Groupe URD conducts a number of inter-related activities which stimulate collective learning within the humanitarian sector. This methodological approach is based on 5 pillars:
- Evaluation and analysis: Drawing lessons from experience via evaluations and operational research;
- Innovation : Developing tools and methods;
- Dissemination: Managing knowledge and sharing it with humanitarian actors via publications, conferences and discussion forums;
- Training and support: Strengthening the capacity of humanitarian actors via training courses and organisational support;
- Influence: Promoting better quality in aid through advocacy in order to improve the conditions in which humanitarian action is implemented.
As an independent observer, we have a global and cross-sector vision which allows us to develop strategic analysis of emergency and post-emergency contexts. This specific quality means we are in a position to make proposals and develop innovative tools for the humanitarian sector.
Today, Groupe URD works on themes which are specific to each operational sector (Nutrition, Water and sanitation, Protection, Urbanism, etc.) as well as on cross-cutting issues such as aid quality, the environment, disaster risk reduction and prevention and LRRD.
As an internationally recognized think tank, we provide strategic advice to operational and policy-oriented organizations (United Nations agencies, donors, Red Cross institutions, NGOs, etc.).
Groupe URD is currently involved in three projects with institutional bodies, providing analytical input and guidance in assessing needs, etc.
- At the national level:
Strategic and financial agreement with the French Ministry of Foreign and International Affairs and the French Development Agency
In May 2011 we signed a strategic and financial agreement with the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Centre de Crise et de soutien and the French Development Agency. The objective of this agreement is to build and reinforce a think-tank dedicated to humanitarian action and post-crisis reconstruction.
This convention was renewed for the period 2014-2017.
Groupe URD will provide expertise to the MAEDI (Centre de crise et de soutien and Direction générale de la mondialisation) and to the French Development Agency to help them draft, implement and evaluate humanitarian and reconstruction policies.
This agreement helps us in our role as a humanitarian think tank, strengthening our capacity to produce and share ideas and provide training. Groupe URD will contribute to the monitoring of key issues facing humanitarian action and the promotion of French ideas and practices within specialist bodies. Groupe URD will engage in three kinds of activities:
- The production of guidance documents and proposals;
- The organisation of meetings, seminars and conferences;
- The facilitation of training workshops, discussion events and debates. Groupe URD is particularly involved in the activities of the Humanitarian consultation group (Groupe de concertation humanitaire) and the preparation of the World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul in 2016.
Mission to provide the French Development Agency’s Crisis and Conflict Unit with support and expert analysis, 2015-2016
Crisis situations, whether of human or of natural causes, are increasing in number, and lasting longer or becoming recurrent in certain regions of the world. This development raises questions about the capacities and operational methods of humanitarian and development organizations before, during and after crises. The increasing number of crises in areas where the AFD is present and the growing diplomatic involvement of France in the management of crises confirmed the need for the AFD to improve its capacity in this area. A mechanism has gradually been put in place, with the creation in 2008 of a Crisis Prevention and Post-conflict Recovery Unit (CCC). The fact that this unit was moved from the Strategy Directorate to the Operations Directorate in 2014 reflects the AFD’s desire to make its strategy in this area operational. In close collaboration with the Centre de crises et de soutien and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Directorate-General for Globalisation, its function is to help the AFD’s operational departments to integrate “fragility and crisis management” into their programmes.
In order to provide the CCC with support in defining country and regional strategies, identifying operational responses, adapting the Agency’s instruments to this type of context, implementing specific methodologies, etc. Groupe URD will carry out expert analysis on a number of topics and will provide internal support in response to identified needs until the end of 2016.
- At european level:
Groupe URD together with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI) and Instituto de Estudios sobre Conflictos y Acción humanitaria (IECAH) have been selected to support the European Union’s humanitarian aid department (DG ECHO) in developing policies through research, workshop facilitation and the dissemination of results.
These institutions have founded the INSPIRE consortium for this purpose. The consortium is coordinated by Groupe URD.
In January 2016, they have been joined for the renewal of the project by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Since 2012 the consortium provides DG ECHO with advice and expertise on critical humanitarian issues such as gender, nutrition, protection, water and sanitation, and other sectors and issues. The INSPIRE consortium also assist DG ECHO in the dissemination of these policies through workshops and trainings. The INSPIRE consortium works in close consultation with DG ECHO, its partners in Brussels and those at the country level.
For more information on this project, please contact Véronique de Geoffroy