Motions for the IGA

As you may know, at the 2019 IGA, a few changes were made to the way motions can be brought to the International General Assembly (IGA). 

From now on:

motions must be submitted 9 months prior to the IGA to the international motions committee by an MSF Association;
the association submitting the motion must build support around it in the run up to the IGA, and be able to identify two supporting associations by one month before the IGA.

Why this change?

Since 2015, only motions that have gathered support from a critical mass of members by being approved at a General Assembly, can be presented at the IGA. However, the GA season extends over a rather short period of time and motions are presented to the IGA which takes place at the end of June of the same year, sometimes just two weeks after the last GA. As a consequence, there is little time before the IGA to check that motions presented to the motions committee meet the criteria; to work with motions authors on the final wording of their motions if necessary; to explore the possibility of merging some motions; and above all, to organise an in-depth discussion around international motions with all association members and staff. This also leaves little time to create real buy-in and ownership across all MSF Associations on international motions, which at times gets in the way of their follow-up and/or implementation within the movement.

Allowing more time for movement-wide motions to be discussed across MSF associations, to mature and gain support from a wider number of members can only contribute to a better quality of international motions, a more informed discussion at the IGA and a more robust follow-up.

What does it mean for FADs and General Assemblies?

Motions presented to General Assemblies may come from FADs, or from individual associative members (or groups of members) of that association. Again, this means a change of process for motions that, having an international scope, may go to the IGA. If approved at the GA, your motion can start being implemented/followed up on by your board and the motion’s authors.

If your motion has a movement-wide dimension, your board may want to bring it to the IGA of the following year. Concretely, your 2020 motion from FAD or as (an) individual member(s) will be presented at your 2020 GA but if passed, it may only be discussed at the 2021 IGA, after being shared with the international motions committee in September 2020. This will leave enough time for you and your association to further refine it, and to seek additional support by discussing it with other members from other MSF associations throughout the year, with a view to getting your motion supported by 2 additional associations so it is discussed at the IGA.

Motions for the 2020 IGA in Berlin

As of now, two motions that have moved forward in the new international motion process. You will find the two motions below and the idea is that these motions will be widely debated around our beautiful movement to let them mature and inform all the IGA reps votes in Berlin in June. The authors, Germany and Australia, now have to find at least 2 supporting institutional members that support the motions for them to be formerly accepted at the IGA.  Contact your Association Coordinator if you have any questions on how to support a motion or where to debate it. 

Efficiency and Coherence in the Field, submitted by: MSF Germany

Motion text: To strengthen our social mission, efficiency and coherence of our operations need to be improved.  

The IGA sees with concern that in many contexts there is too much duplication of structures and efforts, which leads to inefficient use of resources, by having too many OCs operating in one context without sufficient efforts to coordinate and use synergies.  

Duplication of structures and efforts cost resources that we desperately need for our patients. It also leads to worse outcomes, especially in communications and advocacy where lengthy processes aligning different OCs also harm the interests of our patients.

We therefore ask the IB to start a process to promote coordination between the OCs to minimize this. The synchronized strategic plans can be an important starting point to identify currently unused synergies. The IB is asked to report back to the next IGA. All institutional members are asked to support this effort, especially via their involvement in the OC Boards. We also ask the IB to effectively measure and compare the use of resources by the OCs in the field, so that know whether the efforts are successful.  

There are many ways to make us more effective and more efficient that MSF’s executive can choose to pursue. Options could be OC lead models, restricting the number of OCs in one country, and others.

However, as the highest associative body, the IGA demands progress. Progress that leads to less waste of resources and better outcomes for the sake of our patients. For that to happen the Association asks the Executive to quickly come up with an agreed practical plan for implementation.

Argument: We are responsible towards our beneficiaries and our donors to deliver our best possible social mission. Efficient use or resources and coherent messaging are essential to achieve our common goals. Despite this, we still see too many cases where resources are wasted by creating double (or triple structures) or where action is hamepered by difficult of coordination, e.g., in advocacy or communications. 

This needs to change. We already had many discussions, it is time for the IGA to show leadership and voice the needs of the field and our patients. We are responsible towards our beneficiaries and our donors to deliver our best possible social mission. Efficient use or resources and coherent messaging are essential to achieve our common goals. Despite this, we still see too many cases where resources are wasted by creating double (or triple structures) or where action is hampered by difficulty of coordination, e.g., in advocacy or communications.  This needs to change. We already had many discussions, it is time for the IGA to show leadership and voice the needs of the field and our patients.

The rationalisation of European OCs, and moving operational entities closer to where we work, submitted by: MSF Australia

Motion text: An assumption underpinning the IBs "Call for Change" is that there is a need for a transformation of the current structure of operational centers based entirely in one continent. Structural adjustments with a shirt away6 from the current Eurocentric model to regional hubs closer to operational contexts are necessary if we are to achieve meaningful change movement wide. 

We suggest an organised and planned transfer of knowledge and responsibility to be designed and adopted between existing operational directorates and new regional operational hubs. This process should be undertaken in such a way as to fully empower and enable effective operations.   

The present model is financially costly, inefficient due to duplication, is a barrier to diversity and inclusion, creates cultural distance and thus undermines the medical care we provide our beneficiaries. These problems will only be magnified by the future humanitarian demands the movement will face as we are challenged by escalating increases in migration, limitation of resources, and climate change.  

We acknowledge and support previous considerations of this issue in the call for non-European operational centres in the motion of 2012, and in the recommendations of the Sydney Statement from which the following motion directly arose.

MSF Australia moves the following:

“Medecins Sans Frontiere's current structure of operational entities based entirely in one continent is an impediment to provision of efficient, effective and culturally appropriate medical care for our beneficiaries. The number of MSF operational entities based in Europe should therefore be rationalised, and operational entities should be opened in regions where we predominantly work."

Argument: The Sydney Statement has been widely shared within the movement and has received a great deal of positive feedback. The recommendation calling to rationalise the number of Operational Directorates based in Europe was also shared on Fluicity, the movement-wide communication tool. It is worth noting that this post has shown to have the biggest engagement rating with over 40 votes in favour, and over a dozen positive comments. We believe this also demonstrates support within the broader MSF community. 

This motion was developed during the MSF Australia Annual General Meeting, held on 11-12 May 2019. Discussions during the AGM/GA reflected on The Sydney Statement and as a result the motion focused on the recommendation calling to rationalise the number of Operational Directorates based in Europe.

The motion was shared with 185 eligible (financial) members. 67 responses were received, representing 36.2% of eligible members. Poll results are as follows:

91% of those responded supported the motion.

The IGA representatives from MSF Australia took this motion to the 2019 IGA held in Dublin. The motion was voted on during the IGA and did not receive the required two-thirds majority to get the motion passed, however it did get a simple majority (32 in favour, 13 against, 6 abstained from the possible total of 51 votes). Due to the positive feedback MSF Australia has received for The Sydney Statement and for this motion, and the narrow margin by which the motion was unsuccessful at the 2019 IGA, we wish to put it forward again at the 2020 IGA. 

In line with the changes already introduced, this motion is the next logical step forward. It is an articulation of the transformation change that the IB has called for.

Documentation attached:

 

 

 

By: Rebecca Cederholm