Health Information System (HIS) IT Support Officer, London, MSF UK

Department: HIS Team / MSF UK ICT Department

Hours: 40 hours / week

Reports to: HIS Project Lead

Location: London

Duration: 2 year fixed-term contract with possibility of extension

Salary:  £34,657 up to £36,768 per annum plus generous benefits


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. These programmes are run through five operational centres. MSF UK works is part of Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA), a partnership between MSF Holland, MSF UK and MSF Germany.

The new Health Information System (HIS) is a multi-year project which aims to upgrade the existing Excel-based HIS in all missions across MSF OCA’s portfolio within the next three years.

The HIS upgrade project is anchored in the Medical Goal of the MSF OCA Strategic Plan 2015-2019. In order to cover evolving needs regarding program monitoring and patient management in our programs, the new system will provide a platform for improved data entry as well as for easy and timely data visualization and analysis, at field and HQ levels.

The project uses the agile development methodology and is split in 2 releases, which will deliver functional products to the organisation. The software development phase for release 1 started in November 2015, with the first field pilot in May 2016 and first deployment planned for November/December 2016. Development for release 2 is planned to begin in early 2017.


The HIS project team is currently composed of a Project Manager and a Project Administrator. The team is soon to expand to include: a HIS IT Support Officer, a HIS Medical Content Officer, a HIS Training Officer and HIS Field Implementation Officers. The team members are located in the Berlin and London offices.

The HIS IT Support Officer will work closely with the HIS Medical Content Officer who is being recruited at the same time. The two positions will form the HIS support team for users both in HQ and in the field.  

The HIS IT Support Officer will also be part of MSF UK’s ICT Team which is in the process of being restructured in order to answer to the new challenges and opportunities. As per MSF UK/IE’s strategic plan, there are high ambitions for ICT to move from a function that exists to support the UK office to a function with ambitions to play a leading role in both the OCA and across the international MSF movement. The newly agreed ICT strategy across the OCA has explicitly set up the UK as the “Centre of Excellence/Expertise” for the OCA across identity management, the development and rollout of Microsoft applications, and ICT innovation. 


The HIS IT Support Officer will be the person responsible for the technical support and maintenance of the software platforms comprising the Health Information System for MSF-OCA. The upgraded HIS will use a server-based architecture consisting of central server instances functioning as a data repository, as well as local servers in our field projects located in more than 30 countries. The main platforms used are DHIS2 and openMRS.

The HIS IT Support Officer will be expected to travel to other MSF offices and our field projects, when required, to participate in meetings or provide support to users.

There will also be training opportunities for professional development and to keep up to date with the trends and latest thinking in the area of specialism.


Key results areas:

Administration and maintenance of HIS central and field servers

  • Maintain and update/upgrade all centrally hosted server instances/virtual machines. They are hosted on Linux operating systems and include application (Tomcat), database (PostgreSQL), reverse proxy and monitoring servers. Apart from the production environment, additional instances are used for backups, testing and training purposes.
  • Be in charge of automation frameworks providing update/upgrade packages for provision of the field servers.
  • Remotely manage and monitor field server instances, conducting field visits when required.
  • Manage the hardware (servers, laptops, tablets) required for field deployments, including initial setup and software updates
  • Collaborate with the infrastructure and field support teams in OCA’s IT department, for communicating non-functional requirements of the HIS system, aligning technologies used and ensuring adherence to OCA’s IT guidelines and policy.

Technical support to end users

  • Identify and resolve customer software problems, software failures, and complex problems which require independent action to correct and/or prevent.
  • Provide level 2 & 3 technical support to users and forward level 4 support requests to external partners (helpdesk).
  • Provide technical support to the field ICT officers during and after the deployment of the system.

Training and support to field implementation teams

  • Train the field implementation teams before the deployment phase of the HIS upgrade.
  • Provide technical support to the field implementation teams during deployment.

Collaboration with external partners

  • Participate in regular meetings with external development partners.
  • Initiate and develop internal and external contacts and networks, notably with:
    • MSF intersectional HIS platform: Teams from other MSF operational centres (5 in total) for information exchange, aligning technical approaches where applicable, identifying topics with collaboration potential
    • Hosting providers
    • Members of software platform communities, notably DHIS 2 and openMRS
  • Maintain relationships over time in order to seek areas for improvement and influence events or decisions.

Integration of medical IT innovation projects within the HIS

  • Provide technical advice to medical IT innovation projects with the potential for integration with the HIS

This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organisation. This job description does not form part of the contract of employment.


Knowledge, skills and expertise


  • Degree in information technologies or equivalent professional training
  • Proficient in setup and administration of Linux systems, including scripting
  • Proficient in setup and administration of Tomcat and PostgreSQL servers
  • Proficient in setup and administration of network infrastructure (distributed networks, VPNs, reverse proxies)
  • Demonstrable experience in a professional environment fulfilling duties and responsibilities equivalent to the ones mentioned in this document
  • SQL programming language skills
  • Strong team-working skills and experience, particularly in a matrix management environment
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to transfer knowledge effectively and train users on new systems
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision and under pressure
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, multi-task, be target-oriented and manage time well
  • Resilience and ability to cope with ambiguity
  • Willing to travel internationally (other MSF offices) and spend time in the field projects when required
  • Fluent in English, written and spoken


  • Previous experience in managing and deploying large IT systems
  • Experience with automation platforms, e.g. Ansible
  • Experience with helpdesk tools
  • Experience with the DHIS 2 and openMRS platforms
  • Skills in HTML, CSS, Javascript, Java
  • Understanding of the health care industry
  • French language skills

Candidates must hold an appropriate passport or permit to work in the UK

Last updated: November 2016


For further information about MSF UK, our application and recruitment process, as well as information on benefits and terms and conditions, please visit our website here:

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Theo Krommydakis on

Application checklist

Please check that you have included the following in your application:

  • an up-to-date CV
  • Letter of Motivation, which is a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the key requirements of the role

Recruitment timetable:

  • Closing date for applications: 11 December 2016
  • Interviews: 14-16 December 2016
  • Preferred start date: 1 January 2017