Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) At World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultant-Health Planning/Management, WHO Samoa

( 2304396 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 11 months

Job Posting: May 17, 2023, 12:46:14 AM

1. Purpose of the consultancy

The consultant will be a Health Planning and Management Advisor to the Director Of Health (DOH), Tokelau. She/He will be responsible to provide high quality advice and sound analysis on health issues to the Department and General Fono. She/He will strengthen monitoring and coordination of healthcare activities

2. Background

Tokelau is one of the smallest island countries in the Pacific and has a population of about 1500 people with about 500 in each of the three atolls of Tokelau; Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu. Tokelau has very limited resources and is vulnerable to external shocks and natural disasters. It relies on New Zealand and other development assistance around the region to support and strengthen its systems and services, including healthcare services.

Tokelau’s Health sector provides basic healthcare services through outpatient and inpatient services with over 60% of its funding used to refer patients for confirm diagnosis, screening and treatment overseas under the Tokelau patient referral scheme (TPRS). This scheme has become a major budget issue impacting the quality of basic health care services as resources are diverted from preventative or public health services and infrastructure development to sustain this patient referral scheme.

An independent review of Tokelau’s health system in 2019 outlined a number of recommendations to improve and strengthen it. At their last meeting for the year 2022 held in November, the Government of Tokelau endorsed the review recommendations. New Zealand has agreed in principle to support the actions to achieve the objectives of the review recommendations. However, what is not included in the recommendations are key expertise such as a policy analyst to support the successful implementation.

COVID-19 has further exposed critical gaps in the health sector and put added pressure on a small and relatively inexperienced health professional cadre.

These challenges and priorities are reflected in the Department of Health current strategic plan (in draft) highlighting the need for technical assistance to strengthen sector planning and reporting, advice on COVID-19 preparedness and response issues, coordination (particularly with support provided by development partners), monitoring of inefficiencies, TPRS oversight, analysis, and sound advice to the Director of Health, Minister of Health and General Fono.

3. Planned timelines (subject to confirmation)

Estimated start date: July 2023

Duration: 11 months (full time)

4. Work to be performed

    •  Provide advice and support on strategic health planning and management issues in line with the draft Tokelau National Strategic Plan 2021-26
      •  Support the government of Tokelau to prepare for, and respond to as necessary, COVID-19.
      •  Support the Director and senior management to oversee the progress of the Plan, and to develop annual plans for the sequencing and implementation of priorities and reforms.
      •  Support health sector heads of departments to develop costed annual work plans that are linked to key focus areas of the Plan.
      •  Guide the Department of Health, head of departments (especially public health) to monitor, analyze and report on public health programme implementation and coverage.
    •  Improve the management of the Tokelau Patient Referral Scheme (Domestic and Overseas Referrals)
      •  Continue to support the Director to manage the Scheme, whilst also safeguarding continued access to TPRS for Tokelauan as an essential element of achieving Universal Health Coverage.
      •  Support the hospital team and Health Information Management team to continue to refine data collection across all health services, leading to more regular and accurate reporting to the Director and to the Minister and GF on service relevance, access, utilization and expenditure allocation.
      •  Support the Director and work closely with the three Taupulega (village councils – who are the immediate employers of local hospital staff) on implementation of the recent health review recommendations.
    •  Team Leadership and Management Advisory
      •  Provide high quality advice and sound analysis on health issues to the Department and General Fono
      •  Strengthen monitoring and coordination of healthcare activities
      •  Support the Director of Health to provide high quality reporting and advice to the Minister on the progress of COVID-19, health services and reforms, TPRS and health issues in general.
      •  Work as part of a team of development partners to help harmonize activities and prevent duplication of efforts.
      •  Support the Department to secure funding and coordinate with relevant partners supporting health reforms.
      •  Support the development of the Department’s Annual Report.
    •  Cross cutting issues
      •  Integrate and provide advice and guidance on cross-cutting issues, such as child protection, gender equality and disability in line with relevant policies and other appropriate standards.

5. Methods to carry out the activities

  •  Conduct literature search, gather data, and conduct relevant analysis, draft technical briefs, presentations, and talking points.
  •  Coordinate and conduct stakeholders’ consultations with partners and the MOH within and outside of the organization and facilitate discussions on the review of the Nursing and Midwifery professional service standards.
  •  Develop a technical report on recommendations and develop the new Nursing and Midwifery professional services standards.

6. Specific requirements


  •  A Master’s degree in a relevant health area.
  •  Public Health qualification is preferable



At least 10 years of working experience in health planning and budgeting, including managing gaps between allocations and cost estimations.


Experience in health planning and budgeting, including managing gaps between allocations and cost estimations

Experience in managing and coordinating patient referral schemes and strengthening core health system capabilities;

Experience providing high quality analytical, project management and technical skills to implement reforms and interventions;

Experience in coordinating and managing competing interests of multiple stakeholders;

Previous experience living and working in remote locations in the Pacific region especially in Tokelau

Previous experience working in a team leader capacity within the international development sector


  •  A detailed understanding of health systems, COVID-19 issues, overseas patient referral schemes, health financing and public financial management
  •  Knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the sector and oversight institutions within a small Government context, such as Department of Health, Education, Immigration and Finance
  •  Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to engage at senior levels of government and partners, build and maintain networks, provide advice and communicate effectively (both written and verbal) on sensitive issues with a diverse range of stakeholders
  •  Demonstrates excellent cross-cultural relationship and collaboration skills, with a proven ability to develop relationships across a range of key stakeholders


High level of written and spoken English is required.

7. Place of assignment


8. Competencies

  •  Attention to detail and ability to work under pressure Excellent communication skills.
  •  Strong organizational skills.
  •  Proven drafting/reporting skills are essential
  •  Ability to work and consult with multidisciplinary teams, in a resource-constrained environment.

9. Medical Certificate (Consultants only)

The selected Consultant will be expected to provide a medical certificate of fitness for work.

10. Travel

The Consultant may travel within Tokelau depending on the DOH request.

All travel arrangements will be made by WHO – WHO will not be responsible for tickets purchased by the Consultant without the express, prior authorization of WHO.

Visas requirements: it is the consultant’s responsibility to fulfil visa requirements and ask for visa support letter(s) if needed.

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 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.
  •  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.
  •  The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.