Risk Communication and Community Engagement Officer (NOC) at World Health Organization (WHO)


World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Risk Communication and Community Engagement Officer (NOC)

Job ID: 2205411
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Schedule: Full-time
Contractual Arrangement: Special Services Agreement (SSA)
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): 6 Months
Organization: AF_NGA Nigeria

Purpose of the Position

  • In the context of the WHO Health Emergencies Incident Management System (IMS), at the country level, the incumbent will act as the focal point for risk communication and community engagement in the IMST during outbreaks and emergencies;
  • Overseeing risk communications principles and practices are integrated into and implemented in all phases of the incident management cycle, that partners are coordinated, that high-quality risk communications products and are developed and disseminated proactively and that people’s fears, concerns, misinformation and false rumours are proactively tracked and addressed;
  • Provide technical, operational and coordination support on all aspects related to community engagement;
  • Ensure that community engagement is considered and planned throughout all phases of the incident management cycle and integrated within the risk management and risk mitigation procedures.

Objectives of the Programme

  • The mission of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to help countries and to coordinator international action to prevent, prepare for, detect, rapidly respond to, and recover from outbreaks and emergencies.

Organizational Context

  • The incumbent technical focal point for risk communication and community engagement in the IMST during outbreaks and emergencies will report directly to the Health Operations Team Lead, under the overall guidance of the Incident Manager and Head, WHO Country Office.
  • S/he will work closely with the relevant technical officers of the IMST and the risk communication teams in the respective state offices (SO) and LGAs.

The incumbent has first-line responsibility for:

  • Adopting and implementing community engagement strategies as well as ensuring that national authorities have access to the best available guidance on participatory approaches/methodologies relevant to the context, which build on existing federal and local expertise and knowledge
  • Promoting effective risk communication strategies, tactics, and messaging, implementing risk communications activities, and reporting on this work area:
    • Sociocultural factors are addressed in the formulation of public health interventions
    • Frontline response staff with significant community interaction are prepared to engage effectively with affected and at-risk communities
  • Identify and support national authorities to coordinate with key stakeholders and partners working at the community level to ensure that the community engagement and social mobilisation strategies are technically and operationally aligned with public health measures and that service delivery and quality issues are fed back into technical and operational decision-making
  • Liaise with a broad range of officials from partner organisations and institutions, target audiences, health cluster partners and official representatives from the national authorities to obtain information and, as necessary, provide advice on risk communication.

Summary of Assigned Duties
Act as a risk communication focal point in the IM system during outbreaks and emergencies:

  • Oversee the development, elaboration and implementation of the risk communication plan as part of the health response operations
  • With key stakeholders in the national authorities, UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations, identify the top hazards for the country and develop relevant information, education and communication materials in languages and formats easily used by national stakeholders and the public
  • Liaise closely with the HQ and regional counterparts for risk communication ensuring coherence of strategy, materials and messages. Ensure that technical material produced by the country office integrates risk communication principles and practice
  • Monitor and proactively counter false rumours and misinformation; and address fears and concerns
  • Work closely with the Community Engagement Officer to integrate findings from knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) surveys, focus group discussions and other feedback from community engagement activities into risk communication activities and products
  • In collaboration with the Communication Officer, proactively brief and educate journalists and broadcasters
  • Lead and maintain quality control for 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 the local language and their adaptation to the local context
  • Report regularly on risk communication activities and issues to the IM, respective RO and HQ counterparts
  • Contribute to resource mobilization and donor communication in the area of risk communication.

Develop and maintain standing risk communication capacity in the WHO Country Office:

  • With internal and expert input, and working in line with global and regional frameworks and strategies, develop a multi-hazard risk communication plan for the country office
  • In close collaboration with the Community Engagement Officer and the Communications Officer, map and engage risk communication stakeholders; establish and sustain coordination mechanisms for emergency risk communication
  • Map preferred channels of communication in the country with a focus on vulnerable groups
  • Contribute to building the national capacity through needs identification, development, operationalisation and implementation of a capacity building and training plan. Organise risk communication training for WHO country staff, Gov’t and partners
  • Brief, guide and coordinate risk community surge capacity personnel that may be deployed to the country
  • Provide regular feedback to the incident management team, national authorities, and partners on the adaptation of response strategies for practical and feasible community engagement in affected areas.

