networker

dochasnetwork

networker

networker

The

Science and technology

Shaping the future of aid and development

Procurement: Where next?

Choosing suppliers and assessing transport needs

also

Open data is driving effectiveness

Bond’s new website

ISSUE 104 | APR-JUN 2013


Science and

technology

4

Science and development

are closer than they appear

Recognising common

ground will enhance the work

of both scientists and

development practitioners,

says Nick Perkins.

8

Science in the news

Scientific breakthroughs and

research findings are proving

vital to development efforts.

16

Technology justice: the

missing link

Simon Trace believes that for

technology to have a real

impact on poverty a new

principle is needed to guide

decision-making.

19

Digital leadership: upgrade

and reboot

Everyone wants to get in on

the digital act but there’s a lack

of leadership skills and

knowledge to realise its

potential, explains Duane

Raymond.

20

Mobile solutions: changing

the face of Africa

Matthew O’Reilly provides a

whistle-stop tour of the

technological revolution.

22

The health of a nation

Yvonne MacPherson explains

how a unique BBC Media

Action health initiative has the

potential to be both

sustainable and scalable.

16

34

Put grassroots innovation

on the agenda

Current models of innovation

ignore small-scale technology,

and institutions must ensure

it's a key part of the agenda,

says Tony Marjoram.

40

Using technology to drive

effectiveness

The use of information and

communications technology

is having a huge impact on

the design and delivery of

programmes, explains Farai

Matsika.

42

Leader of the aid

transparency pack

The UK is leading the way in

increasing aid transparency,

argues John Adams, and with

it comes new opportunities

that can lead to better

development results.

45

How open data is

transforming development

Technological advances and

the increasing availability of

open data are giving Africa’s

citizens the power to shape

their own future, explains

Hilda Kalap.

FeatureS

10

Go on a journey with IF

Millions of people are getting

involved in the IF campaign

as it travels throughout the

UK ahead of the G8 summit

in June.

12

Beyond 2015: On the road to

2015

The process for developing a

new framework to succeed the

Millennium Development

Goals is well underway,

explains Ruth Fuller and Ken

Bluestone.

13

Is working through the EU

important for international

development?

At a time when UK

membership is the subject of

intense political and public

debate, Germana Canzi

outlines some of the benefits.

14

Bond unveils new website

It has a brand new look, lots of

improved features and

interesting content and it’s

much easier to find what you’re

looking for.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

22

40

36

Post-2015: The importance

of access to information

Establishing access to

information as a goal in the

post-2015 framework could

transform government

accountability and

community participation,

argues Tom Berry.

38

Effectiveness Programme

reaches a landmark moment

After three years of

consultation with over 250

staff and directors from 100

organisations, Bond is

launching three resources to

measure and demonstrate

effectiveness.

46

In the spotlight

Hans Zomer, Director at

Dochas, shares his views on

aid, public support for

development, accountability

and effectiveness and the

future for northern NGOs.

48

Book review

Transformation: Overcoming

Uncertainty 1976-2010 is a

candid and insightful firsthand

account of organisational

change at ACORD.

bond.org.uk

28

tranSPort

and logiSticS

26

Procurement: finding the

right solutions

How do NGOs procuring

goods and services,

especially in relation to

transport, achieve value for

money? Merlin and

Sightsavers share their

approaches.

28

Driving efficiency through

the supply chain

Plan UK explain their

approach to supply chain

management and how

improvements could lead to

even greater efficiency and

cost-savings.

32

Transport: enabling

development

Transport knowledge,

expertise and management

are essential to providing

access to basic services,

explains Chris Cuninghame.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


EDITORIAL |

xxxxxxx

02 03

Editorial

The impact of

science and

technology on

reducing

poverty and

inequality and

supporting

sustainable

development is

profound with

developments in both fields

revolutionising many aspects of

development practice and improving

the lives of billions of people. Health,

education and agriculture are just

some of the areas that are being

transformed by scientific

breakthroughs and technological

advances that could not have been

imagined even a few years ago.

Furthermore, increasing numbers of

ordinary people are using newfound

access to information, data and

communication to hold their own

governments and other organisations,

including NGOs, to account.

In this age of open information,

and as discussions around what

should follow the Millennium

Development Goals gathers pace,

Tom Berry of Development Initiatives

makes a compelling case in this issue

of The Networker for the inclusion of

access to information in the post-2015

development framework. New

technology is also increasing aid

transparency, as DFID points out in

this issue, and helping NGOs to better

understand their impact, improve

performance and ensure they provide

the best possible value for money. To

support this, Bond has developed,

with its members, two practical and

comprehensive online resources that

together will optimise how NGOs

about Bond

Bond is a broad network of

UK-based international

development organisations

united by a common goal

to eradicate global poverty.

about the networker

The Networker offers

topical and forward–

thinking features and

opinion on international

development issues to

inspire thought, debate

and action. The views

expressed do not

necessarily reflect those

of Bond.

measure and demonstrate the

effectiveness.

Whilst all this progress is hugely

significant, it is also true that scientists

and development practitioners have

tended to focus on their own

disciplines rather than join forces on

areas of common ground. In this

issue, Nick Perkins at SciDev.net

explores this connection and the

relevance and implications for

development.

Finally, the Enough Food for

Everyone IF campaign, a coalition of

over 170 organisations, is

campaigning for the G8 to take action

on the issue of global hunger. There

will be lots of activity ahead of the G8

summit in June and if you're not

already a member there is still time to

join up for this crucial phase. Contact

Cara Bevington for more information:

cbevington@bond.org.uk.

Ben Jackson

Chief Executive

New technology is

increasing aid

transparency and

helping NGOs to

better understand

their impact.

contributing to

the networker

If you have an idea that you

would like to discuss or if

you would like to comment

on The Networker, please

contact the Editor,

Jemma Ashman:

jashman@bond.org.uk

copyright

Organisations that wish

to photocopy or reproduce

articles may do so for

not–for–profit purposes,

with prior consent.

Please contact the Editor,

Jemma Ashman:

jashman@bond.org.uk

design

SteersMcGillanEves

Design Ltd

Print

Stephens & George

Print Group

ConneCt

with Bond

Get the latest news

and opportunities from

the international

development sector.

bond.org.uk

@bondngo

@bondjobs

@bondlearn

@bondeurope

Visit the website or sign up to receive

regular e-bulletins:

bond.org.uk

bond.org.uk/e-updates

Advertise with Bond

If you have a job vacancy to fill, wish to

promote your products and services, or

are a consultant looking for new clients,

Bond can connect you to thousands of

international development

professionals.

Visit the website or contact Deborah

Atwell to discuss your requirements:

bond.org.uk/advertising

datwell@bond.org.uk

Want to build your

skills, or find a new job?

Bond specialises in international

development training focusing on the

core areas of advocacy, fundraising,

NGO effectiveness and programmes.

Alternatively, an in-house service

provides a tailor-made training solution

to meet your exact needs:

bond.org.uk/learn

bond.org.uk/in-house

Access the best international

development jobs:

bond.org.uk/jobs

bond.org.uk/e-updates

@bondjobs

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


FEATURE | SCiENCE ANd dEvElOPMENT

04 ARE ClOSER THAN THEy APPEAR

05

SCIENCE AND

DEVELOPMENT

ARE CLOSER

THAN THEY

APPEAR

Recognising common ground is the first step towards enhancing

the work of both scientists and development practitioners,

explains Nick Perkins and Anita Makri.

The world of science, technology

and engineering might seem miles

away from the day-to-day work of

most development professionals but,

if you get past the jargon or the

traditional lab-coat image, there is

more common ground than first

meets the eye.

By articulating those connections,

and strengthening them, the fields

of science and development can

make the best of what each can offer,

and reinforce their collective work

towards the goal of advancing

wellbeing globally.

Policy and practice

at the local level is

where the linkages

between science

and development

are clearest.

Science has real

relevance

Break it down into different fields

— health, agriculture, water security

or disasters — and you start to see that

science has very real relevance and

implications for development.

There are, for example, established

tools and interventions — in health

and medicine they include vaccines,

nutrition guidelines, anti-retroviral

treatment and rehydration therapy.

Engineering feats like dams and

wells have been a prominent feature

of water resource development and

farming projects, arguably with

mixed results.

And there are new tools, such as

information and communication

technologies: mobile phones are

improving the delivery of aid, health

care and farmers' access to markets;

while the use of GIS (geographic

information systems) and remote

sensing to help with operations in

food and disaster emergencies has

also grown in recent years.

Beyond technological tools,

development practitioners interact

with scientific knowledge through

their role as 'implementers' on the

ground. They become agents who put

scientific knowledge into use —

delivering innovations, building

local capacity or facilitating

behaviour change.

More fundamentally, the role

of science has to do simply with

evidence — gathering and using

empirical knowledge as a basis for

progress in all areas that underpin

development.

Scientific evidence

matters

Evidence gathering is very much

a reality for development professionals

through the well-developed practices

of monitoring and impact evaluation.

The answers tend to give a picture,

however flawed, of what works and

what doesn't.

For the scientific community,

evidence gathering is linked with

more incremental, abstract notions

of improving understanding that

may or may not have immediate or

tangible consequences. Although the

relevance of small advances may be

limited, even here the world of science

is not without consequence on the

ground: an awareness of ideas and

tools being developed can open up

opportunities to improve practice by,

for example, making use of traditional

knowledge or trialling new ways to

deliver vaccines.

Scientific evidence matters at

the level of policymaking too —

in the way that statistics become

ammunition for interest groups that

aim to influence policy, including

discussions underway about the

post-2015 development agenda.

One need only consider how a lack

of capacity to collect and analyse data,

particularly in poor countries, has

come in the way of a clear picture of

the progress achieved through the

Millennium Development Goals.

From this perspective, science is

not that removed from the political life

that has real impacts on development

work. And because evidence, however

contested, feeds into decisions on aid

priorities, the political questions

extend to whose priorities the

evidence responds to.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


06

FEATURE | SCiENCE ANd dEvElOPMENT

ARE ClOSER THAN THEy APPEAR

BReAk it dowN iNto

diffeReNt fieLdS ANd you

StARt to See thAt ScieNce

hAS veRy ReAL ReLevANce

ANd iMPLicAtioNS foR

deveLoPMeNt.

Limits of overlap

At the same time, there is a divide

between the systems that support

evidence gathering for science, aid,

or national policies. For example,

practitioners take relatively little

benefit from the system of scholarly

publications that feeds scientists'

appetite for new knowledge and

advances their careers.

This is an example of limits to

the overlap between science and

development work — and an area

where more can be done to

strengthen synergies.

Progress in science tends to be

slow. This means that the new method

or tool being developed today will only

become available, perhaps, to the

practitioner years down the line.

Think of the GPS (global positioning

system) devices that monitor refugee

movements or vehicles used to deliver

food aid — they are fruits of years of

scientific investment.

The route from science to

practitioner is not direct. Research

needs first to be published, then

commercialised and distributed

(though the movement for grassroots

innovation is one way that this model

is being challenged).

And where tools are available,

infrastructure may not support

them. Delivering food or healthcare

to remote populations depends on good

roads; and using laptop computers to

coordinate operations depends on

electricity and communications

infrastructure, though innovations like

mobile phones get around such

limitations.

Strengthening links

Policy and practice at the local

level is where the linkages between

science and development are clearest.

But the space where they interact is

often difficult to access — and it is

perhaps where linkages most need

to be strengthened.

On the one hand, international

development is having a big impact

on science communication globally

— through funding capacity

development for journalism that

improves livelihoods and by driving

the debate on open access to research.

On the other, research guides

practitioners' work by consensus, for

example, on how many doses of

vaccine to administer.

And like monitoring and evaluation

for development projects, which are

designed based on aid-agency

priorities or international goals, science

does not operate in a vacuum. The

evidence gathered depends on factors

such as whose questions are listened

to, and who has been consulted in the

process of answering them.

In both cases, the link with local

governments tends to be weak. Over

the long term, this undermines poor

countries' efforts to take charge of

their own development and move

beyond aid.

Whether scientific questions

respond to northern priorities over

local priorities, to what extent

community voices are listened to,

and whether enough is being done

to build local capacities are questions

that we at SciDev.Net, and the

scientific community, are grappling

with. There is scope to open up this

conversation to arrive at concrete

ways of enhancing the work of both

scientists and practitioners.

Nick Ishmael Perkins, Director,

and Anita Makri, Opinion & Special

Features Editor, SciDev.Net

www.scidev.net

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

TrAInIng wITh

IMA InTernATIonAl

Our uK cOurses

At IMA International we train development professionals to reach

their potential, and make a difference to the people they serve. This

year we celebrate 30 years of delivering our high quality, participatory

courses, by experienced development practitioners. This makes us

the preferred partner for development organisations worldwide.

We invite you to join our courses and experience them for yourself.

Monitoring and evaluation for results (5 or 10 days) 3-14 June £1680/£2480 Brighton

Leadership and Management in Development 17-21 June £1680 Brighton

Impact Assessment 17-20 June £1260 Brighton

certificate in Development Management (3 weeks) 3-21 June £4500 Brighton

certificate in Applied evaluation (14 days) 3-20 June £4200 Brighton

Improving Development effectiveness (value for money) 1-5 July £1500 london

Knowledge Management 3-6 Dec £1260 Brighton

Our BAngKOK AnD cApe TOWn cOurses

Improving Development effectiveness (value for money) 22-26 April £1500 Bangkok

Knowledge Management 14-17 May £1260 Bangkok

creating successful partnerships 20-24 May £1790 Bangkok

Monitoring and evaluation for results (5 or 10 days) 14-25 oct £1680/£2480 Bangkok

Leadership and Management in Development 4-8 nov £1680 Bangkok

project cycle Management 11-22 nov £2840 Bangkok

results-based Monitoring and evaluation systems 25-29 nov £2000 Bangkok

Monitoring and evaluation for results (5 or 10 days) 15-26 April £1680/£2480 Cape Town

Improving Development effectiveness 18-22 nov £1500 Cape Town

Apply online at www.imainternational.com or call

us on +44 (0)1273 833030 to talk about how tailor-made

courses could help your organisation.


