The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 21 April 2018

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

pdf version: The Sentinel_ period ending 21 April 2018

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Message of the Secretary General on Venezuela – Organization of American States (OAS)

Message of the Secretary General on Venezuela – Organization of American States (OAS)
April 20, 2018
The Venezuelan people are today experiencing an involuntary exodus, forced upon them by the growing economic and institutional degradation of the country.

The data speaks for itself. According to the International Organization for Migration, in 2015 some 698,000 Venezuelans lived outside of Venezuela. At the end of 2017, there were already 1.6 million. It is very likely that this situation will worsen if the fraudulent elections of May 20 are finally held and, as expected, consolidate the dictatorial power of the current regime.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) already estimates that this year the figure could more than double, even surpassing 3 million people, 10 percent of the total Venezuelan population.

This is already a humanitarian crisis of proportions never seen before in the Americas. It is a moral obligation of all the rest to help the Venezuelan brothers and sisters in this aspect as well.

We know that migrating is not an easy process. That is why we support UNHCR’s efforts to promote the protection of and assistance to Venezuelan refugees.

That is why we also applaud initiatives of other Venezuelans outside their country, such as the Tú País Foundation and the CDEI Foundation to create a space for migrants to adapt in the best possible way to their new situation.

At the OAS we are working on several initiatives. We are supporting a refugee resettlement program in cities in the interior of Brazil, analyzing legal regularization options in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Likewise, we are developing a guide for those who migrate by bus to the south and preparing a study on how support initiatives from different countries can be complemented.

Know that you are not alone. We know what Venezuelan migrants are suffering. I want to convey to you all my solidarity and support for the drama you are experiencing and the forced exodus that many are going through…

World Bank Group, UNHCR sign memorandum to establish joint data center on forced displacement

Forced Migration – Data
World Bank Group, UNHCR sign memorandum to establish joint data center on forced displacement
Date: April 20, 2018
World Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to establish a new Joint Data Center on forced displacement. Set to begin operating later this year, the new Center responds to growing demand for more and better data, to inform a stronger global response to forced displacement and improve policies and programming to help affected people.

Facing historically high levels of forced displacement, currently with about 66 million refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers globally, the Bank Group and UNHCR have been expanding collaboration in recent years, including through a series of joint analytical work in the Horn of Africa, the Lake Chad Basin and the Middle East.

The new Center builds on these efforts, and focuses on the collection, analysis and dissemination of primary microdata. This will enable the two institutions to complement each other’s strengths; UNHCR in protection data, registration and collection, and the Bank Group in household data, policy dialogue and analytical work. The Center will serve as a catalyst to stimulate work across both institutions, as well as to support governments, multi-lateral development banks, private sector, civil society, researchers, and others. Partnerships will be explored with other organizations that have substantive experience in forced displacement data, to further enhance complementarities and synergies.

In terms of scope, the Center will cover demographic and socioeconomic data – detailed information on income, consumption, skills, health, and economic activity among others – that will be anonymized to protect privacy and prevent identifying individuals. Data will encompass refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless people, returnees, asylum-seekers, and host populations…

MDBs Launch New Platform to Coordinate Support for Economic Migration and Forced Displacement

Humanitarian Response : Financing Mechanisms
MDBs Launch New Platform to Coordinate Support for Economic Migration and Forced Displacement
News Release
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2018 — Seven Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) launched a new platform to enhance their collaboration on economic migration and forced displacement today on the margins of the IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings. The platform will advance strategic dialogue and operational coordination to maximize the impact of MDBs’ growing engagement in these two areas.

While economic migration and forced displacement are distinct issues and require a different response, each has emerged as a complex development challenge. There are an estimated 250 million international economic migrants worldwide, and roughly 66 million people are forcibly displaced as refugees or internally displaced persons fleeing conflict and persecution.

The new platform represents a strong effort by MDBs to enhance cooperation to address these challenges, in response to a request made by the G7. After presenting a strategic framework for action at the G7 meeting in Bari, Italy, in May 2017, MDBs worked closely together to prepare specific initiatives under the new platform.

