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WHE External Emergency Roster - Toxic chemicals and/or Pathogenic Biological materials (CB) TECHNICAL SPECIALIST

Multiple locations

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Procurement
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Purpose of the WHE External Emergency Roster

The purpose of the roster is to provide short-term support during acute events for a period of up to six (6) months which may be extended up to one year depending on operational needs. Placement on the roster entails a general commitment from the external candidate to deploy within 2 to 4 weeks from the time a request for availability is made.

Purpose of the Position

The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to help countries, and coordinate international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies. The team objective is to support the Incident Management team in Operation Support and logistics related to response operations. The scope of the work will be aligned with the WHO principles of work and strategic documents on the health system infrastructure and health care services provision, public health essential operations and public health emergency preparedness and response principles.

Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objective

The WHO Emergency Response Framework (ERF) is the proposed principal basis for the mapping of framework factors in support of the establishment of a Deliberate Event (DE) Roster of Experts (RoE) to respond in a timely manner to DEs involving chemical and biological (CB) hazards.
Within the mandates conferred upon WHO by the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), as well as resolution WHA55.16 (2002), WHO has a key role to play in the global public health response which includes events involving the deliberate use of biological and chemical hazards. The Biosecurity and Health Security Protection (BSP) Unit serves as a platform for WHO/WHE initiatives related to the health and security sectors and a repository of past and current experiences in the framework of resolution WHA55.16 (2002).

Upon request for support from a WHO country office, the incumbent could be requested to provide technical expertise to support the Ministry of Health / Ministry of Interior to prepare and respond to deliberate events involving toxic chemicals or pathogenic biological agents in the country where it is deployed. A significant part of this work relates to ensuring coordinated planning, revision of standards and training of both front-line Emergency Responders as well as hospital staff in CBRN pre-clinical management as well as Mass Casualty Management. This is within a rapidly changing context with a volatile security situation and needs to support new local areas through hospitals set up, refurbishment and staffing.
The incumbent will work under the supervision of the Incident manager or the operation manager in close collaboration with the WHO CO technical officers within specific technical programme areas: health system, public health, environmental health etc., in consultation with the HQ and RO focal points and coordination within the Health Cluster with the international partners.

The incumbent will provide technical guidance to the MOH by providing technical expertise and when required, onsite support to ensure applicability and appropriate implementation of the recommended guidance on public health and health care facilities. S/he will also be responsible for reporting, performance assessment and evaluation of the planned activities, ensuring proper communication with MoH, national counterparts and partners and as appropriate.

Organizational context

The Technical specialist is intended to serve as a deployable capacity and capability for WHO to augment existing alert and response operations and procedures, and mainly to deploy alone for a first assessment or to lead a mission composed of members from the internal surge capacity. Therefore, the incumbent provides the competency and capacity for pre-clinical management of victims of chemical or biological deliberate events (CBDE).

Summary of Assigned Duties

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the Chemical and Biological risks and provide country offices management with hazards identification and risk assessments of the likely impact of C and B events on staff and civilians in affected areas
  • Liaise, if possible, with relevant international or national organizations to better characterize the scope and impact of the DE.
  • Develop the ability of the member state to pursue the continued delivery of essential health services in preparedness for a potential CBDE in the area.
  • Design targeted training curricula and deliver the training programs in order to improve the CB emergency response capabilities of the member states.
  • Provide assessment, analyses and monitoring of CB contamination needs (actual and anticipated), including planning for the impact of new risks and ensuring that in older contexts continuing needs are addressed
  • Develop and maintain Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other guidelines for related activities on CB operational response
  • Set up and manage CB Base of Operations in case of deployment to a CB DE.
  • Provide technical support and work closely with the MoH, WHO CC and other relevant institutions to coordinate and implement the WHO’s actions to increase designated region(s) health sector in preparedness and response capacity for chemical and radiological events.
  • Support regional and country actions related to all-hazards preparedness, readiness and response through needs assessment, technical support, and project proposal development.
  • Engage in assessments with designated region(s) health sector authorities for support in preparedness for chemical and biological emergencies.
  • Advise on supplies and needs for chemical, biological and technological response, and on their appropriate distribution. Identify needs for local and international procurement.
  • Support the development and co-facilitate trainings on all-hazards emergency preparedness and response with focus on chemical, biological and technological hazards planning in health facilities.
  • Be the WHO focal point for staff protection matters related to chemical, biological and technological events in designated region(s) in conjunction with Staff Health and Well-being officer, for awareness trainings for WHO, UN agencies and NGOs.
  • Maintain regular correspondence with national counterparts and the partners with regards to the health system strengthening and developing.
  • Perform any other related incident-specific duties, as required by the functional supervisor.


  • Producing results
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Teamwork
  • Excellent diplomatic skills when engaging with internal and external interlocutors
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work within and lead a team with respect of cultural diversity
  • A demonstrated ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels both internally and externally
  • Very good managerial skills
  • Strong representation, communication, and negotiation skills

Functional Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent knowledge of public health emergency preparedness and response, including ones related to chemical, biological and technological hazards.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide sound methodological, technical advice and guidance in chemical, biological and technological hazards.
  • Excellent analytical, planning, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in complex national or international settings in support of international emergency health interventions to often insecure and geographically hostile environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multicultural and multidisciplinary settings and excellent inter-personal skills.
  • Ability to monitor and communicate progress in terms of process and results.
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, and report-writing skills.
  • Innovative, creative, and proactive with an analytical and solution-focused approach for achieving mission objectives
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement and make independent decisions as appropriate
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work collaboratively under pressure



  • A master's degree in the life sciences (e.g., microbiology, virology, chemistry), health physics, veterinary, pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology), or in CBRN response/ Emergency management/ public health.
  • Recognized training in CBRN reconnaissance, sampling, decontamination, or having a previous operational experience in a CBRN context (e.g., Ebola response, Chemical leak /chemical weapon use, Fukushima)


  • Specialization or training in the delivery of emergency health response / disaster management in public health.



  • At least 7 years of relevant CBRN operational experience within recognized organizations such as OPCW, Civil defence/ paramedic, fire fighters, police, military, ICRC
  • Relevant experience in emergency management in the field of public health and or experience in health operations, with proven experience in managing chemical events and health emergencies.
  • Related experience in managing human and financial resources.
  • Previous work experience in supporting member state capacity building in CBDE preparedness and response
  • Willingness to deploy worldwide.
  • Able to work in a personal protective equipment appropriate to the event


  • Experience in WHO, the UN System and/or NGOs in the area of health operation, outbreak response and planning of emergency interventions in the context of public health and/or humanitarian actions.
  • Knowledge in biosecurity
  • Qualification and licensing to pack and ship biological and medical samples according to IATA Category A – Infectious Substance 6.2 and Category B - Biological Substance


Essential: Excellent language skills in at least one WHO official language.
Desirable: Other languages at national or regional levels desirable where applicable.

Other Skills (e.g. IT)

  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.
  • Knowledge of ERP/Oracle applications is an asset.

Additional Information:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
  • The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.
This vacancy is now closed.
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