The West African Transitional Justice Centre (WATJCentre), on behalf of Médecins Sans Frontières’s (MSF) Speaking Out Case Study Program (SOCS), is calling for applications from faculty and graduate students interested in the field of humanitarian studies, international relations, peace and conflict studies, sociology, public health, strategic studies, disaster management and related disciplines to take part in the pretest of the online pilot e-learning modules for instruction. The modules are being developed by learning and development specialists in collaboration with selected universities to be used by graduate students and professionals at various levels of instruction including introductory, intermediate, and advanced leadership. The first pilot modules available for testing will be the introductory level and testing will take place online only in November 2021.

The MSF SOCS develop, produce and disseminate new SOCS-based online learning materials to meet both internal demand from MSF Humanitarian Affairs/Operations’ training units, as well as to meet external demand from universities and other related organizations for training current and future humanitarian professionals globally.

The modules are being developed from 13 Speaking Out Case Studies, which is a collection of reports containing details of the operational context of the MSF’s humanitarian interventions, and they contain the dilemmas and nuances involved in speaking out on behalf of vulnerable populations during crises.  The cases draw from the 50 years of experience in humanitarian interventions with specific detailing contexts, procedures, methodologies and challenges of speaking out from empirical field realities. These educational materials thus provide important skillsets for operational effectiveness regarding the critical thinking and organizational negotiation through complex crises. The aim is to build skills, knowledge, and confidence in analysis and speaking out for future humanitarian and international affairs decision makers.

 To participate, send a 2-page curriculum vitae to and copy on or before Friday November 5, 2021. Selected candidates will be contacted by November 12, 2021.

All selected participants must have network access through smart phones or other connected devices (tablet, computer).



The MSF Speaking Out Case Studies [also known as SOCS] documents – through case studies – critical humanitarian dilemmas surrounding speaking out.

SOCS project emphasises speaking out as a core activity of the MSF movement. It focuses on lessons learned and therefore assists MSF staff, association members, and a growing external audience of graduate students and practitioners in understanding how speaking out articulates with humanitarian interventions.

SOCS learning tools:

We are in the process of creating SOCS based learning tools. The series of modules we are developing are following 3 different levels: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.

All the courses that we are creating are about critical thinking and analysis of Médecins Sans Frontieres’ speaking out in complex humanitarian contexts. The courses are based on thematics that address dilemmas surrounding speaking out in humanitarian crisis. The offerings are for humanitarians – current and future – who intend to build confidence, critical thinking skills, and knowledge in the act of speaking out. Trainings are based on SOCS case studies and include a different thematic per study such as working humanitarian principles, humanitarian space and access, etc.

SOCS first introductory level module:

Our first introductory level module is ready. This intro level module is fully asynchronous (self-paced). It is a 3.5-hour module available online. This intro module will also be used at the beginning of the intermediary and advanced levels. Therefore, it is intended to cover a large target audience including MSF junior and more experienced field coordinators, advisors to the field, dvocacy and operational communications officers/managers as well as post graduate students in humanitarian studies including from countries of low to middle income settings.

The thematic of this first series (introductory, intermediate, and advanced trainings) focuses on the articulation of speaking out with MSF’s working humanitarian principles.

Cases and events extracted from a Speaking Out Case Study are used to explore real-life scenarios of the past, using the case study methodology. For this first series, the SOCS team has chosen the case study on “MSF and the War in the Former Yugoslavia 1991-2003”. This case study was chosen because it reveals the constraints and questions associated with striking a balance between medical ethics, humanitarian principles, and speaking out—key components of the central thematic of this module. Ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and an international community that abandons the population are critical features of this war.

What can you do to help?

We would like to ask you to test this online module. After you complete the module, you will be asked to complete an evaluation. Your feedback will help us improve the module before its official release later this year and to know more about the difficulty level, and potential target audiences.

  • The testing of the module will start within the first weeks of November.
  • You will have 1 week to complete
  • Please let us know if you are willing to test.
  • If so, we will contact you a few days before the module is ready to test.

On behalf of the SOCS team, we would like to thank you for your precious support.

Rebecca Golden Timsar, PhD

Médecins Sans Frontières

Learning and Development Coordinator

Speaking Out Case Studies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *