The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 11 May 2019

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: The Sentinel_ period ending 11 May 2019

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: 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  [see PDF]

GRID 2019: Global Report on Internal Displacement

Internal Displacement

GRID 2019: Global Report on Internal Displacement
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
May 2019 :: 159 pages
Key Messages
:: Persistently high levels of new displacement each year coupled with increasingly protracted crises
across the globe left 2018 with the highest number of IDPs ever recorded. Despite policy progress in several countries, the root causes of internal displacement are still not being adequately addressed.

:: Cyclical and protracted displacement continues to be driven by political instability, chronic poverty and inequality, environmental and climate change. Many IDPs are returning to insecure areas with few socio-economic opportunities. Instead of creating the conditions for lasting solutions, this is recreating conditions of risk and increasing the likelihood of crises erupting again in the future.

:: Ending displacement remains an elusive quest. Precious little information exists on how and when durable solutions are being achieved, and how people and states are progressing toward them. There is growing evidence that the obstacles to IDPs integrating locally are mostly political. This is also reflected in the almost complete lack of reporting on successful stories of local integration.

:: The primary responsibility for addressing internal displacement lies with national governments. Concrete action to protect IDPs and to reduce displacement risk must take place from the national to the local level. Given the ever-growing number of IDPs living in urban centres across the world, this local action will increasingly need to happen in towns and cities.

:: Effecting change will require the involvement and leadership of displaced people themselves and their urban host communities. More investment is needed at the city level to strengthen the capacity of communities and local authorities to analyse, plan and act jointly. Inclusive legislation, housing provision and service delivery need to become a part of the DNA of urban governance if urban IDPs are to break out of protracted and cyclical displacement.

:: With displacement increasingly becoming an urban phenomenon, integrated approaches across sectors and more investment in humanitarian, development and peace-building are required. To support local action effectively, the international community must address institutional barriers to coherence, and pursue joined-up funding and programming with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose.

:: The way ahead is clear. Filling the significant data, analysis and capacity gaps is imperative to progress. Only around a quarter of global internal displacement data is georeferenced and little to no information exists on the duration and severity of displacement across contexts and demographic groups. These gaps prevent the development of strategies to end or reduce the risk of displacement and mean that too many IDPs are still falling between the cracks of protection and assistance.

:: A systemic approach to filling the data gaps is possible. Common standards and better cooperation and coordination are within our reach and will go a long way in providing the evidence base required for policy work, development planning and humanitarian operations. Appropriate tools for needs assessments, risk analyses, investment planning and progress monitoring already exist and allow states to develop sustainable approaches to displacement. The priority now is to provide national and local authorities with the financial and technical support they will need to apply them.

Press Release
More people displaced inside their own countries than ever before
10 May 2019, Geneva – A record 41.3 million people are displaced inside their own countries because of conflict and violence, according to a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The number of people living in internal displacement worldwide as of the end of 2018 is the highest it has ever been, according to the Global Report on Internal Displacement, launched today at the United Nations in Geneva. This is an increase of more than a million since the end of 2017 and two-thirds more than the global number of refugees.

The record figure is the result of years of cyclical and protracted displacement, and high levels of new displacement between January and December 2018. IDMC recorded 28 million new internal displacements associated with conflict, generalised violence and disasters in 2018…

“The findings of this report are a wake-up call to world leaders. Millions of people forced to flee their homes last year are being failed by ineffective national governance and insufficient international diplomacy. Because they haven’t crossed a border, they receive pitiful global attention,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “All displaced people have a right to protection and the international community has a duty to ensure it.”…

“The fact that cities have become sanctuary to more and more internally displaced people represents a challenge for municipal authorities, but also an opportunity. Leveraging the positive role that local government can play in finding solutions to displacement will be key to addressing this challenge in the future,” said Alexandra Bilak.

