Without education, who will bring peace?

With world attention focused on the plight of Syria’s refugees, Callum Northcote looks at education outcomes from the Syrian donor conference and the importance of sustained education spending.

‘Without education, who will bring peace?’ This pertinent question posed by Mezon al-Melihan, a 17-year-old Syrian refugee, at last week’s Syria Donor Conference offers the clearest summary for the importance of education spending.

The Conference brought together world leaders to raise the money needed to help the millions of people affected by the conflict in Syria. Co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the UN, donors from around the world pledged over US$10 billion in assistance. We have all seen the harrowing images of the various effects of this conflict. This support it vitally needed.

But what does this new assistance mean in terms of education? Participants agreed there would not be a lost generation of children due to the crisis. The co-hosts committed that by the end of the 2016-17 school year all refugee and vulnerable children in host communities, a staggering 1.7 million children, will be in quality education. Furthermore, equal access for girls and boys has been put at the heart of this commitment. It was noted, however, that US$1.4 billion a year is needed to meet this commitment as well as the commitment to increase access to education for the 2.1 million children out of school inside Syria.

The good news is that by co-hosting this summit the UK has shown decisive leadership on one of the most challenging humanitarian crisis to grip the world. As one of the biggest bi-lateral donors the UK’s pledge of anSDG_4 extra £1.2 billion will see the UK’s total investment reach more than £2.3 billion.

Yet, we cannot assume the job is done. All children, no matter where they are born or live deserve the right to access quality education. The Syrian crisis is a stark reminder of the devastation possible but access to education is an issue in countries across the world. 124 million children and adolescents are out school globally.

Education must be firmly placed on the agenda of all humanitarian and development spending. It is woefully underfunded receiving around 2% of humanitarian spending. At current levels of development spending it will be around 100 years until universal education for sub-Saharan Africa at primary and secondary levels is achieved.

Education is crucial for long-term sustainable development. Without an educated population economic prosperity dwindles, innovation suffers and societies become more dependent on further aid rather than being in the position to bring themselves out of poverty. A holistic approach, incorporating governments, civil society, donors, teachers organisations and student organisations is the only way that tangible progress can be made.

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the key multilateral for education spending. They support 61 developing countries and work to make sure that children can access a quality education, with the vulnerable and poorest not left behind. At their last replenishment in 2014 US$2.1 billion was pledged out of a target US$3.5 billion – just 60%. Next year there will be a further replenishment. If we’re serious about re
aching SDG4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – then there must be ambitious financial pledges from donor countries.

Mezon al-Melihan is right. Without education, who will bring peace? And the questions continue; without education who will become health workers? Who will create economic opportunities? Who will advocate for the needs of their society? Who will develop government policies? The spotlight on education should not be allowed to dim, we must continue to focus our efforts and advocate for education for all.

 

February Conference Call Now Available- Let’s push for a strong Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

A recording of this month’s conference call is now available to download.

On this month’s call we were joined by Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership. Lucica spoke about the growing burden of tuberculosis and the importance of a bold pledge from the UK Government to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria at the fund’s replenishment conference this autumn.

To find out more about what she had to say, have a listen to the recording below:

For more information about this months action or the different ways you can get involved, please drop Emily an email at emily.cabon@results.org.uk.

Guest blog: Every Last Child screening in Norwich

This guest blog comes from Paul McConnell from our Norwich group who will be hosting a screening of ‘Every Last Child’ and panel event on Saturday 6th February. 

“Just after I spoke to Abi we sat down outside the bank. I sat alone. A man made his way toward me. Like others I had seen he could not walk. His legs were no more than bones and he moved himself around with hands. Wearing sandals on his hands. He was the picture of hopeless destitution. He spoke to me in Swahili. I repeatedly told him I did not understand ‘Sielewi, sizungumzi swahili.”’

This is an excerpt from a diary I kept while volunteering for an NGO in Kigoma, Tanzania. It was the first time I was confronted with absolute poverty and it’s seared into my memory. I remember the internal struggle in my mind was whether to give money or not as I’d been told by trainers that it perpetuates power structures, or maladaptive behaviour patterns or something rooted in an analytical assessment. In that agonising moment, the thought seemed a heartless intrusion. “Am I to be one more person who ignored this broken and lonely soul on his sad path to starvation?” I wrote “I don’t see the difference between him and I, it is nothing more than the luck that shapes our chance at life.” In the end I compromised, leaving to later return and awkwardly hand him a bunch of bananas.

