Australian elections and aid, traditional Islamic finance as a modality for financing aid, NGO explorer

Posted on 14 May 2019

+ 'The Christchurch call'
As PM Jacinda Ardern leads the call for action to prevent videos like the one broadcast live on Facebook during the Christchurch shooting, here are links to latest analysis about how to prevent the rise of extremism:

Quilliam International's founder, Maajid Nawaz, was on CNN with Anderson Cooper discussing the New Zealand terror attacks. Maajid explains how It's "important that instead of responding to these sorts of incidents with more hate and more anger, that all of us make every effort to hold our societies together and challenge extremism from any direction that we see it."

Tech platforms like Facebook tend to treat white extremism differently to material from Islamic extremists, writes Nitasha Tiku from Wired. There are "concerns that Big Tech expends more effort to curb the spread of terrorist content from high-profile foreign groups, while applying fewer resources and less urgency toward terrorist content from white supremacists," she writes. 

Meanwhile last week, Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee pressed major tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Google, to submit their budgets to curb content from terrorists and extremists on their platforms.

A new Newshub series by Paddy Gower shines a light on the rise of white supremacismin New Zealand. 

Henry Cooke at Stuff outlines some of the risks for PM Ardern if the Christchurch Call doesn't deliver binding obligations on the tech giants:

"G7 communiques have a knack for sounding strong, but having no real teeth or specificity. Given the agreement will be non-binding, Ardern will have to work very hard to make sure that whatever framework is agreed to is worth the time and effort she has taken to secure it."
+ Localisation workshop and latest research

There are still a few places available for the two Pacific-led Localisation Workshops May 30th and 31st (in Auckland and Wellington). Register now so you don't miss out!

  • Pacific-based Selina Kuruleca will facilitate
  • Emele Duituturaga (CEO of PIANGO) will present on the latest steps to design a ‘Pacific Charter for Change’
  • ACFID localisation specialists and organisers of the ACFID localisation workshop in January will call in for an interactive session on creating a regional ‘Roadmap’ for localisation
  • The Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) will also call in to present on their latest research 
  • We will share the research from baseline studies on localisation from Vanuatu (and report on similar studies in Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji)
  • Emele will lead a session on how we measure and evaluate our localisation efforts.
  • Agree a shared understanding of localisation 
  • Access latest evidence and research from the Pacific
  • Produce a report that reflects New Zealand’s efforts at localisation so far
  • Agree a region-wide process for a 'Roadmap for Change’
  • Identify key actions and responsible actors for making change
  • Identify ways to manage risk and accountability, and to monitor localisation.
You can register here to be part of these workshops.
+ What the Australian elections mean for aid
With the elections in Australia, ACFID has analysed Labor's development policy, and given it a tick.

“Labor has set a positive trajectory for international development which will leave Australia better-placed to address the root causes of crises and challenges that undermine global peace and stability," reports ACFID 

The plans would equate to Labor spending approximately $1.6 billion more over four years than the current trajectory set out by the existing coalition Government in Australia.

Stephen Howes from DevPolicy compares election promises on aid across the political parties and finds some clear differences.

"The Liberals have telegraphed their aid intentions via their 2019-20 budget forward estimates. Labor has not provided a specific dollar figure, but is foreshadowing some increases, possibly major. Senator Penny Wong, who will be Foreign Minister if Labor wins, said in her Lowy speech on 1 May that “Labor will increase official development assistance as a percentage of gross national income every year, starting with our first budget.”

The two sides differ considerably on refugees, with Labor promising to increase the number of refugees allowed into Australia to close to one per 1,000 Australian residents, a level Australia has rarely come close to in the past, let alone sustained. The present government, to be fair, has  also increased its 'humanitarian intake'.

+ Traditional Islamic Finance: A Modality for Financing Aid

Not since World War II have we seen such large movements of people, with humanitarian disasters having led to an unprecedented level of forced displacement.  The OECD States of Fragility 2018 estimates that by 2030 nearly 80% of the worlds extreme poor will live in Fragile States - the majority of which will be Muslim-majority countries, or states with significant Muslim populations.

