International Operations, Representation and Advocacy Coordinator (IORAC)

Title: International Operations, Representation & Advocacy Coordinator

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Contract: Permanent, full-time contract (expected commitment minimum 3 years)

Reporting to: International Secretary General

Deadline application: 9 July 2017

Extensive 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 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.



The International Operations, Representation and Advocacy Coordinator (IORAC) falls under the supervision of the Secretary General (SG) with the objective of chairing the platform of the Directors of Operations (RIOD) on behalf of the Secretary General and facilitating operational exchanges between Operational Centres (OCs) at desk level with the support of the Humanitarian Advocacy and Representation Team (HART) which is under the management of the IORAC.

The position facilitates strategic operational exchanges between Operational Centres and ensures timely representation and advocacy on humanitarian issues both internally and externally. On behalf of operations, the HART supports the coordination of operational advocacy and representation towards key regional organizations and their members and aims to further develop the engagement with relevant trans-national non-state actors in the specific regions of interest to MSF to reinforce support to negotiation. The IORAC is an active member of the International Office and when required represents MSF International in the absence or via the delegation of the Secretary General. The position also aims to stimulate regular exchanges between reflection centers / research units.

With the support of the HART, the IORAC facilitates and organizes inter-sectional operational coordination on specific contexts, networks, humanitarian subjects, or emergencies. Finally, the IORAC supports the overall aims of the International Office by providing the perspectives and reflections of OCs on specific contexts and issues and supporting representation and messaging delivered by the International office or association.



The International Operations, Representation and Advocacy Coordinator (IORAC) reports to the Secretary General of MSF International.

Based in Geneva, the IORAC will work in tandem with the Secretary General, and maintain close functionality with the International President (IP), the International Medical Secretary (IMS), the International Medical Coordinator (IMC), the International Communication Coordinator (ICC) and other International Office Coordinators.

The IORAC is the chair of the Operational Directors platform (RIOD) as delegated by the SG. He/she has a strategic relationship with the Directors of Operations as well as with the desks / cells of each Operational Directorate. He/she manages the Humanitarian Advocacy and Representation Team (HART) of MSF International and facilitates the coordination of an extended HART. The HART team is composed of 6 staff contracted by the International Office and 6 other staff under contracts of sections. In addition the HART has direct working interaction with all MSF sections and regional representations.

In view of the large scope of the position, the IORAC will be expected to propose a set-up that will allow delegation of the first line day-to-day supervision of the HART while retaining full responsibility for the delivery of the strategic orientation and plan defined by the RIOD.

With the IMC, the IORAC will also support the IMS, as the Medical Operational Platform (MedOp platform) chair, in the preparation of MedOp meetings. The IORAC may be requested to help prepare, attend and/or support other Executive meetings including the International Board, the ExCom, meetings of desks/cells, and other platforms. The IORAC will also attend and support in the preparation of key Associative meetings upon request of the SG or IP.

The IORAC will serve as a key member and leader, in support to the SG, of the MSF International Management Team (MT) and will play an active role in supporting the SG to define the priorities and activities of MSF International, including definition of annual and multiyear work plans of MSF International.

The post will support the facilitation of regular exchanges between the various reflection centers and research units existing in the movement and stimulate their collective reflections around identified key humanitarian issues.



  1. Chairing of the RIOD

The IORAC will prepare and chair meetings of the Operational Directors (RIOD) on behalf of the SG in order to reach the objectives as defined in the TORs of the platform in the Executive Governance:

  • Promoting innovative operational approaches as well as improvement of practices;
  • Seeking coordination of different operational approaches and strategies;
  • Ensuring proactive and timely information-sharing among members and promotion of learning from each other;
  • Promoting constant evaluation of the relevance of MSF operations and looking at the key positioning that should be developed through sharing of strategic geopolitical analysis and reflection;
  • Seeking timely identification of issues to be discussed and addressed at the RIOD in order to promote understanding and mediate possible tensions;
  • Promoting the balance between collective operational decisions while maintaining the MSF plurality which allows a diversity of approaches (see MSF International Statutes);
  • Supporting the RIOD advocacy role, as the key platform to set the frame for “reactive advocacy”, i.e. issues stemming from the field, and other operational and advocacy matters.
  • Facilitate discussions amongst DirOps to prioritize, strategize or arbitrate issues related to “reactive advocacy”;
  • Having the RIOD respect and not replace or overrule the responsibility of each operational directorate;
  • Promoting operational directorates to be transparent in their planned activities and report to the RIOD through their DirOp on what has been achieved in a spirit of mutual accountability;
  • Developing greater capacity to facilitate access to transnational non-state armed or opposition groups (including responding to MSF field or HQ requests) for the operations;
  • Providing input to support the production of the annual typology study and related analysis of the study for the Director of Operations;
  • Supporting the RIOD deliver on their multi-year strategic planning;
  • Remaining reactive and adaptable to review priorities according to emerging needs of operations;
  • Providing direct support to the field in terms of context analysis and networking with key state and non-state actors as requested by Directors of Operations and desks/cells.


