Back to top

Humanitarian Anthropology, Community Engagement, and Health Promotion Advisor (Based in Barcelona)


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 five operational directorates supported by MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together worldwide. 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, Athens and decentralised in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations, including the Medical Department.

The MSF OCBA Medical Department is composed of two units: the medical-operational and the technical advisors based currently in Barcelona and the Decentralised Units.  The medical advisors are divided in three groups, each lead by a head of referents (advisors). The Medical director is in charge of the overall management of the department with the support of the heads of the three groups and the head of the medico-operational unit (HoS for Head of Service hereafter), who also has the role of deputy of the medical director. The technical advisor unit is formed by advisors of different areas and specialties[1] and mobile implementation positions managed by the HoS, and they are all devoted to support the field program implementation.



The successful applicant will be advisor in technical and strategic Humanitarian Anthropology (HA), Community Engagement (CE), and Health Promotion[2]  (HP) matters for OCBA.  Her/his mission will be to contribute through her/his expertise and, in agreement with Medical Director and HoS to continue with the development and implementation of the framework defined for HACEHP in OCBA.

The operationalization of these objectives will require a holistic and integrative approach, with active collaboration with (mainly) colleagues from the medical, operations and communications departments. Her/his contribution will be key to find and improve models that ensure active participation of affected communities and at the same time increase their access to MSF services.


S/he will be based in Barcelona and give support in this area to the polyvalent medical staff and desks in the Operation Cells, the teams in the field and operations department in general at HQ level. S/he will be responding to the needs and requests of OCBA missions, in close coordination and team work with the other advisors, MIOs and regional support positions with the responsibility to coordinate and provide technical guidance to the work of the regional support current positions for HACEHP in Latin America and, Amman, and future regional positions. The close coordination with other advisors will contribute to a more transversal, integrated and holistic support to the cells and the field.

The work will be carried out in the framework of the extended Strategic plan 2014-2019 and the new SP 2020-2023, the operational policy and OCBA annual plans as well as the Medical department plans. Her/his work should always be framed on best international practices and standards[3].




The HACEHP advisor will be hierarchically and functionally accountable to the Medico-Operational Head of Service (HoS). The position is functionally linked and provides technical support to  the Cells in HQ (Cell-based Operational Health Advisor “TESACO” and Cell Managers “Desks”)the missions and projects (Medical Coordinators, HoMs, FCs, PMRs and HACEHP Activity managers/supervisors), as well as to the rest of the advisors of the Medical department and other departments as required (i.e. communications, logistics, HHRR…).

While in the field, he/she works under the regular hierarchical and functional structures of the missions (Operations), while keeping communication with the Medical Department.



The successful applicant will be the advisor in Humanitarian Anthropology, Community engagement, and Health Promotion (HACEHP), being the focal point regarding technical and strategic matters of these domains, in close collaboration and coordination with other advisors and positions (in any relevant department) in particular in the areas linked to community involvement initiatives[4]. A primary focus of the position will be on Community Engagement and Networking, using and developing anthropological and sociological knowledge to help improve the pertinence and quality of our interventions. 

This position  also coordinates and provides technical guidance to the work of the regional support positions for HACEHP in LATAM (recruited), Amman (to be opened) and Dakar

(to be opened) and to any future regional positions.  The overall responsibility of the position will be to contribute through his/her expertise to the transversalization and implementation of a population and people-centered approach, ensuring the participation of affected people in all stages of the project cycle. With this participative approach, in turn the position contributes to enhance local vulnerability analysis improving as well the access to MSF services for all.

S/he conducts field visits / supports when needed (including emergencies) to orientate and evaluate / systematically producing a report that includes program assessment and recommendations related to HACEHP and general project implementation strategy within the scope of the position and according to the specific Terms of References (ToRs).




  • S/he will promote the development of HACEHP areas and approach within MSF OCBA, identifying key priorities, issues which need to be invested in;

  • Informs and updates colleagues in OCBA on the evolution of the current HACEHP issues on a regular basis.

