Advisor, Health Emergencies, Bogota, Colombia 222 views

Advisor, Health Emergencies

( 1905338 )

Grade : P4

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract duration : Two years, first year probationary period. Post of limited duration.

Job Posting: Nov 19, 2019, 2:00:56 PM

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.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Health Emergencies (PHE), and the direct supervision of the PAHO/WHO Representative, the incumbent is responsible for, but not limited to, the following assigned duties:

  • Manage PAHO’s health emergencies program at national level; advise, guide, and support national authorities to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and programs to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to national emergencies and disasters caused by all types of hazards, including natural, technological, biological, chemical, radiological, or those resulting from social conflicts;
  • Provide technical advice and guidance on the establishment and/or strengthening of national disaster/emergency programs in the health sector, including the development, implementation and evaluation of country strategies and work plans pertaining to health emergencies, ensuring compliance with PAHO’s organization-wide Health Emergencies strategies;
  • Oversee, in the context of the International Health Regulations (IHR), the prevention, early detection, verification, risk assessment and investigation of epidemic prone infectious hazards and the analysis and dissemination of data related to the occurrence of outbreaks in close collaboration with relevant teams at country and regional levels;
  • Advise national authorities on policies, norms, standards and guidelines to support the development of critical core capacities for global health security; provide training and support to national authorities to develop critical core capacities;
  • Identify catalytic areas where disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures can be integrated and add value to ongoing or planned technical cooperation support interventions;
  • Provide technical advice and guidance for the implementation of health emergencies policies, concepts, tools and strategies at the country level, for the prevention and, where feasible, elimination of diseases/epidemic risks. Work with partners, to improve approaches and methods of controlling epidemics in different epidemiological situations;
  • Promote multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches and activities with key national and international partners, at the country level, to ensure the successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of capacities in line with IHR (2005) requirements, as well as the identification of financing for country plans;
  • Ensure that risk communication messages are technically sound and socio-culturally appropriate to induce, engage and empower stakeholders in the prevention, mitigation and control of infectious hazards and health emergencies;
  • Make recommendations and give guidance on relevant courses of actions to be taken in affected as well as non-affected areas in order to prevent and/or control cause of excess morbidity and mortality related to emergencies and disasters;
  • Manage the timely and high-quality collection, analysis, production and dissemination of data/information. This includes response specific information (what, where, who, when, how many, how quickly, current status), internal and external situation reports (SitReps), bulletins, rapid needs assessments, health risk assessments, and the Public Health Situation Analysis; and health inputs into humanitarian needs overviews (HNO), and strategic response plans (SRP);
  • Support national authorities to develop and improve field information management procedures at the local and regional levels to ensure that information management in the field provides the best possible functionality and usability to stakeholders;
  • Maintain relations and facilitate coordination among all health emergency related actors (Ministry of Health, national and international NGOs, UN organizations, etc.) on all matters related to emergencies and disaster management (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery), including the mobilization of resources for the Organization’s technical cooperation in health emergencies, including humanitarian response;
  • Act as first-line emergency responder in case of a country emergency in line with the PAHO Policy and procedures for Institutional Response to Emergencies and Disasters and serve as/or support the Incident Manager in the country in case of a graded emergency. Support UN emergency teams, where relevant and in close collaboration with the Regional Office; Serve as a member of Regional Health Disaster Response Team;
  • Support the provision of data and information required for any PHE-related documents to be presented to PAHO and WHO Governing bodies; coordinate the implementation of the various Regional Plans of Action under the responsibility of the health emergencies program, including the plans for disaster risk reduction, coordination of health humanitarian assistance, as well as, plans related to high threats epidemic prone diseases (influenza, plague, yellow fever, cholera and other emerging and reemerging bacterial and viral diseases);
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Country Office in the planning, development, and implementation of binational plans of action for health emergencies, as required;
  • Contribute to the preparation of biennial work plan and budgets (BWP), semiannual work plans and periodic evaluations for assigned projects; participate in the performance evaluation of the Unit;
  • Assist the Country Office team to ensure the PAHO Country Office fully complies with WHO readiness checklist including updating of the country office emergency preparedness and disaster response including the updating of the Country Office Emergency Response Plan and Business Continuity Plan (BCP);
  • When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  • Perform other related duties, as assigned.


