At the last management board meeting of Groupe initiatives (Gi) on 14 February in Lyon, France, the managers signed a “Synergie-Gi” framework agreement on cooperation. This collective of ten organisations working on international solidarity (Apdra, AVSF, Ciedel, Essor, Geres, GRET, Gevalor, Grdr, ID, Iram) was set up in 1993 to bring together a group of expert associations in the area of development who wanted to share their experiences, highlight their skills and promote innovations. Gi is a singular collective in that its members define themselves as associations of committed professionals and experts, positioned in terms of identified targets and skills all focusing on the fight against inequalities. With a network throughout France (Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Poitiers, Montpellier, Orléans, Paris), presence in approximately fifty countries on four continents and a staff of 1,600 professionals, Gi has strong visibility & legitimacy, and an original positioning as an association with development expertise.
Its members all adhere to a dynamic of proximity. This is expressed in the need to exchange and reflect on their practices, and enrich, share and disseminate these practices. It is also expressed in the need to join forces to be stronger on the project engineering and expertise “market”, and, in fine, better defend the values and approaches of Gi members in terms of combating inequalities, solidarity and development assistance.
The framework agreement revisits eight commitments focusing on the identity that is shared by Gi members, strengthening of their complementarity, joint capitalisation and pooling of the offer through the creation of consortia. The determination of Groupe initiatives members to go even further generates additional proposals highlighting various ways to increase organisational proximity between members. These provide avenues of reflection and options for the future, the pertinence and feasibility of which will be analysed in greater depth.