Primary health and collaborative approaches

slum-children-paint_0Since the Alma Ata declaration (1978), stating that “The promotion and protection of the health of the people is essential to sustained economic and social development and contributes to a better quality of life and to world peace”, it is commonly acknowledged that development of primary health is rather a failure[1], at least not a success, in contrast with the true success of millennium development goals (MDG) in the health field. Continue reading “Primary health and collaborative approaches”

Why shall we do something?

angus-deaton-quotesIndeed, we shall not do anything. We shall let them doing it. I am not claiming to have that idea, it simply comes from Angus Deaton, Economy Nobel prize 2015. In his recent book « The great Escape », in the chapter 7 (“How to help those left behind”) he points out the deep error underlying this sentence. Citation: “We often have such a poor understanding of what they need, and how their society is organised, that our clumsy attempts to help on our terms do more harm than good. […] And when we fail, we continue, because our interests are now at stake – it is our aid industry, staffed largely by our professionals, and generating kudos and votes for our politicians – and because, after all, we must do something.” Continue reading “Why shall we do something?”

Collaborative approaches are possible without computers


A good example of a collaborative approach which do not rely on computers is given by “Article 4”, a Cambodian pilot project aiming at helping prostitutes, victim of violence and victim of trafficking, to reinsert in the society.

The project ran from 2010 to 2012, and reached a sustainable reinsertion rate of 35% (vs usually 5% for similar project). Continue reading “Collaborative approaches are possible without computers”

Proximus project: hiring collaborative volunteers

Proximus project or how new collaborative approaches are changing social and humanitarian action.

The project definitely relies on collaborative methods, each member giving the time available (from some minutes to some hours per week). This has to be grass rooted, not academic. The project is collectively owned and driven. Continue reading “Proximus project: hiring collaborative volunteers”

Self-governed organisations

Self-governed organisations are able to self-adapt to their environment. This sounds reasonable for collaborative organisations…

In his book, Reinventing organizations – A guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness, Nelson Parke 2014, Frédéric Laloux describes self-governed organisations, able to self-adapt to their environment. Organisations able to evolve.

This sounds reasonable for collaborative organisations. Continue reading “Self-governed organisations”

Social work and horizontality


This century is definitely the one of horizontal collaboration. End of hierarchies, end of centralised productions, let’s go peer to peer cooperation. World is deeply changed by sharing economy.

The new application Entourage, developed by a French team, is bridging, for the first time to my knowledge, social work and sharing economy; it allows citizens, linked in social networks, to act in favour of homeless people, in addition to the professional social workers. This application is one of the very few using sharing concepts, that I have been able to identify so far. Continue reading “Social work and horizontality”

Why is collaborative economy efficient to reach humanitarians goals

about4First of all, collaborative approaches are based on relationships. Thus, they are reinforcing populations resilience. They are also based on local initiatives to fulfill unmatched need and enable disruptive answers. Furthermore, they do not necessarily need huge financing, since they are based on recycling of funds (inside communities), in opposition with traditional assistance approaches. They even allow revenue generation, although they do not guarantee fair share of revenues. Thus, collaborative approaches are sustainable, opened toward change of practices, in a very different way of emergency responses. Finally, they do not stigmatise affected populations, since they are directly part of the process, as contributor (see for example

NB: This section is inspired by Flore Berlingen paper in revue Humanitaire n°41, pp. 46 à 50, Défense et illustration de l’économie collaborative

Commons and humanitarian approach?

It is still a challenge to identify which commons can be shared in humanitarians actions…


During an interview with Michel Bauwens (founder of the P2P foundation, and author of numerous books and articles, specialists of commons), he recommended me to leave behind what I had been taught, in terms of organisations or processes, and to think in terms of commons. Indeed, as opposed to flows of goods or money, collaborative approaches are based around commons, whether knowledge (such as Wikipedia), or resources.

However, it is still a challenge to identify which commons can be shared in humanitarian actions.

It is clear that knowhow is key in many cases, will it be how to grow vegetables (as in the example given in HORIZONTAL LEARNING Engaging freedom’s possibilities, by Doug Reeler, 18 pages, 2005, or how to take care for former prostitutes, willing to find another way of living (to be published), or how to deal with mentalities using theater in Egypt (see ).

Logistic resources also seem an obvious possible topic, although they refer to much, from my point of view, to traditional humanitarian action, including delivery of goods or services, and to few involvement of local populations.

Well, this has still to be searched, possibly involving locals to avoid possible western bias…. To be followed.