Coronavirus Epidemic, Blended Finance for the SDGs, ICJ on Myanmar,  and more

Posted on 28 January 2020

+ Coronavirus Epidemic

The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb in China as new information emerges over how to contain an outbreak that has now spread to at least a dozen countries around the world. The latest World Health Organisation Situation Report states that a total of 2,014 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV (the virus' scientific abbreviation) have been reported globally.

A study published in The Lancet medical journal last week suggested coronavirus can spread through patients who are not showing symptoms, which would complicate control efforts. The study cited the example of one observed patient in Vietnam; however other epidemiologists have stated there is still not enough data regarding transmission instances and rates.

Many jurisdictions, including New Zealand, have stepped up health screenings at major airports. But there is disagreement among public health professionals about whether screenings and border shutdowns are effective, or even counterproductive.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the international situation, including guidance provided by the World Health Organisation. So far, no cases have been reported in New Zealand, and the Ministry of Health believes that the risk of a sustained outbreak in New Zealand remains low. The Pacific is stepping up defences against coronavirus. Otago University epidemiologist, Michael Baker, states that New Zealand has a significant role to play, and "a huge responsibility to not export this disease to the Pacific."

+ MFAT/ NGO Reference Group: Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa)

Following on from the success of the inaugural Partnering for Impact (P4I) NGO Reference Group, MFAT is calling for expressions of interest for a new reference group.  Called Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa), the new group will support the on-going design, implementation and adaptation of the P4I programme. It will comprise up to six external members, including a representative from CID, and meet quarterly, with each member serving for 12 months.      

Please click here to find the Terms of Reference for Toroa. If you are interested in nominating yourself, or someone else, please complete MFAT’s Expression of Interest form.  All nominations will be accepted as long as the nominee has agreed and the information sought in the EOI form is provided.

Inaugural reference group NGO members may be appointed, as might representatives from organisations not receiving MFAT funding, as well as those being considered for/receiving MFAT funding - including from Negotiated Partnerships, Manaaki and/or MFAT’s previous Partnerships for International Development Fund (PFID).  As indicated in the terms of reference, MFAT is keen to ensure that membership of Toroa is appropriately diverse, and it is also looking at options for capturing the views of in-country partners.    

Applications will close at midday on Monday 17th February 2020. We will contact all those who submitted EOIs by the end of February with the outcomes of the application process. MFAT plans to hold the first Toroa meeting in Wellington in March. If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to be in touch with MFAT’s Partnerships Team via email

+ What does sustainability mean to you?

The Global Survey on Sustainability and the SDGs picks up on expectations and opinions on regarding sustainability, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The survey was conducted between September 2018 and June 2019 and reached more than 26,000 people from 174 countries. The platform has just published their Report of Results and it shows some interesting trends both globally and regionally.

The Global Survey targets private individuals and representatives of politics, business, academia, the media and civil society both on a national and international level. Utilising “multipliers”, the aim is to prioritise relevant topics relating to the environment, social issues and the economy in the respective countries and sectors to establish the urgency for action. In addition, the performance of the institutions in each country is also assessed.

Less than half the participants know of the SDGs, and those that do prioritise SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-Being), and SDG 4 (Quality Education), in that order. In the Asia-Pacific region, these SDGs show almost even percentages of personal importance. 

Worldwide, more than 31% of female respondents describe gender equality as an SDG of direct importance, compared to only 15% of male respondents. Very interesting is also the data on the Importance of the SDGs by age group, especially around Climate Action, and Clean Water and Sanitation.

+ Launch of CID Online Training & Resources

At the end of last year, CID researched, collected and curated online training and resources that can help strengthen organisational knowledge, policies and practices relating to international development.

The CID Code of Conduct was used as a framework to scope training and resources across three key areas of accountability (including the principles and obligations covered within them):

  1. Programme Principles - including effectiveness in aid and development activities, human rights and working with partner agencies,
  2. Public Engagement - including obligations to be ethical and transparent in marketing, fundraising and reporting, and
  3. Organisation - including governance, management, financial controls, treatment of staff and volunteers, complaints-handling processes and compliance with legal requirements.

