This key considerations brief describes the implications of El Niño in the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) initiatives, based on previous comparable weather events. Lessons learnt are predominantly taken from the literature on communicating forecast and weather information, but have implications for multi-hazard RCCE response. Some lessons learnt are also taken from beyond East and Southern Africa, but considered within the anticipated El Niño effects in ESAR specifically.
The purpose of this position is to provide technical coordination and programmatic support to strengthen readiness and resilience of communities and to protect the health of local communities from health crises, epidemic and pandemics like COVID-19. The position will provide capacity and competency assessment, for community readiness and resilience. The incumbent will also be expected to design, develop implement innovative capacity building programmes materials and tools to support community engagement, readiness and resilience and response in countries.
Objectives of the Programme and of the immediate Strategic Objective
The mission of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacities of Member States to safely manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international response to mitigate, contain, provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. The Programme supports countries and coordinates international action, to prevent, prepare for, detect, timely respond to, and recover from outbreaks and other public health emergencies. The objectives of the Country Readiness Strengthening Department is to achieve effective operational readiness and response for the most imminent and serious health emergencies. The department supports Member States to develop, establish and finance comprehensive readiness plans for health security that are facilitated by strategic partnerships across all relevant sectors. Operational readiness is critical for countries, communities and organizations to have the capability to be able to respond immediately and appropriately to health emergencies from any hazard when required. Strengthening operational readiness is based on a continuous process of assessing current risk based on the identification of hazards with the highest likelihood and severity against the level of existing capacities and vulnerabilities. This is a continuous process followed by the assessment of readiness capabilities and the acceleration of targeted actions at trigger for an imminent threat to ensure an efficient emergency response. Readiness is a status of specific capabilities to quickly and appropriately respond when required to mitigate the impact of specific risk(s) and is built upon preparedness.The Community Readiness and Resilience Unit (CRR), aims to support Member States to strengthen community readiness capabilities for health emergencies through development and implementation of relevant norms and standards, strategies, guide and tools to ensure timely and effective delivery of community based public health interventions and health services to the populations affected by health emergency risks and threats in close collaboration at three levels of the organization and through strengthening technical and operational networks and partnerships at all levels.
The incumbent reports to a Technical Officer in CRR with second level supervision by Unit Head CRR . The Communities Readiness and Resilience (CRR) unit helps local communities prepare and respond to imminent health emergencies. It provides guidance on communicating risk and co-developing interventions based on local contexts and culture. A framework and toolkits standardize capacities and drive engagement before, during and after emergencies. A community of practice, global partner network and the regional WHO network provide connections and learning. The incumbent utilizes health emergency experience and technical skills to develop holistic capacity building programme to enable a more agile, capacitated and community centered health workforce including community health workers. S/he will leverage experience working on emergency preparedness, readiness and response needs and functions and apply them to the coordination, organization and delivery of capacity building events, together with the strong application of instructional design and data-driven approaches to learning needs analyses and evaluation. The position requires ongoing contacts with staff at all levels in CRS, WHE and throughout WHO (Health systems) as appropriate, to provide expert advice and exchange information. The successful planning, implementation and reporting of technical projects also requires contacts with partners, donors, UN agencies and WHO Regional and Country Offices counterparts to develop joint learning curricula and to ensure a cohesive approach in country needs and gaps assessments, and further development of adapted training approaches. The incumbent is expected to welcome opportunities to support multi-disciplinary, cross cutting approaches to work and facilitates participation in such approaches. Work is regularly reviewed in discussion with the supervisor, in briefings and de-briefings.
Summary of Assigned Duties
Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities:
Strategize, revise and manage a highly technical health emergencies capacity building programme that drives and supports community centered health emergency workforce capacity building in key readiness and response pillars and IHR support mechanisms, all phases of emergency response and key technical competencies for emergency preparedness, readiness and response.
Develop, revise, implement, monitor and evaluate community centered health emergencies capacity building activities. This includes rigorous management of evaluation frameworks to include impact evaluation, development and application of competency frameworks, learning pathways, learning needs analyses and credentialing processes specifically for highly specialized health emergencies technical capacities.
Provide technical expertise and advise countries, through close collaboration with WHO Regional and Country Offices, on the development of core capacities as required by the IHR (2005), focusing on community engagement in all phases of emergency response and key technical competencies for community centered emergency preparedness, readiness and response.
Develop standards, guidance and innovative tools for implementation of community centered health emergency workforce capacity building within health emergencies systems at local, national and international levels.
Develop community centered health emergency workforce capacity building programme and apply appropriate and effective capacity building modalities. The programme should be based on global guidance and tools (provided) for strengthening community readiness particularly for engaging and building capacities of community health workforce for health emergencies in collaboration with PHC and Health Workforce team in WHO and regional and country offices.
