Position Description

Humanitarian Affairs Officer
Location MSF Holland
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Humanitarian affairs work within MSF involves support to mission teams under three main tracks:

  • Identifying and responding to violence, abuse, and deliberate neglect (protection)
  • Increasing the understanding, visibility, and respect for humanitarian principles
  • Linking MSF into wider humanitarian debates (ex: aid effectiveness, urban refugees, etc.)  

Core activities dealing with humanitarian protection will include the gathering information and the documentation of violence and abuse against civilians and/or against the medical mission within the framework of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). Improving the humanitarian and human rights situation of populations in crisis will further require the definition of advocacy activities to enhance the protection of civilians and encourage key actors (state, non-state, aid agencies, etc.) to assume their responsibilities and mandates.

You support the mission’s Management Team in countries undergoing emergency crises, often due to armed conflict. You do so by analysing the context and by identifying key humanitarian and protection issues to advocate for. Assignments can be specific and limited to the definition or implementation of an advocacy strategy according to MSF policies and values, taking testimonies or training national teams to do so, or developing systems for data collection. Humanitarian affairs work rests on strong analytical skills and requires the ability to synthesize complex field realities so as to prioritize core concerns and guide MSF organizational positioning and advocacy activities.


Requirements for Humanitarian Affairs Officers


  • Master’s degree in Law (IHL and/or IHRL), Social Sciences or a related university degree
  • Proven first-rate writing skills and excellent research/analytical skills (please include a relevant writing sample to your application)
  • Previous working experience of at least two years in research, analysis and advocacy
  • Good understanding of current humanitarian debates and of the dilemma/compromise nature of modern humanitarian interventions
  • A good command of the English language (minimum level C1)
  • Computer literacy (database design/analysis, MS package, and internet-based research)
  • Ability to cope with stress and to organize/prioritize workload under tight deadlines
  • Willingness to work in an unstable and insecure environment
  • Availability of 9-12 months (shorter missions of 2-4 months can sometimes be needed)




  • Field humanitarian experience in similar contexts (conflict, disasters, resource-poor environments) with MSF or another humanitarian NGO
  • Campaigning organizational experience
  • Experience in networking and building relationships
  • Experience in training and giving workshops about human rights, humanitarian law and principles
  • Specialised expertise such as gender, specific country expertise and/or language, etc.
  • Experience with setting up data collection systems
  • A good command of other languages such as Arabic and/or French (minimum level B1)


Application process


Please read the job description thoroughly before applying and make sure you meet the criteria outlined above. Before starting your application (by clicking on the apply button below), please take the following into consideration. We require several documents during the application process online. We advise you to gather and prepare these documents first before applying. Only complete applications can be considered. Please note, it may take from 4 - 6 weeks before you hear feedback on your application.

We require:

  • Your most recent English CV not exceeding 3 pages.
  • A cover letter explaining your motivation to work with MSF, what assets and skills would contribute to MSF practice, and elaborating further on your analytical capacity and your training experience.
  • A clear scan of your relevant diploma’s and certificates.
  • After initial (positive) assessment of these documents, we will schedule a 1,5-hour case study test, potentially followed by an interview.
  • If you are currently working for MSF or have done so in the past as national staff in one of our projects, we require that you upload a recommendation letter for expatriation from your HrCo, Head of Mission or other senior staff such as a PC and include two of your most recent MSF evaluations.