Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.
MSF Operational Centre Brussels is looking for an:
HIV/AIDS Advocacy Coordinator (m/f/x)
MSF has been active in HIV since over 30 years, in particular in improving access to diagnosis, treatment and prevention in communities much affected by HIV/TB. Beyond implementation and support to service delivery for PLHIV, MSF has also taken up an important role in influencing health policies and practices, combining work on technical and political issues. MSF’s analysis of our experience and the health landscape in which we operate, allows to determine the organisation’s position on key issues, to speak out against certain problems and to advocate for action to improve the HIV response, especially for the most vulnerable, excluded and/or marginalized people.
MSF’s advocacy strategy and plan is updated regularly, according to the changes in our environment and emerging or intensified challenges faced by PLHIV, their communities and the HIV response. The current action plan focuses specifically on:
• The continued high mortality linked to HIV/AIDS and in particular the need to reduce mortality linked to advanced disease should receive more attention and efforts. MSF advocates for urgent access to the necessary medical tools and models of care for early detection as well as treatment of PLHIV at high risk of mortality.
• In certain regions, such as the West & Central Africa (WCA) region, the HIV response is relatively neglected and has remained backlogged in significant ways. Important gaps in regards of financing and in the adoption of proven models of care and innovations is keeping the number of deaths and new infections persistently high. MSF advocates for additional efforts in those areas, in order to close the gaps.
• Although well documented as effective and potential gamechangers, national health systems and some international actors are still reluctant to support the expansion of community approaches in HIV and health. MSF advocates for the critical involvement of affected communities, patients and civil society in implementing HIV diagnosis/treatment/prevention (including differentiated models of care, community based and patient autonomy), independent monitoring of availability and access of essential HIV products, advocacy and representation in policy decisions.
• The current funding context is putting at risk an effective and equitable HIV response. International commitments are stalling and reducing, the COVID-19 crisis has further undermined domestic contributions. All in all, political commitment and financial support to the HIV response are failing, putting at risk the possibility to implement the progress made in the HIV response. This translates into shortfalls in resources but also the build-up of resistance to apply the key elements of success that allow for an adequate, effective and equitable HIV response. MSF highlights the human and medical cost of those cuts, shifts and shortfalls.
• The advocacy agenda evolves and priorities might shift or be added. These can also include specific time-limited topics linked to emerging or worsening problems/threats or specific groups of concern (e.g. children; key populations; pregnant women etc), time sensitive opportunities etc.
The position of HIV/ AIDS Advocacy Coordinator is part of the Analysis Department of MSF’s Operational Center Brussels (OCB) and a member of the Health Politics Team.
The HIV advocacy coordination position develops and coordinates OCB’s strategic approach in advocacy in terms of HIV & coinfection (TB – Hepatitis C and others), combining work at international, regional and national level. This includes:
• Support projects and coordination teams with the development of analysis and advocacy in MSF missions; connect with, coach and advise missions and MSF country-based advocacy referents concerning HIV. Liaise with actors and platforms at international or regional level as appropriate on some of these country specific issues.
• Update and expand the analysis of main trends in global HIV policy; link these trends to consequences happening or expected at country/health facility/patient level.
• Liaise and communicate with people within MSF movement regarding important trends, MSF position and advocacy efforts linked to HIV/AIDS.
• Exchange and liaise with key experts across the MSF movement, seeking input, synergy and opportunities.
• Develop and maintain an updated active network of relevant external actors, including international, national, local community based.
• Disseminate through bilateral contacts, meetings, conferences, public communication and publications, MSF’s experience and messages for leverage and change.
The HIV Advocacy Coordinator position will – in consultation with operations and medical department – design, adapt/update, coordinate and lead the implementation of OCB’s international HIV advocacy strategy. Tasks imply information collection and analysis, mapping and networking with other key actors, develop and disseminate MSF position and advocate for key changes related to the HIV response.
• He/she provides strategic advocacy advice to OCB’s missions to develop and implement country-based advocacy plans. He/she further brings coherence within the country specific issues and or creates the links with the regional /international offices with a coherent agenda across countries.
• He/she engages with civil society organisations in terms of sharing analysis, building advocacy approaches and work together towards engagement with government, donor and other organisations. Close collaboration with the current MIO position on capacity building for monitoring of service provision, stock outs, free care, and more is expected.
• He/she is responsible for analysis of international and regional policy and funding trends related to HIV as well as mapping and updating regional and international actors.
• This analysis will also be disseminated to the missions, operations and other relevant entities in OCB, the Access Campaign, other MSF sections and international office and networks as required.
• The Coordinator will also provide methodological support to the field teams to analyse the country specific policy and funding trends, environments and actors.
• The HIV Advocacy Coordinator will provide overarching and strategic support to and build synergies with MSF’s HIV- work and positioning.
• The Coordinator will represent OCB in all relevant (regional/international) HIV platforms/initiatives which exist within MSF throughout the movement and outside of MSF. He/she will ensure engagement, participation and dissemination of relevant materials and information.
• Identify training needs, develop tools, organise and support trainings for advocacy, overall and in particular in selected MSF missions/projects with a strong HIV component.
• The coordinator will exchange, liaise and collaborate closely with experts in SAMU and other relevant people in the medical department. This includes opportunities for synergy and mutual input a.o. through regular mutual updates, participation in training courses and coaching, meetings on OR plans (with input to agenda and optimal use of OR results & plans) etc.
• The Coordinator should collaborate closely with the communication representatives to lead and contribute to public communication on strategic priorities and objectives that aim at leverage and awareness on HIV/AIDS.
At present OCB projects that (plan to) include specific HIV response activities are located in: DRC, Guinea, CAR, Malawi (ending), Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya and Ukraine. Other countries might be included as relevant.
The Coordinator ensures that all advocacy initiatives are shared with and performed in close coordination with other willing OCs that have HIV/AIDS activities, as well as with entities such as the Access Campaign and the intersectional AIDS Working Group.
The position is part of the Health Politics Team and the Analysis department; close collaboration and exchange with colleagues is expected.
• Academic background to Masters’ level is preferred
• (Para) medical profile is an asset
• Extensive experience in advocacy
• Significant experience with MSF is a strong asset
• Strong analytical skills
• Ability to represent MSF toward multiple counterparts
• Strong networking skills are essential; proven skills of networking and HIV / global health activist connections
• Knowledge about HIV/AIDS essential, plus understanding of global health environment
• Capacity to develop and implement a strategic vision
• Proven ability to take initiatives and to work independently
• Strong organisational skills and attention to detail
• Good communicator
• Excellent writing and redaction skills
• Training and coaching skills are an additional asset
• Flexibility and adaptability to changing situation and organisational set-up
• Team player
• Ready to travel frequently and for longer periods of time
• Fluent French and English (speaking & writing) is essential; Portuguese is an asset
• Expected starting date: November 2021
• Contract type: Open-ended contract (CDI), full-time
• Location: Based in Cape Town, Nairobi, Kinshasa, Dakar or Brussels. The final outcome depends on local legal limitations (residency, work permit, etc.).
• Compensation package will also vary accordingly, defined by local status.
• Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment
• Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments