Operations Manager OCBA Middle-East (RECO/OPS MANAGER)


Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

The MSF movement is built around five operational directorates supported by MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together worldwide. MSF OCBA is one of those directorates. The operations are implemented by field teams and the mission coordination teams; together with the organizational units based in Barcelona, Athens and decentralised in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations.


The Operations Manager is responsible for MSF OCBA missions and decentralized support network in Middle East, overseeing the different phases in the cycle of missions and projects in the field (opening, follow-up, orientation and closing) and ensures that quality standards are duly maintained and MSF’s humanitarian and deontological principles respected in the projects within his/her, within the framework of Strategic Plan, Operational Policy and operations annual orientations plan, in order to perform relevant, high-impact operations. The Operational Cell 1 manages MSF-OCBA operations in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen.

S/he is hierarchically UNDER the Operational Director.

S/he leads the Operational Cell 1 for the support of Middle East missions. An Operational Cell is a matrix-like “team set-up” integrating members of the different services or departments of MSF OCBA as the basis for direct support and guidance to the missions within the Cell’s portfolio. Cell one is made up of an operational manager, one deputy RECO, one health advisor (TESACO), one logistics advisor (TELOCO), one financial controller (FINOCO), one human resources advisor (REHUCO), and one Humanitarian Affairs Advisor (HAA).

The Operational Cell 1 is based in Amman and is part of the MSF-OCBA Middle East Unit. The Middle East Unit includes the Cell and the Center for Advancement of Humanitarian Medicine, an operational support unit that supports the mission to respond to operational challenges in the Middle East through operational research, training and collaboration with different medical-humanitarian Middle East actors. The ops manager will work in close collaboration with the head of the Middle East Unit in the definition of the priorities of the unit.



1. Participate in the organisational strategy

  • Contribute to the reflection on positioning and the role of MSF OCBA regarding humanitarian crises and related dilemmas, protection issues and operational strategies within portfolio and beyond, through organising, promoting and participating in debates, analysis and reflection exercises.
  • Provide operational input to contribute to the definition of the strategies of the rest of the Departments, and take into account their contributions when defining Operations’ plans to strengthen transversal planning and boost integration. Participate in the Operations Coordination Team.
  • Identify and report situations in which the implementation of OCBA policies and procedures is not viable or may hinder the achievement of operational objectives, propose adaptations and exceptions to these in the appropriate forum, and apply the exceptions when necessary as long as they are justified. 
  • Hold Services accountable for the quality of their support, proactive monitoring/analyses of policy implementation/adaptation, and timeliness in raising issues with the operational line and be accountable for the implementation of strategies and policies of MSF OCBA.
  • Participate in the accountability transversal processes at his/her level of responsibility.

2. Contribute to the definition of the operational strategy

  • Contribute to the definition of OCBA operational vision.
  • Contribute to reviewing the MSF OBCA’s Strategic Plan and operational annual orientations, based on evaluation of the implementation of this policy and the analysis of evolution of humanitarian challenges in the assigned portfolio.
  • Contribute to the definition of security policies.

3. Contribute to the definition of the objectives and to the development of OCBA Middle East Unit

  • Participate in the definition of the overall strategy of the Middle East Unit
  • Key role in the definition of the objectives of the Center for Advancement of Humanitarian Medicine, in collaboration with the Head of MEU, DirOps and Medical Direction.

4. Define the strategy of missions within portfolio, conducting context analyses

  • Lead the reflection on positioning and the role of MSF OCBA in relation with the Operational Policy with regard to humanitarian crises for the CPP of missions within portfolio.
  • Ensure constant critical review and analysis of context and humanitarian situation of assigned portfolio in order to guarantee that operational response is adapted to meet population’s needs.
  • Ensure the maximisation of the transformation potential of interventions throughout the isolation of causes and/or responsibility when identifying a (critical) situation that can be improved with direct action.
  • Define missions, projects and interventions in portfolio, guaranteeing their pertinence compliance with the Operational Policy.
  • Ensure the promotion and participation in the proposal, planning and follow-up of exploratory missions and all phases of the project cycle (design of project proposal, monitoring and evaluation, project re-orientation, expansion or closure)
  • Ensure the production, and timely updating of Country Policy Papers for the respective missions.
  • Ensure the effective emergency preparedness and response of the missions.

5. Planning and budgeting of missions and contribute to the planning and organisation of the Operations Department

  • Contribute to the review and organisation of the Department of Operations of MSF OCBA.
  • Contribute to the planning of the Department of Operations.
  • Review and define the annual planning and budget of missions within portfolio, and define strategic changes within the portfolio in coordination with the Ops direction.
  • Carry out budget analysis of missions and ensure corrective measures if necessary.
  • Ensure coherence between OCBA annual planning, operational orientations and assigned portfolio’s annual plan.

