GRET contributes to donors’ public development policies by conducting studies, organizing events, and assessing development aid programs. Finally, it conducts specific activities to strengthen the decentralized cooperation actions of French territorial governments.
Studies and Assessments
In 2010, GRET conducted six studies for France’s development cooperation system. In collaboration with ECDPM and at the request of the AFD, it continued the study “Regards croisés sur l’efficacité de l’aide” (a comparative examination of aid effectiveness). In 2009, the study analyzed France’s practices, identified and discussed the main challenges—some recurrent, others new—now in play, and outlined recommendations for action based on a questionnaire survey and three discussion workshops held in Hanoi, Abidjan and Addis Ababa. In 2010, the study continued in the Mediterranean area, with the organization of a fourth discussion workshop in Cairo and the production of specific recommendations for the countries in the region.
GRET produced a study for the AFD with the Institut des Amériques on economic and social dynamics and public policy challenges in Latin America to provide the Agency with information to help it prepare its intervention strategy for the subcontinent. Also on the subject of public policy in developing countries, the AFD commissioned GRET to conduct a study of trade policy coherence in West Africa. The study made it possible to formulate recommendations for the national and regional administrations in West Africa to help them improve overall trade policy coherence, examine the support that the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) could provide for improving trade policy coherence within customs unions, and identify the capacity building and/or institutional support needs that could possibly be addressed by the AFD or other development partners.
Given the current strong agricultural price volatility, and in preparation for the agricultural G20 in 2011 under French presidency, GRET has conducted several studies to fuel the reflections of France’s public authorities. It contributed to a GREMA study on managing food price volatility, and an international workshop on the same subject. It also finalized, for the AFD, a study of private agricultural risk management mechanisms for small farmers based on nine field experiences in four East African countries and India. Crosscutting analysis of these experiences made it possible to identify the conditions in which warrantage and weather index insurance can play a role in stabilizing farmers’ incomes.
In terms of development opportunities, GRET completed two studies in 2010. The first focused on “promising careers” in three countries (Congo, Senegal and Madagascar), linking the issue of economic development via support for entrepreneurial dynamics and the issue of training and professional insertion for young people to improve the effectiveness and impact of interventions in support of vocational training systems. In addition, GRET in partnership with Vivagora conducted a study for the AFD identifying the opportunities and potential risks of emerging technologies, notably nano-scale technologies, in order to contribute to the AFD’s strategic position in this field and in regard to its missions and objectives.
Activities at the Service of Decentralized Development Aid
In the framework of the Regional Decentralized Cooperation and International Solidarity Meetings organized by the Centre Region, GRET has been entrusted with producing the participants’ information packet (overview, case studies, project references, technological and methodological factsheets, bibliography, directory of resource organizations) since 2003. The documentation focused on food security around the world, and took the form of an annotated bibliography. Organized by subject, more than 150 resources were referenced and described: books, studies, videos, websites, magazines, journals, etc.
Also in the Centre Region, GRET assisted the deciphering and monitoring of the international negotiations underway in the framework of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya in October 2010. Local governments play a major role in protecting biodiversity and raising citizens’ awareness of the implementation of concrete actions in the field. The Centre Region mandated GRET to assist it in the preparations for and monitoring of this conference: deciphering the stakes, supporting the Centre Region delegation on site, helping write regular updates on the progression of the talks, and an experience-based workshop on building local authorities’ capacities to improve biodiversity management in river basins.
The city of Nantes commissioned GRET to conduct an outside assessment of the decentralized cooperation program it developed with the city of Dschang, Cameroon. This assessment, covering the 1996-2009 period, took place at a key moment in the cooperation because the three-year program (2007-2009) came to an end in 2010. The two cities wanted comprehensive proposals to improve the overall quality of future interventions, and to facilitate decision making on future decentralized cooperation guidelines. GRET assessed the actions undertaken, and analyzed the overall cooperation strategy, the methods used, the cooperation system and the partners’ forms of intervention.