Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Humanitarian Representative (Nairobi).

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Humanitarian Representative for East and Central Africa

Job description

Location: Nairobi

Contract: Permanent – Full-time contract

Reporting to: International Operations and Humanitarian Representation Coordinator

Starting date: 15 September 2021



Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


The position is part of the Humanitarian Representation Team (HRT), which provides support to the MSF operations through linkages and actions with external networks (including political, humanitarian, medical, civil society and other actors). The HRT is managed by the International Operations and Humanitarian Representation Coordinator (IOHRC), who is based in Geneva.

A key function of the HRT is to expand, nurture and maintain active relations with its networks in order to provide MSF operations with the support it needs to achieve its goals, such as increasing leverage for MSF in contexts where access is challenging.

The HRT also influences its network and relevant actors through specific actions to benefit MSF programs and further MSF operations’ goals.


Nairobi particularly, and the East and Central African regions in general, are pivotal to MSF’s operations and social mission while at the same time providing substantial inputs that make us better. Nairobi is the second largest humanitarian hub in the world, replete with key political stakeholders from the region either based there or frequently passing through. In addition, the UN has placed its African headquarters in Nairobi and many other aid agencies’ decision-making bodies are based there too. East and Central Africa are and will remain geographical areas of high operational volume for MSF. This is an opportunity for MSF to engage strategically in a regionally focused manner by dedicating resources to a more intensive and sustained approach.

The position of Humanitarian Representative, East and Central Africa will:

  • Be hierarchically accountable to the International Operations and Humanitarian Representation Coordinator (IOHRC); and
  • Work in close collaboration with the General Director of the MSF Eastern Africa Section as well as with other colleagues in the East and Central African Region.
  • The position will be expected to work in tandem with the HRT Representative to the African Union and Africa CDC (currently based in South Africa).


As a member of both HRT, the Humanitarian Representative for East and Central Africa:

  • Implements and helps define the medical and humanitarian diplomacy strategy towards key (state and non-state) stakeholders of Eastern and Central African regional platforms, in support of MSF movement-wide objectives.
  • Improves and supports MSF’s understanding of the regions and represents the region’s agenda within MSF.
  • Ensures the lead in knowledge management of networking and representation initiatives, including within the MSF Eastern Africa Section.



  • Contribute to the development of MSF representation and diplomacy objectives in support of MSF operations, utilising the regional viewpoint.
  • Develop and implement the strategies to deliver relevant messages to key interlocutors to East and Central African based entities and dialogue partners.
  • Provide MSF with information, analysis and advise on relevant regional issues.
  • Maintain effective linkages within the HRT team, with other MSF regional and international entities including with relevant working groups and promote coherent messaging within the region.
  • Provide advice to Operational Centres, Section offices and International office on new opportunities and threats to MSF medical and humanitarian objectives arising in/from East and Central Africa as deemed relevant to the East African based platforms and partners.
  • Accountable for delivering relevant strategic objectives on time and on budget.
  • Exemplify, by his/her actions and conduct, the principles and mission of MSF.
  • Ensure effective facilitation and follow up with and for the MSF Interdesks for DRC and Central African Republic; possibly others upon request by the IOHRC and/or the RIOD.

Humanitarian Diplomacy:

  • Introduce and promote selected MSF diplomacy objectives through attendance to relevant meetings and workshops, and through strategic interactions with the officials, diplomats and related institutions.
  • Maintain mapping and analysis of regional policies and stakeholders related to issues relevant to MSF.
  • Develop and maintain a network of relevant contacts with key actors and stakeholders.
  • Identify meetings and events in the EaCA regions that are relevant to MSF or useful to raise MSF’s profile in the humanitarian community and ensure appropriate MSF participation in them.
  • Ensure that in-depth analyses of assigned contexts/themes are conducted, and maintain an overview of MSF’s involvement in these issues.
  • Stay abreast of the medical and humanitarian challenges faced by the populations in assigned contexts.
  • Support the Operational Centres, in co-operation with other HRT members and other advocacy units, to develop coherent MSF messages on the salient humanitarian concerns encountered in the field, and develop the strategies needed to pursue these issues in regional platforms.
  • Produce and disseminate relevant written material for internal or external briefings to convey MSF position as and when required.
  • Prepare, organize and facilitate meetings between MSF representatives and stakeholders within the region. Ensure that these are properly reported and shared in a timely manner.

Job requirements

Essential requirements

  • Substantial operational field experience with MSF (or similar INGO) at senior-level in a broad range of contexts (8+ years)
  • Solid knowledge of African society, culture, civil society, humanitarian and aid networks, and political systems including at least 5 years of professional experience in Africa
  • Strong public communications skills and diplomatic character
  • Excellent analytic capability and strong writing skills
  • Fluency in English (oral and written) and good knowledge of French (oral)
  • Ability to work independently; capacity to take initiatives and seize opportunities.
  • Availability to travel to both other MSF offices and field projects
  • Unwavering commitment to the aims and values of MSF
  • Strong time management and general organisational skills
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office

Desirable requirements

  • Fluency in French (oral and written)
  • From a medical, paramedical or Public Health background

The interviews will be in the second half of August


Deadline of applications: 25 July 2021

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.




Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

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