National Conference 2015: What we got up to!

National Confernce Two weeks ago we held our RESULTS UK National Conference 2015. 100 grassroots campaigners, students and NGO colleagues joined us in London to hear 23 experts discuss 8 different international development topics as well as engaging in 10 advocacy meetings at the Department for International Development and in parliament, all in just 3 days. Phew!

The conference started with a full day of thought-provoking panel debates and external speakers discussing a variety of topics, including: disability inclusive development, climate change, universal health coverage and financing the future of sustainable development. Experts (including: Anja Langenbucher- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lord Low of Dalston CBE, Dr Charles Palmer- London School of Economics, Rob Yates- World Health Organisation, and Cordelia Lonsdale- Development Initiatives) debated their issue and asked each other what developments have there already been made, what is yet to be done and what potential can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The second day of the conference concentrated on training the grassroots volunteers in all things advocacy. The RESULTS team explained our key priorities for the year as well as looking back at some of the highlights from 2014. In the afternoon, Tom Baker and Alice Delamere from BOND joined us to focus the group on power mapping target MPs and getting their message across in a persuasive manner to build the political will to end poverty. These new skills were put into action on the third day when the grassroots volunteers joined DFID teams, MPs and Peers in Parliament.

The third day saw grassroots volunteers share encouraging conversations with DFID teams, touching on many different topics such as disability in development, education for all, the Global Fund, and post- 2015 development. After lunch, there were meetings with Gavin Shuker MP (Labour’s Shadow Minister for International Development), Patrick Grady MP (SNP, Spokesman on International Development), Jeremy Lefroy MP (Conservative, Member of International Development Committee), Pauline Latham MP (Conservative, Member of International Development Committee), Baroness Kinnock (Labour, Spokesperson on International Development) and Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat, Former DFID Minister) to talk about their role within parliament and how they could influence the decision-makers within international development.

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It was a jam-packed weekend, and it was fantastic to see so many of our dedicated grassroots campaigners inspired and excited about the fight to end global poverty. We couldn’t have asked for a better team and we hope everyone enjoyed the conference as much as we did!

If you would like to get involved with RESULTS UK’s grassroots groups please contact Campaigns Coordinator Emily Cabon on emily.cabon@results.org.uk.

A few of our favourite photos from the National Conference 2015 are below:

Panel Debate: Is Universal Health Coverage the right goal for developing countries? Pictured: Simon Wright- Save the Children, Jacqui Thornton- Health journalist, Dr Titilola Banjoko- Africa Recruit and Rob Yates- World Health Organisation

Panel Debate: Is Universal Health Coverage the right goal for developing countries? Pictured: Simon Wright- Save the Children, Jacqui Thornton- Health journalist, Dr Titilola Banjoko- Africa Recruit and Rob Yates- World Health Organisation

Panel Debate: Who will fund the end of poverty? Pictured: David Hillman-Stamp Out Poverty, Ranajoy Basu- Reed Smith, Cordelia Lonsdale- Development Initiatives

Panel Debate: Who will fund the end of poverty? Pictured: David Hillman-Stamp Out Poverty, Ranajoy Basu- Reed Smith, Cordelia Lonsdale- Development Initiatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campaigners power mapping there MPs

Campaigners power mapping there MPs

Campaigners ready to start a day of advocacy

Campaigners ready to start a day of advocacy

 

 

 

 

 

Campaigners with Baroness Northover

Campaigners with Baroness Northover

 

 

Campaigners with Baroness Kinnock

Campaigners with Baroness Kinnock

Landmark UN resolution urges States to monitor and regulate private education providers

Yesterday. eight international civil society organisations welcomed a landmark resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) urging States to regulate and monitor private education providers and recognising the potential “wide-ranging impact of the commercialization of education on the enjoyment of the right to education”.

The HRC is the leading global inter-governmental political body dealing with human rights. In the resolution adopted by consensus of its 47 members, the HRC has, for the first time, responded to the growing phenomenon of privatisation and commercialisation of education.

