News, Newsletter

CID Weekly: Afghanistan controversy, Universal Vulnerability Index

Posted on 06 July 2021

Development & Humanitarian News

+ Vaccine roll out dashboard - last 7 days

The above graph shows the rolling 7-day average of COVID vaccine doses administered per 100 people for selected countries.

For more information go to Our World in Data

+ Leaving Afghanistan - right or wrong?

Experts are 50:50 on the pros and cons of withdrawing United States troops from Afghanistan now.

Foreign Affairs captures the views of humanitarians, locals, academics, military leaders and politicians here. 

Those in favour of withdrawal now, tend to agree its the 'best of two bad options', and after twenty years, staying a few more won't make any difference to the outcome - good or bad. "Withdrawal will not lead to peace in the short term, but the only alternative to withdrawal is permanent war, says Anand Gopal from Arizona State University.

Those who think the United States should have stayed or at least kept some security presence in-country sound the alarm that this is abandoning Afghanis  - and particularly women - to the Taliban, and that human rights abuses will increase. "Withdrawing U.S. forces risks a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and since the Taliban have never broken from al Qaeda, the move is a boon for the transnational terrorist group", says Colin Clarke from the Soufan Centre.

Even those who support the withdrawal, like Vanda Felbab-Brown at the Brookings Institute, also agree that "the political prospects in Afghanistan are not pretty."

"At best, the existing civil war, killing tens of thousands of Afghans annually, will eventually ease. But the Taliban is heading to power and the new political dispensation will mean a significant weakening of political and human rights, civil liberties, and pluralistic processes."

+ Is the Universal Vulnerability Index a Good Alternative to GDP? 

A French thinktank has developed the universal vulnerability index (UVI) as an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP), which they claim, fails to reflect the realities nations face, particularly small island nations on the climate crisis frontlines. Measuring vulnerabilities outside government control, 21 of 34 Small Island Developing States (Sids) assessed were found to have “high economic vulnerability and very high vulnerability to climate change”, the report said. Five out of the six most structurally vulnerable countries are all Small Island Developing States: the Maldives, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

Jitoko Tikolevu, Fiji’s high commissioner in the UK, said income-based measures rarely reflected reality. “The gross national income of Sids is inflated by exogenous sources of income, such as tourism and remittances, which have all been wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

+ The use of evidence by Humanitarian Sector

In the past decade, huge progress has been made in the availability of academic research and evidence to inform humanitarian policy and practice.

Despite global commitments, and initiatives to share evidence between humanitarian organisations, the use of research and evidence to inform humanitarian action has not kept pace, and yet using evidence and research would improve outcomes for people affected by crisis.

This paper by ELRHA - From Knowing to doing: Evidence use in the Humanitarian Sector - explores this challenge and potential solutions, based on a literature review and a consultation of key informants from a range of humanitarian organisations. The paper concludes that collective effort – by all stakeholders – is required in six key action areas:

  1. Partnerships
  2. Global South leadership
  3. Evidence brokering
  4. Research translation and application
  5. Humanitarian data
  6. Humanitarian leadership

+ Supermarkets win in pandemic  - Oxfam UK report

COVID has increased inequality, and there is evidence that exploitation of women in particular has risen as economies in developing countries struggle.

A new briefing from Oxfam UK reveals how supermarkets have won big during the pandemic, often at the expense of women.

COVID-19 has cost global workers $3.7 trillion in lost income, and women and young workers have been hardest hit, as they are often found in the most insecure and lowest-paid jobs. Few places reveal this trend more clearly than supermarket supply chains, writes author Anouk Franck.

+ Vaccines are urgent - so is access to water

"It is shortsighted to think that ending this pandemic will fix our global economy. We need to take this moment also to fix the structural deficiencies that have far-reaching impacts on us all. Not least of all is access to water," writes Michael Wilson and Rosie Wheen from WaterAid.

Water has been vital to the success of preventing the spread of and treating COVID.

