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Technical Officer
World Health Organization (WHO)
HQ/CRS Country Readiness Strengthening
Grade: P4, Mid-level Professional
Close on 1 Jul 2021
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Added 1 week ago
Job Description



The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacities of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. The Programme supports countries and coordinates international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies. The objectives of the Country Readiness Strengthening Department include the development and strengthening of core national capacities necessary to mitigate and respond to emergency risks and vulnerabilities. The Department prioritizes support to the most vulnerable and low capacity countries. The Public Health Laboratory Strengthening (PHL) Unit develops global strategies, mechanisms, guidance documents, manuals, and learning programmes aiming at strengthening public health laboratory policies, governance and regulations, infrastructure, workforce, networking, quality, safety, and diagnostic capacity for epidemic-prone diseases. The unit provides leadership and coordination across partners and regional offices to propose interventions aiming at ensuring that public health laboratory systems are ready to operate in a safe, secure, timely and reliable manner for the detection of, and response to disease outbreaks and other emergencies.



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


1.Manage and implement activities related to the strengthening of public health laboratory systems for alert and response, through:

  • i) Organization and participation in meetings and conferences to share and disseminate best practices, guidance and tools produced by the Unit in order to promote their adaptation and implementation at global, regional or country-level.

  • ii) Development, revision and dissemination of guidelines, training materials and new tools, particularly in the field of bacteriology and virology, public health laboratory networks organization and governance, laboratory quality and safety, workforce development.

  • iii) Provision of technical expertise for their further implementation at regional and country levels which will ensure Member States to improve their public health laboratory capacity.

2. Design and perform/participate in laboratory evaluations, trainings, or workshops in support to public health laboratory capacity strengthening activities.

3. Develop projects proposals and technical reports to support the technical duties mentioned above and monitor projects' technical and financial implementation.

4. Promote multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches and activities to facilitate full participation of internal stakeholders within and outside WHO/WHE and of key external partners.

5. Contribute to the laboratory component of public health events alert and response mechanisms.

6. Perform other related responsibilities, including replacing and/or backstopping.





  • Advanced level university degree in medicine, pharmacy or related sciences.


  • Advanced training in public health or epidemiology and control of communicable diseases.



  • At least seven years of experience in clinical, public health or research microbiology laboratories of which 3 years of international exposure, including at least 1 year of experience in resource-limited countries.


  • Experience of work in an international organization.



  • Excellent knowledge in clinical or public health microbiology.

  • Knowledge of national public health laboratory systems and networks, especially in developing countries.

  • Knowledge of WHO mandate, policies and processes.

  • Ability to assess laboratory capacity and to find solutions to fill gaps.

  • Planning and analytical skills, with the ability to foster consensus and team spirit.

  • Interpersonal and diplomatic skills.

  • Strong commitment to international health.


WHO Competencies

- Teamwork

- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences.

-  Communication

- Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond.

- Moving forward in a changing environment.


Use of Language Skills


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French.

  • Intermediate knowledge of other WHO language.


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 3203 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.
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