Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.
MSF is a civil society initiative that brings together individuals committed to the assistance of other human beings in crisis. As such MSF is by choice an association. Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.
The MSF movement is built around six operational directorates. MSF OCBA is one of those directorates. The operations are implemented by field teams and the mission coordination teams; together with the organizational units based in Barcelona and decentralized in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations, including the Communication Department.
GENERAL OBJECTIVE AND CONTEXT
MSF needs to enhance public communication on its operations and the situation of the populations it serves while increasing engagement with civil societies and decision-makers in the area of intervention. The communication advisor will be leading this effort in collaboration with the operational managers and the regional and field communication teams. Accountable to the Head of Operational Communications Unit, within the Communication Department, the Communication Advisor (CA) defines and supervises the execution of MSF’s communication strategies for Cell 2, which manages MSF medical humanitarian programmes in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. For this position, the CA is part of the operational Cell 2 and supports MSF operations in the countries of the Cell’s portfolio. The CA will also join a team of other CAs managing other portfolios of countries.
The CA is expected to provide strategic level support at multiple levels and vis-à-vis a variety of stakeholders at both HQ and field levels within OCBA, with other operational centres as well as the wider movement. This also includes a coordination role reflected on a day-to-day basis again at multiple levels with a variety of stakeholders. By the nature of the function, the CA is also expected to be on call outside regular hours unless a backup is specified for a limited period. The post is based together with the OCBA Cell 2 in Dakar and includes regular regional/international travel.
MAIN RESPONSABILITIES, FUNCTIONS AND TASKS
The CA core role is to advise on strategic communications based on a good understanding of the context of countries within their portfolio, MSF’s operations and the dynamics of the communications environment relevant to the portfolio. The CA guides and supports field communication teams who are working closely with missions in developing & implementing communication strategies and plans aimed at achieving operational priorities and objectives. S/he also supports field communication teams in addressing communication needs and requests relayed from the MSF movement. And s/he contributes to achieving MSF’s social mission of bearing witness (temoignage) and speaking out outlined in our strategic communication orientations.
1. Communications Strategy
- Together with the team in the cell unit and, jointly with the field coms teams working with the countries of operations, assesses communication needs and priorities in order to advise and support in defining and designing a communication strategy and plan of activities to meet the objectives for each country/project.
- Advises and works with the cell, the mission and advocacy/humanitarian affairs colleagues, as needed, on MSF’s public positioning linked to the operations and to the issues identified as priorities where we operate, contributing to bearing witness (temoignage), drawing attention, alerting, mobilizing and/or denouncing on situations and conditions of populations we are assisting, as well as to ensure transparency and accountability towards our different stakeholders at local, regional and global levels.
- Works closely with the operational managers at both HQ and field levels to define the communication objectives and messaging and based on the targeted audience, propose the most optimum way in terms of format and channel to ensure the relevance and impact of the communication.
- Advises and supports field communication teams in implementing and assessing impact of communications strategies.
- Works closely with the OCBA Digital Advisor for operational communications to ensure teams engage in proper analysis of digital needs and integrate them in the overall communication strategies and plans as well as properly equip them to address these specific needs.
- Coordinates with CAs from other Operational Centers covering the same portfolio of countries to inform and understand each other’s priorities, strategies and plans, collaborate when possible on joint initiatives and enable intersectional field communication resources to implement our respective activities.
- Works in collaboration with Advocacy Managers/Humanitarian Affairs Officers (HAOs), members of OCBA’s reflection and analysis team (ARHP) to support advocacy efforts on topics and issues at stake in the countries covered according to the needs.
- Works in collaboration with the communications hubs based in the region, particularly the Dakar office, to identify opportunities of media and digital engagement at international, regional and local levels and reinforce overall the implementation and impact of the communication strategies defined for the countries in the region.
2. Communication Assessment, Monitoring, Analysis & Reporting
- Ensures with the support of the field communication resources, digital advisor and regional communication hubs as needed that the communication landscape (traditional and digital) is integrated in the context analysis of the country and is regularly updated (through the country communication framework, digital assessments).
- Ensures with the support of the field communication resources and digital advisor that monitoring is in place and is relayed to the operational managers.
- Keeps abreast of the public discourse, debates, narratives around the countries/projects/issues of the portfolio to advise on opportunities for public positioning that would contribute to achieving operational objectives.
- Contributes to assessing risks identified by operational managers and advises on the role and potential impact of public positioning in mitigating those risks.
- Follows and analyzes the changing communications environment particularly on audience, segmentation, consumption of media, tools, timing, platforms, dissemination, etc.
- Supports field communication teams in assessing and reporting back on impact of coms initiatives by engaging relevant regional communication hubs, partner sections, IO depending on the targeted audience to gather their respective feedback.
- Overall contributes to reporting on OCBA’s operational communication unit’s goals and metrics linked to OCBA’s strategic orientations.
3. Media management
- Advises and supports field coms teams in their media dissemination strategies including identification and segmentation of audience, deciding on choices of channels and types of content, as well as engaging relevant colleagues in the movement to optimize impact of communications. This includes proactively connecting the field and the region-based communications hubs as well as partner sections to maximize impact of the communication.
