Welcome to the new CID newsletter!

Posted on 08 May 2018

Welcome to the new CID newsletter!

We will now be sending you a weekly edition with the latest news in the sector, as well as links to useful tools, events and jobs.

Let us know what you think!
And on the subject of change.

The CID team has gone live!  Everyone is on board and excited about working with you.

Our team: 
Josie Pagani - Director
Nik Rilkoff - Humanitarian Coordination and Member Engagement
Aaron Davy - Code of Conduct & Standards Manager
Natalia Karacaoglu - Office Manager, Communications and Events
Glen Williams  - Financial Advisor
Joe Smale - Business Development (on contract)

And our wonderful interns:
Genie van Paassen
Eva Maffey
Lucy Chapman
Wael Aldroubi
+ How do we know we’re making a difference? 

To shamelessly paraphrase Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote in 1789 about the predictability of death and taxes, 'There’s nothing certain in the life of a development practitioner than death and an endless debate on how to measure outcomes.’ 
Donors need to acknowledge the challenges nonprofits face in reporting succinct and compelling outcomes, and to avoid celebrating simplistic claims, writes Peter Fortenbaugh, Executive Director of a US-based NGO. “When people ask me 'So you’ve been doing this for 15 years. What is your impact?' I wish I had a crisp, punchline response.”  
His tips for capturing impact  - create a learning culture where staff crave impact data; show impact through stories; focus on execution; survey stakeholders regularly; be transparent (which means highlight failure too); and invest in evaluation.
+  Also for more useful tips on measuring impact have a look at the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) set up by a group of New Zealand social services.
+  Here’s a podcast with slides from two of the big names in evaluation in results: Mark Cabaj and Michael Quinn Patton (it’s an hour long, so sit back and relax). Here’s more of their written resources on evaluation too. 

+ Self-regulating or mandatory?
Since reports of sexual abuse scandals, the humanitarian sector has been rocked. Do we have the proper oversights, good vetting processes? Are our standards as professional as they can be? How do we reassure the public? New Zealand international NGOs have the CID Code of Conduct and most are either signed up or on their way to signing up.

But we need to keep improving. IRIN’s Ben Parker analyses the challenges. Do we need an independent authority for an oversight - an ombudsman? Should standards be mandatory or self-regulating? Denmark, for example, makes independent Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) verification or certification a requirement for its strategic partners.  But designing a unified system of standards and regulations that works across borders is challenging.  

+ The upcoming visit to New Zealand of the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) - the body that audits compliance with the CHS, is a good chance to look at the suites of tools and approaches available.  Please let Nik know, by 10 May, if you would like to participate in a meeting with them on Thursday 24 May in Wellington.

+ UN's New tool for recruitment post abuse reports 
Work is being done by the United Nations on a screening system to prevent former employees guilty of sexual misconduct from finding new jobs with its agencies.  "The tool will be an electronic registry of information to be available across the UN's vast international reach and eventually to other groups," said Jan Beagle, UN under-secretary-general for management.

The hope is this tool might be extended to cover other forms of workplace harrassment in the future.  UN agencies also discussed setting up 24-hour help lines for workers, agreed on a common definition of harassment and to hire more specialised investigators, preferably women, to speed up probes.

+ Understanding the fallout from the Iran deal

The Brookings Institute looks at the consequences of the deal falling over and how it might be saved. President Trump will decide tomorrow, whether to walk away from the 2015 nuclear agreement. The fate of the Iran deal rests with 'a three-ringed circus including Europe, the US and Israel – and Trump is loving the role of ringmaster as he keeps the world waiting', argues the Brookings Institute.

+ In two new videos, Suzanne Maloney and Thomas Wright break down the consequences of the President’s decision for the United States and its European partners.

+ What does this mean for Syria? Withdrawing from the deal could destabilise the region, argues Isaac Chotiner from Slate magazine. Europe gets pitted against the US, China against Russia in the region; the proxy wars continue; the risk of Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Syria is much higher than Iran-Saudi direct confrontations; and vulnerable citizens continue to bear the brunt of the violence.

+ Former nuclear negotiator Robert Einhorn explains how the documents that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu presented to justify why the deal should be scrapped, could ironically help save it.

+ The risk of war if the US withdraws.

+ The pros and cons of the original Obama deal from the Atlantic.

+ Chinese aid is here to stay  

The Pacific Reset means making the most of what New Zealand has as a donor in the region that no-one else can offer; we’re family. We have as many Samoans living in New Zealand as Samoa, more Cook Islanders here than in the Cooks, and so on. Our Diaspora groups are leaders in New Zealand and in their Pacific homes, and the definition of a reset relationship sits with them.
But Pacific leaders have been at pains to defend China as a legitimate development partner in the region, writes the Lowy Institute (including Massey University's Anna Powles). China is the third largest donor in the region and it's here to stay.
The call has gone out for development partners in the region, including China, to collaborate. It’s what the Pacific wants. The Lowy article highlights how to collaborate more on development, emergency responses and transnational crime prevention.

+ EU gives $30m to help Vanuatu post Cyclone Pam 

The goal is to support a strong climate-change resistant agricultural industry with financeto strengthen value chains, especially in coconut, beef, fruits and vegetables. The EU sees this as the most strategic way for Vanuatu's economy to grow.

+ Following volcanic activity on Ambae in Vanuatu October 2017, the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) together with the Vanuatu Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association (VDPA) and CBM New Zealand have published a summary report on needs identified by children and adults with disabilities during the evacuation.

+ Technology in humanitarian crises

Technology is being used to manage humanitarian crises, but data infringements make this a risky undertaking.  Technological innovations do not easily translate into ethical advances, however aid agencies are working on showing that technology can be fused with ethical ideas to move towards a more flexible and human-centred emergency relief system. 

Biometrics is the measurement of human characteristics through technology such as iris scanning, facial recognition and fingerprint scanning. A report commissioned by Oxfamlooks at the external context around use of biometric technology in the humanitarian sector, considers the benefits and potential harm, and goes on to outline cases where the use of biometrics could be helpful.


Pacific Islands