Communications Officer
World Health Organization (WHO)
WP/WHE WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE)
Close on 19 Aug 2020
Location: Manila (Philippines)
Grade: P3, Mid-level Professional
A Hardship
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Added 2 weeks ago
Job Description


The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (WHE), aligned with the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED III), is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks, and 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.


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


1. Develop and implement a communications strategy, including storyline and key messages, for WHO's work in the Western Pacific Region in emergency risk management and humanitarian response targeting key stakeholders. These include WHO country offices, headquarters and other regional offices when relevant, the emergency community at global, regional and at country-level (Member States, health cluster and other partners), donors and the general public;

2. Develop communications products such as content for the website and social media, reports and digital content to support advocacy and resource mobilization in coordination with the WPRO Communications and External Relations and Partnerships units;

3. Advise on and implement effective traditional and social media strategies in close coordination with the Regional Communications Unit, country offices and WHO headquarters. This includes developing long-term relationships with key media and providing regular, relevant information, so that WHO becomes the “go to” source for information on health emergencies in the Region;

4. Organize strategic dissemination to stakeholders of information on WHE's work and achievements in the Region;

5. During graded emergencies, liaise with the WHE's Risk Communication Officer to strategically disseminate information, in coordination with country offices, WHO headquarters and other regions as relevant;

6. In coordination with the Regional Communications Unit, act as the Western Pacific Region/WHE media liaison officer and proactively develop social media posts and materials, talking points, media releases and feature stories, and respond to inquiries from media and the public on emerging diseases and public health emergencies;

7. In coordination with the Region's External Relations and Partnerships Unit, provide support to resource mobilization efforts for the WHE programme in the Western Pacific Region;

8. Provide technical assistance in strengthening risk communication capacities as per APSED III to advance IHR (2005) in close communication and coordination with other technical officers in the WHE Programme.

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

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



Essential: University degree in communications, journalism, international relations, political, public health or social science, or related field from a recognized university.  


Essential: At least five years' experience at national and international levels in communications with a focus on outbreaks and public health emergencies. Significant experience in developing and implementing communications strategies. Experience in preparing content for website posting and social media.
Desirable: Experience in planning, implementing and evaluating communications strategies (that include speeches, OpEds and feature writing), as well as campaigns, advocacy and resource mobilization materials (brochures, graphics, videos, etc).


-Knowledge of WHO's mandate and goals, including the Health Emergencies Programme.

-Ability to communicate effectively, including demonstrated skills in writing and editing.

-Proven ability to multitask, prioritize, research and write with short deadlines.

-Capacity to motivate others and work under pressure while producing results, including as part of emergency response operations.

-Sound advocacy skills complemented by the ability to plan and evaluate situations and propose innovative communications options.

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

-Knowledge of or skills in visual design and development of digital content.

-Proven capacity for effective engagement with the media.

-Excellent interpersonal skills.

-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.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Moving forward in a changing environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of other UN languages


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 60,962 (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 2251 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.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • 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.
  • *For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.

About WHO

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Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere.

Together we strive to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.

We help mothers and children survive and thrive so they can look forward to a healthy old age. We ensure the safety of the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink – and the medicines and vaccines they need.

Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system.

Our main areas of work are health systems; health through the life-course; noncommunicable and communicable diseases; preparedness, surveillance and response; and corporate services.