Cooperation is ongoing. Since the platform was first announced in October 2017, MDB representatives have met several times to discuss respective approaches, results, and challenges. Four priority areas where there is high potential to increase impact have been identified to serve as the focus of the platform in the initial phase:
:: Refining the common framework for MDB engagement;
:: Advancing cooperation on knowledge, evidence, and data;
:: Ensuring strategic coordination on priority topics in coordination with governments, UN, and other partners; and
:: Deploying better-targeted instruments and products.

Today’s platform launch was attended by representatives of all participating MDBs—African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank Group—as well as G7 deputies and strategic partners including the European Commission and UNHCR…

The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution

Development – Financial Inclusion
The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution
World Bank – Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Leora Klapper, Dorothe Singer, Saniya Ansar, Jake Hess
2018 ]April] :: 151 pages
…A growing body of research demonstrates the impact of country advances on significant priorities such as reducing poverty, hunger, and gender inequality. Today, member states at the United Nations are using Global Findex data to track progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dozens of national governments have adopted policies to expand financial inclusion. These and other global and national efforts are paying off. New Global Findex data reveal that globally the share of adults owning an account is now 69 percent, an increase of seven percentage points since 2014. These numbers translate into 515 million adults who have gained access to financial tools. The 2017 figures on overall account ownership continue the upward trajectory we’ve seen since the Global Findex database was first released—with financial inclusion rising 18 percentage points since 2011, when account ownership was 51 percent.

The 2017 Global Findex data reflect the continued evolution of financial inclusion. Recent progress has been driven by digital payments, government policies, and a new generation of financial services accessed through mobile phones and the internet.

The power of financial technology to expand access to and use of accounts is demonstrated most persuasively in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 21 percent of adults now have a mobile money account—nearly twice the share in 2014 and easily the highest of any region in the world. While mobile money has been centered in East Africa, the 2017 update reveals that it has spread to West Africa and beyond.

Digital technology is also transforming the payments landscape. Globally, 52 percent of adults have sent or received digital payments in the past year, up from 42 percent in 2014. Technology giants have moved into the financial sphere, leveraging deep customer knowledge to provide a broad range of financial services. Payments made through their technology platforms are facilitating higher account use in major emerging economies such as China, where 57 percent of account owners are using mobile phones or the internet to make purchases or
pay bills—roughly twice the share in 2014.

Some advances have been made in helping women gain access to financial services. In India three years ago, men were 20 percentage points more likely than women to have an account. Today, India’s gender gap has shrunk to 6 percentage points thanks to a strong government push to increase account ownership through biometric identification cards.

Still, in most of the world women continue to lag well behind men. Globally, 65 percent of women have an account compared with 72 percent of men, a gap of seven percentage points that is all but unchanged since 2011. Nor has equality in account ownership been achieved in other regards. The gap between rich and poor has not improved since 2014: account ownership is 13 percentage points higher among adults living in the wealthiest 60 percent of households within economies than among those in the poorest 40 percent. And urban populations continue to benefit from far broader access to finance than rural communities. In China around 200 million rural adults remain outside the formal financial system…
.Press Release
Financial Inclusion on the Rise, But Gaps Remain, Global Findex Database Shows
515 Million Adults Have Opened Accounts Since 2014
WASHINGTON, April 19, 2018—Financial inclusion is on the rise globally, accelerated by mobile phones and the internet, but gains have been uneven across countries. A new World Bank report on the use of financial services also finds that men remain more likely than women to have an account.

…“In the past few years, we have seen great strides around the world in connecting people to formal financial services,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Financial inclusion allows people to save for family needs, borrow to support a business, or build a cushion against an emergency. Having access to financial services is a critical step towards reducing both poverty and inequality, and new data on mobile phone ownership and internet access show unprecedented opportunities to use technology to achieve universal financial inclusion.”

There has been a significant increase in the use of mobile phones and the internet to conduct financial transactions. Between 2014 and 2017, this has contributed to a rise in the share of account owners sending or receiving payments digitally from 67 percent to 76 percent globally, and in the developing world from 57 percent to 70 percent.

