Back to top

Paediatric Advisor (Based in Dakar)


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 Medical director is in charge of the overall management and of the department with the support of the head of Med-Ops and an assistant. The technical advisors are divided in three groups of referent advisors of different specialties; mobile positions managed by the medical-operational unit are devoted to support the field program implementation and are under the management of the head of Med-Ops.

The OCBA Dakar Unit is a decentralized structure that is being created whose role and purpose is to support operations in the West and Central Africa which are managed by the OCBA Operational Cell 2 (West Africa - current portfolio includes the missions in Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Guinea Bissau) and the Operational Cell 3 (Central Africa - Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic). The Dakar Unit is composed by a Paediatrician, an epidemiologist, a Mental Health regional support, a Health Promotion and Community Engagement advisor (the last two starting in 2019), an operational advisor and a Head of Unit. A referent on Telemedicine is planned to be recruited during first quarter of 2019.

The Dakar Unit aims providing support to MSF OCBA operations in West and Central Africa, which could be valuable for the rest of MSF OCBA portfolio by maximizing the benefit of interacting in Dakar hub, bringing more proximity on the direct support provided to the field, focusing on finding models of support to overcome specific challenges and limitations of our operations, and ensuring inter-sectional dynamics which explores and brings opportunities for the benefit of our operations.




The successful applicant will be an advisor in technical and strategic paediatric matters for OCBA with the following main objectives:

  • Provide support to Paediatric activities of OCBA Operations. Her/his mission will be to contribute through her/his expertise to the improvement of care provided to patients in MSF projects in this domain
  • Contributing to the development and adjustment of the general Paediatrics strategy in OCBA, in coordination with the other Paediatrics Advisor based in Barcelona and in link with the rest of the Medical Department.
  • Contribute to the network of contacts in the region for possibility of training, recruitment, exchange of experiences and partnership.

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

Its activities will be in line with the Paediatric Road Map 2016-2020, which has been approved by the Medical and Operations department.



The Paediatric Advisor will report hierarchically to the Head of Unit based in Dakar and functionally to the head of Group A which in turn is directly accountable to the MSF-Spain OCBA Medical Director. Functionally linked and supporting Medical polyvalent (TESACO/ Desk HQ) and Medical Coordinators (missions), head of Med-Ops, and the rest of the referent advisors of the Medical department. Both paediatric advisors (Barcelona, Dakar) share the same overall responsibilities but organize their work in order to provide technical support the most effectively possible.

While in the field, he/she works under the regular hierarchical and functional structures of the missions, while keeping communication with the Medical Department. Definition of priorities comes from the Cell Health advisor in connection with RECO (via Medco and HoM).



The successful applicant will be one of the two advisors in paediatrics, being the medical focal point in regard to technical and strategic matters of this domain, together with the paediatrician based in Barcelona. Based in Dakar decentralized unit, her/his main responsibility is to provide timely and effective support to the polyvalent medical staff in the cells and the teams in the field of paediatrics.



  • S/he is one of the two Paediatric Advisors to field missions / cells polyvalent medical staff, concerning any technical problems / questions that arise from the field while providing child care services. Their overall responsibility will be to contribute through their expertise to the improvement of care of patients in MSF projects in the domain of child health.
  • The 2 paediatric advisors cover specific missions. Dakar Unit Paediatric advisor will normally provide support to West and Central African missions, although it will always be balanced among the two advisors and might be susceptible to change with time
  • The two paediatric advisors (Barcelona and Dakar) will have specific topics that will be under the responsibility of each one (to be discussed according to the background of each advisor and current and potential future dossiers).
  •   S/he will remain updated on scientific knowledge and evidence published in her/his area of expertise to ensure a relevant support to the field.
  • Both advisor will work in close collaboration and will be In charge of validation of all MSF OCBA protocols related to neonates, paediatrics & adolescents. In particular revision of neonatal, paediatric and nutrition guidelines for OCBA.
  • S/he provides support to enhance quality of care in missions through protocols and guidance concerning technical program set up and clinical procedures, as well as through follow up visits. S/he will work alongside a team of other relevant experts in areas relevant to child health.
  • On ad-hoc basis S/he contributes with the other paed advisor to the planning of paediatric activities within MSF by participating in the Paediatric Working Group (PWG) discussion and meetings, though the advisor in Barcelona will be involved in discussions and decisions that arise from the meetings.
  • Contributing to the “transversal” analysis of our projects and capitalizing on experience through strategic documents, technical recommendations and guidelines.
  • S/he, with other colleagues of the Medical department, will work within the frame of the 5 year paediatric Road Map for MSF OCBA (2016-2020), updating as necessary in collaboration with the other Paediatric Advisor, to contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality in children (newborns, children & adolescents), including emergencies.
  • Participation in discussions on design, development, implementation, review and modification of specific projects, with Cell and other referents of the medical department.
  • S/he will provide the fields missions / cells with adapted support according to the needs and requests, providing either direct and immediate response or/and searching actively for the needed answers through research (literature review, seeking advice of specialist in the matter) to provide the best available solutions, based always in good practices and international standards adapted to field realities.
  • S/he will participate actively in the telemedicine platform providing timely support to the projects sending clinical cases but also will have an overall vision of all the OCBA paediatric cases allocations in order to eventually interact with other paediatric/subspecialty experts and make sure that technical support is in line with our means, guidelines and field realities.
  • S/he will receive field data and reports regarding paediatrics activities, to contribute in its analysis, providing timely feedback to support the quality of care in MSF OCBA paediatric programs and participate in its dissemination by preparing presentations in an adapted format (presentations in the field / HQ /external).
  • S/he conducts field visits / supports when needed (including emergencies) / requesting and providing systematically a report, including program assessment and recommendations.
  • 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 on a plan of action with adapted and realistic recommendations in line with our current guidelines.
  • Participate actively in the planning and implementation of assessments and will be involved in the development of proposals for potential operational interventions; S/he will give follow up support directly /indirectly to accompany and support closer the efforts of field-teams, also as a way to better understand the challenges and adapt the technical advices accordingly.
  • S/he will produce together with the other paediatrician, an annual report of their activities. Reports regularly to the line manager on the development of her/his activities, orally and in writing if requested. Gives regular updates to the rest of the medical department team.
  • Briefing and debriefing of pertinent expat field workers (Paediatricians and MedCos as minimum, PMR and other profiles according to need and time) to discuss and orient in main responsibilities, guidelines policies, data collection and reporting, together with other referents. Takes good note of the concerns expresses by the colleagues coming from the field and makes good use of the lessons learned proceeding to realize the necessary adjustments.
  • S/he will provide technical and functional support and coordinate with the paediatric MIO (Mobile Implementing Officer) to make sure the support is provided timely and effectively.
  • S/he contributes to the definition of priorities in operational research and participates in the follow up and supervision of operational research activities in paediatrics.
  • S/he will prepare presentations and participate in colloquiums and seminars on paediatric subjects
  • Supports the HHRR department in the development of a paediatric HHRR policy in line with the paediatric Road Map, matching and development of paediatric staff (paediatricians, paediatric nurses and medical staff with interest and experienced in paediatrics.
  • Support the Learning Unit in the development or in updating of paediatric training packages (PMR training, PPD, paediatric e-learning, field paediatric packages)



  • Develop and maintain a professional network with relevant actors involved in the field of paediatrics / neonatology and medical research in Dakar and in the region;
  • Participate in relevant fora / events related to paediatrics / neonatology in Dakar and the region and use those, when relevant, to disseminate medical activities outcomes
  • Liaise regularly with key relevant actors related to paediatrics (academics, researchers, institution developing programs or policies related to paediatrics) in Dakar and within the region to inform or get informed on recent / ongoing development (programs, research, initiatives, introduction of new tools);
  • Contribute to the development of partnerships with some institutions such as CEA_SAMENF (Centre d’Excellence Africain pour la Santé de la Mère et de l’Enfant) based in Dakar.
  • Contribute to the development of Dakar team (mental health , anthropologist, epidemiologist, paediatric advisor, operational advisor C2, head of unit OCBA) and Dakar unit (OCBA/OCG/OCP)
  • Participate as facilitator in some MSF trainings held in Dakar (OCBA or Intersectionnal)
  • Contribute to the Dakar unit strategy
  • Direct involvement in the organisation of the MSF paediatric Days held alternatively in Stockholm and Dakar (MSF Sweden MSF OCBA collaboration). Liaise with the other Paed Advisor based in Barcelona who is the Scientific committee coordinator.



  • As advisor of the Medical department, he/she participates in all activities organized by the Medical department, including weekly, monthly and process revision meetings, as in other ad hoc relevant reunions;
  • Participate on an irregular basis the Paediatric Working Group Meetings in as extended representative of OCBA: 1 -2 meetings per year. 1 meeting per year to be organized in Barcelona (2017) and might require the Dakar advisor  presence. Other meetings can attended by Video-conference.
  • S/he is participating and contributing to MSF OCBA medical department activities through providing proposals concerning the enhancement of the quality and relevance of paediatric services;
  • 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 will promote the development of paediatric programs within MSF OCBA, identifying key priorities issues which need to be invested in (operational research, key paediatric questions);
  • Together with the other paediatrician informs and updates colleagues of the medical department on the evolution of the current paediatric issues on a regular basis (monthly Medical Newsletter).
  • Supports the networking efforts of the Paediatrician referent based in Barcelona
  • Keep 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.
  • Collaborate when requested and green lighted by her/is line manager with specific dossiers with other departments and services (HHRR, Communication, Fundraising, Logistics, etc.).
  • S/he participates in OCBA training initiatives and technical international meetings when needed / required, contributing to developing competences & skills of the MSF HHRR in her/is technical area.



Education, Experience and desired attributes

- Medical doctor-with minimum 3 years Paediatrics specialty training

- Education and /or experience in Public health will be a valuable asset. Very good general knowledge of paediatrics in different domains Postgraduate studies or experience in Neonatology is an asset

- 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.

- Good knowledge of West African networks is an asset

- Fluent in French and English is required. Knowledge of another language (Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic) is an asset.

- Knowledge in computer: Excel, Word and PowerPoint programmes.



- 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

- Security Awareness and Management



- Training and communication skills highly appreciated.

- Ability to provide answers upon request in a simple way, practical & adapted to MSF field conditions.

- Willing to travel abroad, including conflict settings; availability on short notice

- Flexibility with working hours.



- Position based in Dakar at the MSF Dakar Unit office with regular field visits (≈30-40% of time)

 - Fulltime job  

- Minimum commitment with the position of 3 years

- Annual gross salary: Based on Dakar (HQ) Salary Scale

- Other secondary benefits (including housing allowance) based on MSF OCBA Reward Policy

- Practical working conditions while in the field are as per the MSF-OCBA guideline.

- Starting date: Immediately.



ü  To apply, all applicants should please send their CV and cover motivation letter under the reference “Paed.DAKAR” to

ü  Please submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

ü  Closing date: 18/02/2019

ü  Replies will only be sent to short-listed candidates.

ü  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.