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Who Represents Whom? A Conversation on Decolonizing Humanitarian Governance

The Black Lives Matter movement, #AidToo, and the failure to support locally-led responses during COVID-19 have spotlighted power imbalances in the humanitarian sector. Whether between large NGOs and local organizations, or crisis-affected populations, there are limited ways for people to participate in decisions that affect them, particularly those on the frontline.

A girl points at a blackboard covered in writing. Photo by Chau Doan / World Bank

Five Ways That Education Systems Can Support Girls in the Face of Climate Change, Today

In an accompanying blog we argue that girls’ education is unlikely to reduce future emissions, and that we should not think of girls in low-income countries as ‘assets’ to solve a climate crisis. But there is a link between education and climate change—it’s just the other way around. Here are five ways in which climate events are negatively impacting young people, especially girls, and how education systems can help tackle them.

Students in a classroom in Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Fund Girls’ Education. Don’t Greenwash It.

You might think girls' education and climate change are quite different issues. But, with money for and political attention on climate change growing, savvy education donors and advocacy organisations are increasingly making links between the two. The UK’s FCDO, for instance, claims girls in poor countries are “among the greatest assets we have in responding to the climate crisis.” 

We argue this strategy is empirically and morally flawed. There is no need to greenwash education.

An image of an Indian woman wearing a mask.

Delivering Social Assistance during COVID with a “Digital-First” Approach: Lessons from India

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to exact a toll on lives and livelihoods in early 2020, countries imposed strict lockdowns to stem the spread of infections, disrupting economies and societies across the world. With pandemic-induced constraints on in-person interactions, many countries adopted a “digital first” approach to delivering social assistance, primarily cash transfers.

The U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office headquarters.

Why the UK Treasury’s Obsession with Targets Is Damaging for Development

After deciding that the UK can only afford to spend around £10 billion in aid, the Treasury is reportedly proposing further cuts in real aid spending solely to accommodate some unusual (but ODA-eligible) accounting items under the 0.5 percent target. These accounting items have no bearing on the affordability of, or expected benefits from, spending the initial £10 billion. In contrast to 2005, it seems the Treasury is about to let accounting anomalies dictate real-world decisions, and as a result, worthwhile programmes risk being cut for no other reason than to keep ODA constant as a percentage of GNI. There is no economic rationale for this, “difficult fiscal circumstances'' or otherwise

USAID Administrator Samantha Power speaks at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Power Play: USAID's Administrator Makes the Case for Global Engagement, More Focus on Effectiveness

USAID Administrator Samantha Power appeared before House and Senate authorizing committees late last week to discuss the agency’s FY22 budget. It wasn’t surprising to hear Administrator Power make a case for strong US global engagement—including robust aid investments and continued commitment to humanitarian response. But she also demonstrated—in a number of important ways—a clear-eyed focus on development effectiveness. Below we highlight several issues we were glad to see receive attention.  

A group of women smile outside a health center in Lanier, Senegal

Gender Data Systems: Better Data for All

Earlier this month, nearly 50,000 people from civil society organizations, governments, and corporations convened in Paris for the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce bold commitments to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment across the globe. This mostly virtual forum culminated in the launch of a global 5-year action journey to accelerate gender equality by 2026 backed, for the first time ever, by significant financial resources. Forty billion dollars in new funding were committed over five years -- $23 billion by the public sector, $13 billion by the private sector, $4 billion by philanthropic organizations and $1.3 billion by UN entities. Now begins the hard work of spending these resources wisely and the even harder work of tracking expenditures and measuring their impact on the lives of women and girls everywhere.

International flags

Financing Pandemic Preparedness and Response: the Role of Germany and the US

In light of this current global health challenge, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) have launched a series of events to strengthen the understanding and ties between German and US policy makers, experts, and civil society organizations. The first private rountable, “Financing Pandemic Preparedness and Response – the role of Germany and the US”, was held on July 9th 2021 under the Chatham House Rule. This blog highlights some of the main discussion points and outlines areas of cooperation.

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