Humanitarian aid: from Armenia to the Sahel, from northeast Syria to Gaza and aid to Ukraine.

An editorial by Alain Boinet

Palestinians fleeing the northern Gaza Strip © UNRWA Ashraf Amra

We arrive in the mountain village of Schurnuk in Armenia. It has been cut in two by the war. To the left of the small road, it is now Azerbaijan, and to the right, Armenia, which feels threatened. Fifteen or so houses are under construction to accommodate Armenian families driven from their farms, and a 3 km water pipeline and reservoir are being built to supply them with drinking water with the support of the Fonds Arménien de France. Further on, a Russian military fort stands guard over an Armenian army position facing an Azeri post.

The next day, thanks to Carmen from the SPFA’s French-speaking Cultural Center in Goris, I meet Armenians driven out of Artsakh by Azerbaijan at the end of September. Kariné BalaÏan, 59, has 3 children and 13 grandchildren, including her son Albert. Kariné wipes away tears as she recalls the war. She and her family lost everything when they escaped from Stepanakert under the bombs. Albert dreams of a house to settle down in with his wife and 4 children, the youngest of whom was born during the exodus! Albert is 34 and wants to make a living from his work again.

In Goris as in Kapan, we meet a team of experts from the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and Isère Chambers of Agriculture, who are assessing needs and projects within the framework of the Partnership Agreement signed in March between the Syunik region and Laurent Wauquiez for the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region.

The 100,000 Armenians driven out of Artsakh in the space of a few days and left traumatized are now the focus of attention. They can be found in every region of Armenia. Half of them are housed in hotels, schools and government buildings, while the others are staying with relatives or in precarious rented accommodation while waiting to find work, bearing in mind that half of them live in rural areas, that there are 30,000 children to send to school, and that many of them were disrupted by the forced exodus under the bombs.

In Armenia, in the Tavouch region, with Vice-Governor Narek Ghushchyan, French Ambassador Olivier Decottignies, the Association des maires ruraux de France and its President Michel Founier, the President of the Côte d’Or, Bruno Bethenod Courtage and Hélène Brégier-Brochet, the Fonds Arméniens de France with its Vice-President Michel Pazoumian and Défis Humanitaires with Alain Boinet.

As in the Syunik region, the Tavouch region is home to refugees, whom we had the opportunity to meet while visiting school and university projects, agricultural training and livestock breeding with the French Ambassador to Armenia Olivier Decottignies, the Association des Maires Ruraux de France, the Fonds Arménien de France with the support of the Conseil départemental des Hauts de Seine.

I came to Armenia to do a report for Défis Humanitaires, as well as to identify humanitarian needs and aid players such as NGOs, foundations and local authorities in France and elsewhere who could come and support and strengthen the situation, particularly in the border provinces of Syunik and Tavouch, which are under armed threat from Azerbaijan backed by Turkey and Israel.

What is at stake, of course, is peace, with a mutual recognition treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is refusing to sign it for the time being, as well as the regularization of relations with Turkey. In the meantime, supporting the refugees and Armenia is undoubtedly one of the best ways of achieving a balance that will foster a just peace in this troubled region of the South Caucasus.

From the Sahel to northeast Syria, from Gaza to the Ukraine, a long road for solidarity.

This edition of Défis Humanitaire, the 12th this year, takes stock of crises that mobilize humanitarian action as well as that of diplomats, armies and jihadist or terrorist groups.

Where is the Sahel headed?

This is the question we put to Gilles Yabi, Managing Director of the Think Tank Wathi, based in Dakar, Senegal. Listening to him, we can clearly see the conjunction between internal difficulties and external initiatives or interference. In Mali, Burkina Faso or Niger, he notes the weaknesses of governance, the historical weight of the French presence, the interference of the Russians and the Wagner group, the regional dimension of the three borders in the Liptako Gourma, the diverse motivations that drive the recruits of armed groups and the risk of extension to the countries of the Gulf of Guinea. To the question of Africa’s exponential demography, he underlines the lack of response to a major phenomenon which, while an asset in the long term, is a serious problem in the short and medium term. Despite the difficult situation, Gilles Yabi invites us to remain confident in the future of Africa, which has many assets. An interview full of precise and pertinent nuances, that I recommend to you.

