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2009 International Aid & Trade / Aid & International Development Forum

International Aid & Trade has been re-branded as the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), incorporating both humanitarian aid and international development solutions


REVIEW Building Partnerships for Relief and Development

22-23 July 2010 Building Partnerships for Relief and Development Walter E. Washington Convention Centre, Washington D.C., USA

Aid & International Development Forum Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C. - 22-23 July 2010

The global event for the humanitarian marketplace International Aid & Trade has been re-branded as the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), building on the success of the 2009 event and incorporating both humanitarian aid and international development solutions:

Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, Chief of Policy and Development Branch, UN OCHA

Congratulations on an excellent conference. I, for one, probably had the most productive conference in my professional career. Steven N Wray, President, Restore Global, Inc.

John Schafer, Security Coordinator, InterAction.

It is the first time I have been to Aid & Trade. I find it really high value especially for all of the NGOs that I work with at InterAction. The most useful thing is the ability to network with other security and logistics professionals that I deal with.

I am surrounded here by a lot of private sector entrepreneurs with fantastic new innovations. This brings together very practical solutions with the policy and the politics and those different communities, and that is why we will definitely stay engaged in this.

As first time exhibitors, we have been thoroughly impressed with the variety of attendees at the International Aid & Trade show. From the abundance of NGOs to the unique exhibitors, we feel we’ve gained incredibly valuable contacts that will lead to new and exciting opportunities to assist in important efforts worldwide.

Tammi Pederson, Life+Gear

The Aid & International Development Forum: 100 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BP, UK | (t) +44 (0) 20 7871 0188 | (f) +44(0) 20 7871 0101 | (e)

AIDF House Ad_FP.indd 1

02/10/2009 16:24:50


Welcome to the 2009 International Aid & Trade Review. Seeds of change, growth and development Publisher Andy Semple Editorial Sula Bruce Diva Rodriguez Kiran Toor Síle mc mahon Emma Hughes Sales & Marketing Nick Bond Shantal Chapman Bharat Joshi Anthony michael Production Tina Davidian Design Andy Crisp Printing Ghyllprint Ltd. Published by: Green media 2nd Floor Trans-World House 100 City Road London, EC1Y 2Bp united Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)207 871 0188 Fax: +44 (0)207 871 0101 Email: Website: 4th Edition: ISBN: 978-0-9563722-1-5 The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright, full details of which are available from the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior permission of the copyright owner. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this book, the publisher will accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions, or for any loss or damage, consequential or otherwise, suffered as a result of any material here published. The opinions expressed in the enclosed editorial are the sole responsibility of the authors and organisations concerned and not those of the publisher. Neither Aid and Trade Limited nor its Agents accept liability in whole or in part howsoever arising for the contents of the editorial published herein.

Welcome to the 2009 International Aid & Trade Review. This publication looks at the global humanitarian situation for 2009 and provides insight into many of the sessions that took place at International Aid & Trade 2009 in Washington D.C. at the beginning of July. Following this year’s event, we have been concentrating on taking the event and the organization forward into the next decade. July marked the last event under the Aid & Trade event banner as we broaden our scope to cover international development above and beyond issues of humanitarian relief and global aid. The intention is to create a must-do event for the humanitarian sector and to provide a unique, unrivalled environment for information and knowledge exchange. The key element within this is re-branding the event, which will now be known as the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF). Washington D.C. will again host the re-branded event, this time at the Washington Convention Center on the 22-23 of July, 2010. The purpose of the repositioning is to expand the capacity of the event – and the range of organizations involved – to reflect that a greater proportion of funding now goes into development projects across the globe. The scope of the event will also be wider, although it will retain the exhibition and discussion workshop components that are regarded as its strengths. plans are being developed to incorporate a range of parallel activities with an experiential element, engaging a number of other partner organizations in the process. Overall, this will attract a larger, broader audience and ensure that every participant is enthused, informed and engaged by the visiting experience. Globally, as you will see within the following articles, development is a priority as we near 2010 and the promises made in 2005 as a compact for Africa expire. The promise on the part of European leaders to


increase overseas development assistance to 0.7 percent of gross national income is due in 2015, as is the achievement of the millennium Development Goals. At the same time, with widespread under-funding of aid projects, there is an acute call for response and relief to be effective, efficient and constructive. This has strengthened arguments for local engagement and empowerment, specifically in Africa and for a move towards supporting sustainable economic development as opposed to aid. In light of this and the inauguration of the Obama Administration, significant attention is being given to modernizing, rationalizing and reforming overseas development assistance.

“The true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by – it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.” President Barack Obama

The articles within this publication provide food for thought and go some way towards developing a greater understanding across the sectors. 2009 has been an exciting year for International Aid & Trade and we look forward to introducing the Aid & International Development Forum in 2010. As always, we welcome your feedback, so please do get in touch. Further information is available from We look forward to seeing you in Washington D.C. on the 22-23 of July, 2010!

The Aid & Trade team… soon to be the Aid & International Development Forum team! 1


“Any organization sending material to developing countries is at risk of corruption n the supply chain.”

“Tell us about the product. When we see a product or technology out there, we do our best to buy the latest. We only work with responsible companies.”

Jamie Drummond ONE – p6

Marie Luise Ahlendorf Global Programmes Department, Transparency International – p30

John Abood, Team Leader/Contracting Officer, Transportation Division, Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OFDA), US Agency for International Development (USAID) – p33







“It is in the interests of those sincerely committed to development to have a better collective accountability system for promise-making and keeping.”





Boundedly rational decisions: rules-of-thumb, biased results and wrong lessons learned Paulo Gonçalves, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Lugano


Maximizing resources, partnering for financial survival and growth Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter

Procurement & Logistics 5

Strengthening the campaign for development through to 2015 Jamie Drummond, Executive Director and Co-founder, ONE

Finance 18


Linking disaster relief with longterm development Workshop Report by Vaishali Honawar 21 Aid Policy




Changes to aid and aid reform under the Obama Administration Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter Rationalizing foreign aid and trade policy for development Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter


Financing in an economic downturn: effective raising and use of funds Workshop Report by Deborah Brody Responding to the crisis: partnerships and earned income for non-profits and NGOs Charley Ansbach, Managing Partner, Skystone Ryan The last frontier: bringing financial services to Africa’s poor Dr Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA and Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of CARE International UK


Responsible, ethical purchasing and supply chain management Workshop Report by Deborah Brody


Working with the UN – WFP Field & Emergency Support Office (FESO) Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter


How to work with USAID and OFDA Workshop Report by Vaishali Honawar


How to work with non-profit procurement officers Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter


Logistics management, prepositioning and stockpiling Workshop Report by Deborah Brody


“Employee motivation is a continual challenge, where falling back could mean the death of the organization.”

“To pay a bribe is sending a message to everyone, worldwide, that an organization is amenable to the idea of being bought.”

Jonathon Potter, People In Aid – p59

Doug Jackson President, Project C.U.R.E – p63

“Are you prepared to evacuate staff? Are members of your staff medically, physically and psychologically compatible to the assignment? Have you considered cultural compatibility?” Maggie Burke, Director Management Services, Africare – p69







Humanitarian Tools 74


Funding structures in humanitarian organizations: what is their impact on humanitarian fleet management? Orla Stapleton, Research Associate HRG Alfonso pedraza martinez, INSEAD phD Candidate Rob mcConnell, INSEAD HRG Executive in Residence Luk N. van Wassenhove, Academic Director INSEAD Social Innovation Centre



Legal barriers to aid provision, including customs, visa and immigration Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter


Learning to love fleet management Barry Coleman, Executive Director, Riders for Health


Insurance issues – benefits and potential concerns of establishing a global insurance program Workshop Report by Deborah Brody


Transport – an enabler of development Natalie Teperdjian, marketing & Communications Consultant, Fleet Forum


Putting people at the center: responses for the challenges of managing people in our sector Jonathan potter, Executive Director, people In Aid

Health 77

Security of aid workers and aid provision in hostile environments Workshop Report by Deborah Brody


Harnessing the private sector: the private sector’s role in making stability operations more effective J. J. messner, Director of IpOA

Effective transport systems Workshop Report by vaishali Honawar


Access to medicines and healthcare Workshop Report by Deborah Brody



Shelter in transition: past, present, future Dr Tom Corsellis, Executive Director and co-founder of Shelter Centre


Shelter and infrastructure provision Workshop Report by vaishali Honawar

Security 67

Cohesion and the role of the military in humanitarian assistance Workshop Report by vaishali Honawar



“During large-scale disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, it would not be possible for the humanitarian community to function successfully without the military’s help.”

