The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 10 March 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 10 March 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

UNICEF – Progress for Children in the SDG Era

Development – SDGs: Indicator Measurement/Metrics and Children

Progress for Children in the SDG Era
March 2018 :: 104 pages

Foreward [excerpt]
The Sustainable Development Goals embody our highest aspirations for a better world – and reflect our greatest responsibility as a global community: To provide children and young people today with the services, skills and opportunities they need tomorrow to build better futures for themselves, their families, and their societies.

This understanding – that a sustainable future depends on how we meet the needs of children and young people today – is at the core of the SDGs, which include 44 child-related indicators integrated throughout the 17 goals. Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era, the first report of UNICEF’s new SDG tracking series, provides a preliminary assessment of how the world is doing thus far on achieving these critical targets.

Even for early days, the outlook the report reveals is foreboding.

Most urgently, UNICEF’s comprehensive report on SDG progress for children reveals that more than 650 million children – approaching one-third of the world’s children – live in 52 countries that are off track on at least two-thirds of the child-related SDG indicators for which they have data.

The concerns raised by this news are compounded by the fact that these are only the children we know about. Progress for Every Child in the SDG Era also reveals that over half a billion of the world’s children live in 64 countries that lack sufficient data for us even to assess if they are on or off track for at least two-thirds of all child-related SDG indicators.

This is a critical juncture in the SDG era: A time when the decisions we take and the investments we make can pay enormous dividends – or extract an impossible price. While it would be both counterproductive and premature to predict failure, it is never too soon to calculate its potential costs.

Given current trends, unless we accelerate progress to meet the child-related SDG targets, between 2017 and 2030, 10 million children will die from preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthdays.

As many as 31 million children will be stunted, robbed of the opportunity to fulfil their potential for lack of adequate nutrition.

At least 22 million children will miss out on pre-primary education, so critical to their later ability to succeed in school and beyond.

And without faster progress, 670 million people worldwide will still be without basic drinking water, in turn threatening children’s survival and healthy development…


Call to action [p.100]
An agenda for action on data
There are no easy fixes to addressing the data deficiencies exposed in this report. Good data on children depend on strong national data institutions and capacity, which take time and investment to develop. But much can be done – and done now. Putting systems in place to generate the data required to track and enable progress will take sustained efforts and support across a number of areas.

The accountability to generate the data – and achieve the goals – is held by countries. But the international community has an obligation to work in partnership with national governments.

In Goal 17, the SDGs include a call for a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development – and working together to develop countries’ statistical capacities is an essential part of that endeavour. Target 17.18 specifically calls for capacity-building support to developing countries “to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.”

We identify three principles that should underpin this effort and that will guide UNICEF’s work over the next 12 years:
:: Data as the spine of system strengthening.
The effort to improve data collection and capacity is inseparable from the broader effort to build strong service delivery systems, whether in health or education, social services or border control. We will invest in long-term efforts to improve the quality, coverage and coordination of governments’ administrative data systems that concern children.

:: Leave no country behind.
Global support to data monitoring and capacity resembles a messy patchwork. We will urge systematic and coordinated efforts to ensure all countries have minimum data coverage for children, irrespective of their resources and capabilities. This will require greater cooperation with industrialized economies to ensure reporting to custodian agencies, and investing in new data solutions in conflict- and disaster-affected areas, where reliance on regular surveys and routine data systems may not be feasible.

:: Shared norms, beginning with open data.
The monitoring framework of the SDGs represents a formidable exercise in agreeing on universal approaches to measurement, while still recognizing the value of local adaption for country ownership. The need for stronger shared norms on data remains great, especially when it comes to children. We will advocate for common approaches to measuring emerging threats facing children, capturing missing child populations such as those in institutions or migrating, and to sharing data to enable vulnerable children to be more effectively identified, while protecting children’s privacy.

To support countries in mainstreaming data on children and adolescents into national statistical systems and plans, UNICEF is already working to develop needed indicators and measurement tools, and support national capacities to monitor and use SDG indicators, especially the 17 indicators that UNICEF has a particular duty to support (see Box 6.1). This work is undertaken as part of the United Nations Development Group and the broader development community.

The agenda is expansive, and only by working together can it be fulfilled.


Press release
UNICEF report: Over half a billion ‘uncounted’ children live in countries unable to measure SDG progress
Latest data on development progress for children shows over half a billion more live in countries where the SDGs are quickly falling out of reach.
NEW YORK, 7 MARCH 2018 – Early assessment of progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals confirms an alarming lack of data in 64 countries, as well as insufficient progress toward the SDGs for another 37 countries where the data can be tracked.

The UNICEF report, Progress for Children in the SDG Era, is the first thematic report assessing performance toward achieving the SDG global targets that concern children and young people. The report warns that 520 million children live in countries which completely lack data on at least two-thirds of child-related SDG indicators, or lack sufficient data to assess their progress – rendering those children effectively “uncounted.”

Where sufficient data is available, the scale of the challenge posed by the SDG targets remains daunting. The report warns that 650 million children live in countries where at least two-thirds of the SDGs are out of reach without accelerated progress. In fact, in those countries, even more children could face bad outcomes in life by 2030 than now.

“More than half the world’s children live in countries where we either can’t track their SDG progress, or where we can and they are woefully off-track,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director for the Division of Data, Research and Policy. “The world must renew its commitment to attaining the SDGs, starting with renewing its commitment to measuring them.”

The report tracks progress on five dimensions of children’s rights: health, learning, protection from violence and exploitation, a safe environment and equal opportunity. The report quantifies how far short of the global goals the world is currently expected to fall, measured in human costs.

Projections show that between now and 2030:
:: 10 million additional children would die of preventable causes before their fifth birthday;
:: 31 million children would be left stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition;
:: 22 million children would miss out on pre-primary education;
:: 150 million girls will marry before their 18th birthday;
:: 670 million people, many of them children, will still be without basic drinking water.

“Two years ago, the world agreed on an ambitious agenda to give every child the best chance in life, with cutting-edge data analysis to guide the way,” said Chandy. “And yet, what our comprehensive report on SDG progress for children reveals plainly is an abject lack of data. Most countries do not have the information even to assess whether they are on track or not. Children around the world are counting on us – and we can’t even count all of them.”

The report calls for renewed efforts to address the global data-deficiency, while recognizing that strong national data institutions and capacity take time and investment to develop. The report identifies three principles to underpin this work:
:: Building strong measurement into service delivery systems, whether in health or education, social services or border control;
:: Systematic and coordinated efforts to ensure all countries have minimum data coverage for children, irrespective of their resources and capabilities;
:: Establishing stronger shared norms on data concerning children, including common approaches to measuring emerging threats facing children, capturing missing child populations, and sharing data to enable vulnerable children to be more effectively identified, while protecting children’s privacy.

