2014 FADs (English)

Associative life in the field, including the annual debates, is a way of reinforcing our MSF spirit and it is up to each individual to take action on issues that seem the most relevant or important. FADs form one moment in the year-long associative life in MSF and in thinking about them in this way it is clearer that they can and should have many different kinds of outcomes apart from only developing Motions or Recommendations. They primarily give space for a field-based exchange of ideas and concerns around our medical work and successful FADs should be seen as events where this takes place. FADs do provide a way for the field to makes its voice heard in a movement wide dialogue. Whether formal or informal, the outcomes of the FADs represent the collective will of colleagues who want to see our patients receiving the best possible access to medical care. 
Last year, we addressed overall whether and how MSF’s approach to the provision of direct medical care, internally and in relation to others, calls into question our core identity. For the FAD there were two options that our teams debated, with one focusing on our access to populations in highly insecure contexts and in order to reduce security risks for our workers the compromises we make. Through the second option, teams discussed our work through local partnerships in order to increase access, acceptance, and advocacy opportunities and how this indirect access to patients and our increased ties to other actors cause us to relinquish part of our identity. 
In 2014 I invite you to consider the framework of “How do we bring MSF into the 21st Century?” The IB proposes field discussions around three themes linked to this topic: 
1. Medical 
  • Medical treatments and diagnostics for the 21st century 
  • 21st century challenges affecting our medical work: climate change, emerging diseases/viruses and other threats 
2. Technology 
  • What technological considerations to bring MSF into the 21stCentury? – mobile phones, social media, tablets, and other digital and technological advances 
3. Globalization 
  • Do our Western roots as an organization help or hinder our entry into the 21st century? 

This topic is intended to provide a framework for your associative discussions. It is deliberately broad enough so that you can identify the elements within its frame that are most relevant to your context and your reality in the field. The goal is for your association to have the kind of discussion that will bring the most value to your teams and consequently to MSF as a movement. 

(...excerpt from "2014 FAD Invitation Letter" by International President Joanne Liu)
By: Rebecca Cederholm