Program Manager – Epidemics M/W

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Médecins Sans Frontières

Doctors Without Borders is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization created in 1971 that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

At the heart of the MSF movement, at the crossroads of humanitarian medicine and new or evolving technologies, The MSF Foundation develops new medical tools with the ambition of improving the way MSF delivers care to the most vulnerable patients. Projects led by The MSF Foundation rely on multidisciplinary cooperation (medical, technological, epidemiological, sociological) and forge links between patients and practitioners in MSF fields of intervention and a broad network of external partners.

The MSF Foundation is looking for a Program Manager – Epidemics.


The MSF Foundation’s role is to sponsor, elaborate and test new concepts of medical innovation, in collaboration with MSF’s medical and operations departments, other MSF satellites, and external partners, via:

  • Acting as an ‘umbrella’ to facilitate the collaboration of different partners towards a defined project, notably by ensuring different roles and responsibilities are clear.
  • Accompanying projects through to completion – from problem analysis, through the different stages of development and evaluation, to deployment at scale.
  • Ensuring the necessary resources are made available for the successful completion of the project.
  • Understanding the needs and requirements of end-users (e.g. patients or medical practitioners from MSF, Ministries of Health, or beyond), and the opportunities and obstacles towards long-term change of practice at scale (funding, training, product regulation, integration into WHO/MOH protocols, etc.).
  • Mapping different/complementary initiatives internal and external to the MSF movement, with a view to developing short or longer-term collaborations or simply ensuring the exchange of information to support complementarity.
  • Absorbing the risks associated with the development and testing of new concepts.
  • Objectively evaluating project impacts and ensuring accountability, transparency and open access to project outcomes, whether the result is success or failure (e.g. via Steering and Scientific Committees, Open Source publications, presentations, etc.)

The MSF Foundation Epidemics Program

In 2020, The MSF Foundation launched a program to support MSF’s efforts to better respond to epidemics of infectious disease, after reflection on current practice demonstrated the necessity to elaborate and evaluate new response models that aim to be better adapted to the situations in which MSF chooses to respond, better appreciated by the people that we assist as well as accepted by local, national and international authorities, and that are regularly updated according to the acquisition of new knowledge.

The current program comprises 3 projects, which would be overseen by the Program Manager – Epidemics:

Diatropix – the development and production of new rapid diagnostic tests for measles and meningitis:

  • A partnership with Diatropix, a new non-profit manufacturing platform at the Institute Pasteur of Dakar that is dedicated to the development and industrial production of new, quality rapid diagnostic tests adapted for use in remote and low-resource settings.
  • Test prototypes have been developed according to MSF’s specifications and will soon be ready for field evaluation studies with a view to eventual commercialisation.

Alert-Epidemics – a digital epidemic surveillance and alert notification programme adapted for use in low-resource settings:

  • A collaboration between The MSF Foundation, Epicentre and Medic, a non-profit developer of open-source software for use by health workers in low-resource settings.
  • Two components have been piloted in Niger: Alerte-Covid19 and Alerte-Niger
    • Alerte-Covid19 was used nationwide throughout the peak of the Covid19 pandemic in Niger and has now been wound down.
    • Alerte-Niger (digital surveillance and reporting of measles, meningitis and cholera via the community and primary health systems) was piloted in Maradi region and is now ready to be scaled-up more widely in Niger and adapted for use in other countries and for other diseases.

SMS Afia Yetu – a digital tool which uses automatised bidirectional SMS messaging to enable people living with a chronic disease to quickly identify and report problems using only a basic mobile phone:

  • A collaboration between La Fondation MSF, MSF OCP Goma Project, and Medic.
  • The digital tool was designed and tested by a small group of patients and health staff from the MSF OCP HIV project in Goma, DRC.
  • It is now ready to be piloted and evaluated over a period of 6-12 months by a larger patient cohort (between 1500-5000 people living with HIV in Goma, DRC), before being rolled out more widely across DRC and beyond.


Within the objectives of The MSF Foundation Epidemics Program, and under the hierarchical responsibility of the director of The MSF Foundation, the Program Manager – Epidemics is responsible for the overall coordination, support, evaluation, documentation and further development of these three projects, with their main responsibilities being to:

  • Ensure continued cooperation between partners, contracted experts and the different elements of the MSF movement involved in each project, including close collaboration and frequent communication with the designated focal point of each project partner
  • Internally, coordinate with the relevant members of the operations, medical and legal departments at MSF Paris HQ and in other MSF operational centres, as well as with technical working group members, Quality Assurance referents, Epicentre, Access Campaign, CRASH etc. as required, notably regarding the successful national registration and operational deployment of new products or tools
  • Visit each project at least once annually to evaluate progress and hold comprehensive discussions with implementation teams and end-users of the different tools being developed and piloted, and with the relevant national and regional authorities
  • Develop and adjust strategic plans, timelines and budgets for each project in coordination with the Transversal Project Coordinator and the Director of The MSF Foundation
  • Cooperate closely with the Director and team of The MSF Foundation, including participation in weekly team meetings
  • Ensure conformity to all legal and regulatory prerequisites to ensure the fully lawful deployment of newly developed products or tools, including ensuring all necessary approvals are obtained from local and national authorities, notably in terms of ownership and protection of data and registration of medical products
  • Produce regular activity and analysis reports for each project
  • Provide internal presentations and updates on the projects to the Board of The MSF Foundation +/- the Board of MSF France, as well as MSF operations and medical departments
  • Represent The MSF Foundation at scientific and technical conferences and contribute to writing and delivering publications and presentations
  • Participate in internal and external communication activities


Experience and training:

  • Medical, paramedical or epidemiology background
  • Experience working in medical humanitarian projects in Central/West Africa, ideally with MSF
  • Experience of clinical research / clinical R+D projects
  • A basic understanding of regulatory mechanisms for medical products

Languages : French (level C1), and English (level B2)

Professional skills

  • Strong negotiation and diplomatic skills
  • Flexible and collaborative approach, familiar with working in and leading multidisciplinary teams and with collaborating with external actors and partners
  • Ability to work within a multi-lingual, multicultural environment with partners based in different countries and across different time-zones
  • Committed to the success of the projects and able to take initiative towards achieving the collective ambitions of the projects, including by autonomously searching for and proposing solutions to identified problems
  • Strong communication skills, notably when championing the projects internally and externally to MSF
  • Well organised and structured, familiar with documenting and reporting on activities
  • Willing and able to travel to project locations: up to 25% of the working time
  • Good knowledge of the MSF movement and its organisational structure.

Status : Fixed Term Contract (18 months) – full time

Location: Paris, France – Position can be held from Dakar or Niamey, with regular visits to Paris

Start date: 17th October 2022


Remuneration according to the salary scales and benefits from the country of work.

How to apply

Please submit your application (motivation letter and CV) online until 09/10/2022 included.

Closing date: 9-Oct-22