Anxiety over whether it was right to give or not has long past, but as I prepare to host a screening of Every Last Child on the fight to end polio in Pakistan – one of the final and most challenging battlegrounds on the road to global eradication – the image is as lucid as ever.  Indeed, especially as what I had mistakenly thought of as a symptom of starvation in his skeletal legs was undoubtedly the textbook crippling legacy of childhood polio.

I must say emphatically that it would be deeply unfair to give the impression that this was the lasting image of Tanzania to me, it is quite the opposite. Somewhere in my unconscious assumptions I had been expecting to encounter in Tanzania an environment filled with the desperate and wailing poor. Instead, of course, I found bustling towns full of life and a culture of vibrancy, colour, entrepreneurship and, most memorably, positivity.

So if you want a representative image of those our development aid assists, banish the image of the helpless beggar, and instead look to Every Last Child’s Gulnaz Shesazi who, despite seeing her niece and sister-in-law gunned down for their work on a door-to-door vaccination drive, continues as a polio activist, facing down the omnipresent threat of violence with inspiring courage and determination.

Tomorrow ( Saturday 6th February) we will be holding a screening of Every Last Child at 10.30am at The Auditorium, in the Forum, Norwich. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Samir Dervisevic, Head of Microbiology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a representative from Rotary international, who will discuss Rotary’s polio eradication work in India and Jim Calverley from RESULTS. If you live in Norwich, we would love to see you there.

 

Is positive discrimination the best solution to an unequal society?

By Lucy Drescher, Head of Parliamentary Advocacy

Last week I took part in a debate in the Oxford Union.  Not having been at Oxford University myself, this was a pretty amazing experience.  Drinks, dinner, photos and finally the debate…  We entered a packed chamber, surrounded by busts of past debaters, such as Gladstone, Roy Jenkins, Michael Heseltine and Edward Heath.

The motion was ‘This house believes positive discrimination is the best solution to an unequal society’ and I was on the side speaking for the motion.  Both sides of the debate were introduced by students who began the focus on getting into Oxford University, which was to be a feature of the debate to follow.  They both touched on gender and race issues and also social background.  It was then my turn to speak.

 I was asked to speak about disability and was a lone voice on this group.  I talked about the how disabled people were half as likely to be in employment in the UK as non-disabled people, saying that prejudice, lack of funding and lack of role models were amongst the reasons why this was the situation. Paul Maynard MP, who has cerebral palsy, said in parliamentary debate how shocked he’d been by the prejudice he’d experienced in the workplace and I was able to quote him directly.   In Kenya legislation requires 5% of all jobs in both the public and private sectors to be filled by disabled people and I suggested that maybe this could be applied in the UK.

I was followed by the most controversial speaker of the night, Katie Hopkins, who perhaps needs no introduction as a writer for the Mail Online and has been a contestant on both the Apprentice and Big Brother.  She suggested that there is nothing wrong with an unequal society and that people not born into privilege just needed to ‘suck it up’!  This immediately prompted many lively interventions from the floor and many laughs as she chose who could interrupt her.

There was then a break in the speakers to allow time for floor speeches.  There was more than one American speaker who spoke about ‘affirmative action’, the American term for positive discrimination and its pros and cons.

The final summing up speeches on either side of the debate were then made by two other external speakers.  Kate Kinninmont is the Chief Executive for Women in Film and TV, in addition to being a TV producer.  She spoke for the motion and talked about how the number of women MPs has grown enormously in recent years, largely because of all-women shortlists. There were complaints that this would bring in a lot of mediocre women.  But the fact is that it’s brought in many good ones. And as Clare Short said: “We’ll know we’ve achieved true equality when we have as many mediocre women as we have mediocre men in this House!”.  She also talked about how in 2011 a woman called Anna Serner became boss of the Swedish Film Institute and made a decision to divide the funding 50/50 between men and women, shocking everyone (it had previously been ¾ men ¼ women).  At the year’s film awards 2/3 of the awards were won by women, proving the good work women could do given a chance.

