Davos, CID’s trends for 2019, Venezuela aid crisis, and learning opportunities to start the year

Posted on 29 January 2019

+ Drab Davos but some good chats

There were high level no-shows (Donald Trump, Teresa May and Xi Jinping) , and a lot of hui not do-ey, but some important takeaways. 

Economic anxiety dominated, with "ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, selection of the next World Bank president, the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, and generalized uncertainties about the global economy," says the Brookings Institute

There were opportunities for some 'deep conversations', and some positive development and humanitarian takeaways, writes Catherine Cheney of Devex. 

These included investments in health, commitments to more digital access, humanitarian investments, the plight of refugees, and how to square business goals with philanthropic imperatives.

Caroline Kende-Robb, the secretary general of CARE, spoke of a new sense of urgency among business and political leaders.

“What’s been seen at Davos is an even bigger wake-up call to that issue of how can companies be more effective partners in society,” she said.

+ Challenging year ahead for NZ's international NGOs

Intractable conflicts, natural disasters, refugees, climate change and growing inequality will continue to be the focus for New Zealand’s international Non-Government-Organisations.

CID's press release last week identified some key trends to look for in 2019.
  • Nearly 132 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2019 at a cost of about $21.9 billion.
  • Most countries are not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce extreme poverty and inequality.
  • Elections will take place in Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, and Marshall Islands this year.
  • The referendum in Bougainville (on independence from Papua New Guinea) is scheduled for June 15, but that date is likely to slip.
  • West Papua and its fight for self-determination from Indonesia will become more significant.
+ Millions left behind despite SDGs

Millions of people are being left behind, despite the world pledging to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the latest (2018) edition of the IFRC World Disaster Report 

Less than half of the people estimated to be in critical need received any form of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations estimate that 137 million need humanitarian assistance every year, yet in 2018 only 97.9 million people in need were targeted by humanitarian operations led by the UN. While some of the remaining are reached by national governments and civil society organisations, tens of millions are targeted by no one.

Why is this happening? 
  1. Funding gaps - the gap between the funds needed by aid groups and the funds made available to them is growing every year.
  2. Lack of access - humanitarian personnel cannot physically reach everyone is need due to geographical or political reasons, or due to legal bottlenecks and bureaucratic limitations.
  3. Incomplete information - people are not being reached because aid groups do not know they exist, due to poor or non-existent mapping.
  4. Organisational mandates - aid groups unintentionally exclude groups of people because assistance can't be accessed by people with disabilities, or by people from marginalised groups.
  5. The scope of humanitarian definitions - this relates to people who are not affected by conflict, disasters or health emergencies, but who nevertheless live in crisis and do not receive help from anyone, such as impacts of urban violence and/ or  'irregular migrants'.
+ So what do we do about the SDGs?

Listen here to the Centre for Global Development's podcast on how to finance the SDGs.

"If developing countries are going to meet the sustainable development goals—ending poverty, getting kids into school, building health systems, creating jobs, and more—they’re going to need money. Lots of it. And some of that investment will need to come from the private sector.

+ Venezuela's Deepening Humanitarian Crisis

Most Latin American neighbours have quietly tolerated Venezuela’s erosion of democracy and markets for over a decade, writes the Conversation. Now the country faces the worst humanitarian crisis in the region. 

More than three million people have left Venezuela since 2014, according to IOM, setting off a regional crisis that has left neighbouring countries grappling with how to respond to the regions worst humanitarian crisis in many years.

Prices have risen exponentially for basic consumer items, with the International Monetary Fund expecting the inflation rate to reach 10 million percent in 2019 (one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in modern history).

80% of Venezuelan households do not have sufficient access to food. 

Hospitals are struggling to treat severely malnourished children as food shortages become pronounced.  The public health system has collapsed, leaving many without access to lifesaving medicine. Rates of preventable diseases are also on the rise, including malaria which is projected to rise by 50% in the coming months. Violence is widespread.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó surprised many last week when he declared himself as the interim President, set on forcing out Nicolás Maduro who many blame for the current crisis. In an interview with The Guardian over the weekend, Guaidó stated his intention on 'getting the job done' and ending a humanitarian emergency which has caused the largest exodus of irregular migration in modern Latin American history. Many countries, including Australia, have joined the U.S. in recognizing Guaidó, other critical governments, including Mexico and the European Union, have not.

For a visual representation of key information; over the weekend BBC Newspublished 'Venezuela: All you need to know about the crisis in seven charts' and The Washington Post published 'Venezuela's crisis in 5 charts'. Information on the regional impacts of the Venezuela situation, and Central Emergency Response Fund requests are available here.

+ Remembering how we let this happen 

Sunday 27 January was International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A meme on Facebook reminds us: "Remember, it didn't start with gas chambers.  It started with politicians dividing the people with "us vs. them." It started with intolerance and hate speech and when people stopped caring became desensitized and turned a blind eye."

