Medical Advisor – Patients and Populations as Partners (PPP)

Medical Advisor – Patients and Populations as Partners (PPP)

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

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.

  • Answers questions and provides feedback on proposals, reports and relevant documents needing specific technical input (e.g., PoA).
  • Involvement in project definition regarding technical medical issues in view of a PPP approach.
  • Participation in assessments and surveys whenever the PPP advisor’s technical input is needed.
  • Development of proposals for medico-operational strategies on critical challenges encountered in applying the PPP approach to the design, implementation, and management of projects in different contexts.
  • Follows up data and reports on his/her thematic activities provided by the project teams and the cells.
  • Technical project visits.

Provide direct and timely support to project teams by responding to complex and technical issues requiring guidance and/or development:

  • Support project teams by answering direct questions, if identified as the best medical team advisor in the provided list of technical advisors.
  • Develop solutions (e.g., protocols, algorithms, training modules, minimum standards, innovative tools, guidelines, checklists, and kits as appropriate) that are timely, relevant, contextual, concerted, consolidated and consistent.
  • Translate medical operational requests in projects by providing analysis and advice to improve: the requirements, definition, term of references, objectives, deliverables, planning, project implementation, collaboration with contributors (HQ, regional, partnerships), project committees and risks definition.
  • Lead or animate thematic forums, collaborative platforms, and medical seminars; contribute to transversal projects.
  • Whenever developing tools, adapt and contextualize them to be more consistent with the reality faced by populations living in project areas.
  • Draft medical reports on all achievements for his/her projects and domain.

Strengthen the skills and competencies of MSF staff in projects and HQ, through capacity building for integrating a PPP approach:

  • Facilitate online access for staff to all fundamental documents (knowledge management).
  • Contribute to the definition, design, validation, implementation and/or evaluation of specific training(s) in collaboration with the Learning and Development (L&D) Unit.
  • Support to the definition of job profiles and competencies.
  • Briefing and debriefing, if appropriate.

Develop technical skills and capacities related to PPP and integrate external knowledge into MSF practices:

  • Develop good synergies and collaborations through the coordination and animation of partnerships and the maintenance of networks both internal or external to MSF including medical societies, research and scientific institutes and universities, groups or organizations of experts with lived experiences etc.
  • Identify new and innovative topics in the medical humanitarian context particularly in the fields of co-design, patient centred and participatory approaches, and shared governance models, to update OCG’s health and medical ambitions.
  • Overview and analyze his/her own domain through capitalization of medical experiences.
  • Selection, compilation, and classification of relevant documentation as part of the Knowledge Management Project and beyond it.
  • Ensure technical surveillance and adapt/integrate external knowledge to MSF contexts.
  • Enable and contribute to high level advocacy to enhance OCG chosen agendas in different contexts.

Support the implementation of innovation and operational research projects:

  • Properly identify MSF added value, compared with existing resources and capacities in their medical domain, to initiate development and research projects.
  • Participate in development of project objectives and protocols. Define, analyze, capitalize, document, develop the internal appropriation, publish, and disseminate OCG medical experience.
  • Promote medical policies and the different strategies related to it.
  • Exchange, provide and receive technical support and advice to and from the different departments or technical advisors to complement their area of domain.
  • Participate in design, writing, and review of publications submitted by project teams.

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: May 2nd, 2024
  • 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 March 3rd, 2024.

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.