Kate was followed by Sunny Hundal, a journalist and lecturer who writes for the Guardian.  He spoke about how white men benefit from positive discrimination already, which was helpful to our side of the discussion!

Once the debate was over the audience was asked to vote on the motion by walking through either one door (the Ayes) or another (the Nos).  Unfortunately my side was not successful in convincing the students to agree with positive discrimination and the vote went against us.  However, it was an interesting discussion that really got the students engaged and it was great to have the opportunity to ensure disability was included.

 

RESULTS is expanding its campaigns team!

At RESULTS, we seek to make change in the world through utilising a combination of grassroots advocacy, parliamentary advocacy, and policy advocacy, to create the public and political will needed to end poverty.

Our network of grassroots campaigners around the UK play a hugely important role in gaining cross-party support for the issues we care about: access to health, education and economic opportunity for all. This year, we hope to strengthen our support for our network of active campaign groups, in a particularly exciting year for campaigning on these issues. So we are recruiting two new roles to help deliver successful grassroots campaigns in 2016: For a replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; for a successful Nutrition conference in August; and for the UK to strongly support climate risk insurance programmes that focus on protecting the most vulnerable communities.

Know anyone who might be looking for an exciting role in international development campaigning? We are recruiting a Campaigns Officer and Campaign Coordinator to join our small, friendly team. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please head over to http://www.results.org.uk/jobs

Climate change is “biggest global risk”, but our humanitarian response is “too important to fail”: two major new reports

By Catherine Blampied, Policy Advocacy Officer

Every year, as thousands of business and political leaders prepare to descend on the mountain resort of Davos in Switzerland to attempt to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Risks Report. The annual report highlights the most significant threats to the world’s economy and society, and how they could evolve and interact with each other over the next decade. In the 2016 Report, almost 750 experts assessed 29 separate risks in terms of both their impact and likelihood.

These experts deemed failure to tackle climate change through mitigation and adaptation as the single biggest risk in terms of its potential impact over the next decade. This is the first time since the report was published 10 years ago that an environmental risk has topped the ranking.

WEF risks chat

 

One of the reasons for this huge potential impact is the multiple and profound interlinkages between climate change and other risks, such as water crises, food insecurity, the spread of infectious diseases, mass forced migration, unemployment, and even fundamental economic, social and political instability.

WEF risks interconnectedness

Commenting on the Global Risks Report, Cecilia Reyes, Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Insurance Group, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks. Meanwhile… political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political co-operation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”

It’s little wonder that insurance companies are taking a keen interest in combatting the growing threat of climate change. As highlighted by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, the insurance industry is heavily exposed to climate risks, facing an estimated £33 billion per year in extreme weather-related losses. He warned that climate change will lead to financial crises and falling living standards unless the world’s leading countries take much more action. In the run-up to the Paris Climate Summit, voices from the insurance industry were among those calling for the need for a strong agreement in Paris to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees.

At the same time, insurance can provide one key solution for building communities build their resilience to climate shocks, including amongst the poorest people across the developing world – a point made in a second major report launched this week, Too Important to Fail by the UN High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing.

Ethiopia drought 2011 UNICEF

Drought in Ethiopia; Photo: UNICEF

In 2014, 53,000 people per day were forced from their homes by natural disasters, 90% of which were due to weather-related events. The world today spends around $25 billion per year on humanitarian assistance, including to help people affected by natural disasters and extreme weather. This amount is an astounding 12 times higher than it was in 2000, and yet never before has there been such a large remaining unmet need, estimated at $15 billion. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, we are living in an age of “mega crises”.

And so the High Level Panel’s report could not be clearer: the current global humanitarian system is “over-stretched and unable to respond adequately”. By 2030, climate change, among other factors, is predicted to continue to drive up the costs of humanitarian response to well over $50 billion a year.

