Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Regional Medical Responsible

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Job Description

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.

Regional Medical Responsible Central Africa (m/f/x) Mid-2019 MSF OCB launched a reform aiming at providing more autonomy to the projects: the Field Recentralization programme. Following a first phase in Southern Africa, MSF operations in Central Africa (CA): DRC, CAR, Burundi and Cameroon were selected to develop an innovative and transformational support approach to operations that will be implemented in the region from September 2021 on.

In order to support projects in the region, we are looking for a Regional Medical Responsible. He/she will be, along with the Regional Operational Responsible, a key member of the Regional Support Team (ESR - Equipe de Support Régional). Together they will be responsible for the operational portfolio in Central Africa while respecting the principle of subsidiarity([1]). They will lead a network of operations support posts in the region by ensuring increased project autonomy and strategic support to projects.

The members of the ESR (Med and Ops) will have a key strategic role in:
  • The choice of new operations and the balance of operations in the region, in compliance with the framework of Operational Perspectives (Prospects),
  • The definition of OCB's strategic priorities and the allocation of resources granted by the Operations Department.
They will also have a key role in responding to medical and Humanitarian Emergencies in the region as a key member of the OCB network. The Regional Medical Responsible will be in direct contact and coached by the medical department. This position will require a lot of mobility in the region and will be based in Kinshasa with the Ops and RH counterparts.

Cell 1, currently in charge of operations in the region, and its responsibilities will gradually change in parallel with the establishment of the regional team. The speed of transformation in the different teams will depend on the operational and contextual reality of each project and each country.


The Field Recentralization programme impacts the role of teams at project, country and regional level. At each level, the roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and different from those currently played by the projects, the cell and the coordinations.

The Regional Medical Responsible Central Africa (CA) will actively participate in the redefinition of certain roles and the implementation of changes and therefore in the success of this second phase. Regarding the different teams: • A "regional support team" (RST/ESR – Equipe de Support Régional) will be set up in Kinshasa and will be the interlocutor of the projects and of country support teams (today called the Coordination teams) in DRC, CAR, Burundi and Cameroon for strategic decision-taking. This team will initially be made up of senior Ops, Med and HR (this post) profiles.

• "Country Support Team" (CST/ESP – Equipe de Support Pays) will firstly provide country-specific / Technical Support to the projects of the country concerned in the different areas of expertise necessary for the proper functioning of the projects. Members of this team will also maintain the representation role at country level. Depending on the stability of certain projects, which will be identified as such, the capital-based team will continue to play a strategic role for these specific projects. In collaboration with the project teams, the regional team and the Brussels Emergency pool, the ESP provides surveillance and response to emergencies. An expansion of activities outside the predefined framework will have to be decided with the ESR team.

• “Project teams”: based on each unique project reality and its life cycle, a strengthening of the teams (e.g. an investment in staff development, interaction between projects, etc.) will accompany the transition towards more autonomy from Q3 2021. Depending on the stability of the project (type 1 or 2), the lines of communication and collaboration will be adapted between the project, the country team and the regional team. The regional team will have a more direct relationship with those projects deemed as more stable. The transition speed will be adapted to each project.

To obtain greater autonomy for projects, a strengthening of responsibility and skills at the project level is essential. This strengthening will be accompanied by a transformation of the responsibilities of the current coordination teams with potentially a change of titles in this team. Complementarity between the project and support teams at the country level will be sought and adapted according to the stability of the projects, among other things reducing the number of non-essential validations.

At the same time, autonomy includes the duty for the project to consult with the teams at the country and regional level and the technical referents concerned. Each operational team must have access to the expertise and internal knowledge of MSF (eg referents at the global / headquarters level) in an approach promoting transversality between departments / specialties.