SCiENCE iN THE NEwS

08 09

Desert bacteria

coulD help boost

crop yielDs

Scientists in the Middle East have identified soil microbes

that could help make desert agriculture more resistant

to salinity and drought.

local strains of drought-tolerant bacteria isolated

by scientists in the Middle east could boost agriculture

and help halt desertification in arid areas.

Rhizobia bacteria establish mutually beneficial

relationships with host plants, in which they fix nitrogen

in exchange for nutrients — a relationship that improves

soil quality.

scientists from the united arab emirates (uae),

including Nanduri rao, a researcher at the international

center for biosaline agriculture, in Dubai, have isolated

several naturally occurring Rhizobia strains from the

root nodules of three leguminous plants: sesbania,

lablab and pigeon pea.

"the strains, native to the uae desert, were found to

have a high tolerance to stresses [such as heat, salinity

and acidity]," says rao. the research is in the February

issue of the Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture.

philippe Normand, a professor of microbial ecology

at the university of claude bernard lyon 1, France, says

the work could help to improve plant productivity in

extreme environments.

and ameur cherif, a professor of microbial

biotechnology at the university of Manouba, tunisia,

says desert microbes could be used in an

"anti-desertification strategy".

Charity's hiring

woe highlights laCk

of teCh know-how in

ngo Community

there are many and varied ways in which scientific

breakthroughs and research findings could prove

vital to development efforts.

Practical Action's struggle to recruit an advisor on its

technology policy may be due to a lack of relevant expertise

among Western NGOs.

Practical Action, a UK-based charity that supports the

use of technology to tackle poverty, has struggled to recruit a

technology policy advisor — and insiders say this highlights

a lack of interest in technology among Western NGOs and

funding agencies.

The charity had to re-advertise the role.

"Technology is not seen as pertinent to poverty

reduction," says Astrid Walker Bourne, Practical Action's

Policy Director.

When non-governmental organisations talk about

poverty reduction, she says, they focus on food, health

or education. "People see health, but they don't see the

fridge and the health centre that need energy. That's a

technology," she says.

Duncan Green, strategic advisor for Oxfam GB, says he is

unsurprised with Practical Action's struggles as few people’s

interests span both technology and aid policy. But people on

both sides of the divide should realise that "where technology

meets society, something happens", he says.

ScIEncE In THE nEwS

Educating

womEn kEy to

sustainablE

farming in africa,

says study

Researchers have found a strong

correlation between female education

and the successful implementation of

sustainable farming in Africa.

Women's education directly affects

the uptake of sustainable agricultural

practices (SAPs), according to a study

published in Journal of Agricultural

Economics in January 2013.

SAPs are frequently touted as a

solution to land degradation, low

agricultural productivity and

widespread poverty across Africa.

Researchers surveyed 900

households working on more than

4,000 farming plots in three maizegrowing

regions of Ethiopia.

They identified the factors that

influence the adoption of three key

SAPs: using improved seeds,

conservation tillage and maize-legume

crop rotation systems. They also

compared how the practices affected

incomes.

"We found that each year of

education for women increases the

probability of adopting SAPs by 12 per

cent," says Hailemariam Teklewold,

the lead author and a research fellow at

the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Solomon Jemal, an agronomist at

the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural

Research, says: "The study's findings

should make stakeholders consider

the important role of women in

adopting SAPs, and of designing

interventions that will be favourable to

women smallholder farmers."

For more science and development

news go to scidev.net

Dearth of research

of Disability hampers

poverty goals

The complex relationship between

disability and poverty needs more

research, which could lead to more

inclusive aid and health policies.

Progress in achieving the

Millennium Development Goals

(MDGs) could be jeopardised by a lack

of research on the links between

disability and poverty, according to

one author of a major study into

disability in Africa, dubbed EquitAble.

"The lack of a disability perspective

and combining mainstreaming with

targeted strategies increases the

chances of individuals with

disabilities being left behind in efforts

to reach the MDGs," says Arne

Henning Eide, Chief Scientist at the

Foundation for Scientific and

Industrial Research, Norway, and a

study author.

He adds that research on this issue

in developing countries tends to focus

on disability prevalence, detracting

attention from studying the

mechanisms that keep disabled

people in poverty.

The study, which covered Malawi,

Namibia, South Africa and Sudan,

and was published in January 2013

in African Journal on Disability,

highlights the lack of a disability

perspective in the African Union's

policies.

These policies treat disabled

people as part of a generalised

'vulnerable group', failing to

appreciate the different needs of the

constituent groups.

"There's a more complex

mechanism behind the relationship,"

Eide says. "Disability or vulnerability

interacts with other factors that you

have to take into consideration, for

example education and social class."

Fog-catching

Fabric could

improve water

collection

A coated cotton material that absorbs

moisture from fogs and releases water

as it warms could improve freshwater

collection in arid areas.

Researchers have created a

water-collecting material for deserts

by coating a cotton fabric with a

polymer. The fabric may improve the

efficiency of water collection from

fog, helping to provide freshwater in

arid regions.

Each kilogram of the new fabric,

which traps water vapour when it is

cold and releases water as it warms,

can absorb more than three litres

of water from the air. This entire

process is repeatable, raising hopes

that the fabric could act as a watercollecting

device.

The team hopes the material

could be used to harvest water in

dry coastal areas, such as the Namib

Desert in Namibia. Another use

could be in agriculture.

"You could mix the coated fibres

in the soil where you want to grow

plants," says Catarina Esteves of the

Eindhoven University of Technology

in the Netherlands, one of the authors

of the study published in February

in Advanced Materials. "At lower

temperatures in the evening,

it would collect the humidity from

the atmosphere. As the temperature

goes up the next day, it would release

that water into the soil."

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

Pecold / Shutterstock.com


FEATURE | ENOUGH FOOd FOR EvERyONE iF

10 11

Go on a

journey with

Ouma with her son Abiou, 9, heading to

their dry fields to weed this year’s crops that

they've just planted in Guidan Moussa,

Niger, one of the villages where Save the

Children gives out monthly cash distributions.

Over the coming

months, millions of

people will have the

opportunity to get

involved in the IF

campaign as it travels

throughout the UK

ahead of the G8

summit in June.

The world produces enough food for

everyone but not everyone has enough

food to eat. This is the key message that

the Enough Food for Everyone IF

campaign hopes will reach 20 million

people across the UK in 2013.

So far, more than 170 UK-based

organisations have joined the

campaign because they share a vision

of a world where everyone has enough

food to eat.

Why 2013

2013 is a big year for the UK. It holds

the G8 presidency and in June it

will host the G8 summit and two

international events; one on hunger

and nutrition and another on trade,

tax and transparency. Together, these

events provide a unique opportunity

for David Cameron to take a lead on

global hunger and make real progress

on the issues.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

Harriet Logan/Save the Children for the IF Campaign

THE IF CAMPAIGN

SO FAR

January 2013

Since its launch in January, the IF

campaign has reached millions of

people through events, music, film

and art, demonstrating the diversity

and creativity of the campaign:

■■ Two huge ‘Power of IF’ youth

events in London and Manchester

■■ More than 20 MP lobby training

events across the UK

■■ Reverse graffiti on the streets

of Cardiff

■■ A new song penned by a 14 year

old school girl in Northern Ireland

■■ Launch of the ‘IF Scottish

Manifesto’

■■ Many more events up and

down the UK

June 2013

The IF campaign will galvanise

tens of thousands of people to

demonstrate public support and

call for long term solutions to tackle

the global hunger crisis.

8 June:

A family-friendly event in London

bringing together thousands

of people passionate about

ending hunger.

IF journey will travel throughout

the UK from London to Belfast

ahead of the G8 summit.

Early – mid June:

Hunger and nutrition event

Early – mid June:

Tax, transparency and trade event

17-18 June:

G8 Summit, Enniskillen,

Northern Ireland

There will be many opportunities for

everyone – from local communities

to schools, universities, faith groups

and more – to get involved in the

London event and the IF journey.

For more information:

enoughfoodif.org

bond.org.uk

layton Thompson/Tearfund

February-March 2013

The UK has committed to spend

0.7% of gross national income on aid

and development by 2013. To help

ensure this promise is kept, the IF

campaign mobilised thousands of

people across the UK to email and

meet their local MP and to write to

the Chancellor in the lead up to this

year’s Budget announcement.

Thanks to these efforts and years

of tireless campaigning by Bond

members and others, on 20 March

the Chancellor announced that the

government is on track to reach the

0.7% target. We must now ensure

that it is maintained until it is no

longer needed.

we can end global

hunger IF

We give enough aid to stop

children dying from hunger

and help the poorest families

feed themselves

Governments stop big

companies dodging tax in

poor countries, so that millions

of people can free themselves

from hunger

We stop farmers being forced

off their land and we grow crops

to feed people not fuel cars

Governments and big

companies are honest and open

about their actions that stop

people getting enough food

Read more at: bond.org.uk/if

Farming is extremely

difficult these days

because of climate

change. Maize is not

yielding the expected

results. Even cotton is

not faring well as before.

we are in a dire situation.

Folomina Fombe, a small-scale farmer

with two adult children and three

grandchildren in southern Malawi.

Support the IF

campaign

For individuals: enoughfoodif.org

For organisations: bond.org.uk/if

All UK-based organisations

passionate about tackling global

hunger are invited to join the

campaign coalition. As a member

of the campaign you will get access

to lots of helpful resources to

engage your supporters.

For more information,

visit the website or email

cara Bevington:

cbevington@bond.org.uk

All UK-based

organisations

passionate about

tackling global

hunger are

invited to join

the campaign

coalition.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


12

FEATURE | BEyONd 2015:

FEATURE | HOw iMPORTANT iS wORKiNG THROUGH

ON THE ROAd TO 2015 THE EU FOR iNTERNATiONAl dEvElOPMENT?

13

Beyond 2015:

On the road to 2015

The process for developing a new framework to

succeed the Millennium development Goals is

well underway with civil society organisations,

the private sector and businesses, academia and

scientists all involved. Ruth Fuller and Ken

Bluestone provide an update.

An immense amount of ideas are being

generated on what should be included in

the post-2015 framework.

UN-led consultations have been

taking place in at least 56 countries

(worldwewant2015.org), members of the

public are being asked for their priorities

(myworld2015.org), scientists are giving

their opinion through the UN

Sustainable Development Solutions

Network and the High Level Panel of

Eminent Persons, created to develop

thinking on a post-2015 framework, is

discussing their ideas. The ODI tracker

provides the latest proposals for future

development goals (tracker.post2015.org).

The UN Secretary General will report

to UN member states at a

High Level Event at the end of

September – the first time member

states will discuss what could follow the

Millennium Development

Goals (MDGs).

Open Working Group

on Sustainable

Development Goals

Following the UN Conference on

Sustainable Development, commonly

known as Rio+20, in June 2012, an Open

Working Group on the Sustainable

Development Goals was formed in

January 2013. The Secretary General

asked member states to merge this

process with that which is creating a

post-2015 development framework.

There is an expectation that the Open

Working Group will be the key forum for

discussing a future framework after the

High Level Panel finishes in May. The

process for bringing together the

Sustainable Development Goals and

what comes after the MDGs is still unclear

but the Beyond 2015 campaign believes a

single process is important to ensure

coherence between environmental and

development agendas.

70 governments will share 30 seats

on the Open Working Group; the UK is

sharing a seat with Australia and the

Netherlands. The group had its first

meeting in mid-March 2013 and at the

time of writing it was expected that

Hungary and Kenya would be the

facilitators of the group with additional

support from Brazil.

High Level Panel

The High Level Panel is on track to have

a first draft of the report ready by

mid-April and will present its final report

to the Secretary General by the end of

May 2013. The report will be an

important milestone in developing

concrete ideas for discussion by

member states.

The Beyond 2015 campaign has

been influencing the High Level Panel,

not least by sharing its vision, purpose,

values and criteria (see below) for a post

2015 framework, inputting to the UN

thematic consultations, organising

national consultations, engaging with

civil society outreach days at the High

Level Panel meetings and lobbying

panel members.

Beyond 2015 campaign

The Beyond 2015 campaign has been

developing its vision, purpose,

principles and criteria for a post-2015

framework.

Beyond 2015’s vision is: An equitable

and sustainable world where every

person is safe, resilient, lives well, and

enjoys their human rights.

A world where political and economic

systems deliver well-being for all people

within the limits of our planet’s resources.

The purpose of the framework is to

achieve the change needed to secure

progress towards the vision by:

■■ Enabling coherence and

prioritisation of action

■■ Securing commitment to action

■■ Ensuring accountability for action

The values and criteria developed by the

campaign will be used to assess our

response to different proposals for goals,

targets and indicators. Beyond 2015 is

committed to ensuring its vision,

purpose, values and criteria statements

accurately reflect the views of its

members. Have your say at:

beyond2015.org

Bond Beyond 2015

UK Group

The Beyond 2015 UK Group is focussed

on providing opportunities for

engagement between the UK

government and Beyond 2015

campaign members. At the last meeting

of the group in February 2013, the head

of the Cabinet Office team working on

post-2015 gave a presentation and

answered questions and Ivan Lewis, the

Shadow Secretary of State for

International Development, outlined his

vision for a post-2015 framework. The

group is also developing positions and

content on thematic areas relevant to the

post-2015 framework to use in advocacy

with the UK government, reaching

out to other coalitions and civil society

groupings in the UK and concentrating

on bringing development and

environment groups closer together on

the post-2015 agenda.

