The RH2 Association (Humanitarian Research – Humanitarian Resources) was inspired by one simple fact: humanitarian organisations are becoming increasingly more professional. But this professionalism often comes at the expense of knowledge on those societies benefiting from their help, and on the geopolitical situations at the root of the crises or wars to which they are victim. Specialised social science and humanities researchers studying these societies, and crisis or conflict situations, face increasing difficulty when it comes to accessing their fields of study. This is due to the increased logistical issues they are met with when stepping out of an established framework.
And yet, the actions of humanitarian organisations can but benefit from these researchers’ insights – whether they are anthropologists, ethnologists, sociologists, geographers, development economists, demographers, political scientists, or specialists in migration, urbanisation, customary law or religion and more… The association relies on all of these players to help understand concepts that have become increasingly more complex since the Cold War. In return, they provide humanitarian organisations with valuable insights into the culture, lifestyles, values and the institutional and geopolitical constraints and expectations affecting their actions.
The association, therefore, set itself the goal of bringing these two universes – humanitarian and research – closer together, fostering increased interaction.
This mission is developed by:
- organising and participating in university or humanitarian seminars;
- taking part in exploratory missions, in evaluating ongoing operations (e.g. in Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt); and
- writing reports and background notes at different levels and on various themes.
It also organises and attends numerous mixed, scientific and humanitarian events. For example:
- Seminar on the situation in Darfur and a conference on the Syrian crisis at the University of Lyon 2
- International conference on the situation in Central Africa at the University of Paris-Dauphine
- Several round tables organised by NGOs (Sudan, Syria for Doctors Without Borders, Sudan for Doctors of the World, etc.) or by institutions such as iReMMO (Institute for Research and Studies on the Mediterranean and the Middle East)
Its reputation for expertise led to projects with private companies or institutions faced with the same difficulties as humanitarian organisations. This demand, in turn, led to the creation of the SAWA CONSULTING firm. This expanded on RH2’s skill set, and introduced an element of professionalism, by integrating more technical security and risk management aspects. All this while staying ahead of the curve, backed by first-hand knowledge of the cultural and social backgrounds in RH2.