While each government is ultimately accountable to generate the data that will guide and measure achievement of the goals, the international community has an obligation to partner with them to make sure the SDG targets are met.

Global Health 50/50 Report (2018)

Global Health 50/50 Report (2018)
How gender-responsive are the world’s most influential global health organisations?
First report 2018
The Global Health 50/50 initiative is housed by the University College London Centre for Gender and Global Health.
March 2018 :: 56 pages
PDF: report was supported by a grant from Wellcome Trust, Grant reference number: 210398/Z/18/Z

The Global Health 50/50 Report, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive review of the gender-related policies of more than 140 major organisations working in and/or influencing the field of global health. The initiative is focused at the intersection of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including on health (3), gender equality (5), inequalities (10) and inclusive societies and institutions (16).

Gender equality has seemingly been embraced as a priority in global health. The report is inspired, however, by a growing concern that too few global health organisations walk the talk by defining, programming, resourcing or monitoring gender, either as a determinant of health, or as a driver of career equality in their own workplaces.
The Global Health 50/50 Report provides a benchmark across the sector to catalyse shifts in organisational and management culture and practice, the adoption of gender-responsive policies, and ensuring adequate resources for programmes focusing on the gendered dynamics of global health. It seeks to provide evidence of where the gaps lie, while shining a light on ways forward.

GH50/50 High Scorers – 2018
Based on the findings across the seven domains explored above, GH5050 identified nine very high-scoring organisations and a further ten high-scoring organisations (some of which missed out on a top ’score’ since they provide little or no information for one key variable, such as gender composition of Board).

Highest scorers: BRAC; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Gavi; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; Population Reference Bureau; Save the Children International; Sida; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); UNICEF.

High scorers: CARE; European Commission; FHI360; Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO); Jhpiego; Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH); Stop TB; UNFPA; UN Women; WHO.

Organisations have been scored based on whether they have gender-responsive policies in place, and some indicators of practice—namely sex-disaggregation of data and parity among senior management and boards. Such a review provides a critical initial understanding of whether an organisation has an adequate policy foundation in place to guide gender-responsive programming and foster a gender-equitable workplace. Looking forward, however, a much better understanding of the extent to which effective policies and accountability mechanisms to promote gender equality are implemented is urgently needed.

Open Letter From Women in the Aid Sector

Open Letter From Women in the Aid Sector
On Friday 2nd March, 2018, the letter below was circulated through private emails and messages to women working within the aid sector throughout the world. The letter was drafted by Sarah Martin (@smartindc), Alexia Pepper de Caires (@Je_ne_tweet_pas), Anne Quesney (@anneqy) and Danielle Spencer (@daniellewas). However, it was also informed by many other women who chose to remain anonymous whom we thank for their input.

Just five days after the letter was launched, as of the afternoon of March 7th, the letter has been signed by 1,111 women. 897 women signed and felt it was safe to use their names, 214 women felt they needed to sign on anonymously. Women living and working in 81 countries around the world signed on in support – from the US and UK, to South Sudan, Haiti, Jordan and Bangladesh. The breadth of women working within the aid industry has been truly reflected in the signatories and the content of the letter they have signed should be taken seriously by men and decision makers in humanitarian and development organisations. Thank you to everyone who raised their voices to demand change.


TO: Senior Managers, CEOs and Board Members of Humanitarian and Development Organisations:
Violence Against Women and Girls is endemic across all societies.[1] The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have exposed the level of sexual harassment experienced by women in the film industry, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to the work of women acting in solidarity with their sisters around the world, in recent weeks it has become increasingly apparent that the international aid sector has its own shortcomings. We, the undersigned, demand that the aid sector is reformed and the patriarchal norms which dominate it are rooted out.

We stand together to speak out about the violence and abuse perpetrated against women and girls by men who work within charities. We stand together because our voices are stronger in unison and have often not been heard when we have stood alone.[2] We acknowledge that not all women have the same amount of power – race, class, sexual orientation, economic realities and other forms of discrimination and oppression all play a part in women’s ability to to be heard. Patriarchy impacts women and girls from the global South and women of colour hardest. We acknowledge that these women are most affected and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by aid workers, yet are also the least likely to be heard and least likely to be able to sign on to support this letter.

It is the behaviour of these men, not our complaint of their behaviour, which damages the sector’s reputation and public trust. The women who are speaking out now hope to make international aid a better place for the women who work within it, and for those whose rights we campaign and advocate for. We speak out now in the hopes that in future, the blame for the abuse or for “not doing enough” to stop the abuse will no longer fall on women. The twisted logic of blaming women and girls for the violence and abuse they experience has to end and it is everyone’s responsibility to end it – within the aid sector and beyond.

We are gravely concerned that the culture of silence, intimidation and abuse will continue as soon as the media spotlight on this issue begins to dim. Trust in our sector can only be restored when we ask and answer the difficult questions and openly challenge those who exploit and hide behind the good work of many. We encourage everyone who has seen issues which are contrary to the principles of equality and justice, which are the bedrock of our work, to step forward and speak out and we ask aid agencies to support them.

We ask for 3 fundamental reforms to shift the patriarchal bias in aid:
1. Trust women: organisations need to take action as soon as women report sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse; allegations must be treated with priority and urgency in their investigation; the subject of a complaint of this nature must be immediately suspended or removed from their position of power and reach of vulnerable women and girls.

2. Listen: foster a culture where whistleblowing is welcome and safe – the way to win back trust of donors, the public and the communities we work with is to be honest about abuses of power and learn from disclosures. Sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse should no longer have to be discussed in hushed tones in our offices.

3. Deeds not words: We need effective leadership, commitment to action and access to resources. It is not enough to develop new policies which are never implemented or funded – with the right tools we can end impunity at all levels in the sector.

Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on efforts to address sexual misconduct

Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on efforts to address sexual misconduct
NEW YORK, 9 March 2018 – This is an important moment in time for UNICEF and all the aid sector – a moment to make swift and tangible changes that guarantee a safe environment for all of those who work at – and with – our organizations.

Our current data indicates there were 27 reports of sexual misconduct against UNICEF staff members over the last five years. Of these 27 cases, three are currently under investigation, and nine ended with the staff member’s dismissal or separation. In three cases, no formal complaints were filed, or they were withdrawn. Twelve other complaints could not be substantiated.
Even one case of sexual misconduct is one too many; each one bolsters my determination to change the culture at UNICEF.

