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Chief, Health Financing

As Chief of Health Financing at UNAIDS, you will build out the mandate and scope of this new role, developing new streams of analysis to understand how much money is needed to fund the HIV response, and where the most impact can be made. You are a capable manager, able to lead and build the capacity of teams dispersed across the organisation; as well as an expert in development economics, ready to try bold and creative approaches for ending AIDS as a public health threat.


UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Since it started operations in 1996, UNAIDS has led and inspired global, regional, national and local leadership, innovation and partnership to ultimately consign HIV to history. UNAIDS provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services. 

UNAIDS is the only cosponsored Joint Programme in the United Nations system. It draws on the experience and expertise of 11 United Nations system cosponsors and is the only United Nations entity with civil society represented on its governing body.

The Secretariat has offices in 70 countries, with 70% of its staff based in the field, and has a budget of USD 140 million for 2018 with the budget for the Joint Programme being USD 242 million for the same year.

Purpose of the Role

The Chief Health Financing is placed in the Programme Branch and reports directly to the Deputy Executive Director. The Programme Branch provides leadership and coordinates support for an expanded and integrated UN system response to HIV/AIDS at country, regional and global levels. The Office of the Deputy Executive Director, Programme Branch, reflects the vision of UNAIDS and works to consolidate and leverage key technical departments and divisions that provide support to regional and country offices. The Branch works to promote a comprehensive and integrated, evidence-informed and adequately resourced response to the HIV epidemic by providing strategic information and policy guidance driven by countries’ needs, monitoring programmatic coverage and behavioural trends, building country capacity, and evaluating the effectiveness of the response at the country, regional and global levels.

The incumbent will also work closely with the Executive Director and members of the Senior Management in providing evidence and advice on issues around Health Financing. The incumbent will be expected to manage teams and staff members, matrixed at first, with the composition of teams to be built over time and in response to renewed UNAIDS Strategy.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Deputy Executive Director for Programmes, the incumbent is assigned the following responsibilities:

UNAIDS Health Financing Strategy and Workplan

  • Lead and inspire the Economics and Health Financing (matrixed) team to work with field offices, governments and other partners to advocate for and support domestic resource mobilisation and financing.
  • Coordinate the smooth transition from international aid at an individual country level, including through: 
  • macroeconomic and fiscal space analysis
  • support to national financing dialogues
  • advocacy and options for increased financing for community-led responses
  • approaches to reduce over-reliance of out-of-pocket expenditure, including user fees
  • options for improved public financial management

Coordination and Collaboration for Health Financing

  • Ensure effective coordination and collaboration across relevant teams within UNAIDS Secretariat, cosponsors and wider partnerships.
  • Strengthen and or establish relationships with Health Financing teams across cosponsors and other partners such as PEPFAR, USAID, GFATM, OECD, World Economic Forum, IMF, Regional Development Banks, academic institutions and regional socio-economic development entities.
  • Represent UNAIDS as needed in the Financing Accelerator of the Global Health Plan, Global Financing Entity, Financing for Development networks, international and regional forums on health financing.

UNAIDS Organisational Structure on Health Financing

  • Define and deliver an effective model for embedding Health Financing specialists in regional and selected country offices through a matrix structure. 
  • Develop modules and approaches for health financing literacy among UNAIDS country and regional directors.

Data and Analytics for Health Financing

  • Work with partners to strengthen comprehensive data resources for health financing to support advocacy, enable assessment of countries’ comparative performance, provide evidence and identify opportunities and bottlenecks for financial protection and access to services for the poor, marginalised and key populations. 
  • Lead the health economics and financing team to work with countries and regions in conducting relevant analytics and projections to inform the development of investment cases and health/HIV financing plans as well as the UNAIDS strategy and approaches.

Executive and other members of the Senior Management Team

  • Work with the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors and members of the senior management team on advocacy and communications around health financing including through economic analysis and evidence, development of targeted OpEds or participation in media interviews.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned, including backstopping and representing the Deputy Executive Director as necessary.

Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree at Master’s level in economics, social sciences or public health. A postgraduate degree in health financing is desirable.
  • A first relevant university degree combined with 17 years of relevant experience will be considered as equivalent for internal candidates.
  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive relevant experience in quantitative and qualitative aspects of development economics and health financing, including experience in AIDS policy and programme planning, evaluation, and management.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience at the international level as well as work experience in developing countries. In-depth knowledge of a broad range of issues related to health financing including macroeconomics and fiscal space analysis, public financial management, health systems reform and policy, allocative and implementation efficiency, inequalities and poor economics including options for financial protection and access to services for marginalized and key populations. 
  • Recognized global credibility in macroeconomics and fiscal space, as demonstrated by proven track record on economic analysis and policy advice on health financing including macroeconomic policy and options for increased government spending in health and social sectors. 
  • Relevant experience with cosponsors and partners and or Ministries of Finance of health will be an asset. 
  • A firm understanding of global development policy, architecture and country reality.
  • Experience with leading complex multidisciplinary teams.
  • Advanced knowledge of English, with a good working knowledge of French or another UN official language desirable.