  • Keeps a regular communication and exchange with the other technical advisors/cells/departments in order to contribute to enhanced transversal work and better support to the field.

  • S/he is participating and contributing to MSF OCBA activities through providing proposals concerning the enhancement of the quality and relevance of HACEHP

  • As advisor of the Medical department, s/he participates in all activities organized by the Medical department, including weekly, monthly and process revision[5] meetings, as in other ad hoc relevant reunions;

  • Support will be provided as well through field visits, on the job training and follow up visits.

  • S/he will explore new avenues for appropriate to HACEHP, including background research, designing and revision of guidelines, collaborating with operations in the implementation and adaptation of strategies and policies.

  • Participation in discussions on design, development, implementation, review and modification of specific projects and dossiers, together with the cell and other referents of the medical and operations’ departments.

  • S/he contributes to the planning of to HACEHP activities within MSF by participating in the inter-sectional HP contact group discussions and meetings. Contributing to the “transversal” analysis of our projects and capitalizing on experience through strategic documents, technical recommendations and guidelines;

  • When visiting the field, s/he works close together with the mission team to identify together the areas to reinforce and improve, listening carefully to the concerns expressed by the field team, provide training and agree with them on a plan of action to improve with adapted and realistic recommendations.

  • S/he will give follow up support directly or with the help of other technical advisors to accompany and support closer the efforts of the team in the field, also as a way to better understand the challenges and adapt the technical advices accordingly.

  • S/he will provide technical and functional support and coordinate with the Regional Support positions to make sure knowledge and best practices related to the implementation of the three areas is shared and the learning process is active.

  • Briefing and debriefing of expat field workers (mainly but not limited to HACEHP AM, HoM, MedCo, FC, PMR) to discuss and orient in main responsibilities, guidelines policies, data collection and reporting, together with other referents. Takes good note of the concerns expressed by the colleagues coming from the field and makes effective use of the lessons learned proceeding to apply the necessary adjustments.

  • S/he represents MSF OCBA position in terms of HACEHP outside of OCBA (other MSF sections, universities, colloquia, etc.);

  • Reports regularly to the line manager on the development of her/his activities, orally and in writing if requested.

  • S/he will produce an annual report of her/is activities;

  • Participates in the development of the plan of action of the department and contributes to review and update protocols, guidelines and policies in her/is field of expertise, including its preparation and dissemination in OCBA missions and in the MSF movement.

  • S/he participates in OCBA training initiatives and technical international meetings with the HP contact group when needed / required, contributing to the development of competences and skills of the MSF HHRR in her/is technical area.

  • Collaborate when requested and green lighted by her/is line manager with specific dossiers with other departments and services (Operations, HHRR, Communication, Fundraising, Logistics, etc.).

  • S/he liaises regularly with key relevant actors related to Community engagement, Health Promotion & applied Medical Anthropology (academics, researchers, institution developing programs or policies related to this field) to inform or get informed on recent / ongoing developments in and outside of MSF (programs, research, initiatives, introduction of new tools) and use those info to feed internal discussion on Community engagement, Health Promotion & applied Medical Anthropology to promote innovation;


  • S/he will collaborate to define terms of reference, protocols, and implement the humanitarian anthropology framework for qualitative assessments in OCBA;

  • S/he will participate in the follow up, monitoring & evaluation of the quality implementation of the qualitative assessments

  • S/he will contribute and guide the development and implementation of a population and people centered analysis in different operational contexts;

  • S/he will actively will participate in the planning and implementation of assessments and will be involved in the development of proposals for potential operational interventions; in this cases, s/he will provide special guidance in HACEHP aspects to be taken in consideration;

  • S/he will contribute to the definition of priorities in operational research, suggests ideas and participates in the follow up and supervision of operational research[6] activities in HACEHP and also in other areas that involve working with affected people; facilitates the capitalization on field experiences;


  • S/he will adapt and/or develop protocols, tools and guiding documents to facilitate community engagement strategies in MSF settings.

  • S/he will collaborate with the cells and field teams to ensure coherent development and implementation of general and med-ops CE strategy with a focus on supporting operations on networking with the community in the wider sense of the term.

  • S/he will work alongside other referents and other medical colleagues specialized in relevant fields to collaborate in the development, implementation and evaluation of community based packages

  • S/he will collaborate with operations department and MIOS to analyze and define contextualized CE strategies through mentoring of CEHP AM, FC and HoM in the field

  • Through the implementation of the HACEHP strategy ensures processes of community participation and mutual accountability in OCBA projects.


  • S/he provides support to enhance quality of care in the missions through the development, design and adaptation of guides and tools for specific contexts and types of intervention.

  • S/he will collaborate with all advisers in technical areas in the medical department to contribute with in the revision and development of strategies and guidelines for their respective areas (i.e. SRH, Malaria, pediatrics, etc.) ensuring the HACEHP component is present according to the defined framework and methodologies.

  • S/he will collaborate with COMMs department to develop communication strategies in the field and to network and develop contextualized material for health education (i.e. videos, radio shows, etc.);

  • S/he will collaborate with relevant adviser from the logistics department to contribute with the revision and development of guidelines and strategies for their respective areas (i.e. WASH, construction, etc.)



Education, Experience and desired attributes

  • A combination of Anthropology/community health/humanitarian studies background

  • Up to date knowledge/experience in anthropology, community engagement, and health promotion applied to humanitarian responses

  • Training and communication skills are essential.

  • A minimum of 2 years programme experience in different MSF projects (different contexts) or with relevant medical organization working in low income countries and/or humanitarian settings in the fields of Humanitarian Anthropology, Community engagement, and Health Promotion

  • Experience in qualitative research

  • Fluent in English and French. Spanish is highly desirable. Knowledge of other languages, like Arabic, and Portuguese is an asset.

  • Computer skills: Excel, Word, PowerPoint

  • Knowledge in qualitative data analysis software is an asset.


  • Willing to travel abroad, including conflict settings


  • Commitment to MSF’s Principles

  • Cross-cultural Awareness

  • Behavioural Flexibility

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Strategic Vision

  • Results and Quality Orientation

  • Service Orientation

  • Initiative and Innovation

  • Teamwork and Cooperation



  • Position based in Barcelona at the MSF headquarters office with regular field visits (estimated to up to 40% of time)

  • Fulltime job,

  • Permanent position: Minimum commitment of 3 years

  • Annual gross salary:35,964.18 € (divided in 12 months payments) + secondary benefits, based on MSF OCBA reward policy

  • Starting date: ASAP

Applicants please send CV and motivation covering letter under the reference “HACEHP Med department” to:  

(Médicos Sin Fronteras / Dpto. RRHH  C/ Nou de la Rambla, 26  08001 Barcelona)

Closing date:   24 January, 2019. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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


[6] To provide technical support to the elaboration, development and analysis of qualitative surveys such as health seeking behavior survey, perception and KAP surveys, humanitarian anthropology, etc.



[5] To take place every 4 months


[3] This position exists  in OCBA since 2014, and several advances have been achieved, including a HACEHP guideline and a yearly international decentralized training.

[4] Includes all preventive and curative activities where community health workers, TBA’s and members of the community participate actively (PECADOM, SMC, Vaccination, health education, home based care, etc.). It also includes engagement for/as part of an acceptance strategy.


[1] In September 2018 the Medical Referent Advisor positions are: Hospital management; Pharmacy management; Nursing and IPC; Diagnosis-Laboratory; Vaccination & Hygiene; Nutrition; HIV-AIDS, TB, Hepatitis B&C;  Sexual & Reproductive Health (2); Surgery; Anesthesia & ICU; Mental Health (2); Decentralized Models of Care; Tropical & Neglected Diseases;  Antibiotic Resistance; Paediatrics (2); Emergency Care& Non-communicable diseases; Learning; and Epidemiology (4). .

[2] The activities framed up to now as IEC will fall into this category