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Advocacy Manager: Rustenburg

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Apply by: 
Monday, July 10, 2017
Starting Date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Job Section: 
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South Africa

Job Title:                             Advocacy Manager

Work Location:                    Rustenburg, North West Province, South Africa

Job Level/Type:                   Level 9 (non-medical)

Duration:                             1 year

Start date:                            01 August 2017

Reports to:                           Field Coordinator


Country Context:

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.

MSF currently runs four projects in South Africa: 1. Piloting innovative models of care towards increased testing, linking, successfully treating (undetectable) and retaining people with HIV/TB, including DR-TB, in Khayelitsha; 2. Reducing HIV and TB incidence, morbidity and mortality via combination prevention in Eshowe and Mbongolwane; 3. Responding to sexual and gender-based violence within a large migrant population in Rustenburg; and 4. the Stop Stock Out Project monitoring stock outs of essential medicines in South Africa (as a member of a civil society consortium). In addition to medical service delivery, MSF conducts operational research, training and mentoring, and advocacy towards policy change in the areas of HIV, TB, sexual violence, migrants, and patent law reform in South Africa. 

A 2015 MSF survey revealed that 1 in 4 women in Rustenburg area had been raped in their lifetime . Approximately half have been subject to some form of sexual violence or intimate partner violence. Although women are aware of the negative mental and physical health consequences of rape, 95% of survivors never report to a healthcare facility after their rape. They continue to face numerous barriers to seeking care including stigma, low literacy treatment and gaps in service provision. Only 45% of women surveyed knew that there was treatment available to prevent HIV infection and mitigate other potential health consequences of rape.

In light of the high prevalence of sexual violence in the Rustenburg area and the significant barriers to care, MSF works to ensure that survivors of sexual violence have access to quality and comprehensive prevention and treatment services in a timely manner (<72H) and psychosocial support at primary health care level. Advocacy and communication are cornerstones of the project, aiming to 1. increase awareness regarding sexual violence and sexual exposure under vulnerability as a health issue, its medical and psychological consequences and responses thereto 2. shift towards a more patient-centered response to sexual violence with improved access to services.


The purpose of the position:

Overall responsibilities of the Advocacy Manager

The primary objective of the Advocacy Manager is to facilitate improved access to care for survivors of sexual violence by enhancing field communications, managing stakeholder relations, and local advocacy in support of MSF’s medical objectives and project team. All activities should be conducted through close collaboration with the rest of the project team.


  1. Objectives & Responsibilities of the Advocacy Manager
  • Work with Mission Communication Manager, Deputy Head of Mission and Medical Coordinator to coordinate national level dissemination to media and policymakers, or obtain support for project, district, or provincial level dissemination & representation activities.
  • Develop, review and implement communication and advocacy strategies that is operationally driven, in close collaboration with the wider medical team.
  • Provide direct support to field coordinator, as requested (such as providing an analysis of the context and project reporting).
  • Communications:
  • Be the focal point for the provincial and local media for the Rustenburg project.
  • Design timely and effective communication tools in collaboration with Communications Officer (based in coordination) and team.  Including articles, press releases, internal and external briefings, and advocacy.
  • Assist in collating information for, and the preparation and design of, external project communications materials including articles, media responses, press releases, advocacy materials and other promotional material that support the project’s medical objectives (increasing access to care).
  • Support design of health promotion material and communications activities in close collaboration with health promotion manager.
  • Advocacy and Representation:
  • Identify and map key policy and implementation barriers hampering medical service provision by MSF in Bojanala district;
  • Systematically collect data that helps illustrate the extent to which rape is properly addressed, including number of cases, those accessing care, and the medical, psychosocial, and legal, response, and deficiencies in that response. 
  • In collaboration with coordination, design dissemination strategy for data collected. 
  • Design and implement strategies to overcome barriers to patients accessing care in coordination with the project team.
  • Represent MSF in external meetings in support of the Field Coordinator and project team, through regular attendance at appropriate forums and other platforms at district and provincial level, and, when requested by coordination, at national level.
  • Utilise networks to effectively overcome obstacles encountered by the project by mapping relevant actors, analysing points of influence, and designing strategies to overcome obstacles related to those actors.
  • Build and sustain relationships with key stakeholders working in the North West Province in support of MSF’s medical objectives.
  • Perform other tasks as requested



  • Minimum: degree in psychology, political science, communications, international relations, public relations, or public health.


  • 2 years medical public relations/advocacy/communication/community liaison experience
  • Experience working in the South African context particularly in the areas of health, sexual and gender-based violence or migration.
  • Civil society experience an asset
  • Experience in working with government, donors, and other through representation and/or advocacy at the local level on a relevant issue an asset
  • Experience in external communication with the media an asset


  • Pragmatic with problem-solving skills
  • Highly proactive
  • Strong interpersonal communication and diplomatic skills, including the ability to negotiate and influence diverse stakeholders including government officials
  • Ability to build and maintain effective relationships with diverse stakeholders including governmental ones
  • Ability to represent the organisation externally
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Strong sense of initiative combined with team spirit
  • Participatory/consultative in approach to work
  • Good communicator
  • Adequate analytic, research and writing skills with the ability to target different audiences and tailor output accordingly
  • Ability to produce communication tools, material and manage local media relations
  • Flexibility and ability to handle the pressures and stresses related to the job responsibilities
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work within a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment,
  • Commitment to humanitarian and MSF principles


  • SA Drivers Licence
  • South African Work Permit Required
  • Position based in Rustenburg (non-negotiable)


  • Proven fluent English language- essential
  • One or more of the following languages an advantage: Setswana, Xhosa, Southern Sotho
  • Written fluency in Setswana an advantage


  • One year fixed-term field contract (extendable)
  • Salary according to MSF-OCB Field salary scale. Medical aid + 10% towards retirement
  • Expected starting date: June 2017

Closing date: 10 July 2017.

MSF reserves the right not to make an appointment if a suitable candidate cannot be found. While MSF thanks all interested applicants, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.