Lets be the generation that ends children dying of acute malnutrition

Recently returned from visiting nutrition programmes in Asia and Africa, Steve Lewis, RESULTS Head of Health, calls for increased efforts to end deaths from acute malnutrition.

A new coalition of development agencies is calling for child deaths from acute malnutrition to be ended. The Generation Nutrition report launched today shows that a shocking one in twelve children under five suffers from acute malnutrition, and 1 million children die every year as a result.

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Many people associate acute malnutrition  with humanitarian disasters like famine in Ethiopia or the result of civil war in South Sudan. But when I travelled with MPs to Tanzania and Cambodia recently we could all see that malnutrition really is an ‘Everyday Emergency’. The new report makes clear that acute malnutrition does not only occur in humanitarian crises, but is most common in apparently stable settings. Therefore resources need to be targeted in these countries at extending prevention measures and increasing access to community-based management of the condition.

Acute malnutrition is not an unavoidable tragedy. We know how to treat acutely malnourished children so they survive and recover and we know how to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. In as little as six weeks, a child can be back up on their feet again, with their whole life ahead of them.  I believe it’s time to stand up for children facing deadly hunger.

A narrow faith in economic growth to lift the poor out of poverty will not bring an end to everyday hunger. In Cambodia for example I learnt that there is economic growth of around 8% a year, and the country exports rice. Yet 40% of children are undernourished and this rate has hardly changed in the last ten years.

We are launching Generation Nutrition today to shine a spotlight on the 52 million children in the world suffering from acute malnutrition. In just a month it will be the first anniversary of the June 8th ‘Nutrition for Growth’ summit held in London  when large donors pledged new funds for nutrition programmes. RESULTS and other agencies want to see clear progress on spending the funds promised.

This is a key time for campaigning on undernutrition. Generation Nutrition is launched in the run up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2015 deadline. In just over a year’s time every government worldwide will agree a new set of global goals on fighting poverty that will shape priorities for the next 15 years.  We are launching a global petition calling on world leaders to prioritise tackling child malnutrition as part of the ‘post-2015’ targets. We will be presenting  recommendations to world leaders at the United Nations in September  as negotiations involving every nation on earth begin.

We need your active support if the world is to take notice of this hidden emergency. Take action now and join Generation Nutrition. This petition is just a first step as a we build a movement to end the scandal of child deaths from acute malnutiriton.

If we work together with persistence and commitment, I firmly believe that we can be the generation to see an end to acute malnutrition in our lifetime.

Reason #4: The GPE mobilizes developing country resources towards their own education system

Over the next eight weeks, RESULTS affiliates in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and the U.S. will delve deeper into 8 key reasons to invest in the Global Partnership for Education now more than ever. You can read the blog about Reason #1, by RESULTS Australia’s Camilla Ryberg here and blog about Reason #2, by RESULTS UK’s Dan Jones  here and Reason #3 by Alison Grossman here.  This weeks blog comes from Julie Savard-Shaw from RESULTS Canada.

This week, I explore reason #4, which looks at how the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) mobilizes developing country resources towards their own education system. This is an especially critical piece in our broader campaign in the lead-up to the June pledging conference. It allows us to show our governments in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US how the Global Partnership’s co-financing model can actually increase the impact of education programs, if donors reach GPE’s $3.5 billion replenishment target.

reason-4As education advocates, our goal is to see all children in the poorest and most remote regions of the world have access to quality basic education. Literacy is the necessary condition for a country to escape extreme poverty and to eventually reduce its dependency on aid. Indeed, the social rate of return from completing primary education in low-income countries is very high. This means that the benefits of having more education outweigh the costs of obtaining that education. For example, each additional year of schooling raises a country’s average annual gross domestic product growth by 0.37 percent and a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past the age of five.

