Framework, Process and Curriculum

The structure of the IVP curriculum is composed primarily of the agreed Terms of References (TORs) and core activities. Exposure to WHO’s core values, its staff, and its technical learning activities are integrated throughout the course of the programme. To guarantee a fruitful internship, coaching, mentoring, and valuable feedback is given to assure compliance of the intern’s learning objectives. As a result, the intern or volunteer gains knowledge and experience that provides them personal development and better opportunities for future employment.

Adjusting to the post and country

Before the assignment, the participants of the programme are expected to be well prepared to adjust to changes in a new country and must be willing to adapt to different cultures. Changes include getting accustomed to working in an international environment, living independently, actively participate in activities and being willing to learn.

Upon arrival, whether for a country or regional office, the intern or volunteer is immediately briefed and integrated into the organization. He or she is also introduced to their unit’s staff as well as the values and culture of WHO.

In the first week of the programme, the interns are briefed by the IVP and Human Resources Management (HRM) offices. They are also required to accomplish multiple online courses during their first week to get acquainted with WHO, namely the e-Orientation, New@WHO, UNDSS basic security in the field and UNDSS advanced security in the field.

Technical orientation

The IVP gives interns and volunteers many opportunities for learning and growth. Besides the TORs agreed upon by the supervisor and intern, there are technical activities which promote growth and skill building. These include taking part in conferences and meetings, facilitating research, participating in studies undertaken by the receiving units, participating in the initiatives of WHO, and others.

Learning activities

Taking advantage of the close proximity of the University of the Philippines (UP), WPRO and UP Medical Department began collaboration in 2014. Interns and volunteers from WPRO are given tours and seminars for them to experience field work by active medical practitioners. In 2016, WPRO and the UP National Teacher Training Centre for the Health Professions (NTTCHP) created the IVP Plan of Activities. Included in it, are all activities, sessions, learning objectives, required inputs and suggested outputs from participants.

Other activities designed by the programme include exposure to an array of health systems such as sub-national systems, international organizations, health facilities, communities and other educational institutions. These activities are flexibly designed to coincide with each intern and volunteer’s contracted duration.

In the regional office, brownbag sessions and intern meetings happen once or twice monthly, where participants of the programme attend these sessions to gain a better understanding on issues ranging from pressing health issues to learning to write the “UN way.” These activities can also be actively participated by interns and volunteers in the country offices via video conference.

Lunch with the Regional Director

The Regional Director (RD) holds monthly lunches to better know the interns. These lunches are meant to be fancy casual with the interns and volunteers taking turns around the table telling their background and details to the RD who gives remarks or questions to each participant. They are encouraged to ask the RD any questions regarding his background or his experience in public health. These lunches have proven to be refreshing and valuable learning experiences for all parties involved.

Intern’s hour

Twice a month, interns and volunteers meet to recount the last two weeks and are given any new information from the IVP coordinator. These meetings are designed for the interns and volunteers to express their thoughts to each other. Because interns and volunteers are constantly accepted, these meetings also serve as an avenue for everyone to meet each other.

Intern’s duty travel

Intern’s duty travel is allowed for special circumstances. Some interns and volunteers are tasked to participate in conferences and seminars in the country offices and even outside the country of duty station. Based on the need of the unit or the conference, they are given special permission to participate. These duty travels give the intern or volunteer new knowledge by experiencing a foreign country while accompanying a WHO staff.

Final presentation

Upon the conclusion of their contract, interns and volunteers are expected to give a presentation of their work in front of their unit and peers, who give constructive feedback and recommendations. Some interns are even asked to present to their educational institution or sponsoring organization about their study or assignment within WPRO.

Evaluation and Feedback

Moreover, at the culmination of the contract, participants are asked to evaluate the IVP regarding its programme content, variation of activities, applicability of the programme to their field of study, and clarity of the knowledge and experience given to them. Historically, the IVP and receiving units have received positive evaluations from past interns and volunteers.

Correspondingly, evaluation and feedback is also done from the supervisor to the intern. The intern’s technical skills and knowledge, professionalism, work habits, and their strengths and weaknesses are assessed by the supervisor who provides feedback for areas of strengths and advice for areas that need improvement.

With the programme complete, participants are expected to use their newfound knowledge and skills gained from the programme to good use in the international health arena. Graduates of the programme will have gained invaluable mentoring from WHO staff who continually guided them towards the correct path.

Contact us


WHO Western Pacific Region
UN Avenue coner Taft Avenue,
Ermita, Manila 1000 Philippines
Phone: +63 2 528 8001
Fax: +63 2 521 1036
E-mail: Interns@wpro.who.int