2015 FAD (English)

Dear all,

Every year Field Associative Debates represent an opportunity for field staff from different sections to meet, take a step back from their daily work and debate about MSF challenges and opportunities globally. However, we are conscious that FADs may not have reached all their original objectives or brought out all their value to MSF.  This is the reason why the IB and myself would like to propose a number of changes to the current FADs so that they contribute more clearly to our social mission, both on a global level and at the level of every field mission. This proposal is based on the results of the survey that a group of association coordinators organised in October and to which about 300 people, including some of you, responded.

FADs are a key moment in associative life in the field and as such they should be owned by those working in the field. For this reason, as of this year, missions will be empowered to determine the topics that are most relevant to them. The IB will no longer propose an international topic every year - but only when it considers a broad consultation of the field is required. Instead, we would like to see missions take full ownership of their discussions by identifying the issues that are of interest to them, considering their context of operations. We strongly encourage the continuation of intersectional FADs wherever possible and hope that everyone in the mission will actively participate whether national staff, expat or members of the coordination team.

We realise that it may be challenging for Heads of mission and field coordination teams to dedicate time to elaborate FAD topics, but all associative teams across the movement will be ready to support field colleagues to frame and prepare their discussions. I encourage you to start thinking of potential topic(s) and get in touch with your association team if you need support or suggestions. An online repository will also be created so that missions can share topics and get inspiration from others.

FADs need to  have a value for the field primarily; we therefore encourage you to focus on topics close to your reality. We will of course invite you to share some of your suggestions and outcomes with the rest of the movement through a new FAD report format, and all boards and associative teams will try and ensure that feedback is provided to the field in due time.

In parallel, we are working on redefining and streamlining the motions and recommendations processes. In that regard, we would like to stress that motions and recommendations should not be seen as a necessary outcome of the FADs, but a separate process and a mechanism to use selectively to push certain issues that the field considers extremely important. More information about this new motion process will be shared separately in December.

Adapting the FADs may take a couple of years and 2015 should therefore be seen as a transitional/pilot year. We will of course call for your feedback after the FAD season so as to make additional adjustments for the 2016 FADs. In the meantime, for these changes to make a concrete contribution and represent a real improvement we need the support and engagement of all of you in the field, in HQ and our association members across the movement.

Looking forward to the 2015 FADs!

Joanne Liu on behalf of the IB. 

By: Rebecca Cederholm