Advocacy Officer

Location: Geneva
Duration: Long-term contract, Full-time position
Reporting to: Humanitarian Advocacy & Representation Coordinator


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.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.


The Humanitarian Advocacy and Representation Team (HART) provides support to the MSF operations through linkages and actions to and from external networks (political, humanitarian, medical, and civil society).  The HART maintains active relations with its network and continually informs the MSF operations of the relevant analysed information. The HART influences its network through specific actions for the benefit of the MSF programs and MSF operations’ goals.  In carrying out its actions, the HART responds to direct requests from the operational program managers (desks). Longer term positioning and actions are also co-ordinated within the HART team and again are directed by the MSF operations at the HQ level.

The HART maintains active and effective internal links to co-ordinate its work.  These include the reflection and advocacy centres of the operational sections, the Access campaign and partner sections (regarding their relations with their own host governments and regional networks – eg South Africa, Germany, China, Australia, etc.), International President, Secretary General, International Medical Secretary & Medical Co-ordinator, medical working groups + others as necessary. The HART interacts with the field missions of MSF (HoM level) in order to improve the overall quality of the support to operations, in particular through its regional positions, under the direction of the desk managers.

The HART is composed of 6 members under the international office (Geneva x 2, New York, Brussels, and 2 regional representations in the Middle East and Asia) and 5 members under partner sections (MSF UK, MSF USA, MSF South Africa, MSF Japan, MSF China).


The Advocacy Officer will be hierarchically and functionally accountable to the Humanitarian Advocacy & Representation Coordinator (Geneva, MSF International). The Advocacy Officer is part of the International Office and is a junior position within the HART composed of Representatives in Geneva, New York, Brussels, Hong Kong and Beirut.


The Advocacy Officer supports the HAR Coordinator and team in conducting all aspects of advocacy and humanitarian diplomacy activities for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from the International Office of MSF based in Geneva, Switzerland. The Advocacy Officer position combines administrative tasks in support to the HAR Coordinator, and attending external meetings on behalf of MSF and to develop contacts.


Support to representation

  • Arrange external meetings with advocacy targets from the United Nations, Permanent Missions to the UN, NGOs, Red Cross Red Crescent movement and other external actors based in Geneva.
  • Organize and maintain a calendar of external advocacy in support of MSF advocacy efforts.
  • Attend meetings, internal and external, upon request and rapidly write up minutes and/or meeting reports to ensure timely feedback to the HART and MSF operations.
  • Draft formal correspondence, including meeting requests and follow up letters to external contacts.
  • Research potential advocacy targets to assist the HART in developing relevant networks in support of MSF operational needs
  • Set up and maintain a database of external and internal HART contacts.
  • Go on short field visits when requested in support of operations.

Support for research

  • Conduct research on key operational issues or contexts in support of advocacy and networking activities as needed.
  • Edit or draft reports, interventions, speaking points and other documents upon request.
  • Monitor and track specific issues as assigned to ensure adequate follow up.
  • Ensure a proper follow up of archives.
  • Select and supervise volunteers and interns with planning, assigning and directing to work on specific administrative or research projects.

Support to coordination

  • Support HAR Coordinator in facilitating MSF operational coordination meetings as requested.
  • Support HAR Coordinator in facilitating coordination among the HART.
  • Any other support to the HAR Coordinator with the collaboration of the Administrative assistant upon request including administrative tasks.


  • Minimum 1 year directly relevant work experience plus Bachelor's degree (BA).
  • Knowledge of international humanitarian affairs.
  • Ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material, record information accurately and appropriately in the form of minutes, write complex correspondence and internal memos.
  • Strong computer literacy, including ability to use word processing and spreadsheet and database software and to search the internet for research purposes.
  • Outstanding proven time management and organizational skills.
  • Keen attention to details with ability to track multiple projects at one time.
  • Ability to prioritize ongoing versus immediate needs appropriately.
  • Excellent communications skills including fluent written and spoken English; French a major advantage.
  • Strong ability to develop contacts and to work under pressure and independently.
  • Excellent judgment, diplomacy, flexibility and patience.
  • Genuine commitment to MSF's humanitarian principles.

Starting date: 1 July 2015
Contract: Long term contract   100%
Location: Geneva
Deadline for applications: May 25 2015

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Advocacy Officer” in the title.

Please submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.