This phenomenon, and in particular the emergence of large-scale for-profit “low-cost” private school chains targeting poor families in developing countries, has received heightened attention from civil society organisations and UN expert bodies alike in recent months.

Camilla Croso, of the Global Campaign for Education, reacted: “the rapid, unregulated growth of private providers of education is already creating – and enabling – violations of the right to education, threatening to erase the last 50 years of progress in access to education. This resolution shows that States have realised that they must act now to regulate such providers – before it is too late.”

Sylvain Aubry, of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights elaborated: “Our research has consistently shown that privatisation in education leads to socio-economic segregation and discrimination against the poorest children in schools, in violation of States’ obligations, as was recently recognised in the case of Chile. The resolution adopted today, crucially highlights the obligation to provide educational opportunities for all without discrimination.

The resolution demands that States “put in place a regulatory framework” that establishes minimum norms and standards for and “monitor private education providers”. Delphine Dorsi, of the Right to Education Project, commented: “This is a very welcome reminder of States’ obligations under international law to regulate private education providers, at a time when a growing number of education providers, in particular multinational education companies, are taking advantage of weak regulation in some countries to make profit to the detriment of parents and children’s rights”.

The HRC resolution also calls on States to ensure that “education is consistent with human rights standards and principles”. Angelo Gavrielatos, of Education International, explained: “The evidence is quite clear. The growing commercialisation and privatisation of education is undermining the right to quality education. Governments cannot be allowed to abrogate their obligation to provide quality public education for every child. As recognised in human rights treaties, education is a fundamental pillar for a dignified life and must be protected as such.”

Crucially, the resolution confirms that “education is a public good”. According to Tanvir Muntasim, of ActionAid International, “this is the third time within a year, following the May 2014 UNESCO Muscat Agreement and the May 2015 Incheon Declaration, where States have described education as a public good. It is a striking response to the actors that have been trying to reduce education to a private commodity, rather than a universal right.”

The HRC insists in the resolution on the “significant importance of public investment in education, to the maximum of available resources”. For Katie Malouf Bous, of Oxfam International, “Too many governments have neglected their duty to adequately finance education, leading to weakened public schools and increased privatization as the inevitable result. Serious and substantial investments to provide good quality public education must be the antidote to privatization.

Finally, the resolution asks States to “support research and awareness-raising activities to better understand the wide-ranging impact of the commercialization of education on the enjoyment of the right to education”. Ian Macpherson, of the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, stated: “We have been working with partners over the past few years to research the social justice implications of the growth of private actors in education, and we stand ready to collaborate with States to implement this resolution and increase and strengthen research and dialogue on this crucial issue.”

It is now time for all stakeholders to firmly take action to implement this resolution” concluded Tony Baker, of Results Educational Fund. “This particularly concerns States but also international institutions and donors, like the World Bank, that have been investing in for-profit, fee-charging private schools in recent years. These investments need to align with global and national efforts to achieve free, universal education for all to harness education’s power to break the cycle of poverty. Development actors, in addition to governments, must act in accordance with international human rights law.

Working in partnership to beat undernutrition

June has been an exciting month for nutrition! It has shown what can be achieved when partners come together to tackle a difficult but ultimately solvable problem like ending undernutrition.

RESULTS UK and Global Health Advocates are part of the ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership. We work together to influence policy and mobilise resources to end undernutrition and other global health problems such as tuberculosis, and vaccine preventable childhood illnesses. Recently we worked with our partners to produce a Nutrition Scorecard which enables civil society to ‘Follow the funding for Nutrition’ and see which donors are on track to meeting their 2013 Nutrition for Growth commitments.

This month we’ve seen encouraging signs that donors are also increasingly working in tandem to raise nutrition higher on the global agenda. At the European Development Days in Brussels at the start of June, Melinda Gates announced that The Gates Foundation would double its investments in nutrition to $776 million over the next six years.

Melinda stated that for too long the world has underinvested in nutrition. She said “Along with the Gates Foundation, many European donors are now prioritizing nutrition, which we believe will be one of the fundamental solutions to help cut child mortality in half by 2030.” This is really welcome news for nutrition.

