A Deadly Duo: Acute Malnutrition and TB

This blog original appeared on the Generation Nutrition website on World TB Day (24th March) and was written by our Policy Advocacy Coordinator, Laura Kerr.

Did you know that acute malnutrition and tuberculosis (TB) not only share a root cause – poverty – but actually coincide to create a vicious cycle of poor health? 

You’re probably thinking two things right now: I thought TB had been stamped out and, what does TB have to do with malnutrition? The truth is that acute malnutrition and tuberculosis (TB) not only share a root cause – poverty – but they often coincide to create a vicious cycle of poor health. On a day dedicated to bringing global attention to the eradication of TB, we look at how malnutrition is connected to so many global issues in the world.

Continue reading

A Message from Emma Thompson on World TB Day

Today is World TB Day, a chance to celebrate how far we’ve come in saving the lives of those infected with tuberculosis and to reflect on the many challenges that must be overcome if we are to eliminate the disease for good.

TB continues to be the second most fatal infectious disease in the world after HIV, killing 1.5 million people every year.  Whilst the majority of cases occur in developing countries, TB rates in Europe are on the rise. In fact, the UK has the highest number of TB cases in Europe, with a reported 2,985 cases in 2013 in London alone.

For many of us, this is shocking news, and the case was no different for actress Emma Thompson when her son Tindy contracted the disease in 2011 after a trip to Liberia. Tindy had to endure the 6-month long treatment that TB requires and take 9 pills a day to recover. Since then, Emma Thompson has been appointed the Mayor of London’s TB Ambassador. Watch the video below to hear more about their story.

Despite being one of the largest killers in the world,  solutions do exist to detect and treat TB.  Through UK support to organisations like The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria , 37 million lives have been saved. Ending TB is possible, but only through continued leadership and support from the UK Government.

Hustings How-To: March Webinar Recording Now Available!

This week we held our Hustings How-To Webinar that covered what Hustings are, when and where they take place and what questions to ask when you get there.

To listen to the Webinar, simply open the following link: http://momentum.adobeconnect.com/p9lnh31n01z/

Hustings present a  great opportunity to find out how supportive your candidate is of UK aid and development issues.  If one happening in your town or city, we strongly encourage you to go. Remember to let us know how you got on and if you manage to ask a question be sure to share the candidates response with us.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about our General Election campaign, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! You can email Tom on tom.maguire@results.org.uk or give the campaigning team a call on 0207 793 3970.

Grassroots Show Support for Ambitious Post-2015 Agenda in Westminster

On Monday, 9 March three RESULTS UK Grassroots members joined supporters from several organisations in the action/2015 and Beyond2015 coalitions to question policymakers on UK involvement in the Post-2015 process. Gill, Nick and Anja took to Westminster to show citizen support for ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and to quiz those in-the-know about the UK’s part in this. They began with a lunchtime meeting with International Development Minister Baroness Northover and several Civil Servants, and in the evening met with the Labour Opposition spokespeople Lord Collins, Anas Sarwar MP, and Baroness Bryony Worthington.

We asked them just a few questions about what they thought of the day…

1) Why was the event important to you?

Anja: I wanted to attend the event in order to highlight the importance of global citizenship and support and ownership of the Post-2015 goals at all levels, from Grassroots up to World Leaders.

DSC_0016

 

Nick: It was a “we the people” event, our chance to share our personal experiences and insight as well as to share some of our more deeply held interests and areas of expertise.

 

2) What did you hope to learn from the event?

Gill: I wanted to meet and learn from others, to hear and understand what their narrative is, especially the folks from the Global South. When I first sat down, at the table were three people I was particularly glad to talk to:  Bnongani Makhubo from South Africa, Debra Souza from Brazil and Thomas Pallithanan from India and it was great to hear from them and their work in their countries.

3) What was your highlight?

Nick: At an individual level, talking to Thomas from India, but I was very encouraged by all the Lords, MPs and Civil Servants. The highlight was to be on College Green celebrating 0.7% enshrinement in law, but I think hearing other volunteers talk of their hopes and concerns around the SDGS and ODA [was also great].

DSC_0084

Gill: [Among others] Baroness Northover saying: ‘I’m proud of what the UK government has done, signing off the 0.7% bill, even in a period of austerity’ – and the wonderful celebrations of this…Lord Ray Collins was definitely a highlight for me [too]! His appreciation of RESULTS UK work in particular.