To join the group and find out more

email advocacy@bond.org.uk

Ken Bluestone, Beyond 2015 Steering

Group Member and Political and Policy

Adviser, Age International and Ruth

Fuller, co-chair of the Beyond 2015 UK

Group and International Development

Policy Advisor WWF-UK

open working Group information:

sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

index.php?menu=1549

How important is

working through the

EU for international

development?

At a time when UK membership is the subject

of intense political and public debate, Germana

Canzi outlines some of the benefits of working

through the European Union from a

development perspective.

What benefits are there for the UK to

work through the European Union (EU)

in development and humanitarian aid,

rather than working independently or

through other international

organisations? How consistent is EU

policy in this field with decisions taken

in trade, security and climate change,

for instance, and vice versa?

These are some of the questions

the Department for International

Development (DFID) asked

stakeholders, including Bond

members, for its Balance of

Competences Review on EU

Development and Co-operation and

Humanitarian Aid. The crossgovernment

review will lead to the

publication of 30 reports over the next

few months and DFID’s will be one of

the first to be published, probably

before summer 2013.

The EU can deliver

large-scale aid more

efficiently than 27

smaller donors.

UK needs to collaborate

at an international level

Bond’s submission to the review started

from the premise that the world is

facing multiple, significant challenges:

climate change, growing resource

constraints, the financial crisis and its

global impacts, relative lack of progress

in conflict-affected and fragile states,

and much more. As many of these

challenges are global, the UK needs to

work with other countries to find

solutions, avoid duplication, increase

coordination and pool limited

resources.

Advantages to working

through the EU

While nobody would claim EU aid is

perfect, many say there are significant

advantages in working through the EU

as opposed to solely through DFID or

other multilaterals. The European

Commission (EC) is the largest

multilateral donor in the world and the

UK has a say on how the money is

spent. The EU also provides a forum for

member states to inform and influence

each other through joint monitoring

and implementation of aid effectiveness

commitments. Also, put simply, the UK

has signed on to existing commitments

on Millennium Development Goals

(MDGs) and the EU 0.7% target, that can’t

realistically be reached without also

working at EU level.

Efficiency

The EU can deliver large-scale aid more

efficiently than 27 smaller donors. This

helps reduce fragmentation, waste,

reporting burdens for recipient

countries, and improves division of

labour. DFID gains an on-the-ground

influence from the EU’s work in many

developing countries where it does not

have a presence. The EC may be seen as

a more neutral development player than

bilateral donors, some of which have a

particular interests or history with a

country or a region

Policies that do

not undermine

development

Working through the EU also has

another, crucial advantage – Policy

Coherence for Development (PCD) is an

obligation under the Lisbon Treaty. This

means the EU has a legal obligation to

ensure that all its policies are consistent

with, and at the very least do not

undermine, development needs of poor

countries. For example, the EU is a

crucial player in global trade, and is

major trade and investment partner to

some of the world's poorest countries

(and the biggest export market for

African products). It is therefore in a

unique position to ensure that that trade

agreements do not undermine

development, human right and

environmental goals.

Distribution of funds

As for other multilateral institutions, the

EU is able to disburse funds on a wider

scale and through a wider variety of

tools. While multilateral banks are able

to mobilise large sums, they do not have

the EU’s competence in trade, or the role

in foreign and security policy, and they

have not engaged in responses to

humanitarian crises. While institutions

such as the OECD and G20 can be

useful forums to reach a wider group of

countries than the 27 (soon to be 28) EU

member states, they do not have any

power or the mandate to legislate. For

example, developing countries lose

US$160 billion per year through tax

dodging by some multinational

companies, more than they receive in

aid, but as money is often hidden

offshore there are limits to what one

country can do alone. The G8 or G20

could help generate political

commitment from a large group of

countries but legislation at the regional

and national levels would need to follow.

By working with the EU, the UK can

ensure existing and new commitments

of this nature are put into practice and

that our collective development goals

are delivered.

Germana Canzi, EU Policy Adviser,

Bond

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the the networker networker 104 104 | | April April – – June June 2013

2013


14

FEATURE | BONd UNvEilS NEw wEBSiTE

Bond unveils

new website

our website has a brand new look, lots of improved

features and interesting content and it’s much easier to

find what you’re looking for. Julius honnor provides a

tour of the highlights.

We are poised to peel back the wrapping

from our new-look, new-functionality,

new-content website.

As well as My Bond, our new social

network and collaboration space for

the international development sector,

bond.org.uk has many other

improvements.

Its look and feel is cleaner and slicker.

It gives more space to members' news

and activities and its new navigation

makes it much easier to find your way

around. It uses up-to-the-minute

technology to create what should be a

more interesting, immersive online

experience.

Homepage

Our new homepage does a better job of

explaining who we are and what we do,

and brings to the surface the latest

news, jobs, training and events. The

Networker magazine has a permanent

slot and members' news is pulled

through too.

A new footer connects you to Bond

social media from every page and

pulls through the latest tweets from

Bond staff and Bond members. You

can subscribe to our email newsletters

here too.

Navigation

New information architecture and

navigation makes it much simpler

to find your way around: dropdown

menus mean that the top

two levels of our pages are only

ever a click away.

A secondary "crumbtrail" menu

shows not only where you are in

the site, but also includes the pages

below that you may want to go to

next.

Meanwhile, in the sidebar, we

have created much better options

for contextual links, downloads

and information.

New resources,

refreshed content

and strong imagery

A new resources section brings

together all sorts of useful

information, including guides to legal

issues and funding for NGOs and

directories of networks, consultants

and members.

Also here is our new Parliament

hub, a space specially built for

parliamentarians to enable them

better understand international

development issues and processes.

A Parliament Hub map shows the

location of offices of Bond members

overlaid onto MPs' constituencies,

helping to create links between

parliamentarians and their locallybased

NGOs.

Strong images will promote the work

of our members and give context to

our content. Sourced where possible

from our members, they are a great

way of getting your work seen by a

wider audience within the sector.

Links will send traffic back to

members.

A new, improved jobs listing

system has simpler, more powerful

ways of filtering job ads and also

allows members to post and pay

for their own job ads online.

Our training section has also

been improved, with a clearer layout

and an enhanced booking process.

A new system will enable more

news, and our advocacy, effectiveness

and transparency sections have

all had a spring clean: easier to

find, easier to navigate and more

concentrated on the content our

members and users find useful.

We are very happy with our new

site and we hope you like it too. But

we aren’t planning on stopping here:

we also have plans and aspirations

for further improvements and

developments. Our new structure

and systems will also allow us to

be more agile in the future,

responding effectively to new

projects and challenges.

Julius Honnor, Web Editor, Bond

Showcase your work through Bond

If you would like to include your

organisation’s images on our new

website, please contact Julius:

jhonnor@bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

15


FEATURE | TECHNOlOGy

16 JUSTiCE: THE MiSSiNG liNK

17

technology

JuStice: the

MiSSing linK

Simon Trace argues

that for technology

to have a real impact

on the lives of people

living in poverty a

new principle of

technology justice

is needed to guide

decision-making,

regulation, and

investment choice.

Project – wind Energy – Patla village,

Phalamkhani, Nepal. village women carrying

the materials needed up-hill to build their

wind turbine.

Here’s a vision of one way science

and technology could transform

the lives of rural poor in the

developing world. it’s based on the

ideas of the economist Jeremy Rifkin,

as outlined in his book The Third

Industrial Revolution 1 .

Rifkin argues that three great

technological shifts – small scale

renewable energy technologies,

the internet and 3d printing –

has put us at the dawn of a new

industrial revolution.

The internet allows individuals

to interact with potential markets in a

way only big companies with massive

advertising and sales departments

could do in the past (as eBay has

demonstrated). it also has the

potential to allow networks of small

producers to collaborate and

distribute production tasks between

them as an alternative to centralised

production in a factory.

Mobile technology has meant

access to the internet is no longer

tied to the telephone lines reach.

3d printing (a technology that uses

computer-aided design to create

three-dimensional objects by laying

down super-thin layers of plastic or

metal, much like a regular printer lays

down ink) brings manufacturing

processes that could only be achieved

in the past by very expensive milling

or injection moulding processes

into the home.

Finally, small scale renewable

energy technology allows for the

distributed production of energy

where it is needed, especially

important for areas where the grid

doesn’t yet reach.

Put all three together and you

have the potential to create new

rural economies in the developing

world (and elsewhere) that are

not constrained by the reach of

national electricity grids and which

don’t require the economies of

scale necessary for investment in

factories. The vision is of hundreds

of thousands of small scale

manufacturing businesses powered

by decentralised renewable energy

and with a relationship with their

markets and each other mediated

through the power of the internet.

technology

can support just

outcomes or

create injustices

it sounds a bit far-fetched but,

last October, i was asked to be on a

panel of judges for the 3d4d Challenge 2 ,

a competition run by the charity

Techfortrade to showcase “.. the

potential for 3d printing technology

to overcome some of the challenges

faced in countries with poor

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

Practical Action


FEATURE | TECHNOlOGy

FEATURE | diGiTAl lEAdERSHiP:

18 JUSTiCE: THE MiSSiNG liNK

UPGRAdE ANd REBOOT

19

Project – Tungu-Kabiri Micro

Hydro Power Scheme, Kenya.

A man holds one of the mobile

phones he is charging.

infrastructure and a lack of a traditional

manufacturing base”. Over 60 projects

were submitted from individuals and

organisations in the Americas, Europe,

Asia, and Africa, ranging from the

setting up of public 3D printing booths

in India, to the manufacture of shoes in

Kenya and a fascinating proposal to 3D

print prosthetics for people with severe

facial injuries in West Africa. The

winning project was based on the idea

of using waste plastic as filament for 3D

printing machines and will utilise the

$100,000 prize money to build low-cost

3D printers that can make large objects,

including composting toilets and

rain-catchment systems, in the

mountainous state of Oaxaca in

south-western Mexico.

The 3d4d competition showed that

there are people with the imagination

and innovative flair to see the potential

of elements of Rifkin’s third industrial

revolution. But history is not on their

side. Technology itself is, by and large,

neither inherently just nor unjust, but

the way we develop, disseminate and

use technologies can support just

outcomes or create injustices. And

history is littered with examples of

technology injustices.

injustices in the

dissemination,

innovation, and

use of technology

There are injustices in the way

technology is disseminated. Today

large parts of the world's population

are excluded from access to

technologies that are essential to

ensuring a basic minimum standard

of material wellbeing, in some cases

despite those technologies having

been available for decades or even

Practical Action

centuries. Edison patented the first

commercial light bulb in 1889, but

still 1.3 billion people in the world

lack access to any form of electric

power, for example.

There are also injustices in the

process of technology innovation.

Our collective efforts to research and

develop new technologies are focused

more on middle class consumer wants

than the needs of the poor. As Bill

Gates has noted, 10 times more money

is spent each year on developing a

cure for male baldness than on a

vaccine for malaria 3 .

And there are injustices in our use

of technology, as one person's choice

of technology can impact negatively

on the options another person has to

live the life they choose. The likely

consequences of this generation’s

addiction to fossil-fuelled technology

(climate change) will, for instance, put

a severe strain on the quality of life of

future generations.

Technology injustices are a

function of the way we govern the

dissemination, innovation and use of

technology. It is such injustices that

are most likely to derail Rifkin’s third

industrial revolution for the poor in

the developing world. To take just one

example, although the International

Energy Agency estimates that, to

ensure universal access to energy in

sub-Saharan Africa, 60 per cent of the

new investment between now and

2030 will have to be spent on off-grid

technologies 4 , there is no sign at the

moment that anything like this is

happening. The development banks,

multi-lateral agencies and other main

financiers are structurally biased

towards disbursements of large

chunks of finance and there are few

organisations in existence today that

can effectively aggregate large

numbers of small off-grid projects to

this scale. The result: money follows

the investment opportunity and goes

to more large scale power stations

and grid extensions.

A technology

justice principle

If we want to avoid these injustices we

need to find a new principle to guide

decision-making, regulation, and

investment choice in the field of

technology. A principle of technology

justice would assert that:

Everyone should have the right to

access the technologies they need to

live the lives they value, provided this

does not prevent others from doing the

same now, or in the future.

Only when we learn to apply this

principle will the current mismatch

between the potential for technology

to help meet people’s basic material

needs, and reality that for maybe two

billion people today it doesn’t, be

resolved. Only then are we likely to see

a product put into commercial

production 131 years ago, the light

bulb, universally available and the

possibility of something like a third

industrial revolution happening.

Simon Trace, Chief Executive, Practical

Action Pr

Technology

injustices are a

function of the

way we govern

the dissemination,

innovation and use

of technology.

references

1 Rifkin, J. The Third Industrial

Revolution: How Lateral Power is

Transforming Energy, the Economy,

and the World Palgrave McMillan, 2011.

2 www.3d4dchallenge.org/

3 Keynote presentation with Bill Gates

and Professor James I. Cash, Jr., The

Business Summit Havard Business

School, 13/10/08 www.hbs.edu/

centennial/businesssummit/

business-society/a-conversationwith-bill-gates.html

4 World Energy Outlook 2011,

International Energy Agency, p 486

digital leadership:

upgrade and reboot

Everyone wants to

get in on the digital act,

explains Duane

Raymond, but there’s

currently a distinct lack

of the leadership skills

and knowledge needed

to fully realise it’s

potential.

Development work touches billions of

people’s lives. These days, so do mobile

phones, the web and social media. That

doesn’t automatically mean there is

natural synergy between them but

digital is the new ‘radio’, only it is not

one-way any more.

