EU data legislation, more on safeguarding, menstruation, Trump and two Kims.

Posted on 05 June 2018

+ The EU's Data Protection law and its impact on New Zealand  

You may be noticing an avalanche of emails telling you that companies' online privacy policies had changed. The European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force on 25th May, changing the way INGOs and businesses across Europe deal with data. 

For a quick summary of what it is, who it affects and what it means for you, have a look here.

Basically, European countries now have to comply with a more robust approach to privacy and information management. It's worth noting the GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which was drafted prior to the internet becoming so integral to the way we process and store private information. 

"Interestingly, the GDPR has made no special provisions for charities in Europe, and they will be held to the same data protection standards as regular businesses and organisations," writes Accord

The New Zealand privacy laws have been found ‘adequate’ by the EU, though they are currently being reformed to become better. And the implementation of the GDPR will have implications for some New Zealand businesses and organisations. “EU partners expect NZ companies to be prepared: all affected organisations must be GDPR-compliant before it comes into effect on 25 May 2018, NZ companies should have a compliance plan already in place.” New Zealand Trade and Enterprise created a resource to help NZ businesses, and have written thought pieces for the private sector as well. 

For NZ's INGOs, especially those that partner with EU- and Australia based NGOs, this is an important time for us to consider better standards for information management (a new Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code on information handling and data use comes into effect in July, 2018). 

CID will continue to update our members as the implications become clearer. in the meantime, information on the GDPR is available from the NZ Law Society.
+ International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018

May 28 was the international awareness day established to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). This was part of the lively discussion that followed the latest CID Talk, given by Maria Carmelita Francois, a WASH Specialist from the UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office in Fiji.

Her actual presentation was about why WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programming matters: it underpins "both community and country wellbeing in all manners of defining it". UNICEF is addressing this through their WASH in Schools approach, working to create an enabling environment as well as addressing both demand and supply, because "access to WASH, including at schools and clinics, is a human right". For a summary of the conversation, please see this link, which contains further links to Carmelita's presentation as well as research on menstrual hygiene management conducted in the Pacific. 

For the international day itself, there were many features online and in international development and news feeds, one very interesting one was at the end of this BBC podcast, where a village in Uganda has embraced the idea of re-usable pads to the extent that men and boys are helping to sew them for their wives and sisters! Awesome.
Around the Pacific, there were many great things happening too, as women, men, boys and girls acknowledged the role of menstrual hygiene management in health, education and economic empowerment for all. Miss Solomon Islands took part, saying "This is about the whole physical environment in school that contributes to learning, ensuring that students especially girls have access to proper, well maintained WASH facility, ensuring soap is available, water is available, information is available."
+ VSA Funding

Foreign Affairs Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters announced last week that VSA will receive a core funding grant to support its activities for the next five years, which will take VSA into its seventh decade of sending skilled people to work alongside communities in the Pacific and beyond to achieve what is important to them.

VSA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Goodman says this is a vote of confidence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as previous agreements have been for three years at most. Read more about the announcement here.

+ Podcasts - radical ideas to shake up aid

'Constructive deconstruction: future humanitarian action' is a three-part podcast series where change makers pitch radical new visions to shake up the future of humanitarian aid. 

In each podcast, a panel of experts explores and examines each pitch with real life stories from people on the frontline: both on the giving and receiving end of aid. Have a listen here.

The first panel discussion covers the frustration humanitarians feel - that changes in the nature of crises and declining political support for international laws, asylum regimes and humanitarian operations mean that the international humanitarian system has neither the resources nor the political backing to do much about the problems confronting it.

Frustration that the fundamentals of the international humanitarian system have changed very little since its origins.

And frustration that the significant resourcefulness and drive of individual aid workers continues to fall prey to a system that co-opts their ingenuity to suit its own purposes. 

"The international humanitarian system needs a rethink, a modernisation, an upgrade, an honest conversation with itself", says Christina Bennett, Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

"What we found throughout the process of our research was that, when you put yourself in other people’s shoes and judge problems from their perspectives, the results can surprise you. In place of politics, mandates and bureaucratic processes emerges compassion, ingenuity and good sense."

+ A 'safeguarding industry' emerges in HQs
With the aid sector facing real questions of accountability following #MeToo and #AidToo movements, there is no time for misguided safeguarding policies created without the people most impacted by misconduct.  An article written by Devex's Angela Bruce-Raeburn questions the changes being made and who they are protecting.  

"Many organizations imagine that they can control the insidious predatory behavior of some aid workers through the creation of new structures, panels, commissions, and reporting mechanisms. Like clockwork, somewhere in the headquarters of a humanitarian aid organization, the safeguarding industry was hatched and experts magically appeared and promises of change were made," she writes.

She ask's some important questions:

"How many of these safeguarding policies were written in the local and national office in country settings where we know the majority of abuse — thus far — has occurred?"

The best way forward is to work with those most most affected:

"Safeguarding requires an embedded policy of care that originates in local and national offices, supported by headquarters. Trainings and policies that are developed must come from the people most affected, with the participation of every staff member, from the country director to the chauffeurs, and every person in the organizational chain."

Meanwhile for more details on the ACFID independent review of its members, to ensure they understand and apply global best practice in the identification, response and prevention of sexual misconduct, go here for the latest. 

CID, together with MFAT, will be hosting a Safeguarding workshop.  Please save the date of 16 August, with more details to follow. 
+ Poverty and profit - the business of development aid 

"Private businesses are getting more and more involved in the fight against poverty.  Responsibility has been shifted from the public sphere into the hands of corporations and the market.  The corporations are the new saints of development and food security."
But, does this new model of development aid actually work?  Will it benefit the needy or does it just serve corporate interest?  Watch this documentary by German broadcaster DW, which explores examples from East Africa.
+ Trump and two Kims

2011 called and want to know what 2018 looks like.  Who in 2011 would believe this?

Meanwhile, President Trump will meet with the other Kim in a long anticipated summit. Latest analysis agrees that this meeting will do little to stabilise the region and more to promote the image of Kim Jong-Un as a strong-man, writes Lowy Institute's Euan Graham.

"The risk of renewed conflict on the Korean Peninsula has seemingly receded, partly owing to the engagement efforts of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. However, the very existence of a democratic, prosperous South Korea is key to understanding the North Korean regime’s insecurity. Pyongyang also sees its nuclear card as a means of decoupling the United States from its Asian allies, raising questions about what the Trump–Kim summit can realistically achieve on denuclearisation. The risk of a lapse into further crises is extremely high."

All of which makes the work on INGOs with civilians in the region and across South East Asia more important than ever.

According to NK News (a new site set up to disseminate analysis about North Korea, friendly to North Korea), since opening up to international humanitarian aid in 1995, North Korea has allowed at least 215 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to run projects in the country, mostly from South Korea or the USA.

Here's a story of an American who set up an NGO with the sole goal of working in North Korea.

Rob Springs "decided to start an NGO, with staff and volunteers who understood the culture of North Korea and spoke Korean. The NGO would work for reconciliation between the U.S. and DPRK on the principles of mutual respect and building relationships....So I got a $30,000 grant from the Southern Baptist Church, maxed out my credit cards, and founded GRS, Global Resource Services, in 1997."


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