Technical Officer

Technical Officer

 World Health Organization

 Geneva, Switzerland


Health emergencies continue to have significant and sometimes catastrophic impacts on countries’ health, economies and development. Both recent and ongoing public health events have demonstrated that the many communities remain at the high risk, and that strong levels of national preparedness across all relevant sectors are crucial to ensuring the effective management of health emergencies, when they occur. They also illustrate the need for scaling up the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) that requires countries to build and maintain the capacities to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to, and recover from public health emergencies, anchored on strong and resilient health systems. The Emergency Preparedness Division contributes to the implementation of the WHO Global Programme of Work (GPW 13) and is guided by WHO strategic priorities to “keep the world safe, improve health and serve the vulnerable”. The WHO strategic priorities drive the progress in health towards Universal Health Coverage, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and speaks particularly to SDG 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. The Health Security Preparedness (HSP) department supports Member States in enhancing national preparedness across the IHR core capacities to manage all-hazard risks and emergencies, and to build multisectoral approaches for health security. It ensures that WHO supports Member States to build sustainable preparedness capacities and scale up the implementation of the IHR (2005), and support the implementation of the Sendai Framework, the WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Framework, Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other related global and regional frameworks. The department also establishes strategic links to and supports the advancement of global initiatives such as GPMB, GHSA, EU ACP, Health and Security Alliance, Foreign Affairs for Global Health initiative and the UN System Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. HSP works with partners and the broader global heath security community to ensure that the most vulnerable communities in all countries are protected from the impact of health emergencies.

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  • Within the framework of the delegated authority, and under the guidance of the Unit Head CER, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following activities: Simulation Exercises: Work in close collaboration with WHO regional and country offices to plan and conduct SimEx. Work closely with other units in the department to ensure comprehensive inputs into simulation exercises and build strong linkages between SimExs, IARs, AAR and IECs and SPAR as part of the IHR Monitoring and Evaluation. Support the coordination and implementation of the WHO SimEx Training Programme which aims to build, strengthen and sustain simulation exercise programmes within public health/emergency management systems. Coordinate and facilitate dialogue with regions and countries to receive feedback on further improving CER guidance and tools so they are more useful and practical for countries. Other activities within the unit: Support the development and coordination of training needs for unit activities, including participating in and conducting training facilitators when requested, working with all levels of the organization and key partners as needed. Provide support to IAR/AARs, including strengthening the links between IAR/AAR and SimEx. Develop and coordinate communication strategies and products within the unit in collaboration with the communication department of the WHE, such as posters, flyers, graphics for advocacy purposes and in different languages as needed. Work with other units within the department on other components of the IHRMEF to ensure a comprehensive picture of country capacities and functionality, including the development of country profiles. Support other streams of work within the unit such as reviews in the context of public health emergencies as they arise. Perform other related responsibilities, including replacing and/or backstopping.
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  • Essential: A first university degree in social sciences, public health or international relations from a recognized / accredited institute.
  • Desirable: An advanced university degree in public health and/or disaster management. Training in public health and/or disaster management and/or emergency preparedness and response.


  • Essential: At least five years of demonstrated and progressive experience in SimEx with national and/or international health programs, events or initiatives. Demonstrated relevant experience developing and delivering training at national and international levels. Emergency preparedness and response experience, in particular simulation exercises and after-action reviews/intra-action reviews. Experience in implementation of IHR at country level and providing technical support to ministries of health. Related experience in the context of emergency programmes.
  • Desirable: Experience in working within a multi-cultural environment at the international level. Experience of working in operational incident response, such as an Emergency Operations Centre
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  • Knowledge and experience with the development and execution of simulation exercises, training and after-action reviews and intra-action reviews.
  • Excellent knowledge and expertise in project design, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of technical activities, including training.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to analyse and synthesize information from multiple sources.
  • Knowledge of emergency preparedness and response in WHO and at country level.
  • Tact, diplomacy and courtesy.

Use of Language Skills

  • Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of WHO Language(s).