Technical Officer (Environment, Climate Change and Health)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Grade: P4
Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-term appointment
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): 1 year
Job Posting: Aug 5, 2021, 11:59:02 AM
Closing Date: Aug 27, 2021, 12:59:00 AM
Primary Location: Switzerland-Geneva
Organization: HQ/ECH Environment, Climate Change and Health
Schedule: Full-time

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


The mission of WHO’s UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of the Department for Environment, Climate Change and Health (ECH) within the overall work of WHO is to promote a healthier environment, intensify primary prevention and to influence public policies in all sectors to address the root causes of environmental threats to health. ECH develops and promotes preventive policies and interventions based on an understanding and an in-depth scientific analysis of the evidence base for environmental determinants of human health.The Air Quality and Health (AQH) Unit provides technical support to WHO’s Member States in the development of normative guidance and tools and provision of authoritative advice on health issues related to air pollution and its sources. Monitoring and reporting on global trends and changes in health outcomes associated with actions taken to address air pollution at the local, national, regional and global levels is an additional key facet of this. In this context, AQH promotes interventions and initiatives for healthy sectoral policies (including energy, transport, housing and urban development), addressing key risks to health from air pollution indoors and outdoors, and contributing to achieving health co-benefits from climate change mitigation policies. Objectives include coordination and implementation of work cutting across areas of health and environment, on awareness raising, monitoring, joint delivery mechanisms for enhanced implementation. Furthermore, the work focuses on environmental and occupational health policies and interventions, including their classification and actions to support health in settings, such as workplaces. The work also aims at disseminating understandable and actionable information on health and environment.


1. Provide conceptual, programmatic and operational inputs to the work programme of Air Quality and Health, in particular to the area of health and urban environment, and support the Head of Unit in its successful implementation.2. Provide advice and technical support to Member States on action to create and sustain healthier urban environments, including its built and the natural component, with a focus on the integration of health considerations in urban and territorial planning and development as well as key sectors, (e.g. transport; land-use) and relevant upstream determinants of health (e.g. environmental risk factors). 3. Provide inputs and cooperate with the programme of Policies and Interventions for Health and Environment in view of providing guidance on interventions, policy coordination and training programmes.4. Lead the development, adaptation, application and mainstreaming of tools and guidance for assessing the health and economic impacts of urban environment features in an integrated manner and at different scales, building from WHO’s work on urban health, transport and health, health impact assessment and health in all policies.5. Lead the development and implementation of curricula, training programmes and workshops for capacity building, knowledge exchange, and institutional strengthening globally related to health and urban environment, including with the support of WHO Academy.6. Advance and consolidate the WHO’s work on integrating health in urban and territorial planning and development, including for its global dissemination and uptake across the Sustainable Development Goals. 7. Prepare technical documents and reports; conduct data collection, scenario building and analysis; and provide technical input to WHO Regional and Country Office staff, as well as to external implementing partners, on specific projects activities aimed at strengthening the leadership role and functions of health systems to identify and address upstream determinants of health related to urban environments 8. Lead and support the development of research and provide Member States with scientific evidence to facilitate the development and implementation of policies and interventions to create and sustain healthier urban environments, through multisectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration, across the Sustainable Development Goals.9. Participate actively and represent WHO in professional and scientific networks, committees and international fora assuring contacts with relevant academic, research and practice communities, city and region networks, and other interest groups. 10. Convene, advocate, coordinate, and build partnerships and collaborations with technical departments at HQ, Regional and Country Offices, national counterparts, and donor and development partners (UN and bilateral), as appropriate;11. Perform other duties as required.Main achievements include: developing policy advice, methods and tools to inform and support decision-making by governments, health professionals, citizens and relevant stakeholders in the interface between urban and environmental health; coordinating inputs and exchange of information on scientific knowledge regarding urban health, with a focus on environmental determinants; strengthen expertise and WHO’s leadership on health and urban environments, including on the integration of health considerations in urban and territorial planning and development; consolidate WHO’s work on assessing the health and economic impacts of policies and interventions affecting urban environments; advance on WHO’s strategic developments on health and urban environments and expand on its the communications portfolio; and ensure WHO’s collaboration with other international agencies, major research institutions, and relevant key stakeholders.



Essential: Advanced level university degree on health or social science, with an emphasis on epidemiology or public health
Desirable: A PhD degree or above in epidemiology or public health, with research focus on the upstream determinants of health in cities/urban environments and/or knowledge translation/implementation science.


Essential: –> Minimum of seven years of experience in research and technical work on health and urban environments, of which at least five years exposure at the international level. –> At least seven years of international work exposure in the health impact assessment of policies and interventions in the urban environment, including in designing and implementing tools and conceptualizing and carrying out capacity building programs. –> Demonstrated experience with research, epidemiological, statistical methods and analysis, including on fieldwork data collection, comparative risk assessments, and the systematic review of the scientific literature.–> Demonstrated experience in analysing, interpreting and communicating results related to the health impacts of policies and intervention in urban environments to different audiences. –> Experience working with cities and countries on urban and environmental health issues, including in key sectors such as transport and land-use.–> Proven experience in representational roles in interagency collaborations, with respect to urban health and related fields. International work experience required in addition to experience working with international organizations.
Desirable: –> Experience in developing normative guidance and/or working on public health related projects with WHO or other UN agencies. –> Experience in modelling and coding skills for health impact assessment. –> Experience in estimating local and international urban health related impacts.


Comprehensive knowledge on the relations between urbanenvironments and upstream determinants of health;Excellent knowledge of epidemiological, statistical and modellingapproaches to address the health impacts related to urban environmentsas well as to policies and interventions affecting urban environments;Knowledge on the design and application of analytical and quantitativetools related to healthy urban environments, including the integrationand use of data from different sources and sectors;Knowledge of country level situations regarding policies andinterventions affecting urban environments and proven ability to applyWHO’s policies, practices, guidelines and procedures in the relatedarea at the country level;Ability to conduct research, collect data and analyse results, identifyissues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations forstrengthening multisectoral policies, systems and programmes;Competency in synthesizing evidence, understanding and interpretingreports, scientific articles, and expert views;Ability to write in a clear and concise manner, and to present factual,evidence-based information;Ability to manage many tasks concurrently and prioritize workload, in apressured environment with competing demands and high expectations.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Other UN Language.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 74,913 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5450 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
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  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
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