We have processes in place, but they are not enough. This is why I announced last week a number of immediate changes to ensure that the 13,000 people who work for us are safe, heard and empowered. More measures will follow in the months to come, but these are our initial steps.
:: I am engaging an outside firm to conduct an independent review of how the organization has dealt with claims of sexual misconduct and harassment in the past. Their report, with lessons learned and recommendations on the way forward, will be made public.
:: We have enhanced our investigation process to ensure that reports of sexual misconduct can be promptly investigated, even if the victim does not file a formal complaint.
:: I will assemble a task force of external and internal advisors – including representatives from UN and non-UN women’s organizations, private sector and civil society – that will make recommendations on how UNICEF can improve our culture and policies.
:: I am providing our staff with more and easier ways to report harassment – and we have made new resources available so staff members can more easily obtain stronger ethics, legal, and medical support, as well as counselling services.
:: We launched a one-touch button on a new webpage to make it easier for our people to anonymously alert managers if they have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct.
:: We will improve our screening for recruitment to ensure our new hires and promotions meet the highest standards of conduct.

We are committed to a new era at UNICEF – one anchored by our strong, enduring commitment to achieving results for children and young people, and one grounded in openness, transparency and respect.

Please know that speaking up and speaking out is encouraged at all levels – and that is what we need most right now. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.
Henrietta H. Fore


Editor’s Note:
In last week’s edition, we published the full text of the message below:
NEW YORK, 28 February 2018
Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore to staff about ending sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment

Action Against Hunger tightens their procedures for preventing and fighting against sexual violence.

Action Against Hunger tightens their procedures for preventing and fighting against sexual violence.
5 March 2018
Action Against Hunger reiterates that they firmly condemn any illegal or unethical conduct involving humanitarian aid workers. For this reasonthe Association reaffirms its determination to fight against any situation of sexual violence, exploitation, or harassment that occurs in the humanitarian sector through tightening up its procedures for preventing and handling the same.

Action Against Hunger has decided to implement an Action Plan that focuses on three priorities: awareness and training of employees, improve the escalation process for reporting incidents and handling cases (beneficiaries, employees), as well being more exigent in that required from third-parties of the organization (partners, suppliers). This plan is an extension of the long-term commitment Action Against Hunger has shown for many years now. It underpins internal progression, constant improvements in good practices, and recognized international standards in this matter.

This Action Plan aims to tighten up existing procedures for preventing, detecting, reporting and managing abuse that are already in place and that apply to all employees, leaders, administrators, or anybody acting on behalf of Action Against Hunger.

In the case of an incident, there is a whistle blowing system, using emails setup for this purpose that facilitate reporting the events. Moreover, these notifications are handled with the greatest of care and diligence by a Unit dedicated to this purpose to assure, on the one hand, the confidentiality and security of possible victims and their confidents, and on the other, assure that the analysis and investigation process finds out the truth about the matter. After the investigation, if the case is verified, disciplinary measures are taken, ranging from a warning to the termination of employment or dismissal of the indicted person(s).

Between 2012 and 2017, Action Against Hunger has handled 19 verified cases of abuse or sexual and/or unethical violence (harassment, violence and abuse of power of a sexual nature) out of 8,000 collaborators in more than 47 countries over the world. In all cases disciplinary action was taken against them or their contract terminated. Action Against Hunger sincerely regrets that these incidents have occurred and wish to express their profound solidarity towards the victims.

Furthermore, an independent investigation is going to be deployed in Bangladesh over the next few days for the period comprising August 2012 to August 2014. This investigation to be carried out in the field aims to find out the truth about what our collaborators were doing during this period.

The fight against all types of sexual violence, exploitation, and harassment is a priority for Action Against Hunger who shall continue working relentlessly and firmly towards fighting any deviation from the norm or permutation. Individual acts, deplorable as they may seem, are not a reason for placing the blame on all humanitarian aid workers or a particular organisation as a whole. Indeed, it is the duty of all stakeholders in the humanitarian sector to do everything they can to pre-empt and prevent any type of unacceptable behaviour amongst its humanitarian aid workers who are committed to improving and saving the life of the most vulnerable. It is through this spectrum of related aspirations and exigencies that we are able to improve our mission.

World Heritage and Reconstruction

Heritage Stewardship

World Heritage Review
n°86 – March 2018

World Heritage and Reconstruction
While conflicts continue to inflict damage – much of it intentional – on heritage sites, reconstruction becomes a critical topic for discussion. The recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged sites are complex. They involve questions that go beyond authenticity and integrity. As the architect Jad Tabet says in his introductory article to this issue of World Heritage, “No one could have imagined that the coming century would, in its early years, witness a new cycle of violence that would spread from Afghanistan and Iraq to Mali, Libya, Syria and Yemen and lead the world to this state of generalized latent warfare that we know today.

The formulation of sound guidance is urgently required on issues related to recovery, taking into account the need to support the affected local communities. To this end, expert meetings have been convened by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and ICOMOS, and seminars are being held at universities to develop plans for thoughtful and effective action.

UNESCO is also currently preparing a ‘White Paper’ in partnership with the World Bank on the reconstruction of cities following a conflict or major natural disaster. Reconstruction projects at World Heritage sites also need to address the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of each site – the reason for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List – but within the context of a larger vision for recovery that addresses socioeconomic questions as well as the needs of the local communities. Solutions must be sensitive to questions of reconciliation and cannot rewrite history.

In this issue, we look at the cases of intentional destruction of sites in Syria and of the Buddhas in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. We take into account the devastating impact on local communities and their identities, as well as the implications of different approaches to reconstruction. We look at the inspiring cases of Timbuktu (Mali), where the mausoleums were rebuilt after their destruction in 2012, and the Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), where the rebuilt bridge has become a symbol of perseverance and unity among communities. We are also pleased to present an interview with heritage expert Christina Cameron, who explains the concept of reconstruction in the framework of the World Heritage Convention and considers the emotional and psychological consequences for the related communities.

As we move forward, the World Heritage Committee will continue to support the preparation and dissemination of guidance on reconstruction, which includes facing the multifaceted challenges it brings. The Committee will continue as well to offer other options – such as exhibits, or virtual projections – that can satisfy the needs of communities to preserve and express their identities without marring the authenticity of what remains. New questions must also be addressed in the future. They include commemoration of the loss, and remembrance of community members and site managers who have given their lives to defend our shared World Heritage.

