special initiatives that are a priority for South Africa, including: comprehensive tobacco control policies and FCTC implementation; comprehensive policies on the control of harmful use of alcohol, fiscal policies for NCDs, health promotion boards/commissions, policies for the promotion of exercise and diet for reducing obesity including school health programs; and integrating non-communicable diseases care into the primary care health system;
  • Collaborate fully within the WHO and across technical teams, with other UN and external agencies including private sector to integrate NCDs prevention and control into their programs of work. Develop a program of work with other UN agencies;
  • Collaborate with relevant government institutions, non-governmental organizations, donors, external support agencies, bilateral agencies and other UN organizations on technical activities and coordination activities;
  • Facilitate communication and exchange of up to date information on technical activities between the government and WR office, AFRO, and HQ; and keep WHO up to date on government policy initiatives;
  • Provide technical and administrative support to the implementation of regular budget and extra-budgetary activities;
  • Draft and assist in the collection of data, preparation, and presentation of technical and managerial in relevant areas of policy, program and project activities Contribute to the preparation of reports, policy notes, project documents and submissions to government for use in discussions with government, UN health partners and other agencies and organizations;
  • Provide technical support in the organization and conduct of project seminars and training workshops;
  • Participate fully in country office routine meetings and contribute to routine reporting requirements, and media communications and reports;
  • Perform other related duties, as required.

Knowledge / Qualifications

Knowledge and Skills

  • Knowledge of and experience in the policies and best practices in non-communicable diseases and health system development.
  • Experience and proficiency in working with government and other partners in an effective and culturally competent manner.
  • Proven effective verbal and written communication.
  • Capacity to work strategically and under tight deadlines on a results-oriented basis.
  • Ability to develop innovative approaches and solutions.
  • Ability to demonstrate effective interpersonal skills by working harmoniously as a member of a team, adapting to diverse educational, socio-political and cultural backgrounds and maintaining a high standard of personal conduct.
  • Basic computer skills including ability to utilize the standard Microsoft Office programs.

Education and Special Training

Essential: University degree in public policies, medicines, law, economics, demographics, or other areas closely related to non-communicable disease prevention and control, risk factor reduction, and injury and alcohol.

Desirable: Post-graduate qualifications in relevant area desirable.

Experience (length and nature)

Essential: Minimum of 5 years of professional or academic experience in non-communicable disease prevention and control, risk factor reduction, injury and violence.

Desirable: Experience in working with private sector an advantage.


Excellent spoken and written English.

Other Skills (e.g. IT): 

Essential: Demonstrated ability to write technical reports in a concise manner.

Essential:  Facility in utilizing computer applications, including word processing, powerpoint, email, and excel among others


Duration: 1 year contract with possibility of extension
Grade: NO-C
Duty Station: WHO Country Office, Pretoria, South Africa
Closing Date: 22 February, 2013
Applications accompanied by detailed Curriculum Vitae and copies of certificates, diplomas and testimonials should be addressed to: 7th Floor Metropark Building,351 Schoeman Street,Pretoria OR to
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. World Health Organization is Non-Smoking Environment
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