Technical Officer (Food Safety Emergency), Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-2

Closing date: Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Technical Officer (Food Safety Emergency)

( 2003557 )

Grade : P2

Contractual Arrangement : Temporary appointment under Staff Rule 420.4

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 1 year

Job Posting: Sep 16, 2020, 3:56:01 PM

With the goal of preventing the international spread of contaminated food and foodborne disease and strengthening food safety systems globally, INFOSAN seeks to; i. promote the rapid exchange of information during food safety related events; ii. share information on important food safety related issues of global interest; iii. promote partnerships and collaboration between countries, and between networks; and iv. help countries strengthen their capacity to manage food safety emergencies.

The work of INFOSAN has two distinct components:1) INFOSAN non-emergency activities, including; the strengthening and maintenance of the INFOSAN global membership through outreach activities to register INFOSAN Emergency Contact Points and Focal Points, education of new members through the delivery of online training activities, webinars and simulation exercises, publication of ad-hoc reports and peer-reviewed publications related to INFOSAN Activities, review of national and regional plans to strengthen INFOSAN, and summarise and analyse food safety emergency events.2) INFOSAN Emergency activities: the INFOSAN Secretariat identifies, verifies and shares information on food safety related events that involve contaminated foods distributed internationally, and foodborne illness outbreaks, not limited to one country. Technical assistance is also provided by INFOSAN to national governments in managing food safety and food production related events or emergencies. INFOSAN Emergency Contact Points and Focal Points are actively engaged to provide updated information on food safety events and to ensure timely information exchange with countries potentially importing or exporting implicated product(s).



Support the INFOSAN Secretariat’s response activities during food safety emergencies and liaise with relevant internal and external stakeholders for assessment and verification, as required;
Analyse, summarize, and compile information pertaining to each food safety emergency managed by the INFOSAN Secretariat for compilation on the INFOSAN Community Website and into quarterly summaries and other reports, as well as peer-reviewed publications;
Maintain global INFOSAN membership through regular outreach activities to ensure full coverage of INFOSAN Emergency Contact Points and Focal Points. This involves liaising with WHO Regional Food Safety Advisors, WHO Country Offices, national food safety authorities and FAO counterparts;
Assist with capacity building initiatives for INFOSAN members by delivering online training activities, including webinars and simulation exercises and liaise with members to answer questions or redirect as appropriate;
Support the INFOSAN Secretariat’s efforts to upgrade and improve the INFOSAN Community Website to facilitate increased communication among members. This will involve liaising with WHO IT services and external IT companies;
Any other duties assigned by supervisor.

Achievement activities include:

Efficient exchange of information and management of food safety emergencies by the INFOSAN Secretariat;
Regular acknowledgment and response to food safety emergencies by INFOSAN members communicated through INFOSAN, regular and active participation by INFOSAN members on the INFOSAN Community Website;
Publication of quarterly summaries of INFOSAN events on the open WHO website;
Maintenance and strengthening of regional and global INFOSAN membership.



Essential: University degree in food safety, international relations, public policy, public health or a related field from a recognized university

Desirable: Post-graduate degree in food safety, public policy, international relations or a related field



Minimum of 2 years of work experience at the national and international levels in the field of food safety.

Experience in working with multiple stakeholders coming to consensus.

Experience in working with web-based knowledge networks.

Experience in working in a team environment during public health emergency response activities.


Experience in WHO or other UN agencies.

Practical experience with the INFOSAN network.


An excellent understanding of international food safety issues, and the challenges in managing them;
An understanding of the role of WHO and FAO in food safety;
Excellent interpersonal skills;
Tags food production food safety information exchange international relations regional plans

Excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
Excellent English writing skills;
Excellent knowledge of MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Producing results

Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills


Expert knowledge of English.

Intermediate knowledge of French.

Desirable: -


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 47,895 (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 3536 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.

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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.

*For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.