Winter 2013: How MSF works

Dear Friends,

Over the years, I've been asked many questions about the work that we do,and I’ve done my best to answer them, drawing on my own field experience to do so,and drawing even more on the ethics and principles this organization has aspired to uphold in the 41 years since it was founded.

For this issue of Alert, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some answers to questions we get asked frequently both in our office and in the field. Alert is a publication in which we try to have deeper discussions about our operations, so it seems like an ideal place to continue what we hope is an ongoing conversation about our work, our projects, our people, and our ambitions and goals. In some cases, the questions have relatively straightforward answers. In others, the questions raise additional questions and inspire deeper thought on our part. We’ve also included some personal reflections from people who have worked in the field.

Given the inquisitive and reflective nature of MSF, we are more than happy to have these discussions—and in some instances, to introduce aspects of what we do that might not be immediately obvious. We are also happy to have this conversation because we greatly value your support, and we believe that we should be held accountable for the decisions we make by the people who in many ways make those decisions possible.

We hope you’ll appreciate this attempt to respond to your queries and concerns. We wholeheartedly invite people inside and outside the organization to continue asking questions, so we can continue answering, thinking, and reflecting, with the ultimate goal of improving the care that we deliver in the field to people who truly need the assistance.


Sophie Delaunay
Executive Director, MSF-USA