Technical Officer (Fiscal Policies for Health), Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Monday, 11 January 2021

Technical Officer (Fiscal Policies for Health)

( 2005036 )

Grade : P4

Contractual Arrangement : Temporary appointment under Staff Rule 420.4

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 1 year

Job Posting: Dec 21, 2020, 5:17:08 PM

The mission of WHO’s UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Within the Division, the Department of Health Promotion (HPR) works to reduce risks associated with tobacco use, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, thereby contributing to better population health, through cross-cutting normative, fiscal and legal measures to enhance wellbeing, health literacy and engage multi stakeholders through settings approach and community engagement strategies.

Within the HPR Department, the Fiscal Policies for Health (TAX) Unit provides strategic leadership, capacity building and specialized technical assistance in the field of fiscal measures for health, particularly on excise taxation on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverage products. In addition, the TAX Unit leads on the development of tools which provide guidance on how to use fiscal measures, in particular taxation of tobacco, alcohol and SSBS to reduce healthcare costs and generate a revenue stream for development.


Under the broad supervision of the Unit Head, HPR/TAX, the Technical Officer will:

Provide advice, expertise, specialized technical assistance and follow up in the development of fiscal policies for health to Member States including, but not limited to: (a) increases of excise duties on tobacco products; (b) changes in the taxation structure for tobacco products; (c) strengthening effective implementation of tobacco tax policy; (d) countering industry arguments against tobacco and other health taxes; (e) fighting illicit trade in tobacco products; and

Provide technical expertise to WHO Regions and Member States on national price and taxation, policy and regulation relevant to the economics of tobacco and tobacco control, that will facilitate their adoption and implementation and measures to address the illicit trade in tobacco products.

Strengthen the capacity of WHO regions and Member States to develop, adopt and implement health taxes, particularly on tobacco taxation.

Develop new and expand existing best practice guidelines and strategies for implementing and evaluating tobacco price and taxation policy and regulation that will enable WHO regions and Member States to share experiences and assess the impact of these reduction measures.

Research and compile price, taxation and economic data and statistics that will be used to develop the business case for higher excise taxes on health harming products deemed risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, particularly on tobacco taxation.

Provide inputs to the relevant WHO units toward the regular monitoring and reporting on the implementation of fiscal and economic measures that are being used to reduce the consumption of harmful products deemed risk factors for noncommunicable diseases and make recommendations accordingly.

Serve as a technical resource to the public concerning the economics of tobacco and tobacco control in the country(ies), respond to inquiries and provide detailed and technical information concerning related principles, practices, issues, measures, techniques and procedures.

Liaise with national counterparts, technical departments at HQ, with donors and development partners to harmonize recommendations on policies and strategies related to health taxes and issues relevant to the economics of tobacco and tobacco control and resolve issues and concerns.

When delegated represent WHO at various meetings.

Perform all other related duties as required.

Specific duties:

Technical lead within the TAX team to drafting country case studies, impact assessments and proposals in the field of tobacco taxation.

Liaise with the WHO FCTC Convention Secretariat and other relevant agencies to support the implementation of the Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

Support the Unit Head, HPR/TAX in coordinating and strengthening partnerships with multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, and Interamerican Development Bank.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in Economics


Phd in Economics. Specialization in an area related to excise taxation of tobacco, alcohol or SSB products.

Training in taxation, public financial management or econometrics



At least 7 years of experience in the areas of excise tax policy, tax and expenditure policy, tax policy analysis, and revenue forecasting in national/international contexts, of which at least three years of this experience is in tobacco taxation work.

Demonstrated experience at the international level.


Experience working with Government in the field of taxation, tax policy development and tax reform.

Experience working with international, intergovernmental agencies in the areas of tax, fiscal monitoring and tax reform.


Tags econometrics financial institutions financial management harmful products health promotion impact assessment monitoring and reporting noncommunicable diseases sustainable development sustainable development goals tax reform tobacco control wellbeing

Extensive technical knowledge and skills in economics, excise tax policy and/or law.

Strong knowledge in the excise taxation of harmful products deemed as risk factors for noncommunicable diseases such as tobacco, alcohol and SSB.

Proven excellent writing and drafting skills.

Ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity, including gender balance.

Ability to be a cooperative team player with excellent interpersonal skills.

Ability to work under tight deadlines and on a results-oriented basis.

Ability to develop innovative approaches and solutions.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of Spanish.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 73,516 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5483 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

A written test may be used as a form of screening.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an 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.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.

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WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.