For its tenth anniversary (2013 – 2023), the French Red Cross Foundation has treated itself to a retrospective… one that looks to the future. Celebrating the researchers who have worked alongside the Foundation for a decade already means looking ahead to the missions that will remain priorities for the next ten years: promoting the scientific work of researchers, disseminating their findings from the field, and organising debate around their recommendations. “These ten years are an opportunity to pursue and amplify this remarkable dynamic, with the aim of better understanding and grasping the major changes that our societies are going through”, reminded President Philippe Da Costa as he opened the new decade and set the course.

Rediscovering the core elements of 10 years of research

Bringing together all the researchers who have contributed to the Foundation’s history was the ambition of the book entitled “10 years of research at the heart of vulnerability”. They all came together to co-construct this Key Scientific Review of the past years. Published in two languages, this document, in its innovative format, is both a summary of the scientific work that has been carried out and a narrative, a diary that retraces a journey and encounters.

At the same time, eight thematic selections were compiled by the team and published throughout the year. This provided an opportunity to bring together the most emblematic research projects, whatever their format (scientific articles, videos, podcasts, events and meetings), around common issues: humanitarian transition, access to healthcare, migration, disasters and climate risks, housing and homelessness, voluntary work, old age and social isolation, epidemics.

Spreading and exchanging ideas and encouraging social innovation

Several events were organised during the year to promote research and debate. Two webinars, Instants Recherche, on the themes of “resilience and disasters” and “gender and humanitarian action”, provided an opportunity for a dialogue between disciplines and a comparison of academic and operational views on topical issues. After being officially presented at the Foundation’s 10th anniversary international conference, the Essentiel scientifique was on the menu of a Pause culture recherche at the Red Cross Campus in December, for a more direct exchange with those working on the front line in the face of vulnerability. The Foundation then launched its En-Quête d’Humanité ” podcast, with 6 episodes available online this year, to give researchers a chance to have their say. It was also during this special year that the Foundation launched a new methodology, the APRIS workshops (post-research and social innovation workshops). The aim is to improve the use of the results of the researcher’s work, through collective reflection with the key players involved, and to encourage the social innovation that may result.

For research to have an impact on reality, it must be disseminated, shared and debated. This is the whole point of these new formats: to help humanitarian and social workers, decision-makers, donors and the Foundation’s entire ecosystem to make the most of research results so that they can improve practices and encourage innovation. This effort has been particularly marked for this tenth anniversary. It will continue over the next decade, because our mission is to promote thriving, active research by adapting our methods of dissemination.

Photo credit: IFRC/Corrie Butler