I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture, who is leaving UNESCO after 15 years of service and who contributed greatly to safeguarding World Heritage around the world. I would also like to express my gratitude to Vesna Vujicic-Lugassy, our Managing Editor from the inception of this magazine in May 1996 to the present, for her personal engagement to make the Review globally known.
Mechtild Rössler
Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

A socioecological measurement of homophobia for all countries and its public health impact

Featured Journal Content

European Journal of Public Health
Advance Publication – 03 March 2018
A socioecological measurement of homophobia for all countries and its public health impact
Erik Lamontagne Marc d’Elbée Michael W. Ross Aengus Carroll André du Plessis Luiz Loures
European Journal of Public Health, cky023,
Measuring homophobia at country level is important to guide public health policy as reductions in stigma are associated with improved health outcomes among gay men and other men who have sex with men.
Methods: We developed a Homophobic Climate Index incorporating institutional and social components of homophobia. Institutional homophobia was based on the level of enforcement of laws that criminalise, protect or recognise same-sex relations. Social homophobia was based on the level of acceptance and justifiability of homosexuality. We estimated the Index for 158 countries and assessed its robustness and validity.
Western Europe is the most inclusive region, followed by Latin America. Africa and the Middle East are home to the most homophobic countries with two exceptions: South Africa and Cabo Verde. We found that a 1% decrease in the level of homophobia is associated with a 10% increase in the gross domestic product per capita. Countries whose citizens face gender inequality, human rights abuses, low health expenditures and low life satisfaction are the ones with a higher homophobic climate. Moreover, a 10% increase in the level of homophobia at country level is associated with a 1.7-year loss in life expectancy for males. A higher level of homophobia is associated with increased AIDS-related death among HIV-positive men.
The socioecological approach of this index demonstrates the negative social, economic and health consequences of homophobia in low- and middle-income countries. It provides sound evidence for public health policy in favour of the inclusion of sexual minorities.

PLoS Medicine – Policy Forum :: Global child and adolescent mental health: The orphan of development assistance for health

Featured Journal Content

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 10 March 2018)
Policy Forum
Global child and adolescent mental health: The orphan of development assistance for health
Chunling Lu, Zhihui Li, Vikram Patel
Policy Forum | published 09 Mar 2018 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: One-quarter of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for mental disorders and substance abuse is borne by those 24 years old or younger, the age group that accounted for more than 40% of the world population. Using the aid activities database from the Creditor Reporting System (CRS), we estimated the level of development assistance for child and adolescent mental health (DAMH_CA) in 132 developing countries between 2007 and 2015.
:: The total amount of DAMH_CA with a primary target on child and adolescent mental health was US$190.3 million over the 8 years, accounting for 12.5% of total development assistance for mental health (DAMH) and 0.1% of development assistance for health (DAH).
:: The largest investments in DAMH_CA over this 8-year period were disbursed to the humanitarian assistance sector for children and adolescents in disasters or conflicts (US$77.2 million [41% of DAMH_CA]), followed by the sector of government and civil services (US$58.6 million [31%]), the health sector (US$38.0 million [20%]), and the education sector (US$15.6 million [8%]).
:: Donors invested little in child and adolescent mental health, in both absolute amount and fraction.
:: The donor community should substantially increase DAMH_CA to establish and enhance the capacity for delivering mental health care to this demographic group.

More than 40% of the world population is 24 years old or younger, the vast majority of whom live in low- and lower middle–income countries [1]. Globally, a quarter of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for mental disorders and substance abuse is borne by this age group [2], and about 75% of mental disorders diagnosed in adulthood have their onset before the age of 24 years [3]. Most children and young people in developing countries, however, do not have access to mental health care.
Lack of financial commitment is amongst the major barriers for improving access to mental health interventions in developing countries. Unsurprisingly, the least resourced regions and countries in the world rely heavily on development assistance, typically from high-income countries or foundations, to support the health sector. Our previous study on development assistance for mental health (DAMH) demonstrated that DAMH remained low both in absolute terms and as a proportion of development assistance for health (DAH) between 2007 and 2013 [4].
This analysis extends our previous analysis by investigating development assistance for child (below age 10) and adolescent (between age 10 and 24) mental health (DAMH_CA). We tracked the level of DAMH_CA in 132 countries between 2007 and 2015…

JAMA Viewpoint – Retreat From Human Rights and Adverse Consequences for Health

Featured Journal Content

March 6, 2018, Vol 319, No. 9, Pages 843-943
Retreat From Human Rights and Adverse Consequences for Health
Diederik Lohman, MA
JAMA. 2018;319(9):861-862. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0271

The international environment for human rights has rapidly deteriorated in recent years. Populist leaders have come to power in an increasing number of countries, often on political platforms that are explicitly hostile to human rights. These leaders tend to portray respect for human rights as an inconvenient obstacle to their agendas rather than as an essential limit on their power. Meanwhile, many governments that have traditionally been proponents of human rights, although often with records that do not entirely reflect human rights, have encountered internal challenges from authoritarian populists or far-right political parties that have turned their focus inward and weakened their willingness to stand up for human rights internationally.

This development has serious consequences. As the Human Rights Watch 2018 World Report, released on January 18, notes, this trend has left an “open field for murderous leaders and their enablers.”1 The report details mass atrocities carried out with near impunity in Yemen, Syria, Burma, South Sudan, and elsewhere. It also provides ample examples of rapidly decreasing political space in many countries as governments seize the opportunity to eliminate free speech, the political opposition, and nongovernmental groups as a fragmented international community stands by paralyzed.

Populist and authoritarian leaders have had civil and political rights, first and foremost, as their focus, rather than economic and social rights, including the right to health. In some cases, populists have exploited public frustration about health care and other social policies to gain electoral support for their anti-rights agendas. However, the retreat from human rights is also a threat to health because it inevitably undermines key building blocks for good public health policy such as the ability to have robust public discussion on complex health issues and to critique government policies that affect public health.

Effects on Health During Conflict
Perhaps the most glaring example of the effect of this retreat from human rights on health globally is the failure of countries and multilateral organizations to effectively counteract the rapid increase in recent years in attacks on health care facilities during conflict. Although international humanitarian law explicitly grants health care facilities protected status, reports of attacks on these facilities and on health care workers during conflict have become so common that many incidents do not even attract media attention.

