Category Archives: Focus (VEN)

The ICRC and partnerships with the private sector: evolution and ethical considerations

Jessica Fleurinor and Caroline Putman Cramer • International Committee of the Red Cross

J. Fleurinor

C. Putman Cramer

Jessica Fleurinor and Caroline Putnam Cramer invite us to an extension of the first part of our Focus theme. The International Committee of the Red Cross effectively did not have before the opportunity of presenting its approach to partnerships with the private sector. This is now the case, within a perspective going from the banker Dunant to the presence of the ICRC within the World Economic Forum (WEF) and comprising the Corporate Support Group especially created within the institution.

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Refugees wedged between corporate malfunctions and the lack of State involvement: the example of a cash programme in Cameroon

Pierre Boris N’nde • Docteur en anthropologie sociale et culturelle (Université Laval, Québec, Canada)

P. N’nde

Cash-transfer programmes are now widespread in humanitarian settings, just as partnerships with companies that promote them. Here is the case of the Gado Badzéré refugee camp in Cameroon. For Pierre Boris N’nde, the unsuccessful initiatives of Mobile Telecommunication Networks breached the “do no harm” principle and resulted in violence that was left for NGOs to manage. The Cameroon State, positioning itself in terms of security, here failed in its role as arbitrator. Read the article

“What’s important, is the mission and that everyone be inspired by common guidelines”

Entretien avec Patrice Paoli • Directeur du Centre de crise et de soutien

P. Paoli

Patrice Paoli is the director of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs Crisis Centre. While the French State reaffirms its desire to involve companies and foundations in humanitarian action, it was essential to know more about this approach. For Patrice Paoli, it is based on pragmatism, collective action and the effective synergy of the means of each actor. NGOs now must position themselves according to this roadmap.

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Social Impact Bonds or the pyromaniac State

Joël Le Corre • Médecins du Monde

J. Le Corre

The subject of “social impact bonds” was first raised by Mathieu Dufour in his article, “Are NGOs the sole purveyors of honourable intentions”, published in the previous issue of this review. Here, Joël Le Corre takes a closer look at this mechanism, examining it from the perspective of companies, which are the first to use it, focusing mainly on the State’s role in implementing a policy which, although innovative, is contested by NGOs. Read the article

Partnerships with private operators: the necessary debate among NGOs

Anne-Aël Pohu • Juriste et experte indépendante en développement international

A.A. Pohu

To conclude – temporarily – this Focus, Anne-Ael Pohu addresses the particularly enlightening case of “private development companies”, these companies that were created almost exclusively to intervene on the field of development and humanitarian action. Perceiving public funds, outsourcing to NGOs to fulfil their commitments, they induce a real paradigm shift. NGOs would benefit from opening a real debate not to be swept away by this movement of substance. Read the article

How the arrival of companies re-examines the notions of legitimacy and accountability: the example of cash transfer programmes

Isabelle Schlaepfer • PhD researcher at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester

I. Schlaepfer

Isabelle Schlaepfer invites us to a salutary perspective in the debate on the impact of the arrival of companies in the humanitarian field. Drawing on the recurring question of the legitimacy of NGOs, she demonstrates how the rules of the neo-managerialism influence the way of conceiving and putting into practice the accountability as much towards the donors, the governmental actors as towards the beneficiaries, more and more conceived as consumers of aid. Read the article

When NGOs and lucrative organisations collaborate: the economic integration of refugees in Ecuador

Lucie Laplace • Doctorante en Sciences politiques à l’Université Lumière Lyon 2 et chercheuse associée à la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)-Équateur

L. Laplace

As the problem of refugees is not confined to the European area, the collaboration between NGOs and companies is in the process of globalisation. Lucie Laplace’s article examines how the social integration of migrants in Ecuador is managed by humanitarian aid organisations within the framework of partnerships with actors from the profit-making sector. An experiment promoted by UNHCR which, according to the author, does not give the expected results. Above all, it would lead to a disempowerment of socio-political and economic actors. Read the article

Reconciliating economics and social concerns: the example of arcenciel in Lebanon

Kristel Guyon • Association arcenciel (Beyrouth, Liban)

K. Guyon

While social entrepreneurship still seems to be a recent innovation in France, the Lebanese association arcenciel chose this model more than thirty years ago. Kristel Guyon explains here the origins, the philosophy, the organisation and both the advantages and disadvantages of this hybrid model. Read the article

Are NGOs the sole purveyors of honourable intentions?

Mathieu Dufour • Directeur financier d’Alima (Alliance for international medical action)

M. Dufour

It’s an NGO that opens the dialogue and, through the voice of its financial director, gives an uninhibited and substantiated speech about companies and the bridges thrown with the humanitarian world. Evoking the virtues of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, blockchain or “social impact contracts”, Mathieu Dufour is not afraid to announce the imminent death of the theoretical break between the private sector and NGOs. Read the article

Sub-Saharan Africa: worrying clouds on the horizon

Serge Michailof • Chercheur associé à l’IRIS (Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques)

S. Michailof

Having long been condemned to pessimism, Africa has unquestionably picked itself up, confronting considerable challenges – such as the recent Ebola crisis –, displaying encouraging economic growth and exporting its numerous talents. On the threshold of the 21st century, a wave of Afro-optimism gradually developed. Did we go too far, too quickly down this road? This is the theory of Serge Michailof, economist, former top level manager at the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD), venturing a parallel with Afghanistan, another “humanitarian land” in the 1980s. Tending more towards Afro-realism, the author invites us to take stock of the perils which the continent will have to face, as well as the means it has at it disposal to overcome them.

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