UNESCO, Africa and China agree on projects to safeguard World Heritage in Africa

Heritage Stewardship

UNESCO, Africa and China agree on projects to safeguard World Heritage in Africa
14 June 2019
The UNESCO-Africa-China Forum on World Heritage Capacity Building and Cooperation, held at UNESCO Headquarters from 3 – 4 June 2019, concluded with Recommendations and an Action Plan for joint projects supporting long-term capacity building for the safeguarding of African World Heritage properties. It was attended by ministers, decision-makers, World Heritage site managers, academics and experts from Africa and China as well as the Vice-President of the African Development Bank, among others.

The Recommendations call for greater cooperation between African and Chinese universities in the field of heritage, developing joint research on conservation, and promoting skills exchanges in thematic areas linked to sustainable development, urbanization, and traditional management systems of World Heritage sites in Africa and China. Sustainable development, through a balanced approach to conservation and benefits to local communities at World Heritage sites, was also stressed.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr Ernesto Ottone R., said that “safeguarding cultural and natural heritage in both Africa and China will require the mutual sharing of experiences on traditional management systems, site planning, conservation, community engagement, and infrastructure development.”…

Ninety-five African sites from 35 States Parties are inscribed on the World Heritage List, fewer than 9% of all the inscribed properties. Yet, African sites account for one third of the List of World Heritage in Danger. China alone has 53 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, none on the List of World Heritage in Danger. African and Chinese properties are sanctuaries for most of the world’s biodiversity.

More information about the Forum is available here.

Improving electoral systems with new international quality management guidance – ISO

Governance – Electoral Systems International Standards

Improving electoral systems with new international quality management guidance
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Clare Naden on 11 June 2019

Free and fair elections thanks to well defined and managed electoral services are at the heart of a democratic political system, and casting a vote is a basic political right. Having robust systems in place is essential for this to run smoothly. Newly revised international guidance for electoral organizations will help them do just that, by applying the principles of ISO’s most widely known standard for quality, ISO 9001.

The technical specification ISO/TS 54001, Quality management systems – Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 for electoral organizations at all levels of government creates the framework for a quality management system that helps electoral bodies provide more reliable and transparent electoral services. It is based on ISO 9001 Quality management systems with specific sector requirements. It has been recently updated to reflect updates to ISO 9001 to keep it more in line with market needs.

Katie Altoft, chair of the ISO technical committee responsible for its development said it is an important tool for electoral organizations because it helps to build confidence in elections through enabling transparency, effective planning and management, and efficiency in electoral processes.

“Every electoral body will have its own legal framework based on international and national law, so this is not intended to replace it,” she said.

“However, by outlining international best practice when it comes to the quality management of an election and an electoral organization, it enables them to improve their processes to strengthen citizen confidence, reduce risks and continually improve.”

One of the key organizations behind the proposal for the TS was the Organization of American States (OAS), whose purpose includes promoting peace and democracy.

Maria Mellenkamp, convenor of the committee’s working group that developed the document and a representative of the OAS added: “ISO/TS 54001 is a great tool to help guide electoral management bodies to efficiently plan electoral processes and help to ensure objectivity in the results.”

It covers all aspects of a successful election such as registration of candidates and voters, vote casting and counting, declaration of results and resolution of electoral disputes. ISO/TS 54001 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 176 Quality management and quality assurance.

Forging a Stronger Social Contract—the IMF’s Approach to Social Spending

IMF – “Social Spending”

Forging a Stronger Social Contract—the IMF’s Approach to Social Spending
By Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Geneva, June 14, 2019
…The IMF’s Strategy on Social Spending
…Let me now address the IMF’s new strategy on engaging in social spending issues, which is being published today.

As social spending issues have become increasingly important for our members over the past decade, we have significantly stepped up our engagement on inclusive growth and social spending.

For instance, our analysis has found that high inequality can undermine sustained growth. Research has also found that public investment in health and education boosts productivity and growth, and reduces inequality of opportunity and income. Likewise, social spending programs that redistribute from higher-income to lower-income groups can decrease poverty and inequality. They can also increase the resilience of lower-income households to economic shocks—including from demographics, technology and climate—which are expected to become more frequent and disruptive.

At the country level, we found that four out of five IMF mission chiefs—the people who lead our engagement on the ground—view social spending as “macro-critical” in their countries. This is important, because macro-criticality is the quintessential trigger for IMF engagement on all structural issues. And nearly half view social spending as essential to socio-political stability and investing in people.

