Ebola spread, Asia & Pacific falter on SDGs, merging INGOs and more

Posted on 18 June 2019

+ Chances of ending poverty in decline 

New data from the Brookings Institute has raised the alarm that the future of poverty reduction is looking highly uncertain.

"Our historical-based simulations estimate that the probability of alleviating extreme poverty below the 3 percent threshold by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal 1) at the global level is small—less than 2 percent," writes Fabian Mendez Ramos
+ Celebrating volunteers while they're still here

This week we celebrate all the volunteers who help our members make a difference in the world.

Without volunteers, our organisations would not be able to do our work. Here's a list of activities across New Zealand in volunteer week.

A new app is also out, inspired by popular dating apps such as Tinder. 'Collaborate' is an innovative approach to connecting communities and making it easy for volunteers to make a real difference with their skills.

A new Support Report from JB Were (the new one is out soon)measures volunteering as the biggest source of 'funding' in-kind for the charitable sector in New Zealand, but sounds the alarm that as public donations decline, so too does volunteering. 

Time pressures and increasing regulatory hurdles (eg health and safety requirements) are contributing to the decline in all age groups, particularly young people.
+ Ebola spreads from DRC into Uganda 

It is likely the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will persist for at least another six months, World Health Organization emergency chief Peter Salama said recently.

Financial contributions have come from a number of donors, including CDC, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, and the United States Agency for International Development, although funding remains a challenge, especially as the DRC is dealing with multiple emergencies in addition to Ebola.
+ NZ public can be confident of our NGOs

Last week, the British Charity Commission published the findings of its 18-month investigation into the NGOs handling of allegations of sexual exploitation and bullying by senior Oxfam GB staff working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam conducted an internal inquiry in 2011, which led to four staff being fired and three resigning.

Oxfam GB welcomed the report and accepted all the recommendations.

"As Executive Director of Oxfam International, I underline Oxfam Great Britain’s apologies and reaffirm the organisation’s abhorrence for, and zero tolerance of, abusive behaviour, sexual or otherwise," said Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director.

Internationally, the sector has had an 'annus horribilis', with Amnesty International in the news earlier in the year. Amnesty International had a “toxic” working environment, with widespread bullying, public humiliation, discrimination and other abuses of power, a report has found.

These reports from overseas first emerged last year, and spurred New Zealand’s aid NGOs to strengthen their own systems to keep people as safe as possible.
Each CID member guarantees zero tolerance of abuse, but can't guarantee zero incidence. That's why the sector has prioritised making sure robust policies are in place that encourages people to complain for example, if they see any wrongdoing, and to set up processes that reduce the risk of incidents occurring in the first place.
All organisations affiliated to CID are signed up to a Code of Conduct which requires them to develop a suite of policies and practises, including whistleblowing, complaints processes, and child protection policies, and to prevent opportunities for any abuse and harassment to occur.

Over the last year, CID has carried out a number of safeguarding workshops with its members to help organisations plan how to prevent incidents, as well as what to do if one occurred. Investigative companies like OSACO, now based in New Zealand have since become an Associate Member of CID. OSACO specialises in investigating any complaints in developing countries. 
The New Zealand international NGO sector continues to strengthen its systems and policies, and the public can be assured that our members have professional processes in place, and where there is evidence of wrongdoing, our NGOs will take firm action, including by reporting allegations to the relevant authorities where that is appropriate.
+ CID member witnesses Hong Kong marches

Darren Ward, Managing Partner of Direct Impact Group was in Hong Kong last week, attending a conference of leading strategists of the world’s biggest INGOs.

While there he watched the march as roughly 2 million people protested against a Beijing-backed controversial bill to establish an extradition system with mainland China. Marchers continue to demand that the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, step down.

You can read Darren's thoughts on the protest as this hugely diverse group of people came together to protect their independence -  here, and you can read more about the protests on this Guardian article.
+ Save the date - launch and panel debate on the Annual Survey 

CID will launch its Annual Sector Survey with a panel debate, drinks and nibbles at Backbencher in Wellington at 5pm on July 16.

More details to follow.

Save the date!
+ Technology Fuels Trafficking and Exploitation in Asia and the Pacific
The progression of technology can be a powerful enabler in the fight against human trafficking, but it is also used to lure and entrap victims.
Asia and the Pacific account for half of the total number of internet users worldwide. 62% of the total number of victims of modern slavery are found in this region and technology is fuelling trafficking and exploitation. 

This short paper from the Mekong Club analyses the use of the web for the purpose of sexual exploitation, child trafficking, and forced labour.
+ Wellingtonian develops 'Givahoy' to make it easy to donate

"It was while he was walking through Wellington Railway Station, Jim Boutcher struck on an idea," writes Eleanor Wenman in Stuff.

"He would often see collectors for charities out and about with buckets. He'd want to donate but there was one problem: he never carried cash."

