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February 2020 Newsletter Contents

Welcome to the 2020 Joint General Assembly of MSF Norway and MSF Sweden, which will take place on the 8th and 9th May at Thon Hotel Vettre in Asker, Norway. 
You should have already received all the necessary information about the GA in a seperate invitation, but you can also find everything you need to know about the 2020 GA in the links below.
  • You can receive support in writing both motions and recommendations from the Motion Committee, before submitting them no later than the deadline of Wednesday 8th April 2020
  • Read more about the Election Committee here
  • Read about Membership Eligibility and Fee Payments here
  • We also want to emphasize that if you are attending in person, you are required to pay the participation fee of 300 NOK in addition to having paid your 2020 membership fee. Please contact your Association Coordinator if you are unsure if you have paid or require details to do so. If you are voting remotely or by proxy, you don't need to pay the participation fee. 
  • Please Register Your Attendance in order to ensure your travel details, meal preferences, and accommodation needs are recorded. 
  • More information can be found on the InsideOCB 2020 General Assembly page. 
If you have questions about your membership status or right to participate in the General Assembly, or would like to contribute to the event by volunteering with the GA Planning Committee, Buddy System, or as a Day Volunteer on the 8th or 9th of May, please contact Kevin Kempe ( or Sylvie Leveau (
Field Focus Presentation by Mari Nythun Sørlien

Date: Friday 28 February 2020
Time: 12:30 - 13:00
Location: 4th Floor Canteen

Mari has just returned from her 11th mission with MSF, this time for six months as the Deputy Project Coordinator Surveillance for the PUC (Pool d'Urgence Congo). Mari held responsibility for developing a new strategy for the PUC regarding the National Surveillance System in the DRC. She will reflect on the challenges that inadequate and inaccurate data pose for MSF, as well as the impacts that these have on the efficiency of our projects and responses in the country. Join us in learning more about the PUC and another very unique role within MSF!

Field Focus Evening – “Beyond Ebola: The Continuing Crises of the Eastern Congo”

Date: Monday 16 March 2020
Time: 17:30 – 20:30
Location: Skatten, Hagegata 22-24, 0653 Oslo (Tøyen)
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is dealing with its longest lasting Ebola outbreak ever, yet still faces numerous other major crises. Existing health structures suffer under the fear of Ebola – a decreased number of patients and the closing of regular medical facilities contrast the medical activities of the Ebola-designated health centres that are treating patients with all types of illnesses; except Ebola.
Join the Association for this unique Field Focus Evening about the parallel crises occurring in DRC and how the humanitarian gap resulting from their response has been shaped by Ebola. You will get the opportunity to hear from three of our experienced field workers who have been to Eastern Congo, and who all have different experiences and perspective to share from DRC.
There will also be a screening of a new documentary short film which tackles one of these crises in Eastern Congo.
Anna Fliflet, MSF Field Communications Manager on the multiple crises of Eastern Congo
Elin Hoffman Dahl, MSF Medical Activity Manager on working on the Ebola response team
Lindis Hurum, UNICEF Emergency Specialist on working with a UN agency in Eastern Congo
Moderated by Trygve Thorson, MSF Norway Advocacy Advisor
Drinks will be available for purchase at the venue.
Outcomes of the January Board Meeting
by MSF Norway President, Karine Nordstrand

A new year with new possibilities for MSF Norway, starting with the first Board meeting of 2020. But first, a short recap of the year that has passed: Our finance director Hans Johan presented the figures from 2019, including a total of 101 departures to the field (among them 24 first mission positions out of 28 new recruitments in total), almost 23 600 new field partners, and an over-all income of 417 million NOK, increasing from 401,5 million NOK last year. This means we’ve overachieved with 6-7 million compared to the budget, and will end up with a social mission ratio around 79,7%. Good news, as the declining social mission ratio has been a concern from the Board (and probably will continue to be in the future, given the challenging financial situation at movement level). The positive results are partly due to higher income than expected from legacies, and also huge efforts from the Loyalty Calling Program (LCP) towards regular donors.

We then had Axelle Vandoornick, Duty of Care coordinator in OCB, joining us by VC for a discussion and update on Duty of Care for field workers. Duty of Care refers to the legal obligations and ethical responsibility we have as an employer to set up preventive and protective measures towards work-related risks exposure, and to inform on, manage and mitigate security and safety risks. We discussed how Operational Centers need to work together with a shared set of tools and information, how needs for information may vary between national and international staff, and what we offer our field workers and benchmarkers in terms of trainings and security awareness prior to their departures. It was also clear that the Duty of Care does not end upon return from the field, as a work-related incident may have a lifelong impact with both health-related, legal and financial implications. Two of our own MSF Norway field workers who have experienced critical incidents in the field also shared their experience on how they were followed-up after their return. They highlighted the need for clarity of resources and support available after an incident, that should be offered rather than happen upon request, and also the importance of transparency before and after incidents. This includes the need for informed consent prior to any departure, particularly regarding past security events in the particular context.

