Good news and bad news, trends in 2019, World Bank top job, Brexit, and more

Posted on 15 January 2019

+ Some trends to watch in 2019

From IRIN (originally UN’s Integrated Regional Information Network) some humanitarian trends:
  • Outsourcing of risk within localisation: There is a common assumption that local staff and organisation face fewer risks within insecure areas because they are local. But local actors actually carry the greatest risk and burden within violent emergencies already. The 2018 AWSR figures indicate that in 2017 91% of victims of major attacks were national aid workers.
  • The meaning of 'voluntary' for returning refugees: 2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the worlds 4 largest refugee populations; Syrians, Afghans, South Sudanese, and Myanmar's Rohingya. The legal principle of non-refoulement, and that 'refugee returns' must not be rushed or premature but be sustainable and voluntary, will continue to be tested in 2019.
  • Aid frameworks vs. Anti-terror compliance: NGOs may continue to be impacted by counter-terrorism legislation globally as the "machinery of enforcement" matures.  Donor's compliance demands are getting heavier.
  • Climate Displacement: Uncertainties in estimating displacement due to climate change remain a significant blind-spot for the aid sector, and without knowing how many people could lose their homes and livelihoods, enacting responsive policy and planning humanitarian responses will remain problematic.
  • U.S. aid is being positioned as a 'better option' for developing countries than the  $1 trillion that China is offering through its Belt and Road Initiative.
  • But the U.S administration is abandoning the multilateral system, "the very platform for building the types of coalitions and collaborations that would give such a policy real weight," says the Brookings Institute.
  • Two tragic wars will continue to dominate the Middle East. In Syria, the war is winding down, with Assad, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah the victors. The U.S is withdrawing its troops. In Yemen, the war is in full force, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States all face major decisions on whether and how to continue the Yemeni misadventure.
  • There will be struggles among regional powers (including Turkey, Russia, and Iran), an uncertain future for Kurdish fighters, repercussions for refugees, and continued challenges to countering terrorism and securing peace.
  • Brexit will dominate the news. A hard Brexit could have negative repercussions for aid and development.
+ World Bank - Who will get the top job?

World Bank President Jim Kim took the institution’s staff and board members by surprise when he announced his resignation last week, giving just three weeks notice of his plan to leave three years early, in order to join an infrastructure investment firm, writes Sophie Edwards in Devex.

This has raised concerns about who will succeed him. Given the U.S's move away from multilateralism who will the Trump administration put forward to run the world’s largest multilateral development bank? Some news outlets have alarmingly suggested  Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump could be the president's preferred candidate, writes Grace Panetta in Business Insider. 

Other possible American nominees to lead the bank include undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, US Agency for International Development director Mark Green, and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, the Financial Times said.

Kim will be best remembered for securing a historic $13 billion capital increase for the institution in April 2018, a significant achievement considering it was signed off by a sceptical Trump administration.

As the largest shareholder, the United States controls the selection process for the World Bank’s presidency, regularly appointing an American to the role in a tradition that has been criticised in recent years.
+ 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

+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by
+ The Reality of Aid Report: The Changing Faces of Aid and Development Cooperation 

The Reality of Aid Report 2018.

Unfortunately, there is "overwhelming evidence that aid resources are woefully insufficient and often misdirected. They are increasingly being deployed in ways that exacerbate rather than eradicate poverty. Instead of following the dictate to ‘leave no one behind,’ aid may be contributing to the increase, rather than the reduction of inequalities."

ODA will be needed in vastly increased quantities, and with significantly improved effectiveness, over the next several decades, says the report.

The governments of developing countries must set the course for determining their own development priorities through processes that include the full participation of citizens and their organizations.

If substantially reformed, ODA could be a resource to facilitate these processes, one that developing countries could apply to different elements in defining and implementing SDG strategies.

RoA's Ten-Point Action Agenda:
  1. Achieving the 0.7% Target
  2. Addressing the needs of the least developed, low income, fragile and conflict-affected countries 
  3. Establishing a rights-based framework
  4. Mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment
  5. Addressing other identity-based inequalities
  6. Reversing the affected and closing space for CSOs as development actors 
  7. Implementing clear policies for ODA to improve its quality as a development resource
  8. Deploying ODA to support private sector initiatives and catalyze private sector funding 
  9. Rejecting the militarization and securitization of aid
  10. Responding to the acute and growing challenges from climate change
Read more and download your copy here.

Also in the Guardian UK, 15 leading economists, including three Nobel winners, argue that the many billions of dollars spent on aid can do little to alleviate poverty while we fail to tackle its root causes.

They attack the culture of reporting on 'effectiveness' to donors: "If we are concerned about effectiveness, then instead of assessing the short-term impacts of micro-projects, we should evaluate whole public policies," they argue. 
+ But the world is in better shape than you think!

Swedish academic Hans Rosling posthumously published a book in 2018, Factfulness that puts in perspective the bad news in the media.

"While it is true that globalisation has put some downward pressure on middle-class wages in advanced economies in recent decades, it has also helped lift hundreds of millions of people above the global poverty line – a development that has mostly occurred in South-East Asia."

Globalisation is the only way forward to ensure that economic prosperity is shared among all countries and not only a select few advanced economies, he writes

The Conversation shows us seven charts that help us see that the world has become a much better place compared to just a few decades ago.

It's worth looking at economist Max Roser's data on the same topic: “Newspapers could have had the headline ‘Number of people in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 since yesterday’ every day in the last 25 years,” he tweeted. 

This is important because our success in lifting people out of poverty gives us the social licence to keep asking for more resources to finish the job. It's working.

+ Brexit and a manufactured migrant crisis

At the end of last year, 86 people crossed the Channel to enter Britain in two weeks, which sparked a call from the MP for Dover for help. 

The British government declared the crossings a "major incident" and deployed navy warships to the waters. 

IRIN news reports that migrants' rights organisations cried foul.  "It’s a manufactured crisis,” said Bridget Chapman of Kent Refugee Action Network, a charity that works with unaccompanied asylum seekers. “The government is using it to harden attitudes to Brexit, playing into ideas of an invading army trying to get to our shores when what we’re talking about is a few bedraggled people in boats with hypothermia."

"In May, a UN special rapporteur said the referendum had contributed to an environment of increased intolerance and racial discrimination. Whatever the Brexit outcome, the changes coming, against a backdrop of polarised views over immigration, present new challenges for vulnerable migrants."
+ Stuff you might have missed in 2018


Economy Partnerships Aid