Emergency Preparedness Coordinator At Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent medical humanitarian organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical care to victims of disasters, wars and epidemics. Working together with local staff, we give direct support to the population. MSF also appeals to those in power, including governments and international organisations, and speaks out about the abuses we encounter in the course of our work.

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 (Chantilly) an association. Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and commitment and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We encourage applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, disability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) currently operates medical humanitarian interventions in 25 countries. On a yearly basis MSF-OCA deploys over 1000 international staff and employs approximately 8000 national staff. At headquarters in Amsterdam, approximately 170 employees offer their support to the projects.

The Emergency Support Department (ESD) is part of the Operations department and plays a fundamental role in responding to humanitarian emergencies. The ESD conducts exploratory and assessment missions; initiates and manages large scale emergency interventions; supports emergency interventions managed by regular desks; provides support to the organisation and existing missions in promoting and guarding emergency response capacity; and supports the management of operations in in highly insecure environments. The ESD consists of a headquarter-based Emergency Desk (Edesk) with 5 permanent staff and an Emergency Team for deployment in the field (currently 20 positions).

Currently and with immediate effect, the ESD is particularly looking for a:

Member Amsterdam Emergency Team


(60% field deployment / 40% office/home based)

Open to applicants with extensive emergency response experience in a senior management position, for example EmCo, LogCo, MedCo, HoM, PC level experience.

Place within the organisation

  • Overall: Reports to the Head of Emergency Support Department in Amsterdam.
  • Field: Reports to relevant Management Team (MT) member(s) at the capital level, most likely HoM

Main objectives of the post

The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (EPREP Co) will support and implement emergency preparedness of OCA missions and ultimately improve OCA’s emergency preparedness and responsiveness.

The EPREP Coordinator works as a member of the Emergency Team to:

  • Provide emergency preparedness support and capacity to field missions across OCA, through field deployment and remote support, and linking with the respective operational desks
  • Provide support to missions in the development, revision and preparation of their emergency preparedness planning
  • Ensure emergency mind-set in missions through training/workshops and coaching on certain emergency response skill-sets e.g. monitoring/scanning, assessments, emergency response approaches, etc.
  • Maintain links, information sharing and lessons learnt exchanges in emergency response between the OCA Emergency Desk and OCA missions, in particular with Emergency Response Unit (ERU) projects
  • Collaborate with the relevant departmental staff (i.e. PHD specialists, finance, HR and Emergency Desk managers) to help develop/revise tools and documents to support emergency response preparedness in OCA
  • In exceptional cases, work directly in the field, most likely as an Emergency Coordinator if and when required
  • Collaborates with other MSF sections in order to share information, training materials and lessons learnt on improving emergency response capacity in existing MSF missions.

The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will be predominantly field based (60% of work time) travelling in various OCA missions. Otherwise he/she/they will carry out the work in the Amsterdam office or the individual’s home location (40%).

NB: this is a new position and some time will be required to further define the role, task and responsibilities, to compile and develop trainings/workshops content, and to pilot the position in the field.

