Technical Officer, Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-3

Closing date: Thursday, 21 January 2021

Technical Officer

( 2004854 )

Grade : P3

Contractual Arrangement : Temporary appointment under Staff Rule 420.4

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

Job Posting: Dec 31, 2020, 10:39:49 AM

The Patient Safety Flagship (PSF) sits within the Integrated Health Services (IHS) department in the Division of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Life Course. WHO supports countries to strengthen their health systems to progress towards achieving UHC. The overall objective of WHO Division of UHC through the life-course is to provide global policy, programme, and technical and scientific leadership for UHC and primary health care, working in close partnership with WHO regional and country offices and other partners, and work towards the ultimate goal of an additional 1 billion people receiving UHC. Patient safety is fundamental to strengthening of health care systems and is at the heart of UHC. Expanding coverage of and increasing access to health care should be based on the fundamental principle of first do no harm.The mission of Integrated Health Services is to: (1) support countries to provide equitable access to integrated health services (including promotion, prevention, curative, rehabilitative and palliative); (2) develop health services that ensure patient safety, quality, integration, effectiveness, and people-centredness, and (3) strengthen country capacity to assess and monitor performance of health services. Patient harm due to adverse events has been recognized as one of the ten leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally, even more significant than malaria and tuberculosis and comparable to HIV. Recognition of unsafe care as a grave global public health concern has led to intense international political advocacy, particularly through the annual Global Ministerial Summits on Patient Safety since 2016. This unprecedented global momentum on patient safety led to the recognition of Patient safety as a global health priority by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019, including the adoption of WHA72.6 resolution Global action on patient safety and the establishment of World Patient Safety Day as an official WHO day to be observed annually on 17 September.Aligned with the global agenda for achieving SDGs by 2030, WHO has established a Flagship Initiative A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030 to address global call and support strategic actions in the area patient safety to: 1) Provide leadership and support to the implementation of WHA72.6 resolution, through Global Patient Safety Action Plan; 2) Contribute to set global patient safety priorities, design and implement Global Patient Safety Challenges, including the 3rd Challenge on Medication Without Harm; 3) Provide strategic advice and guidance in formulating patient safety policy, legislation, strategies and plans; 4) Facilitate global advocacy through commemoration and campaigns for World Patient Safety Day annually on 17 September; 5) Build patient safety leadership competences and human resource capacity through patient safety education and training, and development of curricula and other technical resources; 6) Strengthen collaboration and building strategic partnerships through the WHO Global Patient Safety Network and Global Knowledge Sharing Platform; 7) Develop technical resources and tools in the area of patient safety; 8) Accelerate country support and capacity building through Global Patient Safety Collaborative, 9) Engage and empower patients and families through Patients for Patient Safety initiative, and build capacity of patient safety advocates from patients‘ organizations;10) Improve patient safety metrics through development of standards, indicators, data collection tools and assessments; 11) Facilitate the definition of research priorities, promoting implementation research and supporting digital and innovative approaches to ensuring patient safety; and 12) Provide strategic support to establish and implement incident reporting and learning, and surveillance systems.


This position is envisioned to contribute significantly to the WHO Flagship A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030 through strengthening WHO global efforts on patient safety, reduction of harm in health care and development of health services which ensure safe patient care. The initial focus is on formulating and implementing the Global Patient Safety Action Plan and supporting Member States in their efforts to improve patient safety and recognizing patient safety as a health priority in health sector policies and programmes, making it an essential component for strengthening health care systems to achieve UHC. While working with counterparts inMember States, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders, and WHO regional and country offices, and relevant programmes within WHO-headquarters, the specific terms of reference for this position include the following: 1) Formulate, and support implementation and monitoring of the Global Patient Safety Action Plan; 2) Promote World Patient Safety Day, the Know. Check. Ask campaign for medication safety and other related global advocacy campaigns, and provide technical advice and guidance into the development of global campaigns, including the theme, slogan, and technical and communication materials for World Patient Safety Days; 3) Participate in expanding, strengthening and building strong collaboration, partnerships and networks for patient safety and engage with key stakeholders to develop technical relationships at global, regional and national levels, including patients‘ networks; 4) Build institutional and human resource capacity for developing systems for safe patient care; 5) Put into place systems to support the active engagement, participation and empowerment of patients and families in the delivery of safer health care 6) Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: A first level university degree in health sciences, patient safety, public health or health systems and services management.

Desirable: Advanced university degree (Masters) in the field of health sciences, patient safety, public health or health systems and services management. Training in programme or project management


Essential: A minimum of 5 years of experienceat the national and international levels in the field in patient safety, medication safety or public health, health-care service systems improvement or flagship programme management, of which at least 2 years‘ experience in developing or managing initiatives, programmes, collaborations or relations with external stakeholders at international or global level; experience in management and supporting patient safety, patient engagement, education and training or medication safety programme or activities in national or international settings; experience in managing international networks; experience of working with low- and middle-income countries; developing and maintaining websites, which including producing well-written articles or documents, requiring excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Desirable: Experience in working with NGOs.Experience in project/programme development and management.Experience in research management.


Good knowledge of global health issues, epidemiological trends and burden of disease of unsafe health care, with in-depth knowledge of issues related to patient safety, and of public health and patient safety interventions. Proven ability in contributing to patient safety initiatives. Ability to work within and contribute to a team. A good communicator and able to make judgments using available evidence. Skills in developing proposals for resource mobilization, and in writing, editing of reports, technical guidance or advocacy materials. Good knowledge in engaging a diverse group of international, regional and national stakeholders, including professional networks. Proven ability in convening or facilitating events at national and international levels. Knowledgein working with NGOs.Knowledge and skillin project/programme development and management. Skills in research management.

WHO Competencies

- Teamwork

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Producing results

Promoting innovation and organizational learning

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Beginners knowledge of French.


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 60,962 (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 4425 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.

Tags data collection global health health services health systems knowledge sharing malaria primary health care programme management project management resource mobilization safety education sdgs universal health coverage

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.

For information on WHO’s operations please visit:

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.