Specialist, Health Emergencies

Grade: NO-B

Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-term appointment

Contract duration: Two years, first year probationary period. Post of Limited Duration.

Job Posting

: May 8, 2018, 5:23:45 PM

Closing Date

: May 29, 2018, 10:59:00 PM

Primary Location

: Paraguay-Asuncion


: 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 is a requisition 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 direct supervision of the Advisor, Country Health Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Reduction, and the general supervision of the PAHO/WHO Representative, the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties: 

  1. Provide technical support and assistance to the Ministry of Health in establishing and/or maintaining its disaster and emergency program, to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to national emergencies and disasters caused by any type of hazards, including natural, technological, biological, chemical, radiological, or those resulting from social conflicts;  provide technical assistance to public and private health organizations working on health emergencies, as relevant;
  2. Provide technical assistance at country level on priority issues such as: emergency preparedness, including strengthening health systems, outbreak alert and response; operational readiness and essential public health functions, working in close collaboration with and under the technical guidance and supervision of the respective PHE Unit;
  3. Provide technical support for the implementation of the health emergencies work plan by the Country Office; promote the preparedness and active participation of PAHO staff in the country office in health emergency related activities;
  4. Participate in processes for the detection, verification, and risk assessment of acute public health threats of international concern posed by epidemics, in line with the operational requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR-2005), when required;
  5. Assist with the establishing of a UN health thematic group on disaster risk management in the Country;
  6. Assist the Country Office team in ensuring that the PAHO Country Office fully complies with WHO readiness checklists including updating of the country office emergency preparedness and disaster response and the updating of the Country Office Emergency Response Plan and Business Continuity Plan (BCP);
  7. Collaborate with the Country Office team in the process for developing a model of performance standards of national human resources required for health emergencies management;
  8. Link with institutions, associations and non-governmental agencies and scientific bodies, for exchange of information, coordination of activities and implementation of sector wide approaches; promote and advocate for health sector coordination with other sectors, such as Foreign Affairs, Military, etc., on all health emergencies management;
  9. Assist and contribute to promoting partnerships in the country with relevant health stakeholders, to ensure the successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of capacities in line with IHR (2005) requirements, as well as the identification of financing for PHE country plans. Monitor in the country, the implementation of the various Regional Plans of Action under the responsibility of the health emergencies program, including the implementation of plans for disaster risk reduction, coordination of health humanitarian assistance as well as plans related to high threats epidemic prone diseases (influenza, plague, yellow fever, cholera and other emerging and reemerging bacterial and viral diseases) including the coordination with staff in charge of the area of work on communicable diseases and environmental determinants of health (CDE) and the immunization program (FPL/IM);
  10. Assist with the coordination of the elaboration and adaptation of technical guidelines for health disaster preparedness, response and recovery in the Region;
  11. Provide technical support to the PWR and PHE on the assessing of health situation and needs, in cases of disaster in the country;
  12. Support the elaboration of health emergency response projects to mobilize resources when a disaster affects a Member Country, and international assistance is required;
  13. Act as first-line emergency responder in case of a country emergency in line with the PAHO Institutional Response to Emergencies and Disasters Policy and support the Incident Management team in the country in case of a graded emergency. Support UN emergency teams, where relevant and in close collaboration with the Regional Office; support the provision of data and information required for any PHE-related documents to be presented to PAHO Governing bodies, for the work and deliberation of an IHR Emergency Committee or an IHR Review Committee or a technical consultation;
  14. Serve as Member of the PAHO Regional Disaster Response Team for immediate deployment, when required;
  15. Support the PWR in leading the Health Cluster Coordination when the UN Cluster mechanism is activated in the country or other affected country in the Region;
  16. Perform other related duties as assigned. 



Essential: A university degree in a health, environmental or social science from an accredited institution.

Desirable: Formal training in disaster risk reduction and/or a post graduate degree in epidemiology or public health 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:  http://www.whed.net/.  PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation http://www.chea.org/search/default.asp and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator to support the validation process.


Essential: Five years of national professional experience in the areas of disaster management and development of strategies to reduce risk at national level.

Desirable: Experience in disaster/emergency management /humanitarian/outbreak response and working with UN organizations would be an asset.


PAHO Competencies:

  • Intrainstitutional Action: Displays, through behavior, understanding of PAHO's values and mission. Seeks information on and acts with understanding of the Organization's expectations while advancing further the understanding and application of it's policies.  Shows interest and concern for the activities related to his/her work in conjunction with the mission, values, vision and policies of the organization. Behaves consistently in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Organization.
  • Analysis, Synthesis, and Forecasting:  Takes or organizes individual and collective action after analyzing situations on the basis of the available evidence and knowledge.  Continuously analyzes the evolution of situations in an area of work and makes suggestions to adjust or confirm the decisions necessary to implement required actions. Is capable of anticipating the implications of an analyzed situation between six months to one year ahead.
  • Teamwork: Encourages team members, adds significant contribution when participating in internal and external work teams, and leads through personal example the virtues of team success--collaboration, trust, transparency and joint responsibilities.  Builds and maintains mutually beneficial productive interpersonal relations based on trust, inside and outside the Organization. Keeps every team member informed as well as shares relevant and useful information.
  • Evaluation of technical cooperation interventions:  Proposes criteria for evaluating interventions at the process, management, and outcome level, in addition to plans for evaluating technical cooperation, in keeping with the PAHO's strategic direction.
  • Thinking, planning and the strategic management of technical cooperation interventions: Identifies the risks and benefits of options for future health initiatives based on the analysis of institutional and political trends. Applies a broad approach to work in the health field.
  • Information Management: Verifies that relevant information is obtained, processed, selected, and disseminated in area of work. Acquires the training to utilize technologies for processing information relative to the area of work in a logical and organized manner, which facilitates the dissemination of information, resulting in information that is consistent, valid and accurate. Keeps abreast of latest technologies for processing the information relevant to the area of work, and weighs its advantages/disadvantages.
  • Resource Mobilization: Is capable of ordering and presenting the information for resource mobilization appropriately. Is able to adapt information in an objective manner and can analyze data. Is able to interpret and cover all the main aspects of the data.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in all aspects related to disaster management, emergency preparedness and response.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of technical cooperation, with emphasis on the negotiation and management of international cooperation programs and projects.
  • Mature judgment, strong technical, analytical and conceptual skills; demonstrated ability to assess, analyze, synthesize and provide recommendations on key technical issues.
  • Ability to integrate managerial and technical inputs into recommendations for decision-making processes; ability to manage multiple issues and tasks in a complex organizational environment.
  • Ability to create and advocate innovative approaches to facilitate and enhance project management capacity, as well as monitoring of these processes.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills combined with 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 with a working knowledge of English.

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)

252,696 Guaranies


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: http://www.paho.org/ 

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 offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary (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.

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

Candidates must hold a permanent local working visa (citizenship or permanent resident card) of Paraguay. 

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 organizational purposes.

National Professional Officer (Health Financing)

Administrative Assistant II - (1801702)