Communication Officer

To support its work from Brussels, the Communication department of the MSF Operational Centre Brussels is looking for a Communication Officer.


  • As part of the communications department based in Brussels, the “Combo” team works on information and strategic communication matters related to MSF operations in a number of countries managed by MSF’s Operational Centre of Brussels.
  • In this case, the Communications Officer position will be responsible for operational communications support to Cell 6, which currently manages the MSF projects in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Due to the nature of MSF operations in the region, the Communication Officer will work with a particular focus on the issue of HIV/AIDS advocacy and communications.
  • The Communications Officer is physically based in Johannesburg, in the MSF South Africa office. He/She travels at least twice a year to the Brussels office. He/She also travels regularly to project countries in the Southern Africa region.


  • The Communications Officer reports to the Communication & Audiovisual Coordinator based in Brussels.
  • For issues specifically relating to HIV/AIDS public advocacy, the Communications Officer works closely with the HIV/AIDS Advocacy coordinator based in the Program Unit of MSF SA. Priorities for HIV/AIDS communications support to advocacy are decided under the supervision of MSF South Africa’s General Director in collaboration with the Combo Coordinator.
  • The Communications Officer defines and implements operational communications strategies in coordination with the operations coordinator of Cell 6 in Brussels and the Heads of Mission in the field.
  • The Communications Officer is hosted by the MSF SA Communications team and collaborates closely with this team. He/she shares information to keep the communications team and office up to date on operational issues (Cell 6 countries) and sometimes gets or gives support to members of the South African communications team. Collaboration is partly meant to maximise the impact of MSF regional communications


  • Support and advise the teams managing operations at field and headquarters levels in their communications activities and strategies, provide a constant stream of information on these interventions, and help MSF continue exposing the medical humanitarian needs of the population it is helping;
  • Design and implement strategies for creating and enhancing understanding of and appreciation for MSF, its principles and its activities in the above mentioned countries;
  • Signal issues on which MSF should consider positioning itself publicly, based on its medical activities and observations, and help define strategies, messages and tools for communicating such issues;
  • Produce articles, press releases and other materials for MSF media, external media and social media on the activities overseen by Cell 6;
  • In collaboration with the HIV/AIDS Advocacy coordinator based in Johannesburg, develop and implement specific strategies for public communication to support HIV/AIDS advocacy efforts;
  • Liaise closely with other MSF sections involved as well as in-house departments (Southern African Medical Unit, the Analysis and Advocacy Unit and the Communication Department in Brussels, as well as MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines) that should be consulted on issues of public positioning;
  • Provide support to field communications officers in the region to develop communication strategies in the project countries;
  • Respond to communication needs following an emergency or crisis situation in the project countries;
  • Be the primary source of information (reactively and actively) for the wider MSF network on the activities in the above mentioned countries;
  • Cover temporarily for communication on other countries / topics in the absence of other colleagues or upon request of the Combo Coordinator.


To be considered for this vacancy, a candidate must demonstrate:

  • At least three years of professional experience in communication or international journalism;
  • Knowledge and understanding of how media function, internationally and on national or local levels;
  • Knowledge of MSF operational communications processes is a strong asset;
  • An experience in / good understanding of HIV/AIDS communication and / or advocacy;
  • Experience in Southern Africa;
  • Excellent English writing skills (which will be tested as part of the selection process);
  • Experience in productions of communications tools (written and multimedia);
  • Knowledge of social media;
  • A strong sense of initiative combined with team spirit;
  • Negotiation skills and ability to work with various interlocutors;
  • Availability to travel on short notice.


  • year contract (renewable) – Full-time - based in Johannesburg
  • Starting date: as soon as possible

Deadline for applications: 4 September 2013

Interested candidates should send a letter of motivation and curriculum vitae by e-mail to Marion Hugonny  -  - with the following reference: “Combo Cell 6 – job found on XXX (name of the channel where you found this vacancy).