Yet there is a massive gap between

the potential of digital for development

work and the current reality. As a result

not only are development opportunities

being missed but new digitally native

organisations are forming to fill the gap.

What’s needed urgently within the

development NGO community are

digital leadership skills and knowledge.

A shortfall of digital

leaders

Leadership is, as always, critical to the

success of any organisation or initiative.

However the rapid rise of digital

networks and tools in people’s lives has

overwhelmed the traditional pace of

leadership development and created a

leadership deficit. Existing NGO leaders

don’t have the vision or knowledge for

making the most of digital

Digital media offers

many more options for

influencing the public

debate on international

development.

opportunities and digital experts don’t

have the leadership skills or knowledge

to influence the scale of change needed.

This is changing, but too slowly.

At present, requests from NGO senior

managers are often focused on asking

for a Facebook page for a campaign or

mobile app. A decade ago it was asking

for a blog or a MySpace page. But while

the ‘ask’ from senior leadership is

changing due to the latest flavour of the

month, the request remains the same:

we want the newest toy. This is the

wrong request to be making.

A strategic approach

While it is ideal that some senior

managers have digital knowledge,

it is possible to have a strong digital

programme by simply approaching

digital the same way as any other area:

set the vision, objectives and strategy

and then ask each specialist, including

digital, how they can contribute to those

objectives. This isn’t just for

communications, fundraising and

campaigning, but for direct poverty

reduction as well. The ideas you get

back will surprise and delight you, but it

won’t always involve Facebook or a

mobile app.

One example is Oxfam’s Digital

Vision project. It is collecting some

wonderful ideas of how digital media

can “enhance programmes, empower

women and men and bridge the digital

gap”. This includes providing women

with mobile phones so that they can

receive flood/frost warnings, market

prices and health rights info. Oxfam

state that “being digital is necessary in

order to co-create new solutions to

poverty and inequality”: a new approach

to community involvement. In other

areas, mapping and open data are also

areas of huge potential impact largely

unexplored by development NGOs.

Using digital to

increase public

support

In the UK, a common objective of

development NGOs is maintaining and

growing public support for international

development. Digital tools and networks

can be part of achieving this, including

blended digital and face-to-face

initiatives. While fundraising and

campaigning have been natural early

adopters of digital media, they have

tended to simply replicate the pre-digital

model. Yet digital media offers many

more options for influencing the public

debate on international development.

Engaging on

multiple levels

One of the big risks of digital media is

the tendency to only engage those who

are already supporters. So one option is

an aid debate monitoring team who

monitor not only aid-related articles in

the digital media, but in online

comments, forums, tweets, Facebook

posts, etc. and then pro-actively engage

in the debate. What they may find is not

only do they gain new supporters but

also they understand emerging public

concerns early and can plot their

growth/decline. This extends an

existing role of media teams to digital

media. But this won’t happen on its

own: it needs leadership and

innovation.

Going beyond

communications

A success of the Obama campaigns was

elevating the digital to be a digital

director on par with a communication

director. This allowed the digital director

to go beyond just communications

concerns and directly support campaign

objectives. Development NGOs will need

to mirror this approach in the near future

if they are to benefit from the full

potential of harnessing digital

technologies for alleviating suffering and

poverty. In the meantime, starting to ask

the right questions to digital managers

will take them a long way.

Duane Raymond, Digital Campaigning

Strategist and founder of the

eCampaigning Forum community

and events

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


FEATURE | MOBilE SOlUTiONS:

20 CHANGiNG THE FACE OF AFRiCA

21

MOBILE SOLUTIOnS

changing the face of Africa

Technological

innovations are taking

Africa by storm, and

the pace and scale of

change is extraordinary.

Matthew O’Reilly

provides a whistle-stoptour

of the technological

revolution.

From grainy mobile phone footage

of human rights abuses in Syria to the

explosion of mobile banking in Kenya, it

is clear that the world is undergoing a

once-in-a-lifetime technological

revolution.

Of the six billion or so active

mobile subscriptions, approximately five

billion belong to users in the developing

world, while one in four people in the

global south has internet access. In much

of the world, however, the technology

revolution is being driven not by shiny

new tablet PCs and smartphone apps,

but by SMS and basic feature phones.

Development organisations,

governments and the media are

beginning to explore how these cheap

handsets and old technologies can be

used to provide news, agricultural

information, health services and football

results and collect data on everything

from elections to disease outbreaks and

consumer attitudes.

Many of the best

innovations emerge

from those who

understand the problems

and local environments

in which people live

their everyday lives.

Technological

revolution is

empowering billions

of people

Unlike earlier technological revolutions,

the current one is giving billions of

people across the globe access to

technology that allows them to actively

contribute information and develop

tech-driven programmes rather than

passively consume it. This has

transformed the way that donors,

grantees, governments and citizens

communicate with one another. From a

donor’s perspective, this means that we

can get real-time updates from our

grantees thousands of miles away in

dozens of African countries.

Social media allows us to stay in

touch with them on an informal basis

and reduces the burden on them, as

we now no longer need to rely

predominantly upon formal, bi-annual

reports that are inevitably out of the date

by the time they reach us.

Using technology to

hold to account

Increasingly, civil society organisations

are beginning to use technology to hold

governments and service providers to

account. Technology is opening up the

state in ways unimaginable 20 years

ago. Datasets on everything from

national budgets and parliamentary

expenses to corporate transactions and

overseas aid flows are now being

published online. Organisations such as

mySociety – the brains behind sites

such as TheyWorkForYou and

WriteToThem – are now teaming up

with partners across Africa to open up

key pieces of information relating to the

performance of elected representatives

and national parliaments.

Sites such as Mzalendo.com in Kenya

and Odekro.org in Ghana have made it

possible for citizens to find out how their

MPs are voting and what they’re saying

in parliament. Open Corporates,

meanwhile, has made it possible for

anyone to find and use corporate data

from 50 million companies in 65

jurisdictions.

At a more local level, groups such as

CIPESA and Plan Cameroon are using

digital mapping and crowdsourcing to

collect and map data on service delivery.

These technologies allow campaigners,

activists and others to identify gaps in

service provision and hold service

providers to account.

Innovations are

transforming the

development sector

There are few development sectors that

technology has not touched.

Innovations in health, education and

agriculture are transforming the way in

which community health workers,

teachers and farmers go about their

work. eHealth Nigeria, for example, is

tackling a medical skills shortage

through an app that offers health

courses and training to health workers in

the country. In Uganda,

NotInMyCountry has created a website

which allows university students to

report incidents of corruption at their

universities. In Kenya, meanwhile, the

brilliant iCow is providing dairy farmers

with their very own, digital calendar to

monitor the health and productiveness

of their herds. Using SMS and Interactive

Voice Response, the system provides

farmers with time-critical messages

throughout the gestation periods of

their cattle.

African solutions to

African issues

One of the great things about many of

these innovations is that they are

emerging from within Africa and not

being developed on Africa’s behalf by

remote techies in the UK or US. Many of

the best innovations come from those

who understand the problems and local

environments in which people live their

everyday lives. In recent years, Africa’s

tech innovation scene has exploded

with innovation hubs springing up

across the continent. Hubs, like Nairobi’s

A Kenyan organisation using

SMS to try and prevent electoral violence

ahead of March’s general election.

Read more on Indigo Trust’s blog:

http://indigotrust.wordpress.com

Indigo Trust Indigo Trust

One of the great things about

many of these innovations is

that they are emerging from

within Africa.

iHub and Lagos’s Co-Creation Hub, are

places where entrepreneurs, techies,

civil society and others can work

collaboratively on tech-driven projects.

Some work exclusively with commercial

start-ups, while others specifically exist

to support social entrepreneurs

interested in addressing pressing social

needs. While it is early days for many of

these hubs, they are already supporting

some fantastic start-ups such as BudgIT,

which produces visualisations to

explain Nigerian budget data in a way

that is accessible and understandable by

everyday citizens.

Emerging trends:

smartphones and

mobile broadband

One of the most exciting aspects about

working in the field of technology for

social change is that the pace of

innovation and change is phenomenal.

It is almost always unwise to try and

predict what the future of technology

holds – Betamax, the Sinclair C5 and

MiniDiscs are all examples of that! Yet it

is possible to discern some emerging

trends in African tech. Although basic

feature phones still dominate the

market, smartphone ownership is on

the rise and handset prices are coming

down. At the same time, mobile

broadband access is increasing, albeit

from a very low baseline. It is now

possible to provide online content to

increasing numbers of people,

something amply demonstrated by the

530,000 downloads achieved by

Pledge51’s Nigerian Constitution App.

Technology isn’t a silver bullet

capable of solving all of the world’s

problems at a stroke. In fact, it will only

ever be part of the solution and can

never replace the vital human element

that is so integral to development. Yet

recognising that it can be part of the

solution – whether in health, service

delivery, education or any other sector

– opens up a world of rich possibilities.

Matthew O'Reilly, Programme Manager,

The Indigo Trust

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


FEATURE | THE HEAlTH OF A NATiON

22 23

THE

HEALTH

OF A

nATIOn

While mobile health initiatives are growing in developing

countries, most don’t get past the pilot phase, explains

Yvonne MacPherson. Now, thanks to a unique partnership

and a sustainable and scalable business model, a BBC Media

Action programme has the potential to buck the trend.

counselling a family in Bihar

with Mobile Kunji.

for BBc Media Action’s policy

briefing health on the move:

Can mobile phones save lives?

go to the Publications and Press

page and click on Policy:

www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction

BBC Media Action

The state of Bihar in northern India –

poor, rural and populous – has some of

the worst maternal and child mortality

rates in the country.

The current state government is

partnering with the Bill and Melinda

Gates Foundation on an ambitious

programme that aims to improve

outcomes on maternal health, child

mortality and infectious diseases. But

with a population larger than that of

western Europe and poor infrastructure,

the goal of reaching the state’s 27 million

women of child-bearing age is

daunting.

Working with

community health

workers

As one of the programme partners, BBC

Media Action is helping Bihar’s 200,000

community health workers expand their

knowledge of life-saving health

information and communicate better

with the families they visit.

BBC Media Action has a strong

record of using media to reach even the

most marginalised communities but

only 18 per cent of young mothers in

Bihar watch TV and just 10 per cent

listen to the radio. Literacy rates are low

right across the state, but in Bihar, where

there are more mobiles than toilets,

mobile technology has emerged as a

low-tech, high-impact solution.

In Bihar, we combined

audience insight with

innovative approaches

to tackle a long-standing

problem. Our mHealth

services are not just about

technology, they will

touch millions of lives.

Priyanka Dutt, Project Director,

BBC Media Action in India

The business model:

equity and scale

Mobile health (mHealth) pilot projects

are mushrooming in the developing

world, but most stall after partnering

with one mobile provider, relying on

expensive technology or requiring a

certain level of literacy by using text

messaging. Often only a fraction of the

population can access them.

BBC Media Action, in contrast, has

brokered a unique partnership with the

state government and six leading mobile

network operators to set up a sustainable

and scalable business model that can

reach millions.

One of the mobile phone services

developed, Mobile Academy, is an

audio training course for health

workers, designed to refresh

knowledge and enhance skills. The

course costs health workers a fraction

of what they would pay for face-to-face

training, and can be completed at

home, at a pace that suits them.

The service was made affordable by

an agreement by the mobile operators to

reduce tariffs by 90 per cent and to share

revenue with BBC Media Action and its

technology platform provider to help

cover operational costs.

Accessing Mobile Academy requires

only the technological skills required to

make a voice call as all of the information

is hosted on an Interactive Voice

Response (IVR) system – the same

automated technology used for booking

tickets and phone banking. As a result,

Mobile Academy is accessible on even

the cheapest, most basic handset.

Project design:

low tech and local

The newly trained health workers are

supported on family visits by an ondemand

mobile information service,

Mobile Kunji (which means ‘key’ in

Hindi), which is hosted on the same

IVR system as Mobile Academy.

The health workers are equipped

with phone-sized illustrated cards

containing key health messages. Each

card has a seven-digit code that the

health worker dials in, bringing them to

an audio message that is played to the

family. The service is free to use, with

the costs covered by the Gates

Foundation for the first year and by the

state government thereafter.

In addition to reaching young women,

these health workers must convince

husbands and, crucially, mothers-inlaw,

of the value of following their

advice. All of the information on Mobile

Kunji and Mobile Academy is presented

in colloquial and engaging Hindi by a

friendly but authoritative female doctor

character, Dr Anita.

The accessibility of the services,

along with a revenue share that covers

the providers’ costs and returns a small

profit, will allow the project to bypass

the pilot phase to reach the project’s

target of 200,000 community health

workers. Those health workers will in

turn communicate health information

to nearly seven million pregnant

women and those with children under

the age of two.

Where next?

To apply the same model to other

services and regions and overcome

‘pilot-itis’ – the tendency to get stuck at

pilot phase – Sara Chamberlain, head of

ICT in India for BBC Media Action, says

that development organisations and

mobile providers alike must be realistic

about each other’s capabilities and

limitations.

“Not-for-profits should realise

that corporations must operate at

scale to turn a profit,” Chamberlain

explains. “Corporations cannot be

expected to invest in a small-scale

trial that might not match their

performance standards.”

For their part, network operators

must also realise that not-for-profits

cannot accept the level of liability that

major corporations can, and that risk

and profit need to be shared equitably

between the private and not-for-profit

sectors. In addition, Chamberlain notes,

“Development of locally relevant content

is crucial and the services should

complement and work with existing

health initiatives for maximum impact.”

As the women of Bihar begin to feel the

benefits of improved access to

information about their health and that

of their children, the well-being

of the mHealth sector is also getting a

boost. But without smart negotiation

and locally-relevant content, ‘pilot-itis’ in

mHealth projects remains a risk across

the developing world.