Dr Gilles Yabi during a conference at the Think Tank citoyen de l’Afrique de l’Ouest Wathi

Northeast Syria in danger!

Patrice Franceschi, writer and committed connoisseur, has just returned from Syrian Kurdistan, where Jean-Michel Blanquer, former French Minister of Education, accompanied him with a letter of support from the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which bring together Kurds, Christians and Arab tribes. The Turks are destabilizing the region, subjecting it to daily bombardments, including at night, while rationing water from the Euphrates River to weaken the population’s capacity for agricultural self-sufficiency. The Iranians have moved in with their drones against the FDS, and the dormant cells of Daech are still there, ready to spring back into action. While humanitarian action is essential in this region, the solution is essentially political and military. For a full understanding of this imbroglio, it is worth reading this interview.

Jean-Michel Banquer, former French Minister of Education, with Patrice Franceschi, Khaled Issa and commanders of Christian units of the Syrian Democratic Forces in northeast Syria.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) at odds between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Pierre Brunet, who has been practicing and reflecting on humanitarian issues for a long time, reminds us that it was the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, with its 1,200 victims killed in atrocious conditions, that deliberately provoked the current war. He urges humanitarians not to ignore Hamas’s use of the Gaza population as a human shield, a practice condemned by the European Union. At the same time, he condemns the violent and predatory actions of settlers in the West Bank and the need for a two-state solution, with Israelis and Palestinians living in peace. For Pierre Brunet, it’s a question of keeping the scales of International Humanitarian Law in balance, avoiding the blind spot of Hamas’s responsibilities and the “Stockholm syndrome”, while supplying the population of Gaza and de facto holding Israel to account. As we can all see, respect for IHL is a threatened requirement in this existential conflict, which calls for fair and determined advocacy.

The question of aid in Ukraine.

François Dupaquier, founder of U-Saved in Ukraine.François Dupaquier is well known in the humanitarian world, having founded the Ukrainian NGO U-SAVED. With his direct frankness and experience, he argues convincingly in favor of transferring risks from international organizations to local partners. He has documented numerous examples of security, financial and administrative risks. In conclusion, he suggests ways out! A personal word on this subject: risk transfer is certainly not humanitarian! I believe that the solution lies, on the contrary, not in substitution but in the complementarity of international and national players in terms of principles and values, at the operational, administrative and financial levels. This has yet to be invented, so action.

Coping with physical and mental risks in humanitarian action with CoCreate Humanity.

This is the mission of the Swiss association CoCreate Humanity, presented in this issue by Hélène Ros, founder with Sébastien Couturier and Christophe Hensh, all three from the ICRC, which supports the wounded, kidnapped and victims of various traumas. CoCreate Humanity has developed an approach to human accompaniment that has proved its worth, and which deserves our thanks and support. Hélène presents this useful approach for us to share.

Healthcare widens its scope.

Anthropologist Madeleine Trentesaux is working on “One Health”, which recognizes the links between human health, animal health and environmental health. The One Sustainable Health Forum is working to integrate this approach, including in humanitarian emergencies. Find out more about this innovative approach to health in this issue.

The humanitarian wants the means!

National Humanitarian Conference of 2021

This will be the focus of the next Conférence Nationale Humanitaire (CNH) to be held in Paris on December 19 at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE). The 1st CNH took place in 2011, in response to the recommendations of the Boinet-Miribel Report submitted to the Minister at the time, Bernard Kouchner.

The CNH was prepared by the Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CDCS), headed by Philippe Lalliot, in conjunction with humanitarian NGO members of the Groupe de Concertation Humanitaire (GCH).

This year’s CNH, which can be followed in person or remotely on YouTube, has three main priorities:

  • How to integrate the challenges of climate change impact, protection and localization to act effectively on crises.
  • How to protect humanitarian aid and access to populations at a time when IHL is under threat.
  • In the face of growing humanitarian needs worldwide, what funding is needed to make aid more efficient?

The CNH will be opened by the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, with a panel of personalities and experts on the deteriorating context of humanitarian action and the multiplication of crises.