Achieving universal literacy requires that developing country governments be able and willing to assure the supply of quality education services. This often requires the assistance of industrialized countries. At the same time, many donors are skeptical of developing country governments’ willingness to monitor and maintain reasonable education standards, without which education investment achieves little.

The GPE builds the capacity of partner developing country governments to deliver quality basic education to their citizens through Local Education Groups (LEGs). Headed by partner governments, these groups also include international organizations like GPE, civil society and the private sector. Members of the group provide financial and technical assistance for the developing country partner to develop and implement their education plan.

By developing realistic policies and a feasible implementation plan based on the country context, education goals are more likely to be reached, which in turn motivates developing country partners to invest more in the education sector. Public expenditure on education in developing country partners has grown from 3.9 percent of GDP in 2000 to 4.8 percent of GDP in 2011. The GPE’s success to build the local government’s capacity through LEGs is even more apparent when we look at the resources invested in education for developing countries that are not part of the GPE. Between 2000 and 2011, of all the resources invested in education for one country, GPE developing countries increased their own investment by 15 percent whereas developing countries that are not part of the GPE only increased their spending by 6 percent.

The Government of Ethiopia joined the GPE in 2004 and received two GPE grants in 2007 and 2010 totaling US$168 million to support the country’s General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP), an important part of its Education Sector Development Plan for 2010-2015. Since joining the GPE, the Government of Ethiopia has increased public expenditure as a share of GDP by 28 percent. The GEQIP is financed by national resources supplemented with pooled external funding, of which the Global Partnership contributed some 50 percent.

Through it’s partnership with the GPE, Ethiopia has made significant strides in getting more children in school. Enrollment in primary school increased from 75 percent in 2007 to 86 percent in 2011, with the percentage of children finishing primary school increasing from 48 percent to 58 percent over the same period.

With adequate financing, the GPE will support 29 million children to go to school in 66 GPE eligible countries. Moreover, drawing on a fully funded Global Partnership (US$3.5 billion) developing country partners will be able to leverage an additional US$16 billion for domestic education expenditures for 2015-2018 to further broaden access, boost quality, and ensure relevant learning for all children and youth.

Investing in the GPE is essential to ensure that developing countries break out of the vicious circle of extreme poverty and aid dependency. As Nelson Mandela said, “ No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”

Click here to read the full RESULTS report Greater Impact Through Partnership: 8 Reasons to Invest in the Global Partnership for Education Now More Than Ever.

Don’t forget to check back next week for Reason #5!

Reason #3: The Global Partnership for Education Complements Bilateral Efforts in Global Education

Over the next eight weeks, RESULTS affiliates in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and the U.S. will delve deeper into 8 key reasons to invest in the Global Partnership for Education now more than ever. You can read the blog about Reason #1, by RESULTS Australia’s Camilla Ryberg, here and blog about Reason #2, by RESULTS UK’s Dan Jones, here. In this weeks blog from Alison Grossman from RESULTS US,  we explore reason #3, which looks at how donor government contributions to the Global Partnership for Education have the power to complement their bilateral efforts in global education.

Enhancing Donor’s Own Education Objectives

From focused, specific goals in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Education Strategy (100 million children in primary grades by 2015 and increased equitable access to education in crisis and conflict environments for 15 million learners by 2015) to the three pillars of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s education thematic strategy (access to basic education for all, improved learning outcomes, and better governance and service delivery), each of our governments have their own programmatic objectives for their bilateral basic education programs.

But how are each of these donor country objectives addressed within the Global Partnership for Education?

The Global Partnership has its own set of strategic goals on access, learning, reaching every child, and building the future – goals that are widely seen as global priorities that we must address in order to truly achieve education for all. They then operationalized these goals through five specific strategic objectives: supporting education in fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting girls’ education, increasing basic numeracy and literacy skills, improving teacher effectiveness, and expanding aligned funding and support for education.

Reason_3When looking at the bilateral objectives of Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, there is clear alignment – GPE’s objectives enhance the specific goals of each of our countries, and do so through a partnership with a broad set of members all contributing together to support these efforts. As the report notes, the Australian government rated the Global Partnership as “very high” when looking at alignment with national interests and priorities – can’t get much better than that!

Extending the Reach of Bilateral Education Programs

In addition to enhancing donors’ own global education objectives, investments by Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US in the Global Partnership for Education extend the reach of our governments, getting to countries and issues not covered in our own goals and objectives.

For instance, the Global Partnership for Education’s support for early childhood development programs in Moldova is outside of the USAID Education Strategy, but addresses the needs of Moldova and the context of their system –allowing the US to positively impact children in Moldova in a way they never would have been able to do without the Global Partnership.

The same is true geographically. As the report points out, DFID in the UK noted that by 2015, it and the Global Partnership for Education will be supporting nine of the 12 countries with the world’s highest populations of out-of-school children. Of these, DFID will be reaching four of them solely through its contributions to the Global Partnership for Education.

With 59 developing country partners currently, and more if the June pledging conference is successful, the Global Partnership’s geographic reach combined with their focus on national needs and priorities allows donor countries to extend their reach and impact in a way they are not able to do alone.

Building Goverment Capacity to Partner with Bilateral Institutions

Beyond specific education objectives, the Global Partnership for Education’s systems approach actively seeks to strengthen the ability of their developing country partners to deliver education services to their own people. By working with governments and civil society to develop and implement national education plans, the Global Partnership is taking a long-term approach to building strong national education systems that countries will need to sustainably educate children well into the future.

Not only is this the most effective approach to education development, but it also fills in a gap that donors are seeking. USAID, for instance, has agency-wide goals to channel more of its funding directly through effective local institutions, including government-to-government assistance and local organizations. But at the moment, USAID invests an extremely low percentage of its education funds through partner country governments or local institutions, especially when looking at investments in sub-Saharan Africa and in comparison with other sectors (for specifics and more information on these investments, see our November 2013 discussion paper on USAID Forward).

Clearly USAID and other donors want to invest directly in government systems and local institutions – and the Global Partnership’s approach is building the partners they’re seeking. Donor governments need to benefit from GPE’s comparative advantage in this area and can do so by more greatly support GPE’s efforts to foster environments with strong national systems capable of effective, independent delivery of quality, essential education services.

Supporting Civil Society to Make Goverments Accountable

The Global Partnership for Education doesn’t stop with strengthening developing country governments, though. It also has a separate fund to support the development of civil society organizations and coalitions across 45 developing countries, called the Civil Society Education Fund. Donors are looking for effective local institutions with which to partner on the delivery of services. By supporting the Global Partnership for Education, donors will allow the Global Partnership to utilize its comparative advantage in working with these coalitions across the world to strengthen their capacity, eventually allowing them to partner directly with donors.

Further, this support also builds the accountability and oversight capacities necessary to ensure that developing country governments are using their education dollars effectively. Organizations like the Elimu Yetu Coalition in Kenya exemplify how civil society organizations can positively influence the education systems in their countries when supported by the Global Partnership. Just as we advocate to our governments to direct resources to the most effective programs and to improve their policies for the poorest and most vulnerable, we need advocates around the world watching their governments and ensuring that donor and developing country funds are going to implement national plans and are having the impact needed for their children’s education.

As Australian, Canadian, UK, and US governments consider their roles in the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment campaign, the role that GPE can play in moving ahead their own education and development objectives is a key consideration. But strong commitments from our governments that help reach the $3.5 billion replenishment target are necessary to ensuring the Global Partnership and our own governments can fulfill our collective goals for children around the world.

Click here to read the full RESULTS report Greater Impact Through Partnership: 8 Reasons to Invest in the Global Partnership for Education Now More Than Ever.

Don’t forget to check back next week for Reason #4!

Join our webinar on exciting new nutrition campaign

When: Tuesday 15th April, 7pm

Link: http://momentum.adobeconnect.com/aprilwebinar/
Phone number to dial: 0800 22 90 900
Participant code: 18723

We are currently in the process of developing a major new campaign for public action in the UK which will focus on the issue of acute malnutrition around the world. After the UK Government made such strong commitments to tackling this problem at the Nutrition for Growth event on June 8th last year, momentum on tackling this problem -which leads to millions of preventable child deaths each year- has slowed.

We want to kick start it and this campaign is intended to do just that.

You can read the agenda here.

Working with partners from across the UK and from around the world. Join us on this webinar to learn all the about the issue and the campaign.

To join, simply follow the link above. When you are connected on your computer, dial into the meeting using the number and code above.

If you have any questions or queries about using the software, please drop me a note.

We look forward to you joining us.

World Health Worker Week: no health without health workers

To mark World Health Workers Week, Jessica Kuehne, health advocacy officer at RESULTS, discusses the critical role health workers play in delivering healthcare around the world.

ResultsUK140220-7705How many times have you come into contact with a health worker in the last year? If you’re like me, this would amount to multiple times – I see an optometrist to get my eyes checked, I went to the dentist when I had a tooth ache, I made multiple visits to my local GP when I tore my calf muscle playing volleyball. If you’re like my friend, who avoids doctors at all costs, you may not see a health worker of any kind regularly, but even he eventually needed the help of doctors and nurses when he developed tonsillitis and had to be admitted to A&E.

It’s easy to forget that our health system has health workers who immunise us against serious childhood illnesses, that we have midwives who safely deliver babies to the benefit of both mother and child, and that we have doctors and surgeons who can provide emergency care when needed. Yet 57 countries around the world are facing a severe human resources for health crisis and 83 countries don’t have enough health workers to provide even basic health services:

  • The world is short 7.2 million health workers needed in order to provide essential health services.
  • Africa has 11 percent of the world’s population but makes up a quarter of the global disease burden. At the same time, it has just 3 percent of the global health workforce.
  • 51 percent of births in Africa 41 percent of births in Asia are not attended by a midwife or other trained health worker.
  • Eleven countries in Sub-Saharan African do not have any medical schools, and a further 24 countries only have one.

A country example of how this plays out:

DSCN4799Ethiopia is a country with a population of over 90 million. It has just over 2,000 physicians and fewer than 3,000 nurses.  In contrast the UK, with a population of roughly 60 million, has over 170,000 physicians and nearly 600,000 nurses.

The UK has a nurse to patient ratio of 1:8. In contrast, India needs another 2.4 million nurses just to reach a nurse to patient ratio of 1:500.

All of the health issues that RESULTS works on – tuberculosis, child survival and nutrition – depend on having trained, supported, employed and motivated health workers who can provide health services. Health workers are essential to vaccinating children to give them life-long protection against disease, they are vital to diagnosing people with TB and supporting them during their long and arduous treatment, and they are crucial to providing care to acutely malnourished children.

This week, let’s celebrate the critical role health workers play in delivering healthcare, and let’s take this opportunity to call on the UK Government to help developing countries scale up their health spending and use these funds to strengthen its health workforce. Because there can be no health without health workers.

Some health worker highlights:

Press release: RESULTS UK welcomes International Development Committee report on disability

RESULTS UK warmly welcomes the International Development Select Committee’s report released today which calls on the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to urgently step up its work on disability, or risk failing the world’s poorest people.

RESULTS’ Executive Director Aaron Oxley said, “We and our grassroots advocates from across the UK have campaigned passionately for years to see UK aid better supporting education for children with disabilities. We’ve worked with coalitions of other charities, with many of Team GB’s amazing Paralympians, and with Parliamentarians. The International Development Committee is absolutely right to urge DFID to build on Minister Lynne Featherstone MP’s recent commitments and ensure that disabled people become a clear and sustained priority for UK aid”.