As we reflect on the past, we also reflect on how history is repeating itself around the world.  

A group that CID's Natalia Karacaoglu works with on the Greek island, Samos is one of a few volunteer-based groups working as hard as they can to support the worsening and mostly forgotten situation. There are no international NGOs left working on the island.

Samos Volunteers reported from the island this week:

"It’s never been this bad.

Samos Volunteers has spent three years responding to each twist and turn of the refugee crisis on Samos. We have risen to new challenges as we found them. But the camp has never been as overcrowded, or as dangerous, as it is now.

After the EU-Turkey deal came into place and began to trap people on the island for months or even years, we turned to educational and recreational projects to fight boredom and isolation. We teach languages, music and dance, play with kids, and have a clean, dry space for people to come and relax.

As hygiene conditions became worse and worse, we opened our laundry station, the only place on the island asylum seekers can get their clothes washed and dried.

As the asylum system became more complex and overloaded, we partnered with the incredible Refugee Law Clinic Berlin, and as of January 2019, Avocats Sans Frontieres, to open our legal centre to provide legal support and advice.

As the situation on the island goes from bad to worse, we need to stay and keep standing by the vulnerable people forced to live in unlivable conditions. As the situation gets increasingly desperate, we need to keep providing a place where people are treated with the dignity they deserve.  We couldn’t do this without you ."

+ Online course - how to reach everyone in a humanitarian response 

This is a great online course on 'different needs, equal opportunities', and how to make sure you're meeting the needs of everyone.

It places you into a 'response scenario, making you responsible for ensuring the response meets the different needs of women, girls, men and boys.'

It's an interactive adventure game with 8-10 modules and corresponding knowledge checks/tests, plus useful information and case studies.

It combines programme planning and monitoring considerations with field work. Incorporates gender, youth, disability, and safeguarding concerns throughout and shows how they interact.

With thanks to Alice Boraston from MFAT for the link. The course was developed by IASC who developed some of MFAT's standards.

+ DFID could merge  

Britain’s former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has called for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to be rolled into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This would be a monumental mistake for a country looking for relevance in a post-Brexit world, writes the Lowy Institute's  Jonathan Pryke.

"Over the past two decades, DFID has established itself as a world-leading development agency. Empowered with an aid budget of close to £14 billion thanks to the 2015 bipartisan legislation to spend 0.7% of national income on aid (75% of which is administered by DFID), the agency tops almost every list when assessing bilateral agency effectiveness. A combination of its size and formidable reputation means that in any international development debate, when the UK speaks, the rest of the world listens"

According to Lowy, a merger would risk this reputation. 

+ Partnerships are the key to success - sign up for CID's workshop 

Getting the right partners and making the relationships work is the secret to development success today.

Whether you work in development, climate change, crisis management or conflict prevention, the evidence is building - partnerships is the most effective way for getting results. 

We won't make the world a more sustainable and inclusive place unless we do it together, with communities, businesses and NGOs.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals has even dedicated one of the 17 global goals to partnership, and many in the private sector are prepared to embrace working with us. 

But partnering itself is easier said than done.

The Brokering Better Partnerships one-day workshop is designed by the globally renowned  Partnership Brokers Association (PBA) and will be facilitated by Belinda Gorman. She'll offer practical assistance to those working in, or embarking on partnerships.

The workshop will provide you and your organisation with the following:

• Understanding of multi-stakeholder collaborations
• Opportunity to explore partnering challenges and good practice principles
• Chances to consider what it takes to partner effectively
• Frameworks and concepts, and the opportunity to share different experiences
• Introduction to the concept of ‘partnership brokering’
• Ideas for action

Register here

+ Family Planning Gender Workshop

Family Planning ran a second gender workshop last month for CID members.

CID members shared their experiences and challenges relating to gender in their work as well as tools to approaching these challenges. Ideas included using local knowledge and understanding rather than introducing new frameworks, running education programmes for staff, being aware of assumptions around gender, setting realistic goals led by local communities, simplifying language around gender, and using gender analysis tools.

Participants identified preferred gender outcomes including more women in decision-making roles, an increase in women in political and governance roles, better uptake of sexual and reproductive health services, and the application of human rights to all genders. Thanks to everyone who was able to attend!

To continue this conversation, we’re holding the “Gender, SRHR & Development Happy Hour!” regularly in Wellington. This is an opportunity for those interested in gender, development and sexual and reproductive health and rights to get to know each other and talk more about these issues. The next gathering will be on Thursday 31st January, from 5:15pm at Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant. If you’d like to come along or be put on the mailing list for future events please email.

+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by


New Zealand SDGs South America Partnerships