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Consultant – Facilitate the implementation of research project on message framing informed by behavioural insights

Multiple locations

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Purpose of consultancy

The consultant will facilitate the set-up and implementation of the research project “Meta-WHO research on message framing informed by behavioural insights”.


The social technology company ‘Meta’ is working collaboratively with WHO to understand how to use social media platforms to improve public health messaging and access to information. Given the ubiquity of its use, and the growing number of people accessing health information via social media channels, improving our understanding of the impact of different messages framing is valuable. To guide WHO’s future health promotion messaging through social media, WHO and Meta aim to identify and build a body of evidence to inform future work. To do this, a three year programme of work is proposed to run a series of online randomized control trials (RCTs) (so called ‘Brand Lift Studies’) on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, testing various behavioural science and framing concepts and evaluating their impact on health messaging. WHO has already run over 60 Brand Lift Studies in 2021 across all three levels of the organization and this project aims to build on this experience by scientifically testing the impact of different behavioural insights constructs on health-related behaviours.

Across the three- year programme between three and five waves of experiments are anticipated. Each wave will seek to test a number of behavioural insights constructs and be aligned with a different health campaign topic. The WHO and META project teams, and a Steering Committee, formed to guide the project, will meet over the course of the three years to define the behavioural insights to be tested in each wave.

The project consists of five phases: (1) Establish project; (2) Design research protocol and submit to WHO ethics review committee; (3) Conduct experiments; (4) Analyze data; and (5) Publish and disseminate.

The current terms of reference are only for the first 11 months of the project which refer to the activities carried out during the first wave of experiments.


The consultant will contribute to the set-up and implementation of the research project “Meta-WHO research on message framing informed by behavioural insights”. The consultant will:

  1. Design terms of reference (TORs), outreach strategy and compile data to support a request for proposals (RFP) to identify a suitable research implementing partner (likely a university or research institute), including drafting of the RFP, set-up of the bidding process and review of the received proposals.
  2. Develop TORs for research experts in the field of risk perception and communication.
  3. Contribute to the establishment and convening of a group of research experts in the field of risk perception and communication to constitute a project Steering Committee.

Expected by 28 February 2023: Written report describing the Project steering committee members, their roles and the description and draft agenda of the 2-day project ideation workshop.

  1. Facilitate the implementation of the set-up of and a 2-day project ideation workshop with all project stakeholders to define study research questions and messaging campaigns.
  2. Conduct rapid reviews as per project requirements; and write a report for each review.

Expected by 31 March 2023: Ideation workshop meeting held and written report detailing methodology and results of at least one desk review on relevant health topics which will inform the messaging campaigns.

  1. Facilitate two face-to-face and one online research protocol writing workshops.
  2. Develop and write-up a study research protocol based on project team’s inputs and facilitate the peer review process of the research protocol by external experts.

Expected by 30 April 2023: Draft research protocol for review by Unit head and Project steering committee.

  1. Prepare and submit final research protocol to and liaise with WHO ethics review committee (ERC) to obtain ethical approval and update the research protocol, including amendments, if required.
  2. Incorporate external review feedback into study research protocol.

Expected by 31 May 2023: Final draft of research protocol for review by WHO Ethics Review Committee.

  1. Contribute to the establishment of a project implementation mechanism.

Expected by 30 June 2023: Mid-project technical progress report.

  1. Compile technical feedback from WHO technical teams to be included in planned messaging campaigns.

Expected by 31 July 2023: Draft campaign messages for testing during first wave of experiments.

  1. Provide feedback into final campaign messages and survey questions to be tested during first wave of experiments.
  2. Contribute to the implementation of the research protocol in collaboration with implementing partner for message testing for first wave of experiments and troubleshoot campaign ideas as needed.
  3. Conduct initial quantitative analysis of campaigns data in collaboration with study implementing partner and develop regular data analysis summary reports for dissemination among project team.

Expected by 31 August 2023: Campaign data analysis summary report (first wave of experiments).

  1. Write-up of project case studies, research articles and other related publications.

Expected by 30 September 2023: Draft case-study manuscript for review by project steering committee.

  1. Publish journal articles and case studies or other products (at least 2) by liaising with project teams and relevant WHO technical teams such as CRE, Publications and Quality Norms and Standards (QNS).

Expected by 31 October 2023: Case-study manuscript ready for publication in peer-reviewed journal.

  1. Facilitate online results-sharing meetings with all involved stakeholders.

Expected by 30 November 2023: Stakeholder meeting held and related meeting report.

  1. Contribute to the planning of additional waves of experiments to be conducted during year 2 of project.

Expected by 29 December 2023: Year 1 project closing report with plans for year 2 of project.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages.

Educational Qualifications:


  • Advanced university degree in public health and/or behavioural sciences, social psychology, social marketing with related research methods relevant to the project themes.


  • A doctoral degree in a related field.



  • At least 5 years of experience in designing and implementing research projects in the fields of behavioural sciences, brand lift studies, social marketing, randomized controlled trials or other related fields.
  • At least 5 years of experience in writing protocols for conducting scientific research.
  • At least 5 years of experience in conducting reviews and/or applied research and in the use of a variety of research methods in public health.
  • At least 5 years of experience working in public health related topics.
  • At least 5 years of experience in project management, including multi-stakeholder and international research projects.


  • Proven experience in developing social media messaging, brand-lift studies or marketing strategies.
  • Experience working with UN Organizations or agencies, or other similar institutions or foundations.


  • Ability to think analytically, communicate effectively, and execute efficiently.
  • Advanced research and analytical skills as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications in the area of behavioural sciences, risk communication or public health.
  • Excellent data analysis and management skills.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Proven evidence reviewing and synthesis skills.
  • Intermediate level of statistical analysis skills.
  • Expert level English-language scientific writing skills.
  • Proficiency in the use of standard office software programmes.

Languages required:


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Knowledge of other UN official language.


Off-site: Home based.


The consultant is expected to travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):


Band level B-USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):


Expected duration of contract:

11 months.

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for 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.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • 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.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
This vacancy is now closed.
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