CID Weekly: UNGA, Aid Workers, Conference Announcement

Posted on 06 October 2020

Economist Jeffrey Sachs - Keynote Speaker at our Conference

We are delighted to announce that world-renowned economist and leader in sustainable development, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, will deliver a keynote speech at the Oceania Connect 2020 Regional Conference, 27-30 October, jointly hosted between CID, ACFID and PIANGO.  
Professor Sachs is a global expert on inclusive economic development and trade, with the New York Times calling him “probably the most important economist in the world.” The former Director of The Earth Institute is widely recognised for his bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including fighting hunger and disease, overcoming extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change, along with debt crises, hyperinflations, and the transition from central planning to market economies.
Professor Sachs currently serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he is also a University Professor, Columbia's highest academic rank. He is the President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and a bestselling author of various titles.
Most recently, he has been appointed to head The Lancet COVID-19 Commission and economic recovery, where the role of trade, aid and the Sustainable Development Goals in the COVID-19 recovery will be central.
Professor Sachs’ address will be followed by a panel on the COVID-19 implications for development across the region. The panel will be chaired by Shamal Dass (Head of Philanthropic Services, JBWere) and panel members will be: 

  • Emeline Siale Ilolahia (Executive Director, PIANGO)
  • Jeffrey Sachs (Economist, Professor & Director, Columbia University)
  • Craig Fisher (Chair, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ).

+ Aid Worker Sex Abuse scandal in DRC Ebola Response  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has promised to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by people identified as health and aid officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the global body is trying to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.

WHO was in charge of efforts to control an Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC between August 2018 and the end of June 2020. During that time, 3,481 people were infected with the haemorrhagic fever and 2,299 people died.

It took The New Humanitarian (TNH) a year to gather detailed allegations from dozens of women in what became a joint investigation between TNH and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Survivors state that they were propositioned, abused, or lured into sex-for-work schemes – mostly by international NGOs. Thirty of the women accused men from the WHO. Many of the women’s accounts were corroborated by aid agency drivers and other NGO officials.

+ Register for Our Conference!

Please register now to take part in this historic event.

For the first time, the international development networks of New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific are joining together to hold an Oceania Connect Regional Conference.

Held from 27-30 October, the conference will focus on fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and how best to respond and rebuild during COVID.

Registrations are now open.

+ Pacific leaders united on key regional issues at UNGA

In the inaugural virtual United Nations General Assembly held last week, Pacific leaders have presented a united front on key issues such as climate change, ocean conservation and debt relief when speaking to world leaders virtually at the United Nations in New York.

The leaders of Pacific Island nations outlined their concerns surrounding COVID-19, and called on leaders of the world to stay the course on work being done to limit global warming. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu warned that, "The shared prosperity and security of our Blue Pacific can only safely exist if the international community pursues efforts to limit global warning to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Leaders also called for other nations to take action on illegal fishing in the region, with the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands stating that "I call on distant-water-fishing-nations to reduce the incidences of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in our waters,' a statement that was reinforced by other leaders.

Additionally, participants of the side-event on ‘Sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience: Adopting a whole-of-society approach and breaking the “panic-then-forget” cycle’ shared the sentiment that COVID-19 will not be the world’s last health emergency and the best time to prevent the next pandemic is now and there is an urgent need for sustainable health emergency preparedness. The high-level virtual event was co-hosted by Finland, France, and Indonesia, along with the World Health Organization (WHO). Past crises have shown that once an outbreak is under control, governments and donors tend to turn their attention to other pressing concerns. This cycle of “panic-then-forget” has prevented the development of effective health emergency preparedness across the globe. The world needs to break this cycle.

+ Register for CID AGM and Dinner Event @ The Beehive!

The CID AGM and dinner event will be held in Wellington in the Grand Hall at the Beehive on 5 November, starting after lunch and going into the evening.

This is a chance for us all to come together after a very challenging year.

There will be a keynote speech (we hope from the incoming minister), a panel discussion, the annual Photo Competition and Collaboration Award, and entertainment.

Please join us for a celebration. Register here. 

+ Cartoons for Climate Change!

Cartoons and humour help us confront tough conversations. Simple at first glance but complex at the second, they have the capacity to cut through to the heart of an issue, shedding light on the contradictions, incongruities and tensions of our circumstances. and often of our choices.

