Communications Officer on Environmental Health (WHO)

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Hanoi, Vietnam 🇻🇳


Mission and objectives

The World Health Organization (WHO) was established on 7 April 1948 as the directing and coordinating authority in global public health within the United Nations system. Working at three levels in the Organization (global, regional and country), more than 7000 WHO staff worldwide collaborate with the governments of 194 Member States and other partners to achieve the WHO founding vision of the attainment of the highest possible level of health by all people.

The WHO Western Pacific Region is home to more than one quarter of the world’s population, stretching over more than one third of the distance around the globe. In all, more than 600 WHO staff work in 15 country offices and the Regional Office in Manila, Philippines, to support Member States in achieving better health outcomes for the Region’s nearly 1.9 billion people in 37 countries and areas.

WHO presence in Viet Nam

Viet Nam has been a WHO Member State since 17 May 1950. WHO was one of the first United Nations agencies to support the Vietnamese health sector directly since the end of the war and reunification of the country. WHO established a country office in Hanoi in 1977 and a sub-office in Ho Chi Minh City in 2003. More than 50 WHO staff in the country office have played a central role in supporting the people and the Government of Viet Nam to improve health. The mission of WHO in Viet Nam is to support the Government to achieve universal health coverage with all people having access to high-quality health services, within the context of the country’s needs and challenges in transitioning to middle-income status.

Priorities of the United Nations in Viet Nam

The Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations agencies, including WHO, adopted the Delivering as One principle and committed to the One United Nations initiative in Viet Nam in 2006. In July 2017, they jointly launched the One Strategic Plan 2017–2021, which identified focus areas and outcomes for the United Nations interventions in Viet Nam.


The Government of Viet Nam issued a national action plan on controlling air quality in 2016, and a Directive No 03 dated 18/01/2021 to strengthen air quality control, in which the Ministry of Health was assigned to propose measures to mitigate health effects from air pollution.

The Ministry of Health of Viet Nam requested WHO to provide technical support in: (1) development of a set of advisories on health preventive measures of air pollution for communities and dissemination of advisories to protect human health in mass media channels; (2) strengthening advocacy to the government on health impacts from air pollution; and (3) technical supports in improving national policies and strategies, implementing national action plans in combating air pollution to protect public health. The UN Volunteer (Air Pollution specialist) will work closely with Technical Officer in Environmental Health under supervision of the UHC-HLE Team Co-ordinator, and in coordination with the Communications Team.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the UHC-HLE Team Coordinator, and working closely with the Technical and Communications Team, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:
Task 1: Develop and implement a communications and advocacy campaign for the government and the public on the health impacts from air pollution and other environmental problems
• Work with counterparts and partners in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of a comprehensive communication for health campaign on air pollution and other environmental issues.
• Provide technical and creative leadership in developing and disseminating communications products, and evaluating outcomes of the communication campaigns
• Join a Technical Working Group on air pollution, stakeholders’ consultation workshops to share international experience and practice in advocacy on health impacts from air pollution and recommendations for improvement of advocacy on health impacts from air pollution
• Coordinate media engagements to increase the profile of air pollution issues in Viet Nam

Task 2: Provide communications support to the technical team in the development of a set of advisories on health preventive measures of air pollution for communities and dissemination of advisories to protect human health in mass media channels.

Task 3: Perform other duties as requested/required by the WHO Vietnam office and UHC-HLE and communications team

Results/Expected Outputs

As an active WHO Viet Nam Office’s team member, efficient, timely, responsive, client-friendly and high-quality support rendered to WHO and its beneficiaries in the accomplishment of her/his functions, including:
o Advisories delivery system with a set of advisories on health prevention from air pollution to be set up with key contributions from the UNV.
o Advocacy to the government on health impacts from air pollution to be improved by recommendations from the UNV.
o National policies, strategies and implementation of the national action plan in air quality/air pollution to be improved by recommendations from the UNV.
• The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counterparts, including Implementing Partners (IPs);
• Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment
• A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed


Required experience

3 years of experience in the national and/or international level in communication, external relations or social marketing focusing on health related matters is essential; work experience in climate change, environmental health,(e.g. environmental management, air pollution, water and sanitation) or occupational health is desirable; experience working in the WHO or other UN/international development organization would be a valuable asset.

 Accuracy and professionalism in reporting, documentation, writing and editorial skills; basic skills and experience in using graphic design software would be desirable
 Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally- and socially-sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, including grassroots community members, religious and youth organizations, and Government sector at different levels; familiarity with tools and approaches of communications for development;
 Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel;
 Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment;
 Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines;
 Sound security awareness;
 Able and willing to travel to communities;
 Has affinity with or interest in the mission of promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals especially the goal on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through stronger regulatory systems, volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN System.

Area(s) of expertise: Communication

Languages: English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in Development Communication; Public/Development Policy; Mass Communication/Journalism, Social or Medical Science, Public Health, Environmental Science, Occupational Health and Safety, or Epidemiology. An advanced university degree would be desirable.

Competencies and values

☒ Adaptability and Flexibility
☒ Building Trust
☒ Commitment and Motivation
☒ Commitment to Continuous Learning
☒ Communication
☒ Creativity
☒ Ethics and Values
☒ Integrity
☒ Planning and Organizing
☒ Professionalism
☒ Respect for Diversity
☒ Working in Teams

Other information

Living conditions and remarks
The incumbent will live in Ha Noi, which has most of the economic and social amenities at a reasonable cost. Depending on living arrangements, housing can be expensive. Security is good. Ha Noi has a humid, tropical climate and monsoons. Summers, between May and September, are very hot with plenty of rain, while winters, from November to March, are cold and relatively dry. Living conditions in Hanoi are relatively good by developing country standards.

Viet Nam is a middle-income country which has witnessed rapid economic growth with impressive results in poverty reduction over the past 25 years. The country has deepened its integration into global and regional institutions such as the WTO, the UN institutions and ASEAN. Its current path of development is guided by the Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2011-2020 which was endorsed at the 11th Communist Party Congress in 2011. Viet Nam was recently ranked as one of the more secure and stable places to live and do business by outside research groups.
In line with further improvements in the availability of goods and services, health facilities, and housing, the level of hardship in the duty station has recently been upgraded from C to B. Security is also reasonably good relative to other developing country large cities.

UN Volunteer benefits and entitlements:

-International UN Volunteer Expert receives approximately USD 3,522.78 as Monthly Living Allowance.
-Provided with assignment travel cost and entry lumpsum. -Enrolled in health, life, disability insurance.
-Family allowance for recognized primary family unit: USD 250 for 1 dependent; USD 450 for 2 or more dependents.
-Entitled to annual leave, 2.5 days per month.
-Provided with exit lumpsum and repatriation travel to support transition at the end of assignment.

For more information about UNV Conditions of Service and Entitlements, please refer to the following:

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development