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MSF is recruiting Leader of the MSF nutrition working group (readvertised) 50%

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Lena Schneider (MSF)

International Medical Coordination Officer / MSF

Normal user

22 Jun 2021, 17:30

Job description

Position title: Leader of the MSF nutrition working group
Part-time position: 50%

Duration: 3-year mandate, renewable once.

Deadline to apply: 7th July 2021

Location: medical department of one of the OC: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Paris
Starting date: ASAP (to be agreed upon)


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization 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 23 sections, 25 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 medical humanitarian organization, 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 organized 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: the overall objective of the WGs is to share MSF medical expertise intersectionally to improve quality of care for our patients and support the achievement of operational objectives. This is achieved through:

A normative function: developing and updating intersectional policies, strategies, guidelines and protocols, and monitoring implementation of these; proposing new medicines and medical articles for DirMed approval, and leading further medical education in MSF focussing on priority-setting, content and methodology (training, coaching, e-learning, etc.);

A capitalisation function: sharing of expertise and experience between OCs and capitalising on this, to maximise synergies and learning across MSF;

A forward-looking function: challenging current MSF and external medical practice, identifying gaps and new and innovative approaches or practices. This includes developing an operational research agenda and setting strategic and advocacy objectives for each WG topic area.

The DirMed platform has the responsibility to ensure the dynamics and rationalization between working groups and to set priorities in the needs and requirements 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 of each and all the working groups.


The leader of the working group is expected to coordinate and facilitate the nutrition working group internal dynamic and activities, to reach the objectives mentioned above, specifically according to WG action plan. The main topics identified for the next 3-year action plan include the nutritional care for infants less than 6 months, the clinical nutrition resources package and the development of a nutrition security resources package.


The nutrition WG leader will act as a focal point on nutrition for the Medical Directors, Access Campaign, other MSF or external entities, coordinating and promoting synergy between OC’s, between WG’s and with external groups. The WG leader will as such support the nutrition WG in achieving the following objectives, along the three main functions of the working groups as reminded here:

Normative function

  • Provide support to operations by ensuring links and interactions between operations and the WG members, including providing expertise, material, checking medical documents to avoid duplication and/or contradictions (the WG is not responsible for supporting implementation);
  • Analyse the needs and modalities for L&D, ensuring internal dissemination of knowledge according to the MSF L&D vision;
  • Propose and validate standard articles to be introduced in MSF catalogues and order lists, reviewing kits composition, in coordination with Spinco and with Quality Assurance Coordinators;
  • Take the lead (although the final decision remains with the MedOp) in the definition of MSF’s intersectional medical strategy and vision in the relevant domain;
  • Identify needs and produce/revise intersectional policies, guidelines, protocols and other field implementation tools for DirMed approval/endorsement;
  • Monitor implementation of intersectional policies and recommendations to ensure coherence and quality in the field.

Capitalization function

  • Regular interactions, follow-up/monitoring and sharing of expertise and experiences: within the WG (between OCs), with other working groups, with the Access Campaign, with operations and with external entities and networks.
  • Provide movement-wide information for internal and external communications by collecting and compiling reference documents;
  • Propose and participate in cross sectional evaluations.

Forward looking function

  • Ensure coordination and prioritization of operational research agenda: information sharing & coordination to avoid duplication;
  • Seek out external literature and be tuned in to external developments for innovations that could improve MSF interventions, and propose to the DirMed if relevant;
  • Network with external experts;
  • With the Medical Director’s input, challenge what is/is not being done in operations, advocacy, etc., in order to improve MSF’s actions
  • Provide info and participate in medical advocacy on specific topics (key themes for advocacy should be identified as part of the Action Plan process);

The coordination role of the nutrition WG Leader is crucial in achieving these objectives. As leader, (s)he will therefore also:

  • Ensure smooth working group internal organization and efficient functioning by (not exhaustive):
  • Preparing the 3-years and yearly action plans, following-up and reporting on progress and achievements to the Medical Directors;
  • Organizing the working group meetings and activities (agenda, minutes, documents circulation, etc.);
  • Solving problems with the support of the medical director in charge of the working group
  • Setting up, coordinating and maintaining a technical folder on Sharepoint with reference documents: both for internal WG work (private working space) and for wider MSF information sharing (MSF public access).
  • Support and coach working group members.
  • Coordinate representation on nutrition, ensuring MSF’s voice is represented in external meetings and networks according to the needs.
  • Maintain collaboration with the quality assurance coordinator for specialised medical food
  • Participate in or perform at least one field visit per year in multi-OCs projects to ensure appropriate and useful links with the field.


Functionally under the guidance of the medical director in the working group, hierarchically under the medical director of the OC.

Job requirements

Qualifications and work experience

  • Medical doctor, or paramedical; a master’s degree in public health, nutrition or similar is an asset
  • Specific knowledge and experience in nutrition programs in humanitarian contexts;
  • With MSF experience (field and HQ if possible);
  • With strategic view, and experience in the development of policies and strategies.

Specific skills

  • Fluent in English (French and/or Spanish would be an asset);
  • Writing capacities;
  • Mature with strong interpersonal, communication and organizational 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.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.


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