Yvonne MacPherson, Executive

Director, BBC Media Action, USA.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

25

Guava international


26

TRAnSPORT AnD LOGISTIcS | FiNdiNG

THE RiGHT SOlUTiONS

Finding the

right SolutionS

Many NGOs work in unique and often challenging circumstances

and therefore their suppliers and manufacturers need to be up to the

job as well as provide good value for money. The question is how do

they ensure effectiveness and efficiency in their approach?

Merlin: quality

cannot be

compromised

Merlin, the international health charity

delivering medical expertise to the

toughest and sometimes most remote

places in the world, is keenly aware of

the importance of robust transport.

Working in countries with very poor

infrastructure makes transportation

one of the biggest challenges.

Miguel Justo, Country Director for

the Democratic Republic of Congo at

Merlin explains that good advance

planning is vital to a successful strategy

and approach to procurement. In

Merlin’s case, the main commodities

they transport are pharmaceuticals

which also rely on cold chain facilities.

Therefore a good understanding at the

point of loading and unloading and

A health worker dispenses drugs and

medication (november 2010).

experience of freight forwarders in the

region is vital for efficiency.

“The primary need to move persons

and goods in poor infrastructure has

not changed and the same issues of

access and safety remain priorities,”

says Miguel Justo.

The future of fleets

In terms of vehicles, he sees rental

provided by specialised service

providers catering for the specific needs

of non-governmental organisations

(NGOs) as the way forward. “We tend to

buy when our projects have multi-year

funding or in emergency contexts

where ownership is a pre-condition to

be able to operate due to security

concerns. However, in short term

projects, renting is the most economical

and efficient option,” he says.

Having the same standard

throughout country programmes is a

The Times/Paul Rogers

Five years ago, almost

100 per cent of fleets

were owned by NGOs

but now there is a big

push for more costeffective

rentals.

key element in maintaining low

running costs. To ensure correct

standards of maintenance, vehicles

acquired and owned by Merlin tend to

use official dealership services where

available, thus maximising the useful

span of the asset. The criteria for setting

the standard make, model,

specifications and accessories include:

initial purchase value; durability and

reliability; efficiency in harsh

environments; availability of spares;

ease of maintenance (the lesser the

electrics, the better); consumption and

CO 2 emissions.

“In addition, we can pool our

procurement, acquiring greater

leverage over potential suppliers, thus

gaining better terms. This solution

enables NGOs to focus on their work

rather than building the infrastructure

to support it. Five years ago almost 100

per cent of fleets were owned by NGOs

but now there is a big push for more

cost-effective rentals,” he adds. The

leasing of cars has not seen such an

increase as this hinges on a change of

mind-set from donors. However, he

insists that in specific contexts

(insecure/conflict zones or remote areas

with poor or no access) NGOs need to

retain the capacity to own and maintain

their own fleet.

This article was researched and

written by Helen Bromige, Freelance

journalist and editor.

Merlin mobile clinic pharmacy. Merlin

takes health services to the population with

mobile health clinics (nzulo, Goma, 2012). Merlin

Quality versus cost

Merlin’s main consideration when

looking for a supplier or partner is a

capacity to deliver based on quality and

volume versus price. Quality cannot be

compromised whether it’s for

pharmaceuticals or mosquito nets.

Merlin’s approach aims to work with a

global supplier but to combine forces

with local partners.

“Key to increasing efficiency is

knowledge of your commodity market;

understanding a supplier’s strengths,

weaknesses and constraints. Finding

the best solution in terms of product

availability, cost and quality will ensure

best value for money”.

importance of strategy

Miguel Justo believes that in the future,

procurement will play an ever more

important role in cutting down costs

and increasing the availability of

specific commodities for the use of

NGOs. “Moving from transactional

procurement to a strategic approach is a

must, in order to increase efficiency in

the delivery of aid,” he notes.

Advances in technology should ring

in changes for procurement strategies

but there are still obstacles as Miguel

Justo points out. “NGOs are 10-15 years

behind commercial practices and

technology is certainly a way forward to

bridge that gap. However, initial capital

costs are delaying the introduction of

specific logistics and supply systems

that are tailored and designed to serve

the NGO community.”

Miguel Justo, Country Director for the

Democratic Republic of Congo, Merlin

Sightsavers: we try to

use local manufacturers

Sightsavers, the development agency

working to combat blindness in

developing countries, aims to procure

goods centrally from the UK only

when the local office cannot procure

goods cost-effectively or of a suitable

quality.

“Our aim is to add value to the

procurement process by streamlining

processes wherever possible, buying

goods at the most cost-effective

prices, and transporting goods to the

end-user as efficiently as possible,”

says Helen Sims, Assistant Corporate

Services Manager at Sightsavers.

When seeking a new supplier

they look for an established

reputation, excellent customer

service, quick access to stocks and

flexibility to meet their requirements.

They also use local manufacturers

where possible, however, for many

NGOs the reality suggests that there

are relatively few opportunities to

work with local suppliers.

Sightsavers prefer to work with

suppliers they know, and who know

their systems, so tend not to change

very often.

Freight

The exception to this is freight.

“All our freight business goes to a single

supplier and this business is put out to

tender every three years. We use this

approach because we deal with high

volumes of goods – none of our

suppliers ship goods for us, we buy

everything ex-works (the supplier

supplies the goods packaged up, ready

for shipment; the buyer then arranges

onward shipment to the destination)

and then our freight forwarder goes in

to collect and ship the goods to

destination. This means we can

consolidate shipments and get more

cost-effective shipping rates; and the

freight forwarder clears the goods for

us at destination, charging all the costs

back to us in the UK. The local teams

have minimal involvement in clearing

goods at customs, and rules-out the

need for them to be handing over cash

payments for goods,” adds Helen Sims.

In terms of procuring vehicles in

its programme work, in October 2011

Sightsavers signed an agreement with

Kjaer & Kjaer, distributors of Ford

motor vehicles across sub-Saharan

Africa. This agreement sees a

significant reduction in cost per

vehicle, an excellent warranty service,

safety rating and fuel economy with

attendant reduction in CO 2 emissions.

This has already led to a 26 per cent

cost saving on the vehicles purchased

over the past 18 months.

Future of

procurement

Over the past three to four years

Sightsavers have reviewed their entire

procurement process. They developed

the Standard List website, which lists

all key items of equipment.

International colleagues log-on to the

site, add items to a basket and submit

their order. The basket is exported and

the programme procurement team

processes the order from there.

This end-to-end e-procurement

system has transformed the way

Sightsavers processes its procurement

requests. A new procurement

planning tool is seen as the next

phase of their efficiency drive aiming

for more flexible buying practices,

enabling them to better plan

purchasing activity for the year ahead

and consolidate purchasing and

shipping.

Helen Sims is upbeat about the

future. “Five years ago we were

receiving orders on paper, now we’re

entirely paperless and colleagues

order via a purchasing website. Who

knows what the future will hold?

Perhaps our staff will be ordering

goods from a central warehouse

using their mobile phone – one can

only hope!”

Helen Sims, Assistant Corporate

Services Manager, Sightsavers

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

27


TRAnSPORT AnD LOGISTIcS | dRiviNG

28 EFFiCiENCy THROUGH THE SUPPly CHAiN

29

Plan taking urgent action to contain the

cholera outbreak that spread across the

country in 2011 by distributing

thousands of water containers with

spigots along with water purifying

tablets, chlorine, bars of soap and

directions for their use in Haitian creole.

Plan international

driving

efficiency

through the

supply chain

Plan UK explain their approach to supply chain

management and how improvements could

lead to even greater efficiency and cost-savings.

Plan has 50 country offices delivering

programmes to vulnerable

communities. While minimum

standards are set by the international

headquarters, country offices have

flexibility to adapt procurement

processes to local conditions. This

ensures they are appropriate for small

and large value procurement and that

checks and balances are in place to

prevent fraud.

Choosing a fleet

supplier

With regards to transport, country

offices make their own decisions

within a framework that emphasises

preference for local purchase. Suppliers

have to be of ‘good standing’, reliable,

provide good and timely after sales

service including maintenance at a

reasonable price. Standard tendering

best practise is used to ensure

competitive bidding against quality of

service criteria. Plan will buy, lease or

rent vehicles depending on the context

but will avoid daily rental in conflictaffected

regions, as guaranteeing

safety and reliability of vehicles on a

day to day basis is more difficult.

Given the second biggest cause of

injury and death of aid workers is from

road traffic accidents, safety and

security are paramount. Only

authorised and trained drivers are

allowed to drive Plan vehicles, which

are fitted with basic repair and first aid

equipment and radios where

necessary.

Plan will buy, lease or rent vehicles

depending on the context but will

avoid daily rental in conflict

affected regions.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


TRAnSPORT AnD LOGISTIcS | dRiviNG

30 EFFiCiENCy THROUGH THE SUPPly CHAiN

31

We use local knowledge extensively

when choosing suppliers and partners

and review our supplier list at least

annually to ensure they meet quality

standards, comply with anti-child

labour provisions in the supply

agreements and are reputable

commercial operators. The flexibility

and primacy of local knowledge of

suppliers and supply chains was put to

good use in the Niger food crisis in

2010, where substantial local and

regional procurement of food

commodities was carried out, reducing

the transportation cost of food aid

compared to utilising imports from

further afield.

Challenges

The main challenges of delivering aid

and development are ensuring that

donor criteria for value for money can

be evidenced comparatively across

different country programmes. Given

the multi-dimensional nature of supply

chain management, it is difficult to

institutionalise simple metrics that

allow comparison of procurement

performance across multiple country

offices. While it is relatively

straightforward to show good practise

has been followed in individual

programmes, (a strong indicator that

good value for money has been

obtained) it is more difficult to generate

indicators that take account of varying

market conditions in different

situations.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

increasing efficiency

The key to increasing efficiency and

effectiveness, and therefore ensuring

best value for money, is to increase the

sophistication of supply chain

management. This is no small task

especially in disaster response where

logistic and operating challenges can be

significant. Interesting initiatives such

as the Helios project aim to provide

improved supply chain management

tools that can be used by both small and

large NGOs.

what next?

Looking to the future, NGOs should

maximise the efficiency of their supply

chain management and seek to support

local economies by choosing local and

regional procurement over an

international procurement solution.

The potential of cross-organisational

collaboration in supply chain

management has hardly started. NGOs

have an in-depth understanding of the

environment in which they operate and

are highly expert in finding creative

solutions to the most challenging

aspects of aid delivery. Supply chain

management has ensured aid gets to

the remotest of disaster-affected

populations and NGOs and other aid

actors can be proud of their track record.

There is much talk of increased use of

private sector expertise in logistics

when in reality private sector

Plan delivering maize meal to schools in

the drought hit district of Machakos in

eastern Kenya in2011 to avert acute

hunger induced by the current drought

afflicting East Africa region.

After the Japan earthquake, Plan delivered

1,000 family kits, blankets and toys for

children to 4 secondary schools which are

being used as shelters for 2,450 people.

Plan international

partnerships are already used

extensively.

NGOs adopting more sophisticated

systems could see significant costsavings

if economies of scale by

cross-organisational collaboration can

be obtained. Although the systems that

enable this are becoming more

available, the rate of take up is relatively

slow. The potential of the technology

to be a game-changer is real but that

opportunity needs to be better

understood and exploited. The

challenge is as much about

organisational change as it is about

adopting new technology.

Brian Ingle, Head of Emergency Grants,

Plan UK

Plan international

bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


TRAnSPORT AnD LOGISTIcS | TRANSPORT:

32 ENABliNG dEvElOPMENT

AdvERTORiAl

33

transport:

enabling development

Although new vehicles and roads provide vital

access to basic services, transport knowledge,

expertise and management are also an essential,

and often overlooked, part of the equation,

explains Chris Cuninghame.

Motorcycle ambulance, Zambia Transaid

Transport can offer access to health and

other basic services, increased mobility

into schools and work, and provide the

means by which farmers get their goods

to market.

Conversely, transport kills rapidly

increasing numbers of people through

road crashes, especially across African

and Asian countries, and among their

young, most economically productive

generations. Annually, 1.4 million people

die on the world’s roads and WHO

analysis predicts this preventable

‘epidemic’ to rival the leading causes of

mortality – malaria and Tuberculosis

– within decades.

Poor transport

hinders access to

services

How do these contrasting descriptions

of the place of transport play out

day-to-day in development? Poorly

managed and maintained transport,

with poor driving standards, mean that

often people can’t reach emergency

maternal care and other health care and

other services in time, farmers lose

much food to transit spoil, while

transport costs are a constant drain on

household economies.

Low cost solutions

save lives

There are transport activities that will

readily respond to these challenges.

They can tackle high maternal mortality

by providing low-cost emergency

transport during pregnancy

complications when health ministries’

transport fails. They can improve the

supply chain – particularly over ‘the last

mile’ into community health centres

– so that more children get more safe

vaccines on time, or work with farmers

for better market produce transport to

reduce the waste of their food and

improve their livelihoods.

But headline projects like these

would not answer to real transport needs

if they were only aimed at the

Millennium Development Goal targets;

they will work because they invest in

local partnerships. Using an example

from Transaid, in nearly all of our

activities in sub-Saharan Africa we are

the sub-partner either to a local

organisation, or to an international one

with a well-established local presence.

Working closely with what already exists

offers the means to:

■■ improve existing vehicle fleets, large

or small

■■ develop solutions that communities

can manage (eg, through clean,

intermediate transport)

■■ join up existing resources (eg, by

linking public and community

transport needs with quality private

transport providers)

■■ work towards lasting improvements

with stakeholders and decisionmakers

(eg, by extensive work with

policy makers and to train trainers for

professional driving standards

nationally)

Transport and its infrastructure enable

the core development priorities (better

education, health, etc.) to happen.

