WHO Volunteering Program 2021

Internship and Volunteers Programme

The Western Pacific Regional Office Internship and Volunteer Programme (IVP) provides opportunities for graduate and postgraduate students to gain real-world insight into the work of WHO. Practical assignments enhance the educational experience of interns and volunteers, providing them with personal development and better future employment opportunities.

Ultimately, IVP aims to nurture a pool of health professionals who are trained and exposed to the systems and processes in the health sector and understand how stakeholders interact within the international health arena. The programme helps countries develop a competent and dynamic workforce to advance health and achieve global goals. WHO programmes also receive input from postgraduate students specializing in various fields.


  • To provide a framework for assigning postgraduate students from diverse academic backgrounds to WHO programmes that can enhance their educational experience through practical assignments.
  • To expose postgraduate students to the work of WHO.
  • To provide WHO programmes with input from postgraduate students specializing in various fields. Most students are placed in health-related programmes, although other disciplines can be considered as appropriate.




The structure of the IVP curriculum is composed primarily of the agreed Terms of References (TORs) and core activities. Upon being selected and agreeing on TORs, interns and volunteers receive orientation to WHO, including its culture and values. Their technical skills and knowledge are then honed through coaching and mentoring, and they receive guidance from supervisors as they perform their TORs. Activities such as intern hour/hub, community/hospital exposure, visits to educational institutions, and brown bag sessions and activities allow interns and volunteers to gain invaluable knowledge and real-world experience. 

Internship and volunteer placements can be with any of the programme units at WPRO. Additionally, there are assignment opportunities for students and recent graduates from non-medical disciplines.


Pre internship & entry

  • IVP recruitment and selection process: vacancy notice, short listing, recruitment and selection, agreement on the Terms of Reference (TORs), processing application and contracting.
  • Pre-internship preparations: document submission, visa, accommodation, travel, insurance and transportation.

Assignment proper

  • Orientation/integration to WHO: accomplishing eOrientation, UNDSS training and briefing about WHO, including its culture and values.
  • Honing of technical skills and knowledge: performing the agreed TORs, proper guidance from supervisor, regular mentoring and feedback sessions.
  • Other activities: attending intern hour/hub, community/hospital exposure and visit to educational institutions. Also included are brown bag sessions and activities within unit/division.

Exit and post internship

  • Presentation of output: unit/division meeting, final internship presentation and institution presentation.
  • Performance evaluation: intern, unit/division and IVP.
  • Debriefing
  • Participants are excepted to have gained knowledge, experience and confidence making them well-equipped in the international health arena.


WHO may offer an internship to students who:

  • are at least 20 years of age on the date of application
  • are enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify provided that they start the internship no later than six months after graduation)
  • have completed three years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution prior to commencing the assignment
  • are fluent in at least one of the working languages of the office of assignment
  • are not related to a staff member as a first-degree relative
  • have not previously participated in WHO's Internship and Volunteers Programme
  • hold a valid passport of a WHO Member State

WHO may offer a voluntary assignment to individuals who:

  • have experience and professional background that would allow them to make a contribution to the work of a technical programme
  • could be authorized to carry out specific activities on a voluntary basis on WHO premises under the supervision of a staff member
  • have finished their studies and have relevant work experience

Application schedule

Stellis Vacancy Notice (open during the months of November, February, May and August)

1st Quarter

  • Applications are accepted from 1 to 30 November (of previous year)
  • Possible start of internship: 1 December onwards

2nd Quarter

  • Applications are accepted from 1 to 28/29 February
  • Possible start of internship: 1 March onwards

3rd Quarter

  • Applications are accepted from 1 to 31 May
  • Possible start of internship: 1 June onwards

4th Quarter

  • Applications are accepted from 1 to 31 August
  • Possible start of internship: 1 September onwards



Step 1: vacancy notice (VN)

Posted via e-Recruitment and advertised through different online platforms. Posting of VNs is done for 30 days four times annually during the month of February, May, August and November.

Step 2: short listing

Shortlist is produced within seven days after VN closing. Shortlist and curriculum, vitae file is disseminated to respected units and country offices. It includes applicants's chosen priority and duty stations. 

Step 3: recruitment and selection

It is performed by the unit. Timeframe is from one day to three months based on the unit's need. Includes initial interview, examinations as applicable and selection of the best candidate. Once done, mutual agreement on the Terms of References is made. 

Step 4: processing application request

Processing of the request within 14 days. this is processed by the unit and HRM.

Step 5: Contracting

Within five days after approval of application request, contract and other documents are sent to the successful candidate, include signing of contract, annexes and declaration of interest.