VICE magazine, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), invited cartoonists, humanitarians, young artists, and activists to inject humour into the climate change debate to get people thinking, talking, and creating, and as a result, cartoonists brought to life key messages on conflict and climate change, using humour to kick-start conversations on some of the most confronting challenges of our times.

+ International Development Young Professionals - Wellington launch and AGM in Auckland

On Thursday 8 October International Development Young Professionals group (IDYP) is launching their chapter in Wellington.

The launch is taking place at the office of VSA at 6:30pm with  a World Cafe discussion on how the current global pandemic is affecting international development and what this means in a post-COVID world? Tickets are available here

IDYP are also hosting their AGM on the 15 October in Auckland, which will also feature a series of 'Short Talks' guest speakers. Register here.

IDYP provides opportunities for its members to expand networks, build knowledge, and share and develop ideas by convening meaningful events, supporting skills and training opportunities and providing a credible space for learning and sharing ideas. 

+ Nominations! Annual Collaboration Award & Photo Competition

Celebrate the creative and collaborative skills of the sector. 

The impact of COVID has made this year particularly challenging, but many of these challenges have been mitigated through innovation, collaboration and the awesome creativity of the sector.

Please see the information below on the CID Collaboration Award and the CID Photo Competition for 2020. Winners will be announced at the Annual Dinner taking place on 5 November.

CID Collaboration Award 2020
We want to hear from CID Members and Associate Members that have successfully worked together on a project with a mix of organisations and individuals – for example, each other, local entrepreneurs or partners, governments, funders, private sector, consultants, academics or researchers. Applications must be submitted by 15 October, and will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The narrative - how compellingly you tell the project's story
  • The scope - who and how many people were reached
  • The impact - what is the likelihood of impact and sustainability
  • The collaboration - how the collaboration led to the successes or results of this project.
CID Photo Competition 2020
The broader theme of the 2020 CID Photo Competition is COVID related activities, with submissions to showcase partnership, collaboration and good development outcomes. The photo competition is once again sponsored by Fisher Print (thank you!). Further information is on the CID website at the link above. We are accepting submissions up until 15 October and winners will also be announced at the CID Annual Dinner.
Submission are to be provided under three categories:
  • For Amateur Photographers:
    • Development
    • Humanitarian Aid | Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 
  • For NZ-based Professional Photographers:
    • Humanitarian and Development .

+ Contribute to Research: Digital Access in the Pacific

An invitation to contribute to research on 'Digital Access Across Cultures'.

COVID has shifted how humanitarian, development and aid programmes are funded and delivered. In-country delivery and engagement by international actors is increasingly challenged across the Pacific.
Pacific communities and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have identified digital connectivity and affordable internet access as a critical enabler post COVID.
Unfortunately Pacific nations’ internet penetration is low.
Increasing digital access would open development pathways, empower local actors and enable the development of knowledge economies.

As an integral component to enabling localisation, the potential exists for it to see New Zealand doctors ‘sit over the shoulder’ of doctors and surgeons in the Pacific; enable schools in isolated islands to keep learning; and support communities to pivot from tourism to primary produce, source markets and become digital exporters.

  • What opportunities does the localisation agenda provide?
  • What does digital connectivity in the Pacific, implemented through a ‘Pacific lens’ look like to you?

Darrin Brinsden, MBA Candidate, from University of Otago is conducting research in October with the support of CID. He is seeking volunteers to be interviewed on this topic.

The research will be published before Christmas so there is a quick turnaround. Interviews will be tailored to your timetable and location.

Please contact Darrin at or call / text on +64 21 400 998 to book an interview time. Thank you!

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+ CID Activities 
  • Annual conference preparations in progress - Oceania Connect with ACFID and PIANGO (27-30 Oct)
  • Preparations for AGM and CID Annual Dinner Event (5 Nov)
  • Attendance at NZDF Workshop
  • 2019/2020 Membership Survey in progress
  • ACFID/PIANGO/CID meetings and actions
  • Refinement of new strategy following consultation
  • Preparation of Briefing for Incoming Minister (BIM)
  • Preparations for Gender Workshop (November)
  • In partnership with Mekong Club, progression of research on responsible recruitment of migrant workers in Asia, and the impact of recruitment practices on modern slavery
  • Sponsorship of research on Digital Access Across Cultures.