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Migration Health Project Officer (Research)

International Organization for Migration
Location: Pretoria
Last Date: August 31, 2011
Email:  (Reference:

Position title: Migration Health Project Officer (Research)
Project: Migration Health Unit
Post of duty: International Organization for Migration, Pretoria, South Africa
Classification: 1 year renewable depending on performance and funding
Start date: ASAP
Grade: UN Salary Scale NoB (Approx R33,000 per month)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a dynamic and growing inter-governmental organization, with 132 member states. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems, and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM address the migratory phenomenon from an integral and holistic perspective, including links to development, in order to maximize its benefits and minimize its negative effects.
Migration Health
Following the WHO definition of health as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 1994),” migration health translates as the physical, mental, and social well-being of migrant and mobile populations and host communities affected by migration.

IOM’s Migration Health programmes address the health needs of individual migrants as well as the public health needs of host communities by assisting governmental and non-governmental partners in the development and implementation of relevant policies and programmes. In regard to the field of migration health IOM focuses on three strategic programme areas:
1. Service Delivery and Capacity Building: Providing access to health services for migrants, especially the most vulnerable. Services cover: prevention and health promotion; control and management of infectious diseases, chronic diseases, mental health, reproductive health, and social health needs; and environmental hygiene and control.
2. Advocacy and Policy Development: Advises partners and governments on best practices in the management of migration health issues and related strategies and policy options.
3. Research and Information Dissemination: Responds to the needs of governments, partner agencies and civil society for evidence-based, disaggregated information on migrant health.
IOM addresses migration health through three global programme areas:
1. Migration Health Assessments and Travel Assistance: Providing health assessment services to migrants and refugees on behalf of destination governments. Services include physical examination, laboratory diagnostics, vaccinations, DNA testing, and treatment of excludable conditions as per the specific guidelines of receiving governments. In Europe, East Africa, and South-East Asia, IOM has developed substantial laboratory capacity, including culture and drug sensitivity testing for TB. “Fit-to-travel” examinations are provided just prior to departure. IOM developed a global health data management system, global guidelines on HIV counselling and testing, anti-fraud measures, and maintains client biodata confidentially. (IOM 2006c).
2. Health Promotion and Assistance for Migrants: Providing health services that meet the specific needs of migrants and their host communities, across a wide range of priority areas such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); mental health; immunizations; environmental health and hygiene; outbreak preparedness; and communicable disease prevention, surveillance, and control. Furthermore, this programme area involves health promotion and education on migration health, while developing government and community capacity in identifying and responding to the health-related challenges of migration and population mobility.
3. Migration Health Assistance for Crisis-affected Populations: Supporting governments and populations during the acute phase and in the aftermath of emergencies by managing health issues related to the mass movement of people, and arranging medical evacuation for individuals. Activities include psychosocial assistance, communicable disease control and response, and reconstruction of damaged health infrastructure.
Since 2003/4 IOM in the southern Africa region has focussed on Health Promotion and Assistance for Migrants through it Partnership on HIV and Mobility in Southern Africa. As from April 2010 the programme will enter its third phase and will also include East Africa and will be known as the Partnership oh HIV and Mobility in East and southern Africa (PHAMESA)
Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA)
The overall objective of PHAMESA is to contribute to improved standards of physical, mental and social well being of migrants by responding to their health needs throughout all phases of the migration process, as well as the public health needs of host communities, using IOM’s network of regional and country missions, and partnerships with Regional Economic Communities, National AIDS Councils, Ministries of Health, Ministries of sectors dealing with mobile and migrant workers, Private Sector Companies, Unions, UN Partners, and International and local NGOs.
PHAMESA long term goal is to improve the management of migration health and decrease vulnerability to HIV in the context of Migration Health among selected migrant populations in the following countries:
• In East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda; and
• In Southern Africa, Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia.
The project targets three main groups of mobile and migrant populations.
1) Labour Migrants and Mobile Workers: Construction workers, commercial agricultural workers, mine workers, informal cross-border traders, domestic workers, pastoralists, transport workers, seagoing personnel (maritime sector), immigration and customs officials, and sex workers.
2) Forced Migrants: Internally displaced persons, deportees/returnees, persons affected by conflict and natural disaster
3) Irregular Migrants: Undocumented migrants, trafficked persons, urban migrants, smuggled migrants, stranded migrants, child migrants, migrants in detention, deportees
IOM’s comprehensive programme approach means that it targets these groups within the context and environment in which they live and work, thus including their families as well as the host communities with whom they interact. Also, particularly in terms of labour migrants,
