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04HOW MSF WORKS A CONVERSATION WITH JASON CONE Executive Director Doctors Without BordersMdecins Sans Frontires MSF How is MSF different from other international relief organizations Humanitarian action is a response to the moral and ethical failings of our time. We are the ambulance drivers and paramedics of the world turned upside down showing up when things fall apart. This means as an organizationand our teams on the groundwe must accept high levels of risk. This translates into work in extremely dangerous and unpredictable situations and also medically pushing for better standards of care for our patients through innovative approaches. So we accept a dimension of risk. But we do not transfer risk to other organizations or subcontract to other groups because we think there is too much risk for our own staff. If its our project its our risk and its our responsibility. MSF teams are living and working alongside our patients whether it is in refugee camps in South Sudan or assisting communities torn apart by Ebola. The majority of the leadership has field experience too. Not all organizations can say that. Why does MSF stress that people in leadership positions have field experience MSF is governed by an Association made up of individuals who express their solidarity through the delivery of medical care in the field. Our Board of Directors is composed of former field staff and Association members who have been elected by the broader MSF Association which is largely composed of people in the field. Its important to ensure that throughout the organization the decisions that we make are driven by field considerations and that those decisions first and foremost improve our capacity to assist people trapped in war zones or suffering from epidemics. To do this you need executive level people who know the constraints and the needs of the field. Donors and external partners constantly ask about our operations and our operational choices. Being able to speak from experience in the field helps me give credible responses.