- Maintaining a network of media representatives following their relevant contexts and issues and facilitating exchanges between them and cell/field colleagues.
- Identify partnership opportunities with media in collaboration with the Dakar office, MSF Spain’s media unit and that of other partner sections or regional hubs for communication initiatives (production and dissemination).
- Supports, facilitates and manages as needed with the field communication teams direct media requests and those from the movement, including field visits.
- Closely monitors the way contextual evolutions/MSF operations are reported in the media for each country/project to alert operational managers and other CAs anytime an issue might/has come out in the media and provide guidance on how to handle it, together with Field Communications.
4. Crisis Management
- Provides strategic advice to the desk and supports field coms teams in ensuring monitoring is in place, coms strategies (incl. scenarios, coms responses) are in place and relevant material is produced and shared for both internal and external communication.
- Acts as a key member of crisis incident management team when put in place.
- Contributes to crisis management related reviews and trainings.
5. Field operations & communications support
- Provides direct comms support through regular field assignments to the projects as needed (emergency, priority dossier, gap-filling…) and, together with the Field Communications resources, carry out field visits to assess communication needs, better understand the communications/media environment, define communication priorities with the field and coordination teams and support in developing key documents and material (e.g. a Country Communications Framework).
- Briefs and debriefs staff going to/from the field about MSF´s communications practices, guidelines, expectations and activities.
- Participates in the conception, preparation and implementation of communication training modules for both field operations and communications staff.
- Provides media/communications training to key spokespeople in the field and conduct information sessions on the role of communications to local staff, if Field Communications staff is not in place.
- Supports recruitment of Field Communications staff and provides induction about MSF’s communications practices, guidelines, expectations and activities.
- Advises and supports field coms teams by establishing concrete objectives, assisting them in prioritizing their workload, providing guidance and training, conducting appraisals & debriefings at the end of their assignment as well as supporting them in the implementation of their work as outlined in the earlier points.
6. Content Production
- Oversees the production of communications materials gathered by field communication resources or directly by him/her (from field assignment), for the various audiences and channels targeted.
- Ensures that communications initiatives are made with proper preparation, implementation and dissemination (e.g. communication initiative framework, dissemination strategy, etc.) by engaging relevant colleagues (Creative Content Unit, relevant regional hubs or partner sections).
- Ensures that communications strategies, action plans and materials, including those created by Field Communications teams, are consistent and compliant with MSF´s identity, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion guidelines and ethical standards.
- Works closely with the Creative Content Unit, relevant regional comms hubs or potential external partners, to jointly define and develop creative projects on OCBA’s operational comms priorities.
- Contributes to content for various MSF internal and external publications, such as the annual International Activity Report, newsletters, etc.
- As needed, and in close coordination with Creative Content Unit and field comms teams, occasionally collects material (stories, digital content, photos, videos, etc.) and contributes to the production of content for external dissemination.
7. Coordination, Back up & On call
- Participates in the relevant cell and operational meetings as needed.
- Participates and engages regularly with other communication colleagues from other sections covering same portfolio (regular calls, meetings).
- Participates in the regular operational communication team and wider communication department meetings.
- Meets regularly and coordinates production of content with members of the Creative Content Unit;
- Covers temporarily for other team members or upon request of the Head of Operational Communication on other countries or topics.
- S/he is “on-call” for emergency communications some weekends and evenings.
- Degree in communications, journalism, political science or other related degrees.
- Minimum four years of professional experience in communications/advocacy/humanitarian affairs with an international NGO.
- Knowledge and understanding of the media landscape internationally and regionally.
- Proven skills and experience in digital engagement and social media.
- Field experience with MSF or another humanitarian organization – highly desirable.
- Direct experience and knowledge of the Western African region and its different political/humanitarian stakes.
- Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading in English and French. Knowledge of other languages of the region is an asset.
- Good understanding of humanitarian interventions, their principles and ethics.
- Track record of developing successful communication strategies.
- Experience in production of communications tools (written, digital and multimedia).
- Ability to analyze and synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce content.
- Strong capacity to deal with stress and short deadlines.
- Availability to travel to unstable contexts with very short notice (possibly spends around 20-30% of his/her annual working time in the field).
- Position based in Dakar at the Médecins Sans Frontières OCBA decentralized office with expected travel to other countries with MSF operations.
- Full-time position.
- Minimum commitment with the post of 3 years.
- Gross monthly salary: HQ-4B – 1,692,833 XOF + experience valuation bonus depending on experience.
- Flexible envelope: 451,422 XOF.
- Travel allowance (net amount): 564,278 XOF.
- Transport allowance (net amount): 20,800 XOF.
- Other benefits: health insurance, complementary pension, schooling for children, holiday flight ticket, installation fee.
- Starting date: ASAP.
How to apply
To apply, please submit your CV and cover letter:
Closing date: February 8th, 2023, 23:59 CET (Central European Time).
MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, race, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are committed to achieving a balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.
All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. MSF provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.
Médecins Sans Frontieres, as a responsible employer, under article 38 of “Ley de Integración Social del Minusválido de 1982 (LISMI)” invite those persons with a recognized disability and with an interest in the humanitarian area to apply for the above-mentioned position.