Environmental Health Advisor (m/f/x) via ReliefWeb

Médecins Sans Frontières

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 🇨🇮

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organisation 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 religion, creed or political affiliation.

To develop this work from our headquarters in Brussels, the Environmental Health Unit of the Operational Centre Brussels is recruiting an:

Environmental Health Advisor (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium – Abidjan


The medical department plays a strategic role by defining the modalities of implementation of MSF’s medical strategy so that both coherence and quality can be safeguarded. Strategical support is given along the phases of the project cycle. The medical department has a normative role and a technical support function with regards to implementation and follow-up of the projects. The medical department ensures knowledge transfer to the medical workforce and stimulates research and innovation by challenging current medical practices and scanning of new approaches.

The medical department is composed of medical staff working in operational cells in a matrix set-up with the operation’s department and medical referents of different medical disciplines.

The medical department is a network of units, in Brussels – the Brussels Medical Unit (BRUMED), in Cape Town – the Southern African Medical Unit (SAMU), in Luxembourg – the Luxembourg Operational Research unit (LuxOR), in Beirut – the Middle East Medical Unit (MEMU). In the coming years, MSF OCB (Operational Center of Brussels) has a willingness to encourage more people to work outside Brussels to develop towards a more networked OC of Operational Hubs and Centers of medical expertise or regional medical support that will be located closer to operations and to the existing regional expertise that can benefit MSF globally. Within this objective a new unit will be created in Abidjan to give regional medical support to operations in the region. The first positions to be located there are the Environmental Health (EH) advisor (here advertised), an epidemiologist and a health promotion advisor.

The Environmental Health unit is based in the Medical Department but operating with a trans-departmental logic whereby persons are seconded to other relevant departments to ensure a close collaboration (e.g. operational Department, HR Department). The Environmental Health (EH) unit is composed of:

  • Four operational advisors seconded to the operational department with emergency and regional program support responsibilities
  • One mobile medical entomologist in support of the Vector Control activities
  • One hydrogeological specialist in support of the Groundwater-related activities
  • One HR & Training focal point seconded to the operational department with HR support responsibilities
  • One innovation and support focal point providing support and centralizing innovation of EH technologies
  • One water and sanitation techniques specialist hosted by the Log department providing support on hospital construction and rehabilitation
  • A EH unit coordinator situated in the medical department to assure adequate coherence and coordination

The Environmental Health objectives of MSF are defined in common accord with the medical director and in function of operational priorities and tendencies. The concretization of these objectives in transversal operational activities on the field requires an active collaboration with colleagues of the operational, logistical and medical department. The definition and elaboration of appropriate strategies are based on medical needs. The EH objectives of MSF as defined in the mandate are:

  • To support and promote safe healthcare environments in medical infrastructures
  • To define and support the implementation of EH strategies of immediate response in emergencies
  • To promote and organize the preventive health aspects linked with environmental health of MSF programs in emergencies and in longer-term health programs
  • To promote Environmental Health strategies that improve the impact and the sustainability of the systems installed, by emphasizing:
    • The participation of the beneficiaries throughout the whole project cycle
    • The use of appropriate technologies
    • Developing counterparts and their capacities
  • Assure continuation of ongoing networking with the other MSF sections, with universities, with the WASH (Water Hygiene & Sanitation) sector at large, with WHO and with specific diseases-oriented initiatives (e.g. Global Task Force for Cholera Control, Antimicrobial Resistance etc …)

The concretization of these EH objectives in transversal operational activities on the field requires an active and close collaboration with colleagues of the operational, logistical and medical department. The definition and elaboration of appropriate strategies are based on medical needs.


MSF operations/field visits and assessments

The EH operational advisor will:

  • Participate in exploratory missions, emergencies (in an advisory, operational and support capacity), program support visits and project committee meetings
  • Provide support for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EH programs (pre-, ongoing- and post-), specific EH activities within projects, project proposals and follow-up
  • Participate in the development of appropriate project strategies
  • Provide advice on selection of EH personnel in accordance with the specialties required and participate in their evaluation

MSF field support for 2 Operational Cells

The EH operational advisor will be required, to provide support to field operations. This includes:

  • providing advice to the Operational Cells, mission staff and project staff in the field
  • proposing projects (and staff) strategic development
  • following up and monitoring of projects
  • briefing and debriefing project staff
  • Close collaboration with the Cells medical officer, Health Promoter and epidemiology support concerning appropriate medical strategies

MSF Training

The EH operational advisor will participate in presenting MSF training modules. Participation in review and design of training will also be required.

Capitalization of experiences and Operational Research

The EH operational advisor will be responsible for the capitalization of experiences in addition to the follow-up on operational research and development of new EH technologies. Also required is a continuous assessment of the adequacy of MSF standard equipment and strategies for operations.


Education & Experience

  • Trained specialist or engineer in the water, hygiene and sanitation sector
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience in humanitarian WASH set-ups
  • MSF experience in emergency situations is essential, particularly in Environmental Health context is strong asset
  • Expertise/interest in the technical and human related aspects of the following topics: Water Supply – Excreta Disposal – Waste Water management – Waste Management – Vector Control
  • Experience in defining, monitoring and evaluating EH-strategies/activities in Medical Programs is an advantage


  • Efficiently combine a strong short-term focus on concrete results with a more proactive, strategic and therefore longer-term approach
  • Demonstrate analytical skills, critical sense and able to make decisions
  • Work as part of a team and cross functionally but also autonomously
  • Stress resilient
  • Sociability and team spirit


  • Working knowledge of English and French
  • Knowledge of Arabic is an asset


  • Available to travel and spend time in the field and to work flexible working hours


  • Expected starting date: As soon as possible
  • Location: Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
  • 40% of mobility with Frequent travels in the region and to Brussels
  • Contract type: Open-ended contract – Full time
  • The contractual conditions will be established based on candidate residency and administrative constraints (work permit, etc) and in respect of MSF function grids and salary policies.
  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment
  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

Deadline for applications: 31 December 2022

How to apply?

Please, send your CV and cover letter to Caroline.maes@brussels.msf.org and mention “Environmental Health Advisor” 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.

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.






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