We do not only need more money in the humanitarian system to plug that gap, we need to change how we do things – moving from reactive response to preemptive preparedness and resilience-building; integrating our humanitarian and sustainable development interventions more coherently; and bringing in new actors – including the private sector – through new financing models and innovative partnerships. Initiatives like the G7’s ‘InsuResilience’, which promote the use of climate risk insurance to protect vulnerable people, could help tick all three boxes.

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan 2013 European Commission

Destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines; Photo: European Commission

As highlighted in the High Level Panel’s report, “The insurance industry is waking up to the opportunities for bringing its risk financing products to least developed countries. Demand is growing rapidly…” The report argues that in the event of natural disasters, sovereign risk financing can help governments develop financial resilience, agricultural insurance can help to protect the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists, and social protection programmes should be adaptable. It points out that, if they are well-designed, insurance programmes can act as an incentive of risk awareness, prevention and mitigation, as well as just risk transfer. Drawing attention to regional initiatives such as the African Risk Capacity and the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, the report recommends that risk financing mechanisms such as insurance be replicated across disaster-prone countries, to avoid relying so heavily on relief efforts that only kick in well after disasters happen.

Taken together, these two reports tell a compelling story: climate change is the biggest risk to the world today and we need to get smarter about building resilience to extreme weather and natural disasters. Climate-related insurance and other innovative types of risk financing are far from a silver bullet but they can offer one important tool for the global humanitarian community as it comes to terms with this challenge.

January conference call recording is now available!

In 2016, we will be campaigning on three important issues on which grassroots advocacy can have real impact, and which will potentially affect the lives of millions of people: TB; nutrition; and climate risk insurance. On this month’s conference call, we introduced these new campaigns to campaigners to help you plan your activities for the year. We also set you the challenge of bringing new people in to join and strengthen our movement. With more of us reaching more decision-makers, we can have even more impact!
Take a listen to the recording below and find out more:
If you have any questions about any of the campaigns discussed, or about joining a grassroots group near you, please let Emily know on emily.cabon@results.org.uk.

 

Did the Paris Climate Summit Deliver on Climate Risk Insurance? #COP21 Part 3 – Guest Blog

Guest blog by Dr Koko Warner, Laura Schäfer and Michael Zissener of the Munich Climate Insurance InitiativeThis is part 3 of a three-part blog series that we’ll publish before, during and after the Paris climate conference COP21: check out part 1 and part 2.

Last month in Paris, after years of intense negotiations and amid jubilant celebrations, we witnessed 195 governments successfully create a historic international agreement Paris-Agreement-Adoptedto tackle climate change. While the Paris Agreement is not perfect, and everyone is clear that the real work will lie in actually implementing the agreement and continually increasing its level of ambition, it marks an undeniable turning point in the world’s response to the growing threat of climate change. As well as the overall success of the agreement, COP21 saw a significant, tangible milestone in delivering on climate risk insurance specifically.

This marks a defining moment for us at the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII). MCII is a partnership between some of the world’s largest insurers, academic think-tanks, NGOs and adaptation and insurance practitioners. Among other projects, we provide technical and advisory input to the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance (which you can read more about in parts 1 and 2 of the blog series, and see more below). For 10 years we have been working to advance insurance solutions for the world’s most vulnerable communities, and over the years we have participated in numerous COP climate summits, pushing for a strong outcome and making the case for climate risk insurance for poor and vulnerable people.

2015 signalled progress on climate risk insurance in three key parts of the Paris Package:

1. The “PWFP FoodSecurearis Agreement” itself, the core legally-binding part of the deal, for the first time introduced Loss and Damage as a ‘third pillar’ of international climate policy through a standalone article, alongside mitigation (preventing further dangerous climate change) and adaptation (adjusting to climate impacts). This sends a signal that vulnerable countries will not be left alone with the consequences of climate change. This is a significant milestone because in the lead-up to Paris, it was contested whether there would be a separate recognition of Loss and Damage.

Importantly, this article secures the future of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (whose current workplan runs out in 2016), and mandates governments to expand and strengthen it. It also specifically names “comprehensive risk assessment and management” and “risk insurance facilities, climate risk pooling and other insurance solutions” as two key areas in which governments should enhance their understanding and action.

