Communication Officer

World Health Organization

Berlin, Germany

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

The mission of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) 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. The Health Emergency Intelligence and Surveillance Systems division (WSE) is responsible to build a system of collaborative surveillance enabling better decisions to avert and manage public health threats and risks. Its goal is to enable, strengthen and support countries, regional and global actors in averting and managing public health threats and risks through collaborative problem solving and decision-making for short-term action and long-term policies, informed by better data and analytics. The WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence is a new office of WHO, located in Berlin, and part of the WSE division. It works with partners to enable the generation of public health relevant information to provide timely actionable insights in response to health emergencies; and improve decision making in response to prepare for, avert and respond to public health threats. It also aims to reduce fragmentation and inefficiency by creating an ecosystem that promotes collaboration across multiple professional disciplines, sectors, and initiatives; and empower decision makers, public health professionals, and civil society to make informed public health decisions.
Within the framework of the delegated authority, the Communication Officer is assigned all or part of the following duties which are performed according to needs:
  • Promotes WHO, the Programme and the Hub's work through appropriate platforms, support and coordinate media queries/pitches, and prepare ADG's and Directors for interviews/briefings. Plan, coordinate and implement the ADG communication across multiple media channels, including management of social media content and visibility.
  • Oversees the development and targeted distribution of news items to media and networks.
  • Nurtures trusted and productive relationships with international and German media and other globally influential actors to ensure a positive, relevant and up-to-date image of WHO with key stakeholders, and to foster a good understanding of the work of the Hub's work, WHO's work on surveillance, and the WHO Health Emergencies Programme's work more broadly.
  • Responsible for the efficiency and effectiveness of communications and advocacy priorities, strategies and products pertaining to communications and external relations activities of the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. In coordination with communications colleagues in headquarters and regions, advise WHE, and specifically the WHO Pandemic Hub, on media outreach priorities and strategies.
  • Provides editorial guidance (i.e. copy editing and proofreading) to the technical team.
  • Supports WHO regional (and as needed, country) offices, and relevant HQ departments, to be able to communicate about WHO's role in collaborative surveillance, especially via the work of the WHO Pandemic Hub. 
  • Provides support to resource mobilization efforts through research and message development, in coordination with resource mobilization focal points at relevant levels of the organization.
  • Performs all other related duties as assigned.
  • As needed, work with relevant colleagues and vendors to develop high-quality innovative media tools, including audio-visual, photographic and printed materials, input to television and radio programmes, multimedia presentations, social media, videos and press releases, etc., to advocate for and promote the visibility, achievements and success stories of WHO, the Programme, and the work of the WHO Hub.
Required Qualifications:
  • An advanced level university degree in health promotion, public or international relations, journalism, political science, or other related field from an accredited / recognized institute.
  • Essential: At least seven years' relevant experience at national and international levels in communication and/or advocacy, part of which should include supporting development, public health, humanitarian emergency or health outbreak response and recovery activities.
  • Proven experience in writing advocacy documents and in the production of communication materials and products
  • Demonstrated experience in complex international contexts involving technical, cultural and political elements.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging with a broad range of the German media.
  • Excellent English writing skills; demonstrated ability to produce engaging communication and advocacy material [possessing similar skills in German is highly desirable]. Demonstrated ability in working with communications products and journalists in new and traditional media. Excellent understanding of the German media / influencers landscape. Demonstrated ability to work under pressure to achieve multiple deadlines. Proven skills in the management - from design to implementation - of communication/media products and tactics. Excellent interpersonal skills complemented by the ability to conceptualize ideas and advocate consensus. Ability to "think out of the box" and to make innovative proposals to extend communication reach. Knowledge or understanding of WHO mandate and goals.
Language Skills:
  • Expert knowledge of English.