This CNH will be an opportunity to present the Humanitarian Strategy of the French Republic (SHRF) for the period 2024-2027, which follows on from the two previous ones. This Strategy for the next 4 years defines three main priorities:

  • Increased resources and more efficient implementation methods.
  • Respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL), with the support of French diplomacy.
  • Integration of climate and environment, food security, gender and simplification of procedures.

In a letter sent to the Minister, Catherine Colonna, in the spring, I recalled that “The number of conflicts has more than doubled over the decade 2010-2020, the number of climate-related disasters has increased every year since 2018, the number of refugees and people displaced by conflict has doubled in 10 years to reach 100 million human beings. Food insecurity has risen by 35% in the last five years. We have entered a new era in just a handful of years, and above all we have changed scale and pace in the face of these immense challenges. In this world, humanitarian aid is vital insurance for crisis victims”.

So, while the increase in French financial resources has been considerable since 2018, it must continue in the face of humanitarian needs estimated this year at $50.5 billion, which are likely to fall short, as they do every year, by around 50% of the essential amount.

Financements français accordés à l’aide humanitaire ©CDCS Stratégie humanitaire de la République française 2023-2027

While the announcement of an increase in France’s humanitarian budget to one billion euros by 2025 is very good news, we need to go further and think about the share of Official Development Assistance (ODA) that should be allocated to humanitarian aid. Although France is one of the world’s leading contributors to ODA, ranking 4th, its share of humanitarian aid is one of the lowest!

This is both contradictory and out of step with the realities of today’s world. It would be appropriate and logical for France to allocate at least 13.9% of its ODA to humanitarian aid, in line with the average for OECD member countries, with some countries going as high as 20 to 25%.

The National Humanitarian Conference on December 19, 2023 will be the ideal opportunity to discuss this issue, in order to better respond to the growing gap between needs and resources, which this year concerns 339 million human beings worldwide.


Faced with the challenges of multiplying crises and victims, the widening gap between needs and the means to help populations in danger, and the questioning and violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), the humanitarian issue is becoming vital in international relations and must be respected and protected by all players, because IHL is less a Western concept than a human value shared by all civilizations, cultures and religions.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you for your support (faireundon) for Défis Humanitaires, which is counting on you.

Alain Boinet

Alain Boinet is president of the online magazine Défis Humanitaires and founder of the humanitarian association Solidarités Humanitaires, of which he was managing director for 35 years. He is also a member of the Groupe de Concertation Humanitaire at the Centre de Crise et de Soutien of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and of the Board of Directors of Solidarités International, the Partenariat Français pour l’Eau (PFE), the Véolia Foundation and the Think Tank (re)sources.





Find the 83rd edition of Défis Humanitaires :

Ukraine: Humanitarian bureaucracy versus population survival

Transferring risk to Ukrainian NGOs

An article by François Dupaquier 

Bread distribution in Ukraine ©U-Saved

Ukrainian civil society players mobilized in spectacular fashion following the Russian invasion of February 2022. The ensuing humanitarian crisis could have seen the commitments of the Grand Bargain finally implemented, for more effective humanitarian aid closer to the people. However, as of November 15 2023, OCHA counted $7 billion in humanitarian aid allocated to Ukraine by international institutions[1], of which only 0.8% was directly addressed to local NGOs[2]. These figures are a far cry from the Istanbul commitments of 2016, which set a target of 25% of funds dedicated to national structures. To implement their humanitarian actions as close as possible to the war zones, where few international players are present, these Ukrainian organizations therefore had to get closer to these IOs/NGOs[3] with 99.2% of the remaining funds. But these local NGOs have found themselves confronted with practices that run counter to basic humanitarian standards and threaten their very survival. As experienced in other contexts, it is the transfer of risk – physical, of course, but above all administrative – that represents the greatest danger for these local players, and therefore for the lives of the populations they help.

The opportunity to reform the humanitarian sector in Ukraine in line with the objectives of the Grand Bargain.

From the very first days of the conflict, not only did Ukrainian NGOs and groups organize to support their people, but civil societies the world over also mobilized to deliver the necessary aid. The Ukrainian volunteer movement existed before the Russian invasion. It had already been at work since 2014 during the Maïdan revolution and the Donbass conflict. In a country plagued by corruption, this fantastic impetus was already constitutive of Ukrainian society. Thanks to a high level of development and education in the country, these volunteers have demonstrated an uncommon efficiency. Doctors, engineers, logisticians, accountants and IT specialists have set up perfectly mastered project management processes, often from the private sector, which many humanitarian professionals would have had a lot to learn from.

