World Health Organization (WHO)
Patient Safety (Medication Without Harm)
( 2209054 )
Contractual Arrangement : External consultant
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 11 months
Job Posting: Oct 6, 2022, 12:00:20 PM
Purpose of consultancy
To contribute to WHO activities on patient safety, with a focus on WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm; development of medication safety solutions in high risk situations and priority areas; collation of best practices in medication safety; managing and strengthening WHO Medication Safety Network; organization of monthly webinars on medication safety; strengthening bilateral and multilateral collaboration; managing translation and dissemination of existing WHO medication safety tools and materials; and contributing to cross-cutting technical areas of work including medication safety assessments, education and training and patient engagement.
Unsafe medication and medication error are a leading cause of avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated as $42 billion annually. Medication errors occur when human and systems factors interact with the processes of prescribing, dispensing, and administering drugs which can cause severe patient harm, disability, and death. There are risks at all stages of the medication process. It is important that their scope is explained, level of awareness about them raised, and action needed to protect patients from their harm identified. Many side effects and adverse reactions are well known and some of them can be reduced by careful clinical use of medicines. In contrast all medication errors are potentially avoidable. In addition, special clinical risk areas and vulnerable population require targeted interventions to ensure medication safety. Development of specific solutions for these high-risk situations will help reduce medication related harm in these scenarios.
The WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, has a target to reduce the level of severe, avoidable harm related to medication by 50% over a period of 5 years. The consultancy will contribute to the implementation of WHO activities of the Challenge through; collation of best practices in medication safety; development of medication safety solutions in ageing populations, perioperative care, palliative care, traditional and complementary medicine; organization of monthly webinars on medication safety; managing and strengthening WHO Medication Safety Network; conduction of literature reviews; and contribution to the cross-cutting technical areas of work including patient safety assessments; education and training and patient engagement.
- Organization of monthly webinar series on Medication Safety. Expected delivery: November 2022 to September 2023
Activity 1.1: Prepare draft programmes and propose speakers for monthly webinar series.
Activity 1.2: Prepare flyer and registration text, link and disseminate the information of the webinars.
Activity 1.3: Prepare draft talking points for the organization of the webinars.
- Strengthening WHO Medication Safety Network as a subgroup of the WHO Global Patient Safety Network.
Activity 2.1 Identify and include key stakeholders to expand WHO Medication Safety Network. Expected delivery: December 2022
Activity 2.2: Moderate the discussion within the network under the supervision of the Patient Safety Flagship Unit Head. Expected delivery: January
Activity 2.3: Develop two draft reports of the activities of the WHO Medication Safety Network. Expected delivery: March and September 2023
- Best practices in Medication Safety.
Activity 3.1: Develop a draft template for collection of “Best Practices in Medication Safety”. Expected delivery: November 2022
Activity 3.2: Draft publication clearances. Expected delivery: November 2022
Activity 3.3: Coordinate collection of best practices from members of the Global Patient Safety Network and Medication Safety Network. Expected delivery: February – April 2023
Activity 3.4: Review and validate the best practices. Expected delivery: March
Activity 3.5: Liaise upload of the best practices on the platform agreed by Patient Safety Flagship. Expected delivery: July
- Medication Safety in Ageing Populations (Medication Safety Solutions: Technical Series).
Activity 4.1: Contribute to the finalization of the publication in collaboration with Ageing unit, MCA department. Expected delivery: November 2022
Activity 4.2: Prepare draft documents for experts’ meetings and collate experts’ inputs. Expected delivery: December 2022
Activity 4.3: Draft publication clearances. Expected delivery: January 2023
Activity 4.4: Coordinate editing, formatting and production of the publication. Expected delivery: February 2023
- Medication Safety in Perioperative Care (Medication Safety Solutions: Technical Series).
