18 February 2010

WHO Internships on Health Equity, 2010-2011 including HIA

The details for the internships are:

The Equity Analysis and Research Unit within the Information, Evidence and Research Cluster's Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, is offering several exciting internship opportunities during 2010-2011. Internships are ideally three months, with the possibility for extension, and can take place any time of the year.

All of the unit's work aims to contribute to the reduction of health inequities within and across countries. Impacts expected by 2015 include:
  • WHO core statistics and research policies will mainstream and highlight health equity
  • National and international negotiations will include an assessment of health equity impacts of proposed policy options
  • Global health accountability mechanisms (such as MDGs) will integrate monitoring of the distribution of health within countries
  • Member States will increase their decision-making capabilities to reduce health inequities reflecting global evidence and local knowledge
The unit works with others to:
  • Develop objective indicators for global and national monitoring of health equity and social determinants of health
  • Introduce evidence on health equity impacts into policy-making and evaluation processes
  • Support research to evaluate policies and interventions from an equity perspective
  • Support countries to develop local innovations, tools and policy options to reduce inequities
  • Participate in policy negotiations of other UN agencies
  • Share valid national and regional data, analysis and intelligence
  • Strengthen research capacities and collaborations around the world in these areas
What interns could do:

Under the supervision of the unit coordinator and working with other staff, the intern will play a key role in supporting projects in analysis and research to improve equity. S/he will work closely with other staff in the department, be introduced to other relevant staff across WHO and external experts, and gain first-hand experience in one of three key areas.

  1. Health Impact Assessment - integrating equity orientation
    Provide support in the strengthening of mechanisms to conduct equity focused HIA to change policies, programs and other interventions outside of the health sector to increase pro-health equity impacts. The intern's work will inform a new Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers on Equity and Health, that will test newmechanisms in 10 countries during 2010 and 2011.
  2. Scientific Resource Group (SRG) on Equity Analysis and Research
    Work with leading international experts on a new WHO SRG that is chaired by Cesar Victora and includes five sub-groups. An intern could support one of the subgroup'sprojects, for example:
    • develop new guidelines on how WHO should monitor and report on health inequities within and across countries;
    • review the 8 MDG goals, 21 targets and some 60 indicators to document which ones are reported at the sub-national level by different agencies and countries;
    • document approaches to increase urban monitoring and integration of equity disaggregated statistics covering a range of social and economic determinants of health;
    • develop a policy brief and background document on approaches to influence national research policies to integrate equity and health perspectives;
    • further synthesize evidence on how a large, condition-specific program (such as child health, tropical diseases, malaria, or reproductive health, among others) can improve its equity impact - expanding beyond reaching the poor;
    • Support a call for research to be conducted by Civil Society Organizations, to evaluate their interventions from an equity perspective; support preparing background paper, setting up the review and selection process
  3. Equity effectiveness evaluation
    Contribute towards new methods and approaches to increase integration of equity impact (e.g. distributional impact) with effectiveness analysis - in the evaluation of policies, programmes and interventions. This would build on benefit-incidence and other analysis that provide a quantitative approach to integrate equity within evaluation
Interns typically contribute to some or all of the following responsibilities:
  • review literature
  • undertake research in a particular subject area
  • collate information on topics related to the subject area
  • organize data and documents
  • support the development of tools and guidelines
  • draft reports
  • discuss issues with external experts and WHO staff in other offices
  • participate in on-going departmental projects
  • make presentations on work in progress and completed
Overall objectives of the WHO Internship Program:

These include: to enhance individuals' educational experiences through practical work assignments; to expose students to the work of WHO; and to provide WHO programmes with the assistance of individuals (enrolled in training programs) specializing in various fields.

Required Qualifications

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school (second
  • university degree or higher) both at the time of application and during the internship
  • Applicants pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided
  • into undergraduate and graduate stages must have completed at least three years of
  • full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a
  • degree.
  • A minimum of 20 years of age
  • Possess a first degree in a public health, medical or social field related to the technical
  • work of WHO.
  • Fluent in the working language of the office of assignment

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Experience in research and in drafting reports
  • Experience in the subject area through academic work or research would be an
  • advantage
  • Experience in statistical analysis using STATA, SPSS, or SAS
  • Experience in conducting Health Impact Assessments would be preferred


All interns should possess 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
  • Respecting and promoting difference
Conditions of WHO Headquarters internships:
  • The duration of WHO internships is between a minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. Exceptionally, internships may be extended up to 24 weeks to respond to special academic requirements or particular needs of the receiving programme.
  • WHO internships are not paid. Travel costs, travel arrangements (including visas), and living accommodations are the responsibility of the intern or their sponsoring institution.
  • Persons related to a WHO staff member, i.e., son/daughter, brother/sister are not eligible for an internship.
  • WHO Interns must have adequate medical insurance coverage during the entire period of the internships. This medical coverage must include Switzerland.
  • Interns may participate only once in the WHO Internship Programme.
  • Interns do not have the status of WHO staff members and shall not represent the Organization in any official capacity.
  • WHO Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position within WHO for a period of three months following the end of their internship. Any employment with WHO at that point in time shall be subject to established recruitment and selection procedures.
How to apply:

Direct applications to the unit are possible, with no specific deadline. Please consider
that it can takes approximately two months to set up the internship so apply early. Send a
cover letter indicating when you would be available, which projects interest you, and a short
CV, directly to the unit: equity@who.int

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