NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: Senegal
Organization: Médecins Sans Frontières
Closing date: 17 Jan 2021

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 five operational directorates supported by MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together worldwide. 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, Athens and decentralised 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.

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 a portfolio of countries. For this position, the CA will be supporting the operational Cell for West Africa known as Cell02 which is based in Dakar and is responsible for MSF OCBA’s regular projects/missions in Nigeria, Niger and Mali. The CA will also join a team of other CAs managing other portfolios of countries.
The post is based in Dakar, Senegal together with the OCBA cell and includes regular regional/international travel.
MSF OCBA leads and manages interventions in contexts with acute humanitarian needs during crises and/or where protracted conflicts deprive populations of access to health and other basic services. Its teams intervene following outbreaks of conflicts, diseases or natural disasters. 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 operations and the regional and field communication teams.

The CA core role is to advise the Operations staff 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.
Communications Strategy
 Together with the team in the cell unit and, jointly with the field coms teams working with the missions, 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;

  1. Advises and supports field communication teams in implementing and assessing impact of communications strategies -which contribute 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;
  2. Works closely with the OCBA Digital Advisor for operational communications to ensure operations and field communications 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;
  3. Liaises with CAs from other Operational Centers covering the same portolio of countries to inform and understand each others’ priorities, strategies and plans, collaborate when possible on joint initiatives and enable intersectional field communication resources to implement our respective activities -
  4. Works in collaboration with Advocacy Managers/Humanitarian Affairs Officers (HAOs), members of OCBA’s reflection and analysis team (ARHP) to contribute to MSF’s positioning and support advocacy efforts on topics and issues at stake in the countries covered according to the needs. -
  5. Works closely with the intersectional communications team based in Dakar (represented by the Regional Communications Manager and the Regional Field Digital Officer) 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.
    Communication Assessment, Analysis & Reporting
     Keeps abreast of the public discourse, debates, narratives around the countries/projects/issues of the portfolio to advise Operations on opportunities for public positioning that would contribute to achieving operational objectives.
     Contributes to assessing risks identified by operations 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 and overall contributes to reporting on OCBA’s operational communication unit’s goals and metrics linked to OCBA’s strategic orientations.
    Media & Crisis 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 Dakar regional communications teams as well as partner sections to maximize impact of the communication.
     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 Operations 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.
     In a crisis situation, provides advice to the desk and supports field coms teams in ensuring monitoring is in place, coms contingency plan (incl. scenarios, coms responses) is in place and relevant material is produced and shared for both internal and external communication.
  6. Field operations & Field Communications support
     Briefs and debriefs expatriates 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;
     As a technical referent, 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;
     Visits the field and together with the Field Communications staff, if in place, assesses communication needs, better understands the communications/media environment, defines communication priorities
    with the field and coordination teams and supports in developing key documents and material (e.g. a Country Communications Framework).
  7. Content Production
     Oversees quality of the production of communications by ensuring with field coms teams that proper preparation, implementation and dissemination is put in place (e.g. communication initiative framework, dissemination strategy, etc.);
     Ensures that communications strategies, action plans and materials created by Field Communications teams are consistent and compliant with MSF´s identity, international as well as diversity, equity and inclusion guidelines and standards as well as follow internal/intersectional validation procedures;
     Supports field coms teams in creating content for dissemination to the public or targeted audiences and for MSF and external platforms, including press releases, updates, opinion articles, social media content, reports, etc including facilitating support by production units either at HQ or regional levels;
     Contributes to- content for various MSF internal and external publications, such as the - International Annual Report, advocacy campaigns/reports, newsletters, etc.
    During field visits or in the absence of field communication teams, collects material (multimedia- photos, videos, etc.) and ensures production of content for internal and external dissemination.
  8. Other responsibilities
     Participates in the regular operational communication team and wider communication department meetings;
     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.
    Training and Experience
     Degree in communications, journalism, political science or other related degrees. Master’s degree is an asset.
     Minimum four years of professional experience in communications/ advocacy/ humanitarian affairs with an international NGO.
     Field experience with MSF or another humanitarian organization – highly desirable.
     Experience, interest and knowledge of the West Africa region and its different political/humanitarian stakes is an asset
     Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading in French and English.
     Good understanding of humanitarian interventions, their principles and ethics
     Knowledge and understanding of the media scene and how it functions internationally and regionally
     Track record of developing successful communication strategies
     Experience in production of communications tools (written and multimedia)
     Ability to analyze and synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce content
     Proven knowledge of digital and social media approaches and tools
     Ability to handle a large volume of work and know how to prioritize ongoing vs. immediate needs appropriately
     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.

     Commitment to MSF’s Principles
     Cross-cultural Awareness
     Behavioural Flexibility
     Analytical Thinking
     Strategic Vision
     Results and Quality Orientation
     Service Orientation
     Initiative and Innovation
     Teamwork and Cooperation

     Position based in the MSF Dakar, Senegal with expected travel to the Field/missions.
     Minimum commitment with the post of 3 years.
     Expected Starting date : Beginning of March 2021

    MSF OCBA is a people-focused humanitarian organization that offers a diverse, collaborative, and inclusive work environment. We believe this approach enhances our work and we are committed to equity in employment. We embrace diverse backgrounds of people working together to exhibit their passion in action for the social mission of MSF.
    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.

How to apply:

 To apply, please, follow the link and submit your CV and cover letter.
 Closing date: January 17th, 2021, 23:59 CET (Central European Time).

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