Globally, 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone that could help them access financial services. Digital technology could take advantage of existing cash transactions to bring people into the financial system, the report finds. For example, paying government wages, pensions, and social benefits directly into accounts could bring formal financial services to up to 100 million more adults globally, including 95 million in developing economies. There are other opportunities to increase account ownership and use through digital payments: more than 200 million unbanked adults who work in the private sector are paid in cash only, as are more than 200 million who receive agricultural payments…

12 Ways Foundations Are Transforming Themselves to Transform Their Impact

Governance – Foundations and Impact
Being the Change
FSG – with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Democracy Fund, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Humanity United, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Omidyar Group.
April 2018 :: 80 pages

As foundations adopt new approaches for creating social change, they must also adapt their internal practices.

To achieve meaningful impact at scale, many foundations are aiming to influence the actions and investments of the public and private sectors, as well as address the complex and deeply entrenched conditions that hold social problems in place. To do so, foundations are not only offering grant funding, but are also expanding how they apply their assets, knowledge, skills, networks, and people in new ways.

There is a wealth of information on how to adapt strategies to create impact at scale and to change systems; however, less has been written about what internal practices are needed to make this happen. To find out, we interviewed 114 practitioners representing 50 funders and 8 philanthropic services organizations that have gone through or advised internal transformation. Our interviews yielded surprising commonalities. Whether the foundations had grantmaking budgets of $5 million, $50 million, or $500 million, they agreed that new practices are needed in the areas of staffing philosophy, structure and design, skill development, and supportive culture (see chart on next page).

By experimenting with these practices, foundations hope to foster connectivity, vibrancy, and deep engagement both internally (across all people and parts of their organization) and externally (with grantees, community members, and other partners), ultimately opening up new avenues for impact.

The 12 Ways Foundations Are Transforming Themselves to Transform Their Impact
Redefining capacity needs by:
[1] Viewing staff as impact multipliers, not cost drivers
[2] Designing teams based on functions, not formulas
[3] Using size-based benchmarking as a compass, not ruler

Unlocking new sources of value by:
[4] Coloring outside the lines of classic philanthropic giving
[5] Transforming backoffice support into front-line impact
[6] Busting silos between issues, people, and teams

Reconceiving and nurturing talent by:
[7] Seeking out and supporting five key mindsets
[8] Welcoming and valuing diverse and lived experience
[9] Boosting breadth and depth of professional development

Fostering openness and authenticity by:
[10] Committing to continuous learning and adaptation
[11] Attending to power dynamics with partners
[12] Mirroring internally what is sought

New unique agricultural heritage sites designated – FAO

Heritage Stewardship – Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
New unique agricultural heritage sites designated – FAO
19 April 2018, Rome – Thirteen new landscapes were formally celebrated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) here today, paying tribute to the ingenious ways that human needs and nature’s resources have been combined to create mutually sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems.

The new sites in this landmark FAO program are in China, Egypt, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Sri Lanka. Their primary production ranges from fruits, vegetables, salt and rice to silk, meat, tea and wasabi.

These systems “reflect a profound harmony between humanity and nature,” FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said at an international forum in Rome.

Read more about all the new entries here.
To see how stunning these landscapes are, click here.

The new additions bring to 50 the total number of GIAHS worldwide. The programme highlights unique ways that rural communities have over generations forged to foster food security, viable livelihoods, resilient ecosystems and high levels of biodiversity, all while enhancing remarkable beauty.

“The sites are not about a nostalgic past but offer solutions for the present and the future,” Semedo emphasized. “GIAHS is also about innovation and opportunities, including broadening access to new markets and businesses such as eco-labelling, agri-tourism, youth empowerment to add value to our agricultural patrimony.”

Among the new GIAHS sites are the first members from Europe and North America: An agro-sylvo-pastoral system in Barroso, Portugal, a unique way of making salt in Salinas de Añana, Spain, a millennial way of growing muscatel grapes in Axarquía, Spain, and a set of artificially developed farmland in Mexico City (Chinampas) based on oral transmission of traditional techniques widely used during the Aztec civilization.

…Globally important agricultural heritage systems embody managed ecosystems in which water use, soil health and other ecosystem factors are intricately linked, often in ways that require bespoke social governance rules regarding tenure, resource allocation and labor.

Heritage systems bring together the economic, social, environmental and cultural pillars of sustainable development, Semedo noted. Recognizing them also underscores the leading role that smallholder famers – their creators and custodians – play in promoting biodiversity and a host of other shared goals, she added…