Emergencies

Emergencies

 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 17 April 2018 [GPEI]
Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Pakistan: Two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)  positive environmental samples have been reported, one in Sindh province, and one in Balochistan province.
Kenya:  Notification of a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVPDV2) detected from an environmental sample has been confirmed, linked to the cVDPV2 confirmed from Somalia in March. No cases of paralysis associated with this virus have been detected in either country.

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Yemen

UNICEF – Military action on and around water infrastructure jeopardizes efforts to prevent another outbreak of cholera in Yemen
AMMAN, 17 April 2018 – “Yemen continues to be one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. Access to drinking water is extremely costly for the most vulnerable people: 8.6 million children in Yemen don’t have sufficient access to water, sanitation and hygiene services.

“Since 2015, the escalation of conflict has only exacerbated this already dire situation, with attacks and military action on and around water infrastructure cutting off even more people from access to safe drinking water.

“Earlier this week, the Al-Hamazat water system in the Sehar district in Sa’ada governorate was completely destroyed in an attack that left 7,500 people, including internally displaced families, without water. During the attack, the nearby solar energy system which provides power to the water system was also severely damaged. The same water system came under attack and was destroyed in 2015. UNICEF rebuilt it in 2017.

“At the same time, armed groups have launched military attacks from sites close to water points.

“Access to clean water is especially critical to prevent waterborne diseases from spreading further in the war-torn country. Last year, Yemen had the biggest outbreak of cholera/acute watery diarrhea in the world and the likelihood of another outbreak looms if access to water continues to be jeopardized.

“UNICEF is calling on all parties to the conflict wherever they are in Yemen and those who have influence over them to protect basic civilian infrastructure. In line with international humanitarian law, all parties to the conflict should immediately stop attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure and any military activities near or from these facilities including schools, hospitals, water facilities and keep children out of harm’s way.”

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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 21 April 2018]

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 21 April 2018]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 5 April 2018 Reanalysing the humanitarian context to better redefine priorities for action [FR]
— The crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo affect more than 13.1 million people, specally affected areas are Tanganyika, Kasai region, Kivus and Ituri. WHO national experts from the Health Emergency Management Team (WHE) and other Country Office clusters (epidemiologists, logisticians, internal and external communications, data managers, finance and travel services etc.), and international experts deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo gathered together to review WHO emergency operations in the county…

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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
:: Syrian Arab Republic: The Humanitarian Crisis in Syria as of 15 April 2018 [EN/AR] 18 Apr 2018
KEY MESSAGES
…As humanitarian needs remain staggering in terms of their scale, severity and complexity, no amount of humanitarian assistance and protection services can offset the lack of a political solution.
…Against this backdrop, the overall conditions for safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable returns are not yet in place in Syria, with the need for a coherent response to the needs of IDPs and returnees based on humanitarian and protection principles paramount…

DRC 
::  Democratic Republic of the Congo: CERF allocations overview 2017-2018 (as of 12 April 2018…

Yemen  
:: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 10 – 16 April 2018 | Issue 11

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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.
Ethiopia 
:: Ethiopia: Conflict Displacement Situation Report #3 (17 April 2018)

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 14 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
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

pdf version: The Sentinel_ period ending 14 April 2018.docx

Contents
:: 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

Syria :: Security Council – Chemical Weapons – Airstrikes

Syria :: Security Council – Chemical Weapons – Airstrikes

Editor’s Note:
The extraordinary and disturbing series of Security Council Meetings over the last week included too many low points to fully capture here. But included below are links to the videos of the SC meetings on Syria held on Friday and Saturday [if you elect to watch the four+ hours of meeting coverage prepare to be disheartened]. Also below is the report on yesterday’s meeting and the sobering briefing at Friday’s meeting by the UN Secretary General.

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UN Security Council 14 Apr 2018
The Situation in the Middle East (Syria) – Threats to international peace and security – Security Council, 8233rd meeting
[Video: 2:42.06]
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Following Air Strikes against Suspected Chemical Weapons Sites in Syria, Security Council Rejects Proposal to Condemn Aggression
14 April 2018
SC/13296
[Excerpt]
On the heels of air strikes meant to hamper Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons, the Security Council today rejected a proposal by the Russian Federation to condemn such aggression by the United States and its allies over suspected chemical weapons use in the country, amid pressure from the Secretary-General to abide by the tenets of international law.

The draft resolution — which was defeated by a recorded vote of 8 against (Côte d’Ivoire, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States) to 3 in favour (Bolivia, China, Russian Federation), with 4 abstentions (Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Peru) — would have demanded the United States and its allies immediately cease such actions and refrain from any further use of force in violation of international law.

It also would have expressed grave concern that such acts had taken place at a time when the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission had begun to collect evidence in the Syrian city of Douma.

Briefing the Council, Secretary-General António Guterres said it was his duty to remind States of their obligation, particularly in peace and security matters, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general.

“I urge all Member States to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate matters and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people,” he asserted. “If the law is ignored, it is undermined.”

Speaking before the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said his Government had called for the meeting — the fifth that week on the Syria situation — to discuss aggressive actions by the United States. It was shameful that, in justifying its aggression, that Government had cited its Constitution. Washington, D.C, must learn: the international code of behaviour regarding the use of force was regulated by the Charter.

Decrying that the United Kingdom and France had taken part in such an illegal military venture, he said: “You’re constantly tempted by neo-colonialism. There is no serious work you’re doing in the Council. You don’t consult us, yet claim otherwise.” The conflict could end within a day if Washington, D.C, London and Paris ordered their hand-picked terrorists to stop fighting the Syrian authorities.

The United States delegate, meanwhile, said the time for talk had ended the previous night when her country, along with the United Kingdom and France, had acted, not in revenge, punishment or a symbolic show of force, but to deter the future use of chemical weapons by holding the Syrian regime accountable.

She said a disinformation campaign by the Russian Federation was in full force. However, a large body of information demonstrated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s culpability. The targets selected were at the heart of the regime’s illegal chemical weapons programme, and the action taken by the three countries had been legitimate and proportional. In the coming weeks, the Council should reflect on its role in defending the international rule of law…

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UN Security Council 13 Apr 2018
The situation in the Middle East (8231st meeting), 2) Sudan and South Sudan (8232nd meeting[
[Video: 2:16:41]
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Cold War ‘Back with a Vengeance’ amid Multiple Entrenched Divides in Middle East, Secretary-General Tells Security Council, Urging Efforts to Avert Further Chaos
SG/SM/18986-SC/13294
13 April 2018
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Security Council meeting on the Middle East, in New York today:

The situation in the Middle East is in chaos — to such an extent it has become a threat to international peace and security. The region is facing a true Gordian knot — different fault lines crossing each other and creating a highly volatile situation with risks of escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications.

We see a multiplicity of divides. The first is the memory of the cold war. But, to be precise, it is more than a simple memory. The cold war is back — with a vengeance, but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present.

Second, the Palestinian-Israeli divide. Third, the Sunni-Shia divide, evident from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. It is important to note that apparent religious divides are normally the result of political or geostrategic manipulations.

Finally, a wide range of different factors — from opposing attitudes in relation to the role of the Muslim Brotherhood or the status of the Kurds, to the dramatic threats to communities that have been living in the region for millennia and are part of the rich diversity of Middle Eastern societies.