“While there are many systems that purify and filter muddy water, there are not many simple systems that desalinate.” Mirco Richardson Mage Industrie AG (Watercone) – p95

“The number of people going hungry has risen from 850 million to 1 billion in a single year, as a result of high food prices and the global economic downturn.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – p99

Michael Marx Chief, Civil-Military Coordination Section, UN OCHA, COL – p75






Advertisers’ Index 96


‘Without energy, poverty is like a dog chasing its tail’ Jane Eason, Press & Media Officer, Practical Action

The silent crisis – why we need a global framework for action on water and sanitation Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid

Page No. 78 73



ICT 99 88

System satellite, wireless & “the digital community” Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter

The food crisis and aid issues Workshop Report by Vaishali Honawar

64 43 46

Environment 90


GIS: an innovative approach to land tenure and poverty reduction Workshop Report by Carlette N. Ritter

20 101

Disaster communications – advance warning and emergency alert systems Workshop Report by Vaishali Honawar

Reducing risk and vulnerability – our collective environmental responsibility Workshop Report by Deborah Brody

52 56 87 55


71 Water



Water supply and management Workshop Report by Vaishali Honawar


The role of the media in relief and development Workshop Report by Deborah Brody

68 76

Name and web address 3B Scientific 3d-Radar AS Active Engineering, LLC Clements International Fair & Easy Co., Ltd. Global Fleet Sales International Global Currencies (InTL) IVEMA (Pty) Ltd. Kjaer Group A/S Lind Electronics, Inc. On Course Consultancy Ltd. redr Triple Canopy, Inc. Vestergaard Frandsen S.A.


Strengthening the campaign for development through to 2015 Jamie Drummond, Executive Director and Co-founder, ONE

ONE volunteers campaigning in Toronto.


ust as the international development community has recently come under attack as it strives to ensure the effective delivery of past promises by the leaders of developed and developing nations, so the creation of a new generation of development pledges could be a great opportunity to build on successes and learn from failures, revive the drive to beat poverty, achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, and more. In recent years, smarter approaches to international development have helped to drive some real progress: 34 million more children have been through school since 1999; four million more have been placed on antiretrovirals – more than three million of these in Africa; and millions more have been protected from or treated for malaria. There have also been significant reductions in infant mortality and major progress in beating back specific infectious diseases such as polio and measles. Further, many of the countries that recently posted such strong economic growth have also benefitted from significant debt cancellation and increases in smarter aid, though these were by no means the sole cause of economic improvements. These successes are not sufficiently known to either development professionals or, more importantly, the wider public or policy makers. However, there are still too many failures or, perhaps, too many projects and programs for which it is not clear whether they are failures or not. To this

end, the recent spate of criticism from Wrong, Hubbard, Glennie, moyo, or Easterly, though some are poorly informed and factually challenged, are helpful in forcing the community once again to put transparency and accountability at the heart of the agenda. And I hope they will also spark further efforts towards efficiency and focus. This piece will look briefly at the recent record of development partners in making and keeping development promises; critically assess the politics of promise-making and propose some improvements to the process; as well as suggest some possible new partners, leaders, and paths forward to re-energize the drive for development, especially in the African context, between 2010 and 2015.

Promises and the health of the development partnership The millennium Development Goals (mDGs) launched in 2000 are still a useful framework to structure development policy and advocacy, and to mitigate against politically driven “initiative-itis” or zero-sum pledges which “rob peter to pay paul.” It is important to remember this in the challenging years ahead, when targeted initiatives may feel politically expedient but come at a cost to the overall development drive. In 2005 the Gleneagles communiqué, though not yet perfect, embodied a set of holistic promises by the G8 covering most of the millennium Development Goals, with a specific focus on African development and democracy. Through the annual



Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr


Kuala Ligan villagers erecting a new market using communal labour, known as ‘gotong royong’.

DATA report, we at ONE have been monitoring the delivery of these promises, particularly on development assistance levels for sub-Saharan Africa, which were promised to increase by $25 billion in 2010 over 2005 levels. This last year was the most informative yet. One group of countries is either meeting or exceeding their relatively modest promises: Canada, Japan and the USA. Another group is striving valiantly to meet far more ambitious promises: Germany and especially the UK, who have now set a clear and accountable plan to reach Official Development Assistance (ODA) levels of 0.7 percent of their Global Network Initiative (GNI) by 2012 despite recessionary pressures. But another pairing is far worse: France has barely increased its development aid since 2005 and, in a shockingly poor effort, Italy currently plans to cut below its meagre 2005 levels. The G8 may deliver between one half and two-thirds of their promise by 2010 but almost the entire shortfall will come from just Italy and France. As criticism of the G8 mounts, it is the poverty of these two nations’ performance that must be kept uppermost in the minds of critics.

“It is in the interests of those sincerely committed to development to have a better collective accountability system for promise-making and keeping.” Keeping aid quantity and quality promises are still important to development. These have never been the only driver – improving policies and governance are more important. Furthermore, the G8 also made promises on trade which they themselves have completely failed to deliver. 6

Especially in the absence of progress on trade, aid increases of an improving quality are essential if the MDGs are to be achievable, particularly given the recent global recession and the growing threat of climate change. Indeed if, in the context of threats to development caused by the developed industrialized world (climate change and the recession) development promises are not kept, then a growing sense of injustice and a global breakdown of trust would be fully justified. In the context of modern global challenges, this global trust is needed now more than ever. To this end, keeping our promises is a small price to pay.

Charter for a good promise One way to renew faith in global policy makers is for them to acknowledge the weaknesses of the past commitments and agree a clear and accountable framework for making and keeping promises. This challenge was recently exemplified by the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative. ONE and other groups had been campaigning for a multi-billion, multi-annual, multi-lateral initiative that would direct increased resources towards improved policies to boost agricultural productivity in developing regions such as Africa. In good time, the Obama administration announced an increase in resources and a considerably improved policy framework. They then laudably tried to multilateralize this initiative and encourage others to do more. The rest of the groups largely obliged by re-stating their current levels of aid to agriculture and multiplying these numbers by three, securing their provision of aid over the next three years. This resulted in a $15 billion initiative by the G8. While this sounds like a lot, the only new money seemed to be from the USA, with possible increments from the UK. Then, at the last minute, a miraculous further $5 billion was found to bring the total initiative to $20 billion. But this sum

Development Photo: jsbarrie/Flickr

These suggestions may seem obvious but it is remarkable the degree to which compound multi-annual multi-billion sums get launched into a media unfamiliar with the source data, thereby leaving the public, the media and commentators scratching their heads. Specifically on agriculture we hope there will be greater clarity at the World Food Summit in November.

A guiding framework for 2010 to 2015 Through ONE’s DATA report, we have been trying to clarify baselines, additionality and annual increments by the G8 for each of 2005-2009. But the promises made in 2005 as a compact for Africa expire in 2010. European leaders’ promise to increase ODA levels to reach 0.7 percent of their GNI and the collective package that is the millennium Development Goals are both due in 2015. The Gleneagles framework has, for the last 4 years, directed the international community’s support and specifically focused the delivery of aid increases around the collective project of helping African nations achieve the millennium Development Goals. So the expiration of this framework in 2010 presents a real challenge and opportunity for policymakers to create a new guiding framework for the period 2010 to 2015.

There have been indications that interest will shift from Africa to Latin America, and that aid levels will not be so robust going forward.

was simply due to the addition of non-G8 OECD donors to the package with their existing aid levels for agriculture. To great fanfare, the G8 announced a $20 billion initiative, but with perhaps only a few billion of this over three years being new money and the vast majority of it flowing from the uSA. In the media, this caused confusion and skepticism. NGOs reacted lukewarmly and the new leadership of America perhaps didn’t receive the applause their individual effort deserved. It is in the interests of those sincerely committed to development to have a better collective accountability system for promise-making and keeping. The next time the G8 or G20 or some other illustrious group of world leaders announce a laudable additional program to tackle a key development challenge – within the context of the overall drive for development – it would be helpful if each individual nation clearly stated and adhered to the following standards: • The baseline: the highlighted budget line item within its overall development portfolio, showing the base level number and the base level of other development priorities;

“The Commission for Africa was a positive process, but insufficiently African.” A new process and some new partners, some old partners The process by which any new framework is constructed is critically important. The Commission for Africa was a positive process, but insufficiently African. This time around, African intellectuals, corporate faith and youth leaders, as well as democratically elected politicians need to lead the process more than in the past. As these leaders step up to lead a process, it is also important that the nations in the international community who can offer special political leadership do so. • president Obama has many political challenges but if he can lend his weight to the process that would be the best boost possible. His speeches in Accra and recently New York were excellent and underlined the importance of putting governance at the center of the compact. • This new process should also help bring in other emerging development partners, such as China, India, Brazil, and the Gulf states.