So he invented an App that can donate as little as $1.

+ "Asia and the Pacific will not achieve any of the 17 SDGs on its current trajectory"

The relatively stable economic performance of Asia and the Pacific conceals increasing downside risks to regional progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In an era of uncertainty, bold and wise policies are needed to make growth inclusive and sustainable, i.e., “putting people and planet first.

Still, a new report released last month by the Bangkok-based Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) warns that the SDGs – the successor to MDGs – have been falling behind in a region which is home to the world’s two most populous nations: China and India.

While there has been limited progress, “Asia and the Pacific will not achieve any of the 17 SDGs on its current trajectory”, the report declares. The targeted date to achieve the SDGs is 2030.

The study says “progress has stagnated or has been heading in the wrong direction in more than half the SDGs.”

The situation is deteriorating when it comes to providing clean water and sanitation (SDG6), ensuring decent work and economic growth (SDG8) and supporting responsible consumption and production (SDG12).

+ Turning the Tide, a new Devex series on SIDS' climate change fight

Small island developing states are at the frontline of climate change, but often lack the financial resources to respond. But the international community is pulling together to support innovative solutions.

Recently, twenty-seven Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have come together in a bid to manage and eliminate toxic chemicals and waste in some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems under a new initiative announced in Washington DC.

Devex's new content series Turning the Tide takes a closer look at how satellite technology can help build climate resilience. Through engaging storytelling, multimedia, and written features, Devex shares insights on national climate change resilience strategies.
+ How do we strengthen humanitarian leadership to make it fit for purpose? 

We need evidence on the impact of diverse and inclusive humanitarian leadership, says HAG, the Humanitarian Advisory Group in their blog.

Profit-driven companies – the successful ones, at least – are doing well on diversity. Excellently, in fact. Research by McKinsey that examined data sets across several private sector companies found clear links between diversity and productivity.

Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians, while those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely. Conversely, companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and ethnicity and race can statistically be expected to lag rather than lead.

CID's Annual Sector Survey Report (16th July 2019) will report, for the first time, on the demographics of our member organisations. In the meantime, Bond UK, steps up to their diversity and inclusion challenge.
+ Merging international NGOs: would less be more?

NGOs are often criticised for a lack of coordination, destructive competition and unnecessary duplication – especially in ‘crowded’ and highly fragile contexts. Some have called for consolidation – reducing the number of international NGOs to increase efficiency and empower local and national organisations, particularly in protracted crises. Yet it is both complex and potentially controversial.

  • Aid effectiveness: Would consolidation of international NGOs increase efficiency and effectiveness, or would it create larger organisations with the same persistent challenges?
  • Localisation of aid: Would mergers create space for the localisation of aid and empowerment of smaller organisations, or would it lead to the increased dominance of a few ‘mega-agencies’?
  • Trust: Would consolidation demonstrate that international NGOs are sincere about increasing value for money and impact, or be seen as an attempt to grow market share?
  • Relationship with the public: Would mergers threaten the affinity people have with particular organisations and brands or present an opportunity for a new narrative and new understanding?

This high-level debate of the Overseas Development Institute, in partnership with Mercy Corps,  unravels the benefits and risks of consolidating international NGOs. 

+ Defence Capability Plan launched 

CID attended the official launch of the Defence Capability Plan 2019 at the Beehive.

The sharper focus on the effects of climate change, and the need to increase New Zealand’s ability to respond to disasters, particularly in the Pacific region, is welcome, as is the increased emphasis on New Zealand’s Defence forces as humanitarian and peacekeeping responders here and across the globe.

It is important, however, that our joint humanitarian responses are coordinated, and that our Defence forces work with CID members both before and during a response, so that the response is locally-led, and follows humanitarian principles at all times, and is therefore as effective as possible.

Download the CID report of the launch here.

+ CWS - Action Against Poverty, Decision-makers mentoring programme
Church World Service (CWS) values the diversity of ideas and input into their action against poverty and they are looking for people of varying age groups and backgrounds to help inform them in their decision-making. Whatever your age or background, they invite you to join their 12-month “Action Against Poverty – Decision-makers mentoring programme”, which will offer you:
  • Exposure to governance in a Christian-based aid organisation, supported by an experienced and qualified governance mentoring group;
  • The opportunity to offer your ideas and support to CWS;
  • The opportunity to express your faith through action in a caring and supportive environment;
  • The ability to gain governance experience to complement your education and career development, and enhance your CV;
The mentoring programme is structured to include:
  • Participation in board meetings (as a mentee, not a formal Board member);
  • Participation in strategic discussions;
  • Involvement in planning fundraising initiative;
  • 2 days voluntary work contribution, either in the Christchurch Head office or elsewhere as an ambassador/presenter
  • Completion of a short (2-3 hours) on-line governance training course
Click here, to download the application. Applications close on Friday, 28 June 2019
+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by


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