Access Campaign advocate for Southern Africa
Department: General Direction – DNA Unit
Reports to: Access Campaign Head of regional Advocacy (Line manager) and MSF South Africa General Director
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Type of Contract: 12 months full-time (renewable)
Start of contract :ASAP
Deadline to apply: 3 June 2018
Doctors without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation committed to two objectives: providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion, natural and man-made disasters; and speaking out about the plight of the populations assisted. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Today, MSF is present in more than 60 countries, where thousands of MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, and other medical and non-medical professionals work together to bring essential health services to people caught in humanitarian crises.
The position of the Access Campaign Advocate for South Africa will be based in Johannesburg and be housed by the Dr. Neil Aggett (DNA) unit, of MSF SA. The position will be fully integrated into MSF Southern Africa, with participation in strategy sessions. Close collaboration with MSF Southern Africa Communications and DNA Unit teams is a must. There will also be in-person presence and tight collaboration with the Cape Town units of MSF (operational and medical teams).
The person is a full member of the MSF Access Campaign team which require regular telephone meetings with colleagues from other teams, collaboration and agreement on action plans and occasional in person meetings internationally (including an annual AC team meeting), with other international travel as required, under guidance of and reporting to the AC Head of Regional Advocacy. The AC advocate will prepare an activity report on a monthly basis.
PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The Advocate will develop and execute an advocacy strategy and a budget on behalf of the Access Campaign, in conjunction with key departments in MSF-Southern Africa, and parts of the MSF network and externally. The Advocate has a strong engagement with civil society and government, and interacts with medical and research institutions, pharmaceutical company representatives in the region and relevant regional Global health actors.
KEY TASKS & RESPONSIBILITIES
In line with the Access Campaign Strategic Plan for 2019-2021, the priorities for this position fall into three main priority areas:
1) Increase Access to Treatment and Diagnostics
- MDR-TB: advocacy to overcome barriers to access existing and new drugs, regimens and diagnostics in the region (regulatory and price issues) and encouraging the South African government to be engaged in development of new regimens (see below priority area 2)
- HIV: targeted and upon request advocacy to overcome pricing, IP, and regulatory barriers to access for new HIV drugs, in particular paediatric formulations, and medicines and diagnostics for selected priority opportunistic infection drugs
- Limited ad hoc work as needed from on specific AC topics where a regional opportunity may arise (e.g. snake antivenom, AMR or vaccine tech transfer monitoring and vaccines)
2) Nurture an Enabling Environment for Patient-Centred Medical Innovation and Access
- Legal and Intellectual Property (IP) Reform advocacy
- Manages MSF contributions to the “Fix the Patent Laws” (FTPL) campaign, a coalition of 38 organisations advocating for incorporation of TRIPS flexibilities promoting access to medicines into South African national laws. Work will include advocacy for the implementation of the soon to be released new IP policy through draft bills from the Dept. of Trade and Industry, and holding the government accountable for implementing new reforms, including a patent examination system that meets national health objectives. This will require collaborating with internal and external partners to develop objectives, asks and actions as well as analysing contextual developments and policy to ensure advocacy strategy and actions remain useful and relevant. An ability to foster government stakeholder relationships is essential.
- Research & Development strategy work
- Work at a global (BRICS, G20), regional (SADC, AU) and local level (department of Science and Technology, universities, Medical Research Council) to advocate for a needs-driven approach to R&D that focuses on developing appropriate and affordable health technologies, in particular when financed by the government. In particular, focus on South African government appetite for being involved in new R&D models, especially in the BRICS network and at a local level, and with a focus on TB regimens, by working to influence national R&D policy and practices and for the adoption and active engagement in specific R&D projects.
3) Respond to Operations
- Regional work
- Work with regional (Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland) MSF missions as well as regional civil society to monitor access barriers on relevant medicines and diagnostics. Support missions to develop regional advocacy where needed to overcome pricing, and specific barriers (regulatory, loss of foreign aid support etc.), particularly on TB drugs and diagnostics. Important to be able to adapt to changing regional situation and ensure that advocacy strategies remain current as circumstances change.
4) Express an influential MSF voice
Provide support or document specific cases on A2M issues in the region (research agenda). Monitor MSF operational challenges and identify key opportunities to articulate AC advocacy in terms of MSF operational needs.
Ensure collaboration with MSF association and participate in MSF association key moments.
5) Management, coordination and representation:
- Collaborates and coordinates messages with AC colleagues in BRICS countries and beyond, specifically to promote global advocacy on TB.
- Initiate and conduct regional advocacy support and training for MSF missions
- Manages interns and researchers/consultants on special projects related to position.
- Works with regional MSF advocacy and communications teams, MSF SA association to identify access priorities and explore opportunities for joint action.
- Responsibility will include representation of MSF at meetings and in relevant public forums and as a spokesperson in the media.
- Engagement with civil society through MSF local contacts on priority topics (Fix the Patent Laws, Vaccines and TB) - Coalition building is an essential part of this work.
- Engagement with relevant government stakeholders in Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (and others as needed) – relationship management is a key part of this work
Education and experience
- University degree / Master’s Degree; or equivalent combination of education and experience in a relevant field, ideally medical, pharmacy, international affairs, policy and/or public health
- 3-5 years global health and/or lobby & advocacy experience, preferably in Southern Africa
- MSF experience, or experience in the field of access to medicines is an asset
Knowledge and skills
- Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF
- In-depth understanding of Southern African context in terms of health and political issues and ability to understand and interpret the political environment
- Proven and demonstrated analytical, political and diplomatic skills; excellent judgment and diplomacy
- Demonstrated capacity to develop and implement advocacy strategies to achieve tangible change
- Creative and out-of-the-box thinking on how to achieve goals and social change
- Ability to work independently, to prioritise and work on multiple dossiers concurrently
- Experience in presenting information to internal and external audiences, including senior government officials (preferably in Southern Africa)
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills; ability to draft fact sheets, briefing notes or blogs summarizing complex medical/technical information, adapting style to suit a wide range of audiences
- Fluent spoken and written English
- Ability to read French an asset; spoken French desirable
- Ability to speak other official South(ern) African languages an asset
- Availability to travel
- MSF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.