International Communications Project Manager, Geneva

Location: Geneva

Contract: Replacement during maternity leave - 6 months, Full time position

Reporting to: International Communications Coordinator

MSF experience: Prior MSF experience required


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 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, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


MSF has an ambitious vision over the coming years to expand and strengthen MSF field based communications and optimise the strategic use of our resources and production capacities in order to maximise the timeliness and relevance of our external communications and avoid gaps and duplication in our production.  This new position will be a key stone in shaping these goals.

The International Communications Project Manager position has been created to coordinate strategically MSF communications resources and tools, particularly in support of our field based communications. This includes using multidisciplinary communications expertise and talent present in MSF movement in an optimised way; mobilising support from MSF sections to meet our field based communication needs;  providing analysis on the use and efficacy of communications tools; and supporting the drive and implementation of prioritised communications projects / dossiers managed by the International Office (IO) communications team. The International Communications Project Manager provides the day to day management of the IO communication team who are in charge of international communications tools such as, the international activity report, etc.

The International Communications Project Manager has four main areas of work:

  1. Overview and mapping of communications resources in the movement to help the strategic coordination of resources in support of MSF field communications
  2. Monitoring and analysing the output (via List_Press), and impact of communications tools within the MSF movement and externally
  3. Daily management of the IO communication team, giving guidance to team members
  4. Drive forward and ensure the successful implementation of specific priority projects delegated by the International Communications Coordinator based on priorities defined by the communications coordinators and/or the directors of communication


The interim International Communications Project Manager reports to the International Communication Coordinator.

He/she is part of the International Office communications team and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The International Communications Coordinator works with the MSF operational centres and the larger DirCom network on building MSF communications policies and institutional positioning. The International Communications Coordinator ensures that these policies are also reflected in the overall objectives of the International office communications team and the projects they manage such as, the International activity report, etc.

The International Communications Project Manager supports the International Communications Coordinator with the strategic coordination of communications resources across the movement, where this is needed, in order to help improve our operational and institutional communications. This includes the daily management of the IO communications team.

He/she works closely with the other members of the IO communications team, providing them with daily guidance and follow up support for their work as needed. He/she has regular contact and collaboration with communication staff in MSF sections and in the field.


The below objectives and responsibilities are the ones of the International Communications Project Manager who will be on maternity leave. They are subject to changes and might be adjusted for the 6 months replacement.

The International Communications Project Manager helps coordinate MSF communications resources and expertise in the movement to mobilise support for our institutional and operational communications priorities as defined by the International Communications Coordinator with the DirCom5 and CoCo platforms.


Daily management of the MSF International Office communications team  in Geneva, and Brussels (five people)

  • Daily management of the members of the International office communications team giving guidance to team members, encouraging greater transversal work habits...
  • Follow up and support of team members from other offices who have been seconded to international communication initiatives;
  • Stimulate coherence and collaboration across the IO communication team, and between team members and the broader communication network of MSF;
  • Support the team in the implementation of Plan of Action 2016
  • Organise weekly team calls and follow up individually with each staff to support them on the projects they manage.
  • Provide  support in online posting and writing as needed (website, @MSF)
  • When needed, also helps provide weekly operational communications updates (CWA).

Overview and mapping of communications resources in support of MSF field communications

  • Coordinate the emergency communications pool composed of communications staff from MSF offices. This includes keeping the planning of availabilities up to date, making sure there are no gaps on the field.
  • Liaise with MSF offices to coordinate back office support for field communications officers in priority contexts when this is lacking.
  • Supervise the consultant in charge of 1 year evaluation of MSF Connect (April / May 2016).
  • Ensure that communications tools, guidelines and templates are updated and easily available for all operational communication staff in the field and in HQ (guidelines for PRs, interviews, crisis infos, QandAs, crisis communication management checklist, emergency communication tools, and templates for leaflets, public crisis updates, etc.) This also includes overseeing the use of MSF connect (internal social media platform) and helping to lead the 1 year evaluation of the tool.
  • As a member of the Intersectional Comms Pool  (based in MSF UK) steering committee member, contribute to the piloting of the pool and maintains links with MSF offices for transversal issues (i.e.: training), reports regularly platform on the progress of the pilot.

Monitor the output (via List_Press), use and impact of communications tools / initiatives for the MSF movement

  • Oversee and improve the existing database of all MSF external communication initiatives (what is sent to List_press)
  • Carry out regular quantitative analysis on what we are producing, what tools we are using in the movement and when needed provides an analysis of our production around specific crises.

Manage specific communications dossiers delegated by the International Communications Coordinator in accordance with priorities defined with the Dircom5 and / or Communications coordinators.


Qualifications and work experience

  • Minimum of four years’ experience working in a communication role
  • Skills and previous professional experience of staff and team management (3-6 people)
  • Experience with MSF is a requirement
  • Field experience with MSF is an asset

Specific requirements

  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment to the humanitarian principles and challenges of MSF
  • Able to work in a multi-cultural environment; ability to recognise, respect, learn from  and integrate cultural differences
  • Able to think strategically in terms of communications needs and set up
  • Ability to understand the needs and constraints of operations
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Fluent written and spoken English essential, French an asset
  • Outstanding organisational skills with the ability to handle large volumes of work, track multiple projects or activities at any one time
  • Self-driven with the ability to take initiative
  • Able to work successfully under pressure within short deadlines; maintaining appropriate priorities, quality, flexibility, and positivity
  • Strong team player with the ability and interpersonal skills to interact at all levels of MSF
  • Ability to travel to other MSF offices and occasional visits to the field.

Starting date:   March 2016

Contract: Replacement during maternity leave; 6 months fixed-term - 100%

Location: Geneva

Candidates must already have the right to work in Switzerland or hold a European passport.

Deadline for applications: 29 January 2016

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “International Communications Project Manager” in the title.

Please submit only one file containing your CV and motivation letter and name the file with your last name only.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.