On September 21, 2023, at the Apprentis d’Auteuils in Paris, a gathering of humanitarian actors took place around the anniversary of the Coordination Humanitaire et Développement.
If you would like to know more about this Coordination which celebrated these 40 years this year, an interview with its co-presidents Xavier Boutin and Thierry Mauricet was published in the previous edition: The Humanitarian and Development Coordination (CHD) celebrates its 40th anniversary
Back in picture on the workshops, the great debate and the evening that allowed French humanitarian actors to meet to exchange and continue to grow CHD!
The HR Circle coordinated a workshop. In a playful spirit, Human Resources was approached from the perspective of a game of 7 families. Participants had the opportunity to exchange, share ideas and practice in areas such as skills assessment, pedagogy or preparation for the recruitment interview. They explored the different qualities sought by recruiters: know-how, organization, taking initiatives…
Thanks to the NGO support group, the participants were immersed in the heart of the actions of the NGOs Support and had the opportunity to take part directly in their realization, thanks to an interactive course that made them discover a multitude of actors. This experience allowed to test their practical knowledge about the essential support provided by NGOs Support to international solidarity activities.
Through the workshop of the children’s group, the participants discovered the tools and strategies based on the rights of the child, in order to maximize the effectiveness and impact of projects for the youngest. A reflection was made on the response of children to crises, on the notion of participation, resilience…
“Ideas for tomorrow’s SMB” was a session dedicated to the future prospects and challenges that await SMB. Discussions included SMB services tailored to its members, strategic directions for the future, and innovative initiatives for sustainable impact. Ideas were shared and debated in a good mood.
The great debate
Alain Boinet, President of Défis Humanitaires and founder of Solidarités International, moderated the debate. The 3 main themes of the conference were:
1. The challenges of access to aid for the most vulnerable populations:
Covering both the question of NGOs’ access to populations and populations’ access to the services offered by NGOs. The issues at stake are security, economic, administrative, ethnic and gender-related.
2. Actions to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and the complementarity between humanitarian aid and development:
It was stressed that the effectiveness of actions undertaken depends on complementarity between NGOs and links with local populations and players (local NGOs-CSOs, public services, businesses).
3. Prospects for the humanitarian and development sectors:
Relations with donors, the duration of programs, access and the role of the United Nations were examined as avenues for improving French humanitarian and development action.
These questions were discussed by :
– Justine Muzik Piquemal, Regional Director for CAR, DRC, Sudan and Mozambique at Solidarités International. She emphasized the importance of innovation and constant questioning by humanitarians to adapt their programs, but also to ensure that they are sustainable and rooted in the local context. Justine encouraged transparency and support between NGOs, and reminded us of the important role of the United Nations in addressing the issues raised.
– Nathalie De Sousa Santos, Deputy Managing Director of La Chaîne de l’Espoir. This humanitarian showed us that the separatist vision between humanitarian aid and development was over, and that the question of program timing was central to navigating between emergency and development. The flexibility and agility of NGOs must therefore be reinforced, as must the solidarity and complementarity between them.
– Anne Panel, Director of Fert. As director of a development NGO, she reminded us of the indispensable adaptability that these structures must demonstrate in the face of the changing contexts in which they operate, giving the example of Burkina Faso. She also shared her experience in terms of localization, and highlighted the contradiction that exists between the precautionary principle applied by donors and the risk principle to which NGOs must also subscribe.
– Olivier ROUTEAU, Director of Operations at Première Urgence Internationale. Olivier presented his vision of the increasing complexity of crises. He also emphasized the challenges that go beyond NGOs, such as the sometimes contradictory demands of donors (going back to basics, but also constantly reinventing oneself), the need to be present in the field sometimes even before the emergency itself, and the excess of reports to be provided for accountability rather than action.
In the course of these fascinating exchanges, we had the opportunity to look back at the contributions made by CHD to French humanitarian actors. The mutual aid and communication between players enabled by CHD was highlighted.
Alain le Roy, former French Ambassador to Madagascar, former UN Under-Secretary-General in charge of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and former Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), concluded the debate by thanking the speakers for their contributions in the field. He considered NGOs to be the mouthpieces of the people in their dealings with public authorities, and encouraged them to continue their work of advocacy and dissemination of their valuable experience. According to Alain Le Roy, efforts must always be directed towards education, health and employment on a global scale. He emphasized the professionalizing contributions of CHD, as well as the points for improvement that could benefit the entire field.
Thanks again to the organization of the event, especially to Alexia Tafanelli!
If you’d like to find out more about this Coordination, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, an interview with its co-presidents Xavier Boutin and Thierry Mauricet appeared in the previous issue: Coordination Humanitaire et Développement (CHD) celebrates its 40th anniversary