This multiplicity of divides is reflected in a multiplicity of conflicts with different degrees of interconnection, several of them clearly linked to the threat of global terrorism.
Many forms of escalation are possible. We see the wounds of the Palestinian Israeli conflict deepening once again. The recent violence in Gaza has resulted in many needless deaths and injuries. I repeat my call for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents. I also appeal to those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties, and in particular, any measures that could place civilians in harm’s way.

This tragedy underlines the urgency of revitalizing the peace process for a two-State solution that will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in two democratic States side by side in peace and within secure and recognized borders. I reaffirm the United Nations’ readiness to support these efforts.

In Yemen, we are witnessing the worst humanitarian disaster in today’s world. There is only one pathway to ending the Yemeni conflict and addressing the humanitarian crisis — a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra Yemeni dialogue. My Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, is doing everything possible to facilitate that political settlement — and he will brief the Council next week.

In Libya, I encourage all parties to continue to work with my Special Representative Ghassan Salamé, as he engages in the political process with a broad range of Libyan interlocutors across the country to implement the United Nations Action Plan. It is high time to end the Libyan conflict.

Iraq demonstrates that progress is possible with concerted local, regional and global commitment. With the defeat of Da’esh, and after overcoming the risk of fragmentation, the Government of Iraq must now focus on reconstruction, reforms and reconciliation. I hope the upcoming elections will consolidate this progress.

At the recent Paris and Rome conferences, the international community reaffirmed its support for Lebanon’s sovereignty, stability and State security institutions. It is absolutely essential to avoid a new Israel-Hizbullah conflict that could inevitably result in many more victims and much greater destruction than the last war. I reiterate the critical importance to act on key principles and commitments on Lebanon, including Security Council resolutions, such as [resolution] 1701 (2006), and the policy of disassociation. The dangers of the links to the Syrian conflict are evident in the recent confrontations between Iran and Israel in Syria.

Syria indeed today represents the most serious threat to international peace and security. In Syria, we see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and international militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world and various terrorist organizations.

From the beginning, we have witnessed systematic violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international law tout court — in utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter. For eight long years, the people of Syria have endured suffering upon suffering.

I reiterate: there is no military solution to the conflict. The solution must be political through the Geneva intra-Syrian talks, as stipulated in resolution 2254 (2015) of the Security Council, in line with the consistent efforts of my Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Syrians have lived through a litany of horrors: atrocity crimes, sieges, starvation, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, the use of chemical weapons, forced displacement, sexual violence, torture, detention and enforced disappearances. The list goes on.

In a moment of hope, the Security Council adopted resolution 2401 (2018) demanding that all parties cease hostilities without delay for a durable humanitarian pause. Unfortunately, no such cessation of hostilities ever really took place. That is the bleak panorama of Syria today.

In this panorama, I am outraged by the continued reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. I reiterate my strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances. Their use is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law. The seriousness of the recent allegations requires a thorough investigation using impartial, independent and professional expertise.

In this regard, I reaffirm my full support for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — the OPCW — and its fact-finding mission in undertaking the required investigation into these allegations. The fact-finding mission should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities. I take note that the Syrian Government has requested it and committed to facilitate it. The first team of the OPCW is already in Syria. A second is expected today or tomorrow. But, we need to go further.

In a letter to the Council two days ago I expressed “my deep disappointment that the Security Council was unable to agree upon a dedicated mechanism to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria”, following the end of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM.

I want to repeat today that the norms against chemical weapons must be upheld…

As I wrote in the same letter: “Ensuring accountability for a confirmed use of chemical weapons is our responsibility, not least to the victims of such attacks. A lack of accountability emboldens those who would use such weapons by providing them with the reassurance of impunity. This in turn further weakens the norm proscribing the use of chemical weapons and the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture as a whole. I urge all Member States to act responsibly in these dangerous circumstances. I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its duties and not give up on efforts to agree upon a dedicated, impartial, objective and independent mechanism for attributing responsibility with regard to the use of chemical weapons. I stand ready to support such efforts.”

Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation. In my contacts with you — especially with the permanent members of the Security Council — I have been reiterating my deep concerns about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiralling out of control.

This is exactly the risk we face today — that things spiral out of control. It is our common duty to stop it.

Forced Displacement – World Bank

Forced Displacement
World Bank
April 11, 2018 Type: Brief
Globally, there are an estimated 65.6 million people who have fled their homes either as refugees (22.5 million), internally displaced persons (40.3 million), or asylum seekers as a result of conflict…

…“Under its mandate to reduce poverty, the World Bank Group is concerned about the welfare of the displaced as well as their host communities. The Bank is actively engaged to address this challenge through financing, data and analytics and operations, working in complementary ways with the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and across humanitarian-development partners. As part of a global effort, the Bank takes a development approach, focused on addressing the social and economic dimensions of displacement crises in the medium-term, to help both refugees and host countries thrive.

The flagship report Forcibly Displaced: Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, the Internally Displaced, and Their Hosts, examines available data to better understand the scope of the challenge, and suggests a development approach that aims to help the displaced access jobs and services so they can become self-reliant and rebuild their lives with dignity. It also emphasizes the need to support host communities manage the arrival of large numbers of people.

For low-income countries, the International Development Association, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, is making an additional $2 billion available to support refugees and host communities. Eight countries so far – Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Niger, Pakistan, and Uganda – have been found eligible for this financing, and projects are under preparation. Overall, interventions will aim to make a shift from crisis response to managing risks; support host communities and lagging regions; move towards social and economic inclusion; and take regional and country-level approaches.

For middle-income countries, the Global Concessional Financing Facility, launched in partnership with the UN and Islamic Development Bank, has unlocked $1.4 billion in concessional financing for Jordan and Lebanon, promoting job creation and expanding vital public services and infrastructure.

The GCFF has approved nearly US$200 million in grants to leverage five times that amount in concessional financing for projects to improve the lives of Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them by promoting job creation and expanding vital public services and infrastructure.
In the long term, the Bank is doing more to help fragile and conflict affected areas address the drivers of conflict and create more stable societies that provide opportunities for all, so that people will not need to risk their lives and flee in the first place….
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Forcibly Displaced: Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, the Internally Displaced, and Their Hosts
World Bank
2017 :: 187 pages
PDF: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25016/9781464809385.pdf?sequence=11&isAllowed=y
Forcibly Displaced — Toward a development approach supporting refugees, the internally displaced, and their hosts is a groundbreaking study conducted in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which examines the role of development in resolving the challenge of forced displacement. It responds to the growing need to better manage these crises as an important development challenge, part of an overall effort to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The aim of development support is to address the longer term, social and economic dimensions of displacement, in close collaboration with humanitarian and other partners working in complementary ways.

While the current crisis is severe—with a reported 65 million people living in forced displacement—the report finds that over the past 25 years, the majority of both refugees and Internally Displaced Persons under UNHCR’s mandate can be traced to just a few conflicts in the following areas: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Colombia, the Caucasus and the former Yugoslavia.

Since people typically flee to neighbors of their countries of origin, the responsibility of hosting has not been shared evenly. About 15 countries have consistently been hosting the majority of refugees. At the end of 2015, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, Syria’s neighbors, hosted 27 % of all refugees worldwide; Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan’s neighbors, hosted 16 %; and Ethiopia and Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan’s neighbors, hosted 7%.