These will be achieved through 5 distinct yet inter-related components:
(1) Service Delivery and Capacity Building: PHAMESA facilitates, provides and promotes equitable and improved access for migrants and mobile populations to comprehensive health care services, with particular attention given to prevention of HIV, TB, and gender based violence.
(2) Advocacy for Policy Development: In order to create a supportive policy environment for responding to Migration Health concerns and public health needs of host communities, component PHAMESA undertakes advocacy for policy development at regional, national and sectoral levels, as well as undertake activities to create a conducive general environment for Migration Health.
(3) Research and Information Dissemination: Evidence-based programming and strategic information are critical for effective programming, policy and dialogue. PHAMESA undertakes research to produce evidence and strategic information, and strengthens dissemination of the findings and information so that the research can better inform programmes and policies.
(4) Regional Coordination: In order to strengthen the institutional infrastructure and coordinating mechanisms of IOM and other key partners for enhanced collaboration and coordination on Migration Health in East and Southern Africa, PHAMSEA facilitates regional coordination internally among IOM missions and externally with regional partners.
(5) PHAMESA Governance and Control: One of the key lessons learned from previous programme implementation is the importance of ensuring transparent, efficient and effective governance and control.
IOM are seeking to recruit a professional, highly skilled and experienced researcher/research coordinator to manage Component 3 (Research and Information Dissemination).
PHAMESA Research and Information Dissemination Component
In order to achieve the above mentioned goal of the Research and information dissemination component PHAMESA aims to:
(1) Strengthen the understanding of Migration Health through (a) increased implementation and dissemination of assessments and research on Migration Health and (b) increased adoption of research findings in evidence-based programming; and
(2) Mainstream Migration Health as a research agenda and national statistical plans through (a) increased sharing of information on Migration Health as a topic for research and (b) increased collaboration and coordination with the research community.
Duties and Responsibilities
The IOM Pretoria office will be responsible for the overall management, coordination and reporting of the PHAMESA programme. It has a specific role of providing technical support to (1) IOM Nairobi who is responsible for project implementation in East Africa, (2) IOM country offices in southern Africa (Angola, DRC, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia) and (3) direct management and implementation of regional and country level programme activities in southern African countries where there is no IOM Office (Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland).
Under the direct supervision of the Migration Health Officer (Health Promotion and Research) the Migration Health Project Officer (Research) will be responsible for managing and reporting on the research component. Duties will include, but are not limited to:
• Overseeing and coordinating regional Migration Health research projects including managing and monitoring the work of research partners/consultants. Undertaking various qualitative and quantitative assessments and research activities such as community based assessments; service access mapping; health profiling; Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance (IBBS) studies; “Hot Spot” mapping; and surveillance and other epidemiological data research
• Developing regional migration health research proposals and supporting country offices develop country specific migration health research projects
• Providing technical assistance and guidance to assessments and research of IOM country missions and implementing partners.
• Supporting and promoting the adoption of research findings in evidence-based programming by actively disseminating the findings of assessments and research through various means such as, presentations at regional and international conferences, submission to academic journals, development of toolkits, and reports.
• Strengthening relations with the research community in East and Southern Africa, and beyond by actively engaging and partnering with the research community (universities, research institutions and consortiums)
• Supporting and promoting the integration of migration and mobility concerns in (public) health courses and health/HIV concerns in migration courses,
• Strengthening the research communities’ capacity to research Migration Health issues. For example by building the capacity of graduate (Masters and PhD) students by mentoring and providing IOM project sites for research.
• Integrating research into monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes to ensure effective impact of activities and improved health outcomes.
• Serve as the Country Focal Point for an identified country in the region where IOM does not have an office, but have Migration Health activities or are planning to have such activities.
• Perform such other duties as may be assigned
Requisite Qualifications, Skills and Experience
• Advanced degree in the social sciences, public health, or a related discipline, preferably in the field of population health, international health development, or migration;
• Minimum of five years research-related work experience in the field of international health development, public health, or migration with a strong background in applied research;
• Knowledge of the epidemiological and socio-political dynamics of HIV, AIDS, and migration in Southern Africa;
• Strong research skills and understanding of relevant research methodologies;
• Strong management and organisation skills;
• Strong writing and editing skills;
• Excellent inter-personal and communication skills;
• Ability to work independently and as a team member;
• Excellent command of the English language; and
• Computer literacy.


Send applications to: (Ref: VN2011/04(RSA)_Migration Health Project Officer (research)


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