Transport activities should concentrate

on the systems and processes that need

to be in place to make sure these

forefront priorities are met effectively,

efficiently and economically, and work

to their best in the particular context.

Transport

management and

information is key

If the focus of such aid is limited to

providing the ‘hardware’ – new vehicles

and roads – this can miss the point and

create significant, negative bias in

developmental structures. Investment in

improving roads and in new vehicles is

certainly needed, but will not serve

adequately if this is all that happens.

Sharing transport knowledge and

expertise and making transport

management and other information

freely available to project partners and

others means a more rounded

development approach. Technical

inputs are adaptable to local knowledge

and requirements and local

communities can fully engage with, and

contribute to, the underlying needs that

they already understand best. Groups

who otherwise would have no control

over transport resources – such as

women in relation to maternal health –

then begin to influence those who do

manage them.

Transport has an important role in

supporting livelihoods, reducing the

effects of poverty, and increasing access

to health care and other basic services

but its contribution is often overlooked.

We must better record and measure

these contributions and promote what

works well.

Although transport is best positioned

as a component of core development

priorities, current trends leave one big

question unresolved. Should reducing

the growing global epidemic of road

deaths and injuries itself be a post-2015

sustainable development target?

Chris Cuninghame, Projects Manager,

Transaid

Bicycle ambulance, Zambia Transaid

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

Moving with the times

transport – it is critical to any aid operation in any given

scenario, from moving personnel to the delivery of aid, and

entails huge costs. if one element of it doesn’t work it can

bring an operation to a standstill with expensive

repercussions if it isn’t managed correctly.

Vehicles in an electronic age

Whilst the change to diesel-powered 4x4 vehicles is now a

given, the last 10 years has also seen an increased drive to

reduce exhaust emissions. This has resulted in a tenfold rise in

the level of technical sophistication in electronic engine

management systems.

The introduction of electronic diesel engine management

systems has usually been accompanied by other new

electronic features such as the anti-lock braking system,

traction control and stability control, and so what started life as

a working or utility vehicle has gradually changed into a

lifestyle product for the mass market.

While the benefits of the electronic age include increased

reliability and the inclusion of on-board diagnostics, the

downside is that when a problem does occur it usually

requires sophisticated diagnostic tooling to investigate and

resolve the issue.

Selecting the right vehicle

For any aid organisation the cost of purchasing and

maintaining a vehicle fleet is a major project cost so it is vital to

select the most suitable vehicle for the particular needs.

There are a large range of vehicles available in Europe with

known and proven brands that operate exceptionally well.

However, they are developed and built for the European

market and so adhere to the latest European emissions

standards which don’t usually apply to the markets in which

aid organisations operate.

The effects of poor diesel fuel quality can impact on the

performance and longevity of modern diesel-engine

vehicles. Reliability tends to suffer and unlike vehicles

operating in Europe, aid organisations are not able to take

advantage of manufacturers’ assistance programmes or

auto-recovery specialists to either repair the vehicle at the side

of the road or transport it to the local dealer.

bond.org.uk

All too often the nearest dealer might be thousands of

kilometres away and the only option is to put the vehicle on

the back of a truck.

Emerging markets

Over the past few years, Indian and Chinese manufacturers

have entered the scene. Their vehicles are usually reasonably

equipped with engines and management systems developed

to support the domestic market requirements and not the

European market standards.

For any aid organisation the cost

of purchasing and maintaining a

vehicle fleet is a major project cost.

Conrico has been trialling some of these emerging products

in several challenging African markets - Kenya, Democratic

Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Madagascar, South Sudan,

Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and has identified a utility

product that is suitable for the job and good value for money.

Our vehicles have demonstrable reliability and a positive

feedback from all partners.

Value for money

With donors looking carefully at available funds and

demanding more accountability, it is perhaps time to look at

some alternatives to expensive European products.

While in the past there may have been concerns about the

level of support available, Conrico’s experience, gained

through several years working in the African markets, tells of a

network of friendly, experienced dealer partners ready and

willing to assist on any occasion and backed up by Conrico’s

Service Edge programme and UK helpdesk.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail do not hesitate

to contact us at www.conrico.com

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


34

OPInIOn | PUT GRASSROOTS

iNNOvATiON ON THE AGENdA

Farmer irrigating land from

treadle pump in nepal

Put grassroots

innovation on

the agenda

Current models of innovation ignore small-scale

technology, and institutions must ensure it's a key

part of the agenda, says Tony Marjoram.

The application of grassroots

knowledge and technological

innovation is vital in meeting

development goals. For example,

foot-operated and solar water pumps

reduce the burden of water carrying and

so benefit households and small-scale

farmers.

Such smaller-scale technology is

being used extensively, and with

enough support by development

planners and decision-makers, it

could underpin the provision of basic

needs and improve quality of life.

delivering

'appropriate'

technology

Practical Action

Innovation takes place at all levels, from

'lower' to 'higher' tech, across income

groups and countries. It is as important

in smaller developing communities as

in richer consumer societies.

Smaller-scale affordable, durable

and sustainable 'appropriate'

technology was at the forefront of

Practical Action

Ganesh Devi chaudari, age 22,

using a treadle pump in nepal

development thinking in the 1960s and

1970s. It fell out of favour in the 1980s

for various reasons, including

exaggerated claims of success, but

interest returned in the 1990s.

Now, while many smaller-scale

technologies are available around the

world, the main challenge is how to put

them in the hands of people and

communities who may not know they

exist.

Achieving this is about knowledge

and information, technology transfer,

and the local adaptation and

development of technology — all

considerable challenges set against a

background where the innovation

focus over the past 20 years has been

on higher tech in developed countries.

Current thinking in innovation and

Villagers drawing water from

tank fed by solar water pump,

Kaapus village, Turkana, Kenya

The main challenge is how to

put [smaller-scale technologies]

in the hands of people and

communities who may not

know they exist.

Counselling a family in Bihar with

Mobile Kunji.

development ignores the grassroots.

For example, the 'innovation systems'

model – linking innovation to

research, industry and government –

is of little value in lower income and

small developing countries with

limited research and industry

infrastructures.

Most grassroots and many other

innovations exist outside the

intellectual property domain, especially

in the developing world, and there

should be more awareness of this. But

at the same time, intellectual property

rights can be important for innovators

once they have ideas to protect, or

technology to access — and this is

where advice and guidelines on how to

deal with these issues can be useful.

involving institutions

Practical Action

The work of organisations such as

Practical Action, Appropedia and the

Honey Bee Network provide

information and models that help

local communities transfer, adapt and

develop technologies. The internet

can help facilitate the exchange of

information and expertise; it also

helps to stimulate wider interest and

activity in the development and

innovation of technology.

But governments, business,

non-governmental organisations

(NGOs), international development

agencies and the UN also need to

encourage and support such

initiatives in their plans and poverty

reduction strategy papers, and with

more funding and better policies.

Promoting technology

and innovation

Technology is advertised and

purchased on the grounds of conferring

status — technologies are the main

status symbol in most societies. This is

also important at the grassroots, where

innovations need to be promoted by

opinion leaders as well as advertised in

the media.

We also need better mechanisms

of transferring technology to the

grassroots. Local development NGOs

and research institutions have weak

linkages with grassroots communities

who could benefit from improved

technology and contact with such

organisations.

Technology business incubators

and advisory centres can provide

support and training on business (for

technology people) and technology

(for business people). Microfinance is

also key: many small business loans

are for technology, and financial

institutions with greater awareness of

technology transfer, acquisition and

operation could facilitate innovation

through this mechanism.

Once an innovation has reached

the local market, the challenge is

scaling up or 'scaling out' (diffusion) to

a wider market. This requires that the

technology remains appropriate to

local resources and conditions, and

the original innovator is prepared to

expand, network or sub-contract.

To better apply grassroots

knowledge to development problems

we first need to get innovation on the

development agenda. We then need to

understand how innovation takes

place, how it can best be measured,

how it contributes to development and

how it can be encouraged.

Tony Marjoram is former head of

engineering at UNESCO's Division of

Basic and Engineering Sciences

t_marjoram@yahoo.com

community members drawing water

from the tank fed by a solar water pump,

Kaapus village, Turkana, Kenya

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

35

Practical Action


36

FEATURE | POST-2015: THE iMPORTANCE

OF ACCESS TO iNFORMATiON

Post-2015

The importance of access to information

Establishing access to information as a goal

in the post-2015 framework could transform

government accountability and community

participation, argues Tom Berry.

There is a long way to go to

ensure that information is both

available and accessible but

there is a growing consensus

about what is required.

It’s no exaggeration to say that 2013 is a

year where both governments and

citizens alike can sow the seeds that

will end poverty within one generation.

The international community is

assessing what progress has been

made since the Millennium

Development Goals. While there have

been notable improvements in the

delivery of basic social services

including health and education at a

global level, it is clear that accelerated

progress on sustainable development

and ending poverty calls for much

more.

Improving access to, and use of,

information must go hand-in-hand

with increasing the income of the

poorest in order to end poverty. New

technologies are making it easier for

governments, business and civil

society to collect data, share

information, target resources, provide

feedback and measure progress. We

need to capitalise on these

developments to ensure people are

empowered.

The post-2015 framework should

establish access to information as a

goal in its own right with an

international commitment by

governments, private sector and civil

society to ensure that citizens have

access to, understand and are able to

use it. We believe this would be

transformational, especially if coupled

with the capacity to empower citizens

to participate more effectively within

their communities. It would enable

them to better hold government and

other institutions to account and to

improve the planning of services and

the distribution of resources.

Development

Initiatives is enabling

accountability in Nepal

Through our aidinfo programme,

we have begun to see the value of

increasing access to information.

We are identifying the necessary

conditions to support access to

information through capacity

development, open data and infomediaries

and the development of

tools and methodologies to support

this. In Nepal, working with key

partners including Freedom Forum

and the NGO Federation of Nepal, we

have built capacity and understanding

of resource flows and have empowered

people to hold government and donors

to account. A major aspect of our

country work has been to develop the

capacity of individuals and

organisations to access, analyse and

use information to engage in policy

and decision-making processes, to act

as intermediaries and translate what

the raw data means to a multitude of

other users and potential users.

Foreign aid accounts for around 26

per cent of Nepal’s national budget and

60 per cent of the development budget

making it a crucial issue for

accountability and therefore for media

attention. However our work revealed

that the mainstream media in Nepal has

provided very limited coverage related

to foreign aid. Media coverage

concerning issues of aid transparency,

effectiveness and accountability is

nominal despite the fact that free media

is deemed a crucial means to inform

people on the critical issues affecting

their life and shaping public opinion.

Our partners, Freedom Forum, have

now begun a dialogue with the media

in the country to plan a programme of

capacity development and support to

scrutinise aid more closely.

We have also identified that our

country partners need more detailed,

timely and disaggregated information

about where aid is spent at a country

and district level, and that this needs to

be geocoded down to particular

locations to ensure we can identify the

ultimate beneficiary and the intended

and actual outcomes of specific

projects.

Access to information

is transforming

societies

There is a long way to go to ensure that

information is both available and

accessible but there is a growing

consensus about what is required. Public

support for openness as a means of

monitoring budgets and decision

making is growing. The Open

Government Partnership was set up in

2011 to secure commitments to promote

transparency, empower citizens, fight

corruption, and harness new

technologies. In just over a year, 57

countries covering 25 per cent of the

world’s population, have signed up,

making over 300 specific commitments.

This movement – one of the most

exciting developments of the last

decade – is starting to transform the

relationship between people and the

state. A growing number of

governments are changing the way

they do business, recognising that

greater transparency and participation

leads to more effective, efficient, and

equitable use of scarce resources. If the

core components of this could be

added to the post-Millennium

Development Goals framework it could

be game-changing.

Tom Berry, Head of Communications,

Development Initiatives

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

Essential

Bond are specialists in international development training.

Relevant

Bring back the latest thinking in advocacy and

campaigning, fundraising and effectiveness, and apply

it to your work. For those who are new to the sector or

need a refresher, the ever-popular Introduction to

International Development highlights the key issues

and emerging debates.

Expert

Get expert advice from our trainers and share ideas

with others working on the same issues as you.

New training programme just released.

Book courses up to March 2013

www.bond.org.uk/learn

“An absolutely

essential course”

www.bond.org.uk/learn

learn@bond.org.uk

020 7520 0242

“We were able to

benefit from the

highly skilled trainer

and use examples

specifically tailored to

our circumstances.”

Get it in-house

Bond in-house training is

delivered direct to your

door and to almost

anywhere in the world.

Each course is tailor-made

for your organisation and

is a flexible, efficient and

cost-effective option.

www.bond.org.uk/in-house


38

FEATURE | EFFECTivENESS PROGRAMME

REACHES A lANdMARK MOMENT

effeCtiveneSS

PrograMMe reaCheS

a landMark MoMent

After three years of

consultation with over

300 staff and directors

from 100 organisations,

Bond is launching three

resources that will

support organisations

to measure and

demonstrate their

effectiveness more

consistently and robustly.

HEALTH CHECK

FOR

ORGANISATIONS

Bond has developed an online

self-assessment that identifies an

organisation’s strengths and

weaknesses across its core functions.

The Health Check helps organisation’s

to plan strategically and to design

improvement plans that are in line

with sector best practice. So far, it has

helped 40 Bond members to make

informed decisions about the

additional resources required to

address capacity gaps and to prioritise

There is a growing need for

organisations to be able to demonstrate

the effectiveness and impact their

programmes are making. Yet, despite

many examples of effectiveness best

practice and quality standards,

principles and tools, many resources

have not been shared. Bond is using its

ability to bring together a broad range of

organisations to develop three sectorwide

tools and facilitate shared practice

to improve organisational effectiveness

and impact. Bond members have been

instrumental in the development and

design of all three tools.

where to focus time and energy. Most

organisations have used their results

as a baseline for action planning and

to develop practical steps for

improving their organisation.

