World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultant â(Review of the WHO's Internal Justice System)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

  The purpose of this consultancy is to review the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and independence of WHO’s internal justice system , which includes both the informal and the formal resolution of disputes through the mechanisms of Administrative Review (AR), the Global Board of Appeal (GBA) and the Global Advisory Committee on formal complaints of abusive conduct (GAC), together with the reports, recommendations, and decisions arising from same (the “Review”). It is a joint endeavor of the WHO Administration and WHO Staff Associations.

For the purpose of the consultancy, these terms are defined as follows:
  • a) Relevance: the extent to which individual Internal Justice Mechanisms’ (IJM) mandates, structure and processes are adequate to resolve employment related disputes.
  • b) Efficiency: the extent to which individual IJMs’ mandates, structure and processes allow for the timely and cost-efficient resolution of employment related disputes.
  • c) Effectiveness: the extent to which individual IJMs’ mandates, structure and processes assist in resolving employment related disputes in a manner that satisfies affected staff and the administration and assists in preventing similar disputes in the future.
  • d) Independence: the extent to which IJMs carry out their responsibilities freely, without improper interference.


WHO established a new Internal Justice System (“IJS”) in 2016 to provide: • Consistent application of a standardized system of justice throughout the Organization; • Access to an internal justice system for all WHO and UNAIDS staff; • Promotion of an enabling work environment; • A transparent system with individuals accountable for their actions; and • Timely resolution of disputes.

After almost five years since implementation, it is now considered timely to conduct this Review of the IJS.

The expected methodology for the consultancy should include: (i) A desk review of the IJS in WHO and UNAIDS and its existing Internal Justice Mechanisms (IJMs); (ii) Benchmarking IJMs; (iii) Review and Analysis of relevant background documents including reports from the Office of the Ombudsmen (OMB), Staff Associations’ reports, AR annual reports, GBA annual reports, GAC reports, annual reports on disciplinary measures, AR decisions, GBA reports and DG decisions taken on the basis of those reports, any other relevant discussions/noted “upstream” issues that may serve to provide wider context/information useful to the review process and recommendations; (iv) Review and analysis of relevant background documents such as JIU reports and ICSC decisions; (v) Analysis of the ILOAT judgments for the cases adjudicated during the introduction of the new IJS, especially if they contain comments/findings on the functioning of Organizations’ IJMs; (vi) Identification of illustrative examples for detailed analysis, including quantification (to the extent possible) of damage to individuals and the Organization; (vii) A comparison of WHO’s IJMs with best practice in other organizations; (viii) Interviews of key stakeholders at Headquarters and in Regional/Country offices, to be identified by WHO, with staff informed in advance. This could include semi-structured interviews with the following stakeholders:
  • WHO Staff Associations’ representatives at Headquarters, Regions and Country Offices;
  • Staff representatives at UNAIDS, WHO’s Global Service Centre and IARC;
  • OMB representative(s);
  • representative(s) from the Human Resources and Talent Management Department;
  • representative(s) from the Office of the Legal Counsel;
  • representative(s) from the Office of Compliance, Risk Management and Ethics;
  • representative(s) from GAC;
  • representative(s) from the Global Board of Appeals (both staff-elected and DG-appointed);
  • representative(s) from the Global Board of Appeals Secretariat;
  • representative(s) from the Office of the Director-General;
  • representative(s) from the Office of internal Oversight Services;
  • representative(s) from the Independent Expert Oversight Expert Committee;
(ix) Consultation with members of staff-at-large (Headquarters and Regions/Country Office), including those who have availed themselves of one or several of the mechanisms within the IJS. Former staff members may also be consulted, as appropriate.

Documentation Upon prior authorization of the responsible advisory bodies or offices, and bearing in mind issues of confidentiality, the consultant will have access to all relevant documents which may be redacted, if necessary, to ensure anonymity.

WHO support to the Consultant(s); Reporting The consultant will report to the Assistant Director-general, Business Operations. The consultant will also be supported in the gathering of WHO data including relevant Staff Rules, procedures and policies, and will be provided other assistance to be agreed.

The consultant will submit the final report to the Director-General through the Assistant Director-General, Business Operations.

Work plan WHO and the consultant(s) will agree on a work plan before the commencement of the consultant contract, to include: an outline of the work schedule; regular reports on progress at agreed dates; dates for deliverables, including a first draft of the consultant’s report and final draft, incorporating comments received on the first draft as appropriate.


In order to attain the objectives of the Review, the consultant will produce the following deliverables, not later than three months after the agreed start of the consultancy work, in each case making specific recommendations concerning whether to maintain, revise, or replace WHO’s and UNAIDS’ IJMs and/or regulatory framework: (i) An analysis of the overall relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and independence of WHO’s and UNAIDS’ IJMs and Rules to resolve employment related disputes; (ii) An analysis of the informal resolution of employment-related disputes at WHO to assess the adequacy of existing informal resolution mechanisms to provide useful solutions and to encourage early and amicable dispute resolution; (iii) An analysis of the AR process to assess whether it served the purposes as described in the Report of the External Panel of Experts, including a comprehensive assessment of the reasons for reduction/increases in the number of appeals, as well as any impact made by allowing management to look again at all aspects of an issue and to see whether an amicable settlement can still be found before proceeding in the formal internal justice system; (iv) An analysis of the appeal process before the GBA with special emphasis to its reports and the decisions of the Director-General based on those reports; (v) An analysis of all GBA reports and overall comments and conclusions from each panel to determine if there are patterns or issues that could be rectified; (vi) An analysis of the GAC, with a special emphasis on examining any constraints to the process, as well as the value added and overall effectiveness of resolving complaints of harassment and sexual harassment in WHO and UNAIDS; (vii) An analysis of the timeliness of WHO’s and UNAIDS’ IJMs to resolve employment related disputes; (viii) An analysis of the statistics and trends since 2016 related to requests or appeals submitted by staff depending on their grade (Director level staff, Professional and General service staff); (ix) An analysis of whether WHO’s and UNAIDS’ IJMs and Staff Rules and related provisions are transparent and clear, and lend themselves to easy understanding and implementation; (x) An analysis of whether individual IJMs are adequate for the intended purpose and whether there are better alternatives to current mechanisms; (xi) An analysis and comparison of the occupational health, financial, and work performance risks and impact for staff and the Organization in availing use of current IJMs; and (xii) An analysis of the extent to which the recommendations in the Report of the External panel of Experts have been implemented.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications

An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in law is required. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience in international law will be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.


  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible professional experience in law, including the law of international organizations or related areas.
  • Experience in providing expertise in the functioning of internal justice systems in the UN common system.
  • Experience in advising other inter-governmental organizations on projects similar to that undertaken by WHO, and in applying a multi-disciplinary approach when proposing solutions.
  • Previous experience as legal or HR professional at senior level in the area of administration of internal justice in the UN common system


  • Analytical skills and ability to conduct legal research on a range of complex issues related to administrative law
  • Proficiency in legal writing and demonstrated knowledge of administrative lawy and employment-related matters within the UN common system
Desirable: Demonstrated ability to prepare background papers and studies on internal justice system in the UN common system.

Languages and level required

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Working knowlede of French.




No travel is required


Band level range D (USD 12,500 - 14,400) based on band level ranges listed in WHO Information Note 09/2021

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):

Not applicable.

Duration of contract:

3 months

Additional Information:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for 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.
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  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
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