Technical Officer, Risk Communications, Manila, Philippines 103 views

Technical Officer, Risk Communications

( 2103047 )

Grade : P4

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : Two years

Job Posting: Jul 26, 2021, 9:53:23 AM

The mission of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks, 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.

WHE 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. WHE 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 objectives of the programme area, Country Health Emergency Preparedness & IHR (CPI), includes the following: to monitor and evaluate country preparedness for health and humanitarian emergencies, to develop country capacity-building plan for countries with critical capacities and to act as the Secretariat of IHR (2005). The CPI prioritizes support to the most vulnerable and low-capacity countries.

The intersectoral nature of emergency preparedness entails for CPI a large partnership with other international organizations and the consideration of several global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health, emergencies and disasters, IHR (2005), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS Pathway), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, regional strategies such as the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED III), the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response, the European Health Policy, and the regional strategies for disaster risk management. CPI coordinates its activities with international and national initiatives such as the Global Health Security Agenda and Universal Health Coverage 2030.

The Preparedness, Readiness and Core Capacity (PCB) is the main hub for technical support to WHO’s regional and country offices in their effort to strengthen intersectoral national capacity for the early detection, timely and effective response, to public health emergencies as required under IHR (2005). Working closely with other WHE staff, PCB ensures that needs listed in national action plans are translated into targeted capacity-building in the priority/vulnerable countries.


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

1. Provide support for national capacity development in risk communication in line with the requirements of APSED III and IHR (2005), overseeing the delivery of capacity-building initiatives;

2. Act as risk communication focal point in the WHE Incident Management System during outbreaks and public health emergencies, leading the communication pillar of the Incident Management Support Team, overseeing the development and implementation of risk communication plans as part of response operations, and liaising with the Incident Manager to ensure appropriate risk communication expertise is deployed to the field in a timely manner;

3. Ensure relevant technical guidance documents on risk communications are developed and disseminated to countries;

4. Systematically document, analyse, evaluate and report on progress in risk communication capacity-building, and proactively address gaps and undertake appropriate follow-up actions, such as the development and delivery of relevant training;

5. Using the C4H approach, proactively identify and contribute to the development of communication activities and products in relation to WHO’s work with countries on emergency preparedness and response that are accessible, understandable, relevant, credible, timely and actionable for dissemination on the regional website and social media accounts, as well as other relevant platforms;

6. Work with communication counterparts and others as relevant in units of the Regional Office, country offices in the Western Pacific and WHO headquarters to ensure alignment and appropriateness of risk communication strategies;

7. Compile and analyse risk communication experiences and share findings with country, regional and HQ communication colleagues so that best practices benefit WHO’s communication network;

8. Initiate and sustain effective professional relationships with key internal stakeholders, participate in building and maintaining information networks as appropriate, within and outside WHE;

9. Participate in the IHR duty officer roster and act as IHR duty officer as required;

10. Upon request, provide technical support, backstopping and gap filling for emergency activities at any level of the Organization or scale of emergency; and

Perform other related duties, as requested by supervisor, including provision of support to other areas of work and teams or programme areas, as required.



Essential: Advanced university degree in communication, public relations, media studies, journalism, international relations, public health, health sciences, social sciences or related field from a recognized university.

Desirable: Training in public health, risk communication, health education, health communication, or health promotion.


Essential: Minimum seven years experience in strategic communication including experience in capacity-building and a history of working at the national and international level, including working on disease outbreaks or emergencies. Proven experience in writing and producing communication material.

Desirable: Health sector experience at country and international levels. Relevant work experience in WHO or other UN agencies.


-Excellent interpersonal skills and effective negotiation, facilitation and consensus-building skills.

-Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to multitask and produce high-quality results under pressure.

-Excellent presentation skills and familiarity with digital communications media (social, web, etc).

-Ability to “think outside the box” and make innovative proposals related to risk communication.

-Knowledge or understanding of WHO’s mandate and goals in the emergency incident management context.

-Ability to act with tact, discretion and diplomacy.

-Ability to work harmoniously as a member of a team, adapt to diverse cultural and educational backgrounds and maintain a high standard of personal conduct.

-Demonstrated effectiveness in building sustained partnerships and working with others in international settings.

-Ability to produce high-quality written and visual communication materials in English.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Promoting the Organization’s Position in health leadership

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of written and spoken English.

Desirable: Working knowledge of other UN language(s).


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 74,913 (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 3009 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.



capacity development

climate change

digital communications

disaster risk

disaster risk reduction

disease surveillance

emergency management

emergency preparedness

global health

health education

health emergencies

health hazards

health policy

health promotion

humanitarian emergencies

information networks

international relations


public relations

risk analysis

risk communication

risk management


social sciences

strategic communication

sustainable development

sustainable development goals

universal health coverage

visual communication

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.

For information on WHO’s operations please visit:

WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

WHO’s workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.

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.


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