Preliminary analysis shows that

Bond members are scoring high on

the strength of their external

communications and stakeholder

engagement. We will publish a

benchmarking report with sectorlevel

trends this summer.

Contact Vanessa Henegan for more

information and guidance:

vhenegan@bond.org.uk

Our Health Check results have provided

very useful intelligence, highlighting

priority areas in our systems and

practice. The useful signposts to what

'better' looks like will also inform our

operational plans.

Michael O’Donnell, Head of Programme

Support and Impact, Plan UK

IMPROVING

IMPACT

Bond has built an online hub of

outcomes, indicators and data

collection tools to help organisations

evaluate the impact of their

programmes and projects.

It comprises of:

■■ 8 sectors – thematic areas of work

■■ 5 strategies – ways of engagement

or method of work

Each sector (for instance, education or

health) and strategy (the method used

to achieve change, for instance,

advocacy or capacity building) has a

set of shared outcomes and common

indicators. Crucially, there is also

access to 114 data collection tools,

developed by 53 organisations, to

enable organisations with limited

monitoring and evaluation resources

to use and adapt existing tools.

The following sectors and

strategies are available: child

protection, education, empowerment,

governance and accountability,

advocacy and capacity building.

We are inviting specialists to

participate in the second phase which

will cover: community mobilisation,

environmental sustainability, health

and HIV/Aids, infrastructure, markets

and livelihoods, public support and

service delivery.

Contact Vanessa Henegan for

more information:

vhenegan@bond.org.uk

Cost of effectiveness

research

ITAD has conducted research into the

cost of being effective – a study that

aims to understand the key elements of

effective and appropriate monitoring,

evaluation and learning systems for

different types and sizes of UK and

southern NGOs, and the costs

associated with developing and

maintaining these systems. The

findings will be published in May.

EVIDENCE

PRINCIPLES PILOT

A set of common principles with an

inbuilt checklist that enables

organisations to review and assure the

quality of existing evidence such as an

evaluation report, case study, annual

review, or research study.

Over 50 organisations are involved in

the Evidence Principles pilot, which

will end on 31 May, after which we will

publish a summary of the feedback.

They are being used by the Civil

Society Department at DFID to inform

their assessments of recent

Independent Progress Reviews

submitted by Partnership Programme

Arrangements (PPA) grantees and

DFID is also exploring the possibility of

fund managers using the principles

through the Governance and

Transparency Fund.

The Evidence Principles provide the

first sector-wide common principles for

assessing the quality of evidence which

is particularly useful for organisations

that don’t have a specialised monitoring

and evaluation department.

Wilm van Bekkum, Programme

Development Advisor, Self Help Africa

Self Help Africa

Sarah Mistry

joins Bond as

Director of

Effectiveness

and Learning

We are pleased to announce that

Sarah Mistry has joined Bond as

Director of Effectiveness and

Learning. For the last nine years

Sarah has been Head of Research

and Learning at the Big Lottery

Fund. She developed BIG’s

evaluation and research strategy,

commissioning more than 50

studies to help BIG develop funding

programmes based on evidence and

to enable it to understand the impact

of its funding.

what’s

happening

next?

aPril

■■ Health Check used by

40 organisations

■■ First Health Check benchmarking

report produced

■■ First phase of the hub of outcomes,

indicators and data collection tools

available

■■ Consultations begin with NGOs on

remaining sectors and strategies in

the hub of outcomes and indicators

May

■■ Effectiveness resources launch event

■■ Cost of effectiveness study published

■■ Evidence Principles pilot finishes and

feedback is collated and circulated

auguSt

■■ 20 per cent of the Bond membership

using the Health Check

■■ Consolidation of the consultations

for the second phase of the hub of

outcomes and indicators

SePteMBer

■■ Phase two of the hub of outcomes,

indicators and data collection tools

released

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013

39


FEATURE | USiNG TECHNOlOGy

40 TO dRivE EFFECTivENESS

41

I love data! There I’ve said it. Here

at the Alliance we don’t just use our data

for routine reporting but also to gain a

fuller understanding of results, to

interpret the true impact of our work

and then apply that knowledge to

improving performance in order to

better service our beneficiaries and offer

the best possible value for money.

Our first proper foray into

maximising information services

for the purposes of organisational

effectiveness came with the

introduction of a monitoring and

reporting system to collate results.

Five years on, it seems like an

appropriate moment to share that one

of our key learnings has been that we

can make even greater efficiencies.

New opportunities around information

and communications technology

(ICT) are opening up all the time in the

countries where we work and, in this

brave new world, we can now embed

technology within the design and

delivery of programmes.

Harnessing

information

and technology

Mobile technology is pervasive enough

in all parts of the world to be thinking

much more strategically about how

we can harness the power of ICT to go

way beyond routine monitoring and

evaluation.

Take Ukraine. There we are

supporting our linking organisation,

the largest NGO in the country

working on HIV, to build a sustainable

system of comprehensive services on

HIV prevention, treatment, care and

support for most at risk populations

– including people who inject drugs

– and people living with HIV. This

work, supported by a Global Fund

grant, is underpinned by a specially

developed database called Syrex which

has been instrumental in the planning,

implementation and delivery of

services for drug users, a much

marginalised group whose needs are

In Kenya, a national mapping

project is helping to ensure that

marginalised groups such as

men who have sex with men are

having their health needs met.

Using

technology

to drive

effectiveness

The use of information and communications technology is

improving organisational effectiveness and is having a huge impact

on the design and delivery of programmes, explains Farai Matsika.

often overlooked in state healthcare

provisions. In last year’s Strategic

Investments for Impact: Global Fund

Results Report 2012, the work of

Alliance Ukraine was acknowledged

in the ‘Improving measurement of

results and impact’ section for its

ability to illustrate the coverage and

outcomes being achieved in the HIV

and AIDS field.

Strengthening

community systems

In Kenya, our linking organisation, the

Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium

(KANCO), has been using ICT to draw

a bigger picture when it comes to how

community-based organisations are

supporting and delivering HIV

services. Some 900 community-based

organisations feature in a national

mapping project which illustrates

how communities are linking with

government health services to ensure

that most at risk populations are

catered for. Over on the other side

of the continent, in Senegal the

Alliance Nationale Contre Le Sida

(ANCS) is bringing civil society

together to pioneer a national online

system to enable stakeholders to share

information and better coordinate

planning processes when it comes

to delivering programmes.

Reduce costs,

focus resources and

improve services

One of the most exciting prospects of

using information technologies

is the potential to lower the cost of

development and focus on where

resources are most needed, while at

the same time improving services. The

Alliance is committed to publishing

its own data at regular intervals using

the International Aid Transparency

Initiative (IATI) standard, which aims

to make information about aid

spending easier to access, use and

understand, and we want to help the

initiative take off with our southern

partners too.

We will shortly be launching an online

visualisation application which will

New opportunities

around information

and communications

technology are opening

up in the countries

where we work and, in

this brave new world,

we can now embed

technology within the

design and delivery of

programmes.

Nell Freeman for the

international Hiv/AidS Alliance

indicate how HIV funding and

resources are allocated across the

Alliance network so that our

stakeholders can interrogate the

data and identify areas or populations

that are not being addressed.

Looking further forward still, and

as a member of the mHealth Alliance,

we foresee that a number of our

programmes will make greater use of

mobile technology, whether in terms of

delivering health advice, reaching out

to marginalised groups such as men

who have sex with men so that they

have a safe space to “meet”, or for

communities to be able to feed back

on the quality of services through

crowdsourcing. With around 80 per

cent of people in developing countries

now within access of a mobile network,

the democratisation of individuals’

involvement in the design and delivery

of services to suit their needs is nigh,

and about time too.

Farai Matsika, Programme Manager

for Institutional Effectiveness,

International HIV/AIDS Alliance

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk bond.org.uk

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


42

FEATURE | lEAdER OF THE

Aid TRANSPARENCy PACK 43

LeAdeR of

the aid

tranSParency

PAck

The UK is leading the

way in increasing aid

transparency, argues

John Adams, and

with it comes new

opportunities to drive

forward the availability

and reuse of data that

can lead to better

results on the ground.

As others have noted in recent issues

of The Networker, we are in really

exciting times in aid transparency.

Over 130 donors are now regularly

publishing their data to the open

International Aid Transparency

Initiative (IATI) standard, with UK

non-governmental organisations

(NGOs) leading the way.

The Secretary of State, Justine

Greening, has challenged all DFID’s

implementing partners to implement

greater transparency – either to get

moving or to go further. Transparency

will become a key factor in DFID’s

hard decisions on allocating

resources.

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

Other sectors

look at

international

development

enviously

because of the

iATi common

data standard.

This year, Bond will start

work to build a NGO

information Platform to

complement dFid's Aid

information Platform,

it will use NGO iATi data

to showcase the reach of

UK NGOs’ work and

provide a searchable

repository of information

to drive collaboration

and evidence-based

decision-making. More

information will be

available in due course.

bond.org.uk

Other sectors look at international

development enviously because of

the IATI common data standard.

The IATI standard provides us with a

real springboard to share meaningful

information on our aid activities

with supporters, taxpayers and

development partners in a way that

all can understand and use.

But publishing individual agencies’

activities is only part of the story. By

publishing to a common standard we

are able to join up our activities to give

a better picture of how our aid

supports people in developing

countries. As we link our activities

people will be able to trace funding

from donor through to beneficiary.

This will help them understand the

part that each organisation plays and

see the results of aid and how people’s

lives are improved.

UK Aid Information

Platform

As well as publishing data in IATI

format each month, DFID is also using

our own IATI data in building the new

Aid Information Platform, launched

in its “Alpha” version at the OpenUp!

conference in November 2012. Bond

has been incredibly supportive and

Bond members have contributed

user stories that have helped to

shape the platform.

Using our own open data

(a practice the Center for Global

Development’s Owen Barder has

colourfully described as “eating

your own dog food”) means that

we spot issues early and are able to

continually improve data quality. The

platform also gives us the opportunity

to link DFID funding to NGO

implementation, and we are running

a pilot of this, using data from the

Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF).

We had valuable feedback from

people who reviewed the Alpha

version, and we are now actively

developing the next version (the beta)

which will be released publicly in May

2013. The beta will concentrate on four

key themes:

Discovery – providing a place

where people can discover, explore

and learn about projects funded by

UK aid.

Traceability – the ability to trace

funding through the aid delivery

chain, beginning with a number of

GPAF projects. This pilot will help us

work out the steps that each delivery

partner must take to link their

activities to funding.

Data – allowing people to access

data through a number of different

ways. For example, a user could

choose to look at data by country, by

project or even look at individual items

such as transactions, documents or

graphs. Other programs will be able

to access and reuse the data through

a standard Application Programming

Interface (API) that is being developed

in partnership with other IATI

development teams.

code – we will also release the

platform as an open source codebase

that others can reuse, adapt and

build on. We would like to build a

community working on and sharing

ownership of the platform to the

benefit of all of our organisations.

For example, one organisation could

develop a module that others could

then reuse.

Get involved

So, how can you help?

■■ Volunteer to work with DFID to deliver

traceability for your DFID-funded

activities as you publish them to IATI.

■■ Help take transparency to the next

level by helping your country partners

to implement IATI.

■■ Start to reuse your own data which

will (as we have found) help drive

quality improvements.

■■ Be an advocate for greater

transparency, stimulating new ideas

on how we could use open data

to achieve better development

outcomes, particularly with your

local partners

This is an exciting time in aid

transparency, and we in the UK have

a real opportunity to show leadership

and innovation. I encourage you

join us on this journey. By doing

this, the international development

community can help set better

standards for transparency worldwide

– and encourage improvements in

developing countries as well as in

industrialised countries

John Adams, Head of Business

Innovation, DFID

For more information about the

International Aid Transparency

Initiative and standard:

aidtransparency.net

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


Getting aid where it’s needed

Kuehne + Nagel supports the

humanitarian efforts of nongovernmental

and charitable

organisations dealing with a

wide range of local and regional

emergencies.

With extensive experience in handling

both long-term projects and unforeseen

humanitarian crises, we provide:

n Transport arrangements by sea, air

and road; partial or full charter

n Strategically located storage and

warehousing, allowing immediate

dispatch of emergency medical

items, water purification kits, food

and housing materials

n Local field specialists

Contact us: uk.knaid@kuehne-nagel.com

Emergency & Relief Logistics

FEATURE | HOw OPEN dATA iS

TRANSFORMiNG dEvElOPMENT

HOw OPEn DATA

IS TRAnSFORMInG

DEVELOPMEnT

technological advances and the increasing

availability of open data are giving Africa’s

citizens the power to shape their own future,

explains hilda kalap.

We live in an ever-changing world.

Advances in technology have exceeded

what even the most visionary amongst

us could have thought possible even a

decade ago. Social and other media are

changing the relationship between

citizens and the state as ordinary people

create, contribute to and access

information more easily than was

previously the case.

There is a growing recognition that

this changing set of circumstances

presents a unique opportunity for the

international development community.

Not least, we can harness these changes

to improve feedback between donors

and recipients of aid which, will in turn,

introduce a step-change in efficiency

and delivery.

Open data increases

accountability

The last three years have seen significant

interest in ‘open data’ – data that can be

freely used, reused and distributed by

anyone with the intention that its

availability and use will lead to greater

engagement and accountability. There

have been high profile initiatives in the

US and the UK, and the World Bank

recently launched its own open data

portal providing open access to

hundreds of statistical indicators. It has

also sponsored the development of Open

Government Data initiative in Kenya.