"In Papua New Guinea, for example, only 28% of rural households have a handwashing facility with soap and water. Only 43% of the population have access to safe drinking water less than a 30-minute return trip from the household. Too many Papua New Guineans could not wash away germs, could not safely hydrate the ill, and could not sterilize medical equipment."

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Members Activities & Updates

+ Modern Slavery: Petition accepted by Minister Woods

Politicians from across Parliament turned out on Tuesday for the presentation of a petition calling for modern slavery legislation. The petition was accepted outside Parliament on Tuesday by Michael Wood, the Labour MP for Mt Roskill and Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety. A number of other politicians from Labour, National and the Greens were also present. 

Signed by more than 37,000 Kiwis and organised by Trade Aid and World Vision, the petition asked MPs to introduce legislation requiring public and private entities to report on risks of modern slavery in their supply chains, as well as what they are doing to address such risks.

Up to 40 million people worldwide are caught up in modern slavery, which can include forced labour, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage. While other countries - like the United Kingdom and Australia - have recently passed legislation requiring businesses to check their supply chains, New Zealand has not. 

+ International SOS: Ensuring Business Success – Panel discussion  

International SOS would like to invite CID members to participate in an upcoming panel discussion focused on the policy considerations around adapting to the new health and security risk environment. 

Join senior workplace health and safety management stakeholders from MBIE, BECA, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, KPMG and International SOS as they discuss the key health, security, legislative and insurance considerations involved in developing employee workplace health, safety and wellbeing policy/s, navigating the current risk and compliance environment and return to travel planning and policy considerations. 

Wellington: Tuesday 13th July from 8.30am – 10am (breakfast included)
Register now to confirm your spot

Auckland: Wednesday 14th July from 11am – 12:30pm (lunch included)
Register now to confirm your spot

+ Complete the Annual Member Survey

Dont forget to complete the survey! Due this Friday!

Whether you are a Full or Affiliate member, it’s really important your organisation’s data is represented in the Survey. Any questions contact Philippa.

+ New CID Full Member - Welcome to Tutapona!

CID are thrilled to announce that the CID Membership and Board have approved Tutapona's full membership application. 

Tutapona is a Christ-centered organisation that facilitates emotional healing through mental health services for people impacted by war or conflict. Interventions include group mental health programming for adults and children, individual therapeutic support, MHPSS mainstreaming and capacity building for partner organisations. Current areas of operation are in Central Africa and the Middle East. 

We look forward to further engagement with Tutapona within the CID community!

+ Do you want to facilitate a session at the 2021 CID Conference?

The 2021 CID Conference will bring together New Zealand and Pacific international development sectors after a tumultuous year to reflect, and to regroup on a new blueprint for aid and development. 

Through this conference we wish to: 

  • role-model localisation and partnership
  • explore how we can improve resilience within the region and internally within our organisations.

If your organisation is interested in facilitating a session at the CID Annual Conference on 26th October 2021, we would love to hear from you! This opportunity is a chance to present and share collective challenges with representatives from across the sector. Please fill in this form with an outline of your proposed session idea.

Fill in the Expressions of Interest form here.

If you would like to share your organisation's jobs, events, or recent activities, please send an email to with an outline of the activity so it can be added to the next edition of the CID Weekly. 

Pacific News in Brief 

+ The passing of Hawaiian academic and activist Dr Haunani-Kay Trask

Pacific people across the world are mourning the passing of Dr Haunani-Kay Trask, an esteemed academic and esteemed indigenous leader in Hawaii and across the Pacific, For nearly four decades, Trask has been a critical voice in what she called "the modern Hawaiian movement" and an influential voice across the Pacific.

Dr Haunani-Kay Trask burst onto Hawai'i's political scene in the late 1970s. Throughout her career she has advocated for issues such as resisting gender-based violence against women and supporting indigenous nations; the relationships between indigenous peoples, and championing women's leadership. 