 Anja: Getting to speak with Baroness Northover over lunch, and hearing her speak passionately on issues of equality and the importance of data. The phrase “she gets it” was thrown around a lot, but it’s true!

4) What did you hear from decision makers?

Anja: Baroness Northover highlighted three key messages behind the SDGs: eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, disaggregating data, and leaving no one behind.

Nick: Britain must do more, Britain can do more, Britain will do more and they need to hear our voices of support to keep the pressure up!

Gill: That [decision-makers] really want Grassroots campaigners and people on the ground to be involved in the process (from Melinda Bohannon, Deputy Director for Post-2015 Development Goals at the Department for International Development). We should keep on engaging with the process and this is valued, we should [also] hold our decision-makers to account. I [also] heard the passion for development that people demonstrated.  These decision makers really wanted to make a difference…and data gathering, evaluation, and inequality is definitely on their radar.

5) What do you think should be the priorities for the SDG negotiations moving forward?

Nick:  Universality of agreement and commitment; 17:169 [the current number of goals and objectives] can be seen as complex but it’s not! Also; inclusion and data are going to be vital, no one should be left behind, women and children have to be the priority, South to South support and negotiations can help a lot, and better governance, accountability and transparency everywhere is needed! It needs us all to make it work on the road to 2030!

Anja: Accountability and monitoring, universal inclusivity (all ages, genders, abilities, religions, demographics, etc.), governance-strengthening, education, local involvement and Grassroots ownership of goals, cultural sensitivity, sustainable and inclusive financing, and disaggregated data. The process is complex, but after this event I feel confident that the UK policy-makers respect this, and are keen to make their priorities our (Civil Society’s) priorities.

DSC_0054Gill: The emphasis should be on [the question] does it work at point of delivery? How do we translate good words into action? How do we factor social norms into our planning? There [also] needs to be more focus on tackling inequality. We need data beforehand to plot smart interventions…there needs to be good monitoring and good evaluation to see if the interventions are working. The role of governance in achieving the goals is crucial. [And] we should be celebrating our successes –what we have done is working!

So there you have it, just a few words from our Grassroots members about this amazing event. It’s clear from what they hear from policymakers that UK Civil Society must, and will, play a vital role in the run-up to September, when the SDGs are agreed by world leaders. Join us to be a part of this pivotal year and lend your voice to the debate! Email us at join@results.org.uk to get involved.

RESULTS welcomes Matt Cooper as Education and Microfinance Volunteer

HeadshotHi everyone,

My name is Matt and I’m beginning a seven week volunteer position with RESULTS today. I will be specifically focusing on the areas of education and micro-finance, as well as working to support the grassroots advocacy team. I’m an American student studying abroad in London, so unfortunately my time with RESULTS is limited, but I’m excited to jump in and learn as much as I can while I’m here.

In the past I’ve worked for Teach for America, an organization that focuses on training recent university graduates to be teachers and places them in high need schools around the country. My time with this organization taught me a lot about how much access to a quality education varies around the world, even within countries that are wealthy on the global scale. Education is a particularly important issue for me, as many of my family members teach in America’s public schools, and I hope to be able to use my time here at RESULTS to help make a difference in education around the world.

Back home I study Political Science at Truman State University, and hope to one day pursue a career in government, either in the Foreign Service or with the Department of Justice. No matter what path I pursue after graduation, I am confident that my time with RESULTS will give me the opportunity to work with a group of passionate individuals who are committed to eradicating poverty worldwide, and I hope to bring the lessons learned here with me back to the US where I can continue to pursue these issues.

5 reasons we’ll be celebrating the 0.7% law

Turn Up Save Lives Lords 3rd Reading

Yesterday saw a historic moment, as the House of Lords passed the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill, which guarantees the UK’s continuing commitment to spending 0.7% of our national income on international development.

Campaigners and politicians celebrate outside Parliament after yesterday’s ‘Third Reading’ of the Bill in the House of Lords.

Campaigners and politicians celebrate outside Parliament after yesterday’s ‘Third Reading’ of the Bill in the House of Lords.

Like many others, RESULTS is delighted, and yesterday joined with campaigners and politicians from all the major parties in a small celebration. We’re holding off on our big celebration until the moment the Queen has added her signature and the Bill officially becomes law (expected in a few weeks). At that stage we’ll be cheering even more loudly, and we hope you will join us. We’ll be sending our supporters more details of how they can take action to celebrate this historic moment shortly, so watch this space!