There are promising signs

that the influence of open

data will irreversibly shift

the power dynamic

between citizens and

their government.

bond.org.uk

Real change is also happening

throughout the developing world:

■■ In Uganda, the Open Development

Partnership Platform, launched last

November by Ugandan NGO

Development Research and Training

(DRT), has increased access and use of

information about resources for

poverty eradication by civil society

and other stakeholders. An initiative

that DRT itself claim: “might spell the

beginning of the end to the many

years Ugandans have been waking up

to alarming reports and news of

mismanagement of public resources”.

■■ In Kenya, crowdsourcing projects

such as Ushahidi, first developed to

monitor violence in the aftermath of

the Kenyan elections in 2008, have

been deployed or replicated in a

number of anti-corruption settings.

■■ In Nepal, later this year, aidinfo’s

partners will launch an open data

platform, which will provide access to

open data about aid flows as well as

other development data.

Open data shifts the

balance of power

There are promising signs that the

influence of open data will irreversibly

shift the power dynamic between

citizens and their government further.

The Open Government Partnership,

formed in September 2011, is a new

multilateral initiative seeking concrete

commitments from governments to

promote transparency, empower

citizens, fight corruption and harness

new technologies to strengthen

governance. It already has 55 member

states including the UK, US, South

Africa, Indonesia and Mexico.

Another key international

mechanism is the International Aid

Transparency Initiative (IATI), which

Development Initiatives (through our

aidinfo programme) are actively

involved in driving. At the time of

writing, IATI has 130 publishers of data

about their activities including the

governments of The Netherlands,

Sweden and the UK as well as

45

multilateral bodies like the European

Union and the World Bank and

non-governmental organisations

(NGOs) like Oxfam.

IATI has developed and agreed a

common, open standard for the

publication of aid information – a

framework for implementation and an

online registry that acts as an address

book to the location of aid information

that participating donors publish on

their own websites. The beauty of the

IATI model is that organisations only

need to publish their aid information in

one place and one format. Many

different users can access the

information they need and use it for

their own diverse purposes.

Accountability requires

input from citizens

But it’s important to remember that

transparency and accountability aren't

just about information and data from

governments, companies and

multilaterals. Engagement and input

from citizens is vital too. As internet

bandwidth and speed increases and

Africa’s interest in both mobile

communication and social networking

grows (the first African-designed

smartphone and tablet were launched

last December), more of its citizens

will have the collective power to ask

questions and tell and shape their

own stories.

Hilda Kalap, Communications Officer,

Development Initiatives

useful resources

USA open data – data.gov

UK open data – data.gov.uk

World Bank open data portal – data.

worldbank.org

Kenya Open Government Data

initiative – opendata.go.ke

Uganda Open Development

Partnership Platform – opendev.ug

Ugandan NGO Development Research

and Training – drt-ug.org

Ushahidi – ushahidi.com

Open Government Programme –

opengovpartnership.org

IATI standard – iatistandard.org,

iatiregistry.org

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


FEATURE | iNTERviEw

46

47

Hans Zomer at the launch of 'Act

now on 2015', a campaign led by

more than 60 anti-poverty

organisations to highlight the

need for Ireland to deliver on its

promise to reach the Un target

of spending 0.7% of national

income on overseas aid by 2015.

in the spot light

Q

what big issues are

irish NGos grappling

with at the moment?

The biggest issue by far is the continuing

financial and economic crisis, which is

impacting significantly on the income

levels of non-governmental

organisations (NGOs). Interestingly,

funding from the general public,

although slightly down, is still very strong

even in these tough times. Opinion polls

show four in five people in Ireland

support the principle of overseas aid,

however, many are not convinced that

aid actually works with almost half

saying that they don’t think Africa is any

better off than 20 years ago. This

presents a challenge. Are we, with our

tendency to focus on the negative rather

than progress made in development,

partly responsible for reinforcing ideas

that aid will never work because there’s

always another problem around the

corner? To help address this, Dóchas has

introduced a code of conduct on

communications which commits our

members to refrain from generalisations

or using stereotypical images, and in our

campaign to defend Ireland’s Official

Development Assistance (ODA), we

Hans Zomer, Director at Dóchas,

shares his views on aid, public

support for development,

accountability and effectiveness

and the future for northern NGOs.

asked members to give examples of the

impact of aid. But there is still a long way

to go if we really want to affect people’s

attitudes and perceptions.

Q

what are your hopes

for the irish eu

Presidency, and what are

the likely outcomes?

Since the Lisbon Treaty the role of the EU

presidency has changed and while it no

longer sets the agenda it can still set the

tone and shape the discussion. The Irish

government has prioritised economic

growth and jobs and has put strong

emphasis on development cooperation,

hunger and climate change, meaning

that there is much opportunity to

stimulate a discussion about

development priorities. Dóchas is using

the presidency to highlight the fact that

our prosperity depends on global

stability, international cooperation and

on a fair and sustainable global society.

We are asking the government to

prioritise discussions on the post-2015

development framework to ensure that

that they’re universal and based on poor

people’s priorities.

Q

To really change the world we

need to change the way we

organise ourselves, our

politics, our economics and

our lifestyles.

is the G8 still relevant

and what are your

hopes for the summit in

June?

Traditionally, Irish NGOs have

prioritised EU level initiatives rather

than the G8 because that is where our

government is most involved. In our

opinion, the G8 has a long history of

agreeing lofty statements without also

being accountable on those promises.

That said, that leaders of the most

powerful countries on earth are

meeting in Northern Ireland is of

incredible symbolic value and a real vote

of confidence in the peace in Northern

Ireland. I don’t have great expectations

on the policy side but it’s a great

opportunity to be part of the highest

level policy discussion and to highlight

the importance of international

cooperation as the bedrock of our own

and others prosperity.

Q

aid'?

Should we be

thinking 'beyond

Aid is very important but development

has never been about aid alone. Aid

cannot lift countries out of poverty if

they’re not being given a fair chance to

participate in global trade for instance. It

cannot compete with subsidies or with

bad trade rules or with migration policies

that present real obstacles to developing

countries. Unfortunately, many

countries would rather highlight their

own achievements as aid donors rather

than tackle the more systemic factors

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

dochas

that deepen poverty. The Lisbon Treaty

specifically identifies policy coherence

– that EU policies must not undermine

the development needs of poor countries

– as a legal obligation and I think there’s

an opportunity to push this onwards.

Q

how are irish NGos

rising to the

effectiveness challenge?

Dóchas’s view is that everybody who

claims to work to end global poverty or

better people’s lives has an obligation to

be as effective as they can be. In Ireland,

the NGO sector has been heavily

influenced by a missionary and charity

position where at times it looks like

supporters value good intentions more

than long-term outcomes. Maya

Angelou, an American author and poet

said, “Do the best you can until you

know better. Then when you know

better, do better.”

To be better we need to be

accountable and this means listening

to and actively inviting the views of

people who are interested in or affected

by our work. Dóchas has helped

members develop a framework in

which to place their thinking about

quality. As NGOs our upward

accountability to donors tends to be

very good but our downwards

Memory Magombo and her husband

Moofat live on a small farm in Mabwera

village, Malawi. A mother of three young

girls, Memory uses the money that she

raises from farming to send her eldest

daughter, who is seven, to school.

This project is run by Self Help Africa, a

member of Dóchas.

bond.org.uk

accountability to beneficiaries can be

problematic. While it’s difficult for

Dóchas to impact on the accountability

of our members overseas, we have

focused on strengthening NGOs’

through our codes on

communications and corporate

governance.

Q

how important is it

that we better engage

with the public on aid and

development issues?

We need to be upfront and say that while

aid saves lives it’s not sufficient. To really

change the world we

need to change the way

we organise ourselves,

our politics, our

economics and our

lifestyles. We live in a

complex and

interdependent world

and each of us needs the

skills and knowledge to survive and to

understand how global forces and our

actions impact on the lives of others.

NGOs need to help people understand

the complexities of poverty and

inequality and stop reducing global

issues to a mere ‘donate now’ response.

We need to empower people so that they

understand and help shape globalisation.

Q

what is the future

role of northern

NGos?

We must focus less on what the future

holds for us as individual organisations

and more on what it means for us as a

movement that actively seeks to

eradicate global injustice, poverty and

inequality. Dóchas’s vision is not a world

full of development NGOs; it’s a world of

ordinary citizens who are using their

skills and ability to improve their lives.

Ultimately, NGOs are representations of a

wish by ordinary people to make a

change. The role of networks such as

Dóchas is to help facilitate the type of

change that our members want to see in

the world, rather than to strengthen

NGOs for the sake of it.

As technological advances make it

easier to transcend cultures and

borders, the potential for people power

will continue to grow. Networks such

as Bond and Dóchas can be a stitch in

that wonderfully complex tapestry

because we know what it means to

work in coalitions, consortia and

networks. I think we’re at the cutting

edge of what the future can bring.

Hans Zomer is Director at Dóchas.

Interview by Jemma Ashman,

Communications and Marketing

Manager at Bond.

■■ ireland has 4.7 million citizens

and 200 NGOs

■■ Of these 200, 49 are members of

dóchas

■■ These 49 organisations have

760,000 supporters and a

combined income of €328 million

of which €144 million is from the

general public

■■ Together they employ 5,000

people, 845 of whom are based in

ireland

■■ The number of ireland-based

employees has grown by 43 per

cent in the last decade

Self Help Africa

the networker 104 | April – June 2013


48

BOOK REVIEw | TRANSFORMATiON:

OvERCOMiNG UNCERTAiNTy 1976-2010

Book review

Transformation: Overcoming

Uncertainty 1976-2010

In this fascinating book, reviewed here by David Lewis, ACORD provide a

candid insight into the complexity of organisational change, which at times

was painful and at one point almost destroyed the organisation.

ACORD’s Transformation:

Overcoming Uncertainty 1976-2010

Alan Fowler, Agency for Cooperation

and Research in Development,

Nairobi, Kenya, 2012.

In his acknowledgements at the start

of this informative book, Alan Fowler

notes ‘the opportunity to write an

organisational biography does not

happen often’. Indeed, the world of

non-governmental organisations

(NGOs) remains relatively closed.

Organisations are keen to publicise their

achievements, but often reluctant to

allow the public a glimpse into their

everyday organisational ups and downs.

An insight into the

workings of an NGO

This book is in altogether different

territory. Fowler’s account takes the

reader deep into the world of an NGO’s

internal workings and external

relationships. The leadership and board

of ACORD have generously chosen to

share the not always comfortable story

of this organisation’s institutional

journey. The resulting account makes

fascinating reading.

Divided into seven short and highly

readable chapters, the book traces

ACORD’s evolution from an emergency

response consortium of Western

agencies working in Africa, through

early work in community-based

development, to a period of

‘Africanisation’ and ‘inspired failure’

during the 1990s, through ‘rescue’ and

rebirth as a vibrant civil society

organisation working for social justice,

driven by a new ‘pragmatic

Pan-African identity’.

How ACORD began

ACORD started life as an idea literally

sketched out on a napkin in a café by

some European NGO chief executives.

It began as a network with the aim of

working in particularly difficult

locations, at a time when local

counterparts were few. This led to the

organisation building early links with

top-down government projects with

expatriate staff, but the onset of the era of

World Bank structural adjustment

programmes changed the environment

dramatically, reducing the state and

expanding African NGO funding for

service delivery. This phase led to work

outside government with local capacity

building, empowerment and advocacy

work and the organisation gained more

African staff. By the 1990s ACORD had

become a progressive international

NGO with a strong research and policy

programme, but one that was

increasingly challenged by its African

staff to better reflect local African

priorities.

Changing locations

The head office was moved from

London to Nairobi. A more global and

decentralised perspective around social

justice and working with social

movements emerged, including

growing involvement with the World

Social Forum. But changes in the wider

development industry – the shift

towards results and measurement, a

donor backlash against the work of

NGOs – led to continuing reflection and

consolidation. A new strategy for

2011-2015 is one that sets organisationwide

priorities such as food sovereignty

and takes a pan-African perspective on

development that has brought ACORD

to undertake new forms of policy

engagement with institutions such as

the Africa Union. The transformation

was a complex and painful one, and

between 2002 and 2006 a multi-level

crisis occurred that brought nearbankruptcy,

fragmented governance

and even the risk of collapse. This almost

destroyed the organisation, but it was

saved by ‘an enduring commitment to a

set of ideals tempered by practicality’

(p.10).

Emerging lessons

Organisations achieve successful

change from the inside out, not on the

whole by external inputs – ‘selfactualisation

and hard work’.

Decentralisation is unlikely to work from

above – it needs responsiveness from

below as well. Successful organisational

change can only take place slowly,

especially if real shifts in power are to be

achieved. Paradox and ambiguity is at

the heart of NGO management – how

this is recognised and managed is key to

organisational success.

Finally, the book shows that only if

NGOs allow their histories to be

documented can development work be

made more effective. All organisations

are unique but there are common

challenges. Many African NGOs (and

indeed those in other parts of the world)

evolved originally from imported ideas

and models, but have grown into

organisations with their own distinctive

local histories, culture and aims. This is

the story of one such organisation.

ACORD and Alan Fowler are to be

congratulated on writing a very useful

and important book.

Review by David Lewis, Professor of

Social Policy and Development, London

School of Economics & Political Science.

David specialises in development policy

and management, and has a particular

interest in NGOs and civil society.

Agency for Cooperation and

Research in Development (ACORD) is

a pan-African organisation working

to defend rights and promote justice.

www.acordinternational.org

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk


50

xxxxxxx

the networker 104 | April – June 2013 bond.org.uk

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines