Category Archives: About us

A collective adventure

Humanitarian Alternatives is a fundamentally collective adventure, since the review was co-founded by Jean-François Mattei, Benoît Miribel, Jean-Baptiste Richardier and Jean-Christophe Rufin, before involving other partners in its wake.

The seeds of the initiative were first sown in September 2013, during the fourth Forum Espace Humanitaire (FEH) organised at Pensières in Veyrier-du-Lac, during the course of which it was admitted that the voice of francophone humanitarian organisations was becoming increasingly less audible in international debates. How, then, to contribute to debates on humanitarian issues in a format which would be accessible to everyone, in English and in French? How to develop analysis and reflections between humanitarian and research actors, to be able to offer alternative methods of humanitarian intervention?

In order to validate the relevance of such a project, a census carried out by the Red Cross Fund under the supervision of Professor Jean-François Mateit enabled us to identify the different existing publications on international humanitarian action. As a result of this analysis, Benoît Miribel suggested a collective approach in order to bring together the capacities of different foundations which were interested in this issue. He organised a first meeting in March 2014 in Paris, to gauge the interest in launching a bilingual review to create a link between field and academic actors, to contribute to the development of a systemic approach to humanitarian action. Jean-Christophe Rufin lent his support to the initiative from the very first meeting, and Jean-Baptiste Richardier was able to involve the Fondation Handicap International soon afterwards. A working group was progressively put in place and two years later, in February 2016, the Humanitarian Alternatives review published its first issue on the humanitarian consequences of the Ebola health crisis.

The review, which benefited from the experience of Boris Martin as editor-in-chief since its beginnings, also boasts an editorial board that is independent from the governing bodies. Its director of publication is Bernard Michel, and Audrey Sala ensures the coordination with the different involved parties. The review also has an Advisory Committee, a Scientific Board and a Board of Partners.

Launched firstly by the Mérieux Foundation, the French Red Cross Foundation, the Fondation Handicap International (now Institut HI pour l’Action Humanitaire) and the Action Contre la Faim Foundation, Humanitarian Alternatives currently enjoys the support of a dozen foundations, who contribute to the annual funding sum of 15 000 euros ( la Fondation Action Contre la Faim • la Fondation Bullukian • la Fondation de Recherche Caritas • la Fondation Croix-Rouge française • la Fondation de France • HI Institute for Humanitarian Action • la Fondation Mérieux • la Fondation Roi Baudouin • La Fondation OVE • le Gouvernement princier de Monaco/ Direction de la coopération internationale).

Keen to strengthen the links between research and humanitarian action, a number of universities, training centres, and research institutions regularly join the review in order to expand its network and contribute to the joint advance of knowledge, reflection and action.

Photo – © Alternatives Humanitaires

from left to right:  Bruno David, Bori Martin, Virginie Troit, Serge Breysse, Jean-Christophe Rufin, Francis Charhon, Romain de Vries, Jean-Marc Boivin, Jean-Baptiste Richardier

First row: Benoît Miribel, Bernard Michel

Operational Team

Boris Martin

Boris Martin is Chief editor of the Alternatives Humanitaires review (http://alternatives-humanitaires.org) since February 2016, after having occupied a similar position for the review Humanitaire at Médecins du Monde. He is also freelance editor and author.

His publications:

  • L’adieu à l’humanitaire. Les ONG au défi de l’offensive néolibérale, Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer, 2015 (freely downloadable)
  • Many Reasons to Intervene: French and British Approaches to Humanitarian Action (with Karl Blanchet, eds.), Columbia University Press/Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2011
  • Droits de l’Homme et responsabilités (with Sandrine Revet and Bertrand Verfaillie), Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer et Tarik Éditions, 2007, 139 pages.
  • Critique de la raison humanitaire (with Karl Blanchet), Editions Le Cavalier Bleu, 2006
  • Voyager autrement - Vers un tourisme responsable et solidaire, Editions Charles Léopold Mayer, 2003
  • Quand le droit fait l’école buissonnière - Pratiques populaires de droit (with Patricia Huyghebaert), Descartes & Cie, Editions Charles Léopold Mayer, 2002
  • La France de la solidarité, Cesno, 2002

He has written tales (Chronique d’un monde disparu, 2008 and « C’est de Chine que je t’écris… », 2004) published by Seuil, and short stories (Hong Kong, un parfum d’éternité, 2010) published by Elytis. His most recent tale – L’iconoclaste. L’histoire véritable d’Auguste François, consul, photographe, explorateur, misanthrope, incorruptible et ennemi des intrigants – was released in 2014 by Éditions du Pacifique.

On his blog that can be found at http://lemondenesuffitpas.hautetfort.com/, he has posted his news reports on humanitarianism.

 

Audrey Sala

After participating in the creation of the Handicap International Foundation and the Vivre Debout Foundation, Audrey Sala has accompanied the founders of the Humanitarian Alternatives review (http://alternatives-humanitaires.org) from the beginning of the project. She is now in charge of the coordination and the communication of the NGO.

Audrey also worked for Amnesty International France as an external consultant for the creation of their Foundation (https://www.amnesty.fr/fondation-amnesty-international) and at Handicap International for the ethical screening of their financial partners.

Since May 2017, she is member of the Operational Coordination Team for the Forum Espace Humanitaire 2018.

Editorial Board

Sadio Ba Gning

Sadio Ba Gning has a PhD in sociology and is a teacher-researcher at Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis (Senegal). She leads the project “NGOs, governance area: ethnography of the practices in Senegal”, for the Red-Cross French Foundation.

