Author Archive

From Identifying a problem to Implementing a Solution: Putting the Charter4Change Commitment to Stop Undermining National Capacity into Practice

April 25, 2017

Written by Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy, CAFOD

A couple of years ago when a small group of INGOs were discussing with several National NGO directors what INGOs should do differently in order to ensure more localized humanitarian response there were 3 things the national NGO leaders were adamant about:  one was communications:  asking us to commit to change the way we communicated about our work with our supporters and the public to ensure that we didn’t ignore their central role in humanitarian response;  secondly  and subsequently very well trailed through WHS and the Grand Bargain, ensuring that more funding went directly to national NGOs;  and thirdly addressing the way INGOs undermine national NGO capacity by recruiting their staff in the immediate aftermath of a sudden on-set emergency or during the first 6 months of a conflict.

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Women, leadership and localisation: Reflections to mark International Women’s Day 2017

March 8, 2017

Written by Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy at CAFOD.

For a good chunk of the last couple of years I have been focusing my attention on localisation: the policy and practice shifts in the global humanitarian system needed to truly place national and local responders at the heart of humanitarian action. I have also been reflecting on how change happens, and listened with interest to some of the debates and reflections at the recent ALNAP conference on innovation, and read Duncan Green of Oxfam’s insightful book How Change Happens.

But to mark International Women’s Day 2017 I want to move beyond all that theoretical stuff and pay tribute to 3 amazing and courageous women who I think have done more than most to shift the dial on localisation. Each of these women have used creativity and ingenuity, they have challenged the status quo, stood up for what they believed in and have taken considerable risks in taking bold decisions aimed at making localisation happen.

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How the SDGs and the Church can help the fight against human trafficking

November 9, 2016

Written by Dadirai Chikwengo, who is a CAFOD partner and an advocacy coordinator for Caritas Internationalis

The Catholic Church has recently been demonstrating the leading role it is playing in the fight against trafficking. In October, Pope Francis met participants at an international conference on combating human trafficking. Later in the same week, young people from around the world were invited to provide solutions to the scourge of human trafficking at a joint Holy See-UN initiative focused on how young people can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The event was also a nod to the role that the SDGs and faith groups such as the Catholic Church have in the fight against human trafficking.

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How the SDGs aim to tackle trafficking

The SDGs provide a key tool to tackle trafficking. Five of the 17 goals refer to the issue: a recognition of poverty’s role in creating a supply chain of human beings. The framework’s focus on ending poverty provides an opportunity to stymie this chain.

Learn about CAFOD’s work on the Sustainable Development Goals

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How the Charter4Change is strengthening national and local humanitarian organisations

August 18, 2016
CAFOD partners delivering aid in the Philippines

CAFOD partners delivering aid in the Philippines

By Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy at CAFOD.

 

In June of this year the Start Network officially endorsed the Charter4Change, an initiative signed up to by 29 INGOs, including nine Start members. The Charter4Change is an exciting step towards which aims to make a reality the recent World Humanitarian Summit’s aspirations to strengthen the role of national and local organisations in humanitarian preparedness and response work.

The Charter is a series of eight commitments – also endorsed by more than 125 national/southern based organisations – which pledges its signatories to change the way they work with and relate to national actors. This includes passing 20% of humanitarian funds directly to national actors, including our partners in project design and decision making, introducing our partners directly to our funders and ensuring that we highlight their work and role in our communications.

How working with government can help to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals

August 8, 2016
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Edward John-Bull, Director of Caritas Sierra Leone

Edward John-Bull is Director of CAFOD partner Caritas Sierra Leone which has led on the creation of a coalition supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He attended the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development with the government of Sierra Leone, which presented its SDG implementation strategy for review at the meeting.

As the first major UN conversation since the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed in September 2015 wrapped up in New York, it may have come as a surprise that a country left in a fragile state by the wreckage of civil war and Ebola would be amongst the first to volunteer its plans for implementation to scrutiny – like a footballer with a broken leg putting themselves forward to take a penalty.

Yet Sierra Leone is one of only 22 countries to have presented their strategy for the delivery of the goals for review at the meeting. A coalition representing private, NGO and government sectors is working to take advantage of Sierra Leone’s willingness to act as a guinea pig and ensure that the country ‘walks the talk’ on the SDGs.

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Read CAFOD’s Sustainable Development Goals FAQs

Caritas Sierra Leone, with the support of CAFOD, created the Sierra Leone Coalition 2030 in January. This has provided one strong voice for civil society organisations to influence the government in designing, monitoring and following-up on the implementation of the SDGs. We have three key activities: to ensure that the voices of people who have been left behind are heard; to educate people about the SDGs; and to work closely with the government as an instrument of accountability.

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World Humanitarian Summit: CAFOD analysis of outcomes and next steps

May 26, 2016

By Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy at CAFOD

Earlier this week, the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit took place in Istanbul. Representatives from the across the aid sector – donors, UN agencies, the Red Cross, NGOs, private sector, academics and high-profile aid bodies – were all in attendance, alongside faith-based organisations including CAFOD and other Caritas agencies.

One of the real positive outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit was the success of the localisation agenda. This is something CAFOD have been working on for a number of years, advocating for local actors – who are first on the scene when there is a natural disaster or emergency – to receive a much greater share of worldwide humanitarian spending.

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How can investors support the Sustainable Development Goals?

March 22, 2016

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A guest blog by Jo Mountford, Responsible Investment Officer at ShareAction

The Sustainable Development Goals, ratified by 193 countries at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, lay out an undeniably ambitious plan for human development to be achieved by 2030. Although it was governments who signed up to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN recognises that it will be impossible to achieve these Goals without action by many stakeholders, working in partnership with each other. Of these stakeholders, the role of the private sector is vital. Many corporates have already begun making plans to contribute to the achievement of the Goals; indeed, some of them will rely on the strategies of major corporations. The achievement of Goal 8, for example (‘Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’) will require the private sector to create opportunities for employment, and making sure that their employees are well-treated and able to earn a decent living. (more…)

Too important to ignore

January 21, 2016

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The role of local actors in a Grand Bargain on Humanitarian Funding

By Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy

The recent launch of the report of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing was eagerly awaited by many of us working in the humanitarian sector. The report itself is excellent, engagingly written and jam packed with ideas and recommendations, although most of them, to be truthful, have been around in the policy community for a number of years, including a number we at CAFOD have been promoting (on the future of humanitarian funding and financing national NGOs) . Its focus on investment in preparedness, resilience, localisation of humanitarian aid and the need to listen to crisis affected populations are all welcome. But how to make them happen? What are the financial enablers in all this and where is the political will? (more…)

Changing the way we respond

August 27, 2015

Written by: Anne Street, Head of Humanitarian Policy

A CAFOD initiative to ReShape Humanitarian Aid

This year has been a year of Summits, from the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis last month to the upcoming Climate Conference in Paris later this year.

The World Humanitarian Summit will take place in May 2016 in Istanbul. Consultations have been held across the world to try to inform changes to the Humanitarian System.

The World Humanitarian Summit will take place in May 2016 in Istanbul. Consultations have been held across the world to try to inform changes to the Humanitarian System.

The Humanitarian Community is also preparing for our very own global conference, the World Humanitarian Summit, which will take place in Istanbul in May 2016. In preparation a host of regional consultations have been held across the World, engaging with those affected by and responding to the many disasters we have witnessed over the past decades.

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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.