The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking experts to serve as members of the Technical Advisory Group on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Cause of Death Estimation. This “Call for experts” provides information about the advisory group in question, the expert profiles being sought, the process to express interest, and the process of selection.
WHO is the leading agency of the United Nations (UN) Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group (MMEIG), a UN initiative comprising WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank Group and the UNDESA/Population Division. The MMEIG has the function to update the inter-agency estimates of maternal mortality. The MMEIG contributes to monitoring progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 – “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by producing estimates of the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) (target 3.1.1).
To support WHO’s role in the MMEIG and, ultimately, the MMEIG’s work, WHO hereby establishes a Technical Advisory Group on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Cause of Death Estimation (the “TAG”) that will act as an advisory body to WHO in the field of maternal mortality measurement and maternal cause of death measurement. The TAG will provide guidance in relation to on-going methodological improvements and strategies for reporting and enhancing country level reporting.
Functions of the TAG on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Cause of Death Estimation
In its capacity as an advisory body to WHO, the TAG shall have the following functions:
- To provide independent evaluation of the scientific, technical and strategic aspects relating to maternal mortality and maternal cause of death measurement and estimation methods.
- To recommend priorities relating to the development of a research agenda to address maternal mortality measurement challenges required for global monitoring purposes.
- To advise on linkages with related advisory groups, including those working on the measurement and estimation of perinatal, neonatal, and infant mortality.
- To advise on strategies to promote linkages to broader strategies to strengthen national statistics systems as relates to maternal mortality measurement, including civil registration and vital statistics, standardized coding and classification according to the rules of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) framework.
- To advise on strategies in relation to the effective dissemination and use of the maternal mortality estimates and related products.
Operations of the TAG on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Cause of Death Estimation
The TAG shall normally be expected meet at least once per year, either in-person or virtually at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, usually for 2-3 days each time. Meetings may be convened in other locations if determined by WHO. Additional meetings and/or interim teleconferences may be required of members where input is requested on specific issues.
Active participation is expected from all TAG members, including in working subgroups, teleconferences and interaction via e-mail. TAG members may be requested to review meeting documentation in advance of TAG meetings.
The working language of the TAG will be English.
Who can express interest?
The TAG on Maternal Mortality and Maternal Cause of Death Estimation will be multidisciplinary, with members who have a range of technical knowledge, skills and experience relevant to maternal mortality and morbidity measurement.
WHO welcomes expressions of interest from:
- Expert scientists, healthcare professionals, health management information systems and data specialists with expertise in the following areas:
- Epidemiology, biostatistics, data science, modelling of health estimatesMaternal health, obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, reproductive healthMonitoring and measurement within health systemsCensuses, civil registration and vital statistics, health and demographic surveillance systems, maternal death review, verbal autopsy, other surveillance systems, as relates to mortality and cause of death data
- A cover letter, indicating your motivation to apply and how your expertise meets the criteria above. Please note that, if selected, membership will be in a personal capacity. Therefore, do not use the letterhead or other identification of your employer);Your curriculum vitae;One example of a work product or report in the relevant area; andA signed and completed Declaration of Interests (DOI) form for WHO Experts, available HERE.
- To this end, applicants are required to complete the WHO Declaration of Interests for WHO Experts, and the selection as a member of an AG is, amongst other things, dependent on WHO determining that there is no conflict of interest or that any identified conflicts could be appropriately managed (in addition to WHO’s evaluation of an applicant’s experience, expertise and motivation and other criteria).All AG members will serve in their individual expert capacity and shall not represent any governments, any commercial industries or entities, any research, academic or civil society organizations, or any other bodies, entities, institutions or organizations. They are expected to fully comply with the Code of Conduct for WHO Experts. AG members will be expected to sign and return a completed confidentiality undertaking prior to the beginning of the first meeting.The selection of members of the AGs will be made by WHO in its sole discretion, taking into account the following (non-exclusive) criteria: relevant technical expertise; experience in international and country policy work; communication skills; and ability to work constructively with people from different cultural backgrounds and orientations .The selection of AG members will also take account of the need for diverse perspectives from different regions, especially from low and middle-income countries, and for gender balance.If selected by WHO, proposed members will be sent an invitation letter and a Memorandum of Agreement. Appointment as a member of an AG will be subject to the proposed member returning to WHO the countersigned copy of these two documents.
- WHO reserves the right to accept or reject any expression of interest, to annul the open call process and reject all expressions of interest at any time without incurring any liability to the affected applicant or applicants and without any obligation to inform the affected applicant or applicants of the grounds for WHO’s action.
- WHO may also decide, at any time, not to proceed with the establishment of the AG, disband an existing AG or modify the work of the AG.WHO shall not in any way be obliged to reveal, or discuss with any applicant, how an expression of interest was assessed, or to provide any other information relating to the evaluation/selection process or to state the reasons for not choosing a member.
- WHO may publish the names and a short biography of the selected individuals on the WHO internet. AG members will not be remunerated for their services in relation to the AG or otherwise.
- Travel and accommodation expenses of AG members to participate in AG meetings will be covered by WHO in accordance with its applicable policies, rules and procedures.The appointment will be limited in time as indicated in the letter of appointment, typically for 2 years.If you have any questions about this “Call for experts”, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org well before the applicable deadline.