“Forced displacement denies development opportunities to millions, creating a major obstacle to our efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “We’re committed to working with our partners to help the displaced overcome their ordeal and seize economic opportunities, while ensuring that host communities can also benefit and continue to pursue their own development.”…

Report Excerpt [p.29]
…To help the forcibly displaced rebuild their lives in a durable manner, development actors
should:
:: Support returnees and the communities that receive them. The impact of return on receiving communities is in many respects similar to the impact of forced displacement on host communities: it is a shock that has to be managed. Receiving communities are likely to face considerable economic and social difficulties, which typically affect both the returnees and those who stayed throughout the conflict. Development actors should support the countries of return in their recovery efforts. They should also help create socioeconomic opportunities for the returnees and their communities, to the extent that these are economically viable and can be sustained.

:: Help people who are “de facto” integrated acquire a satisfactory legal status. For example, providing formal legal migrant status to de facto integrated refugees may be a way to recognize the reality of their situation and the normality of human mobility. Such an approach distinguishes between citizenship (formal political membership and associated rights) and residency (economic and social integration). And it makes economic security a priority over
political membership. Development actors should support countries willing to explore such solutions, including with financing.

:: Work to end situations of “continuing limbo” where people remain dependent in camps for extended periods. Development actors should support efforts to transform camps into settlements. They should also work with other partners to enhance the way assistance is provided so as to gradually reduce dependency—for example, by strengthening targeting, supporting people in rejoining the labor force, and building capacity to allow for a gradual
shift to country systems.

:: Remain engaged over the medium term to help overcome lasting vulnerabilities. Forced displacement can leave scars that take decades, sometimes generations, to heal. Development support may be needed for very long periods. This would typically include assistance to overcome trauma or destitution, building on programs that have been developed for marginalized or excluded groups.

First Advisory Board of the Global Judicial Integrity Network appointed at Vienna launch

Governance – Judicial Integrity

First Advisory Board of the Global Judicial Integrity Network appointed at Vienna launch
Vienna, 10 April 2018 – After two days of discussions among more than 350 participants and in the presence of chief and senior justices from around the world, the Global Judicial Integrity Network was formally launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration.

During the conference closing session the Terms of Reference of the Global Judicial Integrity Network were endorsed by acclamation. The Terms outline the Network’s mission statement, objectives, participation and organization of work, as well as the role of the Secretariat (carried out by UNODC) and of the Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board of the Network will help identify priority challenges and emerging topics in judicial integrity, and assist judiciaries in addressing those challenges as they arise.

The conference concluded with the adoption, by acclamation, of the Declaration on Judicial Integrity and the invitation by Masoud Mohamed Alameri, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council of Qatar, to hold the next conference of the Global Judicial Integrity Network in Qatar. Addressing the participants, Chief Justice Alameri stressed: “As we proceed with the Global Judicial Integrity Network, we should remember that our efforts are of historic value to us, as it will be the first purely judicial project connecting and bringing together the world’s judicial authorities under the auspices of the United Nations.”

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Declaration on Judicial Integrity [April 2018]
Recalling Article 11 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which recognizes the crucial role of the judiciary in combating corruption and requires that States parties, in accordance with the fundamental principles of the legal system and without prejudice to judicial independence, take measures to strengthen integrity and prevent opportunities for corruption among members of the judiciary, including rules with respect to the conduct of members of the judiciary,

Convinced that a justice system based on the principles of integrity, transparency, accountability and professionalism is key to the rule of law, to upholding public trust, and to ensuring the effective delivery of justice;

Recalling the work carried out by the Judicial Integrity Group, including in the development of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct and the Commentary thereto;

Re-committing ourselves to the effective implementation of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, as endorsed by ECOSOC Res. 2006/23;

Recalling with appreciation the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in developing the Resource Guide on Strengthening Judicial Integrity and Capacity and the Implementation Guide and Evaluative Framework for Article 11 and in providing assistance to States in strengthening judicial integrity, accountability, capacity and professionalism;

We, the members of Judiciaries here gathered, on 9 and 10 April 2018 at the United Nations in Vienna, decide to:
1. Continue our efforts in upholding judicial independence and promoting integrity, accountability and transparency in the justice system;
2. Promote peer-learning and the exchange of good practices in strengthening and upholding judicial integrity;
3. Support the creation and the strengthening of oversight and accountability mechanisms, without prejudice to judicial independence;
4. Support initiatives that promote transparency in the recruitment and promotion of judges and magistrates, as well as on court and case management and on disciplinary proceedings, when appropriate;
5. Support initiatives that promote the training of judges on effectively complying with relevant standards of conduct;
6. Work together, as appropriate, to develop guidance materials and other knowledge products to help our judiciaries to address new challenges to judicial integrity and independence, including those created by the emergence of new information technology tools and social media;
7. Recognizing that the above mentioned objectives should be pursued at the global level to the benefit of every region, launch the Global Judicial Integrity Network as a platform of mutual support by judges for judges, and welcome the readiness of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to facilitate the Network;
8. Invite all judges and judiciaries to participate in the Global Judicial Integrity Network;
9. Express our appreciation to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for hosting this first meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network…

Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects 2018 – UN DESA

Development Financing

Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects 2018
Report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development
UN DESA
April 2018 :: 201 pages
PDF: https://developmentfinance.un.org/sites/developmentfinance.un.org/files/Report_IATF_2018.pdf
Abstract
The 2018 report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development finds that most types of development financing flows increased in 2017, and that there has been progress across all the action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. This progress was underpinned by an upturn in the world economy, but at the same time the report warns that risks could derail development progress and structural impediments continue to undermine sustainable development prospects.

The 2018 report provides policy options which, if implemented, would put the world on a sustained and sustainable growth and development path. It also examines the financing challenges to the SDGs under in-depth review in 2018 to help assess progress in the means of implementation for goals on water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, sustainable production and consumption, and terrestrial ecosystems.

The 2018 report is the second substantive assessment of progress in implementing the Financing for Development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. The assessment draws on the expertise, analysis and data from almost 60 agencies and international institutions that make up the Task Force, which is led by UN DESA and includes the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation, as well as UN agencies such as UNCTAD and UNDP.
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Press Release
Short-termism impedes progress of hundreds of millions of people, United Nations report says
13 April 2018, New York
Major report released in advance of the G20 and World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings

The prospects of around 800 million of the world’s poorest people remain dire. The global economy is experiencing a moderate upturn, and momentum around sustainable investing is growing, the UN said today.But the vast majority of investment is still short-term oriented and commitments by the international community to create sustainable economies are not being met.

There is an increasing interest in socially responsible investing, but that is no substitute for a broader transformation in the financial system. The report states that the current system rewards investors, financiers and project managers that prioritize short-term profits. Similarly, policy makers are excessively focused on short-term considerations. But there is a price to pay. Infrastructure projects are shelved in favour of short term priorities. Small businesses and women remain excluded from the financial system.

“The good economic news in some regions masks the very real risk that the poorest will be left behind,” said LIU Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “There is no room for complacency.”…

OECD – Development aid stable in 2017 with more sent to poorest countries

Development :: OECD Aid

OECD – Development aid stable in 2017 with more sent to poorest countries
09/04/2018 – Foreign aid from official donors totalled USD 146.6 billion in 2017, a small decrease of 0.6% from 2016 in real terms as less money was spent on refugees inside donor countries but with more funds flowing to countries most in need of aid, according to preliminary official data collected by the OECD.

Stripping out in-donor refugee costs, net ODA was up 1.1% from 2016 in real terms (i.e. correcting for inflation and currency fluctuations). ODA spent by donor countries on hosting refugees fell by 13.6% to USD 14.2 billion as refugee arrivals, mainly in Europe, decreased. In-donor refugee costs were 9.7% of total net ODA, down from 11% in 2016.