6. Supervise, analyse and support implementation

  • Ensure the implementation of the CPP and annual operational plan in the projects within portfolio, according to quality standards and to MSF’s humanitarian and deontological principles, with the primary objective to meet population’s needs.
  • Ensure that missions comply with OCBA policies as agreed with the rest of Departments, or raise the issue when not possible.
  • Ensure that MSF role on humanitarian action and “témoignage” is effectively executed by identifying related medical-humanitarian dilemmas, defining lobbying, advocacy and communication strategies, and allocating extra resources accordingly, for missions within portfolio.
  • Ensure support and supervision for all aspects of management of the missions, projects, exploratory missions and interventions in the assigned portfolio, based on the annual operational orientations.
  • Support technically implementation of strategies in relation to context analysis & data gathering, acceptance & positioning, advocacy and communication (inc. supervising the work of HAOs in the field)
  • Ensure the deployment of a pool of humanitarian affairs officers in the field.
  • Ensure adequate security management through supervision for portfolio’s missions, projects and interventions in line with the security policy, rules and guidelines of MSF OCBA.
  • Analyse the fulfilment of operational objectives, and carry out analyses to improve operational response in the assigned portfolio.
  • Ensure that the results of relevance/impact project evaluations feed overall analyses, in order to maintain the relevance of the projects at all times. 
  • Ensure the analysis and evaluation of the implementation of lobbing, advocacy and communication strategies within portfolio.
  • Consult support services for sparring and as content providers when needed.

7. Lead, support, and coach the cell team in their functioning and decision making process, to ensure that objectives be achieved

  • Ensure that cell team members and HOMs assume their respective responsibilities and the timely implementation of their respective tasks.
  • Participate in the selection process of the cell team (taking the final decision on selection of candidates) and carry out their follow-up and evaluation, in order to ensure their adjustment, coverage of their training needs and future development.
  • Define the job profiles of cell members, for approval from HR.

8. Promote knowledge management

  • Ensure that knowledge management policies are implemented at his/her level of responsibility.
  • Collaborate with the Training Unit in the definition of the contents of MSF-OCBA courses, facilitating them when needed, to adapt them to the Organisation’s needs.

9. Manage internal communication channels and represent MSF OCBA

  • Ensure adequate information and work flow between cell and services, other cells, and field, for issues that affect assigned portfolio.
  • Represent MSF OCBA towards external actors (international organisations, NGOs, institutions, donor agencies, diaspora, civil society) and the media, for the missions of the assigned portfolio, on humanitarian crises, inter-agency operational coordination, and for fundraising.
  • Represent MSF OCBA at MSF international level for the missions of the assigned portfolio (International desk platform).

10. Others

  • Validate unplanned field positions, to be approved by HR.
  • Ensure all behaviour Issues and conflict resolution are followed up (mission and HQ).


Training and experience

  • Degree from University or Higher Institute (in medicine, nursing, bio-medical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, economy, judicial sciences…).
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience with MSF or another humanitarian organisation in positions of coordination.
  • Previous work experience and understanding of the context of the Middle East.
  • Highly knowledgeable of and interested in the international humanitarian context.
  • Highly interested in developing solution to effectively bring humanitarian assistance to populations affected by conflict and violence in Middle Income Countries
  • Knowledgeable in Arab Culture and Islamic Precepts and Values
  • Fluent in English. Arabic and, French are considered a plus.
  • Advanced knowledge of Windows setting as a user (mainly Word and Excel).


  • Commitment to MSF’s Principles
  • Cross-cultural Awareness
  • Strategic Vision
  • Results and Quality Orientation
  • Capacity to Negotiate
  • Teamwork and Cooperation
  • Leadership
  • People Management and Development
  • Security Awareness and Management
  • Networking and Building Relationships


  • Availability to travel frequently and on short notice.
  • Flexibility with working hours.


  • Based in Amman at the Médecins Sans Frontières OCBA decentralised Headquarters with travel to the projects and to Barcelona HQ 30-35% of the time.
  • Annual gross salary: 55.511,86  JDD + secondary benefits based on MSF OCBA Reward Policy
  • Commitment: 3 years extensible to 6 years
  • Starting date: February 1st 2018


To apply, all applicants should please send their CV and cover motivation letter under the reference RECO MIDDLE EAST” to: recruitment-bcn@barcelona.msf.org.

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

Closing date: 14th of December, 2017.

Replies will only be sent to short-listed candidates.

Médecins Sans Frontieres, as a responsible employer, under article 38 of “Ley de Integración Social del Minusválido de 1982 (LISMI)” invite those persons with a recognized disability and with an interest in the humanitarian area to apply for the above mentioned position.