Finally, Field Recentralization promotes a managerial approach of dialogue by including project staff in strategic decisions, while keeping a clear decision line. Within the framework of each specific project and depending on the stability of this project, the project's medical manager will have medical responsibility and therefore decision-making power within a predefined frame. Projects facing chronic instability will continue to benefit from close support from the national / capital level who in such cases will retain an operational responsibility comparable to that exercised by a Coordination Team today. The Regional Medical Responsible will be responsible for decisions outside the framework of projects, but which are defined in the regional portfolio. Each initiative outside the regional framework is discussed with the management level (Ops / Med). This decision-making line is formed via the “rescue roles” [2] and no longer according to strictly hierarchical lines.


The Regional Medical Responsible will be the Advisor for the strategic medical issues encountered by the teams. Depending on the stability of the project teams, the responsibilities at the country level (today called coordination) will be defined differently. For example, the DRC and Burundi will have a different country support team setup, adapted to the complexity and stability of the country and the projects, and to the level of autonomy of each project. Concretely, the Regional Medical Officer will coach either the medical officer at the project level (PMR) if the project is categorized as stable / autonomous or at the country level (now "CoMed") in the case of unstable projects. In both cases their autonomous functioning is encouraged.

In collaboration with the Regional Operational Responsible, and in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, he / she will be responsible for the consistency of OCB operations and advocacy in the region. This pair will also have a decision-making role on new operations in the region, framed by the operational perspectives of the OCB and the allocation of resources. He / she will have a primary role in monitoring the humanitarian context and in responding to humanitarian medical emergencies in the region as a key member of OCB.

Finally, the OPS / Med binome will play an active role in the Design of this new regional setup, which will be in progress for at least the first year after implementation.


  • Provide strategic medical support to the project / country medical manager in a mirror and coaching posture
  • Guarantee the alignment and coherence of the medical mandate, the strategic choices and the objectives of the projects within the region with the overall medical strategy of OCB.
  • Monitor the conditions and the health and humanitarian context in conjunction with the operational & medical managers of projects and teams at country level. Ensure the medical framework and the long-term overview of projects with PMRs and medical representatives (now medical coordination)
  • Propose and participate in exploratory missions, situation assessments in consultation with the regional Ops and country representatives (now "Head of Mission")
  • Contribute to emergency interventions in the region, within the framework of the regional OCB network
  • Ensure that projects have a relevant component of operational research, monitoring and evaluation and / or medical advocacy within the framework of OCB's medical mandate; create synergies between projects and facilitate relations between projects and medical department referees
  • "Rescue role" for the monitoring / application of international medical standards by ensuring the quality of medical activities in exchange with global expertise


  • Medical or paramedial profile
  • A university degree, especially in medicine or public health is an asset
  • A degree in tropical medicine is an asset

  • A minimum of 5 years humanitarian operational experience
  • Extensive MSF experience in medical coordination positions, preferably with field experience
  • Relevant and solid experience in coaching
  • Work experience in the region is an asset
  • Strong experience in public health, infectious diseases / epidemics or in operations research is an asset

  • Strategic vision
  • Leadership
  • Management and development of staff
  • Service orientation
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Coaching & mirror attitude with the teams

  • Very good knowledge of French and English. Swahili and Lingala are assets

• Expecting starting date : Q3 2021 • Based in Kinshasa • Contract type: 2 years fixed term contract, renewable • Family position possible • Up to 50% mobility in the region • Salary and package according to field remuneration policy • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment

Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

[1] Subsidiarity principle according to which a central authority can only carry out tasks which cannot be carried out at a lower level.

[2] Rescue role: bidirectional principle. The decision-making role can be delegated (by choice 1 /) or taken over (by default 2 /). A project in distress, in unexpected difficulty ... can call for “help” to the person predefined as “rescue role” to take over decision-making power as requested (= 1). If a project is perceived as dysfunctional from the outside (regional level / global expertise ...), there is the possibility of intervening through the rescue role (exceptionally and with solid arguments) and regaining decision-making power. The 2 situations are rather exceptional and do not refer to daily or regular support or to coaching collaboration.

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