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Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Medical Doctor
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-24

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The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) 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. The WHE Response division (WRE) is responsible for rapidly detecting and responding to health emergencies while leveraging relevant national and international partnerships, ensuring that emergency-affected populations in acute and protracted emergencies have access to essential health services and that systems are maintained and strengthened in fragile, conflict and vulnerable settings while implementing at scale, proven prevention strategies for priority pandemic/epidemic-prone diseases. The Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment Department is responsible for identifying new public health events, assessing risks to public health, conducting epidemiological surveillance and field investigations, monitoring public health interventions, and communicating public health information to technical partners and stakeholders.


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following duties which are performed according to the needs and agenda:

1- Field Epidemiology: one of the main components of The Programme and HIM Department is the rapid deployment to areas affected by emergencies and outbreaks to provide technical assistance to the host countries, local or national authorities and key partners.

2- For specific emergencies, as needed, act as the Incident Manager; provide leadership to the IMST, stimulate collaboration and coordination with officials and key partners at the regional and national level, to ensure a coordinated response using standardised, innovative information systems and tools.

3- For specific emergencies under the supervision of the assigned Incident Manager, serve in designated roles under WHO Incident Management Systems (IMS) and Incident Manager Support Teams (IMST) to:

[a] Provide expert support to field teams and other pillars.

[b] Monitor the emergency and provide timely analyses and assessments to inform the response.

[c] Effectively communicate these assessments internally and externally to a wide range of audiences, including but not limited to senior WHO leadership and other staff, international partners, donors and the wider general public.

4- Provide leadership and technical expertise for field epidemiology methods to gather and analyze information for public health action using quantitative methods to: Identify and design surveillance systems in emergencies and implement standardized WHO Early Warning Alert and Response Systems, including but not limited to

[a] Revising existing surveillance systems or developing new systems to ensure detection, verification and response to public health events in emergencies.

[b] Developing or adapting surveillance guidelines and protocols for use at field level.

[c] Provide expertise on data management methods and storage for surveillance systems and making recommendations as appropriate.

[d] Proactively participating in outbreak and other epidemiologic investigations in emergencies in carrying out epidemiological and technical analysis using appropriate quantitative methods to interpret and analyze disease or health outcome data, and generate descriptive analyses of surveillance data for a variety of audiences.

5- Within the framework of emergency public health information management, proactively participate in the design, development and training of partners in affected areas to advance health service mapping in emergencies using standardized approaches, including but not limited to

[a] Developing and up-dating country-specific repository of information (at the highest geographic resolution possible) on core public health indicators (e.g. crude and under-five mortality rates, prevalence of malnutrition, vaccination coverage).

[b] Updating population estimates (resident, displaced, refugees) indicators used by partners for monitoring needs and response, as well as health needs assessment reports.

[c] Coordinating data entry, validation, analysis and reporting of assessments and surveys from multiple sources in emergencies.

[d] Designing and advising on databases development, data entry, carrying out data analysis using quantitative methods to produce communication products such as situation reports, bulletins, alerts, and other ad-hoc reports using standard tools and templates.

6- Foster a culture of collaboration toward the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for WHO-wide tools for data collection, management and analysis of public health data in emergencies, coordinating activities with the Global Health Cluster, Emergency Medical Teams, GOARN and other key partners to set-up strong networks of epidemiologists through which WHO tools can be deployed and supported in emergencies.

7- Play a key role in activities such as but not limited to :

[a] Representing WHO in coordination forums with partners involved in epidemiology, applying quantitative methods and information management in emergencies, including OCHA Inter-Agency Working Group on Assessment and Information Management and Incident Management structures.

[b] Developing and regularly updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for key emergency response information systems and outbreak investigation methods and emergencies.

[c] Identifying new approaches and innovative methods for managing epidemiological information in emergencies.

[d] Contributing to resource mobilization efforts and proposal writing to raise funds at global, regional and country levels.

[e] Promoting a culture of evidence-based decision making within WHO and with key partners.

[f] Developing and providing capacity building and training to colleagues within WHO and key partners, including Ministries of Health, with a focus on enhancing epidemiology and information management core competencies.

8- Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.




  • Advanced level university degree in epidemiology, quantitative methods and/or medicine, complemented by courses in epidemiology (in case the advanced degree wasn't in Epidemiology already), public health, international health or a related discipline.


  • Specialization in one of the above fields. In service training in field epidemiology such as Field Epidemiology (and Laboratory) Training Programme (FELTP), the European Program for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Programme or equivalent experience.



  • At least ten years' professional experience with a successful track record in epidemiology, information management, quantitative methods, surveillance and/or control of outbreaks, with proven field experience in epidemics or public health emergencies.

  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.


  • Experience in WHO or UN, UN Agencies or another international organization.


Three competencies are considered to be mandatory for all WHO staff: Teamwork, Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences, and Communication.

Demonstrated expertise in field epidemiology, quantitative methods, data management and surveillance in the area of emerging/re-emerging diseases and humanitarian response in an international setting.

Proven ability to link routine health information and quantitative data to public health response in outbreaks, emergencies, planning, service delivery and/or policy-decision making. Skills in designing and managing databases in software commonly used in field epidemiology (for example EpiInfo, EpiData, ODK, Microsoft Access, SPSS, STATA, SAS, R).

Excellent organizational and analytical skills combined with ability to multi-task and produce accurate results under pressure.

Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate in a credible and effective way, and synthesize information in a clear and concise manner.

Tact, diplomacy and courtesy.

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


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French.

  • Intermediate knowledge of Other WHO 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 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 6259 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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