UK Programmes Internship

Médecins Sans Frontières, London, United Kingdom

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th September, 2017

Job Description

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent and international medical aid organisation. In some 75 countries worldwide, we provide life-saving emergency relief, including epidemic control, war surgery, nutritional assistance and primary healthcare.

MSF's aim is to provide impartial assistance, on the basis of need alone, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, creed or political affiliation. To maintain its independence from political interference, MSF relies on donations from private individuals for the majority of its income. This private funding gives MSF the freedom to respond to the greatest needs as quickly and independently as possible.

As medical professionals, MSF volunteers have a duty to bear witness and sometimes to speak out on behalf of the patients and communities they are working with. MSF campaigns locally and internationally for humanitarian principles and medical ethics and for access to essential medicines for the world’s poorest and most excluded people.

The mandate of the UK section is to provide technical, medical, human resources, financial and communications support to field operations.


UK Programmes supports MSF’s medical work and our teams on the front line through reflection, analysis, research and advocacy. UK Programmes is a vital link for MSF’s humanitarian and health policies and practice to reach a UK audience. It is the vehicle for MSF’s advocacy to the UK Government and other key UK-based health and humanitarian actors. UK Programmes has developed expertise in the use and application of qualitative methods and anthropology for the service of the Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA). We research issues that affect our patients, field staff and our relationships with other actors in the humanitarian world. The outcome of this research informs MSF’s advocacy and influences internal MSF policy and practice. UK Programmes also works in support of internal/ intersectional dossiers that require facilitation and analysis.

What you will do for us

MSF UK Programmes has taken on an ambitious workload in 2017 and requires analytic and organisational support for various ongoing work streams. These include, but are not limited to: analysis of global health actors and related policies, campaigning for transparent and fair pricing for vaccines, assisting with advocacy and outreach in MSF’s multilateral work to democratize the global R&D system, engaging with the UK policy agenda on refugees and migration in Europe, engaging with actors in the UK’s humanitarian and aid landscapes, and undertaking ongoing analysis of the humanitarian aid system. You will aid and assist the Project Manager for the Leadership Education Academic Partnership (LEAP), a bourgeoning education partnership between MSF and two major academic institutions being rolled out in September 2018. Within these work streams you will be required to undertake the following tasks:

  • Proofreading and editorial support on documents in order to prepare for distribution
  • Practical organisational tasks for meetings, seminars, events or campaign related coordination
  • Provide general administrative support for visitors such as booking travel and accommodation
  • Attending external meetings as an observer and providing feedback to team members
  • Undertaking background analysis using source material from grey literature for material on various health and humanitarian topics
  • Occasionally represent MSF at sector level meetings
  • Offer reactive analysis and insight into regional conflicts and health crises as they unfold
  • Keep up to date with government debates and committee discussions, and feed back to the team
  • Maintain engagement with the International Development Committee and APPGs
  • Support the Programmes Unit in their team planning and strategy, including monitoring calendar updates and organising meetings with internal and external actors.
  • Providing administrative, organisational and editorial support to the Project Manager of MSF-UK’s LEAP programme.

What you will learn

  • How policy and advocacy work functions within a global humanitarian organisation
  • How to effectively engage with the UK government
  • Insight into MSF and current topics in the health and humanitarian world
  • How to research and collate information relevant to global health and humanitarian policy
  • How to think critically about the global health and humanitarian policy spheres
  • How MSF operates internally, and within the multilateral humanitarian system
  • Aspects of project management through working closely with the LEAP project manager.

What we want from you

  • An academic qualification in humanitarianism/ global politics/ international health or a related discipline (Bachelor’s degree minimum)
  • Great writing skills
  • Ability to analyse source material critically
  • Professional and efficient manner
  • Strong communication skills – written and oral
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Highly organised and punctual
  • Experience using organisational tools like Trello or other software such as MS Excel, PowerPoint
  • Adaptability and a willingness to juggle various administrative tasks and work streams simultaneously, including strong ability to manage your own time
  • Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF
  • Take control of your own learning by registering for events and doing relevant outside research or reading

When we want you

  • Full time availability each week for 6 months.
  • Starting Monday 9 October 2017
  • Reporting to the Head of Department and functionally as per work stream supported.

What else you can expect: This role is an opportunity to explore the day to day operation of an NGO and to become acquainted with MSF operations.Also, there will be ample opportunity to learn about Médecins Sans Frontières and you are welcome to attend and contribute to weekly office meetings and operational updates.


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