Bilateral (country to country) aid to least-developed countries increased by 4% in real terms to USD 26 billion, following several years of declines. Aid to Africa rose by 3% to USD 29 billion and, within that, aid to sub-Saharan Africa was also up 3% to USD 25 billion. Humanitarian aid rose by 6.1% in real terms to USD 15.5 billion.

A 1988 DAC rule allows donor countries to count certain refugee expenses as ODA for the first year after their arrival. Australia, Korea and Luxembourg did not count any in-donor refugee costs as ODA in 2017 but nine countries spent over 10% of their ODA on refugees. Among them, Germany, Greece, Iceland and Italy used over 20% of ODA for in-donor refugee costs.

Overall, total net ODA flows rose in 11 countries in 2016, with the biggest increases in France, Italy, Japan and Sweden. ODA fell in 18 countries, in many cases due to lower numbers of refugee arrivals, with the largest declines seen in Australia, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
:: Download the data in Excel

Digital Inclusion for Low- skilled and Low-literate People

Development – Digital Inclusion

UNESCO calling for feedback on guidelines for digital inclusion
11 April 2018
…In an an increasingly online world, people without the required digital skills and literacy – the 750 million people who cannot read or write and the many more who have low literacy – now face a double exclusion, not only from full participation in the real world but also from opportunities in the digital one.

There is a need to both develop the digital skills and literacy amongst this group, as well as create inclusive digital solutions that are suitable for the digital skills they have today in order to ensure inclusion and equal participation for all.

UNESCO Guidelines for Digital Inclusion for Low-skilled and Low-literate People
Recognising that apps and services, if designed appropriately, can provide an entry point for low-skilled and low-literate people into digital usage and can support improved livelihoods and skills development, UNESCO is currently drafting a set of guidelines for more inclusive design of digital solutions.

The draft guidelines have been developed in consultation with an international expert group, and are informed by a landscape review Digital Inclusion for Low- skilled and Low-literate People and a set of fourteen case studies.
There are many excellent guides on effective digital development and on how to practise user-centred design. In a way that complements and extends existing resources, UNESCO aims to focus the lens on low-skilled and low-literate users as much as possible with the guidelines…
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Digital Inclusion for Low- skilled and Low-literate People
UNESCO
2018 :: 118 page
Executive summary [Editor’s text bolding]
The twenty-first century has seen the emergence of knowledge societies and digital economies
around the world. Underpinning these changes have been the proliferation of mobile devices, increased sophistication of computers, and cheaper and more widely available internet access. In 2015 the number of internet users had more than tripled in a decade – from 1 billion in 2005 to an estimated 3.2 billion (ITU, 2016).

The digital revolution has changed the way almost half the world lives and works, learns and socializes. From a livelihood perspective, it has affected many key sectors – including health, agriculture and government – and how essential services are delivered. Business transactions have become dramatically cheaper, faster and more convenient.

But what about those who do not possess the skills and literacy necessary to access the myriad services of today’s digital world, to fully participate in knowledge societies? How can digital solutions be designed to be more inclusive, and how can these individuals develop the skills needed to fully utilize the digital opportunities?

UNESCO and Pearson have partnered to research the answer to these questions. As a first step, this landscape review seeks to explore how technology solutions outside of the education sector can be designed to be more inclusive, accessible and usable for people with low levels of skills2 and literacy; what skills such people need to utilize effectively inclusive digital solutions; and what key characteristics of the overall environment are needed for successful implementation of more inclusive solutions. It is important to note that low literacy in this review includes young people and adults who are illiterate in the sense that they cannot read or write.

Five development areas and contexts – health, agriculture, government, displaced populations, and green and environmental practices – are foregrounded to help us understand the links between digital solutions, skills development and livelihoods. In line with the holistic development agenda of 2030, it was decided to focus outside of the traditional education lens, considering instead areas that contribute broadly to improving livelihoods and well-being. The five focus areas represent a cross-section of areas covered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the use of digital technologies, especially for development purposes, is either well established for users with low levels of skills and literacy, such as health, or showing promise, such as for green and environmental services.

The landscape review aims to inform the work of digital solution providers, development partners and governments – to move towards the development and implementation of more inclusive digital solutions and raise awareness of the skills needed to use them. Thirty-two projects from at least twenty-five countries, in contexts both rural and urban, were selected for this review, to illustrate key characteristics of digital inclusion for the target audience…

Emergencies

Emergencies

 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 3 April 2018 [GPEI]
:: New on www.polioeradication.org: Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote support polio eradication efforts in Nigeria. We talk with Professor Rose Leke, Chair of the African Regional Certification Commission, and with Dr Ondrej Mach, who explains why we are developing new polio vaccines for the post-eradication era.
:: The report following the February meeting of the Global Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) is now published and available here. The GCC came together to review the criteria that will need to be met to achieve global certification of eradication.
:: In Kenya, advance notification of a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVPDV2) detected from an environmental sample is being investigated (to be officially reflected in next week’s global data). A cVDPV2 was isolated from an environmental sample collected on 21 March 2018 from Nairobi, linked to the cVDPV2 confirmed from Mogadishu, Somalia. No cases of paralysis associated with this virus have been detected, however a risk assessment is ongoing as is planning for a potential regional response.

Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Afghanistan: Two new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)  positive environmental samples have been reported in Kandahar province.
Pakistan: One new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1)  positive environmental sample has been reported in Sindh province
 
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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 14 April 2018]

WHO concerned about suspected chemical attacks in Syria
11 April 2018 – WHO is deeply alarmed by reports of the suspected use of toxic chemicals in Douma city, East Ghouta.

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 14 April 2018]

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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
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Response to the East Ghouta Crisis in Rural Damascus Situation Report No. 3 (3 April – 11 April 2018) 11 Apr 2018
:: Turkey | Syria: Situation in North-western Syria – Situation Report No.2 (as of 10 April 2018)
 
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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.
Ethiopia 
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 50 | 26 March – 08 April 2018

Rohinga Refugee Crisis 
:: ISCG Situation Report: Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Cox’s Bazar | 12 April 2018
 

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 7 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
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

pdf version: The Sentinel_ period ending 7 April 2018

Contents
:: 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

:: Week in Review

A highly selective capture of strategic developments, research, commentary, analysis and announcements spanning Human Rights Action, Humanitarian Response, Health, Education, Holistic Development, Heritage Stewardship, Sustainable Resilience. Achieving a balance across these broad themes is a challenge and we appreciate your observations and ideas in this regard. This is not intended to be a “news and events” digest.

Editorial: Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late? By MADELEINE ALBRIGHT

Governance

Editor’s Note:
Of course, there is no shortage of thoughtful editorials and comment pieces published in major global newspapers or distributed through electronic media outlets. We will very selectively include examples such as the piece by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright below.
.

Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?
Fascism poses a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.
By MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
APRIL 6, 2018
New York Times, Sunday Review | Opinion

On April 28, 1945 — 73 years ago — Italians hung the corpse of their former dictator Benito Mussolini upside down next to a gas station in Milan. Two days later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker beneath the streets of war-ravaged Berlin. Fascism, it appeared, was dead.
To guard against a recurrence, the survivors of war and the Holocaust joined forces to create the United Nations, forge global financial institutions and — through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — strengthen the rule of law. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the honor roll of elected governments swelled not only in Central Europe, but also Latin America, Africa and Asia. Almost everywhere, it seemed, dictators were out and democrats were in. Freedom was ascendant.