Meanwhile, international NGOs and UN agencies responded to calls for projects from major donors. They collected the billions of euros donated by the international community, on projects that were often hypothetical, in consortium, and rarely in coordination with local players. As a result, some of the largest NGOs had not even crossed the Ukrainian border when they submitted their project proposals to the funders, who were themselves in a hurry to show their support for Ukraine. When it came to implementing their actions, not only were they forbidden to approach the war zones because of their security procedures, but there was ultimately no room for them. Indeed, these thousands of Ukrainians were already supporting their population, often at the risk of their lives, without waiting for anyone else, using their own means, and with the support of the diaspora and foreign civil societies.

While this situation offered a unique opportunity to localize aid, the international humanitarian system did not always seize it. And when partnerships were developed, IOs/NGOs often transferred their endless bureaucracy onto national NGOs. In this way, they have imposed even stricter and more restrictive rules on local players than those dictated by their own donors, while at the same time diverting financial resources that would otherwise have been needed by national NGOs. The zero risk policy of these international humanitarian actors, whether physical or financial, has led them to raise the bar even higher for local organizations. This approach creates a constant risk of local organizations collapsing and defaulting on payments.

International NGO U-Saved working in Ukraine ©U-Saved

Transfer of risk from IOs/NGOs to local partners: the 0-risk policy

Lack of consideration for the safety of the local partner

Although the principle of transferring physical risk is on everyone’s lips, it is not the problem in itself. It is essential in order to compensate for the fact that IOs/NGOs are unable to access the field because of their own safety regulations, but also because of a definite lack of will. In Ukraine, local volunteers crossed the front lines with or without the help of IO/NGOs. And this was necessary to help the people.

But the resources available to IOs/NGOs were not mobilized to improve the safety of local actors. At times, they even endangered the latter. International commitments to improve the safety conditions of local partners were all too rarely respected.

CSOs have thus experienced:

  • Refusal to pay for safety equipment (ballistic vests, helmets, communications equipment, etc.), staff insurance, or adapted logistics, such as vehicles, to cope with field conditions.
  • IOs/NGOs give only secondary consideration to safety management during preliminary audits, and often provide no support in this area.
  • The imposition of processes that put volunteers’ lives at risk, such as the obligation to collect superfluous information in dangerous terrain, or with unsuitable methods, slowing down work in war zones.

Transferring financial and administrative risk to local partners

Ineligibility of expenses

The 0-risk policy of IOs/NGOs leads to a systematic search for ineligible expenses with the local partner, i.e. invoices whose payment or reimbursement is refused. To achieve this, the administrative processes imposed by IOs/NGOs on CSOs are stricter than those of any international donor. The aim is to “raise the bar” for the local organization, and thus for IOs/NGOs to face up to their own audits with a 0 risk of ineligible expenditure.

This strategy leads to uninterrupted exchanges on financial reports, where every document is scrutinized and left to the discretion of the IO/ONGI’s administrative staff. In order to avoid being found wanting, the tendency is to question any information or document presented, and to declare an expense ineligible without valid reason. This prevailing situation, giving unilateral prerogative of the financial decision, is contrary to law and practice.


  • Funding contracts do not give them such prerogatives.
  • IO/ONGI staff act as financial auditors. Yet only a chartered accountant, a regulated profession working to international standards, has the prerogative to consider the ineligibility of expenditure.
  • IGOs often refuse to organize financial audits to settle disputes.

Financial report versus monthly audit

While most donors require interim or quarterly financial reports, IOs/NGOs impose monthly financial reports on their local partners. This work is therefore just-in-time within the CSO. It prevents administrative departments from carrying out other essential tasks, and inevitably leads to cascading problems with the IO/NGO.

Although cumbersome, it is still possible to draw up a monthly statement of expenditure. But under the guise of a financial report, the prevailing rationale is to audit the local partner, in a policy not only of 0 risk, but also of transferring the entire workload to the CSO.

