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In May’s TIC newsletter, the Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) program lead, Haroon Sukhraj, set out the scope of work and how it was adapting to the impact of COVID.

With the killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter protests in response, and MSF’s own voices raised on this topic, the program needed to adapt to match current realities.  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion isn’t a ‘nice to have’ for MSF – it’s a challenge we must meet if we are to continue to provide assistance to those most in need. Additionally, we are ramping up to be able to speed up where possible.



The program continues to incorporate three pillars of work, which have been reviewed, adapted, and renamed as:


‘Bottom up’ – Voices from the Field:

• focuses on safe conversations at field level, initiated and managed by the respective Operational Centre

• selected in missions that had already committed to this approach


‘Lateral’ – Sharing DEI Experiences and Expertise:

• ownership and governance of elements of DE&I by MSF platforms and groups such as the International Board, ExCom (international platform of General Directors), RIOD (international platform of Operations Directors), IDHR (international platform of HR Directors)

• providing an overview of progress, as well as compiling the ‘backlog’ of past commitments, with sections invited to respond with intentions

• a developing repository, which will give an overview of tools, knowledge and expertise across different parts of the movement, with accompanying analysis and recommended next steps


‘Top down’ – Leadership Action and Accountability:

• strategic plan analysis, providing a high-level view on DE&I vision and plans, and transparency on timing, KPIs, ownership and accountability

• alongside the Association, define and communicate the roadmap to becoming ‘the MSF we want to be’



The program has launched an online resource repository to act as a DE&I hub.  It carries links to existing DE&I networks within MSF and has a growing resource library for those who want to do some reading or research.  There are also materials that will help in planning DE&I activities that may be useful for you.

The repository can also act as a source of inspiration.  It already details the initiatives completed, in progress, and planned in two operational centres (MSF-OCA and MSF-OCG) and two sections (MSF-USA and MSF-Southern Africa).  Alongside the initiatives is specific and extensive analysis with recommended next steps.


What now?

The program is a compilation of a list, or backlog, of identified barriers to inclusion based on testimonies, analyses of policies and documentation of earlier analyses. This list will create and support clarity on progress, ambition and ownership.


If you have suggestions to add to the list or contribute your voice, you can send them to Haroon Sukhraj, program lead.