MSF Eastern Africa is hiring a Behavioural Sociologist: Apply Now!!


Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organisation that provides assistance to people affected by conflicts, epidemics, and natural or human-made disasters and excluded from healthcare. We provide this assistance without discrimination, irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

About MSF Eastern Africa

MSF Eastern Africa is the regional institutional office of MSF. It focuses on representation and networking, recruiting and supporting staff from the region, communications and fundraising, as well as working on other dossiers of importance to MSF such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Data Protection, mutualization, training, medical operational support and environmental health.

Rationale/Objective for Position

The Behavioral Sociologist is responsible for working with the Head of the Anthropology Unit to build and consolidate the capacity of the MSF EA Section and the MSF Ubuntu Directorate to provide operations teams with information and evidence, analyses, and training modules to enhance quality and access of medical services provided by the missions.

The Behavioral Sociologist is also responsible for coordinating and overseeing targeted need-driven social and behavioral operational research and analyses, capacity-building and strengthening learning and reflection to ensure MSF provides holistic, respectful, and inclusive patient-centered, community-based health services, implement quality and evidence-driven health promotion thus enhancing access to effective and quality medical services within humanitarian and emergency contexts.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Support positioning and feasibility of the Anthropology Unit

  • Contribute to the building, entrenching, and positioning the Unit as a strategic support Unit in MSF.
  • Contribute to the Unit’s organization strategic plan, activities and partnerships as may be needed.
  • Identify critical and strategic social determinants affecting health access in humanitarian context and the necessary partnerships with operations across other MSF entities in the region and globally.
  • Implement the Anthropology Unit Framework and applicable approaches in relation with supporting the MSF field operations on generating and utilizing sociological knowledge in operations.
  • Respond and coordinate requests for support of MSF missions/projects working in the region by evaluating social and behavioral access, constraints and developing context specific intervention proposals.
  • Prepare and make presentations on behalf of the Unit and MSF internal and external fora to articulate and promote its work.

Support Social and Behaviour change program development and operations support

  • Assess and analyze social and behavioral dynamics of medical emergency contexts to inform and advice the medical operations teams during the conception, implementation, and monitoring of medical and paramedical projects.
  • Collect and organize social and behavioral data/information on health seeking- behavioral, social dynamics, practices and norms and knowledge during emergencies/crises to enable design and implementation of efficacious interventions.
  • Support the operations teams on contextual health and political economy analysis.
  • Contribute to field visits and intersectional medical forums wherever and whenever it is necessary across MSF units and sections.
  • Contribute to missions and prepare mission reports for review and dissemination.

Facilitate Social and Behaviour Change Agency Building for Health promotion

  • In collaboration with the Head of Anthropology Unit, Training and Learning Unit and other peers in the MSF movement, develop/review training modules, and plan and facilitate effective health seeking behavior change and communication.
  • Conduct targeted participatory trainings and on-job training to enhance behavior and norm transformation competence in our health service delivery teams.
  • Facilitate trainings on social analysis and research ethics for internal and external partners.

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Contribute to medical and health promotion operational research and learning

  • Coordinate field operational research on thematic areas relevant to medical and paramedical projects/programs across MSF.
  • Facilitate dissemination of research results, learnings and best practices through internal and external platforms including publication.
  • Contribute to implementation of the community engagement strategy of the MSF EA operations directorate.
  • Coordinate events, contribute and facilitate thematic communities of practice events in the region and across the MSF.
  • Conduct and facilitate collection, analysis and updating lessons and best practices from MSF missions in the region.
  • Contribute and update the Unit’s database (reports, studies, assessments/any data received during research).

Partnership, collaboration, and Community engagement

  • Map and profile relevant stakeholders, actors in medical sociology, health promotion and social determinants areas of health, applicable to the humanitarian context.
  • Facilitate linkages and engagement with partners to share capacity, capability, and experience pertaining to humanitarian and emergency medical services in the region.
  • Liaise with peers and actively participate in meetings at relevant humanitarian fora including the MSF Intersection/social science and operational research forums, technical working groups and Forums at the regional level.
  • Liaise with Operation teams to identify, initiate links and engage with relevant state and non-state structures managing health services during emergencies.
  • Contribute to the development of robust community engagement modalities for the Section and Ubuntu directorate.
  • Contribute to organizing annual operation research events including the Annual Nairobi Anthropology Forum, MSF Scientific Day, Summer Schools among others.

Other Responsibilities

  • Propose and initiate innovative behavior modification operational research projects.
  • Translation of research findings into actionable policy or intervention briefs for field teams



  • A bachelor’s degree in medical Sociology, Social Anthropology, Human Ecology, Sociology, Social Work, or any culture-related fields.
  • Post-graduate degree or training in related field.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and Kiswahili is required. Knowledge of French or Arabic will be a definite plus.
  • Membership in relevant professional body, think tank or community of practice is desirable.


  • At least five (5) years of non-profit NGO work experience within public/emergency health contexts with demonstrated capabilities in planning, organizing, and executing health-related operational research, and behavior change interventions.
  • Experience working with the humanitarian organization, UNDSS, INSO, INGO forum and similar institutions is an added advantage.
  • Experience as a field researcher, ethnographer, or trainer; ability to develop, implement, facilitate, and impart learning.
  • Experience in public health or additional training in related field will be an advantage.


  • Technical Competencies
    • Ability to provide clear, dynamic briefings and analysis of given and unfolding medical and social contexts, situations and needs as they emerge.
    • In-depth understanding of health seeking and promotion models and practices in the regional and local context, dynamics, and socio-cultural medical barriers.
    • Ability to lead and coordinate field research teams and provide training in qualitative methods for diverse teams.
    • Excellent relationship-building, interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively represent MSF at forums and with external stakeholders.
    • Understanding of humanitarian and emergency health service delivery and ethics.
    • Ability to design and facilitate training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands.
    • Ability to form and maintain relationships and working partnerships with multiculturally diverse teams and communities.
    • Good oral and written communication skills, with the ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
  • Behavioral/General Competencies
    • Commitment to MSF’s Principles
    • Cross-cultural Awareness and competency
    • Strategic thinking and complexity awareness
    • Critical and Reflexive objectivity
    • Planning and Organizing
    • Initiative and Innovation
    • Teamwork and Cooperation
    • Networking and Building Relationships
    • Contextual analyses, awareness, and adaptation

What We Offer:

  • one year renewable, full-time employment contract through MSF East Africa Section Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • An annual salary of EUR 27,145 at HQ Level 8 based on a full-time appointment.
  • Global benefit package; includes school fee benefit/support for dependents and other allowances ranging between EUR 620 to 1,159/month based on individual & administrative status.
  • Other benefits include; 25 days of annual leave, Employer Pension contribution, Medical Insurance cover (staff and family), Relocation support for non-Kenyan residents etc based on MSF EA terms/conditions.

How to apply

  • If you recognize yourself in this profile, we welcome you to apply directly via this link (or from the MSF EA website, ReliefWeb, LinkedIn).
  • Applicants are required to upload a Letter of Motivation + Curriculum Vitae (in English) in PDF format as one combined document.

Closing date: 8 Jul 2024

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