World Health Organization (WHO)

Technical Officer (Air Quality)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

  The mission of WHO's UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization's 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The role of the Department for Environment, Climate Change and Health (ECH) within the overall work of WHO is to promote a healthier environment, intensify primary prevention and to influence public policies in all sectors to address the root causes of environmental threats to health. ECH develops and promotes preventive policies and interventions based on an understanding and an in-depth scientific Analysis of the evidence base for environmental determinants of human health.

The Air Quality and Health (AQH) Unit provides Technical Support to WHO's Member States in the development of normative guidance and tools and provision of authoritative advice on health issues related to air pollution and its sources. Monitoring and reporting on global trends and changes in health outcomes associated with actions taken to address air pollution at the local, national, regional and global levels is an additional key facet of this. In this context, AQH promotes interventions and initiatives for healthy sectoral policies (including energy, transport, housing and urban development), addressing key risks to health from air pollution indoors and outdoors, and contributing to achieving health co-benefits from Climate Change Mitigation policies.


  1. Develop exposure models and risk scenarios in relation to air pollution due to multiple environmental risk factors from domains such as transport, land use, waste, transport, including Data Collection, processing and analysis; including the features of green spaces and ecosystems and their influence on health;
  2. Provide technical support globally in development, application, maintenance and implementation of tools at national and in the urban context on air pollution and health and support the Coordination of the integration of different existing WHO tools;
  3. Provide Member States with scientific evidence on existing and emerging health risks due to air pollution, and assist them in identifying and implementing policies to protect and promote health, including but not exclusively through technical support missions;
  4. Develop a catalogue of policy options to address air pollution with clear health and economic benefits and of policy tracking mechanisms to support Member States in the implementation of WHO Air Quality Guidelines;
  5. Prepare technical documents, user documentation, papers, and reports on specific projects activities within the area of national and urban policies to reduce air pollution, with a focus on strengthening the stewardship function of health systems with respect to addressing environmental health risks;
  6. Participate actively and represent WHO in professional and scientific networks, committees and international fora assuring contacts with relevant academic, research, developmental partners and leading international agencies;
  7. Enhance partnerships and collaborations, organize advocacy events and communicating with policy makers, scientists, peers, media and the public, including the preparation of technical contents for the WHO website etc;
  8. Perform other duties as required.
Main achievements include:
  • Developing policy advice, methods and tools to inform and support decision-making by governments, health professionals, citizens and relevant stakeholders in the area of air pollution and health;
  • Coordinating inputs and exchange of information on scientific knowledge regarding air pollution;
  • Strengthen expertise and WHO's leadership on air pollution;
  • Consolidate WHO's work on ambient air pollution health impact assessment;
  • Expand the ambient air pollution communications portfolio; and
  • Ensure WHO's collaboration with other international agencies, major research institutions, and relevant key stakeholders.



Essential: Advanced level university degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, geography or environment studies.

Desirable: PhD in statistics, demography, geography or related disciplines or equivalent training.


  • Minimum of seven years of experience in statistical analysis of epidemiological data related to air pollution, of which at least five years exposure at the international level.
  • At least seven years of international work exposure in health impact assessment of air pollution, including in designing and implementing tools and conceptualizing and carrying out Capacity Building programs.
  • Demonstrated experience with epidemiological, statistical methods and analysis, including GIS tools for urban health with proficiency on the health effects of green spaces.
  • Proficiency in spatial Data Management, statistical analysis and related software.
  • Extensive experience working on ambient air pollution and health issues.
  • Experience with managing and analysing databases on health and analysis of policy interventions.
  • Proven experience in representational roles in interagency collaborations, with respect to air pollution.
  • International work experience required in addition to experience working with international organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience in environment and health policy in the global context.
  • Experience in modelling for health impact assessment and multivariate analysis.
  • Experience in working on public health related projects with WHO or other UN agencies.
  • Experience in estimating local and international air pollution related impacts.
  • Experience in developing tools that make available scientific knowledge for large audiences.
  • Experience in working in different countries and cities for health impact assessment projects.


  • Comprehensive knowledge of the health effects of air pollution.
  • Excellent knowledge of epidemiological, statistical and modelling approaches to address risks to due air pollution.
  • In depth knowledge of approaches to health impact assessment, exposure assessment methods, statistics, demography and human geography and geospatial models.
  • Ability to manage and analyse different data sets, and establish the nature of data sets needed.
  • Extensive knowledge of the Design of quantitative tools related to air quality and health, including the use of data from different sources and the integration of land use data, population exposure and modelling of scenarios.
  • Extensive knowledge in developing evidence based interventions packages.
  • Competency in understanding and interpreting reports, scientific articles, and expert views.
  • Ability to manage many tasks concurrently and prioritize workload, in a pressured environment with competing demands and high expectations.
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner, and to present factual, data-driven information.

WHO Competencies

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

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

  • Intermediate knowledge of French.
  • Intermediate knowledge of UN 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 5556 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.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • 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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