As of 1 December 2020, MSF-OCA has a vacancy for the position of Head of Learning & Development. Interested? Please see below for more details and how to apply.

Head of Learning & Development (100%) 

Flexible Global location  


The Learning & Development department services international and national staff and headquarter-based employees who directly support our medical humanitarian operations in the field. As Head of the L&D Department, you report directly to the Staff Director and you are responsible for the L&D team (16 FTE) which consists of L&D Officers, L&D Advisors, Talent Management Specialist, E-Learning Specialist, Trainers, Pedagogical Specialist, and the Mentoring & Coaching Project Manager.

Main responsibilities 

  • Provides leadership and direction to the Learning & Development department, in support of the organisation’s Staff Vision and Strategic Plan, through the development and implementation of the L&D Vision, Strategy, Annual Action Plans and related budgets.
  • To develop and transform the department into a Center of Expertise, which pro-actively advises and supports the organisation on how to improve the quality and impact of our L&D offering, building on the latest developments in L&D.
  • Improve cooperation and communication with other departments in the organsiation and with the L&D departments of the other Operation Centres (OCs) with the aim to gain efficiency of resources and increase the quality of our L&D offer.


Responsibilities and activities 

Strategy & implementation 

  • To translate the Staff vision and -strategy for OCA into action, in line with OCA’s Strategic Plan, and in alignment with the HR departmental strategy.
  • To increase the visibility of the L&D vision and actions to the organisation at large, through transparent and visible internal communication.
  • To drive the change process related to the HR/L&D restructuring, and the departmental change from  ‘training-focused’ department to a true L&D department.


Leadership & direction 

  • Line-manages all L&D-team-members and is end-responsible for the Flexible Trainers’ Pool.
  • Recruits, manages, coaches, develops and motivates the team and creates a working environment where people can contribute and develop themselves.
  • Pro-actively encourages the development of the team members to allow for the best match between the competencies of individuals and the competencies needed to implement the Staff- and L&D Vision.
  • Strengthens the inclusive culture of L&D to further support diversity and equality in the service to our employees and in line with our values.



  • To develop the ‘D’ (development) of L&D, and increase the cohesion and integration between the different L&D-domains: training, leadership- and management development, e-learning, mentoring and coaching, induction, talent management and continue the transformation from a Training Department to a L&D department.
  • Develop and implement a new Leadership path with the focus on Leadership in the field organisation (e.g. talent management and succession planning).
  • Develops a more agile approach to L&D, to be able to respond timely to new OCA-wide and external developments/trends, such as Covid, Diversity & Inclusion, new staffing models, etc.
  • Lead the development and implementation of performance management tools and systems in OCA.
  • Acts as an expert advisor on learning and development matters, and stimulates exchanges with external resources to be able to lead innovation in learning design and development of relevant new delivery methods that meet the needs of the OCA social mission, including the ongoing digital development of remote learning and coaching/mentoring.


Cooperation & networking 

  • Builds a constructive, efficient and effective collaboration with the different levels of directors, (Deputy-) Heads of Departments / Coordinators of the other departments (incl. field), working proactively to develop the Learning & Development agenda around real operational needs, as well as advising the key-stakeholders across the organization how to best tackle their needs related to L&D and update them of the plans and progress of the L&D strategy and relevant L&D actions.
  • Maximizes the collaboration and communication between HR & L&D, thereby ensuring a coordinated approach to cross-departmental topics.
  • Integrates the Field L&D team into an extension of the HQ L&D department, ensuring a close link to the operational needs and L&D response in the field.
  • Stimulates co-operation- and integration between the different areas of expertise within the L&D department (e.g.: online learning, pedagogical expertise, talent management, field L&D, management and leadership development, etc).
  • Participates in the different HR/L&D Leadership groups: member of the HR MT, HR Leadership Team, the HoHR team and the Extended MT and part of the intersectional L&D Platform and OCA Heads of HR Platform. Thereby pro-actively co-deciding on- and steering the HR/L&D priorities and activities.
  • Develops a network, both inside OCA (HQ and Field), and outside with the other OCs and external stakeholders/relations/vendors.


Your profile 

  • A strong leader and people manager, experienced in building teams and with the ability to motivate and inspire the team members to work towards a common purpose.
  • Min. of 5 years of proven learning and development experience, including digital learning, preferably in an international, multi-cultural environment.
  • Experience in change management, ability to guide the department though a process of change, both in terms of vision and structure.
  • Strategic vision- and ability to (re-)prioritize and transform the vision into actionable items.
  • Strong networking- and influencing capabilities, capacity to forge cross-departmental links.
  • Demonstrated project management skills; lead a project from concept to design and final delivery.
  • Strong interpersonal- and intercultural communication skills. Role model of values and collabiorative spirit.
  • Committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees.
  • Solution minded, positive, with the ability to combine a creative mind-set with analytical thinking.
  • MSF or NGO experience is preferred
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required (Dutch is not required)



We offer 

Remote working is possible. Preferably from one of the global MSF locations and with the ability to adapt to the CET timezone and the flexibility to visit HQ in Amsterdam on a regular basis.

If the successful candidate is located in Amsterdam: 

A Dutch employment contract from 1 December 2020, based on 40 hours per week. The contract is for one year with renewal option.

A gross monthly salary of a minimum of € 4,416 and a maximum of € 6,307 for a full-time appointment based on relevant work experience;

Other benefits include 30 holidays and a premium free pension.

If the successful candidate is based in other locations: 

The local remuneration framework will apply.


Information & application 

The closing date for applications is 4 October 2020.

Selection will be by means of two interviewing rounds. The first round will take place in the week of 12 October 2020, the second on 19, 20 or 21 October 2020.

If you recognize yourself in this profile, we welcome you to apply directly via our website / Jobs and upload a letter of motivation + Curriculum Vitae (in English) as one combined document.



Artsen zonder Grenzen

Artsen zonder Grenzen geeft hulp daar waar hulp het hardst nodig is: in oorlogs- en conflictsituaties, op díe plekken waar mensenlevens …

Lees je bewust via onze wekelijkse nieuwsbrief