Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva
Context & Mission
The Emergency Communication Officer strategically supports Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Centre Geneva (OCG) as an all-round communications specialist on a “flying” (Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva) contract.
The Emergency Communication Officer (ECO) reports to OCG’s Operational Communications Coordinator and has functional relations with the MSF OCG Emergency Unit, OCG cells managing emergency interventions as part of regular missions at headquarters, and Emergency Coordinators in field missions/projects. Upon request of the Operational Communications Coordinator, she/he takes any specific project and location.
MSF OCG Emergency Unit along with OCG cells lead and manage interventions in contexts with acute humanitarian needs at the outset of crises and when an immediate and often massive response is needed. Its teams can intervene following outbreaks of conflicts, diseases or natural disasters, or reinforce existing missions facing a steep increase in activities. In these crucial moments, MSF needs to reinforce public communication in support of our operations. Communications activities may focus on engagement with the populations we assist in addition to media, civil society and political actors in our zones of intervention. Activities may also target global audiences through media and social media with the goal of raising awareness of the impact of the crisis and humanitarian stakes for our supporters and donors. The Emergency Communication Officer will be a focal point on the ground for OCG and may at times play an intersectional role.
Main function & Responsibilities
The focus of the work is a blend of strategy and implementation to support Operations staff on strategic and reactive communications based on a good understanding of the changing communications environment, and to both develop and implement plans and content to reach objectives. S/he facilitates external communication with the media and public as well as internal communication. S/he contributes to MSF’s global awareness, acceptance and visibility.
The Emergency Communication Officer covers temporarily for other field communications staff or, upon request of the Operational Communications Coordinator, on other countries or topics. S/he is permanently ‘on-call’ to cover emergency communications needs and may fulfil inter-sectional roles when requested.
Description of duties
- Support MSF communications by contributing to the development and implementation of a communications and advocacy strategy for MSF field presence during emergencies;
- Collect high quality communications materials including : broadcast quality video and short clips for digital platforms; sound and photos for digital slideshows, radio spots, and images to upload to the MSF media database.
- Collect testimonies and stories of patients and MSF staff for multimedia and printed projects.
- Produce high quality communications content including press releases, talking points, newsletters, bulletins, web stories, reports, briefings, etc., to promote MSF visibility and acceptance, achievements and success stories; while ensuring they are in line with MSF communications strategies and ethical guidelines, and bring in a human element from personal experience whenever possible;
- Ensure the dissemination of information; advise on dissemination tactics; organize interviews and filming opportunities to support high visibility of MSF humanitarian work through media; web and social media and ensure proper packaging of reports and other visibility materials;
- Identify subjects of interest for communications products and activities related to health topics;
- Engage the affected communities and support behavioral change communications in coordination with the field teams;
- While on assignment, establish and maintain a network of contacts in the press/media to ensure and promote the dissemination of information; and provide support to broadcast media and journalists and facilitate their access to related information, as appropriate.
- Is a member in crisis management teams on critical incidents
- Essential: Tertiary degree in journalism, communications, international relations, or social science.
- Desirable: Master’s degree in a relevant subject or studies or training in communications techniques and media relations, particularly in an emergency setting.
- At least five years’ experience in an organization involved in information and communications projects related to humanitarian crises and response relief interventions, or as a journalist or in a media organization (television, radio and/or print), at national or international level with an experience in communicating in challenging contexts;
- Excellent writing and editing skills including ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce content for publication;
- Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF;
- MSF experience is a strong asset;
- Knowledge or understanding of MSF mandate and goals in emergency response relief or experience in similar positions in the international development or humanitarian sectors;
- Experience in planning and implementing communications strategies in an emergency setting, including behavioral change and media communications;
- Essential: Excellent command of English and French.
- Ability to develop, implement and evaluate communications strategies in emergencies;
- Proven skills in the development and implementation of communications products and tactics, including relations with the press, digital and media;
- Demonstrated diplomatic and negotiation skills to work among highly stressed colleagues in a fast-paced environment;
- Excellent interpersonal skills complemented by the ability to conceptualize ideas and promote consensus;
- Knowledge of the impact of emergencies and crises on people;
- Ability to propose creative solutions and to make innovative proposals as related to communication at the local community and global levels;
- Tact, discretion and diplomacy;
- Demonstrated understanding of digital and social media;
- Excellent presentation skills, with proven ability to write in French and English in a clear and concise manner.
- Communicating in a credible and effective way;
- Producing results;
- Moving forward in a changing environment;
- Tenacity and positive attitude.
- Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva (flying).
- Fixed term 12 months contract
- Practical working conditions in the field are in accordance with the MSF OCG volunteer manual.
- Gross monthly salary: CHF 5’500.- for a 100% position (proportional to the occupation rate)
- Ideal start date: As Soon As Possible
- Benefits: Health insurance and living expenses in the countries of intervention and at headquarters, paid according to internal regulations.
How to apply
Candidates submit their application following the requirements: CV 2 p. max. – letter of motivation 1p. max. – in French or English.
Deadline for application isSeptember 18th, 2022.
The applications will be treated confidentially.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.
We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.
MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.