Leapfrog Breaks Impact Investing Record With $700M Emerging Markets Fund

Development Finance

Leapfrog Breaks Impact Investing Record With $700M Emerging Markets Fund
Largest equity fund by a dedicated impact manager, targets 70 million low-income consumers
New York- May 10, 2019
LeapFrog Investments has announced the largest-ever private equity fund by a dedicated impact fund manager, surging past its $600m target to reach $700m. The new fund invests in healthcare and financial services companies – tapping into the demand from billions of emerging consumers in Asia and Africa. This fund alone targets reaching 70 million emerging consumers. Investors include many of the world’s leading insurers, pensions and asset managers, development finance institutions, foundations, and family offices. The success of the fund reflects LeapFrog’s outstanding track record of delivering both strong financial results and large-scale social impact.

“It is time for a better kind of capitalism. LeapFrog was founded on a philosophy of Profit with Purpose, rejecting conventional trade-off thinking in financial markets. That has proved a winning strategy, driving strong growth and returns while changing tens of millions of lives,” said Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments…

… LeapFrog has invested in 26 businesses to date. They have grown at an exceptional rate of nearly 40 percent a year on average from the time of investment. LeapFrog companies now reach 168 million people across 35 countries with healthcare or financial services. Over 136 million of those individuals are emerging consumers – defined by The World Bank as living on under $10 a day. Most are accessing quality insurance, savings, pensions, credit, remittances, medicines or healthcare services for the first time.

LeapFrog’s new fund has already made five investments: WorldRemit is the leading digital remittances provider globally. NeoGrowth provides innovative unsecured-credit products to micro, small and medium enterprises across India. Goodlife Pharmacy chain is now the largest provider of healthcare services in East Africa. Pyramid Pharma is a distributor of medicines and diagnostic and surgical equipment across Africa. And Ascent Meditech manufactures and delivers orthopaedic products across India that help avoid crippling pain. These businesses use innovative marketing or distribution via mobile phones to reach millions of customers not well-served by conventional companies…

“The Foundation is thrilled to build on its legacy in the impact investing sector by supporting LeapFrog’s latest fund,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Foundation’s investment, tied to a bespoke insurance product that underpins the Fund’s structure, epitomizes the role catalytic capital can play in accelerating impact investing and helping low-income people access financial services and healthcare.”…

UN’s Guterres underscores importance of revitalizing multilateral trade cooperation [WTO]

Global Trade – Multilateralism

UN’s Guterres underscores importance of revitalizing multilateral trade cooperation
10 May 2019 WTO – World Trade Organisation
A rules-based, non-discriminatory and equitable trading system is not only in the interest of all trading partners but is essential to preserving the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable economies, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told WTO members on 10 May.

Speaking at a special session of the WTO’s General Council, Secretary-General Guterres, alongside Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and General Council Chair Sunanta Kangvalkulkij, said members need to work to restore the spirit of international cooperation and “buttress this unique institution that has safeguarded international trading relationships over the past 70 years”.


WTO launches updated profiles on trade in value-added terms and global value chains
9 May 2019
The WTO released on 9 May an updated set of profiles for 64 WTO members, revealing the share of domestic and foreign components in the exports of these economies and their participation in global value chains (GVCs). The profiles also shed light on the contribution of the services sector to trade and the value of trade in intermediate products for each of the economies covered by the profiles.

5 things you need to know about forests and the UN


Ensuring the ‘lungs of the planet’ keep us alive: 5 things you need to know about forests and the UN
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
10 May 2019
Forests are vitally important for sustaining life on Earth, and play a major role in the fight against climate change. With the 2019 session of the United Nations Forum on Forests wrapping up on Friday in New York, we delve deeper into the subject, and find out what the UN is doing to safeguard and protect them.

1. Forests are the most cost-effective way to fight climate change
Arguably, protection and enhancing the world’s forests is one of the most cost-effective forms of climate action: forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing roughly 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Sustainable forest management can build resilience and help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Speaking at the 2018 UN climate conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, Liu Zhemin, head of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), said that “forests are central in developing solutions both to mitigate and adapt to climate change, adding that “these terrestrial ecosystems have already removed nearly one third of human-produced carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. Through sustainable forest management, they could remove much more.”
At this week’s meeting session of the UNFF, it was noted that forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation actions, if fully implemented, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 15 gigatonnes of CO2 a year by 2050, which could potentially be enough to limit warming to well below 2°C (the target set by the international community in 2015). Today, fossil fuels emit 36 gigatonnes every year.

