Medical Advisor – Patients and Populations as Partners (PPP)

Medical Advisor – Patients and Populations as Partners (PPP)

Echéance : 25/06/2023


Médecins sans Frontières Suisse


Context & Mission

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent humanitarian organization providing medical aid to victims of man-made or natural disasters, epidemics and endemics. Its Operational Centre in Geneva is responsible for medical assistance programmes in 24 countries. In the MSF Operational Centre of Geneva (OCG), the steering and implementation of programmes is under the responsibility of an Operations Department, which includes direct medical support to project implementation ensuring fundamentals are reached in all projects. The development of technical and/or strategic solutions adapted to complex medical challenges faced in projects, or to fulfill chosen medical ambitions, is under the responsibility of a Medical Department. Collaborative work between the two departments is considered a cornerstone for the organisation to improve the general quality of its projects and the level of care for patients.

In 2013, an internal review led to the endorsement of a new frame for medical support inside OCG, leading to further emphasize the Medical Departments role in the following key areas:

  • Being at the vanguard of evolving trends, new challenges, and technologies in the field of medical practice and science and linked with external clinical, academic and research institutions
  • Providing technical capacities to fulfil the medical ambitions of the 2020-2023 OCG Strategic Plan, those in relation to the Operational Policy, innovation, and research
  • Addressing the project support needs in their response to medical and public health challenges, with the required flexibility and adaptation of priorities when facing emergencies or difficult conflict situations
  • Creating a better integrated work between Operations and the Medical department through collaborative work platforms, focusing on precise medical operational challenges, selection of standards and improvement of practices.

The role of the Medical Department also includes, in relation with other involved departments, a critical role on knowledge transmission to project medical staff through adapted trainings and fast access to key reference documents/tools, as well as recruitment strategies. Medical Advisors will be working in the Medical Department.

Through delegation from the Medical Leader and based on the roadmap established for the period, the Medical Advisor develops medico-operational solutions requiring specific medical skills and/or in-depth investment, answering to recognized needs set in the medical ambitions. In that perspective, he/she is proactively monitoring emerging scientific and medical issues that might shape OCG medical practices and ambitions.


The Patients and Populations as Partners (PPP) Advisor actively contributes to the achievement of OCG PPP objectives and ambitions by overseeing the technical and quality aspects of a ‘Patients and Populations as Partners’ approach to project management, providing timely technical guidance and strategic/ programmatic advice, and leading the review, development, and adjustment of the different PPP approach tools tailored to the different context. To this aim:

  • Support to the different RMPs with regards to complex technical issues linked to the “Patients and Populations as Partners’ approach, and with strategic and programmatic advice
  • Provide direct and timely support to project teams by responding to complex and technical issues requiring guidance and/or development
  • Strengthen the skills and competencies of MSF staff in projects and HQ, through capacity building for integrating a PPP approach
  • Develop technical skills and capacities related to PPP and integrate external knowledge into MSF practices
  • Support the implementation of innovation and operational research projects

Following the Patients and Population as Partner framework, support teams activities through technical and pedagogic support with:

  • Strategic Integration (SI) refers to activities in which a combination of methods are applied, in order to promote and emphasize among HQ, mission and project teams, the essential role of the Patients and Populations as Partners approach in all phases of project management (from exploration/conceptualization to closure/exit/handover).
  • Community Engagement (CE) refers to activities implemented in MSF projects to improve the understanding and engagement of communities towards health issues, risk explosure, prevention measures and to enhance adapted health seeking behaviour and their empowerment. It concerns the general population with a specific focus on people experiencing higher levels of vulnerability or those traditionally excluded from care .
  • Health Promotion (HP) refers to activities implemented in MSF projects to improve the understanding and engagement of communities towards health issues, risk exposure, prevention measures and to enhance adapted health seeking behaviour and their empowerment. It concerns the general population with a specific focus on people experiencing higher levels of vulnerability or those traditionally excluded from care.
  • Patient Therapeutic Education (PTE) refers to activities in which a combination of methods is applied, to optimize patient’s health outcomes and quality of life through developing patient (and their caretaker, family) competences to live with disease and empowering patients’ self-management.

Your Profile


  • Diploma in Anthropology, Public Health, Management, Education, Medical or Paramedical
  • Specialization in co-design and participatory approaches
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered
  • Strong experience on therapeutic education (master degree is an asset)


  • Minimum 5 years of project level and/or HQ experience with MSF or another humanitarian organization.
  • Experience in transversal project management.
  • Complex or emergency project work experience is an asset.
  • Proven affinity with advocacy.
  • Experience working with underserved populations or those traditionally excluded from/lack access to (health)care services.


  • Fluent in English (oral and written), high function in French
  • Other languages (Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, others) an asset

Personal Abilities

  • Demonstrates a strong commitment and support for diversity, inclusiveness and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.
  • Excellent ability to lead teams in a multicultural environment.
  • Versatile: able to act and interact within various domains and areas of expertise.
  • Reactive: acts in response to requests and can adjust an approach, as needed, for different contexts
  • Flexible: capable of responding to changing agendas and ability to work under stress.
  • Problem solving focus and action oriented.
  • Strong interpersonal, networking, and communication skills.
  • Ability to train and transfer his/her knowledge and competencies.
  • Able to travel.

Skills/ Technical competencies

  • Understanding of medical humanitarian work with regards to the medical-technical aspects and its political scope
  • Experience in project or program management, including development of Monitoring & Evaluation (or MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning)) frameworks
  • Ability to analyze medical and structural issues
  • Critical reading and writing skills.

Terms of Employment

  • Full-time position 100% (40h/week)
  • Open-ended contract
  • Working place: 50% Geneva, 50% in the field,
  • Ideal start date: October 2nd, 2023
  • Gross annual salary: from CHF 101’172.- to CHF 115’332.- (salary commensurate with equivalent experience and internal salary grid)

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 June 25th, 2023. Nevertheless, we reserve the right to close the position early if we consider the number and quality of applications received to be sufficient.


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.