Today, we are in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.

Warning signs include the relentless grab for more authority by governing parties in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey — all United States allies. The raw anger that feeds fascism is evident across the Atlantic in the growth of nativist movements opposed to the idea of a united Europe, including in Germany, where the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland has emerged as the principal opposition party. The danger of despotism is on display in the Russia of Vladimir Putin — invader of Ukraine, meddler in foreign democracies, accused political assassin, brazen liar and proud son of the K.G.B. Putin has just been re-elected to a new six-year term, while in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, a ruthless ideologue, is poised to triumph in sham balloting next month. In China, Xi Jinping has persuaded a docile National People’s Congress to lift the constitutional limit on his tenure in power.

Around the Mediterranean, the once bright promise of the Arab Spring has been betrayed by autocratic leaders, such as Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt (also just re-elected), who use security to justify the jailing of reporters and political opponents. Thanks to allies in Moscow and Tehran, the tyrant Bashar al-Assad retains his stranglehold over much of Syria. In Africa, the presidents who serve longest are often the most corrupt, multiplying the harm they inflict with each passing year. Meanwhile, the possibility that fascism will be accorded a fresh chance to strut around the world stage is enhanced by the volatile presidency of Donald Trump.

If freedom is to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is urgently required. This was among the indelible lessons of the 20th century. But by what he has said, done and failed to do, Mr. Trump has steadily diminished America’s positive clout in global councils.
Instead of mobilizing international coalitions to take on world problems, he touts the doctrine of “every nation for itself” and has led America into isolated positions on trade, climate change and Middle East peace. Instead of engaging in creative diplomacy, he has insulted United States neighbors and allies, walked away from key international agreements, mocked multilateral organizations and stripped the State Department of its resources and role. Instead of standing up for the values of a free society, Mr. Trump, with his oft-vented scorn for democracy’s building blocks, has strengthened the hands of dictators. No longer need they fear United States criticism regarding human rights or civil liberties. On the contrary, they can and do point to Mr. Trump’s own words to justify their repressive actions.

At one time or another, Mr. Trump has attacked the judiciary, ridiculed the media, defended torture, condoned police brutality, urged supporters to rough up hecklers and — jokingly or not — equated mere policy disagreements with treason. He tried to undermine faith in America’s electoral process through a bogus advisory commission on voter integrity. He routinely vilifies federal law enforcement institutions. He libels immigrants and the countries from which they come. His words are so often at odds with the truth that they can appear ignorant, yet are in fact calculated to exacerbate religious, social and racial divisions. Overseas, rather than stand up to bullies, Mr. Trump appears to like bullies, and they are delighted to have him represent the American brand. If one were to draft a script chronicling fascism’s resurrection, the abdication of America’s moral leadership would make a credible first scene.

Equally alarming is the chance that Mr. Trump will set in motion events that neither he nor anyone else can control. His policy toward North Korea changes by the day and might quickly return to saber-rattling should Pyongyang prove stubborn before or during talks. His threat to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement could unravel a pact that has made the world safer and could undermine America’s reputation for trustworthiness at a critical moment. His support of protectionist tariffs invites retaliation from major trading partners — creating unnecessary conflicts and putting at risk millions of export-dependent jobs. The recent purge of his national security team raises new questions about the quality of advice he will receive. John Bolton starts work in the White House on Monday.

What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing to be done.”

I’m 80 years old, but I can still be inspired when I see young people coming together to demand the right to study without having to wear a flak jacket.

We should also reflect on the definition of greatness. Can a nation merit that label by aligning itself with dictators and autocrats, ignoring human rights, declaring open season on the environment, and disdaining the use of diplomacy at a time when virtually every serious problem requires international cooperation?

To me, greatness goes a little deeper than how much marble we put in our hotel lobbies and whether we have a Soviet-style military parade. America at its best is a place where people from a multitude of backgrounds work together to safeguard the rights and enrich the lives of all. That’s the example we have always aspired to set and the model people around the world hunger to see. And no politician, not even one in the Oval Office, should be allowed to tarnish that dream.

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Madeleine Albright, the author of “Fascism: A Warning,” served as United States secretary of state from 1997 to 2001.

The State of Social Safety Nets 2018 – World Bank

Human Rights/Poverty/Governance

The State of Social Safety Nets 2018
World Bank
2018 :: 189 pages
PDF: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/29115/9781464812545.pdf?sequence=5&isAllowed=y
Overview
The State of Social Safety Nets 2018 Report examines global trends in the social safety net/social assistance coverage, spending, and program performance based on the World Bank Atlas of Social Protection Indicators of Resilience and Equity (ASPIRE) updated database. The report documents the main social safety net programs that exist globally and their use to alleviate poverty and to build shared prosperity. The 2018 report expands on the 2015 edition, both in administrative and household survey data coverage. A distinct mark of this report is that, for the first time, it tells the story of what happens with SSN/SA programs spending and coverage over time, when the data allow us to do so. This 2018 edition also features two special themes: Social Assistance and Ageing, focusing on the role of old-age social pensions, and Adaptive Social Protection, focusing on what makes SSN systems/programs adaptive to various shocks.

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Press Release
Social Safety Net Programs Help Millions Escape Poverty, But Coverage Gaps Persist
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2018— Among the very poor who received safety net benefits, 36% escaped extreme poverty, providing clear evidence that social safety net programs are making a substantial impact in the global fight against poverty, says a new World Bank Group report. The impact of social safety nets on poverty is measured based on available household data from 79 countries by comparing the welfare of the safety nets beneficiaries to what it would have been had they not received such support.

Data from the State of the Social Safety Nets 2018 report shows that safety nets—which include cash, in-kind transfers, social pensions, public works, and school feeding programs targeted to poor and vulnerable households—also lower inequality, and reduce the poverty gap by about 45 percent, even if they do not emerge from poverty. These positive effects of safety net transfers hold true for low and middle-income countries alike.

Despite the increased adoption of safety net programs by countries in recent years, global coverage of poor and vulnerable people remains inadequate. About 2.5 billion people worldwide are covered by a social safety net, of which 650 million are in the poorest 20 ercent. However, only one out of five persons living in a low-income country is covered by a social safety net.

Furthermore, countries at high risk of natural disasters often have lower safety net coverage.

Developing and transition countries spend an average of 1.5 percent of GDP on social safety net programs. Many countries are spending more on such programs because they see the impact they make on poverty reduction. Countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia regions are also introducing flagship social safety net programs and are rapidly expanding coverage. For example, in Senegal, the flagship National Cash Transfer Program expanded swiftly from 3 to 16 percent of the population in just four years, while in the Philippines, the Pantawid conditional cash transfer program has expanded from 5 to 20 percent of the population since 2010…

Despite the evident aging trend, most countries do not have systems and benefits that can fully cover elderly people or their special needs. While nearly 90 percent of Organization for Economic Co-opeation and Development (OECD) economies have old age social pensions, only 70 percent of Latin America and the Caribbean economies, and nearly 65 percent of Europe and Central Asian do…

Donors Pledge $2 Billion to Scale Up Aid Delivery in Yemen; INGO Joint Statement

Yemen

Donors Pledge $2 Billion to Scale Up Aid Delivery in Yemen
(Geneva, 3 April 2018) International donors today pledged more than US$2 billion to support the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen during a pledging event in Geneva, co-chaired by the United Nations, Sweden and Switzerland.

