Switzerland: Intern – Global Health Cluster unit, Emergency Operations, Emergencies Programme – (1904520) 634 views6 applications

Organization: World Health Organization
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 24 Oct 2019


The purpose of a Health Cluster is to relieve suffering and save lives in humanitarian emergencies, while advancing the well-being and dignity of affected populations. Currently 27 countries have an active Health Cluster/Sector. These Health Clusters are working to meet the health needs of approximately 65 million people worldwide.

The purpose of the Global Health Cluster (GHC) is to support Health Clusters in countries by:

  • providing the right expertise (at the right place, at the right time);
  • building the capacities of Health Cluster Coordinators and other Health Cluster staff in countries;
  • gathering and disseminating sound and relevant information to guide partners’ response;
  • identifying and addressing gaps in technical knowledge and available guidance to ensure the health response follows global best practices and standards; and

promoting and advocating for the importance of humanitarian health action on the global stage, ensure Health Clusters receive the political and financial support needed.

Currently, there are 700 Health Cluster partners in 27 countries, of which 56 are strategically active at global level. These partners include international organizations and UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations (both international and national), national authorities, affected communities, specialized agencies, academic and training institutes, and donor agencies.

WHO is the Cluster Lead Agency and provides coordination and secretariat support through the Global Health Cluster Unit in the WHO Emergency Operations Department.


Terms of reference

Under the supervision of a technical expert in the respective area, interns are assigned a project based on agreed terms of references and in line with their skills set. These terms of references typically include some or all of the following responsibilities:

  • Assist in writing regular Health Cluster web news/updates/stories to provide visibility to GHC partners and Country Health Clusters among key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Assist in preparing and disseminating good practices on the implementation of GHC guidance documents.
  • Assist in maintaining the GHC knowledge platform / resources page on the GHC website.
  • Support the publication process of GHC documents and products, including layout and design as needed.
  • Support the planning and implementation of Global Health Cluster events (including the GHC Partner Meeting, and Health Cluster Coordination Training).
  • Assist in maintaining the GHC photo archive.
  • Support other on-going departmental projects, as agreed between the supervisor and the intern.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the objectives of the programme/area of work
  • To understand the humanitarian architecture and the Cluster approach
  • To be able to communicate clearly about the programme/area of work
  • To understand how to communicate effectively about the work of a partnership
  • To understand the difference of work between WHO headquarters, regional offices and country offices
  • To learn how to assemble data and prepare a comprehensive analysis

  • To understand the planning processes and protocols required to organize international events.


The duration of this internship will be 24 weeks, and will take place at any point between 03 February – 28 August 2020 (exact dates will be agreed between the supervisor and the selected intern).



Minimum of three years of university studies. Ideally completion of a first degree in social science, communications, or a field related to the technical work of the Health Cluster, at a university or equivalent institution prior to commencing the assignment; AND be enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they apply the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification).

Core competencies

  • Team work
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural difference
  • Communication

All interns should be able to demonstrate the following skills in line with the WHO core competencies:

  • Communicating effectively orally and in writing
  • Showing willingness to learn from mistakes
  • Producing and delivering quality results
  • Working collaboratively with team members

In addition, interns need to be familiar with commonly used computer programmes, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Knowledge of specialized computer programmes, for example, statistical software such as XLStat may be an advantage.


  • Experience in communications, website development/maintenance and meeting planning.
  • Experience in emergencies through academic work or research would be an advantage.
  • Field and/or developing country experience would be an advantage.
  • Experience with data analysis, statistical packages and interest in the design of graphical display and analysis of health information in an international comparative perspective, such as for health system performance assessment.


Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of Other UN language.


Interns do not receive a salary. They do however receive a stipend. The stipend depends on the duty station and other external support (grant, scholarships, etc.) received by the intern. In Geneva, the maximum amount of the stipend provided by WHO is 1728 USD per month. The exact amount of the stipend will be calculated for each intern, after selection, based on a financial disclosure form that they will complete. In addition, all interns in Geneva will receive a daily lunch voucher of a value of CHF15 to be used on WHO campus during the working days. WHO is also providing all interns with an accident and medical insurance coverage.


  • Please note that internships at WHO are very competitive and only a small number of applicants will be accepted every year. Only successful candidates will be contacted.
  • Living abroad is expensive and finding accommodation can be challenging. All intern candidates should be aware of these factors before they consider applying for a WHO Internship.
  • If selected for a WHO Internship, candidates will be required to provide certified copies of proof of enrolment in a course of studies and a medical certificate of fitness for work.

Interns are not eligible for appointment to consultant positions in WHO for a period of three months following the end of the internship. However, no such restriction applies to temporary or longer-term staff positions if the vacancy has been advertised and a competitive process completed.

How to apply:

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