Manage community protection capacity building portfolios to include internal client relations, external service providers and procurement requirements, marketing and data analytics. This includes the drafting of project proposals, terms of reference, budgets, marketing content and dissemination plans and regular data analysis and communication depicting an end-to-end data process for the capacity building streams of work.
Promote multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches and activities to facilitate full participation within and outside WHO/WHE/CRS and key partners.
Perform other related responsibilities, including replacing and/or backstopping.
Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Promoting innovation and organizational learning
Functional Knowledge and Skills
Expert knowledge in managing health emergencies preparedness, readiness and response with a special focus on community centered health and public health services, health workforce capacity and capabilities and working with local stakeholders. Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills with the ability to work with partners, managing networks, facilitating capacity building events and using modern communication techniques using tact, diplomacy and discretion. Strong commitment to international health. Basic use of data analytics to depict a data-driven end-to-end processes. Ability to develop capacity building learning opportunities to emergencies workforce, communities, leadership, institutions and partners.
Essential: Advanced level (Masters or above) university degree in medicine, public health or epidemiology.
Desirable: Formal training in instructional design and adult learning methodologies.
Essential: At least seven years of experience in the field of public health emergencies, among which at least 3 years of experience working at primary health care or community levels with delivery of community-based health services, capacity building of frontline health workforce including community health workers. Minimum two years’ experience in health emergency preparedness and response-related works or capacity building activities at the international level.
Desirable: Minimum one year experience in the field of health workforce educational material development (instructional design) and training activities or monitoring and evaluation at national and international level,
Minimum two years work experience within the UN System, other international organizations and civil society organizations.
Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.
Other Skills: Excellent computer skills particularly their use for training and e-learning, webpages design and maintenance, information sharing, statistics and/or monitoring and evaluation
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 77,326 (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 3319 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.
With public health emergencies on the rise in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), public officials and emergency responders have a responsibility to ensure communities have access to information that can keep them safe.
This case study explores how health experts and journalists combine forces to combat misinformation and brings the ESAR Media Taskforce to life. Co-led by Internews and the Collective Service under the UNICEF/IFRC-led RCCE Technical Working Group in Eastern and Southern Africa, the Media Taskforce is providing journalists with the tools they need to report on health crises as they emerge.
Measuring and fostering community trust in humanitarian action
Community trust is complex and requires an understanding of the factors that influence it, including social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects. Without a tool to measure trust, it is difficult for humanitarian actors to take action and develop strategies to rebuild and maintain trust. Community trust is earned, not given. Understanding community trust is essential to tailor interventions, prevent conflict, and ensure effectiveness of humanitarian action.
Background and objectives
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) Unit is establishing a Community Trust Index to help measure and foster community trust in humanitarian action.
The Index is based on a standardized questionnaire that assess community trust in competencies and values dimensions and has been recently piloted in the Red Cross and Red Crescent context in Argentina, Zambia, and the Philippines, with other countries preparing to pilot it.
The objectives of the Community Trust Index include:
Measuring and tracking trust levels in humanitarian organizations and services and exploring barriers and enablers of community trust, using scientifically tested quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Developing evidence-based policy and programmatic recommendations, plans, and actions to increase community trust and enhance impact of programs and operations.
Addressing the social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental factors of trust and advocating towards increased compliance, better governance, and accountability to communities.
In its future vision the Index will also assess barriers and enablers to community trust in humanitarian action more broadly using a mixed method approach, and will focus on specific thematic issues such as climate change, migration, or public health services.
Pilot phase and webinars
Last month, the CEA unit conducted two webinars to share the findings and lessons learned from the pilot phase of the Community Trust Index and convene a joint discussion to contribute for the future vision of the Community Trust Index as a tool to build trust and foster localization and effectiveness of humanitarian action.
GOARN hosted The Collective Service Monthly Global Call on Tuesday 31 October, bringing together approximately 30 RCCE partners from various agencies.
If you missed the call and would like to review the agenda or catch up on the topics and thematic presentations discussed, we have made the deck presentation available below.
This session primarily focused on the El Niño event, its impact on health emergencies, and included an introduction on the GOARN surge and deployment processes.
El Niño Situational Update: Preparedness and Response by Annemarie Ter Veen, WHO
El Niño Operational Update in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region by Rachel James, CS Regional Interagency Coordinator (UNICEF)
Introduction and Updates on GOARN Surge & Deployment Processes by Gianluca Loi, GOARN OST
If you have any questions regarding this presentation or would like to share operational support updates and participate in collaborative discussions on RCCE issues during our next Global Call, please contact Diane Le Corvec (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You are also welcome to register for next Global call | RCCE Collective Service update, which will take place on Tuesday 28 November here.