Deputy Head of Cell 2- Sahel

Site MSF

MSF is hiring a Deputy Head of Cell 2- Sahel.

General context

Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

MSF is a civil society initiative that brings together individuals committed to the assistance of other human beings in crisis. As such MSF is by choice an association. Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.

The MSF movement is built around six operational directorates. MSF OCBA is one of those directorates. The operations are implemented by field teams and the mission coordination teams; together with the organizational units based in Barcelona and decentralized in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations.

The OCBA Operational Cell 2 (Sahel) current portfolio includes the missions in Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

General objective and job environment

The Deputy RECO supports strategic orientations, project design and management as well as ensures the functioning of the cell, within the framework of Executive Plan, Operational Policy and operations annual orientations plan, in order to perform relevant, high-impact operations.

S/he is hierarchically under the RECO within his/her portfolio; the RECO provides him/her with support, guidance, supervision and development of professional competences.

S/he is part of the Dakar Operational Cell 2, and, when needed, replaces the RECO in overall management and direction of the OC. The Operational Cell is made up of a person in charge of the Cell (RECO), a deputy RECO, a health advisor (TESACO) and his support, a logistics advisor (TELOCO), a financial advisor (FINOCO), a human resource advisor (REHUCO), an advocacy Advisor and a Communication Advisor.

Main responsabilities and tasks

  • Participate in the organisational strategy
  • Support the RECO with the reflection on positioning and the role of MSF OCBA regarding humanitarian crises and related dilemmas, protection issues and operational strategies within portfolio and beyond, through organising, promoting and participating in debates, analysis and reflection exercises.
  • Participate in the accountability transversal processes at his/her level of responsibility.
  • Support the definition of the operational strategy
  • Support the RECO to contribute to the definition of OCBA operational vision.
  • Support the RECO in reviewing the MSF OCBA’s Operational Policy and operational annual orientations, based on evaluation of his implementation and the analysis of evolution of humanitarian challenges in the assigned portfolio.
  • Support the RECO in the definition of security policies.
  • Support the definition of the strategy of missions within portfolio, conducting context analyses
    Collaborate in the reflection on positioning and the role of MSF OCBA in relation with the Operational Policy with regard to humanitarian crises of missions within portfolio.
  • Provides regular scanning of the humanitarian and medical needs in the region and providing an additional perspective and support to the missions.
  • Support the RECO on the constant critical review of context and humanitarian situation of assigned portfolio in order to guarantee that operational response is adapted to meet population’s needs.
  • Support the RECO on the maximisation of the transformation potential of interventions throughout the isolation of causes and/or responsibility when identifying a (critical) situation that can be improved with direct action.
  • Support the planning and budgeting of missions and the planning and organisation of the Operations Department
  • Support the RECO in the planning of the Department of Operations.
  • Consolidate the annual planning and budget of missions within portfolio and support the RECO in the definition of strategic changes within the portfolio.
  • Support the RECO to ensure coherence between OCBA annual planning, operational orientations and assigned portfolio’s annual plan.
  • Supervise and support implementation
  • Support the RECO with the security management of portfolio’s missions in line with the security policy, rules and guidelines of MSF OCBA.
  • Contributes to the analysis of the project activities through the regular visits to the projects and analysis of the project outcomes, challenges, indicators and medical statistics. Based on this, he/she will discuss with the HoMs the definition of actions and new strategies to improve our operations, to be discussed and validated at cell level. S/he will make proactive proposals to the cell when potential opportunities for development are identified.
  • Support and supervise the implementation of the CPP and annual operational plan in the projects within portfolio, according to quality standards and to MSF’s humanitarian and deontological principles, with the primary objective to meet population’s needs.
  • Manages the support and supervision of all aspects of management of the missions, projects, exploratory missions and interventions in the assigned portfolio, based on the annual operational orientations.
  • Support the RECO to ensure that MSF role on humanitarian action and advocacy is effectively executed by identifying related medical-humanitarian dilemmas, defining lobbying, advocacy and communication strategies.
  • Coordinate the support to the assigned portfolio, considering the input from support services.
  • Supervise, promote and support the effective emergency preparedness and response of the missions.
  • Follow up the implementation of relevance/impact project evaluations, in order to maintain the relevance of the projects at all times.
  • Provide tactical support and advice to the Operational Cell and HoM in the follow-up and orientation of projects
  • Ensure the collection of information from missions and make it available to RECO and Services for its analysis.
  • Ensure the collection of information internally and externally to contribute to improve analysis and operational response in the assigned portfolio (regional context analysis, technical expertise in Dakar and the region, humanitarian affairs, etc)
  • Support the RECO with the analysis and evaluation of the implementation of lobbing, advocacy and communication strategies within portfolio.
  • Support the missions in strengthening transversal issues and especially protection, advocacy and communication
  • Provide direct support to the missions in context analysis, networking and negotiation
  • Provides induction/coaching to new management members at mission level as well as covers relevant gaps temporarily.
  • Ensure support and supervision for the day to day management of the cell team
  • Ensure support and supervision for the day to day management of the cell team (coordination, regular internal formal communication, coherence between objectives and resources, and timely decision-making) to ensure that objectives be achieved.
  • Promote knowledge management
  • Ensure that knowledge management policies are implemented at his/her level of responsibility.
  • Collaborate with the Training Unit in the definition of the contents of MSF-OCBA courses, facilitating them when needed, to adapt them to the Organisation’s needs.


  • Replaces the RECO as cell manager in his/her absence.

Selection criteria

Training and experience

  • Degree from University or Higher Institute (in medicine, nursing, bio-medical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, economy, judicial sciences…). Medical or paramedical is considered as an asset.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience with MSF in positions of coordination. Experience with MSF as Head of Mission and/or Emergency Coordinator will be considered as an asset. Experience with other humanitarian organisations in position of coordination.
  • Highly knowledgeable of and interested in the international humanitarian context.
  • Fluent French and English, Spanish is an asset.
  • Advanced knowledge of Windows setting as a user (mainly Word and Excel).


  • Commitment to MSF’s Principles
  • Cross-cultural Awareness
  • Strategic Vision
  • Results and Quality Orientation
  • Capacity to Negotiate
  • Teamwork and Cooperation
  • Leadership
  • People Management and Development
  • Security Awareness and Management
  • Networking and Building Relationships


  • Availability to travel frequently and on short notice
  • Flexibility with working hours


  • Position based in Dakar with travel to the projects 30-40% of the time.
  • Full time job
  • Minimum commitment of 3 years
  • Permanent position
  • Annual gross salary and secondary benefits based on MSF Reward Policy in Dakar
  • Starting date: Immediately

How to apply

To apply, please submit your CV and cover letter

MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, race, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are committed to achieving a balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

MSF provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.

Médecins Sans Frontieres, as a responsible employer, under article 38 of “Ley de Integración Social del Minusválido de 1982 (LISMI)” invite those persons with a recognized disability and with an interest in the humanitarian area to apply for the above-mentioned position.

Closing date: September 26th, 2021, 23:59 CET (Central European Time).

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