WHO physical activity unit calls for consultants

The WHO physical activity unit has called for consultants interested in providing technical support on physical activity.

Based in the WHO’s department of health promotion in the division of healthier population, the unit is seeking to update and expand a contact list of consultants interested in providing technical support in the area of promoting physical activity, walking, cycling, sport, active recreation, and/or active play across the life course. 

For the purposes of this call, a consultant is defined as an individual who would be available for short, medium or longer term contracts of work, which may be undertaken at their home location. In most cases, an agreement for the performance of work (APW) would set out the terms of reference, deliverables and timelines. Daily rates for APWs are negotiated based on experience and tasks required and range from US$150-$600. In some cases, a consultancy contract for an extended period of time and involving relocation to a WHO office (HQ or regional office) may be considered.  

The areas of expertise for which consultants may be needed over the near future (Sept-Dec 2020) and mid-term future (Sept 2020-Dec 2021) include the following:

  • Technical support and assistance in the: 
    • design and development of national and sub-national walking and cycling policy and programmes
    • writing of technical (how-to) resource documents on policy action areas recommended in the global action plan on physical activity, particularly in areas of sports for all, older adults; people living with disability; workplace; and others
    • application of systems-based approaches to national action on physical activity 
    • integration of physical activity into primary and secondary health care systems and social care programmes/services
    • development of national policy approaches to physical activity in low- and middle-income countries 
  • Conducting rapid and/or systematic evidence reviews of scientific and grey literature in areas such as, but not limited to:
    • interventions to promote physical activity in older adults
    • interventions to promote physical activity in people living with chronic disease and/or disability
    • interventions to promote walking and cycling
    • interventions in public open spaces/parks to promote physical activity
    • sport – health initiatives
    • interventions to reduce sedentary behaviours
    • regulatory approaches and application to promoting physical activity/walking/cycling
    • digital/mHealth approaches to promoting physical activity/reducing sedentary behaviours 
  • Technical support on economic analysis, economic assessment tools and modelling 
  • Secondary data analysis and design, and support of data visualization
  • Technical support and project management assistance for the development of global reports and technical briefing documents

Expressions of interest

Interested individuals (or groups of individuals) are invited to submit a short cover note and relevant CV to Dr Fiona Bull [email protected].
The cover letter (or email message) should highlight the primary areas of expertise and skills, specifying where possibly alignment with any of the above listed areas of potential work, as well as provide a brief summary of any relevant previous consultancy experience with WHO/UN agencies or other entities, especially where this work has been in the context of low- and middle-income countries or resource-constrained contexts.  
Expressions of interest received will remain on a contact list with the physical activity unit at WHO HQ for up to two years. No details of names or CVs would be circulated to other units at WHO without prior consent. All details provided would be kept confidential and electronically secure by the physical activity unit. 

The unit 

The physical activity unit  comprises five staff led by Dr Fiona Bull and provides global leadership and support to regional and national efforts to enhance physical activity and contribute to the promotion of  health and wellbeing. The unit works closely with other technical areas including NCD management and prevention, sustainable mobility and road safety, environment and health, healthy aging, and child and adolescent health.
The current focus of the unit’s activities include: supporting global, regional and national implementation of the recommendations of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, completing the updating of the global recommendations on physical activity and sedentary behaviours; development of a Global Status Report on Physical Activity and developing technical resources and standards for policy implementation primarily through the development of the ACTIVE technical package. The unit is also advancing application of regulatory approaches particularly in the  area of walking and cycling, and sport-health partnerships and initiatives. 

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