Responsibilities and activities

  • Maintain an overview of the status of emergency response preparedness in all OCA missions.
  • Liaise with OCA desks to better understand the mission specific needs and contextual settings to better define priority missions for E-desk support.
  • Once priority missions are identified, closely collaborate with the Operations Support Team (OST) to better understand the challenges and support needs of the missions in terms of emergency preparedness and responsiveness
  • Assess and follow up with missions’ Country Management Team (CMT) members about the current emergency preparedness challenges, their response capacity and the training needs to develop a plan of action for that mission.
  • Work with Learning and Development to develop, update or improve training modules to be delivered in the field related to both emergency preparedness and responsiveness. Coordinate with other sections to avoid duplication of efforts on (online and face-to-face) training development initiatives.
  • Undertake trainings with staff (both remotely and in person) to build an emergency mind-set, focusing on preparation, assessments, initial response steps, re-prioritization plans and setting up systems to effectively monitor the context and assess alerts.
  • If the mission has an ERU, actively involve those teams in all activities. If not, work closely with the mission to identify a pool of long term staff to participate in training for emergency preparedness and responsiveness.
  • Develop and implement a plan to ensure (mission and individuals’) cross-learning opportunities as well experience sharing sessions between/with different ERUs.
  • In specific priority missions, in person or remotely, the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will:
  • Review the context with the CMT to assist in identifying the most common hazards/crises and urgent medical humanitarian scenarios according to their likelihood, scale and impact.
  • Discuss the OCA and other MSF OCs present in the same area/country their respective capacity to respond to these scenarios leading to the identification of unaddressed needs and response priorities.
  • Review intervention plans and response activities, with defined scope and strategies from which decision-making and resource planning can be established.
  • With the CMT, examine different resource strategies and planning required to ensure appropriate E-stock, Logistical and HR capacity are in place to respond to emergencies in a timely and effective manner.
  • Advise on preparedness actions that require longer-term planning, development and ongoing monitoring.
  • Remain flexible to support any desk and/or mission as needed with their emergency preparedness and response issues, including HQ departments in the development of trainings or tools e.g. redesign/establish an emergency stock planning tool with Logistics Department.
  • Keep existing emergency preparedness guidelines, templates and tools presently in place up to date and regularly liaise with other operational centres to follow up on intersectional opportunities. Ensure the Emergency Desk portal page on SharePoint remains up to date with relevant guidance and tools.
  • When needed step in as an Emergency Coordinator/HoM to undertake assessments, implement emergency interventions or new projects & missions.



  • At least 48 months field experience with one of the MSF sections in various projects/missions**, of which** at least two have been an emergency projects or a med/high security setting, and at least two in a key coordination positions** (EmCo, LogCo, MedCo, HoM, PC).
  • Extensive experience in acute emergency responses, assessments, project planning and MSF mission/project start-ups.
  • Proven experience planning and preparing Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPREP/EPP) in multiple contexts, including conflict response.
  • Experience in working in close collaboration with various departments within the mission management – operations, epidemiology, medical, logistical, financial/HR, WatSan etc
  • Knowledge of emergency public health, rapid assessments, health surveillance.
  • Knowledge of basic medical and logistical guidance and tools in MSF used in management of supply and emergency responses.
  • Organizational skills, diplomatic skills and team player (can bring people along).
  • People management skills. Ability to influence others in a positive way. Proven flexibility and solution-oriented mentality.
  • Ability to work independently and be decisive in chaotic circumstances. Able to work collaboratively in teams and under stressful conditions.
  • Positive, can-do attitude. Able to motivate a team, move a team into action, focuses on the achievements and does not get discouraged by the barriers to success.
  • Essential fluent English language skills.
  • Willingness and capacity to function as emergency coordinator at project level or at capital level
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint.


  • Use of online training tools and curriculum development.
  • Experience of working with OCA and its tools, systems, guidelines
  • Experience in organizing and delivering trainings and workshops, including at field
  • Experience working with MSF Emergency Response Units and/or Emergency Desks.
  • Other languages beyond English – French, Arabic, Spanish.

We offer

  • A fulltime appointment for 1 year with option to renew;
  • Salary is depending on three main factors: domicile, level of responsibility in the MSF field function grid (IRFFG: LogCo/PC level 13; MedCo level 14; HoM level 15) and experience on the job. Candidate’s domicile determines which MSF section will act as employer;
  • 45 holidays per year;
  • Completion bonus of 1.5 month of extra salary after completion of every 12 months commitment;
  • Prioritization for trainings in MSF (external trainings are considered)
  • A challenging position within the emergency team that seeks to support and grow its team members with direct one-to-one coaching support, trainings and keeping updated with developments and discussions from within the organisation.

How to apply

Further information

Additional information about the position can be requested from Will Turner – Head of Emergency Support Department, will.turner@amsterdam.msf.org

For more information about the recruitment procedure, please contact Adeline Degratet – recruiter at adeline.degratet@msf.org.


If you recognize yourself in the profile, please apply directly via our website and upload a letter of motivation and Curriculum Vitae (in English) as one combined document

The application deadline is 12 December 2021.

Selection will be by means of an interview foreseen in the week of 20 December 2021.

A test/assignment may be part of the selection process.

Please note that only candidates that fully meet the requirements of the position will be taken into consideration.

*Acquisition is not appreciated*

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