Deputy Cell Manager / Adjoint·e Responsable Cellule H/F At Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières, an international humanitarian medical association created in 1971, provides medical assistance to populations struggling with crises threatening their survival, mainly in the event of armed conflicts, but also epidemics, natural disasters, or exclusion from care. The French section of MSF is present in some thirty countries.

The main objective of MSF France’s operations department is to improve the quality of MSF’s operational response by formulating, supervising, and ensuring the effective implementation of its humanitarian medical activities.

We are looking for a member of this department Deputy Cell Manager.

Context of the cell

In 2021, the Direction of Operations and the General Direction of MSF Paris have decided to create a new cell, located in Nairobi, Kenya. The creation of the cell was effective from September 1, 2021, but its full installation in Nairobi was completed at the end of January 2022.

Cell 6 is currently in charge of the following missions: South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia/Somaliland, and Liberia. The cell is composed of a multidisciplinary team of 8 people: Cell manager, two deputies, including a deputy in charge of medicine, human resources advisor, finance advisor, logistics advisor, comms advisor and an associate.

Overall objective of the post

  • She/he assists the Cell Manager in the daily coordination of operations, team, and resources.
  • The Deputy Cell manager proposes and manages the medico-operational strategy of the projects of the countries for which the cell is responsible.
  • She/he assumes all or part of the responsibilities of the cell manager when the latter is absent.
  • She/he is part of the Department of Operations. She/he reports hierarchically and functionally to the manager of Cell 6 (RC).

Location: Nairobi

Career category: Program/Project Management

Years of experience: 5-9 years

Theme: Health


Main responsibilities:

Constitute a trinomial with the cell manager and the deputy cell manager in charge of medicine.

Contribute to the definition of the cell’s medical-operational strategies:

Coordinate the activities of the cell upon delegation of the cell manager and according to the sharing of responsibilities:

  • Participate in the elaboration of the portfolio’s medical-operational strategies (missions, regional, thematic), in line with the orientations set out in OCP strategic plan.
  • Analyze the context (political, security, health) of the countries of intervention and propose the most appropriate operations (opening, adaptation, or closure of projects)
  • Ensure clarity of justification and rationale of interventions and operational intentions.
  • Contribute to ensuring the relevance and quality of mission interventions.
  • Support the cell manager to create, maintain, and communicate an integrated medico-operational roadmap of the portfolio.
  • Monitor, assess, and flag issues and risks that can negatively impact the agreed mission objectives and engage in proactive identification of practical solutions to remediate them.
  • Ensure the execution of operational changes and actions agreed with the Direction of Operations, within the cell, between the cell and missions and with other MSF entities and offices.
  • Support the identification of appropriate technical support for programme implementation and work with relevant technical referents to ensure follow-up on programmatic quality issues.
  • Work with the deputy cell manager in charge of medicine and the Head of Missions to define key medico-operational indicators for each intervention, and ensure they are measured and reported upon regularly.
  • Guarantee that the organizational structure and resources required for the execution of missions and the various phases of projects are defined and adjusted regularly.
  • Guarantee the implementation of policies (medical, logistics, finance, HR, etc.), good practices and the deployment of tools.
  • Work closely with other MSF OCP departments and units (evaluations, fundraising, Patient centered approach, etc.) and take responsibility for some transversal dossiers as required.
  • Be privileged interlocutor and provide support to Heads of Mission and Medical Coordinators.
  • When required, participate in exploratory missions, emergency interventions and replace Heads of Missions.
  • Work with the Cell Manager to create, maintain, and expand a network of key external contacts among a wide range of state and non-state actors (governments, donors, diaspora, academia, NGOs, etc.) to support the operations of the portfolio.
  • Be in charge of the portfolio’s reporting (mission situation reports, annual reports, visit reports, and quarterly reports), as well as the follow-up and consolidation of that reporting. You’ll also be in charge of making sure that field requests are promptly responded to, and that feedback is given in a timely manner.
  • Assist in the development, revision, and quality control of key documents: country policies and profiles, project proposals, security plans, emergency preparedness plans and so on.

Emergency preparedness and response

  • Oversee and support mission emergency response strategies and adapt it to operational realities and the evolving needs of the population.
  • Collaborate with and give technical support to the field teams during all phases of emergency management (preparedness, surveillance and scanning, detection, and investigation, planning and response, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, follow up and re- orientation, exiting and closure).
  • Collaborate with cell members to develop a clear emergency management approach across the portfolio.
  • Draft concepts of interventions that require emergency cell funding and animate cell and missions to provide all needed information and after-action reports.