Last year, a report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition documented attacks on health care facilities and workers in 23 countries across 3 continents.2 The report indicated that hospitals and clinics had been bombed or shelled in 10 countries, health care workers had been killed or abducted in 15, and military or police forces had occupied health care facilities in 7. The report documented 108 attacks on health care facilities in Syria, identified the Syrian and Russian governments as the worst offenders, and noted that the level of violence inflicted on health care facilities and health care workers was “remarkably high” as well in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.2

Due to a lack of data, it is impossible to quantify the full effects of these attacks on the health of the population of these countries. However, those effects are sure to be substantial. Many attacks described in the coalition report led to the suspension of essential health programs, destruction of health care infrastructure, flight of health care workers, and disruptions in deliveries of essential medicines and supplies. In Pakistan, one of the last remaining countries where polio is endemic, attacks by militants on individuals who provide vaccinations for polio led to a temporary suspension of the vaccination program in 2016, although enhanced security measures allowed the program to resume in 2017 without further incident.2

A Human Rights Watch review of 25 attacks on hospitals and health care workers in 10 countries between 2013 and 2016 documented that the attacks resulted in the deaths of more than 230 people, injuries to 180 more, and the closure or destruction of 6 hospitals.3 Yet the review found that no individuals faced criminal charges for their role in the attacks and most of the attacks were not investigated, even though at least 16 of the attacks may have constituted war crimes.3 The attacks involved military forces or armed groups from Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and the United States.3 Even though the adverse effects of these attacks on a population can be enormous, most governments showed no greater willingness to investigate alleged attacks on health care facilities than they have with other potentially unlawful attacks in which their forces were involved, and instead apparently ignored, denied, or even justified them.3

The United Nations, which has been weakened by divisions and a retreat from rights norms (moral principles), has responded to these attacks with rhetoric but almost no action. In 2016, the UN Security Council adopted a strong resolution condemning attacks on health care facilities, and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made 13 recommendations for preventing attacks on medical personnel, as requested by the Security Council.4 The World Health Organization will begin systematic data collection on these incidents (albeit without identification of those responsible). The UN Security Council held a follow-up meeting in May 2017 devoted to protecting civilians, with a special focus on attacks on health care facilities. However, attacks on health care facilities in conflict have continued.

Health Rights Under Authoritarian Regimes
The anti-rights zeal of populist and authoritarian leaders may not specifically target the right to health—and some such leaders have been credited with significant advances in the health of their countries—but good health policy withers without space for robust discussion on policy issues and government accountability. While populist and authoritarian leaders usually first seek to restrict the voice of political opponents or the media, it rarely stops there. Government restrictions intended to hamper the work of civil rights groups also tend to adversely affect groups working on health and other social and economic issues. While international resolve to protect rights has at times been a restraint on the behavior of authoritarian leaders, the global retreat from human rights has given them a freer hand.

A 2017 analysis by Human Rights Watch involving several countries has demonstrated how a lack of public domestic and international accountability can have major negative consequences for health. For example, in the early years of the rule of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, primarily between 2003 and 2006, the country made significant progress in improving health. However, it also gradually restricted political freedoms, becoming increasingly intolerant of criticism. Since 2015, Venezuela’s health care system has slid into crisis as a result of government mismanagement and dwindling oil revenues, and intolerance of criticism now extends to physicians who publicly discuss the state of the health care system.4 For instance, several Venezuelan physicians reported that government officials had threatened reprisals, including dismissal, after they raised concerns about the scarcity of medicines and medical supplies.4

According to official statistics from Venezuela, in 2016 infant mortality increased 30% (from 8812 to 11 446 infant deaths) and maternal mortality increased 65% (from 457 to 756 deaths).5,6 Human Rights Watch analyses suggest that these increases were related to the severe shortages of basic medicines and medical supplies.4 Yet the government insists that Venezuela is not facing a humanitarian crisis.7

In Equatorial Guinea, with the world’s longest surviving president (since 1979), a lack of political freedoms and accountability has allowed the ruling elite to realize billions of dollars in oil revenues while largely ignoring the dire state of public health. Equatorial Guinea was one of the poorest countries in Africa when large oil reserves were discovered in the early 1990s, but its per capita income increased from US $330 in 1991 to a peak of US $24 304 in 2012.

Yet in 2017, an analysis by Human Rights Watch found that 20 years of oil wealth had done little to improve the country’s health indicators.8 Life expectancy has increased and was 57.5 years in 2015, the latest year for which data are available, but merely kept pace with that of other, much poorer, sub-Saharan African countries. Access to safe drinking water remains the same as in 1995 while it has improved in many other countries in the region. Vaccination rates for children have actually declined since the late 1990s and are among the worst in the world, with only 35% estimated to have received the first dose of the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine in 2016, the second lowest vaccination rate in the world for that year.9 Meanwhile, research by Human Rights Watch shows that the president and his inner circle have accumulated incredible wealth while the government frequently harasses members of civil society and political opposition groups.8

Today’s often hostile climate for human rights threatens to undermine health gains the world has achieved in recent decades. Governments and civil society groups concerned with global health should push back against the populist tide and advocate for a firm commitment to human rights and accountability as an integral part of their agendas.
Corresponding Author: Diederik Lohman, MA, Human Rights Watch, Health and Human Rights, 350 Fifth Ave, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118 (
Published Online: January 18, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0271

Emergencies [to 10 March 2018]


Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 06 March 2018 [GPEI]
:: New on Japan has provided additional funding to support the Regional Reference Laboratory in Pakistan, whilst we looked at how one family in Afghanistan is helping to vaccinate every child in their community.
:: The Global Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication met in Geneva, reviewing the criteria that will need to be met in order to achieve global certification of wild poliovirus (WPV) eradication.
:: On International Women’s Day, we highlighted some of the incredible women working to reach every last child.
:: We are pleased to announce the launch of the Gender and Polio section on our website.
:: Minda Dentler, a champion triathlete, advocate for polio eradication, and polio survivor, spoke at TEDWomen about conquering the world’s toughest triathlon, and what it inspired her to do next.
:: Also released this week are new translations of our animation on the two polio vaccines, now available in Dari and Pashto, and Urdu’

Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Afghanistan: One new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental sample has been reported in Nangarhar province.
Pakistan: Two new WPV1 positive environmental samples have been reported, one collected in Sindh province, and one in Punjab province.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: One case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) reported, from Tanganyika province.



WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 10 March 2018]
:: Lassa Fever – Nigeria Disease outbreak news 1 March 2018
From 1 January through 25 February 2018, 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths have been reported from 18 states (Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekite, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba). During this period, 317 cases have been classified as confirmed and eight as probable, including 72 deaths (case fatality rate for confirmed and probable cases=22%). A total of 2845 contacts have been identified in 18 states.
Fourteen health care workers have been affected in six states (Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kogi, Nasarawa, and Ondo), with four deaths (case fatality rate= 29%). As of 18 February, four out of the 14 health care workers were confirmed positive for Lassa fever…

Iraq – No new announcements identified
South Sudan – No new announcements identified.
The Syrian Arab Republic – No new announcements identified
Yemen – No new announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 10 March 2018]
Central African Republic
:: Central African Republic: Rapid health assessment
March 2017 — The purpose of this report is to analyze the capacity of the health systems and minimum health needs of the population on the way to early recovery.

