How is the global development landscape changing and how are NGOs adapting to these changes?
In the case of ACTED, they had to think out of the box, according to its co-founder, Frédéric Roussel. The aid group, he added, set up new instruments, investing heavily in microfinance and starting a social business.
We caught up with Roussel on the sidelines of the World Convergences Forum 2013 in Paris. Roussel is the founder of the forum.
He noted how Convergences has grown from just 100 people five years ago into a “fairly significant” event, boasting more than 5,000 visitors to the 2013 edition. He described the genesis of the project, as “a place where people can come from different perspectives and backgrounds” and converge for the benefit of the lower strata of the world’s population. He also discussed a recent trip to Syria as “painful, complicated, difficult,” seeing first-hand the plight of internally displaced persons and calling for the international community to become more proactive in ensuring that the disaster does not become even more widespread.