Security management

  • Ensure missions have security policies, protocols, and guidelines that are aligned with OCP security policy.
  • Advise and follow/up the application of mission security guidelines.
  • Develop specific security policies as per mission context (e.g., profiling /restriction of some nationalities due to differentiated risk exposure)
  • Reflect and spar with the cell manager and HoMs on security risks and their impact on the operation and propose new or adapted risk response measures.
  • Track, consolidate and maintain a record of mission security information at the cell.
  • Seek the advice, input, and guidance of the security unit in Paris and guarantee the implementation and follow/up of safety/security recommendation.
  • Collaborate with the logistics advisor to ensure the logistics procedures and processes are in coherence with the Security Guidelines of the mission.

Humanitarian Affairs

  • Actively participate in the identification and analysis of critical medico-humanitarian issues and dilemmas that confront MSF operations and that require influencing key players (states, donors, international bodies, non-state groups) at national and international level.
  • Under the supervision of the cell manager, lead the definition of MSF’s humanitarian advocacy strategy towards the issues identified and co-create timely content and humanitarian analysis (letters, briefing documents) for use in national and international meetings, debates, workshops, and conferences.
  • Where required, provide functional guidance and support for humanitarian affairs officers / coordinators posted in the mission.
  • Support the cell manager in representation, communication and dissemination of messages and concerns, and where delegated, lead specific advocacy dossiers related to the missions.
  • Collaborate with the communications advisor to ensure that communication and advocacy strategies are aligned.

Supervision / support to some functions of the cell (to be decided with the successful candidate)

  • Provide direct support to the finance and logistics (or logistics and HR) advisors of the cell.
    • During the planning seasons and throughout the planning cycle and interventions.
    • Ensure that these departments’ activities are aligned with the cell operational ambitions and plans.
  • As agreed, participate in the development, management and monitoring of the annual budget and its revisions, and facilitate the analysis of costs by activity (chronos) for each mission.
  • As agreed, supervise transversal logistics initiatives in the portfolio.
  • Support the selection of advisors of functions under his/her responsibility in case of new recruitments and conduct their evaluations and performance follow-up.
  • Participate in providing the operational input to define the strategies for the rest of the portfolio departments.

Information and knowledge management

  • Coordinate internal cell events, including the organization of annual planning, regular reviews, cell retreats, workshops and ensure the follow up of major decisions made there.
  • Ensure key monitoring information is collated and disseminated to the appropriate team members–contributing to the analysis and presentation.
  • Together with the Logistics advisor, ensure the overall information management of the cell including appropriate attention to security and privacy.
  • Be accountable to have key mission docs (country policy papers, fiche pays, risk sheets…) updated and accessible to users within the organization (Mymsf, SharePoint)
  • Ensure the briefings and debriefings of international mobile staff (including briefings on MSF OCP tools and those specific to cell 6).
  • Carry out technical briefings and debriefings, involving technical referents when needed.
  • Act as the cell focal person for projects and activities of capitalization and evaluations. Propose and participate in evaluations/capitalizations on the projects of the cell.
  • Represent, present, and share information on behalf of the cell in different platforms within OCP and with other entities of MSF in the region.

Training & transfer of skills

  • Participate in the definition and the implementation of the trainings in the HQ and the fields.
  • Act as a cell Focal Point for the organization of security training and simulations
  • Identify and integrate new coordinators and support and coach them during their mission.
  • Identify people with potential in the missions of the cell and participate in their development.
  • Identify individual training needs of staff under his / her supervision.
  • Participate in the definition and implementation of tools specific to cell 6.

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in relevant field (political science, international relations, humanitarian action, development, international human rights & humanitarian law, international public health, epidemiology) is an added value.
  • Significant leadership and management experience as Head of Mission and/or Project Coordinator for MSF or other NGO is mandatory.
  • Minimum experience of 2 missions as coordinator in highly insecure context for MSF or other NGO is mandatory.
  • Proven experience in security management.

Languages : Fluent English required (spoken and written) C1. French B2 is an added value.


  • Permanent position based in Nairobi, with frequent trips to the fields to be expected. Executive position, full-time with minimum 3-year commitment renewable for 3 years.

Salary conditions

  • A 3-year renewable full-time employment contract through MSF East Africa Section Office in Nairobi.
  • An annual salary of KES 6,217,417 based on a full-time appointment.
  • Global benefit package includes school fee benefit/support for dependents and other allowances ranging between KES 75,000-140,000/month based on individual & administrative status.
  • Other benefits include: 25 days of annual leave, Employer Pension contribution, Relocation support for non-Kenyan residents etc based on MSF EA terms/conditions.

How to apply


Only candidates whose applications have been selected will be contacted.

Join Now

Download our App Now