  1. Support to Operations

As a tool for operations, the IORAC will have the overall responsibility of the HART. The IORAC and the HART will:

  • Identify with the Directors of Operations, the Secretary General, the International Medical Secretary and the President, key humanitarian issues of concern to MSF for which it is necessary to develop a concerted networking or advocacy efforts;
  • Ensure mapping of key external humanitarian actors, state representations and trans-national non-state actors and provide regular updates towards Director of Operations, desks/Cells, SG and IMS;
  • Ensure the continued development and buildup of network capacities with internal and external actors;
  • Maintain the required understanding of MSF sections in order to mobilize the advocacy and representation capacity when required by operations;
  • Provide regular updates and analysis on developments of interest to the SG, IMS, Director of Operations and desks/cells on meetings and activities of the UN, regional organizations, key states, key non-state actors, and aid system actors;
  • Facilitate access to international organizations (including responding to MSF field or HQ requests) for the operations
  • Work closely with the IMS to develop, propose to the relevant platform and / or individual, and implement a coordinated representation strategy on medical humanitarian issues;
  • Collaborate pro-actively with the advocacy team of the Access Campaign;
  • Support negotiated access through diplomatic channels and / or any other relevant networks developed;
  • Prepare meetings (developing strategic agenda) and briefings (ensuring relevant strategic internal analysis) for the operations with the relevant international humanitarian organizations and ensuring a follow up when required;
  • In close collaboration with the OCs, coordinate MSF bilateral engagement with actors evolving in the “aid system” and actively participate to any complementary initiatives within the movement in that regard;
  • Raise awareness within MSF on the major debates being held within the humanitarian community at large;
  • Use the HART and network, when required and feasible, to develop in-depth analysis on specific operational, contextual or network dossiers as requested by the RIOD and / or desks;
  • Promote and initiate debates and discussion on topics of operational importance with reflection units and centers including the Access Campaign;
  • Contribute to providing visibility and support in the building of MSF relations with other actors, internal and external;
  • Facilitate regular exchange between reflection centres;
  • Support the efforts of the OCs in the mobilization of the MSF movement’s capacities (including partner sections and regional offices) for specific advocacy matters, or diplomatic/representation purpose.


  1. External Communication and meetings

The IORAC will play a key role in the external dynamic and communication of MSF and will:

  • Work with the International Communication Coordinator in drawing up MSF’s positioning as regards to the humanitarian issues and seek a strong link between the advocacy and communication agendas;
  • Support the President of MSF International, the International Medical Secretary, and the Secretary General in their representation role towards external actors;
  • In close synergy with the IMS as the chair of the Access Campaign, liaise with the advocacy team of the Access Campaign on common areas of concerns and collaborate, coordinate with the refection centers and units on how to position MSF;
  • Circulate & explain positions internally and externally, present MSF’s analysis in multilateral meetings with other actors, NGOs etc.;
  • Replace the Secretary General in external meeting and undertake a direct representation role when required.


  1. Internal Communication and meetings

The IORAC will play a key role in the internal dynamic and communication and will:

  • Prepare and chair meetings of the Operational Directors (DirOp), see pt. 2;
  • Ensure that when required links between the RIOD and other platforms are made;
  • Liaise with the IMS, the International Communication Coordinator and other  International Office Coordinators on key issues to be brought up to the attention of the Directors of Operations;
  • Inform other International Office Coordinators on key operational issues that could affect transversal areas: medical, fundraising, HR, finance, logistics, supply;
  • Participate in the Operational Medical platform (DirOp/DirMed);
  • Participate in the Medical Directors platform (DirMed) if requested;
  • Participate in MT meetings of MSF International;
  • Participate in other international Associative and Executive meetings as requested;
  • Pro-actively suggest and initiate MSF International team meetings on specific humanitarian advocacy and communication issues (with SG, IP, IMS and other IO Coordinators);
  • Pro-actively suggest and initiate MSF International communication to the wider movement on specific humanitarian advocacy and communication issues (with SG, IP, IMS and other IO Coordinators);
  • Prepare regular exchanges between MSF’s reflection centres.


  1. Management role

The IORAC will supervise:

  • The Humanitarian Advocacy and Representation team composed of 6 permanent members and key partner section associated members. In view of the large scope of the position, the IORAC will be expected to propose a set-up that will allow delegation of the first line day-to-day supervision of the HART while retaining full responsibility for the delivery of the strategic orientation and plan defined by the RIOD.
  • The operations and advocacy officer in Geneva.



  • Extensive field working experience at coordination level with MSF, HQ experience at senior level;
  • Strong understanding of, interest in and commitment to MSF’s social mission, operations, challenges and dilemmas;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international humanitarian affairs and genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian action and principles of MSF;
  • Solid knowledge of  international institutions and experience in strategic engagement towards such institutions;
  • Ability and willingness to engage with non-state actors and organised opposition groups;
  • Knowledge of basic provisions of relevant international laws and frames;
  • Strong chairing and facilitation skills and ability to question and create positive tension between members of a platform;
  • Ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material;
  • Ability to write high-level correspondence and interact with senior officials;
  • Ability to track multiple projects at one time and to prioritize ongoing versus immediate needs appropriately;
  • Excellent judgment and diplomacy;
  • Outstanding proven time management and organizational skills;
  • Ability to work within deadlines while maintaining flexibility, tact and perseverance;
  • Dynamic, self-driven, enthusiastic, autonomous, problem-solving, team member;
  • Excellent communications skills including fluent written and spoken English, French is a strong asset;
  • Regular European, international and field travel will be necessary.


Starting date: September 2017 

Contract: Permanent full-time contract

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Deadline for applications: 9 July 2017


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

Please submit your CV and cover letter in

ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

-Only short-listed candidates will be contacted-