2. The “Decision” – the non-legally binding part of the text, which sets out the action plan of the UNFCCC and governments, outlined the roadmap for work in coming years on comprehensive climate risk management and recognised insurance as an essential tool to address loss and damage. It requested the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage to “establish a clearinghouse for risk transfer that serves as a repository for information on insurance and risk transfer, in order to facilitate the efforts of Parties to develop and implement comprehensive risk management strategies”.

3. The G7 and partners presented a “Rapid Action Package” for the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance, as part of the “Lima Paris Action Agenda”. Together they committed to provide $420 million (around £285 million) towards the aim of boosting climate risk insurance coverage by 400 million vulnerable people by 2020. The Rapid Action Package presented at COP21 aims to cover the first 180 million people by 2016 towards the ultimate 2020 target, through increased support for several existing platforms, such as the African Risk Capacity, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, and the German government’s climate insurance fund.

So what’s our verdict? The Paris outcome demonstrates a shift to a new paradigm in the way governments approach climate risk management. Through the three critical components outlined above – the “Agreement”, the “Decision”, and the G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance – the stage is set for the next five years as we move towards implementing innovative insurance solutions for poor and vulnerable people in ways that increase resilience.

Australian DFAT photo

Photo: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

These solutions will only be successful if they tackle two difficult challenges: (1) they must benefit the poor, vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups who currently have negligible access to insurance coverage, and (2) they must re-think approaches, utilise new technologies and find ways to make insurance schemes affordable, including through premium support, but also sustainable for the long term. The yardstick of success between 2016 and 2020 – when the Paris Agreement comes into legal force – will be the development of credible plans for implementing risk management strategies and schemes that include insurance for vulnerable countries and people, and robust national plans that assess and map climate risks and incentivise risk reduction and transfer.

So as we applaud the successful Paris outcome, what we’re really looking forward to is the hard work of bringing it to life.

It’s all about the targets!

Back in August, RESULTS supporters were asked to contact local schools, asking them to take part in the World’s Largest Lesson to promote the new Global Goals. But as RESULTS staff members, have we ourselves got anything to learn about the global goals? Just because you work in an international development organisation that has been promoting the Goals all year, doesn’t mean you have nothing to learn about them. So led by Policy Officer Laura Kerr, we decided we would do what we’ve been asking others to, and have a collective lesson about the Goals and what they mean for our work.

So what did we learn?

We already knew that the Goals provide an ambitious framework which, if achieved, will see absolute poverty all but eradicated in a generation. But a couple of months since the Goals were agreed at the UN, and the dust and excitement has long since settled, and we hadn’t had time – or made time – to digest them, and, specifically, the 169 targets.

It’s all about the targets

Some of us learned about the relevance of the Global Goals to our subject specialisms for the first time, but that felt OK. Others already had some idea of what the Goals mean for policy areas such as nutrition and education. But what mattered was that we were talking about them together as a team, and thinking out how, in each area of RESULTS’ work, the targets under each Goal can be used to ensure that progress is being made. The very detailed policy and advocacy work that RESULTS is engaged in every day will, over time, give us the data we need to know if we are on track. And as of today, we feel a little bit more familiar with our yardstick.

Everything’s connected

Another lesson was about the interconnectedness of the Goals and targets. For example, issues relating to Climate Risk Insurance, like vulnerability to extreme weather events, access to adequate food and to financial services, and sustainable agriculture appear in Goals 1 (no poverty), 2 (no hunger) and 8 (decent work and economic growth), not only the climate goal (Goal 13). And education (Goal 4) is central to so many development outcomes, not least, the ability of people to participate in holding their own leaders to account for achieving the Goals.

We’ve a long way to go to reach the new targets

But we learned that there are real challenges to meet head on – and soon – if we are to stand any chance of achieving the Goals. A recent ODI study, ‘Projecting progress: reaching the SDGs by 2030’, shows that not only are we way off achieving most of the targets, but on some, we are actually going in the wrong direction. This should be a real wake-up call, and we who work for international development need to feel the urgency of getting to work on this right now, and not wait until politicians choose to engage with to them. A report from BOND, ‘Bringing the goals home’, shows how the UK government must provide real leadership and join up its thinking and action across all areas of policy, domestic and international, if we are to do what we’ve just signed up to at the UN, which is to create a UK sustainable development plan.

