Member Profile: Gret


Member Type
Implementer
Referred By
East Meets West Foundation | Status: Approved
Summary
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Founded in 1976, Gret is a non-profit association of professionals for fair development. It supports sustainable development processes in urban and rural areas by building on social equity, economic promotion and respect for the environment. Active in 30 countries in 2012, GRET has 12 permanent branch offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Gret is active in the following fields: 1) Access to Essential Services (access to drinking water and sanitation, nutrition, energy), 2) Natural Resource Management and Agriculture Development (smallholder family farming, food security, agrifood commodity chains), 3) Institution-Building, Actors, Territories (supporting actors and organizations, local development and decentralization, media regulation), 4) Microfinance and Small Enterprise Services (microfinance and micro-insurance, micro and small businesses’ access to financial and non-financial business development services). In 2012, GRET employs more than 100 salaried staff under French law mobilizes 600 some national staff.

Over the past 30 years, Gret has contributed to improving access to safe water and sanitation for poor people. Its actions are adapted to local contexts and rely on technical, social and institutional innovations. They aim to prove that viable and fair services are possible by involving, at various territorial levels, the civil society, the private sector and public authorities.

Starting with rural hydraulics at the end of the 70s, Gret has progressively moved towards the institutional reinforcement and professionalization of water and sanitation stakeholders. To-day, Gret’s teams bring their know-how to a wide range of countries. In Cambodia, Laos, Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Peru and Haiti their expertise is mobilized to support more than 100 operators to reinforce water management and sanitation services. They also support public administrations and local authorities in exercising their planning, ownership and regulation responsibilities.

Date Founded 2013-12-02
Primary Focus Drinking Water - Households
Secondary Focus Policy
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History of Water Projects
Related work not on PWX.

Over the past 30 years, Gret has contributed to improving access to safe water and sanitation for poor people. Its actions are adapted to local contexts and rely on technical, social and institutional innovations. They aim to prove that viable and fair services are possible by involving, at various territorial levels, the civil society, the private sector and public authorities.
Starting with rural hydraulics at the end of the 70s, Gret has progressively moved towards the institutional reinforcement and professionalization of water and sanitation stakeholders. To-day, Gret’s teams bring their know-how to a wide range of countries. In Cambodia, Laos, Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Peru and Haiti their expertise is mobilized to support more than 100 operators to reinforce water management and sanitation services. They also support public administrations and local authorities in exercising their planning, ownership and regulation responsibilities. Gret’s approach is based on the following principles:
Give rise to innovations from existing local dynamics: allowing for local constraints, Gret designs adapted solutions to produce and distribute drinking water as well as to collect, treat and reuse waste-water. It tests technical, institutional and financial schemes that take into consideration both economic viability and necessary fairness.
Build inclusive management and regulation methods: increasing and sustaining access to water and sanitation services for all implies setting up multi-stakeholder management schemes based on a clear division of the role of each actor. Faced with the diversity of stakeholders and interests, Gret facilitates consultation processes in order to negotiate compromises at different levels that respect the rights and obligations of all.
Accompany the professionalization of water and sanitation stakeholders: reinforcing the capacity of sector stakeholders to assume their role (ownership, management, user representation, regulation, etc.) is a necessary condition for the improvement of service quality. This implies access to training and systems that encourage local know-how and ensure an efficient diffusion of locally produced innovations.
The interventions are built on the following methodological basis: i) undertake in-depth diag-noses, (ii) formalize intervention methodologies to encourage appropriation by local stake-holders and to enable a knock-on effect, (iii) rely on monitoring and evaluation processes to produce decision-making information support.

Countries with water and sanitation activities (2013): Cambodia, Laos, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Congo, Senegal, Haiti, France

Organization Background

Founded in 1976, Gret is a non-profit association of professionals for fair development. It supports sustainable development processes in urban and rural areas by building on social equity, economic promotion and respect for the environment. Active in 30 countries in 2013, Gret has 12 permanent branch offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Mauritania, Senegal, Haiti, Brazil, and Myanmar).

It intervenes in the following seven complementary fields that, together, contribute to the emergence of developing countries:

- Agriculture: Value Chains and Agricultural Policies
- Citizenship: Media and Democracy
- Drinking Water and Sanitation
- Natural Resource Management and Energy
- Microfinance and Professional Insertion
- Health: Nutrition and Social Protection
- Cities for All and Decentralization.

