Head of Mission Advisor at Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – Holland

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Head of Mission Advisor at Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – Holland


Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an international, private, non-governmental, non-profit humanitarian organization. Our organization offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters, to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. We have been working in Nigeria since February 1996. A Memorandum of Understanding between Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Federal Government of Nigeria facilitates this. We are at present co-operating with the Federal Ministry of Health, State and Local Government departments of health on various health projects.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Mission Advisor

Location: Abuja
Employment Type: Full-time
Job Type: Indefinite

Main Objective and Responsibilities of the Position

  • Together with the Head of Mission and the Coordination Team, he/she would participate in the analysis and follow up of humanitarian context and security situation.
  • Advising, participating, and when requested, representing the HoM with regards to relevant national partners/stakeholders.
  • Support the Mission in understanding the present and the evolving environment, power structures and changing dynamics.
  • Support in the development, implementation and maintenance of a networking and communication strategy, ensuring contacts with authorities, local communities and external actors.
  • Participating and advising the HoM in the preparation of the overall planning of operations, including the review and update of the country policy and action plan.


  • Undertake country level actor mapping looking at national, provincial and regional (as relevant) authorities and conflict dynamics and support HoM(s) with context analysis.
  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts in order to share information on the context, follow trends, identify new risks and threats.
  • Gain an understanding of how MSF is perceived by health professionals, population and relevant actors (political, armed groups, religious authorities).
  • Produce context analysis briefings highlighting the latest social, economic, political and security trends with (potential) impact on the security and humanitarian contexts
  • Map armed actors, community key-individuals and (ethnic) groups customary and political structures.
  • Analyse impact of local dynamics on project staff’s safety and security as well as impact on population at large.
  • In his/her advisory capacity, review, propose updates and advise the HoM in implementing the Country Security Plan, risk analysis/risk reduction measures, in accordance with MSF Security Policy.
  • Assist the HoM in dissemination of relevant context information to the coordination team, regularly inform them on key issues, update general information on the context for MSF internal documents, and advise on cultural appropriateness of organizational activities and individual behaviors
  • Support the HoM in official representation. Upon delegation, represent MSF in meetings.
  • Participate actively to the negotiation of access, identify gaps that prevent MSF to operate
  • Liaise with local potential stakeholders and help the HoM to create, reinforce and maintain links with local leaders, tribes, authorities, armed forces.
  • Advise on and be involved in the negotiations, finalization and maintenance of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MSF and the Government / any other institution involved.
  • On request of the HoM, fill gaps and participate to the elaboration of different mission strategic documents, contributing to the mission´s strategic planning and objectives.
  • Raise security awareness among the staff through regular meetings on security context
  • Write up reports on each security incident affecting MSF personnel and monitors its aftermath.
  • Introduce actor-mapping methodology that can be independently maintained (regularly updated and improved) for each project.
  • Support and coach Coordination team members and Project Coordinators, on culturally sensitive manner of representation to local contacts, provide advice and support as needed evolution/challenges faced.

MSF Section / Context Specific Accountabilities
The Head of Misison Advisor is a key member of the mission coordination (Country Management Team) to assist the Coordination in broader context understanding in Nigeria in the following areas next to the areas already mentioned above:

  • Next to context analysis, support in the development and review of security and safety guidelines including the risk analysis;
  • Actively participate in the development of country strategy, project documents, contracts, advocacy strategies and all strategic documents with the rest of the Country Management Team;
  • Provide cultural briefings to all new members of the organisation, including a part on communications;
  • Support PCs and PC assistants in broader understanding of the working context (not only security related);
  • At times, act as Liaison between the Federal and State authorities;
  • Maintaining the Overview of Mission Key Operational documents (MoUs, SLAs, etc.) and ensuring timely updatings for renewals, whenever necessary;
  • Training and Coaching the PC Assistants in the projects within the mission on the proper use and of the Security Database tool (SIMON) and correct entries of the Incidences, using correct and standard spellings for location names and incident categories;
  • Compile mission SitReps for the mission, write one coherent mission SitRep and share with HoM/Dep Hom Ops for finalisation;
  • Ensure external bi-annual mission activities reports are compiled and shared with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning after review by HoM;
  • Actively network intersectionally with other HoM advisors or supports for broader context understanding and analysis.

Requirements (Qualifications / Experience / Knowledge)
To apply for this role applicants MUST meet the following criteria:


  • University Degree.


  • Minimum of 2 years work experience.
  • Essential experience working in the mission country.
  • Demonstrated capacity for analysis, networking and negotiation
  • Experience in similar positions in humanitarian aid, preferably within MSF
  • Strong understanding of the workings of the different administrations of the country
  • Experience working in political, security and humanitarian issues in the country
  • Preferred experience working with MSF as HAO (Humanitarian Affairs Officer), Advocacy Manager, PC (Project Coordinator), HoM Support, Dep HoM.


  • Mission language essential (English); Local Language (Hausa) would be an assest.


  • Computer proficiency in MS Excel and Word
  • Good analytical skills, at ease with figures and economics data
  • Excellent communication and diplomatic skills, including writing skills
  • GIS knowledge an asset.


  • Strategic Vision, Leadership, People Management & Development, Service Orientation, Teamwork and cooperation.

Application Closing Date
5:00 PM: 24th November, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Usage of Google Chrome Browser is recommended.
  • Only applications submitted online will be accepted.
  • Lastly, only one online application form should be submitted as multiple submissions will notbe considered.
  • NO Transportation and NO per diems will be provided during the recruitment process.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
  • Any documents sent to MSF-OCA (CV, cover letter, copies of diploma, recommendations letters) will not be returned by MSF-OCA.
  • MSF is an equal opportunities employer and promotes diversity within the organization.

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