Consultant - Rapid assessment of public support for tobacco control during covid-19 pandemic

WHO - World Health Organization

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Application deadline in 2 hours: Tuesday 2 Mar 2021


This is a No grade contract. More about No grade contracts.


Purpose of the consultancy

To conduct a review on the study design and sampling methodology of the proposed proposal of “rapid assessment of public support for tobacco control during covid-19 pandemic”


Governments in different countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region have taken stringent measures to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread. These measures included stricter implementation of tobacco control regulations, which were necessary and timely considering to-date evidence on the association between COVID-19 and tobacco use.

Tobacco use is the single totally preventable shared risk factor for the major noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular and chronic respiratory conditions, cancer, and diabetes). This is particularly important given that COVID-19 severity, complications, and fatalities are higher among individuals with underlying illnesses, including noncommunicable diseases. Smoking is associated with increased occurrence of acute respiratory distress syndrome, a main complication of COVID-19. Smoking also increases the severity of symptoms and worsens the outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

Adult and youth tobacco use rates in some countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region are among the highest worldwide. Furthermore, the unique tobacco use methods in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, such as waterpipe use, can increase the risk of transmission of respiratory infections. Waterpipe tobacco use has documented harmful effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In addition, the nature of waterpipe smoking involves sharing of the device and its accessories and is mostly used in social gatherings; these practices can increase the risk of acquiring respiratory infections.

To protect public health, countries continue to use the WHO’s evidence based cost-effective policy package to strengthen tobacco control measures. Implementing tobacco-free public places and protecting people from second-hand smoke is important to reduce the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that are associated with more serious COVID-19 symptoms and mortality. Restrictions on social gatherings in countries of the region could help reduce the demand for waterpipe tobacco products. Besides contributing to reducing the spread of infection, this measure could help smokers quit.

In addition, improved tobacco control could substantially support health systems in directing more resources for treating COVID-19 patients. Particularly, there is an unprecedented opportunity for strengthened and comprehensive tobacco control involving waterpipe tobacco smoking to promote COVID-19 and general public health outcomes in the region.

The tobacco control measures undertaken in different countries of the region during COVID-19 have seemingly received various levels of support from the local public. To inform policymakers on the general level of public support for these measures, a structured public opinion poll could help guide further development of the undertaken policies and evaluate the likely impact of tobacco control measures during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this regards, EMRO has developed in coordination with external experts “a rapid assessment tool of public support for tobacco control and its policy during and beyond COVID-19”. The tool will be implemented as needed with the support of external experts at country level

Planned timelines

(subject to extension according to budget availability)

Start date: 07/03/2021

End date: 15/03/2021

Work to be performed

The consultant is expected to do the following:

Output 1: Conduct and finalize the rapid assessment tool of public support for tobacco control and its policy during and beyond COVID-19 with feedback to enhance the different sections on study design and methods of implementation of the tool


  1. To provide technical input to the study design and sampling methodology of the proposed proposal “rapid assessment of public support for tobacco control during and beyond covid-19 pandemic”
  2. Conduct a review and prepare a consolidated and comprehensive feedback on the study tool and indicators definitions
  3. Prepare and finalize data collection tools on the proposed plan for data analysis and presentation


  1. Conduct a summary on the findings, recommendations and way forward on the draft “rapid assessment tool of public support for tobacco control and its policy during COVID-19”

Required Qualifications

  • Education: First university degree in Public Health or related field of International Studies.

  • Experience: At least two year’s experience working with NCDs or Tobacco control programs and related monitoring frameworks

Skills / Technical knowledge

  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft office applications and web tools on research articles such as pub med
  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high quality writings
  • Demonstrated coordination skills and capacity to work across teams and with different cultures.
  • Research skills with academic institutions and/or professional organizations.


Excellent knowledge of English.



Medical clearance

The selected Consultant will be expected to provide a medical certificate of fitness for work.

Travel (If travel is involved, a medical certificate of fitness for work will be required.)

All travel arrangements will be made by WHO – WHO will not be responsible for tickets purchased by the Consultant without the express, prior authorization of WHO. While on mission under the terms of this consultancy, the Consultant will receive subsistence allowance.

Visas requirements: it is the consultant’s responsibility to fulfil visa requirements and ask for visa support letter(s) if needed.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs excluded) Remuneration: international consultant (P2 level)

Additional Information section

  • 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.
  • Renumeration is in line with WHO applicable consultant payment rates
  • Successful candidates will be included in the roster for consideration for future contractual engagement via a consultancy, as they become available. Inclusion in the roster does not guarantee any future contractual relationship with WHO
  • 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 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.
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  • 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 in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
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