World Health Organization (WHO)

Technical Officer (Influenza Preparedness)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

OBJECTIVE OF THE OFFICE/DEPARTMENT This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) The objective of the Health Emergencies Department (PHE) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is to increase Health Sector resilience to emergencies and disasters. PHE assists Member States to strengthen the health sector’s capacities in prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, surveillance, response, and early recovery for emergencies and disasters related to any hazards (natural, man-made, biological, chemical, radiological and others) and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain disasters, including outbreaks, and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. PHE is responsible for ensuring the implementation and updating of the PAHO/WHO Institutional Emergency and Disaster Response Policy.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES Under the general guidance of the Unit Chief, Infectious Hazards Management (PHE/IHM), and the direct supervision of the Advisor, Epidemic-prone Diseases Epidemiology (PHE/IHM), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties: a) Provide Technical Support for the development and implementation of a technical cooperation framework with countries to prepare for and respond to seasonal and pandemic influenza as well as outbreaks of other respiratory viruses, including Covid-19; b) Develop, field test and disseminate a framework for the technical cooperation at national level to prepare for and respond to seasonal and pandemic influenza as well as outbreaks of ORV, in the context of the Global Influenza Strategy 2019–2030 and in close consultation with internal and external partners; c) Review, update, develop and organize training material and educational courses for the preparedness and response to seasonal/pandemic influenza, COVID-19 and ORV; d) Contribute to the organization and implementation of regular meetings and technical workshops of the regional networks for influenza/COVID-19 surveillance and vaccine effectiveness evaluations (SARInet and REVELAC-i); e) Contribute to the team’s activities in the collection, management, Analysis and dissemination of surveillance data on influenza, COVID-19 and ORV generated by the countries, including in the preparation of regular and ad-hoc reports; f) Provide technical support to select countries for the planning, implementation and monitoring/evaluation of programs of work related to the surveillance and preparedness of influenza, COVID-19 and ORV; g) Carry out monitoring and evaluation of influenza and COVID-19 surveillance systems at national and local levels, including through country missions; h) Coordinate epidemiologic research projects and studies related to influenza, COVID-19 and ORV; i) Liaise with internal counterparts on matters related to influenza pandemic preparedness, including plan development, action reviews and simulation exercises; j) Organize and participate in action reviews and simulation exercises at country level related to pandemic influenza and COVID-19 preparedness; k) Serve as the team’s focal point for risk communication and Community Engagement related to seasonal and pandemic influenza; l) Participate in the Organization’s emergency and disaster response operations; m) Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for PHE/IHM personnel.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Education: Essential: A bachelor’s degree in a health or biological science, or any other field related to the functions of the post, from a recognized university.

Desirable: A master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, global health or related field would be an asset.

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: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.

Experience: Essential: Seven years of combined national and international experience in the planning, management and evaluation of public health surveillance systems and of prevention/control programs for epidemic-prone diseases.

Desirable: Experience working within the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and carrying out studies on epidemiologic or disease burden studies of influenza and ORV would be an asset.

SKILLS: PAHO Competencies: Key Behavioral Competencies - Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.

- Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others/Deal effectively with conflict - Creates team spirit; promotes collaboration and open communication in the team; proactively supports others; welcomes team responsibilities and drives team results; promotes knowledge sharing in the team. Proactively identifies conflicts and facilitates their resolution in a respectful manner; tactfully resolves conflicts between or with others and takes action to reduce any possible tension; effectively builds a rapport with individuals and teams, establishing good personal and professional relationships, as well as minimizing risk of potential conflict.

- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.

- Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Listen/Write effectively/Share knowledge - Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly. Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views. Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.

- Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results/Take responsibility - Prioritizes work, monitors own progress against objectives and adapts plans as required; communicates adjustments as necessary. Acts proactively and stimulates action as needed; handles problems effectively and constructively. Produces high-quality results and workable solutions that meet clients’ needs. Works independently to produce new results and sets own time lines effectively and efficiently. Shows awareness of own role and clarifies roles of team members in relation to project’s expected results. Makes proposals for improving processes as required and takes responsibility for own work and/or actions, as necessary. Demonstrates positive attitude in working on new projects and initiatives. Demonstrates accountability for own success, as well as for errors; learns from experience.

- Moving forward in a changing environment: Propose change/Adapt to change - Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations. Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results. Welcomes, and actively seeks to apply, new ideas, approaches and working methods and technologies in order to improve own and/or team’s work processes and results; demonstrates commitment to Organizational change initiatives.

Technical Expertise: - Technical expertise and skills in the prevention and control of epidemic-prone diseases.

- Theoretical and practical knowledge of public health program planning, implementation and monitoring/evaluation.

- Ability to analyze technical information and synthesize inputs from multiple sources.

- Ability to integrate scientific and operational inputs into recommendations for decision-making.

- Experience in the Design and implementation of epidemiologic studies.

- Experience in surveillance of influenza, COVID-19 or ORV.

- Strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.

Languages: Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills: Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as statistical packages and Data Visualization tools are desirable.

REMUNERATION Monthly Salary: (Net of taxes) US$5,176.67 (Salary non-negotiable) Post Adjustment: US$2,567.63 This amount is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar short-term positions at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.
  • For information on PAHO please visit:
  • PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • PAHO/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 encouraged.
  • All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.
  • The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.
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