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World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultant – Technical editing and scientific writing for COVID-19 documentation

( 2207458 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 11 months

Job Posting: Aug 12, 2022, 8:21:37 AM

Purpose of consultancy

To contribute to the development and technical editing of all COVID-19 related technical documentation in coordination with the COVID-19 Technical lead, other external publications and official correspondence.

To liaise with the COVID-19 Publication Review Committee (PRC) and Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) in relation to the development and approval of COVID-19 technical documents.

To provide editorial guidance to the COVID-19 Technical or Scientific Advisory Groups.


Since January 2020, a substantial component of WHO’s COVID-19 pandemic response is providing technical guidance to Member States, based on scientific evidence.

The scale of the pandemic requires WHO’s technical teams to continuously develop, update, and publish technical documents intended for Member States and other audiences on a broad range of public health issues.

To ensure a rapid turnaround of high-quality documents, and to comply with norms and standards requirements of the PRC and GRC, the COVID-19 Technical Lead requires the input of a technical editor/writer to guide pillar leads and their technical teams with the planning of a publication or correspondence and with the drafting and editing of technical content in line with WHO norms and standards to ensure consistency across documents developed by different teams. The consultant will be responsible for arranging the technical editing or copy editing of all documents before submission to PRC/GRC to ensure that all submissions are of the highest technical standard.

The WHO COVID-19 response now also includes the establishment of a number of Technical or Scientific Advisory Groups. The consultant will provide editorial guidance to the publications from these groups, including interim statements, reports and recommendations.


Output 1: Given the changing urgent needs of the global response, the consultant will adjust timeframes and dates of delivery of specific products based on agreements with COVID-19 Technical Lead and pillar leads and the publication process that has been in place.

  • Provide periodic progress updates during the following meetings:

    • Weekly COVID-19 meetings within EZD Unit.
    • COVID-19 IMST meetings.
    • COVID-19 IMST Publications meetings.

Output 2:

  • Facilitate the development of written guidance documents, policy briefs, meeting reports etc.
  • Provide input on responses to official correspondence and senior management briefings, as requested.
  • Contribute to the development of the technical documents.

Output 3:

  • Prior to submission to PRC/GRC, assess the need for COVID-19 documents to undergo technical or copy editing and undertake or organize the editing process.
  • Update WHO document templates (for different document styles, ex: scientific brief, meeting report, etc.), to facilitate standardization of COVID-19 publications and assist technical teams in process.
  • Assess quality of documents copy edited by freelance editors.

Output 4: Provide regular assessment of in-house capacity for technical editing and make recommendations to COVID-19 Technical Lead and IMST.

Output 5: Provide editorial guidance to the publications from WHO COVID-19 Technical or Scientific Advisory groups, including interim statements, reports and recommendations.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:

Essential: First University degree in journalism/ communications/ public relations/ international relations or another relevant subject.

Desirable: Advanced university degree (Master’s level or equivalent) in journalism/ communications/ public relations/ international relations or another relevant subject.



  • At least 5 years relevant experience in journalism or external communications and/or technical editing.
  • Experience using a style guide for the development and editing of technical documents
  • Experience with an international organization/ NGO


  • Excellent copyrighting and editorial skills.

  • Proven ability to communicate and engage effectively in English, both written and orally.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure while producing results.

Languages required:

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of another WHO official language.


Off-site – Home based.


No travel is expected.

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:

11 months.

Additional Information

  • 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.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: (link)
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • 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
Tags: covid, editor, external communications, international relations, journalism, official correspondence, public relations, social security contributions