Development Blog

Given DFID’s commitment to the Global Goals and to labour standards (eg support of the ETI, guidance within CDC), why doesn’t DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy talk about Decent Work?

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A garment worker in Bangladesh on her way to the factory A garment worker in Bangladesh on her way to the factory

A new Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, launched by the International Growth Centre and chaired by David Cameron, has recently been announced. It points out that “Fragility is a distinctive phenomenon that calls for distinctive policy approaches. It has been under-researched, and what is known from research has not been used effectively.” Let’s hope that DFID are listening and contributing (which presumably they are, as they fund the IGC) as their approach to economic development in fragile states remains unclear, even after the publication of the new Economic Development Strategy (“the ED Strategy”).

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A woman cleans up garbage in Bentiu Protection of Civilians site in Unity State, South Sudan A woman cleans up garbage in Bentiu Protection of Civilians site in Unity State, South Sudan

Launched by DFID, Value for Money (VfM) is now a widely accepted standard in the sector. For CARE, quality assurance is determined by evidence of how monetary resources translate into long-lasting changes. It is understood as a key approach during proposal development and implementation to maximise the integration of Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) systems with project management practices.

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Residents of Torit, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan wait in line to receive relief items Residents of Torit, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan wait in line to receive relief items

Her first four children each died of asphyxiation during delivery. The 30-year-old’s fifth – a baby girl – was born safely at home, and against all odds. When the same expectant mother entered Bihar’s district hospital to deliver her sixth baby, she was hoping for a boy. She entered the hospital carrying the hopes and dreams of the many family members waiting outside for the news and, as I bore witness to, her prayers were answered.

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Ruby and baby Ruksiba were helped by CARE-trained staff with guidance on breastfeeding, nutrition and vaccinations Ruby and baby Ruksiba were helped by CARE-trained staff with guidance on breastfeeding, nutrition and vaccinations

Today, ministers and senior diplomats from around the world meet with the UN, EU and states involved in the Syrian conflict for a high-level Conference (5 April) to identify ways forward on the crisis. This happens as news from Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib in Syria suggests that an aerial bombardment using chemical weapons has left over 50 dead, and the situation escalates across multiple besieged areas across the country. At the top of the agenda is the question of ‘reconstruction’ – yet what does ‘reconstruction’ mean in a country still at war?

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A man and boy carrying emergency shelter materials across bombed out rubble in southern Syria (2016) A man and boy carrying emergency shelter materials across bombed out rubble in southern Syria (2016)

Demand for financial services from low-income groups is at an all-time high. Some of that demand is by informal savings and loans groups – including CARE’s 5 million Village Savings and Loan Association members – who want access to quality group bank accounts and mobile-based solutions. East Africa is leading the world in setting up informal savings groups and linking them to formal financial services. The recent East Africa Linkage Summit provided exactly the kinds of insights that other regions can learn from to scale up financial inclusion in 2017.

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CARE VSLA member in rural western Kenya making a transaction using the Kenya Equitel mobile app CARE VSLA member in rural western Kenya making a transaction using the Kenya Equitel mobile app

The plight of refugee women both in Europe and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region has been largely ignored, characterised by a lack of information and lost in the broader sweep of the humanitarian disaster. This won’t be the first time in history women’s issues were side-lined in light of a bigger cause.

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Refugees in a temporary camp in Adasevci, Serbia, prepare to eat a meal provided by CARE’s partner organisation NSHC Refugees in a temporary camp in Adasevci, Serbia, prepare to eat a meal provided by CARE’s partner organisation NSHC
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