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Programme Area Manager (Emergency Operations)

Manila (Philippines)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Manila (Philippines)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
    • Refugee rights and well-being
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-23

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The mission of WHE is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, 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.

EMO within the WHE is responsible for ensuring that emergency-affected populations have access to timely and effective health services. This includes ensuring a strong emergency management system (based on incident management), effective and inclusive coordination mechanisms, joint assessments and planning by partners, implementation of operations and services according to agreed standards and strong logistics and operational support. The expansion and strengthening of operational partnerships are a key priority. EMO also leads on humanitarian policy and guidance, as well as representation to key interagency bodies.

The intersectoral nature of emergency preparedness entails for EMO a large partnership with other international organizations and the consideration of several global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals related to health, emergencies and disasters, the International Health Regulations (2005), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, the Performance of Veterinary Services, 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, and the regional strategies for disaster risk management. EMO coordinates its activities with international and national initiatives such as the Global Health Security Agenda and Universal Health Coverage 2030.


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

1. Lead and direct all aspects of EMO work in emergency operations, in close collaboration with WHO senior management at headquarters, regional and country offices, through an organization-wide network for the development, implementation and oversight of policies, strategies, programmes of work and annual work plans in emergency operations and their implementation and monitoring of results;

2. In close collaboration with the RED and WHO senior management, lead the formulation, revision and updating of all technical aspects of guidelines for emergency response, based on sound SOPs and their application across all levels of the division and WHO as appropriate, including ensuring operational and technical support using the ERF in emergency operations in response to epidemic events, outbreaks and other health emergencies with focus on confirming and grading decisions on emergencies in line with the WHO protocols and guidelines, in full coordination with IASC and a broad range of key partners and stakeholders through interagency and intercluster collaboration based on a culture of collaborative multi-disciplinary cross-cutting approaches to optimize the use of effective incident management, in line with International Health Regulations (2005) to further operational support for WHO response to epidemic events;

3. Provide strategic advice and expertise on emergency operations to the RED on relations and partnerships with the United Nations, UN agencies, Member States, NGOs and other key partners and stakeholders toward enabling and promoting collaborative working agreements and collaborative arrangements, to establish a common understanding of health priorities in ongoing emergencies and to ensure the provision of comprehensive technical support, including the convening of time-limited task forces to address specific issues, as necessary;

4. Provide authoritative technical, managerial and policy advice to staff, including those located in the country offices; review reports submitted by staff and provide timely and constructive feedback;

5. Oversee the management, security, supply levels and distribution of regional stockpiles through stockpile management systems, to ensure that there are required levels of resources to respond effectively;

6. Harness and coordinate technical expertise from all areas in WHE, as well as programme areas across the three levels of WHO as appropriate to strengthen the implementation of all-hazards emergencies work through the provision of networks of experts and technical expertise mechanisms;

7. Provide sound and effective leadership, motivation, guidance, management and performance evaluation of EMO staff, including: setting clear objectives; ensuring timely and effective use of performance reviews and feedback mechanisms; proactively promoting effective team work and achievement of results; resolving interpersonal and technical problems; developing and supporting a learning environment, including staff development opportunities; and managing the EMO regional budget within the framework of the WHO Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations;

8. Provide technical support in Member States' implementation of APSED III and the Regional Framework for Action for Disaster Risk Management for Health and capacity building in response to and preparedness for public health emergencies;

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

10. Represent RED and EMO at internal and external official meetings and respond to media inquiries as required and assigned;

11. Perform other related duties, as requested by supervisor, including WHO's readiness activities and provision of support to other areas of work and teams or programme areas within the WHE, as required.



Essential: Advanced university degree (master's level or above) in medicine, public health, emergency and disaster management or closely related discipline, from a recognized university.
Desirable: Degree in medicine. Specialized training in epidemiology, emergency and outbreak management, disaster preparedness or humanitarian response. Training in leadership or management.


Essential: Minimum ten years of relevant experience in health in the field of emergency management including operations in response to emergencies and epidemic events, combined with leadership and managerial experience, at national and international levels. Within this experience, at least five years in managing and coordinating large scale public health projects in developing countries and demonstrated experience at international level. Knowledge of interagency mechanisms in the area of international preparedness for and response to health emergencies.
Desirable: Relevant work experience in WHO and/or the UN system in the areas of outbreak response and/or humanitarian interventions. Field experience in public health programmes or emergency response programmes in developing countries.


-Demonstrated leadership and managerial skills in international and multicultural settings combined with proven ability to successfully coordinate, manage and lead projects, and build partnerships with multiple partners in the context of health emergencies.

-Demonstrated knowledge of rapid response operations and their implementation in public health emergencies.

-Excellent skills in the assessment, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of emergency situations with the ability to conceptualize effective response strategies and advocate for their implementation.

-Mature judgement, strong technical, analytical and conceptual skills with demonstrated ability to integrate political, technical and managerial inputs into recommendations for decision-making.

-Sound strategic and tactical thinking with the ability to identify challenges, risks and priorities, and formulate clear comprehensive policies, strategies and plans.

-Superior organizational skills with the ability to multitask and produce results under pressure.

-Excellent oral and written communication skills with proven ability to communicate in a clear and effective way including through discussions, reports, briefing notes, project proposals and powerpoint presentations.

-Using tact, diplomacy and courtesy to improve internal and external relationships, and lead to more successful outcomes.

-Authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles, methods and techniques in international emergency risk management and humanitarian response, with a broad-based understanding of its growing complexity including knowledge of the workings of relevant international policy-setting bodies.

-Ability to work harmoniously as a member of a team, adapt to diverse cultural and educational background, and maintain a high standard of personal conduct.

WHO Competencies

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

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of written and spoken English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of other UN Languages.


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 89,837 (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 3608 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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