The Groupe Urgence, Réhabilitation, Développement (Groupe URD) was formed in 1993. It brings together some 16 French emergency and development NGOs, as well as university-based experts, and has taken the lead in stimulating reflection and research on the continuities and discontinuities between relief, rehabilitation and development in the Francophone world. The publication in 1997 of a collective book, Entre Urgence et Développement, was an important launch for the group. An English translation will be published shortly by Zed Books. The activities of the network, which meets three times a year, fall into one of four categories: research, debate, training, and advocacy.
Current research activities concentrate on the relationship between private and state humanitarianism (especially through the French military); partnerships in unstable situations; from free gift to cost-recovery; the cultural, social, economic and political components of violence and security in conflict; and conflict prevention: political myth or operational reality. Short research reports have been produced through local partnership in Kabinda in the DRC (J. Grisoni) and on the role of the French army in rehabilitation (V. De Geoffroy). A lesson learning exercise on Hurricane Mitch is planned for this summer.
Advocacy work has focussed on recent reform of French official development aid, and has critiqued the Sphere project standards (see RRN Newsletter 12).
François Grunewald/Veronique de Géoffroy
La Fontaine des Marins
Fax: (+33) 04 75 28 29 36