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NPO - Surveillance


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Colombo
  • Grade: Junior level - NO-A, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: 2022-12-05


The objectives of the programme include: 1) supporting strengthening of early warning systems (including event-based and indicator-based surveillance) for epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases; 2) strengthening communicable diseases surveillance including VPD, entomological and AEFI surveillance; and 3) supporting the MoH in the development of surveys and monitoring/surveillance systems for detection, verification and response to public health events.


Under the direct supervision of Public Health Administrator and guidance of WHO Representative to Sri Lanka Country Office, and in close collaboration with the Technical Leads in the Regional and Country Office, the incumbent will provide technical assistance to MoH in surveillance activities:

1. Provide support to conduct risk assessments for acute public health events whenever necessary.

2. Support the MoH in the development of surveys and monitoring/surveillance systems for detection, verification and response to public health events.

3. Provide assistance to ensure quick data collection, correlation, analysis, interpretation and timely reporting for communicable diseases.

4. Collate and verify data on reported outbreaks or rumors received from multiple sources, conduct retrospective analysis of reported incidents: determine trends, distribution patterns, and efficiency of the verification mechanism.

5. Work closely and liaise with laboratories and public health units in facilitating sample collection and sending samples to laboratories including to overseas laboratories if needed.

6. Ensure detection and reporting of cases and outbreaks using the standard case definition, and support investigation of suspected cases of communicable diseases.

7. Support strengthening of early warning systems (including event-based and indicator-based surveillance) for epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases.

8. Contribute to development of surveillance guidelines and SOPs for contact tracing and epidemiological investigations.

9. Support MoH in strengthening sentinel site (ILI/ARI/SARI) surveillance, hospital-based, PHC and community based-surveillance, enhanced surveillance for some high-risk groups residing or working in closed settings, serological surveillance in line with latest protocols, mortality, genomic and environmental surveillance, and disease surveillance at Points of Entry.

10. Strengthen event-based surveillance to capture unstructured information from formal and informal channels, such as online content, radio broadcasts and print media across all sectors to complement conventional public health surveillance efforts.

11. Strengthen participatory disease surveillance to enable members of the public to self-report signs or symptoms.

12. Provide assistance in strengthening communicable diseases surveillance including VPD, entomological and AEFI surveillance.

13. Provide guidance on digital tools (outbreak response tool - go data; proximity tracing and symptoms tracking tools) to assist contact tracing and case identification.

14. Facilitate and/or conduct capacity building activities such as trainings, workshops, on surveillance.

15. Prepare and disseminate disease outbreak news, sitreps, technical documents, updates, and assessments to key decision-makers and to the national health authorities, as required using standard tools and templates.

16. Support in development of proposals and donor reports related to surveillance activities.

17. Perform any other duties, as required by the supervisor or WHO Country Representative.



Essential: Bachelor's degree in medicine or epidemiology/statistics or public health.
Desirable: An advanced university degree in public health. Specialized training in health emergencies and/or communicable diseases.


Essential: A minimum of one year of relevant experience, at the national level, in public health including surveillance and monitoring and evaluation in health emergencies.
Desirable: Experience with the UN system or other international organizations is an advantage.


  • Demonstrable experience in health programmes/projects
  • Analytical and leadership skills at professional level
  • Good networking and public relations capacity
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical documents.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Intermediate knowledge of local language, Sinhala.


Remuneration comprises an annual base salary starting at LKR 4,314,867 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable) and 30 days of annual leave.


  • 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.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • This is a National Professional Officer position. Therefore, only applications from nationals of the country where the duty station is located will be accepted. Applicants who are not nationals of this country will not be considered.
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.