• Communication advisor Dakar
  • MSF in Dakar, , Senegal
  • jobs
  • 1 month ago

jobs description

General context

Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

Job general objective and context

Accountable to the Head of Operational Communications Unit, within the Communication Department, the Communication Advisor (CA) is responsible for defining and supervising MSF’s communication strategies in the countries of the cell portfolio.

As referent for communications within the cell, the CA :
• Provides strategic advice on public positioning and high-stakes communications;
• Acts as senior content manager: designs, conceptualizes, coordinates and drives validation of content;
• Be a first responder in case of Emergencies and leads on Crisis Communications;
• Support, manage and build capacity of field communications... resources;
• Liaise with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including MSF’s heads of programmes, directors of communications or international media.

The CA is part of the operational Cell and supports MSF operations in the countries of the Cell’s portfolio. The post is based together with the OCBA cell and includes regular travel to MSF projects in the countries of the region. The CA is part of the operational communications unit – together with other CAs managing other portfolios of countries and a digital advisor – and will regularly act as back-up of other team members in their absence.

MSF OCBA leads and manages interventions in contexts with acute humanitarian needs during crises and/or where protracted conflicts deprive populations of access to health and other basic services. Its teams intervene following outbreaks of conflicts, diseases or natural disasters. MSF needs to enhance public communication on its operations and the situation of the populations it serves while increasing engagement with civil societies and decision-makers in the area of intervention. The communication advisor will be leading this effort in collaboration with the operational managers and the regional and field communication teams.

Main functions and responsabilities

The CA provides strategic advice on MSF’s public positioning and high-stakes public communications in the region and internationally, coordinates and drives validation of contents, based on an in-depth understanding of the context, MSF’s operations and the dynamics of the communications environment relevant to the portfolio. The CA acts as a first responder in case of emergency, leads on crisis communications and supports field communication teams to develop and implementing communication strategies aimed at achieving operational priorities and objectives. The CA validates a regular flow of information on MSF response to humanitarian crises, both within OCBA, the MSF movement and externally, and liaises with international media.

Strategic advice on public positioning and communications
• Together with the team in the cell unit and, jointly with the field coms teams working with the missions, assesses communication needs and priorities, including digital communications needs in coordination with the OCBA digital advisor for operational communications;
• Provides strategic advice on public positioning and high-stakes communications, contributing to bearing witness (témoignage), drawing attention, alerting, mobilizing and/or denouncing on situations and conditions of populations we are assisting, as well as to ensure transparency and accountability towards our different stakeholders at local, regional and global levels;
• Define and proposes the strategic communication objectives and messaging and based on the targeted audience, propose the most optimum way in terms of format and channel to ensure the relevance and impact of the communication;
• Advises and supports field communication teams in implementing and assessing impact of communications strategies;
• Coordinates with CAs from other Operational Centres and liaise with MSF partner sections and offices, including directors of communications;
• Works in collaboration with Advocacy Managers/Humanitarian Affairs Officers (HAOs), members of OCBA’s reflection and analysis team (ARHP) to support advocacy efforts on topics and issues at stake in the countries covered according to the needs;
• Works in collaboration with the communications hubs based in the region to identify opportunities of media and digital engagement at international, regional and local levels and reinforce overall the implementation and impact of the communication strategies defined for the countries in the region.

Senior role in analysis
• Play a senior role in providing analysis, contributing inputs about positioning, advices on tactics as well as identifying messages and powerful tools for the relevant portfolio of countries and themes;
• Ensures with the support of the field communication resources, digital advisor and regional communication hubs as needed that the communication landscape (traditional and digital) is integrated in the context analysis of the country and is regularly updated (through the country communication framework, digital assessments);
• Ensures with the support of the field communication resources and digital advisor that monitoring is in place and keeps abreast of the public discourse, debates, narratives around the countries/projects/issues of the portfolio;
• Contributes to assessing risks identified by operations and advises on the role and potential impact of public positioning in mitigating those risks;
• Supports field communication teams in assessing and reporting back on impact of coms initiatives by engaging relevant regional communication hubs, partner sections, IO depending on the targeted audience to gather their respective feedback;
• Overall contributes to reporting on OCBA’s operational communication unit’s goals and metrics linked to OCBA’s strategic orientations.

International media management
• Maintains a network of and liaises with key regional and international media following the contexts and issues of the portfolio, identifies and builds strategic partnerships with media in collaboration with partner sections and regional hubs for communication initiatives (production and dissemination);
• Advises and supports field coms teams in their national media dissemination strategies;
• Supports, facilitates and manages as needed with the field communication teams direct media requests and those from the MSF movement, including field visits;
• Monitors the way contextual evolutions/MSF operations are reported in the media and provide strategic guidance on how to handle it (including messaging) together with Field Communications;
• Has “a nose for news” seeking ways to tell the story and impact through engaging articles, video scripts/narration, social media posts/plans and make decisions regarding content and offering solutions.