Disability has been neglected for far too long as a “niche” area of development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) failed to mention disability, yet disabled people make up an estimated 15% of the global population. 80% of disabled people live in developing countries and the UN calls them “the world’s largest minority.

Without including disabled people, many of the MDG targets will not be reached. Progress towards MDG 2 (universal primary education), for example, has all but stalled, with 57 million children worldwide out of school and a global learning crisis with 250 million children failing to learn even the basics . Estimates suggest that children with disabilities are more likely to be out of school than any other group of children.

RESULTS UK urges DFID to heed the recommendations of the International Development Select Committee’s report. DFID should lead by example by putting in place a strong disability strategy supported by a larger team with a senior sponsor and strong reporting processes to ensure accountability. DFID should pledge to make all UK aid programmes accessible to disabled people, and begin immediately to implement that pledge in a sensible, phased way.

The IDSC report highlights the important role that Prime Minister David Cameron has played in the debate about the future of development as co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on Post-2015. The Prime Minister has championed the High Level Panel’s call for a development agenda that “leaves no-one behind” and prioritising disabled people clearly fits with that agenda.

Mr Oxley echoed the Prime Minister’s focus on the most marginalised, saying, “Acting now to prioritise education for children with disabilities, and other marginalised groups, will ensure that UK aid and UK taxpayers help secure a world of prosperity for all that leaves no-one behind.”

Figures released last week showed that the UK Government had fulfilled their commitment to meet the international target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on overseas aid . The UK is also currently the largest bilateral donor to basic education. The IDSC report emphasises the importance of DFID promoting attention to the needs of disabled people via its role as a leading contributor to UN and other international agencies.

Mr Oxley said “I am very proud that our Government is a world leader in development. DFID’s work is delivering important progress and changing millions of lives. On disability, the IDSC is right that DFID can play a crucial role by leading by example and by working closely with international partners, such as the Global Partnership for Education, to ensure all children, regardless of disability or other circumstance, can achieve a quality education”.

REASON #2 to invest in the Global Partnership for Education now: THE GPE REACHES THOSE IN THE GREATEST NEED

Over the next eight weeks, RESULTS affiliates in the UK, Australia, Canada and the U.S. will delve deeper into 8 key reasons to invest in the Global Partnership for Education now more than ever. This second post is by Dan Jones, Campaigns Manager at RESULTS UK. You can read the blog about Reason #1, by RESULTS Australia’s Camilla Ryberg, here.

 

“Everyone has the right to education” 

– Article 26, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

This week, we look more closely into Reason #2 of the eight reasons from our joint RESULTS report “Greater Impact through Partnership: 8 reasons to invest in the Global Partnership for Education now more than ever”.

Reason #2

This reason is close to the hearts of everyone who campaigns with RESULTS around the world, because it is about reaching the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our world.

Education is fundamental to ending poverty and to tackling the inequalities that leave some children behind, unable to fulfil their right to education. Put simply, the world cannot achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) without ensuring education for all, including the most marginalised people.

Dramatic progress has been made in expanding access to primary education. For example, since 1999 the number of children out of school around the world has fallen almost by half. We should be proud of the part our Governments, as major donors to education, have played in that. Yet despite progress, 57 million children of primary age remain out of school around the world. The UN recently reported that 250 million children are failing to learn even the basics of reading and writing – a “global learning crisis”.

It is clear that marginalised children, particularly girls, those living in conflict-affected and fragile states, and children with disabilities, make up a very large proportion of the children either out of school or receiving such poor quality education that they are unable to learn.

The Global Partnership for Education specifically prioritises these children and aims to support them to receive a quality basic education. Nearly three-quarters of the world’s 57 million primary-school-aged children who are out of school live in GPE’s partner developing countries. Of the 250 million children estimated by UNESCO to either not be reaching grade 4 or reaching grade 4 without mastering minimum levels of learning, 100 million (40%) of them are in GPE countries.

