Tips and Helpful Hints

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. 

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 to illustrate issues (available from the mission or can be requested in advance from the documentation center in Brussels:
  • 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 contacting: 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