• Increases going forward and additionality: for each year of the initiative going forward, the promise-maker should clearly indicate the increase over the baseline and also show levels for other development line items to indicate whether these are decreasing, which would indicate whether or not the flows are additional; and

• Europe must also continue to play a leadership role, as it is still European promises that comprise the bulk of promised flows to Africa. The good news is that Spain hosts the presidency in the first half of 2010 and has a good record recently on development, and Zapatero is personally engaged. Furthermore, as the European nation closest to Africa, Spanish citizens are closer to the challenges and opportunities of Europe’s massive continental neighbor.

• All new initiatives should have a clear timeline and a clear statement of outcomes and goals it is intending to achieve.

• The next key partner in a new process is the G8 and G20 host, Canada. Though much ink has been applied to the



Development Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr

Above all, the framework can be based more in the concerns and wishes of everyday African citizens. At the launch of ONE’s annual DATA report this year, our International Patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu called for a new drive for African development and democracy to be based in “what Africans want.” Improved polling of citizens across the continent would be a real boost to better direct development efforts as well as encourage better information for markets. Greater investments into grassroots citizens accountability movements such as Twaweza in East Africa and African Monitor in Southern Africa, as well as boosting investments into African social science research institutes, think tanks, and public interest advocacy groups and the media would all help build demand for good governance, as investments in core government capacity should help build the supply. In a similar vein, efforts like the Extractive and Construction Industries Transparency Initiatives and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative will help both weed out corruption and deal with its consequences. Africa needs a global development partnership to help spur its economic development.

demise of the G8, this sub-group still remains a key collection of major donors. It is evolving but, with whatever permutation of players visits Ottawa in June 2010, the host nation has an important role to play. The host has sent mixed messages. Canada has increased aid robustly and now exceeds the modest levels they promised in Gleneagles and before. Furthermore they have moved to improve aid quality. Both moves are very welcome. But there have been indications that interest will shift from Africa to Latin America, and that aid levels may not be so robust going forward. This would be a missed opportunity for Canada. Canada should be congratulated for recent progress and encouraged to help hold others to account for their promises, and to exhort further progress going forward in 2010. • South Korea technically hosts the G20 later in 2010 and, with its new internationalist perspective (evidenced by a foreign minister now running the UN) and increasing aid levels, South Korea could be a helpful leader. The ultimate goal is not necessarily some big new topdown push. But it should accept that Africa needs a global development partnership to help spur its economic development, and that the contributions of the international community will be more efficiently managed and focused if there is an agreed overall framework through which to structure this support. It will undoubtedly underline the importance of governance, of rule of law, and of attracting inward and international investment flows and encouraging private enterprise. Domestic and external public sector flows will be critical, and must increase, if growth and poverty reduction are to be accelerated, and progress in health and education to be built upon. A renewed focus on agriculture and rural development, which learns from the mistakes of the past, is the most welcome recent development. Crucial also will be how the process may direct African advocacy around a new global climate change deal, where there are great threats but also potential opportunities for Africa. 8

A new drive for African democracy and development can contain these elements to ensure that the voices and concerns of African citizens drive their own development and direct the international community’s support appropriately through from 2010 to 2015 and the Millennium Development Goals.

About the author Jamie Drummond is Executive Director of ONE. He cofounded the advocacy organization DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa) with Bono, Bobby Shriver, and others in 2002 and ONE in 2004. The two entities merged in 2008 under the name ONE. Drummond and his partners have helped persuade the Bush Administration and bipartisan leadership in the US Congress to launch a series of initiatives for Africa including the Millennium Challenge Account, the President’s Emergency AIDS initiative, the Malaria Initiative, Multilateral Debt Relief, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Jamie was formerly global strategist for Jubilee 2000 “drop the debt” and, prior to that, worked at Christian Aid. He has travelled widely in Africa and Asia and has a Masters in Development from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2007, Jamie was elected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

About the organization ONE is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization backed by more than two million people who are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Co-founded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with policy experts, African leaders, and anti-poverty activists to mobilize public opinion in support of tested and proven methods for tackling poverty through both grassroots mobilization and high-level engagement.

Enquiries Jamie Drummond 151 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 8WE United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 74 34 75 50 Fax: +44 (0)20 74 34 75 51 Email: Website:


Workshop Report Speakers

Linking disaster relief with long-term development

Moderator: Brian Hanrahan

Christine Fowles Regional Program Director, US African Development Foundation (USADF)

Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By vaishali Honawar


he process of identifying communities in need of economic development, targeting aid to those who most need it, and addressing the challenges faced by funders in a troubled economy were among the topics discussed at a workshop on “Linking Disaster Relief with Long-Term Development.” Christine Fowles, regional program director for Burundi, Rwanda and uganda at the African Development Foundation (ADF), said her foundation has been working with grassroots groups in Africa to help some of the most marginalized people on that continent. The ADF is an independent uS federal agency that was established in 1980 and funded by the uS congress. It is designed to support solutions designed and driven locally in Africa

to address grassroots economic and social problems. It now operates in 20 African countries, giving out grants that range from $50,000 to $250,000 directly to under-served and marginalized community groups and enterprises. The grants help organizations create tangible benefits such as increasing or sustaining the number of jobs in a community, improving income levels, and addressing social development needs. So far, the agency has invested more than $200 million in development projects initiated, designed and managed by Africans.

Hansjoerg Strohmeyer Chief of Policy and Development Branch, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) W. Stacy Rhodes Managing Director for Compact Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Graham Saunders Head of Shelter, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The ADF, ms. Fowles said, focuses on high effectiveness and low overhead. Applicant organizations have to be 100 percent African-owned and managed, she said, and they must have a track record and show the potential to productively utilize development funds.

Photo: WFP

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

When drought strikes, as it has in Kenya and other parts of Eastern Africa, school feeding programmes can help ensure that children’s nutrition and education aren’t interrupted by the crisis.


9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report

“The key is ownership: ownership of an idea, possible solutions, ownership of production, of overall management and funds.” “We believe in a bottom-up approach,” said Ms. Fowles who described the ADF as a “small player in development,” and in letting the locals in a disasterhit area “be actors in their own development.” “The key is ownership: ownership of an idea, possible solutions, ownership of production, of overall management and funds,” she added. “The idea is not for us to go in and say: ‘you need to do this or that’.”

© Development Alternatives Group

For example, in Uganda, which had suffered 20 years of armed conflict, the ADF worked to move communities back into economic development. Internally displaced persons’ camps enabled the government of Uganda to protect people and deny the rebels a source of child soldiers. Uganda has a large number of women-headed households and the ADF had worked with local groups to help them, Ms. Fowles said.

Uganda has a large number of women-headed households and the ADF has worked with local groups to help them.



Unlike aid groups which respond immediately after a disaster, the ADF, Ms. Fowles said, tends to come into a community between one and one and a half years after a calamity. “We tend to come in after people have found their feet, and assist with economic development.”

Some initiatives of the IFRC are severely under-funded, which makes it important that every penny reaches those who most need it.

A majority of IDPs lost their homes, property and animals during the armed conflict, and there is a lack of economic opportunities for vulnerable populations, Ms. Fowles said. She added that large numbers of people have been dependent on humanitarian assistance for daily needs.

“Humanitarianism is not pure altruism. It runs on funding.” Ms. Fowles also put forward the example of a local NGO, CEASOP (Collaborative Efforts to Alleviate Social Problems), which has been working in Northern Uganda to support vulnerable families, particularly women and youths, and to resettle them in their home villages and get a new start on life. CEASOP’s methodology is to form self-help groups of 20 people each that in turn form cluster associations and eventually an independent federation. ADF will support with grants 106 of the 167 self-help groups organized by CEASOP, to engage in one of five income-generating activities: goat, pig and poultry raising, and ginger and sunflower production. $200,000 in funding from ADF will be used to purchase goats, chicken and pigs; acquire oxens, carts and ploughs; purchase computers and accessories; and hire essential

technical staff for the project, among other needs. One speaker at the workshop discussed the funding challenges faced in the current economic climate. Graham Saunders, the Head of Shelter for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said that given the state of the economy, some initiatives of the IFRC are severely under-funded, which makes it important that every penny reaches those who most need it. “We can no longer justify large-scale expenditures. We need to ensure that the initial response goes to the most affected households,” Mr. Saunders said. Mr. Saunders added that humanitarianism is not pure altruism. “It runs on funding”. Over the last few years, he said, the nature of funding, the nature of government and the nature of disaster have all changed. “How we do business has to be reconsidered,” he said. The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and it carries out operations to aid victims of disasters alongside development work in these countries. W. Stacy Rhodes, Managing Director for Compact Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), explained how countries qualify for the five-year grants given by MCC to eligible countries for programs targeted to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. The MCC is a United States Government corporation.

Workshop Report

Changes to aid and aid reform under the Obama Administration Friday, July 10, 2009, International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


nder President Barack Obama’s administration, a smarter approach to US foreign policy is beginning in the hope of restoring some of America’s reputation in the eyes of foreign governments. Economic crisis, terrorism, climate change, poverty and diseases must be approached with fresh, new, innovative technology and ideology unlike methods that worked in centuries past. US leadership must be energetic, unyielding, modernized and strengthened, and not solely dependent upon military superiority or economic power but also upon the people’s morals and promises to help those less fortunate to improve their lives, economies, societies and communities. According to George Ingram, co-chair of the modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (mFAN), the core principles for modernizing uS foreign assistance includes: elevating global development as a national interest; aligning foreign assistance policies; rebuilding and rationalizing organizational structures; committing sufficient and flexible resources with accountability for results; and partnering with others to produce results. Additionally, he adds, priority actions for modernizing uS foreign assistance includes the following: developing a national strategy for global development; reaching a “grand bargain” between the executive branch and congress on management authorities in order to plan, design and

enact a new Foreign Assistance Act; streamlining the organizational structure and improving organizational capacity by creating a cabinet-level department for global development; and increasing funding for and accountability of foreign assistance.

Speakers Moderator: Lindsay Coates, VP, Policy and Communications and Director of Advocacy, InterAction Michael F. Walsh, Director of Programs for Finance, Grants and Contracts, InsideNGO Bill O’Keefe, Senior Director for Advocacy, Catholic Relief Services George M. Ingram, Co-chair, Network Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN)

most Americans indicate they want to help other people who are less fortunate in a far more positive way than has been portrayed in the past. During these hard economic times, Americans have also come to recognize and understand worsening global poverty based on their own increasing experiences with unemployment, under-employment, homelessness and lack of food. One billion people live on less than $1 per day and there is a long way to go to conquer the world’s poverty.

“poverty anywhere threatens prosperity everywhere.” The current administration under president Obama suggests that investments in healthcare, education, job creation, infrastructure and other essential services that generate economic growth will benefit Americans in the future as well. According to mFAN, poverty anywhere threatens prosperity everywhere; therefore foreign assistance is a positive and productive way to restore America’s global leadership and to realize long-term uS policy goals.


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


There seems to be a unanimous agreement among most people that current US foreign policy needs to be drastically reformed. The difference of opinion arises regarding how to go about it. Many in congress support the notion that the US should be more effective in fighting extreme poverty, pandemic disease and food insecurity because becoming involved in these global issues is the correct moral response. However, these issues are often put on the back burner and forgotten as other more bureaucratic and competitive heavy-weight policies vie for attention in Washington, DC Foreign aid programs can sometimes get caught in powerhouse struggles between the President’s Office (executive branch) and congress. When that happens, they can be so heavily scrutinized that necessary funding gets lost in the process, leaving the underprivileged without muchneeded assistance. According to experts, policies for US foreign assistance which were created in the late half of the 20th century have brought more chaos than clarity t o a s ystem that is out-of-date, and totally unable to manage the problems of today. A new Foreign Assistance Act that consolidates the management authorities and legislative oversight must not only be created but must be implemented as well. The current Foreign Assistance Act, which was enacted over 45 years ago under the Kennedy administration, states: No assistance will be provided to a government which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country. In 2004, the Act was amended to address, specifically, the treatment of orphans and vulnerable children. The amendment enables the president to authorize aid to other countries



Workshop Report

Seaman Mark McCaw of the ship USS Kearsarge, carries food supplies to shore during disaster relief support to areas affected by recent hurricanes.

for the sake of children infected with HIV/AIDS and to build and establish schools, nutrition programs and other programs to benefit and illustrate the advancement of the treatment of children. But even that is not enough, according to some. There should be other amendments that will give the president the power and authorization to provide aid and assistance in other ways to a larger demographic. To achieve the goal of enhanced major foreign policy and global development, the United States must make a strong commitment to allocate sufficient resources, which include monies for programs and investments for redevelopment, including training staff and personnel, as well as infrastructure, technology and support. One nation or one government alone cannot fight the problems that the world faces today (no matter how powerful or sovereign). To conquer disease, poverty, terrorism and climate change, nations must work together, cooperatively sharing resources. Through unification, we are able to multiply our strengths, narrow our weaknesses, spread our risks and vulnerabilities thinly and share our victories. According to MFAN, the new administration under President Barack Obama should strive hard to work amicably with the US congress to reach an agreement on a new, stronger, better Foreign Assistance Act which will outline the objectives of the US foreign assistance programs; consolidate decision making; and implement functions into a single institutional entity.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) hope that President Obama will continue to focus attention on Africa as he promised to do during his campaign for the presidency. Secretary Hillary Clinton’s trip to seven African countries in 11 days is a step in the right direction. The Secretary’s visit came on the heels of President Obama’s trip to Ghana, another positive sign that Africa may still get the aid attention it deserves. CRS are hopeful that President Obama will renew funds in the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief ( PEPFAR) – which was created by George W Bush as a threeyear, $15 billion program. CRS has been working in Africa for 50 years and in over 30 African countries. In addition, CRS make sure that aid, including funding dollars, is spent effectively not only for and during emergencies and disasters, but also in nurturing good governance, self reliance and economic independence. Lindsay Coates, VP of Policy and Communications and Director of Advocacy at Interaction, says that her organization believes that President Obama’s 2010 budget is a smart investment in humanitarian and development programs, and that they are looking forward to working with the President and Congress to make the budget a reality. According to InterAction, the Obama administration has been true to its word, moving toward a more efficient use of tax dollars for humanitarian aid which will, inevitably, lead to more lives being saved.

Workshop Report

Rationalizing foreign aid and trade policy for development Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


ince the 1950s, the ideology regarding trade policy and economic development has changed drastically. It has always been understood that trade policy was key as a foundation for overall economic development. However, back in the 1950s, there was mutual and general consensus that import substitution should be the basis for trade policy for development; meaning incentives should provide some means of protection regarding domestic production of imported goods destined to the satisfaction of the domestic market. The belief was that manufacturers of imports would translate to industrialization, essentially providing a steady path to development.


Today, the view is quite different. The growth prospects for foreign countries is significantly improved,

Standard refugee blanket, very popular in the African and South American continents.

primarily through the exchange rate for production between competing imported and exported goods. If the united States, as a people, hope to contribute to assisting the world and delivering aid, foreign governments must be more streamlined and effective. The u.S. should concentrate on nurturing and strengthening the relationships between citizens and governments in poverty-stricken countries. Whenever the united States enacts new foreign policy or changes it, it should be done in a manner that puts citizens and their countries solely in charge of their own development. Congressional leaders should strive to reach a unanimous conclusion, which both addresses and is applicable to the issues of today, outlining specific objectives of foreign assistance. There should be a consolidated development decision-making process and an implementation of functions into an independent agency, clarification and coordination with other agencies, and a reduction of political and bureaucratic constraints that have hindered the effectiveness of foreign assistance in the past. There are five major categories of foreign assistance: bilateral development aid, economic assistance supporting u.S. political and security goals, humanitarian aid, multilateral economic contributions, and military aid. Because of the millennium Challenge Corporation and the HIv/ AIDS Initiative, bilateral development assistance has become the largest category of u.S. aid.


