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Call for experts for the WHO Advisory Group of the Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine (AG-CIA)

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Article from the World Health Organization website, issued on 14 april 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking experts to serve as members of the Advisory Group of the Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine (AG-CIA). This “Call for experts”-page provides information about the advisory group and the expert profiles that are being sought for the group. This page also provides information on the process to express interest and the process of selection.

Background

To preserve the public health benefits of antibacterial agents it is important to reduce their use of in the different sectors. In particular, it is important to reduce the use of those antibacterial medicines that are critically important for human medicine. In order to work towards this goal, WHO since 2005 has developed the List of Critically Important Antimicrobials (CIA) as was updated for the last time in 2018 with the 6th revision.

The WHO CIA List ranks antibacterial agents based on criteria that indicate the relative importance of each antimicrobial agent in human medicine. Using the WHO criteria each antimicrobial agent is categorized in one of three major groups: (1) critically important, (2) highly important; or (3) important to human medicine.

Functions of the Advisory Group of the Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine

The mandate of the AG-CIA is:

  1. to provide independent scientific and technical advice for future revisions of the WHO CIA List;
  2. to review and analyze scientific information to update the ranking of antimicrobials based on the criteria established in the latest WHO CIA List;
  3. to advise on the approach to address the use of antimicrobials in different sectors (for example plants or crops) to be included in the next WHO CIA list;
  4. to review and provide technical advice and support on relevant publications; and
  5. to advise and support WHO in promoting the use of the WHO CIA List in countries for prioritization of risk management strategies in the human sector, the food animal sector, in agriculture (crops) and horticulture, through a coordinated multisectoral One Health approach.

More information can be found on the Terms of Reference of the AG-CIA.

Ways for working of the Advisory Group

The AG-CIA is expected to meet regularly; at least once a year. WHO may convene additional meetings. AG-CIA meetings may be held in person at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland or another location, as determined by WHO. AG-CIA may also be held virtually, via video or teleconference. The working language of the Advisory Group will be English.

Who can express interest?

The AG-CIA will be multidisciplinary, with members who have a diverse range of technical knowledge, skills and experience relevant to antimicrobial resistance and use of antimicrobials in different sectors (such as microbiology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, public health, agriculture and veterinary science). Approximately 15 members may be selected.

WHO welcomes expressions of interest from scientists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, healthcare professionals, public health specialists, veterinarians, food, agriculture and environment professionals or other relevant disciplines with expertise in the following areas:

  • antimicrobial resistance, surveillance, prevention and control;
  • antimicrobial use in human health and/or animals or plants;
  • infectious diseases in humans, animals and/or plants; and
  • the human-animal interface with impact on human health.

Submitting your expression of interest

To register your interest for consideration to the AG-CIA , please submit the following documents by5 May 2021 23:59 Geneva time to antibacterialpipeline@who.int using the subject line “Expression of interest for the AG-CIA”.

To apply please provide us with:

  • a cover letter indicating your motivation and how you satisfy the selection criteria. 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 (CV); and
  • a signed and completed Declaration of Interests form (DOI) for WHO Experts, available at:  https://www.who.int/about/ethics/declarations-of-interest.

After submission, your expression of interest will be reviewed by WHO. Due to an expected high volume of interest only selected individuals will be informed.

The selection process and conditions of appointment

Members of WHO advisory groups (AGs) must be free of any real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest. To this end, applicants are required to complete the WHO Declaration of Interests for WHO Experts, and the selection as a member of a 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, and 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.

At any point during the selection process, telephone interviews may be scheduled between an applicant and the WHO Secretariat to enable WHO to ask questions relating to the applicant’s experience and expertise and/or to assess whether the applicant meets the criteria for membership in the relevant AG.

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 in to account the need for diverse perspectives from different regions, especially from low and middle-income countries, as well as 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. At any time, WHO may also decide, 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.

If you have any questions about this “Call for experts”, please write to matheujo@who.int well before the deadline of 5 May 2021.