She also highlighted that “investment in data is key” as nearly half of all countries worldwide don’t have access to the data needed to track nutrition baselines and the status of those undernourished. The newly announced €23.5 million EU-Gates foundation partnership to establish National Information Platforms for Nutrition is an encouraging step towards bridging the data gap.

This announcement from the Gates Foundation and the new investment of $123 million USD by the Government of Canada, has also resulted in the UK government unlocking £156.5 million, i.e. more than 50% of its matched funding commitment of £280 million made at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013. This is a good example of donors working collectively and leveraging a greater impact for their money.

The EU also made an ambitious pledge of 340m EUR at Nutrition for Growth but should commit to an accelerated disbursement to meet that target by 2020. The National Information Platform on Nutrition will play a key role in ensuring the effectiveness of EU nutrition policies and help meet targets. Accurate data on nutrition will help us gauge the impact of both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive investments in-country and understand what works on the ground. This is much needed for the EU to meet its target of reducing stunting by 7 million by 2025.

At the EU level, the Generation Nutrition campaign is actively working not only to ensure that the necessary funding is available to tackle acute malnutrition, but also to advocate for effective and equitable nutrition policies. As the world’s largest donor it is essential to maximise the potential of the EU’s investment in nutrition, by actually disbursing committed funds and measuring their impact.

Generation Nutrition EU recently developed two new publications on nutrition and the EU’s nutrition policy to ensure that the European Union continues to play an active role in meeting global nutrition targets. The first publication is a background document on key issues related to undernutrition which should equip stakeholders with a general understanding of the topic. The second publication scrutinises the EU’s nutrition policy and identifies gaps.

There are two key gaps that have been identified. Firstly, the EC tackles one form of malnutrition (stunting) while neglecting another (wasting), thereby undermining its efforts to fight malnutrition globally. Secondly, the EC’s policies are weakened by the fact that insufficient dialogue takes place between Directorate-Generals (departments in the European Commission), preventing the integration of nutrition sensitive measures into all policies.  Generation Nutrition EU, of which RESULTS UK and GHA form part, is committed to addressing those gaps and pushing for change at the highest political level.

We also saw an ambitious statement from Germany at the G7 summit, pledging to reduce the number of hungry people by 500 million by 2030. However CSOs are questioning the means of achieving this target because of the lack of a financial pledge linked to this announcement, alongside the need for increased clarity regarding role of the private sector.

Nonetheless, these recent announcements have been a great build up to a potential Nutrition Summit in 2016 in Rio, which will be an opportunity to assess progress and serve as a key opportunity for further funding pledges from countries which have already been champions for nutrition, like the UK, and also those who could step up and make a big difference, such as France.

Now it is time to work together and ensure these positive announcements become concrete actions for improving poor nutrition in groups such as women and children. We know that undernourished women give birth to undernourished children with hindered physical and cognitive growth, trapping them in a cycle of ill-health and poverty.  This is something a recent infographic on anaemia from RESULTS UK highlights. We must work together with donors, countries and civil society networks such as the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement to scale up the impact of investments in nutrition.

The publications can be found here: Nutrition  and EU Nutrition Policy

Six reasons why the Financing for Development Conference matters for millions

Laura Kerr, Policy Advocacy Coordinator, blogs about the importance of the Financing for Development Conference next month.

2015 is a pivotal year for development. In September, global leaders will agree on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide the development agenda for the next 15 years.

The proposed SDGs are ambitious. The UN and member states are still working how the goals will be implemented but it is very clear that if we are going to achieve the goals, we’re going to have to find more money, and not just aid, for development.

Next month, the UN is convening the third ever Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Heads of State and Government, Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, will all be attending to decide how we can raise finance for development to achieve the SDGs.