RESULTS’ Head of Policy Advocacy Steve Lewis, a long-time campaigner on 0.7%, with politicians who have guided the 0.7% Bill through Parliament, including Michael Moore MP (the Bill’s sponsor in the Commons), Baroness Suttie, and DFID Minister Baroness Northover.

RESULTS’ Head of Policy Advocacy Steve Lewis, a long-time campaigner on 0.7%, with politicians who have guided the 0.7% Bill through Parliament, including Michael Moore MP (the Bill’s sponsor in the Commons), Baroness Suttie, and DFID Minister Baroness Northover.

In the meantime, here are five key reasons why we at RESULTS, and many other campaigners, NGOs, politicians and development workers, are celebrating the 0.7% commitment becoming law.

1. Our leaders are (finally) fulfilling their promise to end poverty

The United Nations agreed in 1970 (45 years ago) that all nations would move towards the target of spending 0.7% of their income on overseas aid. Since then, several countries have reached the target, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and, as of 2013, the UK.

In passing the 0.7% Bill into law, the British public can see that our political leaders are fulfilling their promise to end poverty. It is a promise that has been reiterated over and over, including in the 2010 General Election Manifestos of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party, and in the Coalition Government agreement. Our commitment to 0.7% has allowed the UK to save millions of lives, and ensure millions of children can get an education. With our leadership on development secured in law, we can truly aim for the end of poverty.

2. The timing, and moving the debate on

The Queen will sign the Bill into law just weeks before our General Election on 7th May. With commentators anticipating the most unpredictable election result in a generation, and the chance of different combinations of parties forming a coalition government, it is essential that the UK’s leadership role in international development is secured – this new law can give our partners across the world peace of mind that the British people, and British government, will continue to fight for a world of prosperity for all.

By securing the 0.7% commitment in law, the debate about international development here in the UK can also move on. Putting our promises to the poorest beyond the day to day debates of party politics means policy-makers can focus on how we continue to improve the quality of aid, instead of having an annual debate on whether we intend to stick to our commitments. For too long, the argument has been about figures and quantity of overseas aid.

Now, the public, the media, our MPs and Government can focus on what matters – ensuring that our development programmes are making a transformative difference in the lives of the people who need it most. Here at RESULTS, we don’t pretend that all aid is good, or that all DFID programmes are perfect. It is absolutely right that the British people should expect transparency, value for money and high quality aid programmes that support the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the world. Making 0.7% law will allow DFID to plan better for the long term, to ensure that aid is the most effective that it can possibly be.

3. The UK’s opportunity to influence other countries

The UK has a vital role to play in the negotiations happening right now to agree new ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) to replace the MDGs. Our current government has already made a major mark on the proposals being considered, particularly by promoting the twin goals of ‘ending extreme poverty by 2030’ and ‘leaving no-one behind’ by ensuring no target is considered met unless it is met for all social groups (a significant advance on the national-average measurement of the MDGs).

As the negotiations now reach their crucial final stages before the goals are announced at a United Nations summit in September, the UK can wield its commitment to 0.7% as a demonstration of its commitment to the new SDGs, and as a way of persuading other countries to step up. The UK already does this as one of the leading donors to many vital international initiatives like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and Gavi, The Vaccines Alliance. Through our commitments to these global funds the UK is saving millions of lives, and persuading other countries to come forward in a coordinated, transparent way.

4. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our partner developing countries

Increasing the predictability of aid to poor countries helps doctors, nurses, teachers and other providers of services in those countries to plan their work better. By securing our commitment to 0.7% in law, the UK government is saying to our partners that we will be there for them in the long term. We will not walk away: this is vital.

While aid is still essential in reaching some of the poorest and most marginalised, we no longer live in a world where aid from rich countries is the only or even most important approach to the overall development of a country. Rather, we all want developing country governments to strengthen their own capacity to deliver, so that they can build the national systems needed to provide services to their citizens. UK aid investments are helping achieve that by catalysing innovation, targeting the most challenging problems and supporting national governments to prioritise their most marginalised people.

For example, the UK’s commitment to 0.7% has enabled us to be a leading donor to the Global Partnership for Education, which has helped its partner countries to develop national education plans that have helped to get nearly 22 million more children into school, including 10 million girls. GPE coordinates the external help provided by countries like the UK with the necessary leadership and ownership of the partner government.