If we who work in international development don’t explore these things, can we expect others to? I’d urge anyone else working on international development advocacy to get your staff together, put away your professional pride for an hour, and hold your own small bit of The World’s Largest Lesson!

New DFID Strategy Launched, ‘UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest’

At the end of November, the UK government published a new aid strategy. Callum Northcote, Policy Advocacy Coordinator, explores what the new strategy, ‘UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest’, sets out for the UK’s approach to development for the next five years.

‘UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest’ reaffirms the commitment of the UK to spending 0.7% of its Gross National Income (GNI) on international development. RESULTS UK was at the forefront of the campaign to enshrine this in law and RESULTS grassroots campaigners across the country should be proud of the efforts they have played in making this a reality and an ongoing priority for the UK Government.

The new strategy outlines why the government believes in foreign aid. As the title suggests, ‘it’s in the UK’s national interest’. They have positioned their approach to international development alongside four strategic objectives, with new funding and strategies.

  1. Strengthening global peace, security and governance

Summary

The government believes that poverty reduction overseas and the strengthening of the UK’s national security can be achieved through tackling the causes of instability – insecurity, conflict, crime, and corruption.

New Funding/Strategies

  • £1 billion Conflict, Stability and Security Fund which will support the international work of the National Security Council. This funding will rise to £1.3bn by 2020.
  • 50% of DFID spending will go to fragile and conflict affected states.
  1. Strengthening resilience and response to crises

Summary

This includes increasing the support for crises in Syria and other countries. Importantly for our work, it also includes new spending on global public health and support for mitigating and adapting to climate change.

New Funding/Strategies

  • £500m Overseas Development Assistance crisis reserve for cross-government spending in response to crises, such as Ebola.
  • Climate-smart development for DFID and new aid-funded programmes delivered by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for facing the challenges of climate change.
  • A further £70m investment in the Fleming Fund which aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
  • A further £90m investment in the UK Vaccines Network over the next 5 years. The network aims to bring the vaccine sector together to help development and trialling of new vaccinations.
  • A new global challenges research fund of £1.5 billion will be used to aid UK science in tackling developing countries’ issues. This will include antimicrobial resistance and viral threats.
  • A new £1 billion ‘Ross Fund’ for developing and testing responses to serious diseases in developing countries.
  • Climate finance for developing countries is to increase to at least £5.8bn over the next 5 years. This money will be used to reduce emissions and build resilience of the poorest to climate change, amongst others.
  1. Promoting global prosperity

Summary

Promoting economic development and prosperity will help to reduce poverty as well as increase UK trade and investment opportunities

New Funding/Strategies

  • A new Prosperity Fund, £1.3bn over 5 years, will aim to improve the business climate, competitiveness of markets, energy and financial sector reform, and tackle corruption.
  • £735m of DFID money will be invested in CDC, the Development Finance Institution owned by the UK government
  • Energy Africa campaign to scale-up the solar market and to expand access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa.
  1. Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable

Summary

The government has said it will ‘strive to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030’, as well as prioritising the rights of women and girls.

The strategy commits to achieving Conservative commitments made in their manifesto, including getting 11 million children into school, saving 1.4 million children’s lives through immunisations, and improving nutrition for at least 50 million people. We’ll be working hard to ensure these pledges are followed through.

There are also some more general new strategies worth mentioning. There will be £400 million in efficiency savings by 2019-20 with a pledge from the government to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.  DFID will no longer be giving traditional general budget support to countries and the strategy sets out plans for more cross-Whitehall work on development. Tthis will be reflected in the share of DFID’s budget spent in different departments.

DFID describes the strategy as a ‘fundamental shift’ which will ‘show there is no distinction between reducing poverty, tackling challenges and serving our national interest’. There is also recognition of past successes, with references to ‘a strong record’ and referring to DFID as ‘a global leader’.

As with all announcements like this, it will take time to see what it means in reality. Check back soon for more blogs on the strategy, including what it might mean for our work and what we’ll be doing to ensure it is effectively and responsibly delivered.

If you have any questions about the aid strategy, please email Callum on callum.northcote@results.org.uk.