Advocacy Advisor

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Médecins Sans Frontières Suisse



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.

(Operational) Advocacy refers to the capacity to formulate and implement strategic initiatives, based on reliable data and evidence, in order to address medical and humanitarian issues faced by populations MSF brings medical and humanitarian assistance to. This can be done in various ways, by fostering change in others’ practices and policies, or under certain circumstances, by speaking out about the plight of populations in danger. It complements MSF’s medical interventions as a key component of MSF’s social mission and is fully anchored in operational strategies.

Over the last years, MSF Operations Center in Geneva (OCG) has set an ambition to further invest in advocacy and analytical capacity to reinforce the delivery of its social mission. Following this ambition, an “Advocacy Unit” was set up in the Operations Department, under the lead of one Head of Unit. It is currently composed of 3 advisors, in charge of priority contexts and specific thematic defined within Operations, in coordination with other key stakeholders such as the Medical Department.


Under the supervision of the Head of Advocacy Unit, and in close coordination with Programs Responsibles (RP), and acting as a sparring partner to them, the Advocacy Advisor is responsible for supporting missions and operational cells in analysis, development, and implementation of advocacy strategies in mission, and in the definition of OCG positioning on key issues.

At cell level, s/he primarily works with the RP, his/her deputy (ARP), the Medical Program Responsible (RMP), the Communication Advisor (CA).

S/he interacts with mission team (especially Field Advocacy staff, Head of Mission, Medical Coordinator, Communication Manager) on issues related to analysis, advocacy and positioning.  S/he acts as a technical referent to field advocacy staff.  S/he interacts as well with analysis and negotiation advisors.

Under the supervision of the Head of Advocacy Unit s/he is the guardian of the implementation of MSF OCG Advocacy Framework and participates in moving forward the advocacy agenda within the organization.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Ensuring MSF OCG operational advocacy framework is respected, and in close collaboration with operational, medical and communication teams, and the advocacy unit, s/he:

Acts as a sparring partner to RPs/ARPs and the Heads of Mission on analysis, advocacy and positioning issues/efforts:

  • Provides strategic inputs to RPs/ARPs and Heads of Missions (and other cell and mission members, especially medical and communication function) on political context, humanitarian affairs, health concerns, advocacy engagement and positioning issues.
  • Leads and supports on the process of information gathering (political and/or context) and documentation to strengthen contextual and humanitarian analysis and advocacy responses.
  • Provides field operations with political and contextual analysis shaping the humanitarian and health landscapes and issues MSF wants to leverage or influence, bringing in the regional dynamic when needed.
  • Leads and advises the field on the process of gathering, analyzing and synthesis of information/data.
  • Promote coherence between advocacy and negotiation efforts.
  • Contributes to the development of the mission strategy as a key member of a cell.

Supports the development and implementation of mission advocacy strategies under her/his portfolio:

  • Leads, with cells and mission teams, the identification of key advocacy issues of concern.
  • Leads and supports missions in the development (and implementation) of realist advocacy strategies.
  • Acts as a technical referent on advocacy issues for both cells and missions (i.e., data collection and methodology, analysis and advocacy tools, etc.) to strengthen evidence-based advocacy responses.
  • Leads and supports the process to conduct research to help address country specific or thematic humanitarian/medical issues and brings inside (or outside) expertise as appropriate.
  • Leads and supports the drafting of position papers, briefing documents, and public reports.
  • Specifically engages and support field advocacy staff as an advocacy technical referent and provides them with all the necessary technical support needed.
  • Undertakes field visits as needed, to support and monitor the development of advocacy strategies.
  • Follows advocacy HR planning and resource allocation under her/his portfolio.
  • Ensures that all advocacy efforts are done in coordination and collaboration with operational, medical, communication and negotiation teams.
  • Promotes and encourages coherent external engagement for pushing advocacy strategies defined and liaise with the MSF Humanitarian Representation Team and other MSF sections when necessary.
  • Represents MSF OCG for external engagement under the request of missions/cells/direction of operations.
  • Acts as the guardian of MSF OCG advocacy framework.

Participates actively, and in a collective manner, in defining MSF OCG positioning on key issues linked to her/his portfolio

  • Provides expertise and strategic inputs to cells and missions on key positioning issues, under the leadership of the RP.
  • Works in close collaboration with the operational line, medical team, Strategic communication advisors and negotiation advisors in the development of relevant MSF OCG positioning issues and coherent ways of dissemination.
  • Engages with experts on specific and relevant medical and humanitarian issues throughout the MSF movement for feeding cell and mission’s reflection on key operational and positioning issues.

As member of the Advocacy Unit, participates in the development of the advocacy agenda with MSF OCG

  • Follows up the evolution of the humanitarian and health sectors and policies and liaises with relevant external and internal experts accordingly.
  • Develops and implement advocacy learning and training plans within MSF OCG.
  • Ensures the development of the advocacy filière within MSF OCG.
  • Ensures the development and improvement of advocacy tools within MSF OCG.

Your Profile


  • Master’s degree in social sciences, international relations, political sciences, global/public health, international law, or equivalent.

Experience and Skills

  • At least 5 years of experience with international organizations in the humanitarian sector in fields related to MSF work (e.g., humanitarian action, health sector, protection, etc.)
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of the current issues and trends in the humanitarian and medical sectors.
  • At least 2 years field experience in humanitarian affairs or advocacy roles in the humanitarian field, preferably with MSF.
  • Experience in conducting research / methodologies of data collection and analysis.
  • Experience in coordination / advisory / coaching / mentoring roles is a plus.
  • Strong analytical capacity and ability to translate complex analysis into concise, clear, and actionable conclusions and recommendations
  • High Advocacy expertise, strategic thinking capacity, strong writing skills
  • Capacity to facilitate collective discussions and drive learning events


  • Fluent in English and French understanding. A 3rd language is an advantage.

Personal Abilities

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Flexible
  • Team player
  • Sense of humor
  • Ability to work independently

Terms of Employment

  • Open-ended contract
  • Full-Time, 100%
  • Working place: Geneva.
  • Ideal start date: April 1st, 2023
  • Gross annual salary: from CHF 91’663.- to CHF 105’179.- (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 English.

Deadline for application is February 5th, 2023


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, origins, 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.