To this end, each month the IO/ONGI requests the entire documentary chain of the local partner’s accounts. Every month, this represents the classification of dozens or even hundreds of documents for each invoice.

The following documents are expected to be supplied, organized, classified and scanned, according to the different rules and formats of each IO/ONGI:

  • The financial report.
  • All invoices.
  • A voucher for each invoice.
  • Proof of payment for each invoice.
  • Administrative and accounting documents relating to each invoice: supplier or staff contracts, pay slips, job profiles, advertisements, purchase orders, pro-formas, supplier quotations, purchasing procedures, supplier evaluations (including international sanctions, anti-terrorist lists, etc.), etc.
  • Proof of receipt of aid by beneficiaries.

While IOs/NGOs complain that they are constantly being audited, there is only one audit per project, based on a sample of a few dozen invoices. For the local partner, it’s a continuous audit of 100% of the accounts, covering several thousand invoices.

No IO or INGO, with all the experience they can muster, would be able to resist such a constraint, but above all, none would accept it for themselves.

These processes are therefore designed to facilitate the work of IOs/NGOs as a whole, in contradiction with the interests of the local partner. With 100% of the document chain ready, translated and filed, these organizations have nothing left to do for their own audits. They can supply any document at the click of a button, regardless of the sample selected.

Risk 0 is thus achieved, as are substantial savings. Indeed, these intermediary IOs/NGOs often charge the lion’s share of operating and administrative costs.

Rehabilitation work on Ukrainian houses ©U-Saved

Secondly, this system has two major consequences, not only for the beneficiaries, but also for the local NGOs:

  • IOs/INGOs do not release contract payments to the local partner until this work has been validated by their departments. Exploring the documentation chain can be a never-ending process. In fact, each financial report gives rise to endless additional requests and months of discussions. This puts the CSO at risk of non-payment and financial jeopardy, and ultimately prevents aid from being delivered to beneficiaries.
  • In this frantic search for the ineligible, IOs/NGOs immediately place the CSO in a position of fault, or even guilt, thus imposing inappropriate pressure on staff and violence in working relations.

Payment delays

Payment delays exist even when we’re not waiting for financial reports to be validated. Initial payments can take weeks or even months after contracts have been signed. The local partner is either obliged to wait to implement its activities, and therefore in turn not to respect the conditions of its contract, or to take the risk of committing cash.

Imposing dangerous and/or illegal measures

Some IOs/NGOs try to impose measures on local partners that cause them to lose control of their activities, in order to protect themselves in the event of a control or audit.

The most striking example is when a CSO is required to use the IO’s/ONGI’s project monitoring tools, rather than its own. In this way, the latter captures the data collected by the CSO during the implementation of activities directly on its digital server. It can use this data more rapidly in its reports, communications, fund-raising and audits. Conversely, this deprives the local partner of control and access to information, as well as the ability to monitor and correct its actions.

This practice is contrary to its professional and legal obligations, putting the local organization at risk.


  • As a humanitarian organization, the CSO must respect humanitarian principles and standards, including quality standards. This goes hand in hand with having its own monitoring and evaluation system to control and justify its actions.
  • As the implementing organization in its partnership, the CSO is professionally committed to monitoring, controlling and reporting on what it does.
  • Under most funding contracts, the CSO is responsible for the chain of documentation and control, from the moment it receives supplies or funds, until it delivers the aid. This is a necessity in terms of auditing.
  • As a legally registered organization in the country, the CSO undertakes to respond to all requests and controls from the authorities, including those relating to the fight against fraud and corruption. It would be legally unacceptable for the CSO not to have the capacity to monitor its activities.
  • Moreover, while the CSO agrees to monitor its activities and provide the information needed to feed the UN reporting system (beneficiaries disaggregated by age and gender, location, etc.), the IO/NGO questionnaires are much broader and constitute quantitative assessments unrelated to monitoring. This process poses numerous problems, as it slows down the work process too much, which is sometimes done door-to-door. The logistical and financial consequences are considerable. It also poses security problems in many regions where CSOs operate close to conflict zones. Any extra time spent in the field puts staff and beneficiaries at risk.
Stock of bread for distribution to Ukrainians in need ©U-Saved

Absence of administrative or indirect costs

Administrative costs are a matter of survival for both local organizations and IOs/NGOs. They enable the CSO’s associative project not only to survive, but also to cover all costs not included in direct costs, and to cope with problems.

