Management and Leadership

Level 1 Humanitarian Principles (Self-learning)

About the Course

SPEAKING OUT AND HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES is a course of self-study, which includes a learning journey.

Participants will learn about speaking out obligations and responsibilities integral to MSF’s social mission. This is the first in a series of modules to come, which demonstrate how MSF teams faced impossible choices, how they struggled with speaking out decisions, and how you may relate this to your work today. Students will learn some key concepts regarding humanitarian principles and how these articulate with speaking out using the Speaking Out Case Studies.


All MSFers with responsibility to speak out, those that contribute to speaking out debates, and those that want to learn more about speaking out.

Graduate students in the field of humanitarian affairs, international affairs, and related fields.


The course provides a badge and/or a certifícate upon completion of a mínimum of 70% on the embedded quiz.


Time to complete this course is approximately 4 to 6 hours.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this module,
participants should be able to:

Knowledge Competencies

  1. Relate the concept of speaking out to the imperative to speak out based on humanitarian principles.
  2. Understand Speaking out in MSF and the normative international framework for humanitarian action including international law.
  3. Assess how far humanitarian principles and ethics are compromised while formulating critical approaches to speaking out.

Skills Competencies

  1. Apply critical reflective processes to speaking out dilemmas 
  2.  Identify, compare, and analyse some of the dilemmas highlighted in SOCS
  3. Apply critical thinking & leadership skills to real-life contemporary dilemmas

List of Contents

Section 1: Introduction to SOCS and the Speaking Out Module

Section 2: The case study on the Former Yugoslavia

Section 3: Speaking Out and Humanitarian Concepts

Section 4: The Fall of Srebrenica, Speaking Out Mechanisms, and After-Action Analysis

Section 5: Epilogue

Section 6: Feedback & Feedback


To enrol in this course, we recommend you first complete the Initial module on the Speaking Out & Humanitarian Principles (SOCS) Learning Hub. Then, simply follow the links for the Level 1 course.