Following the high media visibility our Search and Rescue (SAR) activities on the Mediterranean over the past six months, we also got a presentation from our fundraising director Grete Lise and our communication director Silje on how it has affected their work. Our communication strategy was fact-based, focusing on the human suffering, but also ensuring we kept communicating on our regular work beyond SAR. Our neutrality and independence was questioned by many, but the perception of MSF turning political was somewhat mitigated through a positioning campaign before the SAR launch, which was closely coordinated between the two departments. Several of the members of our LCP team and dialoguers experienced critical reactions, the latter more exposed as they work face-to-face. It became very clear that media attention and controversy is really a driver in terms of getting results and visibility on our campaigns. However, it’s very difficult to say something about the overall effect on both fundraising (it went both ways) and reputation. Hopefully we’ll get a better idea of the latter via the regular Gallup surveys that we’re part of.

Finally, we continued the previous discussions from the Nordic board meeting before Christmas around possible options to ensure a more representative democracy at the IGA, and MSF Norway’s role in it. Without any tangible conclusion, as for now.
Give Your Input on This Year's Forgotten Crises

MSF Norway has for many years launched a list of forgotten crises and progresses in order to raise awareness in the media and on our own channels. These are also the crises that 4000 students all over Norway focus on each year through the School Project. Last year they alone created around 70 media clips in different regional and local media. It is also an important reminder to everyone working in MSF Norway to focus on in our own content. Last year we sadly didn’t focus too much on this due to several factors, but we all agree that we want to take our forgotten crises back in MSF Norway!

Therefore we are extremely interested in hearing your suggestions, input and thoughts regarding interesting regions, issues, diseases and projects that you – our people in the field – think could be interesting for 2020. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to contribute your thoughts. 
As you fieldworkers are the ones that really know our work and projects firsthand, your opinions are extremely useful and important. Thanks! 
Feel free to check out the current forgotten crises and progresses, and don’t hesitate to contact Marte from the communications department. 

Outstanding Final 2019 IB Meeting Minutes

Follow the below links to find the Outstanding Final 2019 IB Meeting Minutes:

You can also find them on the Association Website.
(Login: msf, Password: asso).

WaCA 1st General Assembly

The first General Assembly (GA) for WaCA was held in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire on Friday February 14 and Saturday February 15. This event was a historic milestone for the movement, as it marks the inception of the first Association and only institutional member outside of Europe with the right to run operations. You can catch up on news about WaCA through the WaCA newsletter here. The event was streamed, and the video can be found here (username: msf, password: asso).

Candidates for the Associative Committee in Central America and Mexico

A gathering will take place in Mexico City on March 26, where two topics relating to the possibility of creating a new association linked to "Central America and Mexico" will be discussed. Firstly, participants of the meeting will be able to discuss their thoughts on the creation of a new Central America and Mexico association. Secondly, associative representatives will be elected, and an Associative Committee that will be responsible for the construction of a new entity associated with Central America and Mexico will also be created.

We are looking for Spanish-speaking MSFers and ex-MSFers who have lived or worked at least one year in Central America and Mexico. You need to be available and super enthusiastic about bringing change to MSF. See details in this document.
If you have any questions, you can contact the Regional Associative officer in Mexico, Roxana Navarro.
#NoMoreTears Chilli Pepper Eating Challenge for MSF

Many of us grew up with the soothing slogan of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) signature baby shampoo product: #NoMoreTears. It is a reminder of happy babies and bubbly bath times. Yet behind this cuddly image, J&J is perpetuating the suffering and loss of hundreds of thousands of people affected by tuberculosis (TB).

Instead of #NoMoreTears, we are witnessing tragedies every day in families and communities where TB has a grip. By setting the price of the lifesaving drug bedaquiline too high, J&J is, in effect, withholding the miracle of a cure from hundreds of thousands of people living with TB.
Now, it’s time for people to speak truth to power – join the Chilli Pepper Eating Challenge now!

We are turning up the heat on J&J with our spicy Chilli Pepper Eating Challenge, calling on the corporation to drop the price of TB drug bedaquiline to a dollar a day. We are challenging ourselves to eat whole chillies without crying -- “no tears” – and as we do so, we will demand that Johnson & Johnson stop putting profits over people’s lives.
Please watch our video here – to learn more about the challenge!
Using the format of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the concept is as follows:
  • Introduce yourself on video, explain that you’re doing this challenge to protest Johnson & Johnson’s high pricing of a lifesaving TB drug
  • Film yourself eating the chilli (trying not to cry)
  • Nominate a friend to do the challenge next
  • Finally, upload the video to social media using the hashtag #NoMoreTears.
Click here for detailed tips and guidance:
Take the Introduction to Mentoring & Coaching!

The Mentoring & Coaching Hub released an introduction course to mentoring and coaching. Take the course to understand what mentoring and coaching is, and what the differences between them are. If you are interested to get a mentor or a coach, you will find the relevant info on the Mentoring & Coaching Hub’s website. You can find a direct link to the course here

Field Recruitment News and Events

In January, the Field recruitment team attended Pediaterdagene (Pediatric Days) in Stavanger where Eva Brekke was on stand informing people about fieldwork. The Field recruitment team also had an info meeting where Jon Erik Solaas, who has been on several missions as a health promoter, held a presentation. 

We will be present at the following events. 

Election Committee

Would you like to influence MSF Norway through actively participating in its governance? Or do you know the perfect MSFer with the right profile to take that role?

It’s time to start thinking of new candidates for our board. For the GA 2020, 4 positions will be open in the MSF Norway Board of Directors. 

As a medical humanitarian organisation, medical experience is highly important. We therefore should aim at electing minimum 2 medical profiles among the 4 seats in order to maintain a medical majority on our board as required by our statutes. We also need to elect a treasurer this year. Our association benefits greatly from having a board representing our members as broadly as possible, hence other varied competencies are also of interest, for example non medical field experience. So take some time to think: Do you feel you could contribute to the board and be a great representative of our association? Or do you want to nominate somebody else you feel has the right skills?

We encourage you to get in touch with our 2019-2020 Election Committee!

Here are 4 strong reasons for being a member of the Board:

  • Insight and possibility to influence in one of the world’s major humanitarian organisations
  • Learn about board work as well as operational support functions like finance, communications and human resources and see the machinery from the inside!
  • Contribute with your experience and ideas into the development of MSF
  • Grow your professional network with other committed MSFers

Should you be interested to run as a Board Member candidate at the upcoming election, or have any questions about running for election and board work, please contact the 2019-2020 Election Committee:

The role of the Election Committee is to provide the opportunity for MSF Norway Association Members to be identified, recruited, and elected to the Board of Directors through an active and engaged assessment of the various skills and backgrounds held by associative members.

To find out more information about the role and duty of an Election Committee member, please check MSF Norway current statutes and the Internal Rules for Terms of References and additional background or get in touch with the current Election Committee and Associative Coordination team.

Motion Committee
Are you interested in motions, do you want to write a motion or have you written a motion and would like feedback? Get in contact with the Motion Committee!
All members can propose motions to the General Assembly. A motion presented at the joint General Assembly of MSF Norway and MSF Sweden can be directed to the home association, the OCB Gathering, or the International General Assembly, depending on whether it is an issue that pertains to the movement as a whole or not.

Per MSF Norway and MSF Sweden statutes, motions must be received by the Board at least 30 days prior to the General Assembly. Motions shall be sent to the members no later than 14 days prior to the General Assembly. Motions addressing MSF Norway or MSF Sweden alone will be dealt with during the national segment of the General Assembly, while issues addressing MSF globally or MSF International will be handled during the joint part of the General Assembly. With the exception of motions dealing with the statutes of the Association, motions can be submitted after the 30 day cut off period, but will only be added to the agenda for discussion if fourfifths (4/5th) of the voting members agree. 

If the motion is intended for the IGAthere are some additional rules
  • The deadline for submission of motions is nine months prior to the IGA. In very exceptional circumstances, the IB can grant an exemption to the nine-month deadline.
  • At least one month prior to the IGA, Institutional Members (IMs) with motions that meet the criteria must inform the IGA Motions Committee of at least two other IMs that support their motion to the IGA. A total of at least three IMs must support a motion for it to go through to a vote at the IGA.
  • Motions are submitted to the IGA with a declaration of intent by the supporting IMs to support the IB with the follow up of the motion, if the motion is approved the IGA.
The MSF Norway 2020 Motion Committee is composed of: 
Read more about motions and the process of submitting motions here.

Join the Motion Hub!

The motion hub is a network of passionate members of our movement that believes in motions as a tool of change and have experience in writing them. 

The motion hub has three tasks

  1. Support motion writers all over MSF from FADs to GAs with wording and phrasing of motions to improve their compliance with the motion checklist. 
  2. Improve the motion registry, first step is to make a more user friendly IGA motion registry but this will happen gradually
  3. Develop communication and training material for motions

At this point the hub will start creating a network of volunteers that will provide the support to writers when needed. We need a champion of the hub and the concept to step forward and coordinate this for this GA season. Are you this person? 

Please send your interest to Jon Gunnarsson Ruthman (IGA-rep for MSF Sweden & Chair of the Motion Committee) or the ASC.

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