A year ago, the Foundation moved to the French Red Cross Campus in Montrouge. This was an opportunity to take on more and more a bridging role between academic research and social and humanitarian action, and to develop new projects with Red Cross actors.

At the Red Cross Campus, researchers and practitioners meet and exchange views on their “fields”

Since the Foundation’s arrival on the Campus in Montrouge in early 2019, French Red Cross employees have had the opportunity to take part in several debates, meetings and video-projections led by researchers who have studied in depth the issues that are part of their daily missions. For example, Marjorie Gerbier-Aublanc, author of a research conducted with the Foundation on new civic solidarity in aiding migrants in France, led a gender and diversity workshop. Estelle Fourat, laureate of a grant awarded by the Foundation in 2018, came to present her study on the food practices and experiences of migrants.

These organized meetings are essential to promote and disseminate the research results. Sometimes, simple discussions around a coffee machine or brainstorming sessions can be the most fruitful as well. Such an informal exchange between the Foundation’s team and that of the Voluntary Activities Department of the French Red Cross (DABE) led for example to the idea of a research topic on migrants’ eating habits, which Sociologist Estelle Fourat then took up.

Concrete needs in the field at the origin of our calls for fellowships applications

The Foundation’s geographical proximity to the operational departments of the French Red Cross enables us to better fulfill our mission, namely: to capture the needs of colleagues, transform them into research objects, achieve concrete research results and, finally, return to the teams with practical recommendations. Other calls for fellowships applications will be launched on the needs of the Red Cross movement. A final example is the research fellowship on cash transfer programmes currently being set up in Kenya to deal with natural disasters and climatic hazards. The topic comes from a question raised by the Kenya Red Cross Society. The call for applications is still open. The results will be shared with other Movement centres, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Climate Centre, for enhanced knowledge sharing and wider impact.