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Technical Officer

Geneva (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-24

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Health emergencies continue to have significant and sometimes catastrophic impacts on countries' health, economies and development. Both recent and ongoing public health events have demonstrated that the many communities remain at the high risk, and that strong levels of national preparedness across all relevant sectors are crucial to ensuring the effective management of health emergencies, when they occur. They also illustrate the need for scaling up the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) that requires countries to build and maintain the capacities to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to, and recover from public health emergencies, anchored on strong and resilient health systems. The Emergency Preparedness Division contributes to the implementation of the WHO Global Programme of Work (GPW 13) and is guided by WHO strategic priorities to “keep the world safe, improve health and serve the vulnerable”. The WHO strategic priorities drive the progress in health towards Universal Health Coverage, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and speaks particularly to SDG 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. The Health Security Preparedness (HSP) department supports Member States in enhancing national preparedness across the IHR core capacities to manage all-hazard risks and emergencies, and to build multisectoral approaches for health security. It ensures that WHO supports Member States to build sustainable preparedness capacities and scale up the implementation of the IHR (2005), and support the implementation of the Sendai Framework, the WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework, Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other related global and regional frameworks. The department also establishes strategic links to and supports the advancement of global initiatives such as GPMB, GHSA, EU ACP, Health and Security Alliance, Foreign Affairs for Global Health initiative and the UN System Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. HSP works with partners and the broader global heath security community to ensure that the most vulnerable communities in all countries are protected from the impact of health emergencies.


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

--> Implementation of Health Systems for Health Security Framework.

--> Finalise and publish a framework on Health Systems for Health Security.

--> Develop relevant tools, guidance and training package to facilitate the implementation of HS for HS framework including updating of the WHO Benchmarks for International Health Regulations to include elements from Health System and other Sectors as necessary for health security.

--> Support country-level pilots in collaboration with country and regional offices on implementation of the framework and relevant tools which includes attention and investment in strengthening health systems for health security.

--> Develop a communication and engagement plan for health systems for health security, including through scientific conferences, webinars, editorials and other publications.

--> Work with an academic partner on the training of public health professionals in health systems for health security.

--> Develop and implement monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for health systems for health security, including a tool and indicators for its implementation in close collaboration with the regional offices and partners.

--> Liaise with relevant units and departments, including Health System dept, in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Health System for Health Security. Support to the EHS Unit on Analytics and Innovation.

--> Conduct analyses on the outcome and impact of Health Systems components, longer-term preparedness, event related outcomes (like COVID-19 outcomes) to advance the evidence base of health systems for health security.

--> Support the development of methodologies to triangulate results of various assessment tools for health systems, for health security and emergency preparedness.

--> Support the unit on conducting operational and implementation research on health systems for health security.

--> Document and disseminate best practices and lessons learned on strengthening health systems for health security.

--> Respond as appropriate to requests for information sharing, including developing information products for the WHO website and the Strategic Partnership Portal, as relevant.

--> Perform other related responsibilities, including replacing and/or backstopping and support unit and other teams in the department, division, cluster, and beyond as needed.




  • First level university degree in public health, a health-related field, social sciences, or a public-business management related field.


  • Advanced University Degree (Master degree) in public health or social science.

  • Qualification in epidemiology or community medicine, Health System policy.



  • At least five years' experience supporting on the implementation of IHR, health security or emergency preparedness with an international development organization, or at national/provincial level, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Experience in outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies.

  • Demonstrated track record of developing guidance, tools and plans to implement programs and projects.


  • Work experience in health security or emergency preparedness or disaster management is desirable.

  • Experience in working with UN System or international organizations in the field of emergencies and disasters.

  • Working experience with at least one statistical application.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of health security and IHR (2005) in particular, complemented by skills in the field of epidemiology, health emergency preparedness and response and health system assessment (use of appropriate instrument, data collection, analysis and write-up of results, conclusions and recommendations), planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, in a public health emergency and/or disaster context.

  • Excellent organizational and technical skills with the ability to coordinate activities and independently manage multiple projects concurrently.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the capacity to work with high-level stakeholders with discretion and tact in a politically sensitive environment.

  • Abreast with MS suite and communication skills.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork.

  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences.

  • Communication.

  • Moving forward in a changing environment.

  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond.

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of 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 62,120 (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 4519 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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