• Department: Executive Office
  • Hours: 40 hours per week – 100%
  • Reports to: Delegated line management to the Executive Director of MSF UK
  • Responsible for: N/A
  • Location: Geneva, with candidate willing and have right to travel within Europe.
  • Duration: one year fixed term
Job context

The Strategic Plan 2015-2019 laid out a clear ambition to understand the role diversity plays in MSF, and how the organisation can harness the power of a diverse workforce at both the field and Headquarters in order to deliver better operations in the future.

At the end of 2016 consultancy support was secured to review the ambition of staff diversity as laid out in the Strategic Plan. The outcome of this consultancy was a report that advised on possible future endeavours by MSF, with the goal of actualising not only diversity but also inclusion, at all levels of the organisation.

While the report recognises several challenges related to the perceptions of diversity and inclusion, it is clear that although we may be further ahead in some areas than one would expect, we are far from where we would like to be. Taking forward the report recommendations, and understanding the fact and figures behind the challenges of diversity and inclusion is the first step towards moving strategically from general discussions and understanding towards a more concrete plan for managing diversity and inclusion, and harnessing the power this brings to an organisation like MSF.

During consultations with staff it was also identified that MSF ‘s experience of working through local actors - partnering with a local organisation of some shape or form to support them to deliver on an element of or all of our social mission in a given context – is limited.

This feedback brought about the question that, knowing the number of benefits a more diverse and inclusive staff base and working environment brings, are we restricting ourselves by focusing only on improving the diversity and inclusion within MSF? Should we be considering the very real opportunities we have in relation to partnering with local actors?

As there is currently little to no data on possible outcomes of increasing  diverse working practices, and without understanding the risks and opportunities that working closely with local actors brings and in particular what challenges may come from this in terms of access in high-risk environments, it is not something we have been  willing or able to move forward with.

In order to further understand and lay a more concrete framework for further data collection and analysis on diversity and inclusiveness within MSF, and to better understand the risks and opportunities of diversifying our work practices in the Field may bring, MSF  is looking to appoint a Project Manager Diversity

Job purpose

The position will manage and deliver key objectives for both the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ diversity work streams. Both these work streams are aimed at fostering a debate within MSF on how better to interact with local actors and to develop MSF strategy and positioning to diversify and improve operations.

Internally the focus will be on following through on the recommendations that have been proposed as a result of the consultancy, and approved for dissemination and implementation. These include staff and associative involvement, internal communication, integration into HR practices, and further policy development. A key activity will be setting up a mechanism for data collection and measurements, with a baseline census of the current workforce established by the end of 2017.  

Externally we will expect to complete a study to identify good and bad practice in MSF’s interaction with local actors, particularly in high-risk environments. Outcomes of the study will aim to identify the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of increasing the diversity and strength of our interactions between MSF and local actors in high-risk environment.

Main duties and responsibilities

Objectives: internal focus

  • Complete dissemination of the Diversity and Inclusion report, including face to face engagement with senior intersection platforms, i.e. such as General Assemblies, HRCo Days, Board Meetings.
  • Continue active engagement on the topic and content of the report with other MSF areas of work such as the Access Campaign.
  • Conduct focus groups reviewing the report with staff.
  • Implement a number of specific recommendations from the report including (but not limited to):

o   Develop and implement survey and data collection methods to collect an appropriate amount of data to establish a baseline of the current international workforce (field and HQ) by the end of 2017.

o   Develop indicators on diversity and inclusion to be integrated into future diversity and inclusion policies or frameworks.

o   Develop a strategy to assist senior leadership to develop and finalise a Diversity and Inclusion Policy by the end of the current Strategic Plan period (end of year 2019).

  • Facilitate implementation of other identified recommendations from the report.
  • Deliver a strategy to take forward this topic post ending of this contract.

 Objectives: external focus

  • Identification of contexts where MSF has worked with local actors, and review of documentation related to projects where MSF is working with or through local actors.
  • Initial scoping of level of interest in OCs and experiences in the Movement.
  • Identification of key contexts and elaboration of case study examples.
  • Review of literature on best practice of partnerships with local actors with other NGOs (looking at humanitarian, human rights and peace building sectors).
  • Conduct semi-structured interviews with MSF staff and staff of local actors in project locations on levels of interaction and collaboration.
  • Conduct semi-structured interviews with decision makers of the identified organisations and MSF in the capital and Headquarters.
  • Conduct semi-structured interviews with selected external organisations (some of whom may be working with the same local partners).
  • Analysis of the mapping, document review, and interviews.
  • Develop an internal report providing an analysis of the interviews and mapping with conclusions on trends where sufficient information has been obtained and present as required. External publication of a summary of the study may also be considered and as such potential conversion of the report into an article or external report.

Please note that this list is indicative of the key responsibilities of this role but is by no means exhaustive. MSF is an emergency organisation and a ‘Can do’ attitude and flexibility to take on other related tasks is essential. This job description does not form part of the contract of employment.



Knowledge, skills and expertise


  • Significant intersectional experience with MSF Executive, Association and Field.
  • Significant experience in INGO, National NGO and local partnership environments.
  • Significant governance experience on Interagency and NGO forums at Geneva and International level.
  • Strong evidence of strategic level thinking and leadership in the context of development and implementation of global policies, tools and guidelines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and networking skills, with track record demonstrating experience in communicating content to different audiences preferably with an established set of contacts that support the objectives of this assignment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and proven experience of communicating effectively with staff at all levels across different countries, cultures and time zones.
  • Proven and demonstrated analytical and political skills in the international aid sector; high-level security management and context analysis experience.
  • Strong evidence of development and management of key internal and external relationships, as well as negotiating access within diplomatic, IGO, IO and NGO communities in a manner which enhances visibility and reputation of the organisation. Able to build on an existing network both in Geneva and elsewhere.
  • Previous experience of conducting research/analyses using quantitative and/or qualitative methods within the topic of diversity.
  • Outstanding English written and oral communication skills; basic knowledge of French and Modern Standard Arabic.
  • Demonstrable understanding of and commitment to humanitarian issues and to the aims and values of MSF.


  • Ability to work flexibly in a networked working environment, including as a distance leader and manager.
  • Experience in monitoring, evaluating and assessing projects in humanitarian and development settings.
  • High-level diplomacy and representation experience at global and field-levels; proven public speaking and media relations skills.
  • Bachelor degree level education.
  • Postgraduate qualification in Humanitarian Assistance.
  • Experience with project management.


Deadline for applications: 8 May 2017


Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion” in the file

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