Humanitarian Advisor on forced migration (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium

The role of the Analysis Department of MSF OCB (Operational Center Brussels) is to support and critically engage with operations in navigating MSF’s political environment and in overcoming the obstacles faced by patients and operations.

The team’s role is to build in-depth analysis of MSF’s environment and to implement strategies alongside operations to address those challenges, be it through public positioning, advocacy, networking, negotiations or the development of innovative operational models.

The analysis department is a multi-disciplinary team that contributes to the MSF-OCB social mission through the following objectives:

1. To conduct in-depth humanitarian and health policy related research/reflection

2. To strengthen context analysis and negotiation/networking capacity

3. To take public positions on the politics of health and humanitarianism based on MSF’s operational experiences

4. To develop and implement advocacy strategies, that are rooted in our operations, as a tool to achieve change

5. To support in the development of innovative operational approaches and models of care

6. To design data collection methods for the purposes of advocacy and analysis

The department is made up of a Forced Migration Team; a Health Politics Team; a Conflict and Humanitarianism Team; and a Humanitarian Access and Networking Team.

The position of “Humanitarian Advisor on forced migration” is part of the Forced Migration Team and reports to the Forced Migration Team Coordinator based in Brussels.

The Forced Migration Team focuses on understanding, navigating and challenging the humanitarian and medical consequences of migration and border policies, as well as supporting operational responses to mixed migration contexts. This includes analyzing the political drivers of migration policies and their humanitarian consequences. The objective of the team is to understand this environment for MSF to be better placed to adapt operations to match the evolving needs of migrants and refugees, to advocate for policies and practices that address and eliminate vulnerabilities created by restrictive policies and contribute to learning and knowledge on improving medical-humanitarian responses in complex migration settings.

The Forced Migration Team currently provides a hub for MSF-OCB expertise on migration and provides support to projects in terms of context and humanitarian analysis, networking, documentation and advocacy. The team supports existing operations in Southern and Northern Africa, South America, Europe and South-East Asia as well as provides transversal guidance on key thematic files and monitors emerging trends.


The position of the “Humanitarian Affairs Advisor on Forced Migration” will take a lead in the analysis of specific dossiers that require reflection and analysis, development of advocacy strategies as well as provide operational support for priority regions. This role will primarily support the projects in the European region and be the focal point for MSF-OCB humanitarian affairs and advocacy related to migration towards European Union, in collaboration with operations and the MSF Humanitarian Representation Team. They may be required to support other regional or country contexts with context monitoring, assessments and exploratory missions as required.

The current thematic files that may be assigned to this position may include: humanitarian response to violence and protection in migration settings, migration and health advocacy and climate change and migration.

The person will act as an advisor and support to Humanitarian Affairs Officers and Advocacy Manager deployed to MSF migration operations as well as other key coordination positions and collaborate with MSF partner sections in their positioning and advocacy on migration.

S/he will give input into communication material, external publications and research on humanitarian trends and migration polices, represent MSF at conferences and meetings, develop and participate in training sessions and guidance materials.

The person will also actively engage and collaborate with other units such as the OCB Operations, Medical and Communication Departments, the Operational Research unit (Luxor), the Legal Unit, and Reflection units in other Operational Centers.

Frequent travels to the field will be necessary as well as flexibility to respond to sudden demands of support outside of assigned portfolio.


1.Support in context analysis and research on migration to feed MSF operations and advocacy

  • Support operations in context analysis and produce written briefs related to migration policies in Europe (and potentially other regions) to feed strategic decision-making within missions and HQ
  • Provide analytical and advisory support to operations in terms of migratory trends, humanitarian and operational consequences.
  • Produce pieces of analysis or research key transversal thematic dossiers such as climate change and migration, conflict affected migration settings, and protection of migrants, in collaboration with relevant members of Analysis Department

2.Support MSF Operations and Partner sections in developing and implementing efficient advocacy strategies

  • Contribute to the development of advocacy strategies and positioning in the relevant missions and partner sections
  • Support in the implementation of the advocacy strategies (stakeholder’s analysis, bilateral meetings, bilateral communications, public communications etc.) at both national and European Union level
  • Support the missions in the development of data collection in support of advocacy strategies
  • Build networks with relevant civil society and migrant-led organizations, legal organizations, academic institutions, government entities to identify opportunities to enhance MSF advocacy.
  • Organize trainings on advocacy and ethical testimony collection for field staff working in migration missions
  • Work closely with the communication department to maintain reactivity in identifying opportunities for punctual public communication/testimonies
  • Represent MSF in conferences, media and public events

3.Provide guidance, coaching and support to operations in strengthening operational approaches and advocacy to migration

  • Contribute to internal documents to assist operations navigate complex operational issues and dilemmas, and frame MSF-OCB positioning on key issues
  • Support Advocacy Managers and Humanitarian Affairs Officers on the field with advice and coaching
  • Contribute to learning and capacity building efforts through supporting the consolidation of knowledge and lessons learnt, development of guidance documents, tools and other learning initiatives to strengthen response to migration

4.Reflection and writing

  • Write opinion and academic pieces
  • Write internal reflection pieces to stimulate debate around the topic of forced migration
  • Participate in and/or organize internal debates and discussions on topics related to refugees and migration



  • Social Sciences or Law degree (for example: law, politics, anthropology, journalism, migration studies, humanitarian studies)
  • Masters or demonstrated research experience preferred


  • 3 years of professional experience in advocacy or project management roles in humanitarian operations in contexts of forced migration and displacement in MSF or other similar organizations
  • Demonstrated experience and skills in advocacy
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of medical-humanitarian work and of international humanitarian issues
  • Knowledge of European Union political environment, policy and legal frameworks linked to migration
  • Good knowledge of protection frameworks and refugee law is an asset
  • Experience in working in community settings/ on community mobilization is an asset
  • Interest and experience in both medical and conflict related humanitarian challenges are an asset


  • Demonstrated research and writing skills
  • Capacity to conduct in-depth analysis and to navigate complex political environments
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Very good communication skills
  • Good level of networking and representation skills
  • Good level of analysis and writing skills
  • Ability to take initiatives and to work independently
  • Capacity to develop and implement a strategic vision


  • Excellent written and spoken English, with additional language of French, Arabic or Spanish being an asset


  • Expected starting date: As soon as possible
  • Location*: Brussels. Eventual other location/s preferably in Europe where there is a MSF entity could be discussed
  • Regular travels (30%)
  • Contract type: Open-ended contract
  • Contract duration: Permanent
  • Time allocation: Full time
  • If Brussels: Belgian contract. Salary according to MSF-OCB HQ grid. Meal Vouchers – Hospital Insurance (DKV) – Pension Plan – 100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • If another location where there is a MSF entity, the contractual terms, conditions and salary will be established according to the place of work and in respect of MSF standard function and salary grids
  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment
  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

* Candidates with a valid work permit for the mentioned location/s are strongly invited to apply

* For the eventual other locations in Europe where there is a MSF entity, the final outcome depends on local legal limitations (residency, work permit, etc.) and on agreement with the hosting MSF office in these locations. The local contract and standard salary grid will then apply

Deadline for applications: 06/07/2022

How to apply

How to apply?

Please, send your CV and cover letter and mention “Humanitarian Advisor on forced migration” in the subject of your email.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

MSF values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

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