WHO Health Emergencies (WHE) Lead

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Health / Medical, Humanitarian and Crisis Response
  • Deadline:




Purpose of the Position

In the context of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, the incumbent will facilitate the planning, management, adaptation and implementation of strategies and work plans for the emergency operations, in coordination with the respective Regional Office Emergency Coordinator/desks and HQ Emergency Officer/desks. The incumbent will be the overall WHO emergency response focal point at country level and in this role support the Ministries of Health, WHO and Partners to strengthen preparedness and response capacities through a multi-hazard, multisectoral approach which is aligned to international frameworks including IHR, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) guidance and protocols. The incumbent will be deployed to emergency operations when required.

Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objective

The mission of WHO’s Health Emergency Programme (The Programme) is to help countries to coordinate international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies.

Organizational context

Reporting to the Head of WHO Country Office, and in close coordination with the respective regional office, country office and WHO/HQ and input from the emergency team, the WHE Lead coordinates WHO overall emergency management activities, including operational response readiness and recovery. He/she provides technical assistance to the health sector/cluster response in support of national and local health authorities. During the response to an acute event, the WHE Lead may also been appointed as the event Incident Manager, in which case he/she will also have responsibility for managing the emergency response including provision of strategic leadership to the health sector/cluster response in support of national and local health authorities. This requires extensive and ongoing contacts with officials and representatives from health cluster partners and other cluster leads and coordinators, other policy staff and technical staff in partner agencies (both within and outside the UN system), senior staff of ministries of health (MOH) and related ministries to successfully influence national strategies. The incumbent will closely collaborate with WHO senior management, regional office counterparts, heads of WHO country offices and external partners. The present position under WHE (which is a single programme across the Organization) may be relocated to another duty station, including at Regional or Country level, based upon the technical needs of the Programme.

 Position Description – Professional

Summary of Assigned Duties


The incumbent will be required to perform all or part of the following duties:

1.Manage WHO’s emergency response program at national or subnational level.

2.Provide technical guidance to the Ministry of Health (MoH) on the establishment/strengthening of an Emergency Management System /Emergency Operation Centre (IMS/EOC) for multi- sectoral emergency management that includes staffing, defined roles/responsibilities and resources for key functional areas.

3.Support national and local health authorities, partner with UN agencies, international, governmental and nongovernmental organizations/institutions, to:

•Assess and map existing and emerging health risks in the country and prepare a national risk profile based on a risk assessment.

•Assess health needs of affected populations in cooperation with technical units at RO and HQ level.

•Assess national capacities for emergency management, including preparedness, and support the development of a national Health Emergency Response Plan.

•Review the National Health Plan/National Health Emergency Response Plan as needed (when these already exist), take additional action, including the development of contingency plans for specific high priority risks.

•Mobilize and coordinate resources, oversee the operational and strategic planning of the health response plans, identify resource needs and funding gaps; encourage donors to fund the overall health sector response to affected populations.

4.Coordinate the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of strategies, operational and HR plans for the WHO’s emergency information management, Country preparedness and International Health Regulations (2005), risk assessments and Infectious hazard management related activities.

5.In cooperation with other levels of the response, validate the related information, communications, advocacy products and statements before release to internal and external partners as well as to the public.

6.Collaborate with other agencies and I/NGOs, including through the Health Cluster approach and directly as operational implementing partners.

7.Co-develop a detailed task-based work plan and budget for implementation of priority activities identified in the National Health Emergency Response Plan. Ensure the country has accessible contingency funds for immediate response to emergencies, including, outbreaks at national and other appropriate sites.

8.Identify WHO response team staffing needs, coordinate the mobilization of the required human resources. Provide guidance, and performance management of staff and experts, take concrete measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all WHO responders.

9.Represent WHO to counterparts in external stakeholders, including donors and partners, with respect to the country operations.

10.Monitor WHO’s health response and operational readiness activities and adjust if new needs arise and/or the situation changes requiring a revision of the operational plan.

11.Perform all other related duties as assigned.




Recruitment Profile Competencies:

1.            Teamwork.

2.            Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences.

3.            Communication.

4.            Creating an empowering and motivating environment


Functional Knowledge and Skills

•Demonstrated knowledge of the rapid response operations and their implementation in emergencies as related to public health, complemented by demonstrated ability to identify and manage difficult situations, to lead and direct multidisciplinary and multinational staff.

•Excellent skills in the assessment, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of emergency situations, with the ability to conceptualize and implement innovative strategies and advocate their implementation.

•Authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles, methods and techniques in international emergency incident management system.

•Strong strategic thinking, with the ability to quickly comprehend strategic and tactical objectives and to formulate comprehensive plans to address challenges/risks.

Education Qualifications Essential:

An advanced university degree in health-related field, management, emergency, humanitarian, disaster management or related field from an accredited/recognized institute.


Specialized training in emergency and outbreak management; specific training in humanitarian response. Master’s degree level in public administration.

Experience. Essential:

At least 7 years of related experience in emergency management and operations, with proven experience in emergency response and outbreak response. Substantial experience at both national and international levels in managing humanitarian program cycle, capacity-building and multi-sectoral coordination. Substantial experience in efficient human and financial resource management, as well as managing and coordinating field-based projects.


Relevant work experience in outbreaks and/health emergency management and related strategy development with WHO and/or UN agencies, health cluster partners; experience working in relevant. non-governmental or humanitarian organizations


Use of Language Skills

Excellent knowledge of the English language including oral and written communication skills, and the development of reports, oral presentations, and strategic documents


Other Skills (e.g., IT)

Computer skills and use of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Outlook software. Other skills and knowledge in other software such as Visio and Project are considered an asset.

This job has expired.