Deputy Director – Public Health Division, Research & Development

  • Contract
  • Fiji
  • Posted 3 weeks ago

Pacific Community


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Public Health Division (PHD) supports member countries in attaining healthier Pacific Island people and communities by helping in public health surveillance, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCD) and support for clinical services. The primary areas of focus of the division are to provide scientific and technical assistance and support the implementation of plans and programmes in member countries and territories. The primary goal for all PHD activities is to promote population health and well-being, prevent disease and injury, restore, and/or maintain health and reduce inequalities in health. PHD is primarily concerned with improving and protecting public (population) health, rather than individual treatment services as highlighted in the PHD Business Plan. The PHD is comprised of three programmes: Surveillance, Preparedness and Response Programme (SPRP), NCD Prevention and Control Programme (NCDPCP) and Clinical Services Programme (CSP).

The role – Deputy Director – Public Health Division, Research and Development will oversee the people, programmes, and operations in the Division, covering the thematic areas of Research and Development. This role will report to the Director PHD, work closely with the Programme Manager and oversee the Team Leaders, Thematic Leads, and the Programme Coordinators, to achieve the research and development intentions and aspirations as articulated in the SPC Strategic Plan 2022 – 2031, the PHD Business Plan and member country and regional priorities.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

Leadership and Management

  • Lead and manage the health systems strengthening PHD team.
  • Provide people leadership, engagement, and operational guidance to contribute to the effective delivery of all activities within the technical programme.
  • Develop and implement the research and development strategy aligned with SPC’s goas and regional health priorities.
  • Provide strategic guidance and vision to drive innovation and excellence in research activities.
  • Ensure that planning, monitoring, evaluation, reflection, and learning (PMEL) activities and methods and are incorporated into research activities.

Technical Excellence

  • Lead efforts to translate research findings into actionable recommendations, policies, and interventions to address public health challenges.
  • Ensure research services are coordinated, effective, forward looking and incorporated into the Divisions activities.
  • Provide technical leadership to develop the areas of technical programming.
  • Lead, coordinate and facilitate multi-stakeholder consultative approaches and evaluate and reflect on strategic and programmatic areas of work.
  • Develop and implement training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities to enhance research skills and build the capacity in research methodologies and scientific writing.

Partnerships Development and Financial Management

  • Foster collaborations with research institutions, government agencies, non-profit organisations, and other stakeholders to leverage resources and expertise for research endeavours.
  • Cultivate strategic partnerships to facilitate knowledge exchange, capacity building and joint research activities.
  • Contribute to mobilisation initiatives with development partners and advocate for long-term funding support for the work of the division.
  • Work with the Director and Team Leaders to ensure budget development for research is accurate and budgets are executed, and audit, risk, and procurement management are effectively managed.

Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

  • Oversee the effective planning, monitoring, evaluation of research activities related to public health issues.
  • Ensuring adherence to ethical standards, research protocols and regulatory requirements.
  • Monitor research progress and address challenges to research implementation and completion.
  • Lead, coordinate and facilitate multi-stakeholder consultative approaches and forums to plan, monitor, evaluation and learn from and reflect on the implementation of the PHD research activities.

Integrated Programming

  • Contribute to a culture of collaboration, integrated programming, and shared success.
  • Learn from SPC ‘good practices’ to define programming approaches for the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects that will contribute to long term development impact in the region.
  • Support and promote communities of practice, participatory workshops, learning events on programming policies to absorb the programming design approach into all potential opportunities across the technical programme.
  • Create and facilitate learning spaces around programming through learning events to support integrated programming across the technical programme.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria


  • Master’s degree from a recognised institution in health or related disciplines and has health research project or programme management experience.

Technical expertise

  • At least 15 years’ experience in a public sector or development leadership and/or management position ideally in the Pacific Islands region.
  • Demonstrated experience in relationship building and working with a wide variety of donors and development partners with awareness of their policies and procedures.
  • Proven history of successfully building and leading multi-disciplinary teams, including people of different national and cultural backgrounds, and demonstrated ability to manage professional, technical, and program support staff in a team environment, ensuring everyone’s role contributes to successful team outputs.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead strategically with a solid understanding of programme management.
  • Demonstrated experience of leading and coordinating high level strategic consultation processes for regional positioning across a relevant sectoral agenda.
  • Proven ability to influence work collegially and in partnership with stakeholders and internal partners towards an agreed outcome.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in continuous improvement and facilitating innovation across teams.
  • Proven ability in project design, management, and reporting.
  • Ability to work constructively to resolve issues, concerns, or differences of opinion.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in continuous improvement and facilitating innovation across teams.

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written).

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration3 years – subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – The Deputy Director – Public Health Division, Research and Development is a band 14 position in SPC’s 2024 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 4,784‒5,980 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 14,255–17,820 (USD 6,362–7,953; EUR 5,930–7,412). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles– SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.

How to apply

Application procedure

Closing Date: 23 June 2024 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)

Job Reference: JM000673

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):

  1. How would you develop research capacity in PICT’s while based at a regional institution like the Pacific Community (SPC)?
  2. What would be your resource mobilisation strategy to develop health research at a regional level?
  3. Describe briefly key indicators you would use to monitor and evaluate progress of health research in the region?

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location