Decolonising Development Education

Dr Farhana Sultana, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Syracuse University, published a recent paper on 'Decolonizing Development Education and the Pursuit of Social Justice', joining the recent surge of interest in the debate around decolonisation and prevailing development narratives. She commences by acknowledging that Development occurs through powerful global institutions that are largely controlled by former colonisers and current imperial states that perpetuate Eurocentric logics.

Sultana states that the decolonisation of development in policy and practice, necessitates decolonisation of development education and the critical genealogies of thought that still exist in development thinking. Among those suggestions are:

  • Thinking about how one’s own individual behaviour contributes to coloniality in the world.
  • Refusing hopelessness and frustrations in the decolonizing journey
  • Constantly learning from multiple critical sources and educating oneself away from hegemonic knowledge and ideologies by reading broadly and deeply 
  • Practising deep listening, humility, reflexivity, praxis, and solidarity-building
  • Working with and supporting those who are working on reparations and justice

She concludes affirming that "decolonising development is a collective project, not an individual one, nor one that has a time-frame or prefigured set of goals. It requires difficult questions be asked" and "it has to be a collaborative journey and a collective struggle of committed individuals".

Also, in this interview, Prof. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, adds "the problem of the decolonization of the 1960s was that we wanted to be part of the (European) game. The decolonization of the twenty-first century is to question the rules of the game, not to be part of it. We need to get it right this time."

+ ICJ Ruling: Myanmar must take all measures to halt acts of genocide

The International Court of Justice ruled unanimously on 23rd January that the Rohingya minority in Myanmar remains at serious risk of genocide. The International Court of Justice statement makes clear that Myanmar must take “all measures within its power” to prevent genocide.

The court panel of 17 judges ordered Myanmar and its military to prevent acts of genocide, including killing as well as causing serious bodily or mental harm and also ordered Myanmar to cease destroying any evidence of possible genocide that may have occurred. Myanmar must report back in four months and then every six months for follow-ups on how it is implementing the ruling.

The ruling sets an important precedent for the prevention of genocide in other conflicts. Refugees International states that "While a final ruling on whether the abuses amount to genocide may take years, this puts Myanmar on notice that any further abuses or attempts at destroying evidence will not be met with silence. Many tools exist to back up this ruling, from targeted sanctions to an arms embargo. It is now up to the United States and other governments to ensure that Myanmar feels the full weight of that international denunciation.”

+ Blended finance: a way to close the SDG financing gap?

Blended finance is defined as "the strategic use of development finance and philanthropic funds to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets" in developing countries. In 2017 the OECD put together a set of five DAC criteria for Blended Finance:

  1. a Development rationale,
  2. an aim to further unlock of commercial finance,
  3. accounting for the local context,
  4. effective partnering, and
  5. monitoring for effectiveness and transparency.

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel writes on the OECD Development Matters Blog, that blended finance offers a simple and exciting way forward for two main reasons. On one hand, because of the different layers of risks and returns that make up its structure. On the other, because of the types of investors attracted to the different layers generating efficient philanthropy. Blending finance is perhaps also the key to address the financing gap of USD2.5 trillion needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

According to de Schrevel, however, the potential for generating needed investment for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement is constrained by the absence of a mutually agreed understanding of blended finance even within the development co-operation community. Nonetheless, blended finance brings other challenges. One of them is the on-going management of the size of a blended finance fund’s different tranches, another is the lack of reliable aggregated performance data.

+ 3 Big Debates/ 2 Bad Decades in International Development

Aid and development has always had its critics. With an increase in development budgets and the mixed reception and results of the aid-friendly Millennium Development Goals, the idea that aid did not always work became far more pronounced in the early 2000s (a time when many of us were started our development careers!).

In his opinion piece for the DevPolicy Blog, Terence Wood asks "Does foreign aid work? Are free markets the best path to better lives? Is globalisation good or bad?". These were some of the big debates in the last two decades of development. In questioning whether there were any winners over the intervening years, he presents a long list of questions that challenge us to contemplate further the next 20 years of aid and development.

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+ CID Events

+ Other Events Coming Up
+ CID Activities
  • Review of CID Member Code of Compliance self-assessments
  • Scoping of Operational Training workshops
  • Preparations for Code of Conduct Committee meeting
  • CID attended MFAT's NGOs Wānanga
  • Work on CID safeguarding tools.


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