Debate on the IRP II

The International Remuneration Project II (IRP II) has been under creation since 2010 and it is expected to start running in 2014. It must be approved by the ExCom+ and endorsed by the International Board (IB) of MSF. The IRP II aims at an adequate compensation system through a New Reward Strategy to international staff for ensuring equity, responsibility-based recognition and more incentives for lasting commitment. The proposal has fuelled significant debate at the executive and board levels, and it is intended to be taken to the Associative. Here we provide a brief description of changes as proposed in the IRP II, together with a following debate over its most controversial components.

The IRP II intends to promote:

  • Segmentation to formalise the distinction in rewards between vocationers and short-term staff. Offerings to staff will be proportional to their commitment. MSF will offer more stability to vocationers, long-term assignments for coordination staff and will guarantee that international missions will remain essential as humanitarian responses have become more reactive.
  • Hybrid Pay Model to introduce equity of pay, linking all salaries to the country of residence, combined with a global INGO-related salary. The model is a result of using both home (country of residence) market and global market as benchmarking for all salaries, including those of Non Contracting-country Nationals (NCN).[1]This seeks to avoid favouring some nations in the detriment of fairness, but also to guarantee new recruitments. With the new pay model a Finnish field worker, who receives a Swedish salary nowadays will receive a salary based on the living costs of Finland. That does not look like a big difference. The biggest impact is expected to be on the salaries of those coming from low-income countries that today are paid on the cost of living of the country of the operational centre where they are contracted.
  • Medical Recognition. As some form of recognition has taken place within different OCs, the IRP II aims at formalising it through specific categories for medical staff. So that all medical positions (paramedical included) have their medical act taken into account in the salary grid.
  • Indemnity period reduced to move faster to career involvement. Different OCs has had different opinions on the indemnity principle. The IB has determined that the indemnity is an integral part of MSF and that the current period of 12 months should remain.

Debates on the IRP II are currently taking place at the board and the Association level. The ExCom is expected to approve the proposals in April/May with the IB endorsing decision.

We considered it relevant to bring you different positions of the main changes proposed. For this debate we interviewed four MSFers working in different offices as Human Resources Managers or Board Members: Mauro Nunes, President of MSF Brazil; Sébastian Roy, Head of Human Resources of OCB; Sostain Moyo, Board Member of MSF South Africa; Eugène Bushayija, Human Resources Manager of MSF Sweden. You can access their full interviews by clicking on their names or by going to the menu on the left, where you will also find a link to a letter from Head of Mission Paul Foreman, who is very critical of the proposal.



[1] Non Contracting-country Nationals or NCNs refers to MSF staff coming from countries that do not have a contracting MSF section


By: Association Intern