The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency created by the United Nations (UN) to contribute positively to international public health. It is a prestigious global organization to work in and gain great exposure and experience.
Objectives of the World Health Organization Internship Program
The WHO internship program has three objectives:
- To provide a framework for assigning students from diverse academic backgrounds to WHO programs, where educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments.
- To expose students to the work of WHO
- To provide WHO program with the assistance of students specializing in various fields. Most students are placed in health-related programs, although placements in other area of work like for example communication, external relations, finance or human resources are also possible.
- Review literature and conduct literature surveys
- Undertake web research and data collection on specific subject area
- Organize data and documents
- Participate in the development of tools and guidelines
- Assist in drafting, formatting and editing policy briefs, tool kits, guides/manuals, hand-outs, brochures and reports
- Assist in organizing workshops, meetings, conferences, events
- Participate in on-going departmental projects
Qualification requirement for the World Health Organization Internship Program
- Must have certification in three years of full-time studies (bachelor’s level or equivalent) at a university or equivalent institution prior to commencing the assignment.
- Also, should register for 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 start the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification).
- Team work
- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural difference
- 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 programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Knowledge of specialized computer programs, for example, statistical software such as XLStat may be an advantage
Depending on the area of interest, the below experience may be needed and/or would be an advantage.
- Experience in research and/or in drafting reports
- Also, experience in the subject area through academic work or research is necessary
- Field and/or developing country experience
- 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
- More specific experience such as specialized computer programs
- Fluency in one of WHO’s working languages (reading, writing and speaking). WHO official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
- Knowledge of the local language in some duty stations can be an asset
- 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.
- WHO Internships are not paid. 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.
- Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position in WHO for a period of three months following the end of the internship.
- If selected for a WHO Internship, you will be required to provide certified copies of proof of enrolment in a course of studies and a medical certificate of fitness for work.
Duration of internship
Minimum of 6 weeks – Maximum 24 weeks
Location of internship
How to apply for the World Health Organization Internship Program
Follow these steps to apply for the World Health Organization Internship Program:
1. Check if you meet the requirement
Be sure that you met the requirement before processing application. This is to ensure you are not wasting your time.
2. Visit application portal and create account
Once you are sure that you have all it takes to be a WHO intern, head straight to the application portal and create an account.
3. Login and apply
Once you have created an account. You should have a username and password to login and apply at any time
The official website for the World Health Organization Internship Program is www.careers.who.int/careersection