Risk Communication Officer

at WHO - World Health Organization
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted April 11, 2020
Category Advertising
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


Vacancy Announcement for Risk Communication Officer

Objective of the Programme:

WHO Ethiopia supports Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH)/Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) efforts to strengthen the capacity to establish the minimum IHR core capacities. In this regard, the capacity of public health emergency management system of EPHI and Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs) will be built for early detection, confirmation and response to Public Health and Nutrition Emergencies and events of national or international concern. WHO is planning to recruitment and develop roster list of surge teams to be trained before deployment. The deployment will be demand based supporting the national or regional Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).

Description of Duties

Under the overall guidance of the WHO Representative and direct supervision of the Incident Manger/Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) team lead, the Risk Communication Officer will work on effective risk communication strategies and plans, assist implementing risk communications activities and prepare reports. S/he will liaise with national counterparts from partner organizations and institutions, target audiences, health cluster partners and official representatives from the national authorities to obtain information and, as necessary, provide input on risk communication.

The officer will specifically execute the following tasks:

  • Act as risk communication focal point at the national level in the IM system during outbreaks and emergencies:
  • Implement the risk communication plans as part of the health response operations.
  • Support the develop relevant information, education and communication materials in languages and formats easily used by national stakeholders and the public which identify various risks.
  • Review technical material produced by the country office and provide input ensuring integration with risk communication principles and practice.
  • Track false rumors and misinformation; and address fears and concerns.
  • In collaboration with the Communication Officer, provide input in briefing journalists and broadcasters.
  • Draft and revise risk communication products such as public information; brochures, leaflets and posters; radio and TV scripts; guides for stakeholders for risk communication and ensure their translation into local language and their adaptation for the local context.
  • Report regularly in risk communication activities and issues to the IM, respective RO and HQ counterparts.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization and donor communication in risk communication.
  • Support the risk communication activities in the WHO Country Office:
  • Support the implementation of a multi-hazard risk communication plan for the country office.
  • In close collaboration with the Community Engagement Officer and the Communications Officer, map and work with risk communication stakeholders on several risk communication activities.
  • Map preferred channels of communication in the country with focus on vulnerable groups.
  • Support national capacity building for emergency risk communication:
  • Work with resources from national levels to train and prepare country-level counterparts for emergency risk communication.
  • Assist national authorities to convene stakeholders and co-develop a national risk communication strategy and plan.
  • Support national authorities to conduct lessons learnt exercises to further strengthen emergency risk communication.
  • Perform any other related incident-specific duties, as required by the functional supervisor.

Required Qualification


  • Essential: First degree in social sciences, behavioral sciences, development sciences, communications, public health, or related area from an accredited/recognized institute;
  • Desirable: Training in public health, health education, health communication, or health promotion.

Verification of Education

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/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.


Essential: At least three years of related experience, in risk or media communication, health promotion, and/or emergency management. Demonstrated experience implementing risk communications activities;


  • Experience working in disease outbreaks or health emergencies.
  • Prior working experience with WHO, the UN, health cluster partners, recognized humanitarian organizations.
  • Management or project management experience.


Excellent knowledge of English and fluency in the working language of the country


  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Effective negotiation, facilitation and consensus building skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure while producing results.
  • Ability to 'think out of the box' and to make innovative proposals related to risk communication.
  • Tact, discretion and diplomacy.
  • Knowledge or understanding of WHO mandate and goals in the emergency incident management context.
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications


  • Communication
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Promoting WHO's position in health leadership.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Teamwork

Additional Information

  • Type of contract-Special Service Agreement.
  • Duration - For six months initially with possibility of extension.
  • Duty Station - Addis Ababa and various Regions in the country, as needed.
  • No of vacant posts: Multiple/Roster
  • Annual remuneration: NOB step 1 as per UN salary scale which will be USD 2,111.42/month payable in ETB at the prevailing UN exchange rate.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted. Please provide your cellphone number and valid e-mail address.
  • Applicants within government employment and/or with outstanding obligations will not be considered unless a letter of release is produced.
  • Long-listed candidates may be contacted to sit a written or presentation prior to final short-listing. Interviews will take place using a competency-based approach.
  • Note that this is a national position, and only applications from nationals of ETHIOPIA will be accepted. Please REFRAIN from applying if you are not ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL.
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