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29.07.2020 COVID-19 pandemic: German Epidemic Preparedness Team hands over 1.4 million tests to the African Union

German BMZ - 29. Juli 2020 - 15:00
German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "COVID-19 is a long way from being beaten. Across the globe 17 million people have been infected with the virus. In developing and emerging countries in particular the numbers are rising rapidly. Our neighbouring continent, Africa, has been reporting some 20,000 new infections every day – that is twice as many new cases as there were one month ago. South Africa, with 450,000 confirmed infections, is already 5th on the global list of ...
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G20 Anti-Corruption Commitments Tracker

#C20 18 - 29. Juli 2020 - 14:13
Click here to download 
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Equity in COVID-19 mitigation and policy responses

INCLUDE Platform - 29. Juli 2020 - 14:00

The world is currently facing many insecurities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed several weaknesses and risks of the globally connected world and there are similarities and differences in the impact and policy responses of various governments to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. This presents a timely opportunity for INCLUDE to conduct a study looking at the various mitigation measures and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the African continent, and the impact of these measures on work and income, access to basic services, and political participation and empowerment, which are central to transformation processes. 

The INCLUDE COVID-19 research programme  – launched July 2020 and running until april 2021 – aims to systematically reconstruct, document and analyse how national African governments and other stakeholders are taking equity into account in policy responses and interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research programme consists of two main elements, 1) country case studies of the 12 INCLUDE focus countries, and 2) a synthesis providing overarching insights into lessons learnt from the country case studies and situating these findings in ongoing debates. The synthesis will also propose new directions for policy, research and practice with regard to taking equity into account in mitigation and policy responses and interventions during (epidemic and pandemic) crises.  

On the 16th of July the kick-off meeting for the country case studies was held digitally. The research groups, all led by African researchers, from the 12 INCLUDE focus countries participated in this kick-off. The aim of this meeting was to align the different case studies and build the research cohort. All groups were very committed to making this research a success and positive vibes and ideas were shared during the meeting. A follow up meeting will be organised in September. By the end of December the country case study papers will be ready and shared through our website. A dedicated webpage to the COVID-19 research programme is currently being developed and will be shared next month.

Het bericht Equity in COVID-19 mitigation and policy responses verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

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Exchange of tax information: a butterfly effect on domestic resource mobilisation

OECD - 29. Juli 2020 - 11:00
By Zayda Manatta, Head of the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes One small change can make a big difference in the fight against illicit financial flows. Illicit financial flows (IFFs) deprive developing countries and regions of much-needed resources to finance and achieve their development agendas (e.g. … Continue reading Exchange of tax information: a butterfly effect on domestic resource mobilisation
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The Competence Centre eStandards Project Extended: Greener Businesses Through Digitalisation

SCP-Centre - 29. Juli 2020 - 9:43

Since its launch in 2017, the Competence Centre eStandards has directly reached over 14,000 companies as part of its goal to bring digitalisation and standardisation to German Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). In the second phase, the project looks to maximise its positive impact by strengthening the work on sustainability and focusing on new thematic priorities: Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology, and platform economy.

As the first thematic competence centre in Germany, the Competence Centre eStandards (Mittlestand – 4.0 Kompetenzzentrum eStandards) has been a hub for enabling more digital and sustainable business models and production processes at the SME level. During the past three years, the project conducted 40 pilot projects, developed numerous hands-on tools, and offered creative training formats to bring SMEs one step further in the world of sustainable digitalisation. In addition, the Centre held over 850 presentations at external conferences and organised multiple specialised events.

In its second phase (2020-2022), a leading objective of the Centre would be to support SMEs as they navigate through the new normal imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while placing an even stronger emphasis on the topic of sustainability. A strategic aim is to support companies in adapting more sustainable business models that allow them to remain competitive and thrive, including in crisis times.

The Competence Centre eStandards is hosted by a consortium of the CSCP and GS1 Germany, HAGENagentur für Wirtschaftsförderung, Stadtentwicklung, Tourismus mbH,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) Sankt Augustin, Fraunhofer Centre for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW.  The project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).

For further information, please contact Patrik Eisenhauer.


Der Beitrag The Competence Centre eStandards Project Extended: Greener Businesses Through Digitalisation erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

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The interaction of private and public governance: the case of sustainability standards for palm oil

GDI Briefing - 29. Juli 2020 - 7:26

By providing insights into the interaction between private-driven and public-driven governance initiatives in the context of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO), this article sheds new light the interaction between private and public governance. It investigates how the relationship between the RSPO and the ISPO evolves over time and who and what drives this evolution. While the interaction between these standard schemes has initially largely been characterized by competition, it has become more collaborative and also coordinated in nature. This article argues that the experimentalist architecture of palm oil governance has fostered mechanisms for coordination across public and private certification schemes and has helped to join up the separate components of the regime complex through productive interactions. At the same time, several gaps and challenges remain, especially in light of the different interests of the multiple public and private actors involved in palm oil.

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Careers During COVID - with Angela Raeburn

Devex - 28. Juli 2020 - 18:39
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COVID-19 is not just seasonal, cautions WHO, as ‘first wave’ continues

UN ECOSOC - 28. Juli 2020 - 16:49
The COVID-19 virus is likely not impacted by the changing seasons like other respiratory diseases, the UN health agency said on Tuesday, before urging much greater respect for physical distancing measures to stop it spreading.
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Another Devastating Humanitarian Crisis is Colliding with COVID-19 in South Asia: Monsoon Floods.

UN Dispatch - 28. Juli 2020 - 16:35

More than 9.6 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have been affected by flooding from this year’s devastating monsoon rains. Homes and crops have been destroyed, families have been stranded, and by government counts, at least 550 people have lost their lives so far.

Monsoon season, usually from June to September, brings a downpour of heavy rain every year in South Asia, which is important for the region’s agriculture. But according to the New York Times, scientists say that climate change is affecting the rainfall patterns: Instead of steady but less intense rains, there have been more frequent extreme rains, causing more flooding and even cyclones. Some say this year’s is even worse than usual.

 “A third of Bangladesh is under water in what has been the worst monsoon season in at least a decade,” Mostak Hussain, Humanitarian Director of Save the Children Bangladesh, said in a press release. “Extreme weather events are becoming much more frequent.”

Scientists have warned that Bangladesh, which suffers from frequent flooding and land degradation, may lose more than 10 percent of its land to rising sea levels due to climate change, forcing up to 18 million people from their homes.

Hussain says that right now, entire communities have been cut off, people are being swept away and drowning in overflowing rivers and snake bites have also become a serious concern. In Nepal, Save the Children’s Senior Humanitarian Manager, Sanjeeb Kumar Shakya says years of environmental degradation and land erosion have resulted in more dangerous landslides this year.

The IFRC reports that nearly one-third of Bangladesh has been flooded, with more to come. In India, flooding has been concentrated in the northern states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Meghalaya, affecting more than 6.8 million people. Additionally, many communities in Bangladesh and India are still recovering from Cyclone Amphan two months ago, which hit more than 260,000 homes, farms and infrastructure. On top of all that, this year’s monsoon season is coinciding with COVID-19.

“People in Bangladesh, India and Nepal are sandwiched in a triple disaster of flooding, the coronavirus and an associated socioeconomic crisis of loss of livelihoods and jobs,” said Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “Flooding of farm lands and destruction of crops can push millions of people, already badly impacted by the COVID-19, further into poverty.”

As the floods have left millions homeless, social distancing has also become more difficult. In India, which has been easing lockdown measures, experts are worried that waterlogging will undermine containment efforts, resulting in an uptick in infections. In addition, epidemiologists warn that the country has yet to hit its peak in COVID-19 infections, meaning the worst is likely still to come for the country’s already overburdened health system.

For humanitarian workers, COVID-19 is complicating flood relief efforts, as they struggle to address the converging crises, particularly for women and children who are among the most vulnerable because of access to health services is limited, and many are in need of protection from domestic abuse during lockdown.

“We have worked with children and communities to build their resilience to floods and other extreme weather,” said Save the Children India’s Policy Director, Anindit Roy Chowdhury, in a press release, “but nothing could have prepared us for the complexity of the situation we are facing right now.”

The post Another Devastating Humanitarian Crisis is Colliding with COVID-19 in South Asia: Monsoon Floods. appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Learning from the grassroots: “Together we are much more than two”

EADI Debating Development Research - 28. Juli 2020 - 10:16
Impressions from the Third Bridge 47 Iberian Knowledge Exchange Partnership Meeting By Talia Vela-Eiden “… y en la calle codo a codo somos mucho más que dos.” (and in the street side by side we are much more than two) Te quiero, Mario Benedetti It was not to be, meeting in Lisbon. However, coming together …
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Trade pact could boost Africa’s income by as much as $450 billion: World Bank

UN ECOSOC - 27. Juli 2020 - 22:34
The African Continental Free Trade Area represents a major opportunity for countries to boost growth, reduce poverty, broaden economic inclusion and help “expand opportunities for all Africans”, hailed a World Bank official on Monday, which if fully implemented, could boost regional income by around $450 billion.
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Spread of hepatitis B in children under five, lowest in decades: WHO

UN #SDG News - 27. Juli 2020 - 22:02
The global prevalence of potentially-deadly hepatitis B in children under age five, dropped to under one per cent in 2019 – down from five per cent in the pre-vaccine decades between the 1980s and early 2000s, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday.
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Intervention in WSSCC/OHCHR/WaterAid Roundtable July 23

Women - 27. Juli 2020 - 16:26

WMG member Shaila Shahid, Senior Advisor of Climate Change, DRR, and Gender at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), gave an intervention on most vulnerable groups living in informal settlements at the WSSCC/OHCHR/WaterAid roundtable on the 23rd of July, 2020.

“We urge governments, donors, and UN to ensure equitable access to WASH commodities and services must be protected and extended for all, without any form of discrimination by nationality, income or ethnicity. Governments need to ensure that gendered impacts of the measures implemented during the pandemic are taken into account and negative impacts are avoided; as well as use intersectionality analysis to map differentiated WASH impacts of vulnerable groups like women and adolescents girls, focus on menstrual hygiene and those are already affected by the intersecting power of globalisation, fundamentalism, militarism, and patriarchy. Any response to COVID-19 must be gender-responsive, and advance gender equality by ensuring the fulfillment of women’s human rights as recognized in CEDAW and other treaties and agreements.”

Please find her full intervention here. 

The post Intervention in WSSCC/OHCHR/WaterAid Roundtable July 23 appeared first on Women's Major Group.

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COVID-19 | A conversation with Jonathan Reckford

Devex - 27. Juli 2020 - 15:52
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Why Foreign Aid and Global Development Donors Should Publish What They Fund

UN Dispatch - 27. Juli 2020 - 15:47

Billions of dollars are spent each year on foreign aid and global development. In the past, the exact amount of aid that is being spent, where is it is being spent, by whom it is being spent–and to what end is the aid serving has been very difficult for outsiders to parse.

But that has been changing in recent years.

Aid agencies in government and multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank and the United Nations are becoming increasingly transparent — not least because they have been spurred to do so by my guest today, Gary Forster.

He is the executive director of Publish What You Fund — the global campaign for aid and development transparency. The organization publishes an annual index of 47 aid agencies from the public sector and private philanthropy which assess how open each entity is in regards to its operations.

In our conversation, Gary Forster explains why transparency in aid is so important and identifies some of entities that rank highest and lowest on the aid transparency index.  The data compiled by Publish What You Fund also offers a very good birds-eye view of aid and development spending, so we also discuss some of the broad trends that he has seen in recent years among donors. This includes the impact of COVID-19 on foreign aid and development assistance.

Get the podcast to listen later Apple Podcasts  | Google PodcastsSpotify  |  Stitcher  | Radio Public

The post Why Foreign Aid and Global Development Donors Should Publish What They Fund appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Failing grades

D+C - 27. Juli 2020 - 13:54
Education in Brazil suffers from low funding and insufficient appreciation for teachers

Much of the protest focused on his proposals to cut university funding by 30% and block new scholarships for master’s degree and doctoral candidates. But the controversy over those specific proposals masked a far bigger problem: the dire state of Brazil’s primary and secondary schools and the implications of that for the country’s future development.

Brazil has been cutting its education spending for years. According to a technical bulletin from the nation’s Chamber of Deputies, overall spending on education fell by 56% between 2014 and 2018, from 11.3 billion Brazilian reals (about € 2 billion) to 4.9 billion reals (about € 900 million). Inflation-adjusted spending declined at all levels of education – primary, secondary, tertiary and technical.

The impact of those cuts is felt most in primary and secondary education, where the nation’s human capital is first formed and developed. Here, Brazil receives failing grades: Its spending per student is well below the average of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a forum of 36 nations with market economies.

The OECD’s “Education at a Glance” report for 2019 finds that problems in Brazil’s education system start early, at the pre-school level. Only 23% of eligible Brazilian children under the age of three are enrolled in early childhood education programmes, well below the OECD average of 36%. This low rate sets a pattern in motion that impedes children’s educational attainment for years to come.

Teachers also fare poorly in Brazil’s education system. Average salaries for Brazilian teachers are lower than in most OECD countries in purchasing power parity terms. Teachers earn at least 13% less on average than do Brazil’s other college graduates. The OECD reports that Brazil’s high school teachers are the worst paid among the 40 OECD and partner countries it surveyed.

In particular, the maximum average annual salary for teachers in Brazil was equivalent to $ 24,100, compared to $ 45,900 in surrounding countries, according to a report by the Borgen Project, a US campaign focused on global poverty, citing 2018 OECD figures.

Many teachers work at two jobs to make ends meet. “Our profession is very devalued and forgotten by the government,” says Márcia da Conceição, 33, a teacher for 11 years. She teaches a total of 44 hours per week at two different schools, including a rural school that lacks basic sanitation and is reachable by a bus that runs only once per hour. She earns a total of about € 470 per month.

For teachers, low pay is just the start of the difficulties. Violence in schools has become commonplace and the problem is not being addressed. Some teachers work without health insurance. Some even buy supplies for their students because the schools do not provide them.

“With funding being reduced, the condition of the schools is terrible,” says Denize Alvarenga, who has been a teacher for 31 years. “Today a new entrant makes less than the minimum wage, the equivalent of around € 230 per month. It’s a difficult profession with a very low salary, and it has gotten worse over time.”


OECD, 2019: Education at a glance.

The Borgen Project:

Thuany Rodrigues is a journalist in Brazil.


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