CID Weekly: US abandons Kurds, MFAT announces new Safeguarding Policy, Bougainville Referendum, and more.

Posted on 15 October 2019

+ CID Annual Conference - Not too late to register

Register now for the CID Conference - ‘Beyond Aid: Partnerships for the Future’.  

21 October 2019 
Massey University Wellington

8.30 – 9.00 Conference Registration for AGM Attendees
9.00 - 10.00 Members AGM (and Registration for non-AGM Attendees)
10.30 Conference opening

Stand for the CID Board - last days
Nominations for three CID Board Members are still open. Please, email the Nomination Form to by 5.00 pm of 17th October 2019. 

Highlights of this year's conference:

  • Key note speech - Jean-Pierre Verbiest, formally of the Asia Development Bank, and special advisor to the Mekong Institutes talks about how to make partnerships work. If we don't start telling our story better, he says, we risk losing the social licence for aid in places like New Zealand.
  • World Cafe SDG 17: Partnerships for Development, with x4 interactive presentations on partnering with the Pacific (led by PIANGO); with donors (led by the EU); academia (led by Victoria University); and Business (led by Tonkin & Taylor).
  • x5 Workshops on gender in emergencies; ending violence against children in the Pacific; fundraising and development; a new deal for nature and people; and investing safety to do good.
  • Collaboration Award. An inaugural award that recognises a successful collaboration throughout the year. A prelude to a full suite of awards next year.
  • CID dinner with guest speaker, music and a time to catch up with colleagues
Any questions, contact Gaia Maridati

+ Nobel Economics prize won by development economists 

Just announced, three development economists have won the Nobel Economics prize “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.

Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer and Abhijit Banerjee have won the prize. "Economics is far too important to be left to just one half of the population," she said.

This is only the second time in the prize's history that poverty has been cited. The only other time was in 2015 with Angus Deaton.

Abhijit Banerjee becomes only the third male who is not white to win the top prize in economics - the other two being - Arthur Lewis in 1979 and Amartya Sen in 1998.

Esther Duflo is only the second woman to win the Economics prize.

All three were recognised for their “experiment-based approach” to tackling global poverty, and using randomised control trials to discover which educational outcomes or child health initiatives actually work.

The academy said the winners had shown there was a need to adopt new approaches in the fight against poverty that were based on field trials rather than prejudice or the failed methods of the past.

"What we try to do in our work is unpack the problems one by one to better understand the reasons for particular problems. What works, what doesn’t work and why,” says Esther Duflo.

Duflo said their work was devoted to making sure “the fight against poverty is based on scientific evidence”.

More than five million Indian children have benefitted from their studies and the effective programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.

+ Violence as Kurds abandoned by US

After Trump's announcement that the US would withdraw its support for Kurds on the border of Turkey, a Kurdish slaughter is looking more likely every day, argues online magazine, Quillette.

"America has roughly 1,000 soldiers garrisoned in Syria to coordinate with local allies and suppress any reformation of the caliphate. Trump’s drawdown began with upwards of 100 of them abandoning outposts near Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain. The Turkish army, fortified by their own local Sunni rebel groups, has advanced on these and other Syrian towns. This will lead either to a Kurdish slaughter or a scattering of thousands (and, in time, potentially three quarters of a million) Kurds south into the bloodstained arms of the Syrian regime."

Hours after the announcement, Turkish military launched an operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters who have helped the United States battle the Islamic State.

But the situation is complicated, argues Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institute. 

"The policy of assisting a faction of Syrian Kurds, the YPG, to fight the Islamic State has been a ticking time bomb since it began under the Obama administration, in 2014."

For an excellent and succinct twitter thread reminder of how the war in Syria started, and how the US and the Kurds got together, read Wa'el N. Alzayat here. 

Whatever your views, the withdrawal of the US can only increase the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

According to the Washington Post "Military officials said that Turkey was targeting mostly Kurdish military facilities and probably had destroyed some U.S.-provided military equipment. Another official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly, said some Turkish airstrikes had appeared to hit populated areas."

+ New safeguarding policy announced by MFAT

This week, MFAT released its Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy and Guidelines. 

CID members will have a chance to discuss further with MFAT at the upcoming Annual Manatū Aorere/MFAT – NGO Hui on 22 October, the day after the CID Conference. 

MFAT and CID will also host a joint workshop on the Policy and Guidelines in due course.

This will give CID members a chance to work with MFAT on how best to implement the policy. That means getting some clarify around what we can 'control' and what we can 'influence' in terms of the behaviour of our partners, and also what level of incident needs to be reported to MFAT.
The Policy is principles-based and sets out minimum standards for CID members and other delivery partners and suppliers, to prevent and manage sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment risks.