FFD3Financing for development is complex, even for the ‘experts’. So we’ve broken down the top five reasons why we need to make sure the conference is a success:

  1. There are still 1 billion people living in absolute poverty. 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday, the majority from preventable and treatable conditions. 1 in 8 people still go to bed hungry every night. We’ve got to ensure no-one is left behind in the development agenda.
  2. It is has been estimated that we need a further $1.5 trillion per year to fund the SDGs. That’s a pretty big amount of money we need to find to ensure the SDGs make massive strides to end poverty.
  3. Over 40 years ago, countries committed to spending 0.7% GNI on overseas development aid. Currently, only five countries in the world have reached this. It’s time for government commitments to be met.
  4. Domestic resource mobilisation, tax, and illicit financial flows (IFFs) are all on the agenda at FFD3. Every year Africa is estimated to lose $50 billion through IFFs! Research carried out by RESULTS and partners in Kenya found that $4.9 billion was lost in one year alone from capital flight.  The report – Who Pays for Progress? – will be launched in Addis on July 13th and we hope this will contribute to a debate about the necessary balance between Official Development Assistance (ODA) and domestic resource mobilisation (DRM)
  5. Lack of ambition at FFD3, with no substantial or new agreements on financing, would be a disaster for the SDG’s. This is the year to be bold, strong-willed, and fight for a world free from poverty which can simply not be achieved if we maintain ‘business as usual’ approach to financing.
  6. The success of this year’s third major development conference, the UN Climate Change negotiations in December (COP21), also hinges on a progressive outcome next month. FFD3 has to set the bar high, with aspiring and determined decisions, that inspire commitments on climate change which has been sorely lacking from previous climate negotiations.

FFD3 is a once in a generation conference. The success of the SDGs and development for the next 15 years hinges on whether world leaders will step up their commitments to finance a world free from poverty. We really can’t afford to waste this opportunity.

RESULTS welcomes Samuel Forward to the team!

20150622_152503Hello Everyone, I’m Samuel Forward, the new Fundraiser at RESULTS UK. My work will focus mainly on securing grants from national and international trusts and foundations in order to further the work of RESULTS, whether it be parliamentary, policy or grassroots advocacy. I will also spend time on community fundraising, supporting the great work of the grassroots network who have contributed so much over the last 30 years. After attending the National Conference (on my first day!) I am very excited to be joining what looks like a huge family of staff and volunteers, some of whom have been advocating with RESULTS since before I was born!

Before joining RESULTS I was based in Indonesia working for R.O.L.E. Foundation, a small NGO focusing on women’s empowerment and environmental protection. A large part of what we did was creating opportunities for sustainable business development for disadvantaged and at-risk women, leading to some extremely innovative and successful small businesses. As a Fundraising Manager I worked with major donors, corporations, grant givers and a growing base of supporters. Over the space of a 18 months it was fantastic to see the foundation grow and cheer on an ever increasing number of young graduates ready to take on the world.

After 2 and a half years in Indonesia moving to London has been a bit of a shock to the senses (hence the ever-present jumper in my picture), but I am excited to get started and look forward to meeting many of you!

Welcome to Emily Cabon, RESULTS’ new Campaigns Coordinator

Emily Cabon, RESULTS UK Campaigns Coordinator

Emily Cabon, RESULTS UK Campaigns Coordinator

Hello, I’m Emily the new Campaigns Coordinator at RESULTS UK. I will be working with the rest of the team to support the work of our grassroots volunteers and helping many more people get involved. I will also be taking full advantage of social media and helping out the team in any other way I can!

Before RESULTS, I was working in the campaigns team at The ONE Campaign. I was responsible for sustaining the ‘Just Say Yes’ general election campaign and supporting the Youth Ambassador programme. ‘Just Say Yes’ saw me lobbying local parliamentarians to ensure that they would do all they could to put the poorest first whilst my work with the Youth Ambassadors programme involved helping the organisation of the 2015 Summit, held in Munich ahead of the G7 with supporters from all around the world.

Before The ONE campaign, I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Philosophy BA and travelled around Australasia and Southern Asia. This gave me the chance to explore some new places, experience new cultures and meet some truly amazing people.