For all these reasons, we have stepped up our engagement on social spending at the country level. For example, we helped Ghana create the fiscal space to increase spending on public education—so that it can achieve its goal of universal secondary education. We helped Japan develop options for pension reform, so necessary in an aging society. In Cyprus, we helped the government strengthen the social safety net during a time of severe crisis—including with the introduction of a new guaranteed minimum income program. Likewise, in Jamaica we supported the expansion of social assistance programs during a period of belt tightening.

In all of our programs, protecting the poor and vulnerable is now, and will continue to be, a core objective.

At the same time, we are providing technical assistance to countries to help them raise more domestic revenue—support in this area nearly doubled between 2010 and 2018. And we estimated the additional spending needed to finance core SDGs—health, education, and priority infrastructure. We found that this requires an extra 15 percentage points of GDP on average for low-income developing countries in 2030.

It is clear, then, that social spending is not just an expense, but rather the wisest of investments in the well-being of our societies. Expansion of access to education and health generates broader productivity gains across the population, allowing all citizens to flourish. To reap the rewards of a stronger global economy tomorrow, we must begin by strengthening social programs today.

But at the same time, we cannot play the role of Pangloss. In the real world, the best of intentions run up against the firmest budget constraints.

So how do we move forward? We must start from the premise that social spending needs to be adequate, yet also efficient and financed sustainably. Spending adequacy. Spending efficiency. Fiscal sustainability. These are the yardsticks we will use to assess the “macro-criticality” of social spending.

We expect this new strategy to lead to more effective IMF engagement on social spending issues, and to strengthen the quality and consistency of our policy advice. It collects best practices gleaned from years of engagement on social spending issues and lays out a clear road map for consistently applying these best practices to our engagement.

Over the next year and a half, we will flesh out the strategy by providing more specific guidance to our staff underpinned by augmented tools and databases; ongoing analytical work; and background notes on issues such as pensions, social assistance, education, and health.

Our strategy should ensure that our engagement is more consistent and hopefully more effective—and also better tailored to our members’ specific preferences and circumstances…

Charity Commission reports on inquiry into Oxfam GB: “No charity is more important than the people it serves or the mission it pursues”

Oxfam – U.K. Charity Commission Report

Oxfam welcomes Independent Commission’s Recommendations and commits to deepen culture change and safeguarding improvements
12 June 2019
Oxfam welcomes the final report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change.

Statement on UK Charity Commission judgement by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International
11 June 2019
Oxfam Great Britain has today welcomed and accepted the UK Charity Commission’s judgement following its investigation into serious sexual misconduct by members of Oxfam GB staff in Haiti in 2011. Oxfam GB has apologized for its failings in its investigation and case management at the time and, as Executive Director of Oxfam International, I underline Oxfam GB’s apologies and reaffirm our organization’s abhorrence for, and zero-tolerance of, abusive behaviour, sexual or otherwise. It is a violation of everything Oxfam stands for. I would like to restate our confederation’s collective commitment to keep working hard to transform our work-place culture and improve our safeguarding systems. While this was the UK charity regulator’s report into Oxfam’s Great Britain affiliate, it is clear we can only challenge these abuses if we do it together as an international confederation…


Charity Commission reports on inquiry into Oxfam GB: “No charity is more important than the people it serves or the mission it pursues”
Regulator finds culture of “tolerating poor behaviour” at Oxfam GB and concludes charity “failed to meet promises made”
11 June 2019 — Press release
Charity Commission publishes critical report on Oxfam GB, finding that aspects of the charity’s past record on safeguarding amount to mismanagement, and takes regulatory action.

Charities are being warned that no charity is more important than the people it serves or the mission it pursues, and that all are judged on their actions, not their words.

It comes as the regulator publishes a critical report on Oxfam GB, and finds that the charity repeatedly fell below standards expected, had a culture of tolerating poor behaviour, and concludes that it failed to meet promises made on safeguarding, ultimately letting everyone down.

The inquiry finds the charity failed to heed warnings, including from its own staff, that its culture and response around keeping people safe was inadequate, and made commitments to safeguarding that were not matched by its actions.

The report, which takes into account over 7,000 items of evidence, examines the charity’s handling of events in Haiti, and separately its more recent record on protecting people, including its beneficiaries, volunteers and staff, from harm.

It concludes that some of the charity’s failings and shortcomings amount to mismanagement, and the Commission has used its powers to issue Oxfam GB with an Official Warning, and Directions under Section 84 of the Charities Act 2011.

“Missed opportunities and a flawed response” – Oxfam GB and Haiti 2011
The regulator finds that the then executive of Oxfam GB mishandled aspects of its response to allegations of misconduct in Haiti in 2011.

Overall, the Commission concludes that there had been a “culture of poor behaviour” and poor accountability among staff in Haiti at the time, of which individuals took advantage.