As a dramatic and tangible example, at last year’s GPE pledging conference, the commitments made by donor countries led by the UK amounted to $2.1 billion for the next three years. That was dwarfed by commitments made by partner developing country governments to increase their own domestic financing for education collectively by the equivalent of $26 billion.

5. Funding the end of extreme poverty by 2030

In September, the United Nations will unveil a new agenda for development, agreed by leaders across the world. It looks likely that the central goal will be to end extreme poverty by 2030. This is hugely exciting, but is it realistic? Crucially, that depends on the world’s leaders committing to the funding needed to end poverty.

Developing country governments, donor countries like the UK, international institutions like the World Bank, the private sector and civil society organisations all need to step up their financing commitments, and find new, innovative and effective funding mechanisms.

That’s what is on the table at a major summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July – financing for sustainable development. In this context, the UK’s commitment to 0.7% could not be better timed or more essential.

Imagine what could be achieved if every member of the G8 fulfilled the promise to spend 0.7% of their income on international development? Imagine if those governments stood shoulder to shoulder, united with partner developing countries who were committed to strengthening their tax bases and increasing their own budgets, alongside new global initiatives to harness the power of innovative financing and the strength of the private sector?

Then we truly could see prosperity for all, and a world free from poverty within a generation.

March Conference Call Recording: A Candidate Gets Quizzed!

Our March Conference Call recording is now available!

The call was joined by Mark Williams MP from Ceredigion, who spoke about what it’s like to be a candidate in the General Election. Mark explained his role as the chair of the APPG on Global Education for All, engaging with constituents, attending Hustings events from the candidate perspective, and campaigning in general. Check it out now:

 

The call was also joined by Dr Isabella Swai, a paediatrician at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania. Dr Swai discussed her work on childhood malnutrition, for which she was advocating all week in Parliament with RESULTS UK.

Our next Conference Call is on 7 April 2015 from 8 to 9 pm, and will be joined by groups stretching from Poole to Glasgow! We’ll also be continuing our special General Election webinar series this month with a presentation on 17 March from 7 to 8 pm. This webinar will be a great chance to learn all about Hustings; what they are, how to attend, and why they are important.

For details of our groups and our calls and webinars, phone the office at 020 779 33970 or email Anja on anja.nielsen@results.org.uk. We hope you’ll join us!

How do you save 6 million lives?

Following a successful replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance last month, the ACTION Global Health Partnership today re-launched their donor funding tracker, which details new pledges and the ambition of key donors to Gavi.

The tracker outlines the funding of eight of Gavi’s largest country donors, making up over half of Gavi’s total funding for 2016-2020. Almost all of these donors dramatically increased their funding to Gavi from the last period 2011-2015, showing the collective commitment and ambition of donors to ending preventable child deaths around the world. The UK continue to lead the way, with an ambitious pledge of £1 billion (USD $1,573) for the next period, in addition to significant existing commitments.

The ambition and long-term commitment of these donors will make it possible for Gavi to fulfil its mission of immunising 300 million children, and in doing so save 6 million lives over the next 5 years. However the hard work starts now. These pledges need to be delivered in order to save lives by ensuring that every child in the world can access vaccines. By tracking pledges over the next five years, we will hold governments to account and ensure these promises are met.

Check how much your country pledged here. 

Take Action to Ensure Global Action on Malnutrition

RESULTS UK is part of Generation Nutrition – a global campaign which calls on governments and the international community to take urgent action to prioritise the fight against acute malnutrition in children under five. Today, they’ve launched a new action asking the UK Government to stand up for an ambitious global target to safeguard millions of children from life-threatening malnutrition.Take action

This year we have a once in a life time opportunity to make sure millions of children worldwide get a better start in life. Continue reading

How to meet a candidate webinar recording now available

With just 75 days until the General Election, now is the time to start securing meetings with your candidates. For some a step-by-step guide on how to do this, check out the second webinar of our General Election campaign.

To listen to the webinar, simply open the following link: http://momentum.adobeconnect.com/p5rep9xmk3m/

Want to find out more about our General Election campaign and how you can get involved? Drop Tom at the campaign team an e-mail at tom.maguire@results.org.uk or give the office a call on 0207 793 3970. We would love to hear from you.