Bangladesh/Myanmar: Rakhine Conflict 2017 – No new announcements identified
Cameroon – No new announcements identified
Democratic Republic of the Congo – No new announcements identified.
Ethiopia – No new announcements identified.
Libya – No new announcements identified.
Niger – No new announcements identified.
Ukraine – No new announcements identified.


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.
Syrian Arab Republic
:: 9 Mar 2018 UNHCR’s Grandi appalled at suffering of civilians in Syria
:: The UN and partners plan to deliver humanitarian assistance to eastern Ghouta [EN/AR] Damascus, 4 March 2018

:: 8 Mar 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 26 February – 04 March 2018 | Issue: 05

:: Media Advisory: Humanitarian Chief to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo 11-13 March 2018

Iraq – No new announcements identified.


UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, February 2018 Published on 05 Mar 2018
Localized drought conditions worsen as hotspot areas bear the brunt.
Over 1.2 million children will be malnourished in 2018.
London conference draws attention to Somalia crisis.
Somalia Humanitarian Fund supports early action, but more is urgently needed.

Ethiopia – No new announcements identified.
Nigeria – No new announcements identified.
Rohinga Refugee Crisis – No new announcements identified.

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 3 March 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 3 March 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

Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict

Development – Conflict Prevention – Governance

Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank and United Nations
March 01, 2018 :: 341pages
The resurgence of violent conflict in recent years has caused immense human suffering, at enormous social and economic cost. Violent conflicts today have become complex and protracted, involving more non-state groups and regional and international actors, often linked to global challenges from climate change to transnational organized crime. It is increasingly recognized as an obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This has given impetus for policy makers at all levels – from local to global – to focus on preventing violent conflict more effectively. Grounded in a shared commitment to this agenda, Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict is a joint United Nations and World Bank study that looks at how development processes can better interact with diplomacy and mediation, security and other tools to prevent conflict from becoming violent. To understand ‘what works,’ it reviews the experience of different countries and institutions to highlight elements that have contributed to peace. Central to these efforts is the need to address grievances around exclusion from access to power, opportunity and security. States hold the primary responsibility for prevention, but to be effective, civil society, the private sector, regional and international organizations must be involved. Enhancing the meaningful participation of women and youth in decision making, as well as long-term policies to address the aspirations of women and young people are fundamental to sustaining peace.

Executive Summary [Excerpt]
Eight Key Messages for Prevention
The study’s findings revolve around eight key messages:
:: Violent conflict has increased after decades of relative decline. Direct deaths in war, numbers of displaced populations, military spending, and terrorist incidents, among others, have all surged since the beginning of the century. A rapidly evolving global context presents risks that transcend national borders and add to the complexity of conflict. This places the onus on policy makers at all levels, from local to global, to make a more concerted effort to bring their tools and instruments to bear in an effective and complementary way.

:: The human and economic cost of conflicts around the world requires all of those concerned to work more collaboratively. The SDGs should be at the core of this approach. Development actors need to provide more support to national and regional prevention agendas through targeted, flexible, and sustained engagement. Prevention agendas, in turn, should be integrated into development policies and efforts, because prevention is cost-effective, saves lives, and safeguards development gains.

:: The best way to prevent societies from descending into crisis, including but not limited to conflict, is to ensure that they are resilient through investment in inclusive and sustainable development. For all countries, addressing inequalities and exclusion, making institutions more
inclusive, and ensuring that development strategies are risk-informed are central to preventing the fraying of the social fabric that could erupt into crisis.

:: The primary responsibility for preventive action rests with states, both through their national policy and their governance of the multilateral system. However, in today’s shifting global landscape, states are often one actor among many. States are increasingly called to work with each other and with other actors to keep their countries on a pathway to peace.

:: Exclusion from access to power, opportunity, services, and security creates fertile ground for mobilizing group grievances to violence, especially in areas with weak state capacity or legitimacy or in the context of human rights abuses. This study points to specific ways in which states and other actors can seek to avert violence, including through more inclusive policies.

:: Growth and poverty alleviation are crucial but alone will not suffice to sustain peace. Preventing violence requires departing from traditional economic and social policies when risks are building up or are high. It also means seeking inclusive solutions through dialogue, adapted macroeconomic policies, institutional reform in core state functions, and redistributive policies.

:: Inclusive decision making is fundamental to sustaining peace at all levels, as are long-term policies to address economic, social, and political aspirations. Fostering the participation of young people as well as of the organizations, movements, and networks that represent them is crucial.
Women’s meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and security is critical to effectiveness, including in peace processes, where it has been shown to have a direct impact on the sustainability of agreements reached.

:: Alongside efforts to build institutional capacity to contain violence when it does occur, acting preventively entails fostering systems that create incentives for peaceful and cooperative behavior. In order to achieve more effective prevention, new mechanisms need to be
established that will allow greater synergy to be achieved much earlier among the various tools and instruments of prevention, in particular, diplomacy and mediation, security, and development…


Press Release
As Conflicts Surge Around the World, New Approaches to Prevention Can Save Lives and Money – Up to US$70 Billion Per Year
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2018 —Preventing violent conflict saves lives and money—up to US$70 billion per year on average, according to a study published today by the World Bank and the United Nations.

The new study, Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict, the first report on conflict prevention done jointly by the World Bank and the United Nations, says the world must refocus its attention on preventing violence as a means to achieving peace. The key, they say, is to identify risks early and to work closely with governments to improve response to these risks and reinforce inclusion.

“It’s increasingly clear that violent conflict is one of the biggest obstacles to ending poverty,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “Conflict impacts a growing number of people within countries, but it does not confine itself to national borders, and its spillover effects can imperil entire regions and pose risks worldwide. Preventing violent conflict is one of the most critical development challenges of our time, one that requires more resources, innovative approaches, and intensified collaboration among international partners.”

Since 2005, deaths related to battle have increased ten-fold, reaching their highest point in 2015. Between 2010 and 2016 alone, the number of civilian deaths in violent conflicts doubled. Violent conflict has also forced people from their homes in record numbers. Today, an estimated 65.6 million people are either internally displaced or refugees, with children making up more than half of the world’s refugee population.

It is estimated that violent conflict could cost up to US$13.6 trillion per year globally, a figure equivalent to 13.3 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Recovery from conflict can take generations. The Pathways report demonstrates that prevention is cost effective and highlights three cost-saving scenarios ranging from US$5 billion to almost US$70 billion annually…

The Pathways study finds that the most successful countries mobilize a coalition of civil society, women’s groups, the faith-based community, and the private sector to provide incentives for peace and manage tensions. They also undertake reforms to strengthen the foundations and inclusiveness of their institutions.

