FLYING Negotiation Advisor

Médecins Sans Frontières en Suisse

Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva

Context & Mission

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent humanitarian organization providing medical aid to victims of man-made or natural disasters, epidemics and endemics. Its Operational Centre in Geneva is responsible for medical assistance programmes in 24 countries.

In many contexts where we intervene, our ability to assist people adequately and to secure access to them and for them has been a constant challenge for MSF. Our working space is not a given and must be negotiated on a consistent and regular basis. It depends largely on the ability of humanitarian agencies and organizations to negotiate their presence and terms of operations with various state and non-state actors.

As specified in the OCG strategic plan 2020-2023 : “Analysis, Negotiation, Communication & Positioning are part of MSF social mission and shall be considered as an integrated pillar of MSF OCG broader operational strategies. Over this strategic cycle MSF OCG will “Continue to develop and train field teams in the art of negotiation that includes the understanding of complex environment, the geopolitical landscape, the increasing regulatory and administrative constraints, risk analysis, security management.”

To fulfil this ambition, the position of Negotiation Advisor positions was opened with the aim to develop and provide our own negotiating capacity to support our social mission whether internally or via external partnership through direct support to our teams in the field. This position will also contribute to the design of trainings and tools as well as workshops/trainings and coaching/mentoring in situ or through webinar to support our field teams in elaborating their contextualized negotiation strategy. In addition, he will provide an advisory service and peer support when necessary.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Contribute to the humanitarian negotiations activities in OCG

  • Participates to the development of the Strategic Plan and Annual Plan initiatives linked to negotation.

Provision of Support

  • Provide direct support, as requested by field teams, operational cells or via the Negotiation Platform, to missions facing particularly complex access challenges or difficult negotiations.
  • Provide support to ensure the facilitation of administrative procedures, ensure consistency between units and departments in OCG (ILD, Supply, Pharma, HR,and Medical)
  • Provide strategic risk analysis including all the legal and administrative blokcages that OCG could face
  • Provide guidance in policy dialogue with governments, national and local administrations, humanitarian organizations or development of tactical tools and methods related to humanitarian negotiations
  • Provide analysis, as requested, on the state of relations between MSF and the local authorities, the community and other stakeholders in specific contexts. Provide specific support for context analysis and stakeholder mapping where necessary

Coordination and management

  • Ensure that the proposed strategy in in the best interest of OCG, assesses the risk and proposes alternatives solutions.
  • Monitor engagement and negotiation strategies developed with teams in the field

Learning and Development

  • Contribute to organisational learning, knowledge sharing, and peer exchange about negotiation.
  • Participe to the implementation of the learning strategy, as part of the broader Operational Learning Strategy on the Negotiation Pillar:
    • Contribute to the design of e-learning trainings ( self-learning and webinar/virtual class)
    • Participate to the deployment of the different negotiation trainings for ours staffs
    • Contribute to the elaboration and dissemination thematic negotiation frameworks (EPREP, HCA, access & security, protection of the medical mission, medical protocole and portfolio, …etc)
  • Stimulate the reflexion, capitalization and debate on the operational negotiation and stakes at HQ and fields level

Your Profile

Education & Experience

  • Higher education or University Master’s in international relations, law or equivalent.
  • At least 8 years experiences in humanitarian intervention and management
  • Solid experience in implementing trainings and workshops
  • Experience coaching and mentoring others.
  • Experience working with (or for) other international organisations.


  • Fluent French
  • Fluent English

Personal Abilities & Skills

  • Good understanding of the humanitarian system and trends affecting humanitarian affairs
  • Established practice in humanitarian negotiation
  • Ability to think strategically and translate a vision into practical outputs.
  • Ability to implement training and coaching activities
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including good public presentation skills, capacity to work effectively in team and to set up and maintain a wide network of expert
  • Excellent writing, editing and analytical skills.
  • Ability to translate complex questions into policy options leading to practical recommendations.
  • Available for frequent travels.

Terms of Employment

  • Fixed-term contract, 12 months
  • Full-time, 100% (40h/week)
  • Working place : Field-based position with visits to the headquarters in Geneva
  • Practical working conditions in the field are in accordance with the MSF OCG volunteer manual.
  • Ideal start date: September 1st, 2023
  • Gross monthly salary: CHF 5’500.- based on 100%
  • Benefits: Health insurance and living expenses in the countries of intervention and at headquarters, paid according to internal regulations.

How to apply

Candidates submit their application following the requirements: CV 2 p. max. – letter of motivation 1p. max. – in French or English.

Deadline for application is August 20th, 2023. We reserve the right to close the position early if we consider the number and quality of applications received to be sufficient.


The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.

We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.