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GIS Specialist (Geographical Information System)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Population matters (trends and census)
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-28

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The overall objective of the Department is to coordinate WHO's efforts to eradicate polio, as the lead technical partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), as outlined in the Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023. This includes supporting national governments and the global polio eradication partnership to interrupt the transmission of wild and vaccine-derived poliovirus worldwide, help integrate polio eradication with broader immunization and emergency efforts, certify eradication and eventually stop the use of all oral poliovirus vaccine in routine immunization.


1. Serve as the lead technical resource for managing geospatial mapping and analysis within the polio data group, including development, maintenance and update of the polio geodatabase and geographic codes and their integration within the polio data system, including within the new POLIS computerized polio data platform.

2. Coordinate the development of database applications that facilitate functionality and usability of the polio surveillance and immunization information systems, specifically of applications which facilitate geospatial mapping and analysis of polio data.

3. Provide technical expertise and support to polio eradication teams at Regional and Country Offices to build capacity, strengthen data management and use of GIS mapping tools, and improve the quality of overall polio data and of applying GIS to visualize and map results.

4. Coordinate polio data and GIS / mapping support for ad-hoc requests, e.g. preparations for major meetings, such as meetings of Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Independent Monitoring Board of the GPEI, and for routine publications such as the weekly polio update, the acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance report for the Weekly Epidemiological Record, the World Health Report and various polio eradication program publications.

5. Develop maps with layered data displaying affected populations, camps, conflict and security situation in polio outbreaks and other polio affected areas.

6. As a member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's GIS Working Group, provide support to the programme at all levels and ensure information needs of the GPEI is adequately addressed.

7. Provide database management to maintain and improve the global polio database system including database content, structure, relational integrity, file location, backup, and documentation.

8. Centrally coordinate the proper management of polio data coming in from country and regional level by the data management/ information system group, in terms of cleaning, verification, logging, data entry and data processing.

9. Contribute to the vision and application of geospatial science and technology within other departments of the PEC cluster and WHO HQ by networking with GIS professionals across the organization.1

0. Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor.



Essential: Advanced university degree (Master's level or above) in geographic sciences (or related degree that involves geospatial analysis), computing, science, statistics, or mathematics.
Desirable: Formal training (certificate or course) in geographic information systems.


Essential: At least 7 years work experience in data management and use of advanced geographic information systems; of these, at least 2 years' experience working with UN agencies in an international setting (i.e. in countries other than the home country).
Desirable: Experience in providing technical support and advanced training on the use of GIS in developing countries, specifically in countries affected by conflict.


Skilled in all aspects of the development and operation of health information systems. Ability to design, manage, analyse and coordinate complex information system projects, computer-based applications and databases including databases required by geographic information systems and mapping applications/systems. Good inter-personal communication skills and ability to interact effectively in a multi-cultural environment. The successful candidate will require demonstrated and extensive hands-on experience with Microsoft Access and Excel, the ESRI GIS software stack including ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server and coding against ArcGIS Server's JavaScript/REST interface and ArcObjects. Experience with Microsoft SQL Server, Python, Google Earth, the Google Maps API, and image editing software such as Adobe Illustrator.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Moving forward in a changing environment
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


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 73,516 (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 5428 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.
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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