Continue reading

One week to go (*gulp*) – Please support!

Dan Jones, our Campaigns Manager, on the final weeks of training for the London Marathon. Dan is running for RESULTS UK, and you can support him here

London Marathon programme

The London Marathon final programme lands on my doorstep – no going back now.

It’s official – there’s only one week left before I’ll be (without any doubt whatsoever) out-pacing Mo Farah, Wilson Kipsang, Geoffrey Mutai et al as I triumph over the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon, in support of RESULTS UK. And I’m definitely feeling *The Fear*.

Training has been hard. The lowest point was at about 7am one Saturday morning, when after a long week at work I woke, put on my trainers and prepared for my longest training run of 22 miles. It took me just under four hours which, frankly, is just a ridiculous amount of time to spend running.

It has to be said though that as I’ve trained for my second ever marathon, it’s been a lot better than last time around. Two years ago, I was training for the Kilimanjaro marathon in Tanzania. At the time, I was living in Nairobi, Kenya where training runs were particularly challenging for a number of reasons. Firstly, we had to get up at about 6am in order to finish training runs before it got too hot (not really a problem in old blighty). Then, there was the lack of pavements and crazy traffic in Nairobi. I became adept at leaping pot holes, dodging through unpredictable traffic jams and purple exhaust fumes.  On one occasion, I took a wrong  turn through a slum, much to the bemusement of onlookers.Yeah, not really the same as running on the suburban streets of Hertfordshire. And then of course there was the fact that the marathon itself was mainly uphill – the clue, I suppose, was in the title. At least this time I know it’s fairly flat.

Dan running in Berkhamsted Half Marathon

Feeling the pain during the recent Berkhamsted Half Marathon (just a “light” training run)

Last time around, I was raising money for a small Kenyan NGO Special Education Professionals that I worked with in Nairobi, who brought together disability specialists including special needs teachers, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists to support children with disabilities and their parents in low income areas like the informal settlements.

This time, I’m raising money for RESULTS! But it’s great to feel that our work is still changing the lives of those same marginalised children. As a concrete example, I’ve been proud to be part of RESULTS’ campaigning to strengthen the focus of UK aid on supporting education for children with disabilities. We have been campaigning literally for years on this issue. Our amazing network of grassroots advocates have written to their MPs, been to Parliament and engaged Team GB’s famous Paralympians on this issue. We’ve worked with hundreds of other organisations, organised events for MPs, gained media coverage and submitted evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry. It can sometimes be hard to see the tangible results that RESULTS achieves, but on this issue, we have seen huge progress. Last year DFID Minister Lynne Featherstone MP announced new commitments including that all new schools built with direct UK support in developing countries would be built accessible to children with disabilities. She then visited Uganda with Paralympian and broadcaster Ade Adepitan to raise the profile of the issue further. Later this week, Parliament’s inquiry on disability and development will publish its report and we sincerely hope that that will go further and include strong recommendations for DFID to do more to ensure UK aid is inclusive of people with disabilities.

That’s an example of our impact that I’m particularly proud of, but I could just as easily have talked about our role in securing millions of pounds for life-saving global programmes to find and treat tuberculosis or to tackle under-nutrition in developing countries, or our current advocacy to ensure a successful replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education, which will deliver a quality education for millions of children.

So I’m feeling proud to be running the London Marathon for RESULTS. With one week to go, I’m excited, nervous, fairly injury-free and, well, terrified. But that’s normal isn’t it?!

Please support this crazy endeavour and help me reach my fundraising target of £1,000 for RESULTS UK. You can donate online at http://www.everyclick.com/danrunslondon.

