Our communications officers bring the world's attention to the regions in which we work. Whether documenting conditions in a camp for internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo or collecting testimonies aboard MSF's lifeboats in the Mediterranean, our communications staff play a vital role in enabling MSF to bear witness to injustices and human rights violations.
As a communications officer working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), you will help bring the world’s attention to the communities we work with and the medical humanitarian needs of the people we assist. To do so, you will develop and implement operational communication strategies and materials, while building MSF visibility and acceptance. You will identify communication opportunities and objectives that assist the project’s goal, construct relevant content, identify audiences and utilize effective communication tools.
You will convey MSF communications and advocacy messages to local and international audiences through relevant communications channels. You will help MSF’s project teams manage MSF communications and reputation with communities, patients, colleagues and other key stakeholders; maintain close contact with key local and foreign media; facilitate media visits to projects and act as a spokesperson; produce reports on the local media landscape; manage, develop and supervise locally hired colleagues.
- At least four years previous work experience in communications or journalism
- Previous work experience in producing communications content
- Social media knowledge and skills (including community management)
- Excellent command of English, as well as French (level C1) or another language (Arabic, Spanish). Refer to this evaluation grid.
- Self-driven with the ability to take initiative
- People management skills
- Negotiation skills and a diplomatic approach
- Relevant travel or work experience in contexts similar to where MSF works (armed conflicts, disasters, public health emergencies or situations of healthcare exclusion)
- Available for a minimum of six to 12 months
- Degree in journalism, communications, humanitarian affairs, political sciences or related university degree.
- Proficient audiovisual skills (photo, video, editing)
MSF Core Competencies
- Behaviour flexibility: Level 2
- Adapts behaviour to the needs of the situation
- Teamwork and cooperation: Level 2
- Shares information and coordinates with team and others
- Result and quality orientation: Level 2
- Works towards objectives, preserving established standards
- Commitment to MSF principles: Level 1
- Demonstrates knowledge of and accepts MSF’s principles
- People management: Level 2
- Gives feedback and sets limits
- Cross-cultural awareness: Level 3
- Demonstrates an integrating attitude
- Stress management: Level 2
- Manages own stress
- Understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI): Level 1
- Familiarity with EDI concepts and their application in a humanitarian context
Familiarity with EDI concepts and their application in a humanitarian context
To find out more about MSF core competencies, please look here.
You can find a comprehensive view of MSF career paths here.
Stories from MSF Staff on assignment
Communications officer Sandra Smiley spent 2015 in Congo travelling across the country, gathering stories from MSF projects to shine a light on under-reported health crises. In this podcast she talks about a young girl called Clémentine, brought into an MSF clinic fighting for her life.
What is it like working with MSF? See our blog posts and videos for personal insights and stories from international staff.
Before you apply
As you consider applying to undertake an MSF assignment, it is essential that you have a well-informed and realistic personal reflection. Assignments often mean long hours with a heavy workload, basic living conditions, and working and living in often chaotic and volatile environments.
Security and Safety
Because Doctors Without Borders’ purpose is to bring medical assistance to people in distress, the work may occur in settings of active conflict, or in post-conflict environments, in which there are inherent risks, potential danger and ongoing threats to safety and security. MSF acknowledges that it is impossible to exclude all risks, but it does its utmost as an organization to mitigate and manage these risks through strict and comprehensive security protocols.
Please watch this video for information on how MSF manages security.
International staff will be fully informed of the risk associated with a potential assignment before accepting a particular posting. Working for MSF is a deeply personal choice; individuals must determine for themselves the level of risk and the circumstances in which they feel comfortable, based on a full and transparent understanding of the possibilities they may face. Once in the assignment, all MSF staff must strictly observe security rules and regulations; failure to do so may result in dismissal.
Terms of Employment
MSF staff are employees with a salary and benefits. See more information on the terms of employment.
MSF favours at least 2 years of active commitment during which time international staff complete 2 to 4 assignments. There are many possibilities for professional growth within the organization, into the medical, non-medical and coordination streams. For more information on learning and development as well as career opportunities with MSF, see our FAQ.
To learn more about how MSF supports IMGs with EPIC service, free of cost, click here.
As you consider applying to undertake an MSF assignment, is it essential that you have a well-informed and realistic personal reflection. Assignments often mean long hours with a heavy workload, basic living conditions, and working and living in often chaotic and volatile environments.
Despite such challenges, thousands of people have worked with MSF over the years and found their experiences in the field to be deeply rewarding, even life-changing. More than anything else, being an MSF international worker means acting in solidarity with people facing unimaginable medical challenges. Your presence alongside people in times of need sends a profoundly meaningful and human message: “You are not forgotten.”
STEP 1 - REQUIREMENTS CHECK
Answer all our requirement questions below: