Philippines Emergency -  Nov 2013

The Initial Module: Introduction to MSF, SOCS, and Speaking Out

From Syria to Nigeria, from the West Africa Ebola epidemic to Search & Rescue in the Mediterranean, and from Yemen to South Sudan, and beyond, MSF teams have provided medical humanitarian assistance to populations caught in turmoil, violence and facing mass neglect, and have witnessed the tremendous suffering that ensued.  We mobilised our public voice in many of these crises, in a fast-paced and often heavily polarised media environment. We have also been silent and, at times, struggled to articulate what to say” (MSF: Telling it As It Is).

This initial course will walk the learner through the ambiguity of speaking out for MSF, the what, why, and how MSF speaks out, and some of the speaking out consequences. 

The course prepares a foundation with which to embark on the study of speaking out case studies and dilemmas. It is a required module and will need to be completed before proceeding to all of the other courses.

Who is the initial module for: All students interested in learning more about MSF, SOCS, and Speaking Out. 


  • All Introductory level modules are self-paced and open to all for enrolment.
  • All internal and external students will need to create an account on TEMBO, MSF’s training platform to access the courses.
  • All students must complete the initial module before proceeding to other SOCS courses.

Credentialing: There is no credential offered for the initial prerequisite course, only for subsequent courses.

What you need to know before starting the course

List of contents: 

  1. The Learning Journeys
  2. The MSF Charter
  3. MSF's Two Complementary Pillars of Action
  4. The Ambiguity of Defining Speaking Out for MSF
  5. Why, What, and How MSF Speaks Out
  6. A Look into the Unique World of SOCS
  7. The Learning Methods


1 to 1.5 hours


  • Work at your own pace.
  • Complete this initial journey before you start an introductory level course
  • Questions from this section are included in the introductory level quizzes
  • Opportunity to stay in touch with the SOCS project and join the SOCS discussion forum on TEMBO for extended learning experiences


There is no credential for this prerequisite course. For subsequent introductory level courses, you must score a minimum of 70% on quizzes to earn certificates/badges.

By the end of this module, you should gain the following competencies:

Knowledge Competencies:

  1. Understand the basics of MSF as an organisation including the charter, pivotal agreements, and two pillars of action
  2. Define the Speaking Out Case Studies (SOCS) project and methodologies
  3. Explain the different approaches that MSF uses for speaking out and bearing witness
  4. Understand the respective purposes of speaking out

Skills Competencies:

  1. Describe the importance and challenges of documentation as it relates to speaking out
  2. Discern the potential sources and types of data used to inform MSF’s speaking out activities
  3. Identify the potential consequences of speaking out
  4. Consider and recognise diverse speaking out perspectives
Start the Initial Module

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