World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultants (Public Health Writing and Journalism)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

Purpose of consultancy

To conduct interviews with Public Health specialists and write up news features, reports and/or interviews in accordance with assignment briefs prepared by the Bulletin of the World Health Organization team.


The Bulletin of the World Health Organization is one of the world’s leading public health journals. Its global scope and authority are unparalleled, and it is essential reading for all public health decision-makers and researchers. The journal is WHO’s leading peer-review journal and one of WHO’s Technical Products for 2022–2023.

The news section is an integral part of the Bulletin and contributes to the journal’s impact at country level alongside the peer-reviewed section. The news section needs to cover a variety of topics from many countries to reflect the journal’s international scope. The editorial team decides which topics to cover and who should be interviewed. To ensure geographical spread, the journal works with external public health writers, editors and journalists from all the six regions of WHO, who write features and interviews for the news section of the monthly journal based on assignment briefs.

To produce the Bulletin’s news section, we require journalists who are experienced in public health writing and who can meet robust quality criteria. By contracting highly experienced public health journalists, the WHO Bulletin ensures that readers all over the world will have access to high quality, evidence-based coverage of newsworthy developments in their region.


  • Carry out assignments according to brief prepared by the Bulletin’s news Editor to do interviews with public health specialists and write up news features and/or interviews and provide any other required content.
  • Respond to and resolve queries arising during the editing process.
  • Meet production deadlines as determined by the editorial team of the Bulletin.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages.

Educational Qualifications:


  • First university degree in English language and literature, other languages, communications, International Relations, sciences including public health.


  • Completion of science or public health writing coursework.



  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in writing public health articles for a general audience.
  • Publishing track record of authored articles published in scientific/public health journals and other media outlets.
  • Extensive experience of professional writing and Journalism.


  • Experience in reporting on science and health topics.


  • Ability to do background research on public health topics for news items, to write news articles and interviews to a high standard, as required for a peer-review public health journal.
  • Knowledge of common pitfalls in reporting science, how to mitigate bias and miscommunication about uncertainty.

Languages required:


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French and/or another united nations official language.


Off-site - Home based.


The consultant is not expected to travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):


Band level B - USD 350 - 499 per day.

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


Expected duration of contract:

3-4 days per feature.

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.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • 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 prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • 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 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

For roster VNs:

The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.

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