Regional Information Officer, East Africa


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 19 sections, 23 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 position of Regional Information Officer (RIO) is crucial for driving out MSF communication internationally, through media representatives based in Nairobi, and for giving a broad range of communication support to MSF teams in the East Africa region.


The Regional Information Officer is part of the communication team of MSF International. He/she reports to the International Communication 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 RIO leads the Information Office and supervises the Assistant-RIO. Upon request from Operational Centres, the RIO may also act as mentor for other communication staff in the region.


The purpose of the position of Regional Information Officer 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 Advisors in designing and implementing communication strategies and activities in support of MSF’s projects in East Africa;


  • Media liaison: Building and maintaining a network of correspondents for foreign media based in Nairobi. Organising briefings for them on MSF projects and concerns. Scoping out what leads their agendas and advising Communication Advisors (CAs) and Heads of Mission (HoMs) on media opportunities.
  • Dissemination of MSF content: Sharing press releases and other communication materials with correspondents based in Nairobi. Pitching MSF content to them. Organising, on request of HoMs, CAs and the Access Campaign, press conferences. Organising interviews in response to MSF communication. Getting correspondents interested in visiting MSF projects. Organising meetings of senior MSF staff passing through Nairobi with key correspondents.
  • Training and coaching spokespeople in the field: Organise issue-specific trainings for HoMs and other senior staff in preparation for doing media interviews. Coach them through the interviews and give feedback.
  • Offering first-response capacity in case of new emergencies and incidents: Be available to provide communication support during the first days of a new emergency or critical incident in the region, either in situ or by proxy. Prepare for the arrival of a crisis communication officer from headquarters.
  • Contributing regional perspective to planned communication: Advise on media opportunities and best possible strategies for getting MSF communication covered by correspondents in Nairobi. Provide regional considerations on planned communication from countries in East Africa.
  • Correcting misrepresentation of MSF communication: Contact correspondents in case MSF communication has been misrepresented in their media. Develop ways of correcting misrepresentation.
  • Providing communication advice on regional issues: Advice the HoMs and CAs on how to communicate on cross-border issues in East Africa (e.g. “Famine in the Horn of Africa”). Monitor how other organisations communicate on such issues.
  • Networking with communication officials of UN agencies and NGOs based in Nairobi: Providing insight in the communication agendas of other organisations.
  • Supervising the work of the Assistant-RIO: Daily management of one staff, assigning tasks, overseeing the quality of work, perform evaluations.
  • Regular liaison with MSF communication staff in other African media hubs: In order to maximise the output from our communication, organise regular teleconferences with MSF communication staff in Johannesburg and Dakar.


  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment to; the humanitarian principles, social mission, operations, and challenges of MSF
  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in international journalism and/or communication management for MSF
  • Solid understanding of dilemmas associated with humanitarian assistance
  • An understanding of the specific dynamics of the East Africa region
  • Excellent command of English, spoken and in writing
  • Spoken French; other languages are an asset
  • Sense of initiative, combined with service-orientation and diplomatic skills
  • Ability to work successfully in a team
  • Excellence in leading and organising work on various dossiers simultaneously
  • Flexibility and willingness to travel to MSF offices and the field, if needed at short notice

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Contract: Fixed Term - 1 Year with possibility to extend - 100%
Starting date: June 2014

Deadline for application: 24 April 2014

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

Please submit only ONE file containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your last name only

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted