As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, GRET is organising a series of events on 13 and 14 December in Madagascar. In Touch put three questions to Luc Arnaud, GRET’s representative in the country. Luc, who is an agricultural engineer from Bordeaux, has occupied the role since 2001, having previously worked in a similar position for ten years with GRET in Mauritania. Prior to joining the NGO, he was as a teacher at an agricultural senior high school in Vendôme in France, he volunteered with a development project in Somalia and worked as a technical assistant for German overseas cooperation in Sudan on a biological control project.
In your opinion, what are GRET’s specific features?
GRET’s strength resides in its capacity to understand development issues at both local and global level. At local level, because we always start with in-depth knowledge of the field and meetings with the stakeholders concerned. At global level, because the responses we propose provide the benefit of all GRET’s experience in other countries for a given area of expertise. This dual logic enables us to be a source of proposals contributing to development policies in Madagascar. Our experience of public-private partnership in Cambodia for example, was beneficial in Madagascar in the areas of access to drinking water and sanitation. GRET always conducts detailed analysis of its action, via regular supervision missions and capitalisation of experiences to be shared. It is this collaborative work by GRET’s professionals that makes it possible to guarantee the quality of interventions.
What are the profiles, expertise and skills of GRET’s professionals in Madagascar?
We have developed a network of diverse expertise, ranging from generalist project managers to technical experts. GRET’s teams are always multi-disciplinary, which is a pre-condition for innovation. In Madagascar, GRET is also a centre for training Malagasy expertise: the majority of project managers are Malagasy, some of whom started their career with us during an academic internship.
To your mind, what is GRET’s most striking achievement?
The most striking achievement in recent years is most certainly the creation of the social enterprise Nutri’zaza, which is the result of extensive action-research work in the fight against child malnutrition that aims to make quality complementary food accessible to the most disadvantaged in Madagascar: Koba Aina infant flour.