Chief, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH), Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, Technical Division, D1

  • Level: D-1
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Appointment
  • Closing date: 20 Jan 2022 05:00 PM (America/New_York)
  • Duty station: New York, USA

UNFPA works to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) remain at the very center of development. UNFPA's work on improving SRHR is a key effort towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3, which calls for good health and well-being. It also advances Goal 5, which calls for gender equality, as well as many of the other SDGs included in the 2030 Agenda. UNFPA’s new Strategic Plan 2022 -2025 places universal access to SRH at the heart of its work with three transformative results – ending preventable maternal death, ending unmet need for family planning and ending GBV including harmful practices – as commitments to achieve by 2030. 

UNFPA works with governments, other UN agencies, civil society organisations, academia, private sector partners and donors to develop comprehensive and integrated efforts to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care. UNFPA advocates for integrating the delivery of these services into primary health care (PHC) and universal health coverage (UHC) so it is as accessible as possible. This is a matter of rights, choices and freedoms. 

UNFPA is also working with governments and communities to strengthen and build resilient health systems, including supporting the implementation of SRHR programmes in the context of humanitarian and development context, improving the quality of reproductive health care and strengthening human resources for health especially in respect to midwifery. UNFPA also works to make sure reproductive health commodities are available where needed, and that a functioning logistics system is in place. The Maternal Health Thematic Fund and UNFPA Supplies are just two examples of UNFPA’s work in strengthening health systems and quality services.  While strengthening national and community systems, UNFPA also puts special emphasis on increasing access for disadvantaged groups, including young people, the urban poor, rural communities, indigenous populations and women with disabilities. 

UNFPA’s SRHR work is comprehensive along a life course and continuum of care tailored to the different challenges people face at different times in their lives, including comprehensive sexuality education, adolescent and youth wellbeing, contraceptive services, antenatal and safe delivery care, post-natal care, services to prevent sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and services facilitating early diagnosis and treatment of reproductive health illnesses (including breast and cervical cancer).

Organizational Location

The Chief of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch (SRHB) reports to and works under the overall direction and leadership of the Technical Division (TD) Director who is the direct supervisor of the post. This post is located at UNFPA Headquarters in New York, USA.

S/He works closely with other Branch Chiefs across TD.  The TD Branch Chiefs including the SRHB Chief and the TD Director form the TD leadership team and ensure a coherent and integrated approach to delivering on the TD’s mission and functions.

The SRHB Chief ensures an integrated, and strategic approach to the thematic work on SRHR across a life course and continuum of care. In doing this the Chief contributes to the thought leadership work of TD and the overall Fund’s strategic plan and transformative results.

Job Purpose

The SRHB Chief ensures an integrated, rights based, evidence informed comprehensive SRHR approach across a life course and continuum of care and as part of primary health care and universal health coverage. This includes authoritative advice and expert leadership on UNFPA’s midwifery programme, maternal and newborn health, HIV prevention and sexual health, adolescent and youth including youth, peace and security, among others. 

The nature of the work includes developing global normative and policy guidance, setting and implementing an SRHR research agenda, brokering and overseeing technical knowledge, resources and partnerships, providing guidance in health financing, mobilizing global level resources, innovation and technical support. 

In doing this the Chief contributes to the three main functions of the TD:

  • positioning UNFPA as a leader in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) within the context of the global development agenda, and particularly the ICPD Programme of Action and the ICPD25 Nairobi Summit commitments, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the development and humanitarian architectures; 
  • tailored and integrated technical support including leading technical reference groups and communities of practice across the organization;
  • future casting, innovation and new frontiers in SRHR. 

Furthermore, under the Chief’s leadership is the work of the Maternal Health Thematic Fund (MHTF). The Chief provides leadership to the MHTF Coordinator and team who is accountable for driving measurable results and impact in the area of maternal and newborn health in the target countries of the programme. This also includes the work on UNFPA’s midwifery work and on ending Obstetric Fistulae.

The SRH Branch Chief is the principal adviser on issues related to UNFPA's commitments as a convening agency (co-sponsor) under the UNAIDS Division of Labour and the Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF). 

In summary, the Chief serves as UNFPA thought leader and representative on broader SRH and Rights issues, leads and manages the work of the Branch in developing and continuously improving conceptual frameworks; substantive strategies; policies; intellectual guidance; state of the art papers; and global technical instruments and tools, relevant to the needs of organization at all levels – global, regional and country.

     The primary roles are:

  • Strategic Direction
  • Policy and Technical Leadership 
  • Stakeholder Management and Resource Mobilization
  • Capacity Development/Networking and Quality Assurance
  • Resources management


  • A Masters and/or Ph. D. in Public Health, Medicine, Midwifery, Epidemiology, sociology, Demography, health Economics, health Administration, Management or other field directly related to the substantive area of work.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • A minimum of 15 years’ experience of increasingly responsible professional experience in public administration and international development, of which at least 8 years in the thematic area at the international level.
  • Extensive operational and managerial experience working on maternal health and SRHR programmes, especially at the field/regional and/or country level.

Job knowledge and technical expertise:

The incumbent is expected to:

  • Be an expert and recognized authority in the area of work, including:
  • Proven experience in SRHR, HIV/AIDS, Family Planning, Maternal and newborn health, health system strengthening
  • Health systems and health reform experience, an asset
  • Basic understanding of health economics/health financing highly desirable
  • Knowledge and understanding on quality of care, specifically client rights issues and Behavior Change Communication, an asset
  • Up-to-date on state-of-the art knowledge, essential
  • Experience in health sector review, especially SWAps, an asset
  • Understanding of Human Rights dimensions of RH/FP/HIV/AIDS and gender, an asset
  • Have the necessary skill set to manage programmes with broad geographic reach, and that requires working across other divisions within the larger organization
  • Have the proven ability to lead and manage teams of high level experts to achieve demonstrable results;
  • Have an extensive network within the academic and development community in this area of work;
  • Have excellent communication skills, speaking and writing in English;
  • Strong interest in development work, especially the United Nations Population Fund mandate areas, and dedication to the principles of the United Nations; and,
  • Field experience is essential.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Working knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.



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