Research project

Humanitarian Aid - mixed marriage

In Africa, contemporary transnational intimacies continue to be explored mainly in the context of “tourist encounters” and the practices surrounding prostitution and the presence of these intimacies in development projects and humanitarian aid efforts remains almost unexplored, despite the dimensions of these contemporary phenomena, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Having noted this gap , our research aims to initiate a reflection on the changes induced in the lives of humanitarian workers and local actors by mixed unions, starting with ethnographic cases from our fields in Niger and Mali, during an IMAf/French Red Cross post-doctorate. We hypothesize that intimate relationships are not merely incidental. On the contrary, they intervene in the implementation and the very heart of development projects and can influence the construction of new practices and discourses in the world of aid, and participate in the “humanitarian transfer”, a key concept and one of the current challenges of humanitarian aid, since these transfers result in the transmission of skills to local people that enable them to take over on the ground, especially in the event of major security issues.