Applications invited for risk communications consultant

Terms of reference Risk communications consultant 

Duty Station: Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 4 months, full time, with a possibility of extension
Deadline for applications: 15 September 2014, early application encouraged

Job description

Under the supervision of EURO Risk Communications officer in the Division of Communicable Diseases Health Security and Environment (DCE) and in collaboration with EURO’s Regional Communications Adviser and WHO’s global Communications Capacity Building (DGO/DCO/CCB) team, the Risk Communications expert assists the Regional Office for Europe with multi-hazard risk communications preparedness and response under the International Health Regulations, in particular helping to operationalize the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework project related to risk communications capacity building in the country.

The incumbent will develop, implement and monitor risk communications strategies and plans and support emergency risk communications with focus on countries in the WHO European Region. This includes work on materials and briefings, activities and events, media relations and response, web and social media, capacity building events such as workshops and trainings, and donor outreach. S/he will ensure a consistent flow of information within the Organization and to a network of media sources, UN agencies, NGOs and other partners.

While working on current public health emergencies, the expert will seek opportunities for strengthening systems, procedures and partnerships for risk communications capacity for addressing health threats including but not limited to pandemics.

Summary of assigned duties

  • Support the development and implementation of multi hazard risk communications plans, with specific focus on pandemic preparedness and the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP) project related to risk communications;
  • Participate in emergency morning meetings; identify events with risk communications needs;  and gather, distil and organize information as appropriate to support internal and external risk communications;
  • Support EURO Country Offices’ (COs) and European MoH’s public communications during health crises including
    • acting as media entry point, developing and maintaining a database of journalists and organizing interviews with national and international media; proactively reaching out to and engage with media and journalists; 
    • developing talking points, press releases, press statements and other media products;
    • developing web stories and engaging proactively on social media;
    • ensuring that photographic and audio-visual material are developed and made available for communications at country, regional and headquarters levels, especially from affected areas;
    • supporting donor outreach for emergency risk communications.
  • Work with key partners such as the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and other EU agencies; and UN agencies such as UNICEF on risk communications preparedness and response;
  • Work on risk communications capacity strengthening in priority countries in the European Region including through trainings, workshops, mentoring programmes in close collaboration with EURO technical units (IHR, Alert and Response, Influenza and Vaccine-preventable diseases), HQ/DGO/DCO/CCB, and key partners;

Recruitment profile

Functional Skills and Knowledge

  • Skilled in all aspects of the development and implementation of risk communications including effective communications with media and humanitarian stakeholders;
  • Ability to work in coordination with partners and to outreach for media and donors;
  • Ability to design, manage, analyze and coordinate production of communications materials;
  • Good knowledge of advocacy, public and media relations, communications techniques and tools;
  • Good knowledge of web, social media and audiovisuals.

Education (qualifications)

  • University degree in journalism, communications, public relations, development, social sciences or related fields; thorough knowledge of health and other development-related issues.



  • Minimum 2 years of experience in communications, preferably in a health related field;
  • Experience with implementing and coordinating risk communication strategies;
  • Experience with working in a coordinated manner and in support of government officials.


  • Experience in the field of Humanitarian and/or Public Health in Emergencies.
  • Experience with donor outreach.

Language skills

  • Native level fluency in English. Russian is an asset.


Faith Kilford Vorting
Communications Officer
WHO Regional Office for Europe