World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO New Delhi, India

International Consultant

Public Health Intelligence and Country surveillance strengthening

( 2206537 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 5 months

Job Posting: Jul 12, 2022, 3:58:13 AM

Purpose of consultancy

This consultant contract aims to strengthen SEARO’s Public Health Intelligence Systems and Capacities, as well as to support SEARO’s efforts to strengthen countries’ systems for surveillance and capacities for risk assessment.

Background

WHO South-East Asia Region continues to face various types of health emergencies, including infectious disease epidemics and pandemics, natural disasters, humanitarian crisis, and food safety events. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed enormous impact on society, as well as crucial learnings on what has worked, and what needs to be improved. It is critical to strengthen both national and regional health security systems, that includes robust regional and country systems for surveillance, risk assessment and rapid response, that contributes to early detection of public health events, and timely decision making for public health response.

The Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment (HIM) programme area of WHE is responsible for providing timely and authoritative situation analysis, risk assessment and response monitoring for all major health threats, events and emergencies. Building on experiences of COVID-19 pandemic, HIM unit of SEARO/WHE has identified key priorities for the areas of 1) Regional public health intelligence (PHI), and 2) Country system strengthening for surveillance and risk assessment. For the 2) country system strengthening, HIM unit proposes to prioritize three areas, namely: a) surveillance systems, with particular focuses on early warning and alert function and multi-source surveillance approach; b) risk assessment, including synthesis and analysis of information to guide decision making, and c) field epidemiology, including epidemiologist workforce strengthening and field investigation (Figure 1).

These priorities require multiple years to achieve outcomes, while concreate actions are needed to build systems and capacities step-by-step. This consultancy is proposed to support and facilitate some of those planned actions for 2022: 1.Strengthen SEARO’s system for PHI activities

    • Developing and launching regional epidemiological bulletin
    • Establish and launch regional PHI fellowship programme
    • Contribute in routine PHI activities in the Region

2.Support country system strengthening

    • Support organizing regional meeting to strengthen country surveillance and risk assessment
    • Capacitate relevant workforce at WHO country offices in rapid risk assessment of acute public health events
    • Conduct evaluation of COVID-19 surveillance and contact tracing to synthesizes lessons and to inform future system strengthening efforts

Deliverables

Under the technical supervision of the Programme Area Manager – Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment and in coordination with other HIM unit members, the proposed consultant will carry out the following duties.

  • Facilitate optimizing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and related templates for public health intelligence activities at SEARO
  • Take part in the public health intelligence activities, including regional event-based surveillance, IHR event communication and risk assessment of public health events.
  • Support development of structures, contents, templates and SOPs for routine regional epidemiological bulletin and other related information products, and guide preparation of the first couple of editions
  • Support the HIM team to establish regional fellowship programme for public health intelligence. This includes development of terms of reference of the fellows, and SOPs in recruitment, orientation and coaching of the fellows.
  • Support planning, organization and conduct of the regional meeting to strengthen public health surveillance and risk assessment (27-29 September) including development of technical documents and the meeting report.
  • Support organizing regional training of rapid risk assessment for WHO staff at country offices and SEARO
  • Contribute in planning and facilitating evaluation of COVID-19 surveillance and contract tracing in the SEA region
  • Any other tasks related to health emergency information and risk assessment as deemed needed by PAM-HIM.
  • Submit a report at the end of assignment.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational qualifications required:

Essential: University degree in public health, epidemiology, medicine, or other relevant health sciences

Desirable: Doctoral studies in public health, epidemiology, preventive medicine or other relevant health sciences

Experience required:

Essential

  • Two to five years of experience in public health, epidemiology, risk assessment, surveillance, health information management and/or data analysis, related to infectious diseases or acute public health events.
  • Experience in conducting event-based surveillance at international level
  • Demonstrated experience in WHO methods of risk assessment of acute public health events.
  • Experiences in producing quality epidemiological bulletins or other information products at national or international level.
  • Experience in designing and analysing/evaluating a public health surveillance project.

  • Experiences in working with Ministry of Health in resource-limited settings for acute public health events (not just for single disease programme or vaccine-preventable diseases)
  • Previous work experience with WHO or Other UN Organizations.
  • At least one year of international experience

Desirable :

  • Experience in writing scenarios related to acute public health events for training or exercise purposes
  • Experience in field outbreak investigations.

Skills / Technical skills and knowledge:

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct public health risk assessment,
  • Involved in training/capacity building of Member States in disease surveillance, event-based surveillance of acute public health events.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, competency, and professional skills on the public health aspects of infectious disease preparedness, surveillance, and response.
  • Skills to manage EWAR, EBS, disease surveillance and public health risk assessment including IHR reporting mechanism.
  • Advance skills in the use of MS office application suite including MS Excel, MS Word and MS Access DB.
  • Advanced skills in the use of R, EpiInfo, Stata or any statistical software.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills, with emphasis on writing skills
  • Proven ability to work in team and produce results under pressure in critical situations.

Language requirements : English (Expert Level)

Location: On site: New Delhi / SEARO

Travel: As per the requirement of the assignment.

Remuneration

Band level A (USD 3,955 – USD 6,980)

Living Expenses (A Living expense is payable to on-site consultant who are internationally recruited): Per diem will be paid as applicable in the region at the time of issuing the contract.

Contract Duration: 5 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 under-represented 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.
Tags: covid, data analysis, disease surveillance, food safety, health emergencies, health information, health surveillance, infectious diseases, information management, natural disasters, preventive medicine, risk assessment, social security contributions