This situation is recognized internationally. It was reiterated in the latest DG-ECHO scoping note of March 2023 entitled “Promoting equitable partnership with local stakeholders in humanitarian situations”. International donors explicitly ask IOs/NGOs to pay these fees to their local partners. Yet many refuse to do so.

At a time when these same IOs/NGOs are systematically looking for ineligible costs to charge to CSOs, by depriving them of administrative costs, this is the last lifeline they take away from their partners before they drown.

Inconsistent due diligence

Before launching partnerships, IOs/NGOs carry out long and arduous due diligence processes to test the skills of local NGOs. It can last months and involve dozens of IO/ONGI staff, each with a sector to assess: finance, logistics, management, HR, monitoring-evaluation etc. In this way, the IO/ONGI verifies that the partner has the appropriate procedures in place to be accountable for the funding it receives.

Finally, once this process has been successfully completed, and it’s time to sign the contract, the local partner is often required to disavow its own methods and apply all the IO/ONGI’s internal procedures, with no negotiable contract conditions. Not only are these procedures adapted to the size of the IO/NGO, which may have an annual budget of several billion dollars. But each IO/NGO also has its own procedures. The local partner working with several IOs/NGOs quickly finds himself in an untenable position.

This situation is often due to the fact that the final decision on a contract rests with the IO/ONGI’s finance department. They have the final say, and have often not followed the long months of negotiations between their organization and the CSO. When the time comes to sign, the financiers apply their 0-risk policy, and impose the most restrictive conditions of the standard.

Obligation to use dedicated project accounts

The obligation to use a dedicated bank account per grant contract is also a threat to the local partner. It removes the local partner’s ability to manage its own budget, an essential skill which was nevertheless assessed during the preliminary audits. As a result, the local partner finds itself having to manage multiple accounts, creating administrative imbroglios for cost allocation.

But much more threateningly, the local partner finds itself unable to play with its cash flow, between its various contracts, knowing that late payments by IOs/NGOs, sometimes outside the project dates, rapidly push the CSO into a situation of payment default that could lead to its dissolution.

International organizations such as UNHCR working alongside NGOs ©U-Saved


We can conclude that:

  • IOs/NGOs often impose processes on local partners which they have often fought against in the past, and which they themselves would be incapable of respecting.
  • IOs/NGOs finance CSOs not as partners, but as subcontractors, in an unequal relationship that is sometimes truly dominant.
  • The contractual constraints imposed by IGOs and INGOs force local organizations to increase their payrolls and expenses with limited resources, since delays or the sudden cessation of funding can result in their bankruptcy.
  • They place local partners in a situation of permanent pressure, with every delay or decision by the IO/ONGI jeopardizing the organization’s survival.

However, it should be borne in mind that the pressure experienced by IOs/NGOs also has a cascading effect on their administrative staff working with CSOs.

In this context, it seems essential that:

  • International donors respect the commitments they made during the Grand Bargain, and reform their operations to provide much greater direct funding to local players.
  • IOs/NGOs reform their operations to enable a transition to localized aid.
  • International donors, who were the first to impose 0-risk standards, are addressing the issue of transferring administrative risk to local partners. This problem of contractual relations with local partners must also be addressed as soon as possible by the governing bodies of IOs/NGOs.
  • International humanitarian aid must decide to put an end to the 0-risk policy, which is not applicable in difficult areas, as the risk is ultimately assumed by local partners. International donors must support IOs/NGOs in this new direction.



[2] In this document, the terms Local Non-Governmental Organizations (LNGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are used interchangeably to refer to Ukrainian national humanitarian structures and initiatives.

[3] International organizations (mainly United Nations agencies) and international non-governmental organizations.


François Dupaquier

François Dupaquier has been working in the humanitarian sector for over 20 years, in many crisis areas. He is a consultant in evaluation and accountability systems with the FrontView consultancy firm he heads ( In April 2022, he founded the NGO U-Saved, active on the frontline in Ukraine ( His aim is to develop new approaches to aid effectiveness. François is also a documentary producer and director, and author of novels, published by Fayard and Flammarion (La lionne, 2023,