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Internship and Voluntary Assignment - The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO/WPRO)

Multiple locations (Various)

The Western Pacific Region (WPR), one of the six regions of the World Health Organization, is home to approximately 1.8 billion people, more than one-fourth of the world's population. It stretches over a vast area, from China in the north and west, to New Zealand in the south, and French Polynesia in the east. One of the most diverse regions of WHO, the Western Pacific constitutes some of the world's least developed countries as well as the most rapidly emerging economies.

The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific is committed to building future leaders in public health. A competent and dynamic health workforce is essential in advancing health and in achieving global health goals. Countries need to have a pool of health professionals who are trained and exposed to the systems and processes in the health sector and understand how stakeholders interplay within the arena of health. For more information on WPRO please visit this link\:

The Internship and Volunteer Programme (IVP) in the WHO Regional Office Western Pacific Region provides opportunities for graduate and postgraduate students to gain an insight into the work of the Organization, while enriching their knowledge and experience in the field of health, thereby contributing to the advancement of population health.

Objectives of the Internship and Volunteer Programme\:

a) To provide a framework for assigning students from diverse academic backgrounds to WHO programmes that can enhance their educational experience through practical assignments;
b) To expose students to the work of WHO;
c) To provide WHO programmes with input from students specializing in various fields.

Internship positions are non-paid and are offered in the different units of the Regional office as well as in some of the WHO country offices. Only shortlisted candidates will be informed.

Divisions/ Units WHO Western Pacific Region

Office of the Regional Director
1. External Relations and Partnerships
2. Public Information Office
3. Information Products and Services (incl. Library)

Division of Programme Management
1. Programme Development and Operations
2. Country Support Unit
3. Editorial Services

Division of Administration and Finance
1. Budget and Finance
2. Human Resources Management
3. Information Technologies and Administration

Division of Communicable Diseases
1. Expanded Programme on Immunization
2. Malaria, other Vectorborne and Parasitic Diseases
3. HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections
4. Stop TB and Leprosy Elimination

Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health through the Life-Course
1. Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion (incl. Public Health Law)
2. Tobacco Free Initiative
3. Mental Health and Substance Abuse
4. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health
5. Health and Environment
6. Violence and Injuries
7. Disabilities and Rehabilitation
8. Nutrition

Division of Health Systems
1. Health Policy and Financing
2. Integrated Service Delivery
3. Essential Medicines and Health Technologies
4. Health Intelligence and Innovation
5. Equity and Social Determinants

Division of Health Security and Emergencies (WHE)
1. Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response
2. Disaster Risk Management for Health
3. Food Safety
4. Risk Communication

Division of Pacific Technical Support (based in Fiji)
1. Health Security and Communicable Diseases
2. Health Systems
3. NCD and Health through the Life-Course

Country Offices WHO Western Pacific Region\:

1. WHO Representative Office in Cambodia
2. WHO Representative Office in China
3. WHO Representative Office in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
4. WHO Representative Office in Malaysia
5. WHO Representative Office in Mongolia
6. WHO Representative Office in Papua New Guinea
7. WHO Representative Office in the Philippines
8. WHO Representative Office in Samoa
9. WHO Representative Office in Solomon Islands
10. WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific (Fiji)
11. WHO Representative Office in Viet Nam

Country Liaison Offices WHO Western Pacific Region\:

1. WHO Country Liaison Officer in Kiribati
2. WHO Country Liaison Officer in Federated States of Micronesia
3. WHO Country Liaison Officer in Tonga
4. WHO Country Liaison Officer in Vanuatu

Additionally, there are assignment opportunities for students and recent graduates from non-medical disciplines such as Information Technology, Communications, Media Relations, Human Resources, Business Administration, Public Administration, Public Health Law, International Relations and Library Science.
WPRO Interns can be
  1. enrolled college students who have completed at least three years of full time studies
  2. recent college graduates who are still within six months after graduation
  3. masters and doctorate students
WPRO Volunteers are
  1. Individuals who have completed their studies and have professional working experience
Same administrative application procedures apply for both interns and volunteers.
The Terms of References (TORs) will be agreed upon by the supervisor and intern/volunteer candidate once selection is done. TORs would normally include technical tasks to be performed by the intern/volunteer to support the hiring unit.
  • Minimum of three years full time university studies, in medical or a field related to the work of WHO for interns.
  • Volunteers are expected to have completed their education.
  • No work experience required for interns.
  • Minimum of one year related work experience for volunteers.
  • Experience in research and in drafting reports would be preferred.
  • Experience in the subject area through academic work, research or field experience would be an advantage. Further, experience with data analysis, statistical packages and interest in the design of graphical display and analysis of health information in an international comparative perspective, such as for health system performance assessment may be useful
  • More specific experience such as on specialized computer programmes may be needed for some internship positions.
Use of language skills
Essential\: Interns and volunteers should have a good working knowledge of English (reading, writing and speaking).
Desirable\: Knowledge of the language of the duty station where the assignment is taking place.
All internships and voluntary assignments at WHO are unpaid.
Please note that internships at WHO are very competitive and only a small number of applicants will be accepted every year. Only successful candidates will be contacted.

- Interns must be minimum 20 years of age and be enrolled in a course of study leading to a formal qualification (graduate or post-graduate) to be eligible for the programme.

- All internships at WHO are unpaid and full-time.

- Internship duration at WHO Western Pacific Region is between 6 weeks to 6 months only.

- WHO accepts no responsibility for medical insurance of interns or costs arising from illness incurred during an internship.

- Interns are NOT eligible for appointment to any position in WHO for a period of three months following the end of the internship.
- Interns and volunteers must not be related to a WHO staff member as a first-degree relative.
-Interns and volunteers must have not previously participated in WHO's Internship and Volunteer Programme (HQ or any other region).
-Interns and volunteers must be a valid passport holder of a WHO member state.

All applications for WHO Internships and Volunteers Programme (IVP) are made available to technical units for review. The period of time for this review is indeterminate. If you do not hear from a WHO technical unit in a reasonable period of time (approximately two months after the application closing date), assume that you were not considered for a WHO internship at this time. The internship assignment can start anytime between 01 January and 31 December. If selected for a WHO Internship, you will be required to provide certified copies of proof of enrolment in a course of study and proof of personal medical insurance (illness) coverage, signed application letter, signed recommendation letter, updated CV and passport bio page copy.

An important reminder\: WHO Internships are not paid. Living abroad is expensive and finding accommodation can be challenging. All intern candidates should be aware of these factors before they consider applying for a WHO Internship. WHO does not provide financial support and interns are encouraged to seek funding from other external sources. Please note\: WHO does not charge for internships. Additional information on the Interns and Volunteers programme can be accessed here\:
IVP supports gender balance, diversity and country health capacity building. We encourage applications from member states where we are receiving few applicants.
Due to the high number of applications, phone calls may not be entertained. For inquiries please email, we will try our best to address your concerns as soon as possible.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Multiple locations (Various)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2017-11-30

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