Advisor, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Reduction - (1801394)  


Grade: P4

Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-Term Appointment

Contract duration: Two years, first year probationary

Job Posting

: Apr 11, 2018, 10:20:24 PM

Closing Date

: May 2, 2018, 10:59:00 PM

Primary Location

: United States-Washington, D.C.


: PAHO Health Emergencies


: Full-time  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the deadline for receipt of applications indicated above reflects your personal device's system settings. 



This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)


The objective of the Health Emergencies Department (PHE) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is to increase health sector resilience to emergencies and disasters. PHE assists Member States to strengthen the health sector’s capacities in prevention, risk reduction, preparedness, surveillance, response, and early recovery for emergencies and disasters related to any hazards (natural, man-made, biological, chemical, radiological and others) and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain disasters, including outbreaks, and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. PHE is responsible for ensuring the implementation and updating of the PAHO/WHO Institutional Emergency and Disaster Response Policy.



Under the general supervision of the Director, Health Emergencies (PHE), and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Country Health Emergency Preparedness & IHR (PHE/CPI), the incumbent is responsible for, but not limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Provide advice and technical cooperation to Member States in developing emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction national plans and programs; cooperate in the strengthening of national, international, and intersectoral coordination mechanisms in the health sector;
  2. Collaborate in the development of plans, funding proposals, projects, and methodologies to reinforce the areas of work under his/her responsibility;
  3. Collaborate in planning, coordinating, and monitoring the development of activities related to hospital disaster preparedness and risk reduction, and providing technical cooperation and advisory services to the countries in this specialized field;
  4. Advise on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Organization's response to emergency situations affecting refugees and displaced populations;
  5. Monitor and evaluate all components of Country Health Emergency Preparedness and Health Disaster Risk Reduction in the Region and establish and/or maintain associated information systems;
  6. Coordinate and provide technical and administrative support to other technical departments for the inclusion of disaster preparedness and risk reduction in their activities;
  7. Develop technical training materials and organize seminars, workshops, and courses for high level health officials of Member States including the production, compilation, analysis, and dissemination of technical documents, guidelines, and manuals, as well as the development and/or maintenance of knowledge portals/platforms of health disaster preparedness and risk reduction;
  8. Develop and apply methodologies for the rapid assessment of health needs following disasters in the Region, preparing protocols for case studies, and participate in the development and analysis of operational research activities;
  9. Cooperate with other United Nations agencies, the Red Cross, donor countries, and nongovernmental organizations before and during emergency situations, particularly with all matters related to mass casualties, hospital preparedness, or refugees/displaced populations;
  10. Support PAHO's relief and technical cooperation activities during emergency situations, either at Headquarters or in the field, coordinate with the PWRs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and national and international agencies in the affected country;
  11. Serve as a member of Regional Health Disaster Response Team;
  12. Prepare and/or review complex letters of agreement, memoranda of understanding and other contracts between the Organization and other organizations and make recommendations on their compliance with organizational rules and regulations and their contribution to PHE’s strategic objectives;
  13. Identify catalytic areas where disaster risk reduction can be integrated and add value to other, ongoing or planned technical cooperation support interventions;
  14. Provide strategic advice to develop and strengthen partnerships to synchronize and harmonize development initiatives with governments, development partners, private sectors and civil society organizations;
  15. Participate in the formulation of policies, guidelines and operating procedures for efficient and effective delivery of program management services; provide substantive inputs on administrative and procedural issues related to program /project formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting;
  16. Lead the mainstreaming of cross cutting themes of gender, ethnicity, human rights, and equity into the work of the Health Emergency Department;
  17. Collaborate in the preparation of the Department’s biennial programs and budgets, semiannual work plans, and periodic evaluations for assigned projects;
  18. When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
  19. Perform other duties as assigned.




Essential: A university degree in a health, social or environmental science and a master’s degree in public health, public administration or in a discipline related to disaster management from a recognized university.


Desirable: Specialized training in disaster preparedness and risk reduction would be an asset.


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:  PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.



Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience in disaster programs (prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery).


Desirable: Experience in WHO and/or the UN System with knowledge of inter-agency mechanisms in the area of national and international preparedness for and response to health emergencies.  Field experience in public health programs or emergency management programs in developing countries, including coordination of large scale public health projects, would be an asset.



PAHO Competencies:

  • Intrainstitutional Action:  Leads team efforts toward full understanding of the policies the organization must operate within as well as the Standard of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Leads employees and co-workers toward operating in a fair, consistent and equitable manner, and displays such behavior by example.  Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization. 
  • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting:  After analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge, leads one’s area of responsibility toward individual and collective actions.  Encourages the importance of continual analysis.  Verifies and promotes that action is taken in situations that will require future intervention, based on ongoing analysis.  Leads others in decisions needed to implement required actions.  Is capable of anticipating the implications of analyzed situations between one and two years ahead. 
  • Teamwork:  Embraces and leads consensual decision-making, that is, leading the fulfillment of team decisions, even when they may not fully coincide with one’s own opinions or proposals.  Knows how to manage difficult team situations and promotes consensus building.  Takes responsibility for the team’s successes and failures. 
  • Information Management:  Processes and analyzes the data objectively, presenting it clearly and equitably.  Leads the effort to acquire relevant and selected information that facilitates the achievement of organizational results.  Evaluates/leads the evaluation of information systems on the basis of its advantages/disadvantages for processing information relevant to the area of work. 
  • Knowledge Management:  Supports and develops networked and community working. Identifies, develops and nurtures networks and communities. Identifies and builds on working networks that enable knowledge and information flow. Designs and implements knowledge and information services. Enables utilization of knowledge and information sources. Delivers relevant knowledge and information in most appropriate form. Participates in and learns from networked and community approaches.
  • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions:  Selects priority ideas for executing the interventions after anticipating their potential problems and solutions.  Participates in the preparation of strategic plans, providing input about their impact, quality, critical points, and risks. 
  • Resource Mobilization:  Works in an objective manner to obtain and apportion resources (financial and non-financial) according to need.  Supports and advises technical areas to enable best use of resources are aligned with the mission and vision of the Organization.  Is able to work in a multicultural environment.  Is flexible and has the ability to work well under pressure.  Is able to give feedback to partners within and outside the organization about the use of the resources and the results acquired. 

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical knowledge and technical expertise at the highest level of in the area of humanitarian aid, emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
  • Practical knowledge of results-based management concepts and tools and their applications; especially related to outcome formulation and indicator development.
  • Theoretical knowledge of business and management principles related to strategic planning, administrative and financial practices;
  • Ability to identify priorities and develop strategies and activities to bring together all stakeholders to promote disaster reduction in health and mobilize cost-sharing resources from donors and other partners to leverage the Organization’s humanitarian resources and funding for disaster reduction.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical, conceptual, interpersonal and communication skills; ability to identify, assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendations on key political, technical and administrative issues.
  • Ability to coordinate, establish and maintain identifiable results-oriented productive relationships with key actors, monitoring activities, ensuring product delivery and reporting.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


Very good knowledge of Spanish or English with a working knowledge of the other language.  Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.


IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.  Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Project would be an asset.



Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)

US $71,332.00


Post Adjustment: 47.1% of the above figure(s).  This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.



This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.


Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.


A written test may be used as a form of screening.


Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.


For information on PAHO please visit:


PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.


PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.


PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include:  30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme.  Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.


Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.


All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post. 


Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post.  The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

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