World Health Organization (WHO)

Emergency Preparedness Manager

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description


The mission of WHO's Emergency Preparedness & Response (EPR) Cluster 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. Within EPR, the Emergency Preparedness unit is responsible for: increasing country capacity to implement international health regulation; building resilience and adequate preparedness for mounting a rapid, predictable and effective response to major epidemics and pandemics; and managing public health risks associated with emergencies.


Under the direct supervision of the Regional Emergency Director (RED) in AFRO, and within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:1. Spearhead, lead and direct all aspects of emergency preparedness work, in close collaboration with WHO senior management at HQ, Regional and Country Offices, and an organization-wide network responsible for aspects of the development, implementation and oversight of relevant preparedness policies, strategies, programmes of work, annual work plans and monitoring frameworks.2. Initiate close collaboration with Member States to develop and implement IHR plans of action and monitor progress and prepare annual reports on IHR implementation.3. Provide leadership and strategic Coordination within WHO, and to Member States and relevant stakeholders to conduct comprehensive assessments of IHR core capacities and gaps to identify countries with the greatest need for IHR improvement, and to establish and/or reinforce coordination mechanisms for streamlining implementation of IHR, and initiate support for building targeted improvements in IHR core capacities in priority countries.4. Provide technical expertise and guidance in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regional and national outbreaks and Disaster Risk Management policies, strategies, plans and activities to strengthen epidemic, emergency and Disaster Preparedness and readiness leading to improved prevention and mitigation of public health outbreaks and emergencies.5. Lead the expansion of competencies and action on situation Analysis, risk assessment, (including the assessment of risk related to epidemics), and evaluation of regional epidemic preparedness, to improve the Design and formulation of action plans and programmes that facilitate and enable the implementation of strengthened national capacity for Epidemic Preparedness and Readiness.6. Advise and ensure participation in the identification of regional and national capacity gaps in IHR, disaster risk management and epidemic preparedness to initiate and implement training to strengthen national disaster risk management and preparedness skill sets.7. Manage support to Member States to develop and implement guidelines for the continual assessment of countries' levels of readiness/preparedness for outbreaks and preparation of comprehensive epidemic preparedness and readiness plans.8. Initiate, develop and strengthen critical resource mobilization initiatives, due to the humanitarian and urgent nature of epidemic preparation and emergency response, such as proposals/appeals for the mobilization of technical and financial resources by Member States, to facilitate IHR, disaster risk management planning and epidemic preparedness.9. Promote and lead global, regional and country partnerships and collaboration with UN agencies, NGOs, bilateral cooperation institutions and other partners for IHR, disaster risk management and epidemic preparedness.10. Closely collaborate with the Director on the strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of the EPR cluster by leading the planning, implementation, monitoring and review of IHR and preparedness objectives and outputs and initiating regular revisions of the Cluster's strategic plan.11. Lead and directly manage all staff in IHR and preparedness programme area, and relevant ISTs, including the coordination, monitoring and approval of work plans and mission requests.12. In agreement with the Cluster Director oversee the formulation of objectives for Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) for all staff in IHR ensuring accurate and timely appraisals and any required follow-up actions take place.13. May act as Regional Emergency Director (RED) in absence of the incumbent. 14. Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.



Essential: Advanced degree in medicine with postgraduate degree in public health or epidemiology from a recognized university.

Desirable: --> Postgraduate training in disaster risk management or field epidemiology or specialized training related to infectious or tropical diseases. Training or degree on Global Health Diplomacy.--> Specialized training in field epidemiology. --> Specialized training in emergency/humanitarian response. --> Training in leadership or management.


Essential: --> A minimum of 15 years' experience planning, implementing and monitoring IHR, disaster risk management and epidemic/emergency/disaster preparedness in developing countries and humanitarian actions and interventions for at least seven years at the international level in in developing countries. --> Experience in project management at the supervisor/management level for a large organization, company and/or agency.

Desirable: --> Field experience in health system strengthening in developing countries --> Field experience in WHO or UN in public health programmes or emergency response programmes in developing countries.--> Field experience on the implementation of IHR (2005) and field experience in health emergencies.--> Knowledge of the WHO policy and strategy for emergency and Humanitarian Action and interventions of other UN agencies, donors and NGOs for humanitarian assistance. Proven experience in the management of multi-agency partnerships.--> Experience with intergovernmental agencies, the UN system or WHO and knowledge of national, regional and global partnerships and networks especially in the field of emergency preparedness.--> Knowledge of supervisory principles and ability to manage the operations, programs, projects, and deliverables of the unit/team with little to no guidance.--> Comprehensive knowledge of and ability to apply the theories, principles, practices and techniques to design and develop Training Programs and materials, exercises and drills, after action reports, and to coordinate emergency and Disaster Response plans.--> Demonstrated knowledge of the National Response Framework, National Recovery Framework, National Preparedness System, Community Lifelines, and other related emergency management policy and guidance.


--> Proven ability to plan, execute, supervise and manage a large international health programme and expertise in health policy formulation, implementation and management;--> Prove skills facilitating development of national capacity. --> Excellent interpersonal, presentation and communication skills. --> Demonstrated ability to provide clear direction and technical, authoritative advice and guidance to team members, colleagues, peers and multiple stakeholders and partners, taking into account internal priorities and capacity and broader political and resource-limited contexts. --> Proven skills in negotiating, developing and nurturing partnerships at all levels including for resource mobilization;--> Diplomacy, tact and courtesy.--> Problem-solving: in stressful situations, make quick decisions and find ways to resolve problems as they arise; great problem-solving skills are a must in this job--> Communication: communicate precisely and clearly with a variety of stakeholders.--> Calm disposition: remain calm under pressure and maintain a reserved disposition when dealing with a crisis, so as not to provoke further worry in others.--> Flexibility: be adaptable and able to make quick decisions as situations change and develop.--> Critical thinking: anticipate hazards and issues that might arise during an emergency to prepare accordingly; perform detailed data and information analyses and make recommendations.

WHO Competencies

Teamwork Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Communication Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Portuguese.

The above language requirements are interchangeable.


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 102,715 (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 5564 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.
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