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Groupe URD in Chad

The Observatory of Aid Practice in Chad opened from 2009 to 2012, and functions as a field office of Groupe URD, supporting both aid actors and those in the political sphere to better understand the Chadian context in all its complexity. By conducting independent research and evaluation, the Observatory helped clarify decision-making for a fairer and better adapted humanitarian aid response.


The Observatory’s activities focused primarily on:

  • Producing knowledge and research findings based on contextual analysis of cross-cutting issues via operational research and regularly updated evaluations.
  • Knowledge sharing and diffusion of research results, using a flexible communications strategy adapted to the needs of different actors/decision-makers, thereby enabling the research results to affect real change.
  • Capacity building for actors in the field.

The Observatory had a permanent office and team of staff in Chad, who were joined by technical experts and researchers for specific short-term field missions.

In line with Groupe URD’s work globally, the Observatory’s work has been structured around three thematic axes:

  • Aid architecture and humanitarian space – analysing issues related to access to affected populations, and how this is affected by the very structure of the international aid system, from a legal, institutional, operational and political perspective.
  • Crises and vulnerability – better understanding crisis contexts and their specific vulnerabilities (fragile contexts, socio-natural risks, technological risks, etc.) and how they affect different groups of people.
  • Aid Quality – questioning humanitarian practice and developing tools and methods to improve the quality of aid.

The Observatory has completed the following:

Studies and reports published:

In collaboration with PhD students from the University of Lille, Graduate School of Legal Sciences, Policy and Management (l’Ecole Doctorale en Science Juridiques, Politiques et de Gestion de Lille), research work on the following subjects has been underway:

Workshops and Training Sessions:

Summary Papers and Technical Briefs

Meetings and Conferences

  • 21 March 2012 IN N’Djamena : Symposium “Sahelian strip food crisis – lessons from previous humanitarian responses and the challenges ahead”.
  • 13 December 2011 in N’Djamena : Experience sharing workshop on monitoring and evaluation.
  • 10 October 2011 in N’Djamena : Round table "Stabilisation of returnee areas in Eastern Chad".
  • 19th October 2010 in Brussels , presentation of the Observatory findings during the EC strategy meetings for the transition in Chad. The European Commission Directorates working in Chad were present at the meetings, as well as a Representative of the Chadian Ministry of Economy and Planning (the Deputy Director General of External Resources and Programming), and ECHO’s implementing partners in Chad.
  • 10th June 2010 in N’Djamena , presentation of the study ‘Transitional Challenges’ to the aid actors working in eastern Chad.
  • May 2009 in Abéché and Ndjamena , Mini-seminars presenting preliminary results of first multi-disciplinary research missions.

The DG ECHO has been the Observatory’s main financial partner since early 2009, via an administrative partnership with Solidarités International. The French Cooperation has also supported the Observatory in 2010. Some activities have also been implemented with the financial and in-kind support of UNICEF, UNDP and the Mairie of Ndjamena.

The following evaluations have also been conducted, commissioned by external organizations or institutions:

Our office in Chad is no longer operational. If you are looking for information about our activities in Chad or if you need to contact one of our members of staff with regard to future or ongoing projects in the Sahelian area (evaluation, training or research), please contact: Véronique de Geoffroy

Read more

Key messages EcoSan, Chad, 2009-2013, in French
Videos of the conference "Food crisis in the Sahelian strip", 21 March 2012, N’Djamena (in French)
Humanitarian space in eastern Chad, October 2009, in French

Article in the review Humanitarian Aid on the Move n°3: « Ideas for improving the quality of the humanitarian response in Chad »

Article in the review Humanitarian Aid on the Move n°4: « The socio-economic impact of the international community’s presence in Abéché »