The Commission also finds that the charity’s reports to donors and the Commission itself were “not as full and frank about the nature and seriousness of the incidents and problems in Haiti as they should have been”. The inquiry’s view is that Oxfam GB’s approach to disclosure and reporting was marked, at times, by a desire to protect the charity’s reputation and donor relationships.

Specifically, the inquiry found that the charity:
:: did not adequately follow-up whether victims of sexual misconduct in Haiti were minors
: did not report allegations of child abuse by Oxfam GB staff in Haiti, failing to take the risks to alleged victims seriously enough
:: dealt with staff members implicated in sexual misconduct in Haiti inconsistently, notably by appearing to treat senior staff more leniently than junior staff
:: missed opportunities to identify and tackle early warnings before the events in Haiti in 2011

“Repeatedly failed to meet promises made”– Oxfam GB’s wider record on safeguarding
The inquiry also examined Oxfam GB’s wider approach to safeguarding, historically, and more recently, and concluded that the charity’s own commitments and promises in the past were not always matched by its actions.

It says this results from its leadership, up to 2018, applying insufficient resources to keeping people safe from harm, and concludes that this and other systemic weaknesses amount to mismanagement in the administration of charity.

The inquiry also finds the charity missed opportunities to address issues raised by its own safeguarding staff, and exposed the charity to undue risk.

Specifically, the inquiry finds that:
:: resourcing and capability around safeguarding at the charity between 2015 to 2017 did not match the risks associated with the charity’s global reach and the nature of its work
:: the charity’s approach to safeguarding case work was at times unstructured and a lack of adequate assurance and oversight mechanisms meant trustees were unable to identify serious failures in case handling, including poor record keeping, failings of which the inquiry is “extremely critical”
:: weaknesses in the charity’s HR practices prior to 2018, particularly concerning problems around vetting and referencing and management oversight, led to a ‘culture of tolerance of poor behaviour’
:: as late as 2017, promises that the resources for safeguarding would be increased were not delivered…

…In a foreword to the report, Baroness Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, says no charity is more important that the mission it pursues or the people it serves:
:: No charity is so large, nor is its mission so important that it can afford to put its own reputation ahead of the dignity and wellbeing of those it exists to protect. But the implications of this inquiry are not confined to the failings of a single, big charity, because no charity is too small to bear its own share of responsibility for upholding the wider good name of charity.
:: Ultimately being a charity is more than just about what you do, it is also about the way in which you do it. The Charity Commission is determined to reassure the public that it understands this fundamental point and will work with the sector it regulates to demonstrate that fact in the months and years ahead.”

Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC – Ebola/Cholera/Measles

Statement on the meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
14 June 2019
… The cluster of cases in Uganda is not unexpected; the rapid response and initial containment is a testament to the importance of preparedness in neighbouring countries. The Committee commends the communication and collaboration between DRC and Uganda…
…Conclusions and Advice
It was the view of the Committee that the outbreak is a health emergency in DRC and the region but does not meet all the three criteria for a PHEIC [Public Health Emergency of International Concern] under the IHR. While the outbreak is an extraordinary event, with risk of international spread, the ongoing response would not be enhanced by formal Temporary Recommendations under the IHR (2005)…



Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Regular Weekly Update not published.


Editor’s Note:
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 15 Jun 2019]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: 45: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu 12 June 2019
:: Disease Outbreak News (DONs) Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo 13 June 2019
[See Ebola DRC above for detail]

Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified
Mozambique floods – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 15 Jun 2019]

Central African Republic
:: The Central African Republic prepares for Ebola response
12 June 2018 – Bangui “The Central African Republic has made a good start in preparing for a possible Ebola outbreak,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), at the end of a short visit to the country. “But we must remain vigilant, and consolidate the work started.”…

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Cyclone Idai – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iran floods 2019 – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi floods – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified


WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 15 Jun 2019]

Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018 – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syria: Situation Report 5: Recent Developments in Northwestern Syria (as of 14 June 2019)
:: Violence in northwest Syria continued over the last ten days throughout Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Airstrikes and shelling in southern Idleb, northern Hama and western Aleppo governorates is putting civilians at risk and impeding the delivery of assistance.
:: Humanitarian response is ongoing with hundreds of thousands of people receiving critical assistance essential for their survival. Violence in areas directly affected by conflict is driving displacement into densely-populated areas, putting a strain on service delivery for partners.
:: A further escalation of violence, triggering waves of displacement and complicating humanitarian access and provision of humanitarian assistance risks overwhelming an already stretched response.

:: Yemen: Flash floods Flash Update No. 1 As of 11 June 2019


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.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: Mozambique: “Three months on, the world’s attention has moved on. We cannot let this happen” 14 Jun 2019

The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 8 June 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 8 Jun 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]