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Ärzte ohne Grenzen: Advocacy Advisor (m/f), 9.10.

I. General introduction
The overall purpose of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is to preserve life and alleviate suffering, while protecting human dignity and seeking to restore the ability of people to make their own decisions. MSF accomplishes this through the provision of medical aid and a personal commitment to act as witness to events surrounding populations in danger. This work is essentially performed in periods of crisis, when a situation is no longer held in
balance and the very survival of a population may be threatened. The underlying basis for realising MSF’s objectives is respect for medical ethics, humanitarian principles, human rights and international humanitarian law.

In the Operations Centre Amsterdam (OCA), MSF-Germany, Holland and the UK are sharing ownership and responsibility for Operations in field missions. Three of the operational portfolios in OCA plus the Emergency Desk are managed from Amsterdam, while two portfolios are run from Berlin. In addition, a medical unit (Manson Unit) is based in London. Each portfolio of countries is supported by a team of Advisers (the Operational Support Team, OST), led by the OM. The Advocacy Adviser is part of the OST.

The advocacy work of MSF is rooted in contexts in which violence, abuse, and political neglect fuel extensive medical and humanitarian crises. In Central African Republic, South Sudan, or Chad, violence against civilians and forced displacement take place against the backdrop of extremely limited state health services. Malaria, malnutrition, and measles continue to claim lives every year. People fleeing conflict, violence and persecution face a choice between life in refugee camps where assistance provided by aid agencies is often below standards, and the perils of travel to seek asylum in countries with increasingly restrictive policies that often render people vulnerable to smuggling and trafficking networks.

In Central Asia and Southern Africa, entire populations are threatened by the ongoing TB pandemic and the emergency of resistant strains for which effective treatment is not available. Diseases which are not profitable for the pharmaceutical industry (e.g., sleeping sickness) continue to be neglected in their diagnosis and treatment, claiming lives every year.

The work of MSF must navigate a complex political landscape. The rise of extremist violence; the increase in control and restrictions by hosting states; attacks against health care personnel; and the ongoing manipulation of both aid supplies and the humanitarian discourse by political and military leaders are all challenges that threaten our ability to operate effectively in many countries (e.g., Syria, Somalia, Pakistan).

II. Terms of Reference:
Job title:  Advocacy Advisor (m/f)
Job location:  MSF-Germany, Berlin
Job dimension: 100% (40 hours per week)
Starting Date:  asap
Duration:  two year contract, extension possible
Salary:  maximum gross starting salary of 3.971 €, according to group 5 of MSF-Germany’s internal salary system and depending on relevant
work experience, plus 13th salary
Deadline:  applications can be handed in until 9 th of October 2016

The Advocacy Advisor is a member of the OCA Humanitarian Affairs team, with Advisors in Amsterdam and Berlin reporting to the Head of Advocacy & Operational Communications in Amsterdam S/he is also a member of the Operational Support team based in Berlin, led by the Operational Manager in Berlin. Nine OCA missions are managed from Berlin: Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Russia, Swaziland, Uzbekistan/Tajikistan and Zimbabwe, as well as the Mobile HAT (sleeping sickness) Team. The Advocacy Advisor would be providing support principally, but not solely, to the missions in this portfolio.

The position is based at Berlin headquarters but travels frequently to the field (up to 40% of the time). Regular presence in Amsterdam is also required for line management supervision, planning, and fluid engagement with the advocacy team.


The work of the Advocacy Advisor in Berlin will include both support to MSF operations in key countries and thematic work.

Country support includes:

  • Supporting the desk and field teams in identifying critical medical and humanitarian concerns based on a shrewd political, contextual, health policy and systems analysis;
  • Leading the development and implementation of advocacy strategies to address the issues identified and leverage a positive change for the patients and communities which MSF serves;
  • Acting as a sparring partner to the Country Management Team and Operational Manager on protection issues, humanitarian principles and organizational positioning;
  • Advising the field on the process of the gathering, analyzing and synthesizing information/data to support advocacy goals
  • Providing functional management, guidance and support for humanitarian affairs officers (HAOs) posted in the field
  • Drafting of letters, position papers, briefing documents, reports, etc.