    Essential: A university degree in a health, social, or environmental science and a master’s degree in a health science, public health, or in a discipline related to emergency and disaster management from a recognized institution.

    Desirable: A degree in medicine or specialized training in emergency and outbreak management or specific training in humanitarian response, disaster preparedness, or risk reduction 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.


    Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in a managerial position in public health, social services, or disaster management (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery).

    Desirable: Experience in the UN System with knowledge of inter-agency mechanisms in the area of national and international preparedness for and response to health emergencies would be an asset. Field experience in public health programs or emergency management programs in developing countries, including coordination of large scale public health projects, would be an asset.


    PAHO Competencies:

    • Intrainstitutional Action: Leads team efforts toward full understanding of the policies the organization must operate within as well as the Standard of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Leads employees and co-workers toward operating in a fair, consistent and equitable manner, and displays such behavior by example. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.
    • Information Management: Processes and analyzes the data objectively, presenting it clearly and equitably. Leads the effort to acquire relevant and selected information that facilitates the achievement of organizational results. Evaluates/leads the evaluation of information systems on the basis of its advantages/disadvantages for processing information relevant to the area of work.
    • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting: After analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge, leads one’s area of responsibility toward individual and collective actions. Encourages the importance of continual analysis. Verifies and promotes that action is taken in situations that will require future intervention, based on ongoing analysis. Leads others in decisions needed to implement required actions. Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one and two years ahead.
    • Teamwork: Embraces and leads consensual decision-making, that is, leading the fulfillment of team decisions, even when they may not fully coincide with one’s own opinions or proposals. Knows how to manage difficult team situations and promotes consensus building. Takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.
    • Knowledge Management: Supports and develops networked and community working. Identifies, develops and nurtures networks and communities. Identifies and builds on working networks that enable knowledge and information flow. Designs and implements knowledge and information services. Enables utilization of knowledge and information sources. Delivers relevant knowledge and information in most appropriate form. Participates in and learns from networked and community approaches.
    • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions: Selects priority ideas for executing the interventions after anticipating their potential problems and solutions. Participates in the preparation of strategic plans, providing input about their impact, quality, critical points, and risks.
    • Resource Mobilization: Works in an objective manner to obtain and apportion resources (financial and non-financial) according to need. Supports and advises technical areas to enable best use of resources are aligned with the mission and vision of the Organization. Is able to work in a multicultural environment. Is flexible and has the ability to work well under pressure. Is able to give feedback to partners within and outside the organization about the use of the resources and the results acquired.

    Technical Expertise:

    • Theoretical knowledge and technical expertise at the highest level in the areas of humanitarian aid, emergency preparedness, and disaster risk reduction.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of the rapid response operations and their implementation in emergencies as related to public health, complemented by demonstrated ability to identify and manage difficult situations, to lead and direct multidisciplinary and multinational staff.
    • Excellent skills in the assessment, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of emergency situations, with the ability to conceptualize and implement innovative strategies and advocate their implementation.
    • Practical knowledge of results based management concepts and tools and their applications, especially related to outcome formulation and indicator development.
    • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, inter-personal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendations on key political, technical and administrative issues.
    • Ability to coordinate, establish and maintain identifiable results-oriented productive relationships with key actors, monitoring activities, ensuring product delivery and reporting.
    • 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.


    Very good knowledge of Spanish or English 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 and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Project would be an asset.


    Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

    US$ 72,637.00

    Post Adjustment: 28.2% of the above figure(s). This percentage 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 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.

    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.

    PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

    Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

    All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

    Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

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