REGIONAL Communications Coordinator, EAST AFRICA - Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

Duration: 2 years; Full-time position

Reporting to: International Communications Coordinator

Deadline for applications: 28 June 2015



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 Regional Communications Coordinator (RCC) is MSF regional focal point in East Africa for international and regional media in order to generate a better understanding of MSF’s operations and to raise awareness about humanitarian crises in the region. The countries in the portfolio currently include South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This can evolve depending on MSF humanitarian and medical response in other countries in the region covered by the international and regional media based in Nairobi. 

The RCC can act as a regional coordinator and adviser for MSF sections’ on communication strategy, advocacy when needed, and effective management of crisis communications in particular related to security incidents. In case of an emergency the RCC is the first responder and provides support to in country field communications teams in the region as needed.


The Regional Communications Coordinator is part of the communication team of MSF International. He/she reports to the International Communications Coordinator and works closely with key staff in all five Operational Centres of MSF, in the field and in headquarters, as well as in the Access Campaign.

The RCC supervises the Assistant-Regional Communications Coordinator. Upon request from Operational Centres, the RCC may also act as mentor for other communication staff in the region.


The purpose of the position of Regional Communications Coordinator is to help improve the impact of MSF’s public communication. This includes:

  • Building and maintaining good relations with representatives of international and regional media, alerting them to MSF communication when relevant and facilitating the follow-up of such communication;
  • Supporting Heads of Mission and Communication staff in designing and implementing communication strategies and activities in support of MSF’s projects in East and Horn of Africa


Media management in the region

  • Serve as the MSF media focal point in the region. Build and maintain a performant and strategic network with regional and international media and correspondents
  • Profile MSF’s work, projects, and concerns on humanitarian crises among regional and international media. Advise on media opportunities and flag best dissemination strategies for getting MSF communication covered by correspondents.
  • Support MSF press officers in correcting errors in reporting or and advise in developing strategies and ways of correcting misrepresentation in media.
  • Facilitate and Organize press briefings for international and regional press
  • Facilitate journalists’ field visits to MSF projects and pitch key issues / projects to journalists.
  • Act as a spokesperson for MSF communication if need be
  • Coach MSF spokespeople and provide media training for any field staff dealing with the media in the region
  • Be available to act as emergency press officer and crisis info focal point during emergencies /crisis/incident in the region. Be able to deploy and provide strategic communication support during the first days of a new emergency or a crisis situation in the region either in situ or by proxy. Prepare in terms of set up for the arrival of an emergency field com officer.

Strategize and coordinate MSF communication efforts in the region

  • Maintain an “early warning system” on regional issues and news. Monitor major media trends for specific locations and provide this analysis to MSF heads of mission and communication staff.
  • Coordinate the development of communications strategies in the region and support communication advisers/field staff to develop and drive through intersectional strategies and agreements as needed.
  • Liaise with MSF field communications officers in the region to provide support and enhance coherence and output of MSF communications on specific issues and themes.
  • Provide communications advice on regional issues: advise the field on specific communications issues relevant for the region.
  • Timely flagging of communications opportunities and risks (that may require reactive support).
  • Advise on public positioning in relation to key issues.
  • Provide analysis on how other organisations communicate on key issues and provide insight into their public agendas; networking with communications officials of UN/other agencies and NGOs based in the region.
  • Liaise with the HAART and MSF advocacy representatives in the region to increase synergy between bilateral efforts and public comms initiatives in the region.
  • Represent MSF in regional representation forum (related to public communication) and relay MSF concerns, priorities.
  • Liaise with MSF communications teams in other media hubs in Africa (currently Dakar, Johannesburg, and Cairo), in order to maximise output, share ideas, coordinate initiatives.

Other tasks in support to communication content in the region

  • Facilitating the identification + recruitment of cameramen and photographers in the region and maintain contacts for quick deployment in the field in case of emergency.
  • Provide information/data to the MSF com network related to MSF operational projects, presence in the region.

Managing Communication Unit

  • The Regional Communication Officer manages the communications office in Nairobi, and strengthens the office capacity to provide support to our field communications staff in the region as needed. 
  • He/she supervises the work of a regional communication assistant (s) who works 50% for our communications in Kenya under the supervision of the heads of mission in Kenya and 50% in support of the Regional communications unit. The RCC oversees the work related to the Regional communications office, and provides support to strengthen the capacity of the assistant. 
  • The RCC is responsible for the management of the annual regional communications office budget


  • Degree in Journalism, Communications, Humanitarian affairs, Political Sciences or related university degree
  • Previous working experience of at least 5 years in communications, journalism or public relations.
  • Previous working experience in media management, coordinating communication strategies notably at time of emergencies/crisis and content production
  • Strongly desirable: experience with MSF or other international NGOs in developing countries
  • Solid understanding of dilemmas associated with humanitarian assistance
  • Previous experience working in the East and Horn of Africa is an asset
  • Excellent management and communication skills, outgoing personality, good representation.
  • Ability to multitask and organise work on various dossiers at the same time whilst maintaining appropriate priorities
  • Social media skills
  • Excellent command of English, spoken and in writing
  • French would be an asset
  • Regional language (s) an asset
  • Computer literacy (word, excel and digital media)


Starting date: September 2015

Contract: 2 year contract 100%

Location: Nairobi

Deadline for applications: 28 June 2015

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Regional Communications Coordinator” 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.