Thematic work includes:

  • Working with the Humanitarian Affairs / Advocacy team in identifying and developing key humanitarian and health advocacy themes for MSF, writing papers, organizing discussions;
  • Monitors trends in the field of humanitarian and medical action and stimulate thinking and responses in collaboration with the Public Health Department and Operations
  • Sharing MSF thinking and analysis through attending debates, workshops and conferences, writing articles and making presentations;
  • Developing and maintaining relevant networks, bringing relevant thinking into the organisation;
  • Conduct regular trainings for field staff on humanitarian affairs and advocacy.


  • Extensive experience on advocacy in the field of humanitarian action, protection, and health;
  • Academic background in both humanitarian and health areas relevant to MSF’s work, such as international human rights & humanitarian law, refugees & forced migration,international public health, health policy, health systems, health economics. A Masters degree in a health-related field is desirable;
  • Strong analytical and advisory skills;
  • Proven ability to provide strong leadership and vision on humanitarian affairs issues and advocacy objectives;
  • Ability to translate complex contexts and summarize the core elements into analysis with clear conclusions and recommendations;
  • Knowledge/experience of current issues relating to international health and access to medicines and healthcare;
  • Ability to understand medical data and epidemiological analysis;
  • Familiarity with the functioning of health systems, financing mechanisms, and decision making processes;
  • Excellent communication and training skills;
  • Ability to travel to the field for periods of up to 6 weeks;
  • Proven excellence in written English (published reports, position papers, etc.);
  • Fluency in English and good working knowledge of French; Arabic an advantage;
  • Sense of humor, good team-player, flexible, ability to work independently and under pressure;
  • Affinity with the principles and objectives of MSF’s work;
  • Significant field experience with MSF in a coordination position is desirable.

We offer

  • A German employment contract for two years with a full-time appointment based on 5 days per week, with the option for renewal
  • A gross monthly salary in group 5 between € 3.138,– and € 3.971,– depending upon work experience
  • Other benefits include 30 holidays and a 13th month salary.
  • A stimulating, professional working environment in an international organisation.


  • For more information about this position, please contact Gina Bark + 31 20 520 8726 or after 1 st September, Hernan del Valle (Head of Advocacy & Communications, Amsterdam): +31 20 520 8761
  • For more information about the labour terms and conditions please contact Sylvana Pikowski, HR Berlin, +49-30-700130216

We offer a very interesting position in a highly dynamic field with a strong and motivated team. We are looking forward to reading your application.

All queries and applications will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Please submit your complete written application in English (incl. letter of motivation, CV and certificates) by E-Mail and integrate all documents in
1 file (pdf welcome).

Additionally we kindly ask you to answer to the following 3 questions (max. 200 words each):
1. Based on information publicly available on Syria, what are the most acute medical and humanitarian issues you can identify for an organization like MSF? Explain your logic.

2. MSF works in a remote rural clinic in an area of active conflict between the central government and armed opposition forces. Cases of alleged torture and sexual violence present frequently in MSF clinics. MSF received a request from the Ministry of Justice to submit patients’ files in order to facilitate the investigation of crimes. What are your considerations in this case? What is your advice to the MSF team?

3. MSF works in a country where measles outbreaks are increasingly common, costing hundreds of lives each year. MSF surveys show vaccination coverages of 30% in areas where the government reports 97% coverage. Routine vaccination, funded by WHO and several international donors, is hampered by lack of adequate logistics and staffing in state run clinics. What should MSF do to leverage change? Who are the key stakeholders who can influence this situation? How should MSF engage with them and for what purpose in each case?

The deadline for applications is 9 th October 2016.

Ärzte ohne Grenzen e.V.
Human Resources
Sylvana Pikowski
Am Köllnischen Park 1, 10179 Berlin

Zu finden unter https://www.aerzte-ohne-grenzen.de/sites/germany/files/attachments/2016_ops_advocacy_advisor_berlin_2.pdf

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