“This pledging conference represents a remarkable success of international solidarity to the people of Yemen,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He added that “humanitarian resources are very important, but they are not enough. We need unrestricted access everywhere inside Yemen and we need all the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law, and to protect civilians. Above all, we need a serious political process to lead to a political solution.”

Pledges were made by 40 Member States and organizations, including the Central Emergency Response Fund, for humanitarian action in Yemen in 2018. These pledges will support the UN and partners’ 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) which requires $2.96 billion for lifesaving assistance to 13 million people, and other activities. On 27 March, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provided $930 million toward the YHRP which is reflected in today’s pledging result. Securing full funding for this plan remains an urgent priority.
The full list of pledges is online https://bit.ly/2GtXrjW

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Joint INGO Statement for the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen
3 April 2018
This statement was read by Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s Country Director in Yemen, on behalf of Oxfam and 21 other international NGOs currently working in Yemen.

INGOs are delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance to millions of vulnerable Yemenis, despite the complex and serious nature of the security situation and sustained bureaucratic access constraints.

For the record, we would like to formally acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all national, international and UN humanitarian aid workers in Yemen. Delivering humanitarian assistance in Yemen is neither safe nor simple, particularly for the thousands of Yemeni staff whose work to deliver shows fortitude and courage.

The reality is that despite these gallant efforts, the humanitarian response is still failing to meet the basic needs of the 22 million Yemenis requiring assistance and protection. Yemeni people are dying of preventable illnesses, and the number on the brink of famine continues to rise.

As INGOs we are grateful for the financial commitments made by member states here today, but more is needed to tackle a humanitarian catastrophe of the scale we see in Yemen. What we need is a marked increase in engagement from the international community in the complexities of this conflict in order to reduce the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Therefore, today, INGOs are inviting donors and high-level Ministerial visits to Yemen, to enable you to ground your engagement and approach to supporting the country.

By being in Yemen you will better understand the short term but also the longer term needs of the Yemeni people, delve into the narrative and stories behind the figures cited in the HNO today. To understand the needs of the two million people that have fled their homes, the plight of the unpaid health worker, the frustration of the teachers with a classroom of hungry children, and the fear the conflict brings to daily life.

By being in Yemen you will better understand the grounded realities of delivering humanitarian aid and to be better placed to help resolve the daily impediments in delivering that support; to experience the frustration that comes from knowing that people are suffering because we are being prevented from reaching them – that more people could be helped if administration processes were fast tracked and security improved.

By being in Yemen you will better understand the modalities of the humanitarian response and the need for increased funding for livelihoods, community resilience building, and kick start the process of early recovery in parts of the country where there is some stability.

By being in Yemen you will better understand the devastation created by the failure of authorities to pay public servants for nearly two years. We need you to take responsibility for finding modalities to address this, and ensure hospitals, schools and water networks are operational.

By being in Yemen you will better understand that restrictions in imports and unstable supply chains lead to critical shortages, and to see the impact of inflated prices across basic commodities such as food, fuel and medicines.

By being in Yemen you will better understand that the future of the country is at risk as close to 2 million children are denied access to education.

Finally, by being in Yemen you will foster and strengthen engagement with all important stakeholders. We need leadership from the international community that doesn’t just passively support a peace process but takes an active role in driving it forward.

Despite the generosity of member states and the gallant efforts of the humanitarian response, the plight of the Yemeni people continues to deteriorate. We are all fearful that another year will pass, no progress will be made, and more people will suffer and die.

Agencies who have signed:
ACTED
Action Against Hunger
ADRA
CARE International
Danish Refugee Council
Human Appeal
Humanity and Inclusion (Handicap International)
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
INTERSOS
Medecins du Monde
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam
Premiere Urgence Internationale
Pure Hands
Relief International
Saferworld
Save the Children
Search for Common Ground
Solidarites International
War Child
ZOA

Lancet Editorial :: The collapse of the Venezuelan health system

Featured Journal Content

The Lancet
Apr 07, 2018 Volume 391 Number 10128 p1331-1454
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

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Editorial
The collapse of the Venezuelan health system
The Lancet
When Hugo Chavez became Venezuela’s new president in 1998, he promised to provide free health care to all and enshrined this right within Venezuela’s new constitution, rewritten in 1999. Progress was rapid and initial results were promising: according to the World Bank, life expectancy at birth rose from 71·8 to 74·1 years for both genders and infant mortality fell from 26·7 to 14·6 deaths per 1000 live birth

s between 1998 and 2013, the period of Chavez’s rule. Success was recognised on the international stage and Venezuela achieved most of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals set for 2010. This initial success came on a backdrop of high oil prices providing the necessary government funding for public health-care spending and food imports. At the same time, a strong relationship with Cuba saw an agreement in 2003 that, in exchange for low-cost oil, Cuba would provide doctors, medical training, and medical supplies free of charge to Venezuela.

However, when the oil price began to fall in 2008 and Chavez’s revolutionary politics alienated foreign investors, the tide turned. The largest oil reserves in the world could not stave off economic collapse as lower demand for oil, excessive government spending, US sanctions, and price controls led to rocketing inflation and falling gross domestic product. The impact on the health-care system was exacerbated by exchange rate controls, which led to a shortage of the foreign currency needed to import equipment, food, and medicines.

Official government data are hard to come by. The last official report from the Venezuelan Ministry of Health was published in 2016 (Boletin Epidemiologico) and the then Health Minister, Antonieta Corporale, was rewarded by being sacked immediately thereafter by Nicolas Maduro, who has been leading the country since 2013 (Venezuela has had 17 different ministers of health in the past 20 years). The results of this report were highlighted in a Lancet World Report in August, 2017, which noted the untenable situation in Venezuela. This government report revealed a 65% increase in maternal mortality and a 30% increase in infant mortality, with 11 466 infants dying during 2016. It also revealed that while Venezuela had been the first country in the world to eliminate malaria in populated areas, this and other diseases such as diphtheria, which had previously been controlled, had returned in several outbreaks.

Health-care outcomes have continued to deteriorate rapidly. The Venezuelan Government has steadily reduced the share of its annual expenditure dedicated to public health-care spending from a high of 9·1% in 2010 to 5·8% in 2014. Medical supplies have been reported as going missing or getting embargoed and sitting in ports, with some media alleging corruption hindering distribution. Some of these are for treating heart disease and diabetes—the leading causes of death in Venezuela, according to WHO. As a result, patients have resorted to bringing their own surgical instruments, drugs, and food to hospital. In private practice, medical professionals charge in US dollars, which makes health care unaffordable to most of the population.

A recent national survey—Encuesta Nacional de Hospitales 2018 from the political opposition, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan non-govermental organisation Médicos por la Salud—revealed that Venezuela’s health crisis is worse than anticipated. The survey, conducted between March 1–10, 2018, assessed the performance of 104 public and 33 private hospitals in Venezuela. According to the figures, most laboratory services and hospital nutrition services are only available intermittently or are completely inoperative. Shortages of items such as basic medicines, catheters, surgical supplies, and infant formula are highlighted in the survey; 14% of intensive care units have been shut down because they are unable to operate and 79% of the facilities analysed have no water at all.