Speakers Moderator: Emily Byers Director of Policy, Initiative for Global Development Katrin Kuhlmann President, Trade, Aid and Security Coalition

Laura Baughman President, The Trade Partnership

Sabina Dewan Associate Director of International Economic Policy, American Progress

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Bilateral development assistance has become the largest category of U.S. aid.

Approximately 154 countries received foreign assistance in some form or other from the United States in FY2008. Since the 1970s, Israel and Egypt have continued to maintain their top positions as recipients of foreign aid. However, redevelopment and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed both countries near the top of the list as well and because Pakistan and Jordan are predominant allies in the war against terrorism, they have also benefited from foreign aid from the United States. Also near the top of the recipients list are a number of African countries and an HIV/AIDS initiative with a hefty price tag. HIV/AIDS funding and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan can be identified specifically as three areas directly responsible for the increase in need of foreign assistance after the all-time lows seen during the past several decades. Foreign aid objectives include: decreasing poverty, stimulating economic growth; increasing basic health care, adequate education and training; protecting human rights, the environment; strengthening allies while eliminating drug trafficking and weapons proliferation. The Cold War was very helpful in sustaining the need for aid programs. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, foreign aid programs lost visibility on the global scale as more attention was suddenly focused on reconstructing Eastern Europe, republics of the former Soviet Union and peace initiatives in the Middle East. In the 1990s foreign aid budgets got lost in the global shuffle and were decreased significantly. The war on terrorism has revitalized attention to foreign aid as nations struggle to understand the need for global partnerships in areas such 14

as Afghanistan and Iraq as global development, along with defense and diplomacy serve as key elements of U.S. national security. According to Sabina Dewan, Associate Director of International Economic Policy, American Progress, there are currently four leading issues at the forefront of national debate. They are: restoring America’s global leadership to make America more secure and build a better world; seizing the energy opportunity to create a clean, innovation-led economy that supports a sustainable environment; creating progressive growth that’s robust and widely shared, and restoring economic opportunity for all; delivering universal health care so that quality, affordable health services are available to all Americans. Many other think tanks agree.

“The true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by – it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.” President Barack Obama

Katrin Kuhlmann, President of the Trade, Aid and Security Coalition (TASC), says that TASC works with a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure that U.S. trade and international economic policies stimulate growth and poverty reduction in the poorest countries and believes that collaboration with diverse allies is essential to long-term progress.

Opening dialogue, building trust, speaking for the under-privileged who cannot speak for themselves, developing training and enhanced technology, are all engaging activities to eliminate global poverty. Foreign aid was left unattended far too long. Now is the time to gain a foothold once again and attack these issues aggressively. President Barack Obama recently stated, “The true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by – it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.” During his meetings in Italy and Ghana, President Obama helped secure a $20 billion commitment from global leaders to strengthen food security and agricultural development. The U.S. pledge included some new money as well as a policy shift to complement ongoing emergency food assistance with longer-term investments in improving agricultural productivity in poor countries. In his post-summit speech to the Ghanaian parliament, President Obama pledged a firm U.S. commitment to work in partnership with Africa and to support those governments that are ruling justly and creating economic opportunity for their people. Another step in the right direction came from Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. In a recent speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary Clinton cited five key strategies the Obama administration will employ in its foreign policy, including elevating development as a pillar of American smart power. Secretary Clinton is committed to seeking more effective solutions that will deliver tangible, lasting results and to create and nurture development partnerships that will help countries stand on their own. ©Flickr/Julien Harneis


Workshop Report

Unloading DFID aid.


Aid Policy

Boundedly rational decisions Rules-of-thumb, biased results and wrong lessons learned paulo Gonçalves, phD, Associate professor, university of Lugano

Converted theatre used for aid distribution.


ow many people need assistance in a disaster affected area? Which and how many items (eg. tents, plastic sheets, water and sanitation kits, etc) should be pre-positioned in a regional depot? How much money should organizations appeal for? These are a sample of important questions in humanitarian relief operations. Correctly answering them may make the difference between an effective relief operation and an ineffective one. It is common to assume that these questions can be answered more precisely once humanitarians with significant field experience have access to the proper information. The common belief behind such assumptions is that field experience allows humanitarians to make the most adequate decisions in the field. While these beliefs are often correct – experienced humanitarians can rely on their knowledge to make better decisions than inexperienced ones – field experience may not be enough to prevent humanitarians from making irrational decisions. A vast body of literature has identified a number of cognitive and informational bounds on human rationality. In addition, recent empirical studies suggest that these bounds lead to behavior that is inconsistent (ie. irrational) with the predictions of rational models in fields as widely varied as economics, finance, accounting, marketing, and operations management. Hence, evidence from judgment and decision theory

suggests that individual decisions for a large fraction of the population (whether they are experienced or not) deviate systematically from rational decisions. These deviations are usually classified in heuristics and biases. Heuristics are rules-of-thumb that people use to make decisions, instead of making fully rational (considering an optimal set of) choices. Biases are deviations in the outcomes of individual decisions. Both heuristics and biases are often identified using (laboratory or field) experiments where participants are asked for their estimates in different treatments. Through careful analysis of participants answers, researchers learn about heuristics and biases used. Examples of possible implications of heuristics and biases for decisions in humanitarian settings are provided below. In the last section, an aspect of experience that may harm (instead of benefit) individual’s decisions is presented.

Heuristic: anchoring and insufficient adjustment In a simple experiment, I ask my mBA students to answer from recollection how many countries there are in Africa. (The correct answer is 53). preceding that question, I usually tell them that I had a nice walk to school and (to one set of students) that the outside temperature was very pleasant at 25 degrees Celsius. To another set of students, I tell them that the outside temperature was very pleasant at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, despite the fact that the outside temperature is completely irrelevant to the correct number of countries in Africa, students that have been exposed to the



Photo: trokilinochchi/Flickr

Aid Policy

TRO Emergency Rescue Team carries a woman to safety.

temperature in Celsius provide answers that are significant lower that the ones provided the temperature in Fahrenheit, on average 30 and 65 respectively. The anchoring and adjustment heuristic is commonly used by individuals when they attempt to estimate facts that they do not know. Several studies show that the estimates are often anchored on environmental or situational factors that are irrelevant. When the individuals adjust their estimates, they usually do so less than what would be necessary. Consider now two examples of operational decisions more relevant to humanitarian relief operations: an ordering decision in a supply chain and a needs assessment decision. In an inventory management example, the anchoring and adjustment heuristic is used to explain participants’ ordering behavior in a four-echelon supply chain game (The Beer Distribution Game). Participants anchor their orders on the demand forecast and adjust them up or down to maintain desired levels of inventory and orders-in-transit. The study found that the anchoring and adjustment heuristic captured participants’ ordering decisions well. It also found that the heuristic lead to systematic supply chain instability, as participants insufficiently adjusted for orders-in-transit. In another example, I asked master students in the humanitarian logistics and management program to estimate the affected population in a massive earthquake that took place in an urban area. I also informed them that the government estimated that 25 percent (or 75 percent) of the structures in this 2 million people city were completely destroyed or severely damaged. The students had to answer three questions: 1. How many people need assistance? 2. How confident are you in your estimate (percentage)? 3. Generate a range for your estimate (minimum and maximum). In both treatments (25 percent and 75 percent of structures damaged), the estimates of people needing assistance were very close to the expected means (500 thousand and 1,500 thousand, respectively). The answers were 475 thousand and 1,679 thousand, respectively. But the answers to the other two questions were more revealing. People in the 25 percent treatment reported a low confidence in their assessments, averaging 40 percent, and generated a broad confidence interval for their estimate, with a minimum of 330 thousand 16

(34 percent below the expected mean) and a maximum of 659 thousand (32 percent above). In contrast, people in the 75 percent treatment reported a high confidence in their estimates (76 percent confident), and accordingly generated a narrow interval for their estimate, with a minimum of 1,190 thousand (21 percent below the expected mean) and a maximum of 1,580 thousand (5 percent above). Since no information had been provided on the accuracy of the estimation, a no response would be appropriate, but experienced humanitarians anchored on the relative size of the impact to generate an estimate for their confidence. Through the above examples, the anchoring and adjustment heuristic cautions us that individuals anchor their estimates on irrelevant information to make important decisions about things they do not know. It is important to be aware of how we may use such heuristic and its potential influence by irrelevant anchors on our decisions.