The report calls for an urgent review of the incentives that national, local, and international stakeholders have to act early and collaboratively to build and sustain peace, noting that preventing violent conflict can only be achieved through the full partnership of domestic, development, diplomatic, and security actors.

A New World Bank Project to Benefit Over 25 Million Small and Marginal Farmers in Maharashtra, India

Development – Smallholder Farmers

A New World Bank Project to Benefit Over 25 Million Small and Marginal Farmers in Maharashtra, India
WASHINGTON, February 27, 2018 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$ 420 million project to increase climate resilience in agriculture for small and marginal farmers while ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them.
The project will benefit over 25 million people spread over an area of 3.5 million ha and cover 5,142 villages across 15 most climate vulnerable districts of Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rainfed agriculture. It will strengthen the resilience of small and marginal farmers against adverse climate events by promoting agricultural technologies and farming practices that are aimed at improving soil health, water-use efficiency and crop productivity.
In recent years, climate variability has seriously affected agriculture in Maharashtra, where farming is largely dominated by small and marginal farmers. Farmers have low crop productivity and a high dependence on rainfall. Severe drought in the past few years has affected the state’s agriculture performance.

The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level. It will scale up climate-resilient technologies such as micro irrigation systems, expand surface water storage, and facilitate aquifer recharge, which is expected to directly contribute to a more efficient use of scarce water resources. By adopting climate-resilient seed varieties which have short maturity, are drought and heat resistant, and salt tolerant, the project will help reduce risks of climate-related crop failure, and help enhance farmer’s income.

At the watershed level, project activities include building drainage lines and preparing catchment area treatment plans that promote a more efficient use of surface water for agriculture, complemented with a more sustainable use of groundwater, which will ultimately improve the availability and quality of water at the farm level.

To strengthen emerging value chains for climate-resilient agricultural commodities, the project will improve the capacity of Farmer Producers Organizations to operate as sustainable, market-oriented, agri-enterprises. It will help mainstream the climate resilient agriculture agenda in various local institutions that deliver agricultural services to the farming community…

Fulfilling our collective responsibility: Financing global public goods in education – policy paper


Fulfilling our collective responsibility: Financing global public goods in education – policy paper
UNESCO – Policy Paper 34
March 2018 :: 16 pages
This paper argues that global public goods in education – such as internationally comparable data and statistics, basic research addressing the challenge of improving learning outcomes for sustainable development, and networks for peer learning – are in short supply, poorly funded and rarely coordinated. It calls on the international community to develop a joint vision and finance their provision sustainably to alleviate major constraints to achieving Education 2030 targets.

Key messages:
:: Global public goods are the institutions, mechanisms and outcomes that provide benefits to all, transcend borders and extend across generations.
:: One cross-cutting global public good is knowledge for global development. In the case of education, such knowledge takes three forms: comparable data; research on issues of global relevance; and peer learning networks. These need to build on local capacity.
:: Multilateral institutions, and the World Bank in particular, have played a major role in scaling up interventions related to global public goods. But such support has been plagued increasingly by lack of vision and a stronger focus on short-term results.
:: Financing modalities that focus on short-term results, which also come with increased donor control and alignment to their strategic objectives, may not support the purpose global public goods are supposed to serve.
:: Successful global public goods initiatives in other sectors suggest that their case has to be championed at the global level through strong institutional and intellectual leadership, and that such initiatives need to stay flexible to motivate continual fundraising.
:: It is time for strong institutional and intellectual leadership, building on a consultative approach, to help prioritize a range of global public goods in education that are fit for the purpose of achieving SDG 4 and establish the appropriate governance and funding structures to support their provision. Examples are provided as a starting point for discussion.

Qatar Fund for Development boosts UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund with US $2 million contribution

Heritage Stewardship

Qatar Fund for Development boosts UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund with US $2 million contribution
02 March 2018
The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and UNESCO signed a new agreement this week to supplement the financing of UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) with US$2 million.
“More than ever, we need to respond quickly and efficiently to assess, secure and safeguard threatened heritage, said UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay “The Heritage Emergency Fund is a key tool for doing this and I see this renewed contribution by QFFD as a call to the international community to join forces with UNESCO in this regard.”

H.E. Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Kuwari, Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development, joined Audrey Azoulay, at the signing ceremony, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This latest installment of US $2 million follows an earlier QFFD contribution of an equal amount, as part of a pledge Qatar made at the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha in June 2014. On that occasion, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister, committed a total of US $10 million to support and strengthen UNESCO’s ability to preserve cultural and natural heritage in areas that may be vulnerable to disasters or may be affected by armed conflict.

“The initial contribution by the Qatar Fund for Development towards the Heritage Emergency Fund and the continued funding of this instrument reaffirms Qatar’s commitment to protecting and preserving the heritage of the world. We hope this donation will act as a catalyst that will trigger further contributions by other donors,” affirmed H.E. Khalifa Bin Jassim Al Kuwari.
UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund is a multi-donor fund established in 2015 as a pooled, non-earmarked funding mechanism that gives UNESCO flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to crises to ensure safeguarding of cultural heritage.

To date, it has been used for activities related to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the earthquakes in Ecuador, Myanmar, Nepal and Iran, the hurricanes Matthew in Haiti and Irma in the Caribbean, as well as the floods caused by El Nino in Peru. Activities implemented range from rapid damage assessment and urgent safeguarding interventions to capacity building of professionals and the development of innovative partnerships.

Other donors that have joined the initiative include Norway, Canada, the Principality of Monaco, the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Estonia, the Slovak Republic, the Principality of Andorra, ANA Holdings Inc. and individual donors.

International organisations issue joint pledge on safeguarding

International organisations issue joint pledge on safeguarding
Islamic Relief has joined eight other international organisations in expressing grave concern about reported cases of sexual misconduct by staff of humanitarian aid agencies, and pledging to improve policies and processes to ensure better protection for vulnerable people.

As organisations whose core aim is to help the most vulnerable people in the world, to secure human rights and protect the environment we must always confront and eradicate abusive behaviour and the misuse of power. When it comes from individuals within our own staff it is a double betrayal, not just of the people we exist to serve, but of the people (staff, volunteers, supporters, donors) who work with extraordinary engagement to achieve our mission.

There can be no tolerance for the abuse of power, privilege or trust by individuals within our organisations or in our work. Our utmost priority is to those victims and survivors of abuse – to atone for damage that has been done and to stand in solidarity with those women who have faced such injustice. We have an absolute duty to our staff, our supporters and, above all, the people we seek to help to ensure we do everything in our power to prevent, detect and eradicate unethical behaviour.

