Sahel Chair

The Sahel Chair's work examines the implementation of the various development plans and policies and their effects, intending to increase their impact on populations and targeted sectors of activity.

In 2018, FERDI created a chair dedicated to the Sahel based in Ouagadougou.

This Chair is original because its initiatives and management are Sahelian.

The Sahel Chair was created after the publication of FERDI's book "Linking Security and Development – A Plea for the Sahel" and the numerous comments it sparked.

The Sahel Chair aims to enlighten the decisions of public and private actors in their actions to overcome the Sahel crisis and promote sustainable development in the region. Its work examines the implementation of the various development plans and policies and their effects, intending to increase their impact on populations and targeted sectors of activity (education, rural development, health, governance/institutions). It strives to work closely with African administrations and their development partners.

Tertius Zongo, former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso and Senior Fellow of FERDI, is the Director of the Chair in Ouagadougou. He leads the team of African experts mobilized for this purpose.


  • Analyzing financial flows for development in the Sahel and their impact on public funding in Sahelian countries: Identification of donor financial flows, analysis of public finances in Sahelian countries, and in particular the impact of aid on the structure of expenditure.
  • Learning from the successes and failures of development actions: Analyzing the effectiveness of the various development policies, programs and projects implemented in the Sahel.
  • Developing methods for rapid evaluation of projects and programs: Exploring opportunities to improve current measurement techniques and evaluation criteria.
  • Training courses for public and private Sahelian actors, international cooperation agents, and African researchers.  

The Sahel Chair will disseminate the outputs of its work through the organization of seminars and the publication of reports and books.

Achievements 2018-2021

  • Publication of the reports Analyse de l’aide accordée aux pays du Sahel à partir des statistiques du Comité d’aide au développement de l’OCDE[Analysis of aid granted to Sahelian countries based on OECD Development Assistance Committee statistics](2018) et Analyse de l’aide accordée aux pays du Sahel à partir de la collecte et de l’analyse des données sur l’aide produites par les autorités nationales.[ Analysis of aid granted to Sahelian countries based on the collection and analysis of aid data produced by national authorities ](2019). These reports were presented to the G5 Sahel member countries on 25 and 26 March 2019 in Ouagadougou and restitution to AFD of the Sahel Chair workshop on financial flows for the development of the Sahel.
  • Publication of a methodological guide to good practices for the management of development projects and programmes in the G5 Sahel member countries and Côte d'Ivoire. 
  • Country reports and a synthesis report on the status of national databases on development assistance flows, challenges and capacity-building needs of the G5 Sahel countries and Côte d'Ivoire
  • Study on security spending and its crowding-out effects on development spending in the G5 Sahel countries. The conclusions of this study were presented to the G5 Permanent Secretariat in June 2021. This meeting helped to enrich the reflection on the security-development nexus and to develop a roadmap for the implementation of the study's recommendations. 
  • Impact assessment of development policies in vulnerable areas led by Jean-Louis Arcand (Institut des hautes études internationales et du développement, Ferdi) and Lamissa Barro (University of Dédougou): Development projects, living conditions and economic activity in the G5 Sahel countries. The FERDI Working Paper "Projets de développement, conditions de vie et activité économique dans les pays du G5 Sahel" (Development projects, living conditions and economic activity in the G5 Sahel countries) was presented in a seminar on 18 November 2021.

Perspectives (programme of activities 2022-2024)

  • Create a regional platform for the continuous collection of data on financial flows and make available reliable and as exhaustive as possible information.
  • Carrying out a diagnosis of the changes observed since the establishment of the Sahel Alliance, with a comparison between vulnerable and non-vulnerable areas. 
  • Extension of the work on the method for evaluating development policies, programs and projects in vulnerable and hard-to-reach areas. To this end, the Sahel Chair is studying the possibility of collecting administrative data on development and security in vulnerable and fragile areas. This work will also allow for the publication of a methodological guide that could lead to a modification of program and project implementation procedures, taking into account the current context of fragility linked to insecurity in the Sahel region. A study on the effects of agricultural productivity shocks on the incidence and intensity of conflicts in Burkina Faso 
  • Completion of a study on the relationship between public policies and emergency policies.
  • Development of a rapid assessment methodological guide for the benefit of the various stakeholders.
  • Meta-analysis on the challenges of pastoralism in the Sahel, in particular its link with the evolution of insecurity. This will be cross-referenced with exchanges with practitioners and should reveal the blind spots in existing analyses.
  • Seminars to present the studies carried out and training courses associated with the activities of the Sahel Chair. 

The Sahel Chair aims to involve and build partnerships with scientific institutions and policy-makers.

It is based on international research and Sahelian policy analysis and aims to strengthen them. It conducts its work within a regional framework. It seeks to adapt analytical methods to the context of the fragility of the area.

Scientific partners: Universities and research centers in the Sahel region, France, and other countries with which FERDI already collaborates, and research organizations mainly in West Africa.

Development and security partners: Primarily G5Sahel countries, African governments and regional institutions covering the Sahel region, but also private actors (companies and NGOs).

Bilateral and multilateral institution partners: Significant players in the Sahel, either as donors or in other ways.


Chaire Sahel
01 BP 3798
Ouagadougou 01
Burkina Faso
tél. : +226 5475 4488
mail :

With the support of

  • Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères
  • Secrétariat permanent du G5 Sahel
  • Principauté de Monaco
  • Agence française de développement (AFD)

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