Position Title: Surveillance Officer
Major Office: WCO
Organization: HQ/WHE WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme
First Level Supervisor: Team Lead – Epidemiologist
Second Level Supervisor: Chief, Health Operations or Incident Manager
1. Background and Justification
* Purpose of the Position
In the context of the WHO Health Emergencies incident management system, at the country level, the incumbent will coordinate and implement technical activities directed towards surveillance of outbreaks and health emergencies, scale up the implementation of evidence-based interventions, facilitate policy and decision making processes through improved health information coverage, analysis and quality throughout the full cycle of the incident.
* Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objective
The mission of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to help countries, and to coordinator international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies.
Organizational context (Describe the individual role of incumbent within the team, focusing on work environment within and outside the organization)
In the country of assignment, reporting to the Team Lead, and based on priorities set by the Incident Manager and the WHO Head of Country Office, and working closely with counterparts at the respective regional office and HQ , the incumbent will act as the technical expert for the surveillance programme. S/he will provide technical oversight for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public health policies and programmes pertaining to surveillance of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases particularly those with epidemic and pandemic potentials. The incumbent will work in close collaboration with relevant technical officers at the national level and subnational levels.
Summary of Assigned Duties (Describe what the incumbent has to do to achieve main objectives; include main achievements expected):
During your deployment, you may be relocated to another duty station, and your duties may be modified, based upon the technical needs of the Programme.
1. Co-develop the guidelines, tools and indicators for effective disease surveillance at the national, subnational and community levels.
2. Coordinate and manage surveillance technical activities and programs, within the context of the outbreak and health emergencies programme at the country level.
3. Facilitate the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) including participation in the process of verification and risk assessment on reported public health events.
4. Strengthen the capacities of surveillance teams for the effective and sustained surveillance of epidemic prone diseases through training courses on field investigation, detection, data management, and rapid response to epidemics and health outbreaks.
5. Conduct, in collaboration with other team members, real-time analysis of outbreak intelligence data, from a broad range of sources including non-health sectors, for epidemic forecasting and detection.
6. Promote the effective coordination for rapid assessment, surveillance and response activities for epidemic-prone diseases in consultation with Country Office, Regional Office and HQ as well as local, regional and national health entities and other international health partners including UN agencies and NGOs.
7. Provide technical guidance for the management of a unified information system to ensure availability of core data country files and other information on related technical areas such as: case incidence; case management surveillance data; laboratory surveillance data; contact tracing, etc.;
8. Analyse, systematize, and disseminate scientific and evidence-based technical information and knowledge; support the development of the WHO Situation Reports, other related regular and ad-hoc surveillance reports.
9. Undertake regular field supervision visits to assess and evaluate the implementation of surveillance activities, identify gaps and recommend corrective actions based on key performance indicators.
10. Perform any other incident-specific related duties, as required by the functional supervisor.
2. Recruitment Profile Competencies: Generic
Describe the core, management or leadership competencies required - See WHO competency model - list in order of priority, commencing with the most important ones.
1. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
2. Producing results
3. Ensuring the effective use of resources
Functional Knowledge and Skills
* Describe the essential knowledge and the skills specific to the position
• Demonstrated knowledge of surveillance and monitoring systems as related to emergency response relief operations, complemented by skills in the field of epidemiological or statistical data collection, assessment, analysis and the evaluation and monitoring in a public health context.
• Proven ability to multitask across various planning and implementation processes within a highly demanding environment.
• Demonstrated knowledge, competency and professional skills on the public health aspects of infectious disease control, epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response with particular attention to application of an all hazard approach in the context of the International Health Regulations and the use of event based and indicator based surveillance, as well as descriptive epidemiology and principles of public health in communicable disease surveillance and response.
First level university degree in epidemiology, statistics, database management or public health from an accredited/recognized institute.
Advanced university degree in quantitative epidemiology or health related field. specialized training in communicable diseases.
At least five years’ related experience, at the national and international levels, quantitative epidemiology and the implementation of public health surveillance, outbreak investigation and response in humanitarian settings.
Prior humanitarian working experience at field level with WHO, other UN agencies, health cluster partners, recognized humanitarian organizations or with an international nongovernmental organization with expertise in disaster and outbreak response.
3. Use of Language Skills
Excellent knowledge of English or French (depending on the country of assignment). Working knowledge of another WHO official language would be an asset.
Other Skills (e.g. IT)
• Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.
• Working knowledge of online data collection applications, statistical analysis packages (Stata, SPSS, etc).
• Working knowledge of GIS mapping software (or similar) would be an asset.