In addition, as renewable sources increasingly replace fossil fuels, forests will become more and more important as sources of energy: already, forests supply about 40 per cent of global renewable energy in the form of wood fuel – as much as solar, hydroelectric and wind power combined.

2. The goal of zero deforestation is close to being reached
Significant progress has been made in international forest protection over the past 25 years. The rate of net global deforestation has slowed by more than 50 per cent, a credit to global efforts to sustainably manage existing forests, while at the same time engaging in ambitious measures to restore degraded forests and land, and to plant more trees to meet the demand for forest products and services.

The goal of zero net global deforestation is close to being reached, bringing the world one step closer to the UN Strategic Plan for Forest’s target to expand global forest area by 3 per cent by 2030, an area of 120 million hectares, about the size of South Africa.

3. The biggest threat to forests is…agriculture
Many people will be aware of the devastating effects that illegal and unsustainable logging has on forests, but the biggest global driver of deforestation is actually agriculture, because of the extent to which forests are converted to farmland and livestock grazing land: a key challenge is how to manage the ongoing increase in agricultural production, and improve food security, without reducing overall forest areas.

A major UN report on biodiversity, released in May, made headlines around the world with its headline figure of one million species at risk of extinction, warned against the destruction of forests, noting that this “will likely have negative impacts on biodiversity and can threaten food and water security as well as local livelihoods, including by intensifying social conflict.”

4. The UN’s growing role in forest protection
The first time forests came to the forefront of the international agenda was at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, widely regarded as one of the landmark UN conferences. The Summit led to the adoption of Agenda 21, the first significant international action plan for achieving sustainable development, which noted the “major weaknesses in the policies, methods and mechanisms adopted to support and develop the multiple ecological, economic, social and cultural roles of trees, forests and forest lands.”

The Earth Summit also saw the adoption of the Forest Principles which, although non-legally binding, was the first global consensus reached on the sustainable management of forests. The Principles called for all countries to make efforts towards reforestation and forest conservation; enshrined the right of nations to develop forests in keeping with national sustainable development policies; and called for financial resources to be provided for targeted economic policies.

To better co-ordinate international efforts to put the principles into practice, an inter-governmental panel and forum were set up in the 1990s, to be replaced in 2000 by the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), which meets every year at UN Headquarters in New York to monitor progress on the implementation of the six Global Forest Goals.

The Goals set targets for the sustainable management of forests, and reduction of deforestation and forest degradation, and were developed as part the forest community’s response to the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN’s overall blueprint for economic progress that protects the environment and humanity.

5. This year’s top priorities: climate change and the real cost of deforestation
One of the key take-aways from the 2019 session of the UN Forest Forum was that, too often, forests are under-valued, because it’s hard to put a clear monetary value on all of the positive contributions they make to the world.

As a result, the true cost of deforestation and forest degradation is not taken into account when policy decisions are made on land use, such as decisions to clear forest land to use for commercial agriculture.

The importance of financing was another important element of the session: sufficient funding is an essential element in ensuring effective action to halt deforestation and forest degradation, promote greater sustainable forest management and increase the world’s forest area: despite the central role forests play in protecting the environment, only 2 per cent of funds available for climate change mitigation are available for efforts to reduce deforestation.