Bias: loss aversion, the reflection effect and framing A number of studies demonstrate that individuals treat gains and losses differently. Loss aversion suggests that individuals hurt more when experiencing losses than they enjoy when experiencing gains. As a consequence of losses hurting more than gains, humanitarian organizations may maintain ineffective programs because abandoning them may hurt more than the benefit gained from developing a new one. In addition, the reflection effect suggests that individuals make risk-averse decisions when facing gains, but make risk-loving decisions when facing losses. Taken together, loss aversion and the reflection effect suggest that individuals’ decisions can be influenced by the way the problem is presented, also known as framing. Following a classic framing experiment, I asked my humanitarian students to choose between two vaccination programs to deal with a new epidemic that was expected to claim the lives of 600 people. The two vaccination programs were mutually exclusive; using one would eliminate the possibility of using the other. One set of students received the following description (lives saved treatment): Program A: 200 people will be saved Program B: there is a probability of 1/3 of saving 600 people and a probability of 2/3 of not saving anyone The second set of students received the same alternatives framed differently (lives lost treatment): Program C: 400 people will die Program D: there is a probability of 1/3 that no one will die and a probability of 2/3 that 600 people will die It is important to recognize that the two vaccination programs are identical; they are simply described differently. When the vaccination programs were framed in terms of gains (lives saved), 71 percent of the students preferred the risk-averse choice (program A). When asked why they preferred program A, several students suggested that it was better to save 200 people for sure than to risk not saving anyone. When the vaccination programs were framed in terms of losses (lives lost), 89 percent of the students preferred the risky choice (program D). When I asked them why they preferred program D, they told me that they had to take the gamble because

Aid Policy it was unacceptable that 400 people would die for sure. As one student pointed out: “[He] had to do something to try to save them.” In each of the two treatments (lives saved and lost) the two vaccination programs are identical; they are simply described differently. However, the minor difference in description is sufficient to elicit very different systematic responses from experienced practitioners. Humanitarians working in relief operations face life-and-death (gains-and-losses) situations all the time and are constantly faced with similar decisions. In several specific situations, it might be unclear whether a risk-averse or a risk-seeking choice might be best. However, depending on the way individuals perceive (and frame) the problem, they may be systematically more prone to adopt one course of action than another. Limiting the number of options upfront due to framing may lead to ineffective responses. more important, in situations where there may be clear advantages of a risk averse or a risk-seeking option, framing the problem in the proper way could be used to help decision-makers make the appropriate choice.

Learned helplessness Here is how past experience might actually lead to bad outcomes. The term learned helplessness comes from animal psychology and experiments conducted with animals. However, it also applies to human beings. It describes a condition where individuals learn to feel helpless and powerless over a situation. To exemplify the problem, I asked my humanitarian students to place themselves in the position of a cluster lead in charge of putting together an appeal for an emergency. managers in the cluster came up with an initial requirement of $200 million to meet the needs of the beneficiaries. The initial assessment is uncertain and as the cluster lead, students had flexibility to appeal for more. However, I also cautioned them that if they would ask too much the appeal could lose credibility. Finally, I told them that, from past experience, appeals only get partially funded. To one set of students (the low percentage funding), the average funding amount had been 50 percent of the requested appeal. To another set of students (the high percentage funding), the average funding had been 90 percent of the appeal. I asked them:

the outset. However, in the high funding condition (when people needed $200 million, but expected to receive $180 million), students asked (on average) $221 million (an 11% increase in the initial requirement). most students asked 10% more to compensate for the expected shortage and no one asked for less than $200 million. Given that the low (50%) funding condition brings much less money to meet the initial requirement than the high (90%) funding condition, it would be rational to expect that students would appeal for more when they observe a low funding situation. Instead, the opposite took place. Students had little problem compensating the 10% upwards required to meet the need of beneficiaries. However, when it was even more important to adjust the initial requirement, they stopped short of doing so. Instead, they rationalized that the requirements had to be proven, be consolidated, etc. Some students felt helpless enough to ask less than the initial requirement. These decisions were highly influenced by past experience in the sector having significant implications for important humanitarian decisions.

Conclusion We commonly think of individuals as fully rational with unparallel cognitive abilities. We also tend to think of past experience as always good. However, a number of studies show that individuals’ decisions are boundedly rational. Instead of making fully rational decisions, individuals adopt simple rules-of-thumb to solve problems. Individuals’ decisions often lead to biases, systematically deviating from what’s optimal. Experience is only as good as the lessons that are learned. Further understanding of possible heuristics, biases and wrong lessons learned in humanitarian settings has the potential to improve the effectiveness and appropriateness of common and frequent decisions made by humanitarians during relief operations. The author wishes to thank the students of MIT in the master of humanitarian logistics and management for their participation in the experiments.

About the author paulo Gonçalves, ph.D., Associate professor university of Lugano; Academic Director master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and management; Research Affiliate mIT Sloan School of management.

1. How much money do you appeal for? 2. What is your rationale for choosing this amount? In the low funding condition (when people needed $200 million, but expected to receive only half -$100 million), it would be rational to expect students to ask up to $400 million. In the high funding condition (when people expected to receive 10% less of what they needed) it would be rational for students to ask up to $222 million. In the low funding condition, students asked (on average) $203 million (a 1.5% increase in the initial requirement). Half of the students asked for exactly $200 million. As one student explained: “Always ask what you need or the donors will not trust you.” A few students asked for a bit more to compensate for the expected shortage of funds. However, almost 30 percent of the students asked for less than $200 million. One student who asked for $100 million explained that “chance is that even 50 percent won’t be funded.” So they ordered less than the requirement from

About the organization The master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and management is a part time master program intended for professionals in the humanitarian sector interested in advancing their managerial, quantitative, analytical and decision making skills. The program is based on an interdisciplinary and integrative approach aimed at building understanding of pressing humanitarian issues and development of policies capable of addressing them.

Enquiries paulo Gonçalves Emails: Websites:



Workshop Report

Financing in an economic downturn – effective raising and use of funds Thursday, July 9, 2009, International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. by Deborah Brody


t is no secret that the economic downturn is hitting nonprofit organizations hard. Fewer dollars are being given and yet the demand for goods and services is growing. The search is on for novel approaches to fundraising and new sources of funding. Drew Harding from Senai Global, an organization working mainly in Ethiopia, says that people are searching for different ways to give: “Donors want results and impact for their donations.” “Organizations have to stay focused on their missions, and not just chasing money,” says Charley Ansbach, a consultant with Skystone Ryan. Instead, many organizations are frozen and are afraid to act, even those with large endowments. Others are taking action, which now means planning and partnering to earn income.

“Organizations have to stay focused on their missions, and not just chasing money.” Partnering is especially useful now. Most NGOs prefer to stand alone. However, the economic crisis requires collaboration, especially to share expenses and cut costs, and also to defuse critics who think that efforts are being duplicated. Organizations can form partnerships with other NGOs, 18

nonprofits, the government, and forprofit companies. Many nonprofits approach for-profits for sponsorships. Ansbach advises that, instead, nonprofits should ask for engagement. Organizations may solicit support for measurable outcomes that are deemed to be mutually beneficial.

“The economic crisis requires collaboration, especially to share expenses and cut costs.“ For-profit companies that engage with nonprofit organizations may be able to raise their profiles. Another income source to consider are businesses that have not previously been involved in philanthropy.

Speakers Moderator: Brian Hanrahan

Edith Grace Ssempala, Acting Senior Vice President, World Bank Finbarr Curran Director of Field and Emergency Support Office, UN World Food Programme Charley Ansbach Management Consultant, Skystone Ryan Joseph Fernandez Founder and Exec. Director, Trade Without Borders Drew Harding Founder, Senai Global

Clayton McDonald Senior Vice President, INTL Global Currencies, Ltd.

Perhaps before doing anything else, organizations should engage in research to be better able to answer donor questions. Nonprofit organizations must have answers to questions dealing with the scope of the problem, competing organizations, how much of the problem is being solved, and if gaps or duplication in services exist.

