Category Archives: Focus (VEN)

The use of digital tools at large scale: lessons from a health programme in Burkina Faso

Enric Jané • Terre des hommes, Switzerland

Guillaume Foutry • Terre des hommes, Burkina Faso

Simon Sanou • Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso

E. Jané

G. Foutry

S. Sanou

The first article of this Focus is feedback from a digital health project Terre des hommes has led for almost eight years. This timeframe makes it possible for the authors to argue that from the outset a project such as this must be designed on a large scale and in cooperation with the government, that it must follow an iterative approach to continuously take user feedback into account and overcome resistance to change

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The arbitration required between possibilities of new technologies and usefulness for populations

Karine Le Roch, Nicolas Dennefeld, Caroline Antoine, Melchior de Roquemaurel, Jonathan Bureau, Myriam Ait-Aissa • Action Contre la Faim

K. Le Roch

N. Dennefeld

C. Antoine

M. de Roquemaurel

K. Bureau

M. Ait-Aissa






The resurgence of new technological tools requires humanitarian actors to take stock of their possibilities, applicability and interest for populations.

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At the era of “humanitarian digitisation”, lifting the veil of newness

Nathaniel A. Raymond and Daniel P. Scarnecchia • Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

N. Raymond

D. Scarnecchia

Applications of digital information communication technologies (ICTs) are now commonplace across the disaster response cycle. But some gaps leave a critical and emerging set of risk factors largely unaddressed in a comprehensive way by the humanitarian sector. Read the article

Fostering good practices in the use of information and communications technologies

Maëve de France et Nina-Flore Eissen • CartONG

M. de France

N-F. Eissen

Integrating the use of new technologies within an NGO cannot be improvised. This is the key message Maëve de France and Nina-Flore Eissen pass on here. The two authors present strong recommendations for the humanitarian sector based on CartONG’s significant experience in the subject.

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Humanitarian drones: useful tool, toxic image

Michiel Hofman • Médecins Sans Frontières

M. Hofman

Undoubtedly it is technological tools that crystallize fantasies of efficiency and the greatest ambiguities the most. Drones induce multiple confusions –between civil and military use, interests of populations, NGOs and companies that do not always converge– that Michiel Hofman decrypts for us.

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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