Category Archives: NGOs and the private sector: Threat or opportunity?

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