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

To find new funding, Ansbach suggests that “organizations think like businesses but act like NGOs.” To this end, each organization should identify measurable results, and refine its case. Then, organizations should identify sources

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

Workshop Report Global organizations are taking action. The united Nations High Level Task Force on the global food security crises developed a comprehensive framework which has been adopted by the uN General Assembly and has World Bank involvement. The Global Food Crisis Response program (GFRp) is fast-tracking $2 billion to assist hard-hit governments in mitigating the impact of soaring food prices. Longer term measures, such as promoting agricultural programs, are gaining support. The World Bank has increased allocations for agricultural programs, committing $6 billion in 2009. These monies are working to raise productivity, link farmers and their products to markets and reduce crop vulnerability.

With growing world food insecurity and hunger, more than one billion people are undernourished.

of funding and create a plan of action to solicit them. Organizations should engage their boards of directors and advisors, and reconnect with supporters and partners to define needs.

“By 2050, it is expected that there will be 2.3 billion more people (33 percent of the world’s population) to feed.” Because of the greater dissatisfaction among donors, Finbar Curran from the World Food programme counsels that organizations should prove to donors that they use money effectively. Organizations should look to business processes and practices that make sense. Generally, donors are more likely to fund what they perceive is good value. Jorge Fernandez of Trade without Borders describes the different types of organizations. These range from traditional nonprofits to profit-driven corporations. In the middle are socially responsible corporations and social enterprises, which have a social

mission with a minimum expectation of financial return. Social enterprises raise funds through core activities that generate revenue, such as village stores, small retailers and microentrepreneurs. Senai Global relies on private-public partnerships and on indigenous businesses that can implement a program locally. For instance, in Ethiopia, Senai partnered with the Selam Awassa Business Group to drill wells in Southern Ethiopia. In this way, Senai was able to achieve several goals at once: providing clean water and investing resources into local business. Because the work is being carried out by a local business, Senai can operate on a leaner administrative budget.

Organizations have to seek ways to save money, and one overlooked area is in foreign exchange. most organizations have two funding options: sending hard currency from abroad or using local currency. Because of international transfer costs, bank fees and delays, many NGOs are losing money when dollars are sent to a bank in another country. An organization such INTL Global Currencies provides transfers in 150 currencies and can help facilitate and control the currency exchange process. In the new world economic order, NGOs must learn to partner with other NGOs and collaborate with businesses. They must seek novel ways to reduce costs and increase reach. By not working together, NGOs create fragmentation. Donations should be looked at as investments. The new watchwords are sustainability and accountability.

The impact of the economic downturn goes beyond fewer monetary donations. It impacts people’s ability to obtain food. The stark reality is that with growing world food insecurity and hunger, more than one billion people are undernourished. Edith Grace Ssempala of the World bank says that, as prices continue to increase, the food crisis is worsening. By 2050, it is expected that there will be 2.3 billion more people (33 percent of the world’s population) to feed.



Foreign Exchange: how competitive bidding can ensure more efficient funding In all forms of business, competition is a key element to ensure efficiency. This is demonstrated in the Aid and Development (A+D) sector when competing for available funding for projects in the field. Therefore, it is surprising that there is one exception that continues to be overlooked and neglected: foreign exchange which is the changing of funds from the donor currency into the currency in which they will be spent. It would be expected that an organization would ensure all costs are managed and accounted for especially after fighting tooth and nail to secure funding for a worthwhile project. Costs have been realized and yet when it comes to exchanging the hard earned funds into local currency, the USD, GBP, EUR etc are simply handed over to the local bank in a distant country, in exchange for the ‘rate of the day.’ This has been described as being akin to saving to buy a car, but at the point of purchase simply handing over the money to the dealer and letting him choose the make, model and color! No one would ever do that, so it is surprising that this is done when buying local currency. A cautionary tale The pitfalls of simply entrusting local banks (in the country of the project in question) with the hard currency are numerous. Firstly, there is the potential loss of value that may be incurred by relying on a sole rate source. We had a first hand experience of this when an aid organization recently decided to competitively bid out the conversion of their US dollar inflows into Sierra Leone. The organization had been sending a monthly amount of US$2 million to its bank and receiving the ‘rate of the day.’ On this occasion, they checked with their bank first what the rate would be before sending the funds. They also called our offices to get our rate for such a transaction. Our rate reflected the competitive market rate, at the time being 10 per cent better than

that offered by the organization’s own local bank. Having never bid out its USD, this agency was never aware of the extent to which it was being short changed – in the region of US$200,000 a month! Naturally the agency began bidding out its foreign exchange transactions. While this example is extreme due to the amounts involved, unfortunately it is not that unusual. In many ways, the scariest thing about this example is that the agency in question was totally unaware of the large wastage of funds. This is one of the big problems with foreign exchange losses - they are essentially a hidden cost as they do not often appear on a Profit and Loss statement nor are they included in the ‘administrative costs’ figure by which many A+D organizations are scrutinized. By failing to tender competitively for foreign exchange deals, particularly in the exotic markets, millions and millions of USD are lost and even unaccounted for without anyone ever being aware.

Efficiency in Currency Conversion We, as an organization, actively encourage our clients to take comparative prices when dealing with us – it is only by comparing rates to what is available elsewhere that our clients can gauge whether or not they are receiving good value. Likewise, we would not expect a client to deal with us if, for any given transaction, there is a better price available elsewhere. We feel that it is ethically very important that funds raised in the name of development and relief, for much needed projects, are correctly applied and achieve the best possible value. In conclusion, we believe sincerely that the need for reform in the A+D sector is great and that the changes could yield significant results. In a sector where every penny counts, we look forward to a time where greater guardianship is taken of the significant resources dedicated to A+D and look forward to see who will make the first move.

INTL Global Currencies has worked in partnership with the international aid, development and charitable organizations for 20 years, trading and delivering their exotic currencies in preference to the international banks. IGC has significant experience in over 160 exotic foreign exchange markets and is able to offer highly competitive rates in these markets. We understand the need for expeditious, efficient and reliable delivery of local funds, and through our unique network of local banks and counterparties we are able to offer 1-2 day delivery anywhere in the world. IGC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Assets Holding Corporation. For more information, please contact: Sunil Sampson or Clayton Mcdonald Phone: 1-212-485-3549 Email: Website: Nasdaq: IAAC

Photo: Julien Harneis/Klick


Responding to the crisis Partnerships and earned income for non-profits and NGOs Charley Ansbach, managing partner, Skystone Ryan


t the most recent Aid & Trade Event, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with an outstanding group of professionals representing a variety of world-class organizations, each talking about how they or their peers were addressing the changes and challenges brought about or simply highlighted by the current global economic crisis. As a speaker, there is a tendency to conclude that when heads are nodding in the audience as you talk it means they agree with you, but that is not always the case. This time, based on the comments of several attendees during the discussion period and afterward, it was the right assumption. For those who could not be there for what I experienced as a lively and engaging discussion among our panel members and the many attendees present, the following is a summary of the points I brought to the mix. The managerial and funding earth under non-profits and NGOs has moved, and running a successful organization will probably never be quite the same. As a managing partner in Skystone Ryan, which is an international fundraising and management consulting firm serving the non-profit/NGO sector, I have the benefit of hearing from my colleagues about what is going on in their areas, around the nation and the world, and to observe trends that are marking our time today in this field as unique.

An indicative story of our times came from a friend who is the director of a foundation that makes catalytic grants in the areas of health, education and economic development. Recently, a group approached them saying that they had been receiving grants from the government for many years to run their program. The government was no longer financially able to support them due to budget cuts and the organization wanted the foundation to consider stepping in to replace that core income. When the response was ‘no’ and that very few foundations made such long-term, quasipermanent investments, the applicant was crestfallen. “What do we do now?” And that, frankly, is where many organizations find themselves at the moment. The situation represents a significant challenge and an immense opportunity for change. Of all the issues related to change and opportunity discussed among the panel, mine centers on partnerships and earned income as two that non-profits and NGOs must, I believe, begin to look at for potential sustainability. For many groups, neither of these options is comfortable to consider. That discomfort often is based on the traditions built into the charity management model, habit and the lack of any other more current information, experience and support. For those reasons too, the groups most likely to survive and thrive in this environment are those that are new and do not have those limitations but instead have innovative drive and the willingness to seek and embrace new ideas and methods. Older groups that can expand



Finance their thinking will, I believe, have a better chance than their more dyed-in-the-wool peers. We will see. In any case, this time of crisis is pushing – if not requiring – us to rethink how we can solve our missions more effectively. What other approaches to funding our programs can we take? And what information do we need to help us make those sometimes dramatic changes in our operating plan and style? This is a time to act, not to sit by and hope.