Featured Journal Content :: Nature Volume 569 Issue 7755, 9 May 2019

Featured Journal Content

Volume 569 Issue 7755, 9 May 2019
Comment | 08 May 2019
Reboot ethics governance in China
The shocking announcement of genetically modified babies creates an opportunity to overhaul the nation’s science, argue Ruipeng Lei and colleagues.
Ruipeng Lei, Xiaomei Zhai[…] & Renzong Qiu
… China’s scientists and regulators have been going through a period of soul-searching. We, our colleagues and our government agencies, such as the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Health Commission, have reflected on what the incident says about the culture and regulation of research in China. We’ve also thought about what long-term strategies need to be put in place to strengthen the nation’s governance of science and ethics.
In our view, China is at a crossroads. The government must make substantial changes to protect others from the potential effects of reckless human experimentation. Measures range from closer monitoring of the nation’s hundreds of clinics offering in vitro fertilization (IVF), to incorporating bioethics into education at all levels…

Article | 08 May 2019
Mapping the world’s free-flowing rivers
A comprehensive assessment of the world’s rivers and their connectivity shows that only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length.
G. Grill, B. Lehner[…] & C. Zarfl
Free-flowing rivers (FFRs) support diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems globally, providing important societal and economic services. Infrastructure development threatens the ecosystem processes, biodiversity and services that these rivers support. Here we assess the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers globally and identify those that remain free-flowing in their entire length. Only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length and 23 per cent flow uninterrupted to the ocean. Very long FFRs are largely restricted to remote regions of the Arctic and of the Amazon and Congo basins. In densely populated areas only few very long rivers remain free-flowing, such as the Irrawaddy and Salween. Dams and reservoirs and their up- and downstream propagation of fragmentation and flow regulation are the leading contributors to the loss of river connectivity. By applying a new method to quantify riverine connectivity and map FFRs, we provide a foundation for concerted global and national strategies to maintain or restore them.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola – DRC

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Disease Outbreak News (DONs)
9 May 2019
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak response this past week continues to be hampered by insecurity. On 3 May in Katwa, a Safe and Dignified Burial (SDB) team was violently attacked following the completion of a burial for a deceased EVD case. In Butembo and surrounding health zones, response activities were repeatedly halted due to a number of serious security incidents taking place from 4-6 May. On 8 May, a group of over 50 armed militia infiltrated the city centre. Security forces repelled the attack following intense gunfire in close proximity to staff accommodations. Although activities resumed on 9 May, after almost five consecutive days of suspension, threats of further attacks against EVD response teams and facilities remain prevalent.
These security incidents, and especially the resultant lack of access to EVD affected communities, remain a major impediment to the response, with teams unable to perform robust surveillance nor deliver much needed treatment and immunisations. The ongoing violent attacks sow fear, perpetuate mistrust, and further compound the multitude of challenges already faced by frontline healthcare workers. Without commitment from all groups to cease these attacks, it is unlikely that this EVD outbreak can remain successfully contained in North Kivu and Ituri provinces…


Struggling with Scale: Ebola’s Lessons for the Next Pandemic
Center for Global Development – Report – May 9, 2019 :: 82 pages
Jeremy Konyndyk

The next global pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Preparing for this inevitability requires that policy¬makers understand not just the science of limiting dis¬ease transmission or engineering a drug, but also the practical challenges of expanding a response strategy to a regional or global level. Achieving success at such scales is largely an issue of operational, strategic, and policy choices—areas of pandemic preparedness that remain underexplored.

The response to the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa illuminates these challenges and highlights steps toward better preparedness. Ebola was a known disease whose basic transmission pathways and con¬trol strategies were understood. Yet traditional Ebola control strategies were premised on small, non-urban outbreaks, and they rapidly proved inadequate as the disease reached urban environments, forcing policy¬makers to develop new strategies and operational plat-forms for containing the outbreak, which generated unique policy challenges and political pressures. Lack¬ing a blueprint for controlling Ebola at scale, response leaders scrambled to catch up as the disease began threatening the wider West African region.

This report explores the lessons of the Ebola outbreak through the lens of the US and UN policymakers who were forced to construct an unprecedented response in real time. It tells the story of their choices around four major policy challenges:
:: Operationalizing the US government response
:: Balancing the politics and the science of travel restrictions
:: Defining the role of a reluctant military
:: Coordinating complex international partnerships

The report draws on interviews with 19 high-level US and UN policymakers, a desk review of after-action reports, and the author’s own experiences while lead¬ing the response efforts of the US Agency for Interna¬tional Development (USAID).