Communications Officer

World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
28th October, 2020

Job Description

About the Organization:

World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. WHO are responsible for the World Health Report, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day.


The Department of Communications (DCO) objectives are to:

  • lead the development of the corporate communications plan, drive prioritization and ‘right size' effort with expected impact for WHO;
  • position WHO as the authoritative and trusted voice on health at the global level through working with technical departments to develop strategies to amplify WHO's normative work;
  • lead WHO media outreach, incl. crisis/ emergency communication with input from technical departments as well as across all 3 levels;
  • drive all communication to the general public as well as responding to media enquiries; lead on global advocacy (e.g. health campaigns, public health information, donor visibility for resource mobilization);
  • provide digital global production capacity & expertise to support all levels of the organization.


Under the guidance of the Head of Health Information and Advocacy, and in partnership with the rest of the Department of Communications team, HQ Departments/Divisions, Regional and Country Offices and external partners, the Communications Officer:

  • Develops storylines and key messages for WHO's work for key stakeholders, including WHO Offices, Ministries of Health, health partners, donors and the general public.
  • Develops communications products (e.g. website and social media content, including press releases, feature articles, and print and audiovisual products) to promote WHO's work, convey important public health messaging, support resource mobilization efforts, as well as meet the information needs of donors and other stakeholders.
  • Drafts and edits written materials, including feature stories, news products, fact sheets and Q&As, ensuring accuracy, consistency, coherence, and adherence to WHO House Style.
  • Supports WHO country and regional offices, and relevant departments, in proactively communicating through developing strategies and content.
  • Promotes WHO's work through WHO corporate platforms, media queries/pitches, and spokesperson interviews/briefings.
  • Partners with other Units and Teams across the Department of Communications to ensure alignment, timeliness, quality and innovative approaches to communications products.
  • Participates in or organizes public events.
  • Performs all other related duties as required.



  • Essential: A first-level university degree in communications, journalism, or related field.
  • Desirable: Knowledge of public health and international relations.


  • Essential: Minimum 5 years' experience in communications or journalism with a major international organization. Demonstrated experience in health communications. Significant experience in developing and implementing communications content and strategies.
  • Desirable: Experience producing content for radio/TV broadcasting and the web, including photos, videos and social media. Experience working with WHO or other UN Agencies.


  • Sound news and features writing skills.
  • Proven ability to multitask, prioritize, research and write to short deadlines.
  • Sound advocacy skills complemented by the ability to plan and evaluate situations and propose innovative communications options.

Use of Language Skills

  • Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of another UN Language


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