Telecommunication coverage and outreach technology position

June 26, 2017

Call for expression of interest/Terms of Reference

For an Agreement of Performance of Work (APW)

Telecommunication coverage and outreach technology mapping for Pandemic Influenza Risk Communication and Community Engagement


One of the anticipated main challenges in an influenza pandemic is to be able to reach populations, responders and decision-makers in all areas of all countries. Even in pandemic readiness work, there is an urgent and persisting need to reach diverse population groups, anywhere in the world. This need for reach across the world is especially important for pandemic risk communication and community engagement work.

Under the PIP PC risk communication capacity building project, ING has developed a range of learning materials and tools that are being made available as online learning materials and knowledge packs through the OpenWHO platform. While the platform uses technology that allows access with devices in low-bandwidth settings, strategies and actions need to be mapped and developed to further increase this reach. A recent example is that of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where for many weeks the national and international actors struggled to identify technologies that would put affected communities in reach of our public health advice and risk communication so that protective actions could be taken. The area had neither internet nor cell phone coverage. This knowledge, had it been available prior to the outbreak, would have helped WHO and the MoH develop a more adapted risk communications strategy.

Over the last three years, the risk communication capacity building team supported by the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) framework, developed core materials, trainings and eLearning’s. Many of these have been translated into languages other than English. Most are now on the OpenWHO platform to increase the access by Member States, decision-makers and risk communication personnel. Going forward, it is essential to further increase the reach, as an influenza pandemic will require outreach to all of the world’s population for communicating risk.

Three new directions are being explored to achieve this increased reach:

1. Technology and mobile telecommunications for risk communication and community engagement

2. Translations into local languages and dialects of priority countries at scale and speed

3. New techniques (using both 1 and 2 above) for community engagement and communication with affected and at-risk communities


The objective of the APW is to obtain external services and expertise to map internet and telecommunications penetration in priority countries, their gaps, bottlenecks and stakeholders who could provide a solution for a technological/telecommunications that could scale up quickly outreach to affected communities as well as to response teams.

Low-cost technological solutions are needed to monitor and listen to people’s concerns, fears, perceptions and misperceptions about epidemic and pandemic threats. In addition, technology and telecommunications promise to provide solutions for outreach and getting messages on risk reduction to populations and front-line responders. Finally, telecoms-based technological solutions are also needed for running surveys to determine risky behaviours and perceptions and attitudes that could lead to the amplification of an outbreak into an epidemic or a pandemic.


  1. Produce maps of 6 priority countries to overlay the following:
  1. Mobile phone penetration
  2. Internet penetration
  3. Existing service providers
  4. Regional or global tech and telecomm solutions for surge capacity for increased outreach

2. Develop a draft concept paper on how the area of telecommunications and internet (and other relevant) technology can be used for risk communication and community engagement

3. Facilitate and manage regular expert discussion on above concept note and revise the document in two rounds

4. Draft a plan of work for telecomm and technology for risk communications including priority projects with relevant stakeholders

5. Conduct  a literature research on a topic of focus within the broad area of telecommunications and technology for risk communications preparedness and response, and submit for publication an article in  a peer reviewed journal

Required profile of the contractor


Advanced university degree in engineering, telecommunications, technology solutions, applied sciences or related fields

Experience required

At least five years of work experience, including international work experience, in research methodology and research project management in fields related to electronics, telecommunications engineering, technology solutions.

Desirable experience

Previous experience in network/partnership management would be an asset. Good scientific writing skills

Skills / Technical skills and knowledge

Skills required for carrying out complex mapping exercises; development of innovative, and creative solutions; negotiation skills for development of stand-by and ad-hoc solutions with telecommunication actors and other technology service providers.

Language requirements

Written and spoken fluency in English is essential. Working knowledge of other UN languages is an advantage.

Bidding process

Duration of contract will be July (signature of contract date) to end of December 2017 (with approx. 80 working days). Distance work with 12 visits to WHO HQ, Geneva of 2 days each. 4 international trips of 5-day duration to priority countries or conferences should also be included in the offer.

Interested service providers should submit the following documents to by 26 June 2017, 12.00h-noon (Geneva time):

  • CV (for individual contractors) or Company Profile (for institutional applications)
  • Expression of interest (cover letter) that includes a financial proposal with the following breakdown:
    • Contractual fee 80 working days (submit your expected daily rate 
      with maximum $450/day)
    • Airfare/transportation (as stated above)
    • Per-diem (with maximum $371 (Geneva))
    • Miscellaneous (if any, please specify)
    • Total

Deliverables and due dates


Expected deliverable date/Anticipated payment %

Signature of contract

July 2017/0%


Workplan with milestones and deliverables

submitted and accepted


15 July 2017/25%


Deliverables according to workplan milestones


30 September 2017/25%

30 November2017/25%

31 December 2017/25%

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