In my first few days at RESULTS, I have already been privileged enough to join the grassroots volunteers at the 2015 National Conference and Speak Up For The Love Of Mass Climate Change Lobby of Parliament last week. I could not have asked for a better first week and I’m so excited to carry on working with such inspiring supporters.

I’m here to support all our grassroots campaigners, so feel free to get in touch with any questions at emily.cabon@results.org.uk.

N4G – 2 years since London, 1 year from Rio. Where do we stand?

Anushree Shiroor, Policy Advocacy Officer (Nutrition),  blogs on the second anniversary of Nutrition for Growth.

It is June 8th, two years since the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit in London where governments, development organisations and businesses came together to tackle the lifelong scourge of malnutrition. Co-hosted by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and the Government of Brazil, a total of £2.7 billion were committed for nutrition for 2013-2020, of which £1.9 billion was in the form of core funding and the remaining £1.8 was in the form of matched funding.

The UK was amongst the leaders in this fight against malnutrition, committing to triple its investments in nutrition between 2013 and 2015, and committing nearly £ 1 billion additional to its 2010 spending levels, for nutrition. The below chart shows all the UK’s commitments. Continue reading

Universal Health Care Speakers Announced!

With just under two weeks to go till the RESULTS UK National Conference, we want you to give you something to be excited about: our expert panellists on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). On June 13th, debating whether or not UHC is the right goal for developing countries are:

Jacqui Thornton @Jacquithornton

Chairing the dejacqui thorntonbate: Jacqui Thornton is a health journalist, facilitator and media trainer who, after a 15 year career in British national newspapers, now advises clinicians, medical charities and the pharmaceutical industry on communication skills. After reporting stints on the Daily Telegraph and Express, she joined the Sunday Telegraph as a news reporter in 1996, and became its health correspondent two years later. Following this, she moved to the Sun and became the paper’s first Health Editor.

Simon Wright, Save the Children @morningsimon

Simon Wright is Head of Child Survival at Save the Children UK. He has worked in both the health and development sectors since 1993, including in the UK NHS as a community development manager and a public health manager. He worked at the UK Parliament as policy advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS and the International Development Select Committee. In 2002 he joined ActionAid where he led its campaigning on HIV  including through the 2005 Gleneagles G8 and Make Poverty History. In 2006, he led ActionAid’s successful funding proposal to establish the European advocacy network, Action for Global Health. After serving as its first head for three years, he joined Save the Children in March 2009. He is responsible for Save the Children UK’s global policy and advocacy activities on health, and leading its focus on  child survival. He is a member of the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance, and a board member of Global Health Advocates (France) and Health Poverty Action (UK).

Robert Yates, World Health Organisation @yates_rob

rob yates

Robert Yates is an internationally recognised expert on universal health coverage (UHC) and progressive health financing. He is a senior fellow of Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London where he is Project Director of the UHC Policy Forum. His principal area of expertise is in the political economy of UHC, with a focus on advising political leaders and government ministries on how to plan, finance and implement national UHC reforms. He has previously worked as a Senior Health Economist with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), advising numerous governments in Asia and Africa on health financing policy and health system reforms. Rob is also a member of the “Health for All” Thematic Group of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Dr Rodrigo Moreno-Serra, University of Sheffield

rodrigo moreno

Rodrigo Moreno-Serra is a health economist and lecturer in Economics at the University of Sheffield. Rodrigo was born in Chile and raised in Brazil, where he obtained a BSc and MSc in Economics, both from the University of São Paulo. He then worked as a lecturer in Brazil before moving to the United Kingdom, where he received a PhD in Economics from the University of York. Before joining the University of Sheffield last October, he was a MRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Imperial College London (Centre for Health Policy). He has also served as a consultant for international organisations such as the World Health Organization, OECD, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Rockefeller Foundation and Save the Children UK. He has published papers and book chapters on his main research interests, which lie in health system financing, financial risk protection, and the impact evaluation of health policies and programmes.

