Senior Emergency Officer

World Health Organization , Copenhagen, Denmark

Skill Required:, Monitoring and EvaluationStrategic Alliances
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
23rd March, 2020

Job Description


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 Emergency Operations Department of the Health Emergencies Programme is responsible for ensuring that emergency-affected populations have access to timely and effective health services. This includes ensuring a strong response to acute emergencies, leveraging on relevant national and international capacities and partnerships and provision of essential health services and the strengthening of health system in fragile, conflict and vulnerable setting. This includes ensuring a strong emergency management system (based on incident management), effective and inclusive coordination mechanisms, joint assessments and planning by partners, implementation of operations and services according to agreed standards, and strong logistics and operational support. EMO also leads on humanitarian policy and guidance, as well as representation to key interagency bodies, regionally and globally.


The incumbent provides strategic expertise, and coordinates technical and operational support to Regional and Country Offices, as well as Health Clusters in acute and protracted response operations.The incumbent will be deployed to emergency as required. Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned the following duties which are performed according to the needs and agenda:

  • Coordinate technical and operational support, across the three levels of the organization, in support of the operations for designated emergencies, in line with technical standards (e.g. Sphere), best practices, protocols and guidelines (e.g. IASC).
  • Facilitate and stimulate WHO and partners contributions in support of country response operations with particular attention to partnership, planning, human resources, logistics, resource mobilization, monitoring and information-sharing.
  • Promote and advance the overall strategic, operational and technical coherence and consistency of WHO emergency operations, including through strengthened support to the design of programmes and development of Humanitarian Response Plans.
  • Support and contribute to capacity-building, training activities and exercises to strengthen operational capacities of WHO and partners; maintain and update policies, technical standards, guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), ensuring adherence to interagency policies.
  • Monitor progress and effectiveness of WHO operations in close collaboration with Health Information Management Department; undertake regular country-level support missions; advise senior management of related priorities and issues; and capture lessons learned and promote their integration into broader WHO policy and practice, especially in collaboration with the Policy Unit in HQ.
  • Provide regular (weekly) updates to senior management of key developments, challenges and operational implications for all graded emergencies for which the staff member is the focal point; alert senior management of relevant operational and security issues at country level in a timely manner; contribute to the development of briefings for senior staff and to the development of communications products.
  • Represent WHO to external stakeholders, including donors and partners, with respect to specific country operations.
  • Participate in the RO-level Emergency Support Team for emergencies, in support to Country Offices, as needed; deploy to emergencies, as requested.
  • As assigned, advise RO departments and units in the development and review of information products and briefings, such as talking points for press briefings, donor-related briefs and reports and other communication materials, to enhance WHO and WHE visibility at time of emergencies.
  • Guide and motivate a team of technical specialists when required for the scale up of emergency response.Perform other related duties as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.



  • Essential: Advanced level university degree (Masters level or above) related to health or emergency response, management or social sciences.
  • Desirable: Specialization or specific training on health emergency management


  • Essential: Ten years of experience at national and international levels in implementing and managing public health emergency response, including three years' field experience (health response to crises, health response support, health response program management, public health needs assessments, risk analysis, early recovery program monitoring, quality control).
  • Desirable: Experience with WHO, UN or UN agency or a health cluster member organization including the development of global strategies, guidelines and tools for emergency actions.


  • Four competencies are considered to be mandatory for all WHO staff with managerial responsibilities: “Teamwork”, “Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences”, “Communication” and “Creating an empowering and motivating environment”.Proven experience and expertise in the management of the health response to humanitarian emergencies and outbreaks;
  • extensive technical knowledge, and operational skills, including early recovery/transition, combined with knowledge of UN, interagency humanitarian systems and process. Excellent communication skills to negotiate/enlist cooperation from a broad range of actors from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Strong organizational skills complemented with ability to work in a proactive and independent manner, multi-task and produce results under pressure. Diplomacy, tact and discretion.


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