(also, if anyone is in London for the marathon on Sunday, do cheer me on – I’ll be grimacing and wearing a RESULTS T-shirt)

Photo story: Finding TB cases in Cambodia’s Slums

The World Health Organisation estimates that of the nearly nine million people who become ill with tuberculosis every year, nearly one third are ‘missed’ by national health systems. This means that roughly one out of every three individuals with TB is never officially diagnosed or treated and continues to spread, suffer, and die from the disease.

In Steung Meanchey, Cambodia, a new programme, supported by TB REACH, has been introduced to help find people in slums who have symptoms of TB, but have never received a formal diagnosis. TB REACH is a an initiative of the Stop TB Partnership that seeks to use innovative and forward thinking techniques for finding and diagnosing cases of TB in hard to reach populations.

Steung Meanchey is a poor community on the outskirts on Phnom Penh that sits directly above a sewage lake and has high rates of TB due to overcrowded living conditions and poor nutrition. Many families in the community do not have access to health services or are unaware that symptoms such as a cough or weight loss could actually be the early stages of TB.  To address this problem, the programme sends health workers to visit families to see if any individuals have symptoms of TB. If they have symptoms, health workers collect a sputum sample from the individual, place it in a cool box and then transport it back to the lab for testing. If the person turns out to have TB, they are provided treatment free of charge, in their home, until they recover.

While the approach of actively finding people in Cambodia who have TB may not sound ground-breaking, it is this sort of alternative approach that has helped the country make inroads against one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases. Bringing health services to those who might otherwise have difficulty accessing them is helping to ensure people are diagnosed sooner and put on treatment faster, thus stopping the disease from being spread further in the community.

National Conference speakers annouced!

We are pleased to announce four of the speakers who will be joining us for our annual National Conference over the weekend of the 10th-12th of May 2014.

With an exciting range of speakers already confirmed, this year’s conference is shaping up to be one of our most exciting conferences to date!  To find out more about them, have a read of their bios below.

 Speaker Biographies

 Ben Taylor

Ben TwazeaBen Taylor is an analyst and activist, working on open government and citizens’ engagement. He works as Open Development Consultant for Twaweza, an East African NGO that creates opportunities for citizens to make change happen in their own communities directly and by holding government to account. Prior to this, Ben spent 12 years working for various civil society organisations in Tanzania, including WaterAid and Daraja.  Drawing on his expereince working with grassroots movement Twaweza in East Africa, Ben will be speaking in the weekends first session: Doing it for themselves: national and grassroots development successes that are breaking the mould.

Nick Dearden

contributor-nick dearden

Nick Dearden is the  director of the World Development Movement, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning against the root causes of poverty and inequality. Nick started his career at War on Want where he became a senior campaigner. He went on to be corporates campaign manager at Amnesty International UK. As director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, he built strong relationships with campaigners in the global south. He helped win a new law to stop Vulture Funds from using UK courts to squeeze huge debt payments out of poor countries. Nick will be speaking in the weekends contested debate: The unseen hand of progress? Does the private sector hold the key to development in the 21st century?

Daniel Ben-Ami

indexDaniel Ben-Ami  has worked as a writer for over 25 years, during which time he has contributed to numerous national, specialist and international publications. Ferraris For All, his book defending economic progress, was first published in 2010 and an extended edition was published in 2012. His book on global finance, Cowardly Capitalism, was recommended by the Baker Library of Harvard Business School. Ben-Ami will be joining Nick to debate the private sectors role in development

Andrew Felton

AndrewFeltonAndrew Felton is currently the Senior External Affairs Counsellor at The World Bank.  Prior to becoming the Senior External Counsellor at the World Bank, Felton worked with DeDepartment for International Development as a Policy Analyst, and Head of Cabinet. He also spent time working with DFID in both Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Felton received his MSc in Rural Resource Management: Tropical from the University of Wales, Bangor. Andrew will be presenting the Banks vision of a world without poverty in the days final session: Is zero possible? Fulfilling the World Bank’s ambition of ending poverty by 2030.

For more information about the conference check out the National Conference webpage or click here to download a booking form.