NGOs that have completed the due diligence framework for either the Negotiated Partnerships programme or Manaaki fund, will have already been assessed against relevant criteria.

MFAT's Policy, Guidelines and Incident Notification Form can all be found on our MFAT website here.

Just a reminder, this time last year, New Zealand and 22 other countries signed the joint commitment to tackle sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) in the development cooperation sector.

MFAT would like you to email them at if you have any questions in the meantime. 

+ CID Humanitarian Network Chair & Deputy-Chair

CID is excited to announce that Virginia Pycroft (ADRA) and Andy Robinson (TearFund) have been elected as the new Chair and Deputy-Chair (respectively) of the CID Humanitarian Network. Both Virginia and Andy come with a wealth of experience in the development/ humanitarian sector. With their well-respected and personable approach to providing kaitiakitangi within the network, we are confident of a continued positive direction in the work and coordination of the CID Humanitarian Network accordingly.

We would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary service and commitment that both Mark Mitchell (World Vision) and Linabel Hadlee (cbm) have provided over the past years. Mark has been Chair of the network for four years, and Linabel had been Deputy-Chair for the last two years, on top of their respective busy schedules. The dedication and expertise that they both brought to their roles and support progressing network work has been immense. We look forward to their continued involvement.

The CID Humanitarian Network aims to provide New Zealand NGOs with a forum for co-ordination and shared learning for best practice in international humanitarian assistance.  As a component of CID, the Humanitarian Network also advocates and presents a collective civil society voice to government and the media on humanitarian issues. Please feel free to contact Aaron at CID if you would like more information, or for your organisation to be involved with this important civil-society based humanitarian mechanism.


+ Global Fund claims $14b victory, but time to rethink?

"The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said it secured the $14 billion funding target at its replenishment conference Thursday — but only after French President Emmanuel Macron spent the day calling heads of state to convince them to give more, and the Gates Foundation and French government upped their earlier pledges to get donors over the line," writes Vince Chadwick at Devex.

It was a "pretty intense 24 hours" to get there, Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands told Devex. Reporter Vince Chadwick has more from an eventful day in Lyon.

But some argue the Global Fund needs to rethink its mandate, despite this success.

The focus on the unacceptably high global death toll from three major infectious  - and entirely preventable killers has been one of the international communities biggest successes,  acknowledges Save the Children's Samy Akmar.

"The number of deaths from malaria in Africa was reduced by nearly half from 839,000 deaths in 2000 to less than 438,000 in 2015. Global HIV mortality peaked in 2006 with nearly 2 million deaths worldwide and has since come down dramatically with less than 1 million recorded deaths in 2017, just as the number of people living with HIV has kept increasing, thanks to vastly greater access to antiretrovirals in sub-Saharan Africa."

"The problem is this: such an enormous shift toward issue-based funding has almost certainly happened at the expense of strengthening health systems’ ability to provide comprehensive care, respond to disease outbreaks, and produce a large and competent health workforce for all."

+ Bougainville referendum likely to be independence

A new Lowy Institute Analysis by Ben Bohane finds that the people of Bougainville are expected to vote overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea in the November referendum.

This is the culmination of a 20-year peace process enshrined in the Bougainville Peace Agreement following the conflict, and which requires Papua New Guinea and Bougainville to negotiate an outcome after the conclusion of the referendum.

But an independent Bougainville would face many challenges.

Key findings:

  • Bougainville is largely ‘referendum ready’ and its people are expected to vote overwhelmingly for independence
  • While Bougainville has abundant natural resources and a skilled older generation, as an independent nation it would face many challenges including fiscal self-reliance, consensus on mining issues, unity and political integrity.
  • Countries like New Zealand and Australia have a significant stake in the outcome and should keep up engagement to remain "a trusted peace and security broker" in Melanesia.

+ The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

+ What a Hard-Brexit means for NGOs 

Devex writes this week, that the U.K. government is preparing to cover about £200 million ($244 million) worth of European Union aid contracts in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the most comprehensive figures available yet — more than double the figure previously provided by the government. 

That figure covers about 200 contracts held by 58 organizations.

U.K.-based organizations will probably be ineligible for  EU aid funding after the country leaves the bloc.

"If no agreement is reached on the terms of its exit, many are concerned that existing contracts could be suddenly cut off, leaving projects in limbo," writes Jessica Abrahams.

A DFID official explains how the scheme will work, with funds being paid out immediately if EU contracts are cut off.

+ JBWere event - live streaming
The CID team will be live-streaming today's JBWere event on "Governance for Social Impact", here.