Support national capacity building for emergency risk communication:

  • Work with resources from the global and regional levels to train and prepare country-level counterparts for emergency risk communication
  • Support national authorities to convene stakeholders and co-develop a national risk communication strategy and plan
  • With HQ and RO support, underpin the national assessment of risk communication capacity and/or oversee the running of simulation exercises to test and improve the national capacity
  • Support national authorities to conduct lessons learnt exercises to further strengthen emergency risk communication
  • Where necessary, conduct formative research and liaise with stakeholders/partners conducting socio-cultural research.

Coordinate Community Engagement Activities at State/LGAs:

  • Provide technical and operational support to overall Health Education/Health Promotion activities to strengthen and mainstream community engagement and social mobilisation strategies from the service delivery side; align with technical and operational priorities and objectives; and deliver through existing national and local structures
  • Ensure community engagement and social mobilisation strategies and implementation plans are evidence-based, coordinated, and well-executed, drawing upon anthropology and related behavioural and social sciences. Community concerns, sociocultural beliefs and practices impacting public health interventions are addressed
  • Work closely with technical teams to assess the integration and effectiveness of community engagement practices within technical SOPs according to the context, e.g. surveillance, clinical care, vector control, etc. Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps; design interventions to address weaknesses and gaps, e.g. training/capacity building, supervision, tools, etc.

Collaborate with partners to:

  • Ensure appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools and mechanisms for community engagement and social mobilisation at the national and sub-national levels
  • Ensure the findings are integrated into technical and operational decision-making.
  • Perform any other incident-specific related duties, as the functional supervisor requires.

Educational Qualifications

  • University Degree in Health Promotion / Health Education, Development, Sociology, or Medical Anthropology from an accredited/recognised institute.


  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s level or above) in Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Development Sciences, Communications, or Public Health.
  • Specialised training in participatory approaches, strategic communication planning, social mobilisation, participatory research, training, and impact evaluation of community engagement/social mobilisation interventions.


  • At the national and state levels, at least five years of relevant experience in applying multidisciplinary approaches in health promotion, community engagement, and social mobilisation programmes.
  • Experience in emergency and health outbreak context.
  • Proven experience in the application of participatory models of attention in the health context and the ability to adapt and innovate in emergencies.


  • Experience in operational research in social sciences. Prior humanitarian working experience at the field level, with WHO/UN, health cluster partners, recognised humanitarian organisations, or an international non-governmental organisation.
  • Experience working within a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment.

Essential knowledge and the skills specific to the position:

  • Excellent and demonstrated communication skills: the ability to present ideas and concepts both orally and in writing
  • Excellent strategic planning and organisational skills: the ability to the need for further training and how to appropriately provide this training
  • Ability to conduct thorough needs assessments to gauge training needs
  • Ability to convey complex information in an understandable way
  • Extensive knowledge of various teaching methods to meet tight deadlines
  • Capable of working under high pressure and tight time constraints
  • Focused on quality with attention to details
  • Ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment with tact and diplomacy
  • Ability to efficiently and effectively coordinate activities and tasks to meet specific objectives
  • Analysis and troubleshooting skills, with the aptitude and sound judgement for creative problem solving.

Computer Skills:

  • Strong knowledge of computer skills in Microsoft software office applications (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook) and email/internet familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment.


  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organisation and beyond
  • Knowing and managing yourself
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment.

Use of Language and Skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of English.
  • Working knowledge of other local language Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba) would be an asset.

Application Closing Date
15th June, 2022 (10:59:00 PM).

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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


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