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Technical Officer, Risk Communications (republished)

Manila (Philippines)


The mission of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.


WHE brings together and enhances WHO's operational, technical and normative capacities in outbreaks, emergencies and risk analysis to address all health hazards across the risk management cycle in a predictable, capable, dependable, adaptable and accountable manner. WHE is designed to operate within the broader humanitarian and emergency management architecture in support of people at risk of, or affected by, outbreaks and emergencies, consistent with ways that strengthen local and national capabilities.


The objectives of the programme area, Country Health Emergency Preparedness & IHR (CPI), includes the following\: to monitor and evaluate country preparedness for health and humanitarian emergencies, to develop country capacity-building plan for countries with critical capacities and to act as the Secretariat of IHR (2005). The CPI prioritizes support to the most vulnerable and low-capacity countries.


The intersectoral nature of emergency preparedness entails for CPI a large partnership with other international organizations and the consideration of several global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health, emergencies and disasters, IHR (2005), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS Pathway), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, regional strategies such as the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED III), the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response, the European Health Policy, and the regional strategies for disaster risk management. CPI coordinates its activities with international and national initiatives such as the Global Health Security Agenda and Universal Health Coverage 2030.


The Preparedness, Readiness and Core Capacity (PCB) is the main hub for technical support to WHO's regional and country offices in their effort to strengthen intersectoral national capacity for the early detection, timely and effective response, to public health emergencies as required under IHR (2005). Working closely with other WHE staff, PCB ensures that needs listed in national action plans are translated into targeted capacity-building in the priority/vulnerable countries.


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities\:


1. Provide support for national capacity development in risk communication in line with the requirements of APSED III and IHR (2005). Underpin the national assessment of risk communication capacity and oversee the running of simulation exercises to test and improve national capacities;


2. Act as risk communication focal point in WHE Incident Management System during outbreaks and public health emergencies. Oversee the development and implementation of the risk communication plan as part of the health response operations;


3. Systematically document and report progress on risk communication capacity and proactively address gaps;


4. Ensure that relevant technical guidance documents on risk communication are developed and disseminated to countries;


5. Work with technical units and risk communication counterparts from the country offices and WHO headquarters to ensure that communication strategies are closely aligned with country strategies and are culturally appropriate;


6. During outbreaks and emergencies, liaise with incident manager to ensure that risk communication expertise is deployed to the ground;


7. Upon request, provide technical support, backstopping and gap-filling for emergency activities at any level of the Organization or scale of emergency; and


8. Perform other related duties, as requested by supervisor, including provision of support to other areas of work and teams or programme areas within the WHE, as required.



Essential\: Postgraduate degree in media studies, communication, public relations or journalism or relevant social sciences from recognized university.
Desirable\: Advanced studies in management, public health development, international relations or other related behavioural sciences. Training in public health, health education, health communication, or health promotion.


Essential\: Minimum seven years of experience in public information and mass media including experience in the health sector and capacity-building and with experience at international level.
Desirable\: Health sector experience at country and international levels, including working on disease outbreaks or emergencies.


-Excellent interpersonal skills.

-Effective negotiation, facilitation and consensus building skills.

-Ability to work under pressure while producing results.

-Ability to "think out of the box" and to make innovative proposals related to risk communication.

-Knowledge or understanding of WHO mandate and goals in the emergency incident management context.

-Ability act with tact, discretion, and diplomacy and ability to work harmoniously as a member of a team, adapt to diverse cultural and educational backgrounds and maintain a high standard of personal conduct.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership

Use of Language Skills

Essential\: Expert knowledge of written and spoken English. 


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 71,332 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 2312 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an 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\: http\:// Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link\: http\:// Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
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: Manila (Philippines)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-09

What does it mean?

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