Emergency Communications and Crisis Management
• Be a first responder in case of Emergencies, ensure timely communications responses and production of relevant public communications materials;
• Leads on Crisis Communications, acts as a senior member of crisis incident management teams, ensuring MSF’s public communications strategies support case resolution, the continuity of MSF operations or the preservation of MSF’s reputation;
• Provides strategic advice and define communications strategies, including scenarios, communications responses and relevant public communications materials;
• Supports field coms teams in ensuring all aspects of crisis communications management are in place, including monitoring;
• Contributes to crisis management related reviews and trainings.

Field communications support and capacity-building
• Provides direct comms support through regular field assignments to the projects as needed (emergency, priority dossier, gap-filling…) and support field comms staff to assess communication needs, understand the communications environment, define priorities and develop key documents and material (e.g. a Country Communications Framework);
• Supports, manage and build capacity of field coms resources, including remote coaching and mentoring and on-the-spot support, conducting appraisals and debriefings at the end of their assignment as well as supporting them in the implementation of their work;
• Briefs and debriefs MSF senior staff (Heads of Mission, Medical Coordinators, Field coordinators) going to/from field projects;
• Provides communications training to key staff in the field and HQ, conduct information sessions on the role of communications to staff;
• Supports recruitment of Field Communications staff, provides induction about MSF’s communications.

Content management and validation
• Acts as senior content manager: designs, conceptualizes, coordinates and drives validation of content in collaboration with operational programmes managers in the field and HQ; validates a regular flow of information on MSF medical humanitarian activities, developing compelling messaging for public audiences;
• Oversees the production of communications materials gathered by field communication resources or directly by him/her (from field assignment), for the various audiences and channels targeted; ensuring proper preparation, implementation and dissemination (e.g. communication initiative framework, dissemination strategy, etc.) as well as compliance with MSF´s identity and ethical standards;
• Works closely with the Creative Content Unit, relevant regional comms hubs or potential external partners, to jointly define and develop creative projects on OCBA’s operational comms priorities;
• Contributes to- content for various MSF publications, such as the annual International Activity Report, etc.;
• As needed, and in close coordination with Creative Content Unit and field comms teams, occasionally collects material (stories, digital content, photos, videos, etc.) and contributes to the production of content for external dissemination.

Coordination, back up & on-call
• Participates in the relevant cell and operational meetings as needed;
• Participates and engages regularly with other communication colleagues from other sections covering same portfolio (regular calls, meetings);
• Participates in the regular operational communication team and wider communication department meetings;
• Meets regularly and coordinates production of content with members of the Creative Content Unit;
• Covers temporarily for other team members or upon request of the Head of Operational Communication on other countries or topics;
• Is “on-call” for emergency communications some weekends and evenings.

Selection criteria
• Degree in communications, journalism, political science or other related degrees;
• Minimum four years of professional experience in communications/ journalism/ advocacy/ humanitarian affairs in the humanitarian sector;
• Knowledge and understanding of the media landscape internationally and regionally;
• Proven skills and experience in digital engagement and social media;
• Field experience with MSF or another humanitarian organization – highly desirable;
• Direct experience and knowledge of the region of the portfolio and its different political/humanitarian stakes;
• Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading in French/English
• Knowledge of other languages of the region is an asset;
• Good understanding of humanitarian interventions, their principles and ethics;
• Track record of developing successful communication strategies;
• Experience in production of communications tools (written, digital and multimedia);
• Ability to analyse and synthesize complex and sensitive material accurately to produce content.

• Ability to handle a large volume of work, a variety of stakeholders and know how to prioritize ongoing vs. immediate needs appropriately;
• Strong capacity to deal with stress and short deadlines;
• Availability to travel to unstable contexts with very short notice;
• Possibly spends around 20-30% of his/her annual working time in the field;

Post conditions
• Position based in Dakar with expected travel to the Field/missions.
• Duration: permanent contract in full time
• Salary L12 according on MSF Dakar condition’s policy and subjected to local conditions
• Starting date: mid-July 2024

How to apply

To apply, all applicants should please attach their CV and cover letter over the application process

Closing date: May 29th 2024 at 23:59 hours CET (Central European Time).Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, race, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are committed to achieving a balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. MSF provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.

Médecins Sans Frontieres, as a responsible employer, under article 38 of “Ley de Integración Social del Minusválido de 1982 (LISMI)” invite those persons with a recognized disability and with an interest in the humanitarian area to apply for the above-mentioned position
Dakar Senegal


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