Consultant – Epidemiologist – (Environmental and Wastewater Surveillance)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)




Purpose of consultancy

To contribute to the establishment of a workplan related to EWS activities for WHO activities.


In the last 20 years, WHO issued a series of guidance for waste and environmental water (WEW) surveillance for different pathogens (poliovirus, typhoid and antimicrobial resistance). During the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance has been proven efficient in a range of settings to provide an important additional line of data for detection of increasing trend in cases, tracking of variants and promote uptake of risk reduction measure in the community among other uses. In 2022, WHO issued its first guidance on environmental surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 to complement public health surveillance, subsequently this guidance was further updated in 2023.

The experience of WEW for SARS-CoV-2 has ignited widespread interest and research on its application for a variety of other pathogens, particularly for respiratory and vaccine preventable diseases. While development of methods and use cases are still evolving, countries, regions and researchers are increasingly seeking global advice on:

  • When, where and for which pathogens it is efficient and cost effective to implement WEW methods to enable data collection, interpretation and dissemination for WEW surveillance communities of practice across sectors to enable rapid information and experience exchange capacity building.

WHO, in its capacity as a global convening and norms and standards setting organization, has a responsibility to provide leadership in global WEW coordination efforts as well as guidance to its Member States.


  • Output 1: Map the routine and research activities related to EWS conducted perfumed by main stakeholders (including WHO technical and regional teams) and identify the gaps in terms of guidance.
    • Deliverable 1: Protocol (including the methods to collect the information, analyse and interpret the results) to map the activities and identify the gaps in terms of guidance.
      Expected by end of May 2024
    • Deliverable 2: Report with the activities performed by EWS stakeholders and guidance gaps identified in priority order.
      Expected by mid September 2024
  • Output 2: WES guidance workplan developed for the next two years in collaboration with a programme manager.
    • Deliverable 3: WES guidance workplan with activities prioritized and timeline estimated.
      Expected by end of November 2024
  • Output 3: WES technical working group established.
    • Deliverable 4: List of the participants to WHO WES technical working group (including external partners).
      Expected by end of May 2024
    • Deliverable 5: First working group convened.
      Expected by end of September 2024

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:


  • Advanced degree in epidemiology or methodology in health science.


  • Alumni from a field epidemiology training programme, or equivalent.



  • Over 10 years of relevant experience in the public health sector with experience in wastewater surveillance or research for public health.


  • Experience in environmental and wastewater surveillance for public health.
  • Experience in meeting organization and management.
  • Previous work with WHO or other international organization.


  • Analytical skills and capacity to synthesize complex information.
  • Good writing skills.
  • Sound organizational skills.
  • Ability to work self-dependent, results-oriented, and produce timely deliverables.

Languages required:


Expert knowledge of English.


Off site: Home-based.


The consultant is expected to travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):


Band level C – USD 10,000 – 12,500 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):


Expected duration of contract:

6 months.

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for 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.
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  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • 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.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html

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