Principal Health Specialist

Job Vacancy | Monday, July 19, 2021


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.

1Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first two performance reviews after appointment at the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new category.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Health Sector Group within the Sector Advisory Service Cluster (SDSC-HEA) of Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC). The SDCC provides leadership, innovation, and knowledge sharing for ADB’s sector and thematic work. SDSC-HEA provides support to countries and regional departments in the design and implementation of health-related projects and activities under the Operational Priorities outlined in Strategy 2030.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Health Specialist provides leadership to the implementation of ADB’s health operational plan, ensuring alignment with ADB Strategy 2030. Formulate universal health coverage (UHC) with the focus on strengthening health system, health financing and pandemic preparedness through the provision of direct and corporate support to ADB’s operations departments and Health Sector Group. Ensures the quality of relevant knowledge products in the area of health system, health financing, health service delivery, pandemic preparedness and public-private partnership in the health sector and their dissemination through internal and external networks, training delivery and other knowledge management tools. Coordinate health sector partnerships. Works within a framework of broad policies, principles, and goals, applying a high degree of autonomy in selection of work methods. The incumbent will report to the Chief of Health Sector Group and will supervise National and Administrative Staff.


a. Policies, Strategies, and Frameworks
• Lead in providing technical and policy advice to health sector staff and clients from developing member countries (DMCs) to develop innovative policies and projects in the UHC, health and pandemic preparedness with the strategic objectives of ADB and priorities of DMCs.
• Lead in providing guidance and operational support to ADB’s health sector operations including technical advice to operations departments to maintain quality and consistency in the application of sector policies/strategies/frameworks on an ADB-wide basis.

b. Operational Advice and Support
• Contribute new or innovative approaches to policy and operational issues, including initiation of new programs addressing UHC, health system, health financing, health service delivery, and regional health security in DMCs.
• Act as resource person on matters of health system and health financing.
• Provide leadership and guidance through the Health Sector Group, including active involvement in project peer reviews, dissemination of good practice and lessons from project implementation, and promotion of new knowledge of relevance to ADB operations, DMC clients, and development partners.
• Work on One ADB approach and build links with relevant Sector and Thematic Groups.

c. Promotion of Regional and Global Cooperation on Health
• Promote ADB’s role in international and regional cooperation through appropriate interventions in the health sector.
• Lead the implementation of regional technical assistance projects on UHC, health system, and pandemic preparedness and response.
• Develop and maintain international and regional partnerships to enhance knowledge and promote best practices in health sector operations.

d. Knowledge Generation and Sharing
• Undertake interregional studies and research to promote new approaches, technologies, and policies for UHC, focusing on health system strengthening.
• Represent ADB and Health Sector Group at health-related events and international forums.
• Lead the development and maintenance of a knowledge base on health sector to promote and disseminate information on ADB activities in the health sector to both external and internal clients as secretariat to the Health Sector Group.
• Lead preparation of draft briefing papers, speeches, media releases and other material in response to ADB management requirements.
• Participate in and contribute to relevant internal and external training and conferences and other activities for advocacy, dissemination, and knowledge building.
• Take an active role in quality control and peer review of health sector knowledge products to ensure operational relevance, technical accuracy, and clarity of presentation.

e. Staff Supervision
• Create and lead multidisciplinary teams and ensure the overall quality of their work.
• Supervise the performance of teams and individuals, providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.
• Provide coaching and mentoring to team and individuals and ensure their ongoing learning and development.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

• Master’s degree or PhD., or equivalent, in public health, or related fields. University degree in public health, or related fields combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree.
• Minimum of 12 years of relevant professional experience including international work experience in several countries in the health sector work, at senior levels (e.g., leading projects).
• Experience in the design and implementation of health programs.
• Relevant international work experience, including experience working with government.
• Strong understanding of government institutions, UHC, and health systems strengthening.
• Experience working with a regional/international development or technical organization.
• Knowledge on health security or pandemic preparedness and response.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is required.
• Capacity to contribute substantively to the development of sector policy, processing and administering loans and technical assistance in the health sector.
• Significant expertise within a specific area of ADB's operations (economic, sector or thematic), or breadth across multiple areas with in-depth knowledge within one area.
• Credible expert in field of expertise with recognized ability to lead projects and to share relevant knowledge to benefit the broader ADB community.
• Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for IS6.

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB’s standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual’s qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.