2013 FAD Topic Terminology

2013 FAD Topic Terminology

The following definitions are working descriptions referred to in the topic and background papers; they are for the purpose of discussion only and do not reflect any formal or official international or inter-sectional definition.

Identity: The qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others.

Remote management (also Remote-control management): Remote Management can be defined as an operational response to insecurity and denial of access for international staff; it involves withdrawing or drastically reducing international and sometimes regional staff from the field, transferring greater program responsibility to local staff, and overseeing activities from a different location. The term encompasses a system of control (over finances, resources and quality) as well as support to field teams through coaching, steering, training and empowering.

Compromise: Formal or tacit agreement with authorities based on mutual concessions. The compromise on which our presence lies can be more or less balanced. It can potentially cross the line between helping a population and supporting its oppressors. 'Being compromised' can be the act of crossing the line in an unbalanced agreement in which we end up doing more harm than good to our patients and/or to MSF's core identity.

Highly insecure context for humanitarian and medical assistance: All areas in which humanitarian and medical personnel, facilities, assistance and civilian access to medical services are subject to threats or risks, are fragile, targeted or potentially targeted by States or non-state actors, regardless of the principles they represent.

International & Regional staff: Employees who have been recruited and hired (with a contract and benefits) in a different country than the country in which they are currently performing tasks.

Access: The method or possibility of getting near to a place or person; the right to use something or see someone, in the case of MSF to see and treat patients.

Partnerships: Mutually beneficial, planned and formalised alliances made by MSF with diverse organisations who share some of the same humanitarian values to achieve commonly defined objectives.
MSF enters into agreements with these organisations to commit people and resources to assist those in the communities where we are now or have been working.

Advocacy: To publicly support, propose or call for an idea, action or approach, often in relation to (or in
defence of) specific principles, rights or standards.

Civil society: The realm outside of the family unit, government or economy where people associate to
advance common interests or objectives; collectives, gatherings, organizations and institutions in a society which are independent of the government or profit-driven sector.

Perception: A belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem, rather than
how things were intended or actually are functioning.

Refusing to take sides in ideological, economic or military conflicts. For MSF this involves providing care on the basis of medical need, pushing for independent access to victims of conflict as required under international humanitarian law and bringing medical care to people regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.

Acceptance: General agreement or approval of the plan and actions of MSF as an organisation in a particular place. Acceptance strategies are often developed and implemented in a local community or among various actors in a complex context.

Independence: Freedom from being governed by another entity or authority; freedom to make choices
without being unduly influenced by other forces, groups or individuals. For MSF, this can involve committing to privately-sourced funding ,performing direct evaluations or assessments to inform decision-making and maintaining an operational distance from entities or organisations which could either limit MSF’s choices or give the perception of limiting MSF’s choices.

Nationality: The official right to belong to a particular country, often but not always connected to a place of birth.

Gender: The physical and/or social condition of being male or female.

Relinquish: To give up or release something, such as an object, idea, responsibility or claim, often

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By: Rebecca Cederholm