GIS, Geospatial Science & Technological Innovation Technical Officer

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Objectives of the programme

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 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.

Purpose of the position

The GIS, Geospatial Science & Technological Innovation Technical Officer leads the technological innovations to improve detection of public health threats, leveraging mainly on geospatial technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). The position is responsible for technical guidance, recommendations, and design expertise for improving information management tools being used for detection and management of public health events, data reporting, data analysis, data use and data management innovations in the emergency sub-regional hubs and member states, and to strengthen epidemiological surveillance / IDSR, risk assessment, and outbreak detection.

Description of duties

Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following duties:

  • Develop a Geospatial Information System strategic plan to address improvement and readiness of epidemiological surveillance data in the region;
  • Create advanced Web and mobile-based applications leveraging on geospatial technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) for integration into existing data platforms at AFRO EPR to improve early detection of public health threats;
  • Integrate common AI frameworks and geospatial data pipeline to improve GeoAI operations for processing epidemiological surveillance data and outbreak response data;
  • Create solutions by driving geospatial capacity building efforts in the Region;
  • Apply innovative geospatial solutions and use locational data to address outbreak and other public health evets data;
  • Support Member states in strengthening geospatial competencies to improve surveillance workforce productivity;
  • Develop/adapt a strategy for strengthening information systems for emergency preparedness and response at the regional hubs and member states levels in line with the national HIS priorities;
  • Contribute to the capacity building of member states in data systems for epidemiological surveillance and outbreak detection;
  • Conduct regular assessments of information systems implementation and needs of member states
  • Participate in HIS and Surveillance technical working groups
  • Maintain a comprehensive database and web-based information management platform for outbreaks, public health intelligence and risk assessment data;
  • Provide technical oversight for the effective implementation of the information systems to support IDSR and Risk Assessment in the respective hubs;
  • Develop automated tools to extract information from outbreak databases, public health intelligence generated data and risk assessment data from primary and secondary sources;
  • Apply Geospatial technologies to analyze IDSR and Risk assessment data for informed planning and decision making
  • Create innovative approaches for information sharing and information use for member states
  • Build public-private partnerships in the geospatial systems applications for public health and epidemiological surveillance in the Africa region
  • Bolster innovation in the EPR ecosystem through networking with external partners and geospatial technology and other high-tech companies
  • Conduct research and experimentation of geospatial technologies
  • Perform other related responsibilities as assigned.

Specific tasks include

Data collection and supporting digital tools

  • Review, design and implement innovative digital tools, apps and platforms and their integration into regional data platforms for improved data collection, data quality and data use for epidemiological surveillance and early detection of public health events
  • Integrate open-source data collection platforms such as ODK/KOBO to conduct survey and other data points for community-based surveillance and indicator-based surveillance activities
  • Train field teams and extension workers on innovative data collection techniques and procedures

Strengthening information systems and data analytics in members states

  • Assess public health emergency systems in members states in collaboration with in-country staff to identify gaps and provide relevant support
  • Provide the necessary assistance (i.e., training, new systems, etc.) to member states in deploying new public health data systems relevant to the field of health emergencies
  • Identify technical partners and collaborate with them at the national level to build synergies across similar activities
  • Support member states to unlock information system and data analysis challenges around IDSR implementation and surveillance systems in general
  • Improve data analysis processes and procedures at member state, hub regional levels with innovative analytical templates and scripts using tools such as R, python, SAS etc.

Producing relevant information and improving data use across member states

  • Advise all EPR stakeholders on information systems components of specific projects and proposals, taking into consideration cross-cutting issues, such as gender, diversity, conflict sensitivity, sustainability, and the environment
  • Ensure the quality of HIR deliverables to member states and to internal stakeholders
  • Produce quality data and improve the use of data across countries
  • Develop and produce relevant information for health systems strengthening in countries
  • Ensure the health and statistical relevance of all data used in the preparation of major reports

Proposing technological innovations for public health purposes in member countries

  • Scan and catalogue new technological innovations in the public health information systems
  • Collaborate with the other units to share innovation knowledge
  • Strengthen the scientific and innovative spirit of the teams
  • Promote excellence and innovative work on discoveries relevant to health – support
  • Anticipate health challenges and the -need for technological adaptation to allow substantial assistance of countries

Monitoring, evaluation and learning

  • Monitor and report regularly to the HIR manager and EPR management, drawing their attention to needs and gaps, and proposing remedial actions
  • Document best practices for information systems and data management processes and ensure that lessons learnt are shared across the organization
  • Collaborate with monitoring and evaluation (M&E) teams to ensure reporting in due time and form.

Required qualifications


Essential: Master’s degree in Geoinformation science (GIS), Remote sensing (RS), Informatics, Information Science, Health Information Management, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Systems.



  • At least seven (07) years of working experience in in designing innovative solutions, developing, implementing, testing, documenting and maintaining information systems, geospatial data management and analytics.
  • Experience in software development based on agile methodology
  • Experience in programming in R, Python or similar languages
  • Demonstrated analytical skills on image analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Practical experience in the development and use of database systems and other information management tools and mechanisms.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of database development as well as experience in developing and maintaining databases and information systems
  • Experience in training individuals in use and maintenance of information systems, including analysis and use of the data they contain.
  • Experience in needs assessments, user requirements analysis, and development of software specifications
  • Experience in project management and coordination
  • Strong knowledge of information management tools and mechanisms
  • Knowledge of GIS
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluation

Desirable: Experience in WHO and/or the UN System in the areas of outbreak preparedness and response; field experience in public health programmes or emergency response programmes in developing countries.


Sound strategic and tactical thinking with ability to formulate clear comprehensive policies, strategies and plans. Superior organizational skills with ability to multi-task and produce results under pressure. Excellent interpersonal with proven ability to communicate in a clear and effective way, with tact, diplomacy and courtesy. Authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of the theory, principles, methods and techniques in international emergency risk management and humanitarian response, with a broad-based understanding of its growing complexity including knowledge of the workings of relevant international policy-setting bodies. The position also requires:

  • Ability to understand current information and communication technologies, mobile and wireless technologies, Web-based architectures, Opensource standards and norms, methodologies of software development, and the public health environment.
  • Ability to manage a software development project, from needs analysis and requirements gathering, to the maintenance phase.
  • Ability to have a long-term vision, to develop strategies, to anticipate issues, and to develop alternative plans.
  • Highly developed persuasive skills, ingenuity and innovation.
  • Good knowledge of health delivery information systems, health information technology and applications to public health and epidemiology, host government health care system and structures.
  • Practical experience in software development and programming using database systems (MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, Postgres, MS Access or any RDBMS platforms, etc.), programming languages (Java, C Sharp, PHP, Visual Basic, R, etc.).

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 French
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of English
  • 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 77.326 USD (Brazzaville, Congo), (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.

Additional information

  • 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.

Closing Date: Jun 2, 2023, 9:59:00 PM.

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