We take every necessary step to prevent any wrongs occurring and to respond quickly and decisively if they do – and we will deepen these efforts further. We also have a clear responsibility to ensure that the people we seek to serve are not the ones punished for our mistakes. The widespread public outcry at this behaviour demonstrates that people feel profound compassion for those who need civil society organisations’ help. We must honour that drive, and the rights and needs of the communities with which we work, by continuing to provide vital support but also by constantly seeking to improve.

We are fully committed to being transparent and accountable towards the people we serve, our partners, supporters and the public at large. That is why we are collectively announcing the following series of urgent and immediate measures:
:: We commit ourselves to adhering to existing ethical standard frameworks and to intensify our work with the independent organisations that ensure our compliance. We have mandated a review under the lead of Accountable Now of the ethical standards employed across the sector
:: We will all increase the resources we devote to preventing and safeguarding against abuse and misconduct – meeting our responsibility to protect the people we serve, our staff, and our partners
:: We will collectively review our current human resources referencing systems so that people found to have abused their power or behaved inappropriately are not re- employed in the sector – including in ICSOs, government agencies, the UN and other associated multilateral, bilateral and domestic agencies
:: We will work with these authorities and regulatory bodies to ensure any individual caught abusing their power are sanctioned and cannot do so again.

In taking these steps, we are also asking people to come forward to report unacceptable behaviour. We hope these measures send a clear message to those who experience or witness any form of abuse or have done so in the past – it is essential that they know we take their reports seriously and that we will take action.

These actions are only the first step as, collectively and individually, we do everything possible to ensure that our organisations, our staff and our work meet the most fundamental principle for all civil society organisations – to do no harm. We are truly sorry that there have been occasions when this has not been the case. We must and will do better.

Transparency International
Islamic Relief
Women for Women
Plan International
SOS Children’s Villages

Action Against Hunger strongly condemns any inappropriate conduct of humanitarian aid workers, and have a policy of zero tolerance toward abuse of power, sexual exploitation, and unethical behaviour.

Action Against Hunger strongly condemns any inappropriate conduct of humanitarian aid workers, and have a policy of zero tolerance toward abuse of power, sexual exploitation, and unethical behaviour.
Posted on 12 February 2018
This longstanding commitment is stated in our Charter of Principles. These core principles and institutional commitments are served by specific policies, such as our Code of Conduct and Child Protection policy. These are applicable to all employees, officers, directors, board members, or any person acting on behalf of Action Against Hunger. Robust internal processes exist to educate staff on these policies and to detect potential breaches.

Action Against Hunger has a strict recruitment process which includes tests, interviews, individual references checks, and contact with former employee organisations according to French labour regulation. This procedure was followed prior to the employment of Roland van Hauwermeiren. During this process, Action Against Hunger received no information regarding any inappropriate or unethical behaviour by Roland van Hauwermeiren while he was with Oxfam in Haiti, or any warning on the risks of employing him.

Roland van Hauwermeiren worked for Action Against Hunger as Country Director in Bangladesh between August 2012 and August 2014. He has not worked for us since the end of his assignment in Bangladesh.

According to our records, we have not received any alerts regarding sexual misconduct or abuse during Roland van Hauwermeiren’s assignment with Action Against Hunger. We have now, however, begun a process to closely scrutinise the time he was employed by us, and Action Against Hunger commits to full disclosure, collaborating in full with the authorities.

In addition, we are reviewing our recruitment and safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure they meet the highest possible standards.

Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore to staff about ending sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment

Message from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore to staff about ending sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment
NEW YORK, 28 February 2018 – These past weeks have given us an opportunity to have frank discussions about how we live up to UNICEF’s core values like care, respect, equality and trust. These values animate everything our staff members do in communities around the world in support of the world’s children.

To all of you who sent messages and e-mails about your concerns and ideas about harassment in the workplace: thank you. Please know that we have heard your concerns — and we will continue listening as we articulate and put into action our responsibilities in the days and weeks ahead.
We have no tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment of any kind — including abuses of power and authority. Anywhere.

There have been failures in our culture and processes. This problem has lingered for too long.
But we are united in our desire to change, and create a culture where harassment is never tolerated. We must never forget that those who suffer harassment and abuse are, often, victimized several times: by those who commit these abuses, and by those who enable them. By those who do not take action…by those who do not offer support…and by those who shun a person who is abused or is a whistleblower.

This must be a new era for UNICEF. I want every person who works at — and with — this wonderful organization to feel safe entering UNICEF offices, workplaces or project sites, and remember two words: not here.

I also want you to know that, if you see or experience any form of harassment or witness the sexual abuse and exploitation of children or women, you will have the tools and the power to report it, without shame or fear of reprisal. I am committed to creating a culture of trust and safety so that every employee feels able to come forward.

Finally, I want you to know that all reports will be swiftly addressed. We will keep anyone who comes forward informed, and they will receive protections throughout any investigations. And there will be consequences for those who fail to live up to UNICEF’s values, including dismissal.
Today, I want you to know of a number of initial actions we have put in place to prevent, report and respond to all forms of harassment in the workplace — including abuse of power — and the sexual exploitation and abuse of children and women. Taking decisive action on these two issues goes to the heart of who we are as an organization.

We are improving staff vetting and screening for new hires — including professional, background and criminal-record checks. In addition, a specialized UN reference-check facility is being established, and UNICEF will be part of it.

We are hiring independent advisors to review our practices on both workplace harassment and the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. I will make their findings public. We are also establishing external task forces and internal units to help shape our policies and practices in the weeks and months ahead.

We are launching several measures this week, available to each of you, to report incidents, and obtain ethics, legal and medical support, as well as counselling services. These include a new webpage that will have, for the first time, a button that, with one click, will give you the power to alert managers that a problem exists in a particular office. The existing email to report misconduct — — will be complemented by a new telephone hotline. We will announce the phone number in a few days.

Our online harassment training is now expanding to include mandatory, in-person training for all staff members.

To ensure that you have an opportunity to voice your opinions, we are launching online tools and open conversations so you can help us shape UNICEF’s harassment policy by year’s end.
And we are reminding all UNICEF staff members that engaging in commercial and other transactional sex or accessing any pornographic material on UNICEF computers or devices is prohibited, and will lead to immediate consequences, which may include dismissal.

Yes, the past is disappointing to us all. But today is our time to shape an open, respectful and inclusive culture — for ourselves, and for future generations of proud UNICEF staff members.
UNICEF is a great place to work. In my short time here, I have seen example after example of the pride that UNICEF’s staff members rightly have in our organization. With your help, and your voice, we will make it even better.
Henrietta H. Fore