In 2019 she was awarded the Angela Y. Davis Prize. The honour recognises scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the public good. It’s namesake, Angela Davis, is a prominent black feminist writer, activist and critical voice in black freedom struggles.
+ Potential change in the Pacific remittance landscape

In crisis and emergencies in the Pacific, remittances can play an important part in how people survive and recover. These transactions are also referenced in the SGDs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries commits by 2030, to reduce to less than 3% the transaction costs of migrant remittances, and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5%.

While the global average cost of sending remittances is 6.38% of the sum, the average for the Pacific is 9.12%. For decades, remittances to the region have been dominated by Western Union and the big banks. But that could be about to change, as two global foreign exchange companies launch in Fiji.

The London-based financial technology company Wise, known previously as TransferWise, launched in Fiji in June, while the New Zealand-based OrbitRemit is set to launch its mobile payment service in both Fiji and Samoa in the coming weeks.

Useful Links, Webinars & Podcasts

+ Engaging New Zealanders in Development: a best-practice workshop

When: 9:30am - 3pm, 4 August 2021 (5:30pm photo exhibition launch)
Where: Grand Hall, Parliament 

Register here

What: Public engagement with the public, supporters and donors is critical for aid agencies. COVID has made it tougher, but also created opportunities.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share with your peers, and learn what the research is telling us about what works best when engaging with the public about aid, development, and our impact.

CID has teamed up with MFAT and Crown Research Institute (and proposed CID member) Plant and Food to offer this opportunity – free. Share best practice and engage with others on how to successfully connect with New Zealanders.

Please register below for up to 3 people from your organisation to attend the workshop. It’s free! Lunch and afternoon tea will be served.

Present a case study: Would you like to present a 15-minute case study (followed by 15 minutes Q&As) on any of the following:

Recent campaign
Advocacy initiative
Public event
Emergency response
New data on public engagement
Business collaboration
Celebrity ambassadors
Media engagement
Another initiative?

Please send a 100 word maximum synopsis of your proposed topic (with a Pacific or global focus) to Luke by COB on Monday 12 July, or if you have questions.

Case study presenters will qualify for a transport cost contribution. Additional information on the workshop to follow.

Plant and Food’s photo exhibition:
Register here

Workshop attendees are also invited to attend a 5.30pm Parliamentary launch of Plant and Food’s photo exhibition - From This Land - hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

From This Land tells the story of the impact in Vietnam and Cambodia of four MFAT and G2G (Government to Government NZTE) supported agricultural development projects involving Plant & Food Research scientists and development staff.

+ CID Talk: Gender Action Plan

When: Tomorrow 7 July 2021 12pm - 1pm NZST

What: Of all the human rights under threat, women’s rights are the most urgent. There is compelling evidence of high rates of violence against women, especially in the Pacific and in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In the Pacific, we know of low rates of women’s representation in decision-making, high rates of women’s unpaid care work, and high rates of fertility poorly matched with low levels of available contraception.

15,000 people die every day worldwide from Covid, but we cannot forget that over 800 women are dying each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth which are totally preventable. For every maternal death there are 20 women who become seriously ill as a result of infection or having no qualified birth attendant.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs set a goal in its strategic intentions to develop a gender action plan as a priority deliverable by 2021.

Tara D’Sousa will present the purpose, overarching goal, structure and content of the plan. This will be followed by kōrero a pātai among participants.

Register Now
+ Podcast: Why a gender lens is so important in development

Listen in to find out why a gender lens is important when considering health matters, and to learn about health inequities, COVID-19 and its gendered impact, and building back better after the pandemic.

An Oxfam UK podcast.

+  Reach out to us on:
  • Want to do your own gender action plan? Check out our CID Talk happening tomorrow.
  • Want to know more about our conference? Want to have an exhibition table, promote your organisation, your university course, or publications? Get your organisations name out there to hundreds in the sector?
  • Do you work with any great NZ consultancy companies that also work in international development who should join the whānau as Affiliate members?
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