Health Emergency Officer (Health Cluster Coordination and Readiness), Suva, Fiji

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Fiji

City: Suva, Fiji

Office: WHO Fiji

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Health Emergency Officer (Health Cluster Coordination and Readiness)

( 2102784 )

Grade : P5

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : Two years

Job Posting: Jun 17, 2021, 2:26:59 AM

The mission of WHE is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks, whennational capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response tocontain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.

WHE brings together and enhances WHO’s operational, technical and normative capacity in outbreaks, emergencies and risk analysis to address all health hazards across the risk management cyclein a predictable, capable, dependable, adaptable and accountable manner. It is designed to operate within the broader humanitarian and emergency management architecture in support of people at risk of, or affected by, outbreaks and emergencies, consistent with ways that strengthen local and national capabilities.

The Emergency Operations (EMO) programme area of WHE is responsible for ensuring that emergency-affected populations have access to timely and effective health services. This includes ensuring a strong emergency management system (based on IMS), 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. The expansion and strengthening of operational partnerships is a key priority. EMO also leads on humanitarian policy andguidance, as well as representation to key interagency bodies.


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities:

Lead, manage and coordinate country or regional response to acute or graded events: a. Coordinate WHO’s incident management system at the country level (or regional level in a multi-country response), as assigned by the RED, leading assessment, determining appropriate response strategies, developing an operational plan, and ensuring fulfilment of WHO’s critical emergency functions.

b. Represent WHO and its positions in meetings in relevant interagency and international fora involved with the emergency response at the country/regional level.

c. Determine WHO’s response team staffing needs, ensuring deployment arrangements and the mobilization of the required human resources.

d. Provide leadership, motivation, guidance, and performance management of staff and external experts, building dynamic and efficient teams to bolster WHO’s incident management operations, and ensuring the safety and well-being of all WHO responders.

e. Support national health authorities and partner organizations in mobilizing and coordinating resources in response to health sector priorities, identifying needs and gaps, and encouraging donors to fund the overall health sector response.

f. Negotiate, support and coordinate deployment of regional and global emergency response resources, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network partners, regional and international Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs), and WHO Standby Partners to support Member States in their response efforts, as appropriate.

g. As delegated and in cooperation with other levels of response, authorize the release of information, communications and advocacy products, and statements to internal and external partners, as well as to the public. Provide information to/briefing of senior and elected officials as required. Carefully manage sensitive issues arising from the incident.

h. Coordinate with WPRO/WHE and country office colleagues, to ensure that after-action reviews are systematically completed following graded emergency events.

Support national and subregional health sector partner coordination in declared/graded emergencies through the Health Cluster or equivalent coordination structures: a. Support national and/or subregional counterparts to manage, coordinate and lead the Health Cluster and/or at intercluster level in participatory rapid health needs assessments; be familiar with and ready to choose from existing tools to confirm that the Health Cluster covers all identified humanitarian health needs of the affected population.

b. When appropriate to the context/events, support countries to operationalize national Health Clusters through consultative and results-oriented Health Cluster meetings, including to review preparedness capacities of partners, to share information of ongoing events and to ensure a coordinated approach to emergency response.

c. When activated, ensure that national and/or subregional Health Clusters comply with national and international humanitarian norms and standards, and that cross-cutting issues are mainstreamed in the Health Cluster response and implementation plans, taking into account the need for local adaptation.

d. Facilitate health partner coordination and involvement in health and other related sectoral assessments (e.g. nutrition, WASH)

around planning, information management/sharing, delivery of interventions, monitoring and quality assurance, and regular reporting.

e. Identify urgent technical gaps and training needs in relation to standards and protocols for the delivery of key health services to ensure their adoption and application by all Health Cluster/sector partners; identify opportunities for capacity-building in collaboration with partners.

f. Ensure appropriate links among humanitarian actions and longer-term health sector plans, incorporating the concept of ‚building back better‘ and specific risk reduction measures.

g. Oversee the development of a functional information management strategy and mechanism for the Health Cluster to facilitate information sharing as well as monitoring and reporting; ensure that the Health Cluster produces and disseminates to partners, donors, government and other stakeholders regular updates, technical reports, bulletins and briefings on the health status of the affected people, response activities, resources mobilization, achievements, challenges and the remedial actions when necessary.

h. Where required/appropriate, support resource mobilization efforts in emergencies, including health sector components of Central Emergency Response Fund and other pooled fund proposals and other funding documents, as required, in close collaboration with the Head of the WHO Country Office, and in consultation with the Health Cluster Partners and the UN Humanitarian Country Team.

Provide technical support to Member States to enhance country-level readiness for emergency events in the Region: a. Collaborating with others, review current status of country level operational readiness using readiness checklist and report the readiness status on a dashboard.

b. In close coordination with WPRO/WHE and country office colleagues, provide technical support to Member States to implement the Western Pacific Regional Framework for Action for Disaster Risk Management for Health and the Asia-Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies, with a focus on response leadership, planning and coordination.

c. Advise ministries of health on the establishment/strengthening of IMS and Health Emergency Operation Centres (HEOCs) for multisector health emergency response.

d. Support the regular testing of the IMS and HEOC through planning, training, exercising and evaluation.

e. Support country offices and Member States in developing/reviewing/revising national and

subnational Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans (or equivalent).

Lead the EMT development and coordination in the Region: a. Support enhanced all-hazards emergency response capacity at the national level through the development of national EMTs.

b. Organize/facilitate national EMT orientation workshops, team member trainings/refreshers, EMT Coordination Cell (EMT-CC) trainings, and table-top and full-scale simulation exercises.

c. Coordinate engagement of global/regional experts as EMT training faculty members and team mentors, in coordination with the global EMT Secretariat.

d. Contribute to EMT governance and collaboration in the Region and globally through coordination with the WPR EMT Chair and Vice-Chair and supporting their engagement with global EMT governance structures.

e. Ensure regular communication and coordination calls with headquarters, WPR EMTs, and annual regional EMT meetings.

In close collaboration with the RED and WHE team, contribute to the formulation, revision and updating of strategic and technical guidance for emergency preparedness and response.

Provide technical support to country offices in the Region to improve operational readiness for

rapid-onset and/or large-scale emergencies through training, exercises, standard operating procedures development and review, procurement planning and through facilitation of intra-action and after-action reviews.

Upon request, provide technical and managerial support, backstopping and/or gap-filling for emergency response activities at any level of the Organization.

Perform other related duties, as requested by supervisors.



Essential: A n advanced university degree (master’s level or higher) in medicine, public health or a closely related field.

Desirable: Specialized training in emergency and/or humanitarian response, health system recovery and health cluster coordination. Training in leadership or management in emergencies. Specialized training in emergency management, international aid, humanitarian principles, health system recovery, and health cluster coordination.


Essential: At least ten years of proven experience in health emergency preparedness and response, including operational response to emergencies, increasing leadership and managerial responsibilities and developing and promoting collaborative partnerships in emergencies and epidemics, and including experience in managing and coordinating health programmes in chronic, acute and sudden-onset emergencies in at least three different contexts. Within this experience, at least five years in coordinating large scale public health projects in developing countries, with knowledge of inter-agency mechanisms in the area of international preparedness for and response to health emergencies.

Desirable: Relevant work experience in WHO and/or the UN system in the areas of outbreak response and/or humanitarian interventions, field experience in public he alth programmes or emergency response programmes in developing countries. Experience in the Pacific or other small island developing states.


-Demonstrated leadership and management skills with proven ability to successfully coordinate, manage and lead response work with Member States and multiple partners in health emergencies.

-Demonstrated knowledge of and experience leading emergency operations, complemented by demonstrated ability to manage difficult situations, and to lead multidisciplinary and multinational staff.

-In-depth knowledge of emergency relief policies and practices within UN, other UN Specialized Agencies, donor agencies, national and international NGOs.

-Sound knowledge and experience about disaster prevention and preparedness programmes and the incident management system. Excellent negotiation skills and ability to convene stakeholders and facilitate a policy process among UN, NGOs, national health authorities and donors.

-Excellent skills in assessment, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of emergencies, with the ability to conceptualize, implement and advocate for innovative and appropriate response strategies.

-Extensive knowledge of the theory, principles and techniques of incident management.

-Strong strategic thinking, with the ability to quickly comprehend strategic and tactical objectives and to formulate comprehensive plans to address challenges/risks.

-Strong operational competencies in managing and coordinating humanitarian programme cycle, including efficient human and financial resource management.

-Proven training development and facilitation skills, particularly in operational aspects of health emergency response, including around Emergency Medical Teams.

-Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to communicate clearly and effectively, with tact, diplomacy and courtesy.

-Authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles, methods and techniques in international emergency risk management and humanitarian response, with a broad-based understanding of its growing complexity including knowledge of the workings of relevant international policy-setting bodies.

-Ability to write clear and well-augmented assessment, reports and other papers in English.

-Ability to work harmoniously as a member of a team, adapt to diverse cultural and educational background and maintain a high standard of personal conduct .

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Driving the Organization to a successful future

Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of written and spoken English.


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 89,837 (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 2912 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

Tags architect cluster coordination disaster prevention disaster risk emergency management emergency preparedness emergency relief health emergencies health hazards health programmes health services human resources humanitarian intervention humanitarian response information management logistics monitoring and reporting needs assessment participatory performance management procurement resource mobilization resources mobilization risk analysis risk management trainings

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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