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Communications Officer

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-28

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The Department of Communications (DCO) objectives are to:

- lead the development of the corporate communications plan, drive prioritization and ‘right size' effort with expected impact for WHO;

- position WHO as the authoritative and trusted voice on health at the global level through working with technical departments to develop strategies to amplify WHO's normative work;

- lead WHO media outreach, incl. crisis/ emergency communication with input from technical departments as well as across all 3 levels;

- drive all communication to the general public as well as responding to media enquiries; lead on global advocacy (e.g. health campaigns, public health information, donor visibility for resource mobilization);

- provide digital global production capacity & expertise to support all levels of the organization.


Under the guidance of the Head of Health Information and Advocacy, and in partnership with the rest of the Department of Communications team, HQ Departments/Divisions, Regional and Country Offices and external partners, the Communications Officer:

- Develops storylines and key messages for WHO's work for key stakeholders, including WHO Offices, Ministries of Health, health partners, donors and the general public.

- Develops communications products (e.g. website and social media content, including press releases, feature articles, and print and audiovisual products) to promote WHO's work, convey important public health messaging, support resource mobilization efforts, as well as meet the information needs of donors and other stakeholders.

- Drafts and edits written materials, including feature stories, news products, fact sheets and Q&As, ensuring accuracy, consistency, coherence, and adherence to WHO House Style.

- Supports WHO country and regional offices, and relevant departments, in proactively communicating through developing strategies and content.

- Promotes WHO's work through WHO corporate platforms, media queries/pitches, and spokesperson interviews/briefings.

- Partners with other Units and Teams across the Department of Communications to ensure alignment, timeliness, quality and innovative approaches to communications products.

- Participates in or organizes public events.

- Performs all other related duties as required.



Essential: A first-level university degree in communications, journalism, or related field.
Desirable: Knowledge of public health and international relations.


Essential: Minimum 5 years' experience in communications or journalism with a major international organization. Demonstrated experience in health communications. Significant experience in developing and implementing communications content and strategies.
Desirable: Experience producing content for radio/TV broadcasting and the web, including photos, videos and social media. Experience working with WHO or other UN Agencies.


- Sound news and features writing skills.

- Proven ability to multitask, prioritize, research and write to short deadlines.

- Sound advocacy skills complemented by the ability to plan and evaluate situations and propose innovative communications options.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Moving forward in a changing environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of another UN Language.


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 60,962 (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 4511 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: 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.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • 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: 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.
  • For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.
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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