Gret combines the roles of project practitioner or co-practitioner, expert and produc-er/distributor of development references. It mobilizes the skills of its professional teams and has the experience and references necessary to properly conduct its development missions. Gret:

- Designs and Implements Field Projects: Innovative project implementer, it acts as dele-gated contract manager and contracting authority. It provides the technical, methodological and managerial support necessary for proper operations, and shares its know-how.
- Provides Expertise: It conducts and shares crucial expertise in a wide range of areas—“projects and organization” (feasibility, monitoring, assessment, institutional support, etc.), “policy” (development policy definition support, etc.), and “scientific knowledge” (economics, engineering, agronomy, hygiene, etc.)—based on the results of applied research, experience and excellent knowledge of the field.
- Runs Networks and Defends Ideas: It networks expert actors and researchers, it speaks in international forums, and pleads actively in favor of sustainable development, providing a unique contribution thanks to its dual roots in the field and in policy.
- Produces and Disseminates References: It analyzes and documents its own development experiences, taking an objective look at its practices, and learns lessons from them to improve its modes of intervention and disseminate knowledge, know-how and methods that have been tested and improved in the field.

It acts as a service provider for public contracting authorities and private contracting bodies. It also initiates projects itself, often in partnerships, for which it secures financial backing and ensures implementation. Regardless of their specific modalities, all of the activities in which Gret is involved contribute to sustainable and fair development and the reduction of poverty and inequalities. They aim to lastingly improve populations’ incomes and access to essential services, and aim to help build the capacities of actors and civil societies and advance public governance. To conduct relevant and effective actions that provides sustainable solutions, Gret brings together teams of committed and skilled professionals (economists, sociolo-gists, engineers, agronomists, urban planners, etc.) able to mobilize proven technical and methodological know-how in diverse socio-economic and political contexts. It favors technical and institutional choices that are suited to the material and social situations of the greatest number and that mobilize local resources; and
works in dialogue and cooperation with the local actors, emphasizing experimenta-tion and innovation, strengthening local and national institutions (whether public, private or associative), and local intermediary organizations in particular.

Gret’s turnover in 2011 was 22 million euros. Its primary project donors are the European Union, the Agence Française de Développement, and the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. It also acts for:
- international agencies (the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, CGAP, UNICEF, IFAD, UNDP);
- other French public institutions (the Ministry of Research, territorial governments such as the regional councils of the Île-de-France, Nord-Pas de Calais, Brittany, and Centre Regions); and
bilateral agencies (GTZ, Canadian development assistance), the public organizations of the countries where it is active (Senegalese Ministry of Trade, Florestas do Amazonas – Brazil) and major international NGOs (CCFD, CORDAID, Concern).
Gret receives financing from companies and corporate foundations (Véolia, Suez Envi-ronnement, Fondation Orange, Fondation Ensemble). Gret works in partnership with institutions of various types.

Gret is an association whose governing bodies consist of:
1) a board of directors that approves and votes on the annual budgets;
2) an assembly that votes annually to approve the financial accounts based on the registered auditor’s report;
3) an administrative and financial department (Daf) made up of an administrative and financial director, three management officers and two accountants.

Gret’s general accounting complies with the official Chart of Accounts under French law. Simultaneously, Gret’s analytic and budgetary accounting allows it to (1) allocate each item of spending to the appropriate contract, and (2) verify spending in relation to budgeted amounts.
Gret’s articles of association include an obligation to use a registered auditor; every year, a certified public accountant verifies the year-end account closing and Gret’s compliance with its fiscal and labor obligations. The registered auditor writes a report based on the audit of the accounts and validates the accounts if they are accurate.
Gret’s annual accounts are available and provided on request of appropriate authorities and institutions.
Gret, as manager of public funds, may also be subject to verification by the Cour des Comptes. This was the case in 2004, during a Cour des Comptes audit of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In its contracting authority assistance role with local institutions (local governments, the state), Gret has developed know-how in the field of granting government contracts both in designing the terms of invitations to tender and implementing calls for tender.
For all contract procedures, Gret complies with the laws of the countries where it is active and the regulations required by donors; it only undertakes contract procedures that comply fully with legal and administrative procedures.

In 2013, Gret employs more than 100 volunteers and salaried staff under French law, more than one third in the field and less than two thirds at headquarters (short expertise missions, field project supervision and elaboration, administration). Its projects mobilize 600 some national staff.

Annual Water and Sanitation Budget
(in USD)
$6,000,000
Annual Non-Water
Budget
(in USD)
$25,000,000
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Last Updated: 28 Jan, 2014 (almost 5 years ago)

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