Archive for the ‘COMPASS 2015’ Category

The Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato Si’

September 17, 2015

Next week, world leaders at the UN will formally adopt 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, tackling inequality and taking action on climate change as part of wide-ranging commitments to sustainable development.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis released Laudato Si’, an encyclical on integral human development which adds to the Catholic Church’s body of teaching. Laudato Si’ is unique in its intention to influence international politics and the multilateral agreements they produce. As a major UN outcome, how do the SDGs meet the challenge set by Laudato Si’?


Setting the moral compass for the post-2015 framework

June 24, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the President of the UN General Assembly’s High Level Event on human rights and rule of law. I tried to reflect what we’ve learnt through the grassroots research carried out by Participate and the global participatory processes led by Beyond 2015 – ultimately, that people experiencing poverty and marginalisation want the opportunity to meaningfully shape the decisions that affect their lives.

Are the messages from these people in Uganda...

Are the messages from these people in Uganda…


The Chronic Poverty Report and post-2015: matching policy with people’s lives

March 19, 2014

Last week the ‘Chronic Poverty Report 2014-2015: The road to zero extreme poverty’ was launched. The report has an eye towards the post-2015 agenda and the global development framework that will follow the MDGs, suggesting a goal and targets to take extreme poverty to a minimum. I’m going to reflect on the Chronic Poverty Report (CPR) based on CAFOD’s participatory research how change happens in the lives of some of the poorest people in Bolivia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Philippines.


What’s missing from the data revolution? People.

February 10, 2014

This blog was originally posted on the data revolution series:

I find the post-2015 data debate both fascinating and disappointing, failing as it does in one key area.

It’s ignoring power.  

The UN High Level Panel report on the post-2015 development agenda confirmed that the data revolution is high on the political agenda by including it as one of their five transformational shifts. Since then, the conversation has snowballed, with some heavy weights adding their support.

Will these participants from a ground level be heard in the data revolultion?

Will these participants from a ground level be heard in the data revolultion?


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

October 22, 2013


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.


The convergence debate: more than getting an efficient process

October 22, 2013


Since its inception, a key demand of the Beyond2015 campaign was that the process of defining a new framework for development to replace the MDGs would merge with the process of identifying a path to achieve sustainable development emerged from the RIO+20 summit. Apart from a few states, it seems very clear that the large majority agree that there should be a single process leading to one legitimate post-2015 development framework.


Does climate change matter to people living in poverty?

September 9, 2013
COMPASS research session in Bolivia

COMPASS research session in Bolivia

Based on what we learnt when we asked them, I would say “yes, definitely”. CAFOD’s recent research report ‘COMPASS 2015’ used a range of participatory methods to provide in-depth evidence on the priorities, challenges, visions and aspirations of poor or marginalised people. The participatory nature of the research empowers participants to articulate the messages they want policy-makers to hear.

HIV and MDGs: evidence from the ground

August 30, 2013


Georgia Burford, HIV Strategy Manager, CAFOD

Progress on HIV since the MDGs has been remarkable, including the development of antiretroviral drugs, around 10 million people living with HIV now on lifesaving treatment and numbers of new infections halving within the last decade in 25 low to middle income countries. There has even been mention that we are nearing the end of AIDS. This progress has been down to the fact that HIV was given such high profile in the MDGs, with MDG 6 focussing specifically on this.

MDG 6:  Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Target A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS

Target B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to treatment for HIV and AIDS for all those who need it

Despite the magnificent gains made since 2000, MDG 6 targets are far from being met, much remains to be done. There is lifesaving treatment, which is reaching about a quarter of people living with HIV, and where people are supported to adhere to this, they can go on to live a long and healthy life. Yet, there are many challenges that still exist and in some countries fragile gains are being reversed.

The Compass 2015 Research project identifies HIV being a cause and effect of poverty and inequality. A woman in Zimbabwe explained the costs incurred in order to seek treatment through transport, purchasing medication and food required for a balanced diet to ensure the medication works.

In the case of HIV, there are often many intersecting factors making people living with and affected by HIV affected by poverty and injustice. The most significant of these being stigma and discrimination which exacerbates the injustices faced by people living and affected by HIV. The report gives an example where someone’s produce was not bought in the market because they were known to be living with HIV and with another beneficiary in Ethiopia their house was burned down by neighbours after discovering they were living with HIV. Such stigma and discrimination further marginalises people with HIV, and when this is combined with gender inequalities, gender based violence, lack of education and health services, migration and conflict, it is possible to see why HIV is common amongst the communities where CAFOD works.

One of the main findings in the Compass report is that changes in social norms, attitudes, policies and practices is the first step in addressing stigma and social exclusion.  We must be mindful that whilst government attempts to address this in legislation and policies, this may not be conducive in practice.

We are not sure of what the post MDG goals will be, but we do know that HIV will not be one of them. It looks likely that HIV will be covered in a wider health goal. I would like to see more emphasis on vulnerable groups whose voices are not heard, be it gender, age, disability, or HIV status, such groups must be meaningfully involved and supported to participate in their communities, gain positions of power and are protected in whatever interventions are taking place.

Wherever HIV is located in the post MDG Framework, it is critical that the fragile gains made are safeguarded and that resourcing is maintained in order to make continual progress in addressing the HIV epidemic. More people than ever are now living with HIV, more demands are being made on service providers, more support is needed in addressing stigma and discrimination which affects ability of people to seek treatment, care and support.

Which way does the compass point on accountability and transparency?

August 9, 2013

COMPASS 2015 Research Session in the Philippines

The debate is raging (in some circles) about what should come after the MDGs in 2015 but amongst all this discussion the voices of those who really matter – those experiencing poverty or marginalisation – are not always present. To try and address this CAFOD has just finished an in-depth research project exploring people’s experiences of poverty and exclusion over the past 15 years, as part of the wider Participate initiative with the same aim. The COMPASS 2015 research project explored people’s experience of poverty and exclusion over the last 15 years involving 1,420 participants in Zimbabwe, Uganda, the Philippines and Bolivia. A central issue that emerged was how development projects and services are delivered and who benefits. Concerns about how governments and other actors involved, such as INGOs, were accountable and the transparency of the process were high on people’s agendas.

Poor governance structures which lead to political patronage, corruption or the disproportionate favouring of those in more privileged positions affect the poorest and marginalised the most. Those are the people who rely most on services or development programmes and  cannot afford to find alternatives

But how to reverse these trends and ensure greater accountability from those who are delivering services? Amongst many possible measures are feedback mechanisms, the participation of communities, freedom of information and protection for those who speak out are important steps to build a better system.


Setting the post-2015 development compass

August 2, 2013

Last Tuesday, CAFOD launched its new report at the Commonwealth Foundation in London. The report presents the findings and implications of a uniquely participatory research grounded in CAFOD’s work with people who are marginalised or living in poverty. It addresses key issues in the post-2015 policy discussion. 1,420 people in 56 poor communities across Bolivia, Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe participated.


CAFOD lead post-MDG policy analyst, Ms. Neva Frecheville, and lead Ugandan community researcher, Mr. Ben Boham Okiror, presented the research. Ms. Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden and member of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda commented the report. Mr. Paul Ladd from UNDP also presented his observations, with astute analysis of the political process (and pitfalls!) ahead. The event was chaired by Mr Vijay Krishnarayan, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation and co-organised by the Foundation, CAFOD and Participate.