OCB Strategic Orientations 2020-2023

Discussion papers

Dear MSF OCB Associative Members,

Please find here the final version of the MSF OCB Strategic Orientations 2020-2023! 

Low Resolution in FRENCH, in ENGLISH, in ARABIC

You can also retrieve the High resolution and interactive version:

  • on the Strategic Orientations site on Sharepoint
  • on OOPS/About MSF (login: oops-ocb / pw: oops-ocb) - for those with no or difficult access to Sharepoint.

It is based on a long consultation process [31 working groups were formed in April/May 2019 around the themes listed below. They consulted over 1000 OCB staff in the field, Partner Sections and Brussels to produce 1-2 page discussion papers, most of which were debated in the field then during the Co-days - Operational Research Day - OCB Gathering at the end of May], taking several months, involving field, partner sections and HQ staff and including 32 discussion papers, proposed by you all. These Strategic Orientations were endorsed by the OCB Group in October 2019. 

The transversal dynamic sparked by the process continues to flourish, with many of the working groups continuing to meet and further develop their themes:

We wish to maintain this dynamic throughout the period 2020-2023. The OCB Strategic Orientations are not static, they should continue to be built on. With this in mind, the discussion papers and other background documents are maintained online.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact robin.vincent-smith@brussels.msf.org who is coordinating the process.

Kind regards, Meinie Nicolai, General Director




Transversal questions to be addressed for the 12 Ops/Med themes:

  • How do you see the emergency preparedness and response to this topic?
  • How do you see development in diagnostics?
  • How do you relay/root with the community?
  • What are the catalytic dimensions to prioritize for each topic?
  • Provide specific focus on prevention and vaccination where relevant
  • Provide specific focus on excluded groups

Roles & Staffing

  • Working Group Lead: Mandated by the CoDir. Accountable for delivering 1-2 pages discussion paper on the chosen thematic by earliest 1st March - latest 10th April 2019
  • Core Writing Team of 3-7 persons (including the Lead): Recruited by the Lead (who can either approach people and invite them, or accept those who volunteer) Responsible for refining the methodology, writing and editing
  • People consulted by the Core Writing Team from the executive (field, HQ, OCB Group),board/associative, external: Responsible for giving their honest opinion on the thematic
  • Robin: Provide ‘at-desk-coaching’ to the Lead throughout the process. Publish output.

Output per working group – Discussion Paper
1-2 pages .pdf discussion paper in readable English, starting with a problem statement: ‘What is the issue here?’ the situation today, the challenges we face, etc., then proposing a vision, development
lines, and propositions. The discussion paper should be pitched at a level that any MSFer not familiar with the thematic can fully grasp the concepts. Delivery to Robin by earliest 1st March and latest 10th
April 2019, in order to frame discussions before and during the Coordo week 27-30th May 2019. 
These discussions will inform the OCB Ops Prospects, Medical Strategy and Strategic Orientations 2020-2023.


  • At first, decision-making by ‘consultation’ – the Core Writing Team consult people. Once the consultation is finished; decision making by ‘consent’ – the Core Writing Team aim to reach consent amongst themselves on their output. If they cannot, they escalate to the CoDir though the Director the lead reports to, who will escalate to the Board as necessary.
  • Some themes will require wider & deeper consultation, and more draft iterations than others. It is up to the Core Writing Team to decide the depth of consultation, number of iterations.
  • Some themes are interconnected. It is up to the Lead to liaise with other leads to manage this 
  • Office 356 ‘Teams’ is the default software for a working group as it allows for simultaneous online editing, chat, virtual meetings, webinars, etc. – ICT is there to create ‘Teams’ and support as required
  • The total work effort per writing team member is ‘guesstimated’ at between 12 and 40 hours each depending on the depth of consultation.

1. Working Group Lead staffs the Core Writing Team (either approach people and invite them, or accept those who volunteer)
2. (optional) Working Group Lead shares a pre-reading list for Core Writing Team to digest prior to kick off meeting
3. Kick-off meeting with Working Group Lead and Core Writing Team to establish depth of consultation and plan meetings
4. Consultation though face-to-face/virtual interviews/workshops, online surveys, other: be creative - use the best methodology to capture the gems (insight) that will make these discussion papers shine 
5. Writing meeting to produce a 1st draft 
6. (optional) Share 1st draft with those consulted for feedback, then consolidate
7. (optional) Further consultation
8. (optional) Share 2nd draft with those consulted for feedback, then consolidate
9. Final editing meeting to produce a final version
10. Working Group Lead shares with Robin, who will publish



AAA - Top 5 - Read these first

International Documents

OCB Departmental Strategies

Partner Sections Strategic Plans

Other supporting documents



By: Sophie Guillaumie