Universal Health Coverage is just one of many topics that we will be discussing at the RESULTS UK Conference (June 13th-15th). If you want to find out more and book your tickets, click here and if you have any questions, feel free to contact ola.forman@results.org.uk

Webinar recording now available

Missed our webinar on how to make the most of a meeting with your new MP? Don’t worry! A recording of the call and slides are now available here:

 

We were joined on the call by our very own parliamentary advocacy specialist Anna Gelderd, who shared her experiences of working directly with MPs in Westminster.

If you planning on arranging a hand-in of the action/2015 welcome pack with your new MP (more details here) do take the time to listen to the call and take a look at the slides for some useful tips. If you need any support arranging your hand-in, please drop Tom an email at tom.maguire@results.org.uk or give the office a call on 0207 793 3970.

Ahead of the World Education Forum, RESULTS Korea Calls for Leadership in Education

Dan Jones, Head of Campaigns. 

Today, a major summit focused on deciding the Post-2015 Education For All agenda – the World Education Forum – begins in Incheon, South Korea. To mark the occasion with some great advocacy, RESULTS Korea has harnessed Children’s Day — observed on May 5 in Korea — to publish its first-ever Korean language opinion piece, calling on its government to meet the international standard of committing 10 percent of development assistance to basic education. The article was originally published here, in one of the top five most widely read newspapers in the country, and has been translated and reproduced below.

Korea Should be Exemplary as the Country Hosting the World Education ForumMi_Jong_Kwon

By Mi Jong Kwon, Assistant Professor of English Literature at Anyang University and RESULTS Korea Volunteer

As the whole world is being linked via Facebook, drones deliver packages from the sky, and nouveaux riches emerge from the ranks of programmers, I wonder how many kids are still out of primary school. The answer is 57 million. Half of them live in conflict zones. If Steve Jobs had not received primary education, would Apple have been born? If Ma-Won of Ali-Baba had not received primary education, could he have dared to dream of being the king of online marketing?

The Education for All (EFA) movement started 25 years ago, and in the year 2000, at the World Education Forum, it set the goal of achieving universal access to primary education by 2015. With the cooperation of many countries, 90 percent of its primary school enrollment goal has been reached. If in 25 years, this much was achieved, we must admit, with regret, that we could have completed the job with stepped up efforts.

If the rate of increase that happened between 1999 and 2008 continued, we would have just about reached our target of 100 percent. Also, even when we say that we reached a 90 percent ratio for primary education enrollment, in sub-Saharan Africa the rate of completion reaches only 56 percent. In Arab countries and sub-Saharan Africa, two-thirds of girls who are not attending school in a given year will never go to school at all. When we look at the graduation level, things look much worse. Of the 90 countries monitored for progress on EFA, only 13 countries have reached universal completion of primary school. Despite these facts, due to the complacency of reaching 90 percent, the tendency to invest in education is turning downward.

Currently, in our country (South Korea) primary and middle school is compulsory. Even when our country was poor, we knew the importance of education; we invested a lot of money in education and became one of the top countries to champion education. But we must remember that during much of this era, we were an aid-receiving country. Without that aid, the present state of development would have occurred for South Korea at a much later date.

The upcoming World Education Forum will take place in Incheon on May 19-22. Its purpose is to review the promises made previously and to deliberate on new education objectives for 2030. One of the promises is to secure primary and middle school education (nine years) for all boys and girls. To accomplish this, we need $22 billion dollars annually. But aid going to education has been declining by six percent every year. This is because we have overlooked the importance of education and have not kept it as a priority. So while the goal is laudable, the financial resources are insufficient.

In this year 2015, when we are about to set a new target, Japan and Norway, two education champions, have refused to commit 10 percent of their aid to primary and middle school education. The reason is because there has not been any country that has had the courage to show the way. It is time that Korea showed the example and led the way.

As the country that is hosting the 2015 World Education Forum, as the country that has championed education more than any other, and as the country that became a donor country after being a recipient county (largely thanks to investments in its citizens’ education), we must show the way by dedicating 10 percent of our aid to primary and middle school education. This would be the way to be reborn as the country providing true leadership in education.

You can watch the World Education Forum livestreamed via http://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/