Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Post-2015: how many goals is too many?

July 31, 2014

When Moses came down the mountain, he had ten commandments. Unfortunately, there is no such clarity within the post-2015 process on how many goals are the right number for a new global development framework.

Charlton Heston as Moses

Charlton Heston as Moses

The MDGs had 8. Although few people apart from real development policy wonks can remember every goal, the international community is now trying to reach consensus on what the upper limit is for a framework that is both concise and communicable. Is it 10 or 12? Could it even be 17?

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Low carbon credit where low carbon credit is due

July 24, 2014

By Rob Elsworth, Climate and Energy Analyst, CAFOD

The Government has announced that the UK’s fourth carbon budget will not be revised. This means that the legally binding target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2023-2027 against 1990 levels will be required.

The Government has made the right decision, for which they should be commended.

From a CAFOD perspective, the Government’s decision sends a hugely important message of encouragement to governments and civil society around the world about shifting towards more sustainable development. CAFOD’s work with partners on moving towards a more sustainable future is strengthened tremendously by the UK’s own commitment to a low carbon future.

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Is access to justice for poor communities really so risky for British business interests?

April 8, 2014

justiceimagesIn 2011 and 2012 the UK Government submitted official briefings to the US Supreme Court in relation to two high profile legal cases alleging corporate involvement in grave human rights abuses in the Niger Delta and Papua New Guinea.

These briefings questioned the right of the affected communities to use the US Courts to bring cases against Shell and Rio Tinto respectively. On 7 April the Guardian reported on the backstory to this decision, including the links between Shell and Rio Tinto and the Foreign Office’s official intervention in relation to these US Court cases.

The article is based on documents drawn from the CORE corporate responsibility coalition’s freedom of information requests. http://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/fs50487115_croser_kiobel_-_full_documents_following_ico_decision.pdf

They raise key questions about how and why the Government chose to prioritize what it saw as business interests in the Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum & Shell case.  (more…)

COMPASS 2015: a faith perspective

March 12, 2014

CAFOD’s participatory research project, COMPASS 2015, engages with the perspectives of poor and marginalised people and communities as a resource for formulating development policy after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. The research involved 1,420 participants from 56 different communities in four countries – Philippines, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Bolivia – and guides CAFOD’s policy priorities in the global debate.

But what does this mean from a Catholic perspective?

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Helping Developing Economies Grow: the UK Government Approach

March 10, 2014

By Geoffrey Chongo: Head of Programmes, Jesuit Centre for Theology Reflection

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The last week of February has been an eventful week for me. I have had a rare privilege of participating in a trade out of poverty event in Parliament, an event that was graced by the Minister of State for International Development, Mr. Alan Duncan. My role in the event was to give a Zambian perspective as a response to the UK’s new approach of supporting developing countries’ economic development agenda.

The UK’s new focus on economic growth through private sector development is welcome. Like they have rightly put it, economic growth is an important means of raising people’s incomes and reducing poverty in the developing world – it creates jobs and opportunities for poor people to support their families and build more stable futures. However, I hasten to say that from my experience, the manner of this growth will determine whether it will raise incomes and reduce poverty in an equitable way. Growth alone is not sufficient to reduce poverty unless it is guided so that it is inclusive. Otherwise it creates other concerns like income inequality.

UK Government should therefore ensure that the growth it supports is inclusive by way of including small businesses, where most poor people work, in its growth approach. Small businesses should be consulted on the support that the UK Government intends to give to private sector development so as to incorporate their needs.

It is also important to note that small businesses in developing countries particularly Zambia have developed entrepreneurial mindsets and thus any support given to them is not likely to be treated as aid simply for consumption but for applying in their small businesses. Reflecting on the blog comments on the article that we wrote on how to achieve pro-poor economic development it is evident that the role of small businesses in equitable economic development cannot be ignored. Small businesses’ challenges need to be addressed if they have to be helped out of poverty.

It was interesting to see Government agreeing to an open discussion on a very important government policy. It is my hope that CAFOD will continue to work in this area to effectively influence government policies as they relate to the poor.

What 2014 might bring for 2015 and beyond

January 30, 2014

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The New Year brings new plans for the way forward, which will hopefully lead to a post-2015 development framework being agreed in September 2015.

At the 7th Open Working Group (OWG) session on SDGs in January, the co-chairs suggested a process forward which you can also find outlined in their letter from 17 January. It will be discussed and probably even agreed in an additional meeting on 4 February. Here a little overview of the suggested next steps:

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Trademark Southern Africa – what could be done differently?

December 18, 2013

Paul Spray

 

By Paul Spray (Traidcraft) with inputs from Sarah Montgomery (CAFOD)

Paul is the Director of Policy and Programmes at Traidcraft. CAFOD and Traidcraft have been working together for a number of years on the aid for trade and small business agenda (see the footnotes below). It is great to welcome Paul as a guest

This month, DFID for the first time cancelled a programme as a result of a review by the government’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). It was a flagship programme called Trademark Southern Africa, whose purpose was “to improve southern Africa’s trade performance and competitiveness for the benefit of poor women and men”.

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Thinking small… who, me?

November 13, 2013

In February this year I walked into our Freetown office, in Sierra Leone, and was greeted with “Think Small! You’re here! Welcome!” – who needs a name when one has a project so closely associated with you? (more…)

Private Sector and development at the World Bank

November 1, 2013

Written by Tina Chang with inputs from Anne Lindsay and Sarah Montgomery

“Engaging the private sector is not about how we feel about business; it’s about how high our aspirations are for poor people. If we rely only upon foreign aid, then our aspirations are far too low.” (Jim Yong Kim)

President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim made the above statement in a recent Oxfam blog. Similar statements were made at this year’s annual meetings in Washington and the Bank is increasingly seeing a central role for the private sector in the fight against extreme poverty.

It may be stating the obvious to say that the impacts of the private sector on development are as diverse as the private sector itself but it does bear repeating. Ultimately this understanding is important for unlocking the (we would agree with Dr Kim) significant role of the private sector in development.

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Do we need the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for post-2015?

October 22, 2013

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It was very exciting to witness the shift in the understanding of poverty of many governments, who have adopted a more multidimensional measurement of poverty. The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), led by Sabina Akire, can claim the great achievement of having pushed over 20 countries to either adopt or experiment with new ways of measuring poverty. The OPHI played a key role in changing the conceptualisation of poverty amongst policymakers.

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