GIS Specialist

World Health Organization


GIS Specialist (Geographical information system) – Nairobi, Kenya, Dakar, Senegal & Pretoria, South Africa – (2304042)

Grade: P3
Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-term appointment
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): Two Years
Job Posting: May 2, 2023, 12:29:04 PM
Closing Date: May 16, 2023, 3:59:00 PM
Primary Location: Multiple locations
Organization: AF/EPR Emergency Preparedness and Response
Schedule: Full-time

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

The mission of WHO AFRO’s EPR Cluster is to support member states i) to prepare for and prevent disease outbreaks and health emergencies, ii) to promptly detect, speedily report, and confirm outbreaks and iii) to strengthen and sustain their capacity to promptly respond to and recover from the negative effects of outbreaks and health emergencies. Within the EPR Cluster, the overall mandate of the Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment (HIR) unit is to provide risk management support, develop public health intelligence and strengthen epidemiological surveillance and information systems, in member states to rapidly mitigate the impact of public health crises. The HIR unit leads the implementation of the “Transforming African Surveillance Systems” (TASS) flagship program which is structured around five key pillars: Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) implementation, data and information management, workforce development, policy dialogue & advocacy and predictable and sustainable financing.


The primary objective of this position is to provide GIS support for data management and analysis for outbreak detection, epidemiological surveillance and outbreak response. The position aims to strengthen strategic information management to increase the capacity of the Emergency Preparedness and Response programme to provide geographical information timely, for early warning, early detection and rapid response to acute public health risks and emergencies in the Africa Region.


Under the supervision of the HIR Programme Area Manager and overall coordination of the Regional Emergency Director, the main focus of the work is to conduct GIS analysis and visualization of the different sources of data generated from the Emergency Preparedness and Response programme, to inform planning and decision-making process. This involves collecting, compiling, processing and managing data from different activities including preparedness, outbreak detection, verification and assessments, epidemiological surveillance (IDSR), public health intelligence and Rapid Risk Assessments, and outbreak response activities.

The incumbent works within the information systems and data analytics subunit of the HIR Programme Area at the emergency hub in close collaboration with other emergency hubs and the Regional Office.

Duties also involve close collaboration within the WHE Programme, WHO HQ, Regional and Country Offices and with a broad range of partners, on data and information-sharing.

The incumbent is assigned all or part of the following responsibilities which are performed according to the needs and agenda:

  • To enhance and support data collection by compiling geographic data from a variety of sources for analysis and reporting on health security and emergencies, playing a lead role in the development and production of maps, visual reports and related mapping documents ensuring that cartographic products provide optimum functionality and effectively support HSE’s coordination and response to outbreaks and emergencies.
  • To contribute to the support of Member States to create, update and prepare geographic layers, as it relates to HSE, including cleaning, compiling, and collating from various sources, comparisons and cross checking.
  • In line with the work plans and/or specific instructions manage existing GIS technology and related software packages, trouble-shoot and identify problems in deployed applications and resolve issues,
  • To support and improve user requirements, define data needs, project requirements and human and financial outputs, to recommend and/or design and develop innovative solutions.
  • To define the needs and improve user support, develop and up-date training materials for GIS training and education programs to build capacity of relevant WHO staff and Member States.
  • To support data modelling and projection as required; To perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.



Essential: First university degree in Geography, GIS, Computer Science, Space Sciences and/or an equivalent that involves GIS and Remote sensing programmes.

Desirable: Masters in GIS or epidemiology. Specialized training in GIS software and applications, geo-database, software program languages and/or web technology;



At least five years of experience in GIS, such as GIS system integration, geographic/terrain analysis, remote sensing, mapping, GPS, geo-spatial related information technology, etc. and its related works are required Proven experience in GIS training for capacity development and on-job training, and project management and evaluation of existing GIS projects.


Practical experience of the GIS software such as ArcGIS: ArcInfo, ArcView; Knowledge of geo-database, software program languages and web technology.


  • Demonstrated experience in the usage of computers and office software packages and in handling web-based management systems.
  • Proven conceptual and strategic analytical capacity in understanding GIS applications for mapping outbreaks and emergencies.
  • Track record of success in assessing user requirements and developing and prioritizing plans to best meet requirements,
  • In-depth knowledge of the latest technological development in GIS, GPS, remote sensing and web applications and good understanding of the applicability and limitations of technology in work contexts.
  • Excellent organizational and technical skills with the ability to multitask, explain technical issues and resolve problems in a proactive manner; Proven commitment to quality and good client orientation and ability to take part in training activities with tact and diplomacy.
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner; Knowledge of WHO/AFRO practices and procedures an advantage.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences.
  • Communication.
  • Promoting innovation and organizational learning
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond.

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French

The above language requirements are interchangeable.


WHO offers staff in the Professional Category an attractive remuneration package, which for the above position includes an annual net base salary starting at 62, 692 US Dollars (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable). Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family
members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  •  This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  •  A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  •  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: Some professional certificates may not
    appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  •  Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  •  Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  •  For information on WHO’s operations please visit:
  •  WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  •  WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  •  WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  •  WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  •  WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  •  Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  •  For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.

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