Doctors Without Borders is an international organization that seeks to provide medical attention to individuals that have been impacted by natural disaster, conflict, or limited accessibility to health care services. They have provided relief in 70 countries worldwide with recent work in Western Africa treating people who have been affected by the Ebola crisis.
The work done by Doctors Without Borders has been shown to reduce the hardships in developing countries during a crisis. However, once the immediate crisis subsides they train individuals in the region to run the medical centers and Doctors Without Borders leaves the operation in the hands of the locals. I think there is little question that the organization has a positive impact on relief efforts, but they may not contribute to long term development. This does not address the larger structural issues that plague developing regions and keep those affected in poverty. This ultimately results in regions reverting back to the same conditions they had before they were faced with a crisis.
Overall, Doctors Without Borders is a stable organization that has a positive impact in the developing world, and although health care is a factor in development the relief nature of their programs prevents them from having a long term effect in those regions. Relief efforts are important in the developing world but at a certain point focus needs to be redirected to finding long lasting solutions to the problems that cause overwhelming poverty. Money donated to Doctors Without Borders is well spent and benefits those with urgent need. That being said, I think the organization would have an even bigger impact if they did more work to address the underlying causes of poverty that make extensive relief necessary.
Review from Guidestar
MSF sets the standard. Their reports to the media are highly regarded. Unparralled.
I have been in developing nations during war it is not a picnic. I just had my EMS I respect the very fact of completing medical education. To then eschew raking in the money doing elective cosmetic surgery and to put your life on the line going into Syria is awesome.
I have gladly donated monthly to the courageous Doctors and staff of this necessary organization for many years now. But as I give to other needy charities as well, I use the 4 Stars of Charity Navigator as my cutoff point for deciding who will receive my donations. I am considering holding back on donating to Doctors Without Borders until they meet the 4 star criteria. But the hard working Doctors and Staff on the front lines don't "manage the business" so I'd like to see the management staff and board hustle to get this Charity up to the high class standards of the many other charitable organizations and support their front line.
Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012
We are glad to report that Doctors Without Borders 4 Star Rating has been reinstated in 2012 and we hope you will continue to support our work in the field, as we respond to the need for medical care in 70 countries around the globe. Please also see our response to similar comments made by other supporters. If you would like to discuss our work or our ratings on Charity Navigator, please contact our Donor Services department, 212-763-5779 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Review from CharityNavigator
I am a Physician my self but not biased. I am also the president of Sahaita Inc. a 501 c 3 non profit organization. We started up after Tsunami in 2005. At the time of Tsunami we raised lot of funds and the only organization which really cared and went out of their to appreciate our work was Doctor's without Border's. Lot of them didnot even acknowledge they got funds but I will not name any. Doctors without Borders are really a great organization. Since they need long commitments I could never join them so started our own small organization with similar goals called Sahaita Inc. ( You can visit us st www.sahaita.org) This time again The two picks where our funds we collect will go to are doctors without Borders and United Sikh organization which does a lot of work( which sometime do not get credited).United Sikh is also a volunteer run Non profit entity and they did great work at Tsunami,Katerina and in Houston during last Hurricanes and ran Food kitchens. So our 100% support for Doctor without Borders and United Sikh organization, Thanks you all for working to help Humanity.
Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012
Thank you for your generosity and endorsement of our work. Doctors Without Borders will continue to expand our work where possible to underserved populations around the world and appreciate support from contributors who provide us with the means to meet the needs of so many.