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Community Engagement Officer


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: Closed


The mission of the Division of Health Emergencies (WHE) is to build the capacity of Member States to assess, prevent and manage health emergency risks, and lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.

The WHE Division 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. The Programme 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.

The Risk Communication and Community Engagement Programme (RCE) is responsible for ensuring that people and stakeholders are enabled and empowered to take informed decisions that protect them from health emergencies. To do so RCE communicates risks and preventive measures, engages communities and community actors, manages rumours and misinformation, builds country capacities and supports country responses, and positions RCCE as an evidence-­based technical area of work, and WHO Europe as an authoritative partner in it.


Reporting to the EURO Regional Advisor Risk Communication and Community Engagement, s/he will work in collaboration with relevant technical officers in the respective Regional Office (RO) and WHO/HQ. The incumbent is expected to support RCE’s ‘whole of society' approach to emergency preparedness, readiness and response and move forward EURO Community Engagement (CE) agenda, positioning WHO as a trusted partner in CE. Ensure project accountability and effective monitoring, including regular reporting, documentation of projects impacts and lessons learnt. S/he will engage with all levels of the organization, will liaise with a broad range of officials from partner organizations and institutions, target audiences, health cluster partners and official representatives from the national authorities to obtain information and, as necessary, provide advice on CSO engagement. S/he will work closely with personnel deployed to the country in emergencies.

The purpose of the post is to contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of a Community Engagement strategy for health emergencies preparedness, readiness, response and recovery.

Key duties:

  1. Provide technical and operational support to overall Community Engagement activities in strengthening and mainstreaming strategies from the service delivery side; aligning with technical and operational priorities and objectives; and delivering through existing national and local structures.
  2. Ensure community engagement strategies and implementation plans are evidence-based, coordinated, and well executed, drawing upon anthropology and related behavioural and social sciences so that community concerns, sociocultural beliefs and practices impacting public health interventions are addressed.
  3. Contribute to develop and promote community engagement guidance documents and tools – including to engage CSOs and community groups - and support country adaptation and use. Set CSO-led projects at country level, including background documents for due diligence and grant agreements and support fundraising. Regularly compile briefs on progress of activities implemented under projects, including contributing to web stories, photo essays or advocacy materials.
  4. Work closely with technical teams to assess the integration and effectiveness of community engagement practices within technical SOPs according to the context e.g. surveillance, clinical care, vector control, etc. Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps; design interventions to address weakness and gaps e.g. training/capacity building, supervision, tools, etc.
  5. Collaborate with partners to ensure collaborative implementation of community engagement strategies, with appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools and mechanisms in place at the national and subnational level, ensuring the findings are integrated into technical and operational decision-making.
  6. Contribute to building the national capacity through needs identification, development, operationalization and implementation of a capacity building and training plan. Facilitate policy dialogues and research on community engagement.
  7. Provide regular feedback to the incident management team, national authorities and partners on the adaptation of response strategies for effective and feasible community engagement in affected areas during response operations and deploy as needed.
  8. Where necessary, conduct formative research, and/or liaise with stakeholders/partners conducting sociocultural research.
  9. Perform any other incident-specific related duties, as required by the functional supervisor.



Essential: University degree in health promotion/health education, development, sociology, medical anthropology, psychology, policy science or related field from an accredited/recognized institute.

Desirable: Advanced University degree in Public Health. Specialized training in participatory approaches, strategic communication planning, participatory research, training and impact evaluation of community engagement interventions.


Essential: At least five years of relevant experience, at the national and international levels, in applying multidisciplinary approaches in health promotion, community engagement and social mobilization programmes. Experience in emergency and/or health outbreak context. Proven experience in the application of participatory models of engagement in the health context and the ability to adapt and innovate in emergency situations.

Desirable: Experience in operational research in social sciences. Prior humanitarian working experience at field level, with WHO/UN, health cluster partners, recognized humanitarian organizations or with an international nongovernmental organization.


  • Excellent communication skills: the ability to clearly present ideas and concepts both orally and written.
  • Knowledge and understanding of public health approaches related to: community engagement; an understanding of emergency response; ability to coordinate multidisciplinary and technical inputs into designing community engagement strategies and plans.
  • Strong strategic planning and organizational skills: ability to generate, analyse and appropriately apply findings from qualitative research to planning and project design; the ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural environment with tact and diplomacy; an ability to meet tight deadlines; an ability to efficiently and effectively coordinate activities and tasks to meet specific objectives.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: the ability to build relationships and work with stakeholders and partners.

WHO Competences

1) Teamwork

2) Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

3) Communication

4) Producing Results

5) Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of Russian


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 62,692 (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 2,685. 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.
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This vacancy is now closed.
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