For more than 40 years, Cota has accompanied actors in human development and social change.


Founded in 1979

Created in 1979 by French-speaking Belgian NGOs, Cota is a collective from the “appropriate technologies” movement. Cota’s initial response to the challenges of international development was to develop technical tools and solutions.

May 24, 2021

In the 1980s

In the 1980s, Cota became interested in the social, economic and political dimensions of development, and extended its areas of support to all aspects of project engineering with a social purpose. For example, Cota contributed to the establishment of Max Havelaar in Belgium, facilitating the first reflections on alternatives to traditional trade.

May 24, 2021

In the 1990s

In the 1990s, Cota expanded its methodological (studies, action research, information/documentation, training and evaluation) and thematic (rural development, natural resource management, decentralized cooperation, fair trade, alternative energies, etc.) range. In particular, Cota contributed to the creation of the Association for the Promotion of Renewable Energies (APERE), thus participating in the emergence of an environmental conscience.

May 24, 2021

In the 2000’s and 2010’s

advisory support centered on the knowledge of the actors and their capacity for self-determination. The logic of interaction, power relations and the diversity of interests between social groups and individuals are taken into account to a greater extent. Cota then develops action research on various cross-cutting themes, such as North-South partnerships and the legitimacy of CSOs.

May 24, 2021

At the turn of the 2020s

At the turn of the 2020s, after more than 40 years of existence, Cota continues its commitment to the actors of social change, regardless of their sector or geographical area. Its support and consulting activities are tailored to the needs of numerous organizations and on a variety of themes, both on an ad hoc and structural basis. For example, Cota implements multi-year framework agreements with the Belgian (Enabel) and French (AFD) development agencies, thus contributing to a significant evolution in the practices of the many actors of change linked to these agencies.

May 24, 2021


Cota hopes that societies will progressively evolve towards an ecological humanism that is characterized by: the promotion of humanist values; an increased individual and collective awareness of the limitation of natural resources and of the necessary balance between man and his environment; de jure and de facto equity between social groups and individuals; respect for and promotion of multiple identities; respect for the diversity of forms and models of social organization; identification and recognition of common goods and their management methods; and the development of a form of governance that is at the service of the social groups and of the environment in which they evolve.

& Mission

Cota encourages, facilitates and supports the development and structuring of all initiatives and processes of change in favor of a social, economic, ecological and democratic transition.


Our Approach

Co-constructing and “doing with it”

In all its actions, Cota develops a pragmatic approach, centered on the actors, starting from the immediate concerns of its partners and favoring co-construction rather than passive support. This approach encourages learning within organizations, but also collective learning between organizations.

Decompartmentalizing actors and sectors

Cota seeks to play the role of facilitator and mediator between its original sector (that of cooperation and development) and those of social intervention, transition, public policies or the private market sector with a transformative and social purpose.

Overcoming the North-South divide

The image of a “developed” West (the North) and a “less developed” hemisphere (the South) no longer corresponds to the social and economic realities of today’s world. The distribution of wealth, the map of poverty and the expression of inequalities are complex and nuanced. Cota therefore considers the South and the North, in their diversity, as areas that are most often exposed to similar and common issues.

Complementary scales of action

Les processus de changement globaux et locaux sont interdépendants. Le Cota développe ainsi une approche décloisonnée géographiquement, en diversifiant son ancrage en Belgique, en renforçant ses actions à l’international et en développant son réseau et ses initiatives en Europe.

Territories – A lever for change

The vision of human development by sector of activity is restrictive and does not allow us to grasp the complexity of change phenomena. A territorialized approach allows for a better understanding of the permanent interactions between the sectors of activity and the actors of social change.

Our Team

Rouguiatou BAH

Administrative Assistant 02 218 18 96

Jenny Brouet

Coordinator of consulting missions & Member of the coordination committee 02 218 18 96

Jean-Bernard Boulnois

Administrative assistant & graphic designer 02 218 18 96

Stéphanie Cabantous

Internal Consultant 02 218 18 96

Emmanuel Gayraud

Internal consultant & environmental referent 02 218 18 96

Anne Kohnenmergen

Administrative and financial manager, member of the coordination committee & well-being and integrity referent 02 218 18 96

Rose Martinez

Assistant Coordinator 02 218 18 96

Thibault SIMONET

Internal consultant & communication referent 02 218 18 96

Our instances

Board of directors

Patrick DE BROUWER (Treasurer)
Sandrino HOLVOET (Administrator)
Caroo TORFS (Administrator)
William VANDINGENEN (Chairman)

General assembly

GHIGNY Francis
HOLVOET Sandrino
ISSI Vanessa
LEDANT Jean-Paul
SCHMITZ Jean-Louis

& integrity

We ensure that our projects and missions are carried out in accordance with our values, and that everyone working with us respects and promotes clearly defined and shared ethics. To this end, we have drawn up an ethical charter, available here. Any collaboration with Cota implies full and complete acceptance of this charter.

The COTA charter

Warning system

An alert system allows everyone to play a role in preventing risks related to possible non-compliance with the ethics charter. For example, the following may be reported via this system: suspected theft or fraud, failure to comply with a legal or moral obligation, behavior that is dangerous to the health and safety of individuals, deliberate concealment of information, sexual misconduct, abuse of a dominant position, etc. To make a report, you can contact our Integrity Officer and Complaints Manager at the following address: