Helpful Tips 2015

On this page you can find: 2015 FAD Agenda - What to include? What resources to help you animate your FAD?; Practical suggestions on organizing discussion groups; Field Assocaitive Debates Games/'energizers'; Suggestions for fostering debates

2015 FAD Agenda - What to include? What resources to help you animate your FAD?

This is just an indicative list of topics or sessions you could include in your FAD agenda. Also included are ideas about how you could organise each session and some tools you could use for animation. The list is neither compulsory nor exhaustive, so feel free to use part of it or none of it – depending on what is relevant to your context, needs and teams!
Before you start:
  • Decide who will be the chair of the FAD and the time keeper
  • Decide who will be writing the FAD report (the FAD Report format is included in the toolkit) and compile the FAD evaluations
  • By HoMs, FAD associates (i.e. visitors) or those in the mission in charge of organising the FAD Introduction of participants (game/ice-breakerFAD participants may not (all) know each other. There are different ways to introduce each one, keeping it short enough and dynamic. 
Presentation about MSF globally: 
FADs can be a good moment to remind the teams of our history, principles and activities. For this you can:
  • Show movies about the history of MSF (for example the MSF adventure; 40 years of independence; the video on MSF’s work and principles; MSF Unlimited; From Actions to Words, etc.) 
  • Present MSF’s activities globally over the past year by showing the video recaps of our activities during the year (for example “The Year in focus” covering the period June 2013 to June 2014) – or the latest “Month in focus”
  • If you have time, you can have a short discussion afterwards – for example, if you watched the Year in focus, what did you find striking? Has anyone in the room been to one of the contexts mentioned in the film (apart from your own), and would like to comment, tell the rest of the group about their experience and the challenges we face?

Feedback on previous FAD and what happened to their conclusions

  • The presentation of the FAD conclusions can be done by someone from the mission who attended the FAD last year, based on the 2014 FAD report. Keep it short! The 2014 FAD reports are available here (log in: msf; password: iga)
  • What happened to conclusions (and motions) can be presented by HoMs, FAD associates (i.e., people coming outside of the mission, from a board member for example), etc.
  • To find out more abuot the role of the FAD associate (called FAD visitor before) you can read here

​Presentation about the FADs/Association at MSF

To put the FAD into context, you can use some/all of the material below or part of it:
​Presentation of pre-FAD discussions and conclusions (if applicable):
  • Short feedback on pre FADs by the different projects: what did they discuss? What were the main points discussed, the different points of views? What are the main conclusions?
  • Discussion with the whole group: what do people from other projects think?
Discussion about the Assocaitive Life in the Field
  • Different projects can present what they have done to animate their associative life, or each team can present one activity they organised and was a success 
  • This can be followed by a group discussion on future plans for the mission and different projects: what do you plan to do between this FAD and the next one? Who will be in charge of organising and following up?
FAD topic discussions
  • Pick your FAD topic in advance, and at least one month before the FAD. You will find ideas hereInform Rebecca or Monica of the topic chosen as soon as possible, and if you need help to gather support material or define your topic, please let your associative team know! 
  • The introduction of the topic can be done in different ways. Different types of speakers can help contextualise the topic and present its scope: you can invite speakers outside of MSF for example; or ask someone from the mission or the FAD associate to present; or build on the preFAD presentations if the FAD topic is similar to the pre-FAD ones. 
  • Discussion: there are different ways of organising your discussions (small groups, big group, a mix, etc.). You will find ideas in the document called “Debates methods.” 
  • Do spend time synthetizing conclusions!
Discussion on conclusions of the FAD
FAD associates or colleagues in the mission are in charge of writing the FAD report, summarising the content of discussions and outcomes.  Use the FAD Evaluations and the FAD Report templates.  When the report and the evaluations are done, send them to Rebecca or Monica To that end, FAD participants need to agree on some conclusions, like:
  • What do we agree on?
  • Which are the points that were mainly debated?
  • What were the different points of views?
  • What do we want to do at the level of the project, the mission, the desk, the OC, the movement?
  • How will we follow up at each level?
Don’t forget to include breaks, lunches and… a party in your agenda! 

Practical suggestions on organizing discussion groups

If there are a large number of people attending the FAD, you should ideally divide into sub-groups:

  • At the FAD, each subject and discussion topic is presented to all attending.

  • Sub-groups are set up, depending on the number of participants and subjects chosen.

  • Each sub-group selects a spokesperson from its members.

  • Each sub-group carried out a debate, possibly with the assistance of a moderator, depending on size.

  • Each sub-group may propose motions be drafted.

  • The conclusions of the sub-group discussions are presented to the full meeting by the spokesperson; discussions continues and any proposed motions are debated (amended if needed) and submitted to a vote by all those present. New motions may arise from discussions in plenary.  NB: all in attendance may vote on amendments regardless of membership status. 

Field Associative Debates Games/’energizers’

These short games, sometimes called ‘ice breakers’ or energizers can be used to introduce participants to each other, but also if you see that at some point participants are losing attention.

  1. The Little known fact
    Ask participants to share their name, department or role in MSF, length of time in the mission, and one little known fact about themselves.
  2. Interviews
    Ask participants to get into groups of two. Each person then interviews his or her partner for a set of time. At the end of the time, each person introduces their partner to the larger group. Sample questions could include: Name, background, role with MSF, what they would like to discuss or learn about at the FAD, etc.

  3. Ball of yarn/string
    You will need a ball of yarn. Keeping one end, the first person introduces him- or her-self and their role in MSF. Once this person has made their introduction, he/she keeps their end of the string in their hands and passes the ball of yarn on to another person in the group for them to introduce themselves. The process continues until everyone is introduced. To emphasize the interdependencies among the team, the facilitator then pulls on the starting thread and everyone's hand should move.

  4. Ball
    The group arranges in a circle and each person throws the ball across the circle, first announcing his or her own name (and any other fact you like), and then throwing the ball to another person.

  5. Speed Dating
    When a signal is given, begin interviewing someone sitting next to you. You each have a total of 1-2 minutes to ask each other any question you want, so as to know the other better. After this time, there is another signal, and you must move and interview someone else for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat this activity until each person has interviewed a majority of the other people in the room.

  6. List things in common
    After dividing the meeting into smaller groups, ask each group to come up with 2 things they have in common and share with the group.

  7. Superlative Game
    To prepare: Write down a list of categories. Categories can include things like: height, number of years with MSF, number of FADs attended, number of MSF team members, number of siblings… Divide the group into smaller teams of 5-8 people. Call out a category and ask the teams to arrange themselves as quickly as possible in order according to the category. For example, if the category is height, the team should arrange themselves from shortest to tallest. Once a team thinks that they are arranged correctly, they raise their hands to show they are finished. The game continues until all categories have been read. Variation: Participants are not allowed to speak to each other. They can
    only communicate using their hands and feet. 

Suggestions for fostering debate

Creative approaches of fostering debate can be used, depending of the topic.  Here are some examples:

  • Start the meeting with an ice breaking exercise.  Pick the method you like best.

  • Use videos from NESTOR to illustrate issues (available in all mission).

  • Use different discussion methods (for instance, the Ambassadors method, the snowball technique, the comparative debate.

  • The Training Unit in Brussels is always ready to support you with more explanations, come with suggestions of debating methods, or to help you chose the method most appropriate for the topic you want to discuss.  They can be reached by or

  • Use role playing or other games to break the ice and to get to know your colleagues’ projects.  More information can be found on the web.

  • The MSF Great Projects Game - Mini AGM - Objective: The staff of the different projects are not necessarily aware of the aims, beneficiaries, activities, difficulties or questions raised in other projects in the mission. The purpose of this game is to enable exchange and discussion between all to happen in a highly informal way.

If your mission has developed an original approach, let us know about it!  Other missions will be glad to use it!

By: Rebecca Cederholm