Venezuela’s Government has allowed the country’s infrastructure to crumble, with fatal consequences for ordinary Venezuelans. Without regular reports on basic health indicators, assessment of the impact of the crisis is difficult. However, the Encuesta Nacional de Hospitales 2018 survey shows a shocking decline in health-care performance and a failure of the system. Aware of this humanitarian crisis, as declared by the political opposition in 2017, worldwide humanitarian aid has been offered by multiple countries and the UN. Yet Venezuela’s Government has refused this humanitarian aid, denying the existence of a crisis. It is time to end the abuse of power by the Venezuelan Government, and take immediate steps to address the heavy toll on the wellbeing of Venezuelans.

Emergencies

Emergencies

 
POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 3 April 2018 [GPEI]
Summary of newly-reported viruses this week:
Afghanistan: Afghanistan: One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been confirmed this week, occurring in Kunar province.
Pakistan: One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been confirmed this week, occurring in Balochistan province. This is the first case reported in 2018.
 
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WHO Grade 3 Emergencies  [to 7 April 2018]
[See Yemen High-Level Pledging Conference coverage in Milestones above]

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WHO Grade 2 Emergencies  [to 7 April 2018]
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Reanalysing the humanitarian context to better redefine priorities for action [French]
WHO/Eugene Kabambi
5 April 2018 — The crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo affect more than 13.1 million people, specally affected areas are Tanganyika, Kasai region, Kivus and Ituri. WHO national experts from the Health Emergency Management Team (WHE) and other Country Office clusters (epidemiologists, logisticians, internal and external communications, data managers, finance and travel services etc.), and international experts deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo gathered together to review WHO emergency operations in the county.

::::::
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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. 
DRC 
:: Humanitarian Conference on the DRC (13 April 2018)
OCHA, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union are hosting a Humanitarian Conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Friday 13 April 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: Response to the East Ghouta Crisis in Rural Damascus Situation Report No. 2 (26 March – 2 April 2018)
Published on 04 Apr 2018
Highlights – Since 9 March, nearly 133,000 IDPs have left the besieged enclave of East Ghouta, either through established corridors to the IDP sites in Rural Damascus or through evacuation agreements to Idleb and Aleppo governorates…

Yemen 
:: 2018 Yemen High-Level Pledging Event  3 April 2018
 

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
__________________________________________________
Week ending 31 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
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

pdf version: The Sentinel_ period ending 31 March 2018

Contents
:: 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

Private Philanthropy for Development – OECD

Philanthropy – ODA

Private Philanthropy for Development
OECD
Published on March 23, 2018 :: 135 pages
Read link: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/deliver/fulltext?itemId=/content/book/9789264085190-en&mimeType=freepreview&redirecturl=http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/private-philanthropy-for-development_9789264085190-en&isPreview=true
Overview
Philanthropy’s role in advancing sustainable development attracts a lot of attention. This report calls into question long-held assumptions about the volume, nature and potential of foundations’ engagement in developing countries, and the role they can play to support the SDGs. It presents ground-breaking data and analysis that capture previously non-existent global and comparable quantitative and qualitative data on how foundations support development.
The report examines philanthropic resource flows for development purposes, as well as foundations’ priorities, practices and partnering behaviours. It presents fresh perspectives and action-oriented recommendations to optimise philanthropy’s role in support of sustainable development…

.

Press Release
Private philanthropy funding for development modest compared to public aid, but its potential impact is high, says OECD
[Editor’s text bolding]
23/03/2018 – Though philanthropic flows are relatively modest compared to official development assistance (ODA), their contribution is substantial in certain sectors, according to a new OECD report. For the first time, Private Philanthropy for Development uses global, comparable data to analyse how private foundations are supporting development.

The report is based on a survey conducted by the OECD, in collaboration with the Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and applies OECD-DAC statistical reporting standards. The data is thus fully comparable to ODA flows.

“Philanthropy is increasingly important in our efforts to achieve the SDGs, eradicate poverty and provide quality access to healthcare. But to harness its full potential, we need better data sharing, coordination and policy dialogue,” said OECD Chief of staff Gabriela Ramos while launching the report. “The OECD report Private Philanthropy for Development is a milestone in providing deeper understanding and greater transparency on how the philanthropic sector can best contribute to the global development agenda.”

According to the report, private foundations provided USD 23.9 billion for development over 2013-15, corresponding to 5% of the amount given through ODA. Philanthropic flows from foundations provide substantial support to sectors such as health: in 2013-15, foundations were the third-largest source of financing for developing countries, following the United States government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The sources of philanthropic giving for developing countries are highly concentrated. Of the 143 foundations included in the survey sample, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was by far the most significant philanthropic donor, providing 49% of total giving in support of development. Additionally, 81% of the total philanthropic giving during 2013-15 came from only 20 foundations.

Almost three quarters of giving originated from foundations based in the United States, largely due to the BMGF’s share of funding. Other top countries for philanthropic funding for development are the United Kingdom (7%), the Netherlands (5%), Switzerland (2%), Canada (2%) and the United Arab Emirates (2%).

The report finds that 67% of philanthropic giving goes to middle-income countries such as India (7% of the total), Nigeria, Mexico, China and South Africa. Only a third of the country-allocable funding benefited the least-developed countries (28%).

In addition, 97% of philanthropic giving was implemented through large, established intermediary institutions, most often international organisations and non-governmental-organisations (NGOs), such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the World Health Organization (WHO); PATH International; the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); or Rotary International.

Most foundations say they systematically engage with governments and donors – 67% and 45%, respectively – when designing or implementing programmes and projects, contrary to previously-held belief.

The report provides recommendations to further leverage global private philanthropy for development:
:: Collaboration and dialogue: Foundations could seek closer co-ordination with governments and ODA-providers, especially in middle-income countries and in sectors such as health and education to avoid duplications.
:: Enabling environment: Governments in developing countries could further strengthen the enabling environment for philanthropy by adopting or adapting existing regulation, from establishing a legal status clearly distinguishing foundations from Civil Society Organisations to possible tax incentives.
:: New ways of engaging: The donor community could adopt more systematic approaches to engagement with foundations including the development of strategies acknowledging foundations’ financial and non-financial contribution to development, appointment of focal points responsible for developing and maintaining relations and working with foundations, staff exchange programmes between foundations and donor institutions and more flexible partnership models taking into account the constraints of smaller foundations.
:: Data: Foundations could make better use of existing platforms at the global, regional and local levels to improve the transparency and availability of data on philanthropic giving in support of development. There are already many country-level and international reporting initiatives, such as the OECD DAC statistics on development finance (to which the BMGF and the United Postcode Lotteries already report), 360giving, Glasspockets and IATI. Networks such as the OECD’s netFWD, together with the Foundation Centre and WINGS, could encourage the philanthropic sector to further share information and help make data a global public good.

Building on this research and existing dialogue, the OECD is setting up a Centre on Philanthropy to contribute to the global demand for more and better data and analysis on global philanthropy for development. The Centre will seek to bring together relevant efforts from existing research centres and projects, expand the OECD database, and provide research and analysis on global trends and impact of philanthropy for development in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

Many Governments Take Steps to Improve Women’s Economic Inclusion, Although Legal Barriers Remain Widespread – WORLD BANK

Human Rights/Development – Women’s Economic Inclusion

Many Governments Take Steps to Improve Women’s Economic Inclusion, Although Legal Barriers Remain Widespread
WORLD BANK PRESS RELEASE
WASHINGTON, March 29, 2018 – Governments in 65 economies took steps to improve women’s economic inclusion, enacting 87 legal reforms in the past two years, says the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and Law 2018 report, released today.