Activity 5.1: Contribute to the finalization of the draft publication. Expected delivery: December 2022 -January 2023
Activity 5.2: Prepare draft documents for experts’ meetings and collate experts’ inputs. Expected delivery: February 2023
Activity 5.3: Draft publication clearance. Expected delivery: March 2023
Activity 5.4: Coordinate editing, formatting and production of the publication. Expected delivery: April – May 2023
- Programmatic support to the ‘Medication Without Harm’ Challenge and monitor state of development of medication safety programmes.
Activity 6.1 Organize at least 3 workshops to advocate priority action on the challenge, and introduce medication safety policy brief, implementation guidance, tools and advocacy materials. Expected delivery: January
Activity 6.2 Devise framework to assess level of advancement and maturity of medication safety programmes for monitoring progress on implementation of the Challenge. Expected delivery: May
Activity 6.3 Map progress against this framework. Expected delivery: June – July 2023
Activity 6.4 Identify those health facilities at sub-national level that could be regarded as trailblazers for the quality of their processes and outcomes in medication safety. Expected delivery: July – August 2023
Activity 6.5 Prepare a range of real examples of high-risk medicine situations in health facilities. Expected delivery: August
Activity 6.6 Prepare two bulletins on progress of the Challenge. Expected delivery: March and August 2023
- Global priorities for research in medication safety.
Activity 7.1: Develop an advanced draft and contribute to the finalization of the publication. Expected delivery: January – February 2023
Activity 7.2: Draft publication clearances. Expected delivery: March 2023
Activity 7.3: Coordinate editing, formatting and production of the publication. Expected delivery: April – May 2023
- Medication Safety in Palliative Care (Medication Safety Solutions: Technical Series).
Activity 8.1: Develop an advanced draft and contribute to the finalization of the publication. Expected delivery: March 2023
Activity 8.2: Prepare draft documents for experts’ meetings and collate experts’ inputs. Expected delivery: May 2023
Activity 8.3: Draft publication clearances. Expected delivery: June 2023
Activity 8.4: Coordinate editing, formatting and production of the publication. Expected delivery: August 2023
- Medication Safety in Traditional and Complimentary Medicine (Medication Safety Solutions: Technical Series).
Activity 9.1: Develop an advanced draft and contribute to the finalization of the publication. Expected delivery: May 2023
Activity 9.2: Prepare draft documents for experts’ meetings and collate experts’ inputs. Expected delivery: June 2023
Activity 9.3: Draft publication clearances. Expected delivery: July 2023
Activity 9.4: Coordinate editing, formatting and production of the publication. Expected delivery: September 2023
Qualifications, experience, skills and languages
Essential: Advanced university degree in health sciences, patient safety, medication safety, public health or health systems and services.
- At least 7 years of relevant experience at the national and international levels in medication safety out of which at least four years’ experience in developing or managing initiatives, programmes, collaborations or relations with external stakeholders
- Experience in management of medication safety, programme or activities in national or international setting
- Experience in managing international networks
- Experience of working with low- and middle-income countries
- Experience in working with NGOs
- Experience in project/programme development and management
- Ability to produce well-written documents, requiring excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Good knowledge of global health issues, epidemiological trends and burden of disease of unsafe health care and medication practices
- In-depth knowledge of issues related to patient safety, medication safety and medication use process.
- Proven ability in contributing to medication safety initiatives.
- Good knowledge in engaging a diverse group of stakeholders, including professional networks.
- A good communicator and able to make judgments using available evidence.
- Ability to work within and contribute to a team.
- Skills in developing proposals for resource mobilization, and in writing, editing of reports, technical guidance or advocacy materials.
Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Home based – Off-site.
The consultant is not expected to travel.
Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):
Remuneration: Band level B
USD 7,000 – 9, 980 per month
Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):
Expected duration of contract:
- This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
- Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
- A written test may be used as a form of screening.
- If your candidature is retained for 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: (link) Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
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- Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: (link)-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/Manuel-personnes-sans-privileges-et-immunites-carte-H/Non fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html