Vaccination working group leader

Location: One of the 5 Operational Centres (Brussels, Paris, Barcelona or Geneva)

Duration: One year fixed-term contract - Full-time position

Reporting to: International Medical Coordinator

Deadline for applications:  31 March 2016


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.


MSF, as a medical humanitarian organisation, is committed to improve the quality of its field projects. To better define MSF vision, medical policies and strategies and improve the implementation of our action in the field, the intersection medical and technical working groups have been organised between the medical departments of the MSF sections.

The working groups are one of the ways to improve intersections coherence and coordination, to increase collaboration, and to share resources and tasks between the different sections.

The medical directors have set the expectations from the working groups as follows:

  • to participate actively in the definition of MSF strategy and in the relevant domain
  • to produce policies, guidelines and field implementation tools for Medical Directors  platform (Dirmed) approval/endorsement
  • to monitor implementation of policies and recommendations
  • to prospect creatively external development and literature
  • to ensure coordination and prioritisation of operational research agenda to provide information and participate in medical advocacy on the topic
  • to propose and participate in cross sectional evaluations
  • to conduct training and internal dissemination of knowledge
  • to network with external experts
  • to share experiences
  • to provide technical support and respond to technical questions
  • to propose and validate standard articles to be introduced in MSF catalogues and order lists

The medical directors have also the responsibility to ensure the dynamics and rationalisation between working groups and to set priorities in the needs and requirement for specific working groups according to the objectives of the MSF movement. This is translated partly in the resources (human and financial) attributed to each working group. The medical directors regularly review the priorities.

Vaccination is currently one of the MSF priorities. The tasks to lead the working group are therefore quite important, and the medical directors have decided that a full time support to the vaccination working group is necessary.


The leader of the working group is functionally under the guidance of the medical directors in the working group. S/he reports hierarchically to the international medical coordinator.


The leader of the working group is expected to lead and facilitate the working group internal dynamics and activities to reach the objectives mentioned above, with special focus on helping the group to focus on the main issues and to reinforce implementation in MSF programs under the responsibility of each Operational Centres (OCs).


Leadership and coordination

  • With the working groups members, regularly review develop and revise MSF vision, policy and strategies
  • Involve the operations department and if relevant, the Access Campaign team in these policy development/revisions
  • Support working group members in their work to facilitate integration of the recommendations of MSF policies into mission plans, in collaboration with medical and operation departments in each  MSF sections
  • Coordinate/organise the monitoring of policy implementation and provide an annual intersection report on progress
  • With medical directors input, challenge the operation departments to improve policy implementation if needed
  • Coordinate the MSF operational research agenda on the topic
  • Prepare the working group yearly action plan and analyse progress accordingly
  • Report annually to medical directors on working group progress and achievements
  • Act as a contact point for the medical directors, the Access Campaign, etc. on vaccination issue
  • Supervise external consultant work (if relevant)
  • Identify the needs for “ambassadors”to and from other working groups and organise participation accordingly
  • Identify focal person to link with International Technical Coordination (ITC) for updating catalogues and order lists and revise kits content.

Operational research, technical support and training

  • Support operational research projects according to needs (including for publication)
  • Organise with the working group members the creative prospecting of external development and review relevant literature and inform medical departments and field teams accordingly
  • Support working group members in their project support and follow up
  • Participate into cross sectional evaluation (if relevant): needs analysis, terms of reference, recommendations analysis, etc.
  • Identify the needs for guidelines, standard reporting, software development and propos/coordinate actions accordingly
  • Share and animate exchange with the working group members on their vaccination activities in projects and follow up
  • Organise experience sharing between the working groups members
  • Analyse the needs for specific training needs, update and adapt content of training and participate according to needs
  • Direct the selection, compilation, classification of reference documents on the topics and provide information to documentation centres to update their list accordingly
  • Organise the revision of standards articles (drugs, supplies and equipment) for MSF catalogues, order lists and kits.
  • Participate in or perform at least one field visit per year (preferably in the projects of several sections)

Communication and networking

  • Improve the communication and collaboration between operational sections
  • Organise the international network of external experts and oversee the “national/sectional” network of external experts to maintain coherent external representation
  • Coordinate the MSF representation in external meetings and networks
  • Establish links with the Access Campaign and help define priorities
  • Provide information and participate in medical advocacy
  • Organise and maintain an updated technical folder on Tukul (or other intersection intranet platform) that can be used as a field virtual library/reference folder on the topic.


  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment of to the humanitarian principles, social mission and challenges of MSF

Education and experience

  • Medical doctor or nurse with specific knowledge and experience in vaccination
  • MSF experience (field and HQ if possible) a must

Additional requirements

  • Fluent in English (French and/or Spanish would be an asset)
  • Writing capacities
  • Mature with strong interpersonal, communication and organisational skills
  • Ability to represent MSF in relevant meetings
  • Ability to work and report independently
  • Ability to motivate and lead colleagues
  • Willingness to travel in Europe and to conference locations

Starting date: April 2016

Contract: One year fixed-term contract - full-time 100%

Location: One of the 5 Operational Centres (Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Geneva)

Deadline for applications:  31 March 2016

Please submit all applications only by email to stating “Vaccination WG leader” 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.