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 2022

  • Set up a regional platform for monitoring financing flows in the Sahel.
  • Development of rapid assessment methods for policies, programmes and projects.
  • Collaboration with Groupe URD to analyse the challenges of pastoralism in the Sahel, in particular its link with the evolution of insecurity. 
  • The Chair has been asked by the United Nations to draw up a study on the budgetary sustainability of security spending in countries in situations of fragility, conflict or violence (FCV), focusing on the Sahel and in particular on the G5 Sahel member countries. Sahel Chair researchers propose a set of variables to monitor that are related to security issues in FCV countries and that may have an impact on their current and future fiscal balance, suggesting a framework for monitoring fiscal sustainability in insecurity-prone contexts.

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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