However, women continue to face widespread barriers, entrenched in laws, that keep them out of jobs and prevent them from owning a business by restricting their access to credit or control over marital property, says the biennial report, which now monitors 189 economies. For example, it finds that in 104 economies women are barred from working at night or in certain jobs in many areas, including manufacturing, construction, energy, agriculture, water and transportation. This negatively affects the choices of more than 2.7 billion women.

Now in its 5th edition, the report introduces, for the first time, a scoring system of 0 to 100, to better inform the reform agenda. Scores are assigned to every monitored economy on each of the report’s seven indicators: accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, going to court, building credit, and protecting women from violence.

While no economy gets the perfect score of 100 in all seven indicators, economies that perform well across the indicators include the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Spain. OECD high-income economies generally have the highest average score across most indicators.
Protecting women against violence, through laws against domestic violence and sexual harassment at work or in educational facilities, remains an area where much work is needed. Of the 189 economies examined, 45 do not have laws on domestic violence and 59 do not have laws against sexual harassment in employment. Overall, 21 economies receive a score of 0 in the protecting women from violence indicator. Many of these economies are located in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the Middle East and North Africa.

Although the vast majority of the economies monitored have laws establishing non-discrimination in employment based on gender, only 76 mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value and 37 economies have no laws protecting pregnant workers from dismissal…

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Women, Business and the Law
World Bank Group
2018 :: 187 pages
FOREWORD
No economy can grow to its full potential unless both women and men participate fully. As half the world’s population, women have an equal role in driving economic growth.

Women, Business and the Law 2018 is the fifth edition in a series of biennial reports measuring the legal obstacles to women who engage in economic activity around the world. Since the World Bank started this study a decade ago, our understanding has increased about how laws influence women’s decisions to start and run businesses or get jobs.

The analysis draws on newly-collected data across seven indicators: accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, going to court, building credit, and protecting women from violence. The study expands coverage to 189 economies around the world.

The data show the challenge many women face in the quest for economic opportunity. One hundred and four economies still prevent women from working in certain jobs, simply because they are women. In 59 economies there are no laws on sexual harassment in the workplace. And in 18 economies, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.

Social media movements…have highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. But in many places, women still have no legal recourse. And every day we learn about industries that pay women less than men for doing the same work.

What actions can be taken to increase economic opportunity for women? How can governments improve labor market participation by their female citizens? Hard data helps answer these questions.

By informing politicians about the legal obstacles to women’s economic opportunities, Women, Business and the Law makes a contribution towards promoting gender equality. The study celebrates the progress that has been made while emphasizing the work that remains to ensure equality of opportunity.

UNESCO – New Report: How to Measure Equity in Education

Education

UNESCO – New Report: How to Measure Equity in Education
27/03/2018
Methodologies and indicators to reveal the inequalities facing marginalized groups
A new report shows how countries can measure the education progress of the most marginalized populations to ensure no one is left behind. Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) calls for inclusive and equitable quality education for all, spanning not only gender parity in learning but also equitable educational opportunities for persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, disadvantaged children and others who are at risk of exclusion from education. Yet today, these groups are extremely difficult to track because they are often invisible in education data.

The new Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education, produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the FHI 360 Education Policy Data Centre, Oxford Policy Management and the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge, provides practical guidance on the calculation and interpretation of indicators designed to target the most disadvantaged groups. It is intended for anyone involved in the measurement and monitoring of equity in education, especially those concerned with national policymaking. It addresses the current knowledge gaps and provides a conceptual framework to measure equity in learning, drawing on examples of equity measurement across 75 national education systems.

The handbook explains what it means to measure equity in learning, recognising that equity itself is a political issue and cannot be isolated from political choices. It focuses on two key principles – impartiality and equality of condition.

Impartiality zooms in on the idea that it is unfair to discriminate by characteristics such as gender, wealth or ethnicity when it comes to the distribution of education. Measures of impartiality quantify the extent to which an educational input or outcome differs by such characteristics.

Equality of condition focuses on the dispersion of education in the population, without regard for differences between groups. While perfect equality of condition in education outcomes might not be possible or desirable, wide or growing gaps between the least and most educated are likely to be a cause for concern.

The handbook introduces visualization and measurement techniques related to impartiality and equality of condition, the requirements for the use of underlying data to measure both, and the advantages and disadvantages of each technique for generating insights into the magnitude and nature of any inequality. It provides solid examples of national efforts to track progress towards equity in both educational access and learning, highlighting positive country examples and stressing the need to include a wider range of dimensions of disadvantage in education plans.

Allocating education funding more equitably
Finally, the handbook examines government spending on education to reveal who benefits, who misses out, and how resources could be redistributed to promote equity. It points out that in many countries, the children and young people who are the hardest to reach are often the last to benefit from government spending. It is simply more expensive to ensure their quality education, given the cost of measures to tackle the root causes of their disadvantage, from poverty to discrimination – and this should inform the distribution of resources.

While equal funding means the same amount of money for each student or school, equitable funding means additional resources for the most disadvantaged children to ensure that every child can enjoy the same educational opportunities. As the handbook argues, progress towards SDG 4 demands the equitable distribution of resources within education systems, with the most disadvantaged receiving the largest share of government resources, and paying the smallest share from their own pockets.

The new handbook has been inspired by the urgent need to position educational equity at the heart of global, national and local agendas to promote access and learning for all children, young people and adults. With countries under pressure to deliver data on an unprecedented scale, the handbook also recognises that no country can do this alone, making a strong case for greater cooperation and support across governments, donors and civil society.

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Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the FHI 360 Education Policy Data Centre, Oxford Policy Management and the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge
2018 :: 142 pages
[excerpt]
6. Concluding remarks p.127
Drawing on the lessons learned from addressing these gaps, the handbook presents the following key messages:
1. A conceptual understanding of equity is needed to be clear about what we are measuring and why we are measuring equity in education.

2. There are a variety of equity metrics which could be used with education indicators, and many indicators have important properties which are relevant to the study of equity in education. However, some of these are not easy to communicate to policymakers and stakeholders in education, who therefore need guidance from statisticians and other experts so that all meaningful indicators can inform the national planning processes.

3. Impartiality approaches to equity have been the most widely adopted in national education plans. However, measures related to minimum standards and redistribution are also included in the SDG 4 indicator framework and can be used to track progress for sub-groups of the population.75

4. National education plans need to include a wider range of measures of equity in access and learning that go beyond gender. It is also important for plans to identify how intersecting disadvantages may hinder progress towards access and learning. Gender disparities are compounded, for example, by poverty, geographical location and disability.

5. While there has been some progress towards including dimensions of equity for tracking progress in access to primary school and, to some extent, to secondary school, there is still a need for improved metrics of equity in learning at all levels of education.

6. It is necessary to measure equity in learning for children both in and out of school, since those out of school are likely to be at the greatest educational disadvantage.

7. A strong emphasis on measuring equity in access and learning from the early years is needed so that initial inequalities can be identified and targeted as early as possible.

8. Current progress in education cannot be tracked for the most disadvantaged groups unless there is a strong emphasis on improving educational management and information systems (EMIS) on access and learning, and to link these data to existing household surveys, which contain information about the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of children, youth and adults.

9. Merely measuring equity in education is not enough. Systems of education also need to adopt equitable strategies involving redistribution of education funding, allocation of teachers and resources, as well as targeted approaches to raising learning