Karl Blanchet

Director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine). Karl has a background in public health and extensive experience in conflicts (Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Somaliland, Lebanon) and health system strengthening in Asia (Afghanistan Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal) and Africa (Niger, Rwanda, Ghana, Togo, Mali, Somaliland). Karl has specific interests in studying resilience issues in global health and more specifically in post-conflict and conflict-affected countries. Karl has developed innovative research approaches based on complexity science, system thinking and social network analysis. Karl also applied innovation theories to understand the routinisation process of health interventions. Karl was one of the contributors of the Chapter on General Health Care of the World Report on Disability published by the World Health Organisation and is now a member of the Expert Committee at WHO on rehabilitation guidelines. Karl was also the lead evaluator of the global strategy of the Physical Rehabilitation Programme and the Special Fund for the Disabled of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Karl also gave an LSHTM TED Talkx on health systems and complexity.

Clara Egger

Clara Egger holds an MA degree in Political Science (2010) from Sciences Po Grenoble (MA Program “International Organizations IGO – NGOs”) and a PhD in political science from the University Grenoble Alpes. Her PhD thesis analyses States’ control strategies of humanitarian NGOs at the unilateral and multilateral level, focusing on the cases of France, United Kingdom and the United States of America. During her PhD, she did field research in Kosovo and Kenya. Her research was awarded the French Red Cross Fund for the best research on humanitarian action and was shortlisted for the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize for the best thesis in politics. She currently leads the research aspects of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia project aiming to analyse how key concepts to humanitarian practice are used, understood and perceived.  Her current research interests include the role of humanitarian action in international politics and, in particular, its links with military intervention; non-Western conception of humanitarianism and armed contestation of Western powers foreign policies

 

Pierre Gallien

Director of the H.I Impact, Information & Innovation division. Pierre is agronomist but was keen to enrich his curriculum with complementary training in management (IAE), epidemiology (CESAM) and strategic foresight  (CNAM). During his 25-years experience in the humanitarian field, he held many technical (technical coordinator, Head of Knowledge Management division) and operational (geographical manager, mission director) positions for Action Against Hunger, Solidarités International and Humanity & Inclusion. This eclectic experience in humanitarian action has allowed him to better understand the specific constraints of the different positions, but also to underline the importance of cross-sectoral approaches.

 

Vincent Léger

Vincent Leger is a research officer at the French Red Cross Foundation. PhD in anthropology (University College London) and holder of a Master in demography (IDUP), he is responsible for monitoring and promoting research supported by the Foundation on humanitarian and social action.

 

Stéphanie Stern

Stephanie leads the ACF’s Knowledge LAB project, an innovative pilot project aiming at incubating innovative approaches and methodologies to improve the knowledge management across Action Against Hunger's international network. Collaborating closely with the research, advocacy, technical and operations department , ACF Knowledge LAB explores ways of effectively connecting knowledge with action in order to improve the way the organisation fights against hunger.

Danielle Tan

Danielle Tan is a doctor of political science (Sciences Po / CERI, 2011) and Research associate at the Research Institute of Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC, Bangkok). She carried her postdoctoral research in Australia (Australian National University) and the Netherlands (International Institute for Asian Studies). She has taught international relations, Asian studies and development issues in Southern countries at Sciences Po Paris, Nancy and Lyon. Before starting her research career, she worked in Grenoble for the urban policy and the social and solidarity economy. She also has experience in the development field in Morocco, Tunisia and Laos. She was laureate of the French Red Cross Foundation (2014) for her research “The humanitarian transition in Laos: a mapping of actors, dynamics and modes of governance”. She has also coordinated studies and research for Handicap International. She is currently an independent consultant. Danielle is particularly interested in evaluating the social impact of new technologies in the humanitarian field.

Sophie Zaccaria

Sophie Zaccaria is a physiotherapist and holds a master’s degree in social practices of development from Institute of Economic and Social Development Studies (IEDES). She has worked with the United Nations in Gaza, South Africa and Cambodia, and then in France with various NGOs such as CCFD-Terre Solidaire. She has taught and continues to teach in various master's degrees in international solidarity actions at the Senghor Institute of the Francophonie, the Catholic Institute of Paris and IEDES. After having been in charge of the health and advocacy department at Médecins du Monde, she is now attached to the direction in charge of transversal issues.

 

Organisational chart

Steering council

Jean-Marc Boivin • Francis Charhon • Jean-Pierre Claveranne • Francis Comte • Yvan Conoir • Bruno-Georges David • Romain de Vries • Karine Meaux • Benoît Miribel • Pascal Revault • Jean-Baptiste Richardier • Jean-Christophe Rufin • Bénédicte Schutz • Virginie Troit  • Joëll Weiler

 

Editorial Board

Sadio Ba Gning Karl Blanchet
Clara Egger Pierre Gallien
Vincent Léger Stéphanie Stern
Danielle Tan   Sophie Zaccaria

Scientific council

• Sophie Brière • Gilles Collard • Yvan Conoir • Aimé Kouassi Malanhoua • Houwayda Matta Bou Ramia • Gautier Pirotte • Nathalie Rubio • Jean-Pierre Veyrenche

Operational Team

Boris Martin

Chief editor

Audrey Sala

Coordinaiton & communication

Publication director : Bernard Michel

Correction for the French version :  Catherine Tranchant

Correction for the English version : A.D.T. International

Conception : In medias res

Printer :  Imprimerie Brailly – Saint-Genis-Laval