Within the humanitarian sector, international aid organisations are looking towards new sources of capital and increasingly Islamic social finance is being further formalised as a humanitarian financial modality. Islamic social finance was developed in adherence to the Sharia principles of socioeconomic justice, equality and collective prosperity. Through mobilisation of Islamic finance, such as Zakat and Sadaqah, a greater degree of much-needed financing can be directed toward humanitarian challenges.

A recent World Economic Forum article 'How traditional Islamic giving can play a role in the future of aid' looks at the use of Zakat. Zakat, or 'wealth tax', is a financial system which looks at harmonising the relationship between individual and the need address societal causes for injustice. 

+ How trade wars, Brexit and politics are damaging aid 
As the US and China head closer to a full blown trade war, the impact on developing countries in particular could be devastating.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report in July, the International Monetary Fund put the cost of the trade war at US$430 billion, or 0.5 per cent of world GDP.  The situation could be much worse today, with a full-blown US-China trade war potentially causing economic and financial carnage on the scale of the 2008 global financial crisis.

"Another worry is that more countries may join the fray and that protectionist policies could escalate to a global level. As protectionist policies generally hurt weaker countries the most, a well-functioning multilateral trading system able to defuse protectionist impulses and maintain market access for poorer countries is crucial," writes UNCTAD recently.

Meanwhile uncertainty over Brexit is damaging the UK development sector, with UK civil society organisations  still facing the continued threat of a no-deal Brexit, writes Bond's Claire Godfrey this week.

Even with the UK’s commitment to underwrite all EU-funded contracts in the event of a no deal, the options for UK CSOs seeking EU funds are unclear. 

"This uncertainty is also exacerbated by a lack of public debate or direction on the UK’s future relationship with the EU on development cooperation."
+ NGO Explorer: a tool to interrogate operational data of INGOs in the UK and abroad
Researchers Dan Brockington and Nicola Banks, after heroic amounts of filtering and crunching data, produced some fascinating insights into the health of the sector as a whole. While working closely with a range of charities, the researchers soon realised there was a real desire (particularly on the part of smaller NGOs and those based outside of London) to access similar information and connect with their counterparts.

While the funding environment strongly encourages (and often necessitates) collaboration across charities, there is very little support in place to facilitate that.

To help plug this gap, Dan and Nicola began working on a simple, accessible website that would allow people to search and interrogate publically available data on the vast number of UK charities working overseas. 
+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by
+ China's transition to clean energy

The World Bank has approved a grant of nearly US$7.3 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote the scale-up of distributed renewable energy in China.

China has set targets for increasing the share of non-fossil sources in total energy consumption to 15% by 2020, 20% by 2030 and more than 50% by 2050.

The growth of renewable energy has already contributed to the growth in the share of non-fossil fuel energy from 8.6% in 2010 to 14% in 2018. China now has the largest hydropower, wind, solar PV, and geothermal capacity of any country.

However, China’s capacity is used inefficiently and often faces curtailment as grid capacity is limited. In this context distributed renewable energy has great potential to further improve the country’s energy mix.

It is anticipated that this GEF Distributed Renewable Energy Scale-Up Project will help China harness the potential of its clean energy transition. The project will support selected studies in the area of planning, grid access, pricing, market design, and business models to support the development of policies and regulations at the national and provincial levels and finance pilots in specific locations such as a city, a district or an industrial park to demonstrate the financial, institutional and business-model viability for scale-up.

CID Member of the Moment: New Zealand China Friendship Society

Congratulations to the New Zealand China Friendship Society who has just become a CID Code of Conduct compliant member. They are a unique and highly valuable member of CID, bringing their extensive understanding of China's role in the Pacific to the New Zealand sector. Congratulations!

Their mission is:
  • To promote friendship, understanding and goodwill between the peoples of China and New Zealand by encouraging visits and exchanges of ideas, information, culture and trade between the two countries
  • To foster interest in and promote the study of China, its history, culture, political and social structures – past and present
  • To support specific aid projects in China
  • To promote the study of the Chinese language by New Zealanders and advanced English studies in this country by Chinese
  • To foster on-going development of all sister-city links between New Zealand and China
  • To assist both visiting students and new migrants from China requiring help to fit into New Zealand society
For more information visit the New Zealand China Friendship Society website.


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