Sahel Communications Officer (SCO)
Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva
Mission & Context
The Sahel Communications Officer strategically supports Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Centre Geneva (OCG) as an all-round communications specialist on a “flying” contract, in the different countries of the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, where OCG is currently operating (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria). Communicating about MSF work, the people MSF assists and the crises has a core element of MSF’s identity. The objective of the position is to coordinate and implement operational communication projects in the region according to MSF standards in the missions/ or during an emergency.
The focus of the work is a blend of strategy and implementation to support Operations and Communications staff on strategic and reactive communications based on a good understanding of the changing communications environment, and to both develop and implement plans and content to reach objectives.
The Sahel Communication Officer (SCO) reports to OCG’s Strategic Communications Advisor (Dakar based) and has functional relations with the MSF OCG Cell based in Dakar, Heads of Mission and Emergency Coordinators in field missions/projects. Upon request of the OCG Strategic Communications Advisor based in Dakar, she/he takes any specific project and location.
MSF OCG cell in Dakar lead and manage interventions in contexts with acute humanitarian needs at the outset of crises and when an immediate and often massive response is needed. Its teams can intervene following outbreaks of conflicts, diseases or natural disasters, or reinforce existing missions facing a steep increase in activities. In these crucial moments, MSF needs to reinforce public communication in support of our operations. Communications activities may focus on engagement with the populations we assist in addition to media, civil society and political actors in our zones of intervention. Activities may also target global audiences through media and social media with the goal of raising awareness of the impact of the crisis and humanitarian stakes for our supporters and donors. The Sahel Communications Officer will be a focal point on the ground for OCG and may at times play an intersectional role.
Tasks and Responsibilities
The focus of the work is a blend of strategy and implementation to support Operations and Communications staff on strategic and reactive communications based on a good understanding of the changing communications environment, and to both develop and implement plans and content to reach objectives. S/he facilitates external communication with the media and public as well as internal communication. S/he contributes to MSF’s global awareness, acceptance and visibility.
The Sahel Communication Officer covers temporarily for other field communications staff and/or Strategic Communications Advisors or, upon request of the Head of Operational Communications on other countries or topics. S/he is permanently ‘on-call’ to cover emergency communications needs, and may fulfill inter-sectional roles when requested.
- University degree in journalism, communications, international relations or social science.
- Master’s degree in a relevant subject or studies or training in communications techniques and media relations, particularly in an emergency setting.
- At least five years’ experience in an organization involved in information and communications projects related to humanitarian crises and response relief interventions, or as a journalist or in a media organization (television, radio and/or print), at national or international level with an experience in communicating in challenging contexts;
- Excellent writing and editing skills including ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce content for publication;
- Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF;
- NGOs experience is a strong asset;
- Knowledge or understanding of MSF mandate and goals in emergency response relief or experience in similar positions in the international development or humanitarian sectors;
- Experience in planning and implementing communications strategies in an emergency setting, including behavioral change and media communications;
- Ability to develop, implement and evaluate communications strategies in emergencies;
- Proven skills in the development and implementation of communications products and tactics, including relations with the press, digital and media;
- Demonstrated diplomatic and negotiation skills to work among highly stressed colleagues in a fast paced environment;
- Excellent interpersonal skills complemented by the ability to conceptualize ideas and promote consensus;
- Knowledge of the impact of emergencies and crises on people;
- Ability to propose creative solutions and to make innovative proposals as related to communication at the local community and global levels;
- Tact, discretion and diplomacy;
- Demonstrated understanding of digital and social media;
- Excellent presentation skills, with proven ability to write in French and English in a clear and concise manner.
- Excellent communication and writing skills in French and English
- Other languages are strong assets
- Communicating in a credible and effective way;
- Producing results;
- Moving forward in a changing environment;
- Tenacity and positive attitude.
Terms of Employment
- Fixed-term contract, 12 months (possible extension)
- Full-time, 100% (40h/week)
- Working place : Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva
- Practical working conditions in the field are in accordance with the MSF OCG volunteer manual.
- Ideal start date: September 1st, 2022
- Gross monthly salary: CHF 5’500.- based on 100%
- Benefits: Health insurance and living expenses in the countries of intervention and at headquarters, paid according to internal regulations.
How to apply
Candidates submit their application following the requirements: CV 2 p. max. – letter of motivation 1p. max. – in French or English.
Deadline for application is July 24th, 2022
The applications will be treated confidentially.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.
We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.
MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.