“Avoid chasing the money when it means sacrificing the clarity of our cause.” Having complete and current information, I propose, is vital. Let’s suppose we are dealing with the care of foster children and that there are 6,000 such children in our service area every year. We need to know not only how many of those children our organizations serve, what the children need and what we are doing for them, but also who else is serving them, how many are they serving and how? What percentage of the 6,000 kids are being served by all of the related groups combined? Are we serving all 6,000 or are there kids who are entirely unserved? If so, what would it take to include them? We need to determine where are the overlaps and gaps in the total local service profile and where we can partner with other organizations to save costs and increase results for the kids and the community. It is surprising how many organizations do not know this about their cause and their peer organizations, which limits the effectiveness of service. Therein also lies the basis for potential discontent among donors besieged with multiple and seemingly duplicate requests for support from organizations serving the same cause.

Partnership opportunities Partnerships can also take place more often between non-profits/NGOs and government agencies. Government is finding it harder quantitatively and qualitatively to meet the growing needs of its citizens for services. There is increasing openness to working with community organizations to help close that gap. In general, government often has enough money to keep the proverbial lights on with being able to provide space, equipment and supplies, as well as some core staffing. Non-profits/ NGOs generally spend a lot of their time trying to get the money to keep their lights on while squeaking out enough to pay for the programs they are otherwise well equipped to deliver. Matching those resources and bringing private sector donors and sponsors to the table through the non22


However, there is an important caution: to remain missionfocused and mission-driven. Avoid chasing the money when it means sacrificing the clarity of our cause. One discovery may be that our original mission is no longer relevant, but one that we can and want to do, is relevant. And that’s a different problem and opportunity. Meanwhile, funding that requires drifting from our core mission may become available. Consider the effects of taking that money long and hard before acting. It is vital to have complete and current information.

profit door can leverage public dollars and be a win-win relationship for everyone. Other types of partnership opportunities abound. The Kitalysis Fund, for example, which is a micro-lending organization serving Central and South America, showed that micro-lenders can work very effectively and very quickly with post-disaster relief organizations to help hardhit communities. While the disaster groups do their rescue and relief operations, micro lenders can quickly forgive or postpone current loans, make new loans and get the local economy back up and running more quickly than otherwise supposed. Groups like the World Heritage Foundation, which restores UN-designated archaeological sites of great importance around the world, offer unique opportunities for partnership with economic development groups by providing the catalytic tourist attraction around which smalland medium-sized new enterprises can be built. That kind of partnership not only feeds the local economy but also helps to protect the newly restored sites over time. There are endless partnership possibilities to explore in nearly every field of interest.

Earned income in the non-profit community Earned income is not new to the non-profit community but it does tend to be the proverbial undiscussed, though ever-present stepchild, until now. Girl Scouts sell cookies, theaters sell tickets, the woman’s shelter runs a thrift shop, and schools sell magazines. The list is long. Add to it a growing number of organizations that are solving their social missions with solutions that generate all the income needed to support the whole operation, much like a normal for-profit business, except the proceeds go back into the program rather than to stockholders or proprietors. PRIDE Industries in California and the Aravind Eye Care in India, plus a large and growing number of other similar groups around the world, have a lot in common in this regard. Partnerships with corporations are eclipsing the former community relations expenditures of those companies, except in those instances where the numbers play out.


Finance Photo: Simminch/Flickr

pressure was mounting from the community to see results quickly. The project is still brand new and working hard to get off the ground in a tough environment. But the chances are far greater that it will succeed with its current plan than the one with which it started.

Looking ahead So what simple steps can organizations take now to start addressing this environment and their own individual situations? Here are some simple, suggested actions that can help move an organization forward: 1. Think like a business; act like a non-profit/NGO (this is an attitudinal as well as logistical step so don’t be discouraged if it does not come easily at first).

USAID wool blankets destined for Georgia as part of a USAID humanitarian assistance relief effort.

Companies too are hard-pressed by this economy, as well as by shareholders and economic advisors who believe community support is not the work of corporations. The result is a lot more scrutiny on the part of a company when it is making investments with non-profit and NGO organizations. One illustrative example is a company foundation that tells non-profits it will invest in their golf tournaments but it wants to know who will be in the foursomes with their salespeople and, then, after tracking the sales results of those contacts over the following year, it will decide if a particular tournament is worth the support again next year. In general, non-profits have to learn how to deal with the marketing departments rather than the community relations offices. The focus there is on value propositions rather than goodwill sponsorship opportunities. Getting past the reception desk means coming in with a defined, mutual business opportunity, not a request.

Discover the Delta Foundation in California One project that is transitioning into using the social enterprise and corporate partnership models is the Discover the Delta Foundation in California. That organization’s purpose is to preserve, protect and promote a major environmental resource of the state. Its goal is to build and operate a traveller’s destination education and entertainment site designed to help achieve its mission. It started out with a focus on a donor-driven model and, after closer examination, found a way to operate the center and an adjacent farmers’ market featuring products of the region as a potentially very successful business. The result means putting the emphasis on sustainability through income generation and company marketing partnerships, while keeping the donor model in the mix as a source of display sponsorships, building improvements and other important aspects of the project. It took visionary management by the ED and board, as well as the courage to take the risk of pursuing a new approach while the

2. Review your mission, research your issue, identify your measurable results, refine your case, identify funding, collaboration and earned income opportunities, create a plan of action and do it. (The last step is the one most often left on the table. make a move and adjust based on results not on delay.) 3. Engage your Board/Advisors, especially on matters of ‘thinking like a business’: • use their business partnering skills & contacts • use their research and recommend best practices. 4. Re-connect with donors, grant makers, supporters and partners to find out what they want and need. 5. Solicit support for inspiring and measurable outcomes, mutual benefits, and sustainable earned income. I wish us all luck and success in these inventive coming years.

About the author Charley Ansbach is a managing partner of Skystone Ryan, an international non-profit/NGO fundraising and management consulting firm. mr. Ansbach has over 30-years experience ‘thinking outside the box’, using traditional tools to solve today’s challenges. He is an active speaker/trainer, Advisor to the Global Center for Social Enterprise Development at university of the pacific, and founding member of Social venture philanthropy, Sacramento. mr. Ansbach works on fundraising, public/private partnerships, social enterprise, and corporate partnerships.

About the organization Skystone Ryan, Inc. is one of the world’s leading fundraising and management consulting firms with uS-based offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, New England, New York, Sacramento, St. Louis, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington, DC, and has a network of partner firms with senior consultants working from 17 offices on four continents. Skystone Ryan is committed to senior-level, personal service to ensure that client organizations achieve their goals.

Enquiries Charley Ansbach, CFRE, managing partner Skystone Ryan, Inc., 2012 H Street, Suite 203 Sacramento, California, uSA 95811 Tel: (916) 442-7497, Fax (916) 442-7238 Email: Website:



Financing for Relief and Development

The last frontier Bringing financial services to Africa’s poor

Photo: Phil Borges/CARE.

Dr Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA and Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of CARE International UK

People have bought livestock through CARE’s VSLAs scheme.


ince the 1970s, a microfinance revolution has taken hold in Asia and Latin America. These microfinance interventions have evolved into strong, countrywide and regional networks serving the poor. This is not so in Africa, where investment has been small, fragmented and insufficient to grow and sustain services among dispersed populations separated by vast distances. Decades after the first experiment in microcredit was launched in Bangladesh, financial services are at last reaching their final frontier – the remote villages and teeming slums of Africa.

The power of financial services

The story of Africa today is often told in grim statistics. Three-quarters of those living on less than 50 cents a day are in sub-Saharan Africa; it has 11 percent of the world’s population, but 60 percent of the world’s people living with HIV/AIDS, and average life expectancy is actually decreasing in some places.

In a small village in Malawi called Chipanga, CARE helped 11 women create a savings group. Each contributed 19 cents a week to a common fund so they could give one another loans and begin realizing their dreams. A woman named Eneles opened Chipanga’s first grocery store; her friend Nelia bought the first TV in town and runs a community cinema; and a woman named Patience earned enough money to raise 19 pigs and 10 goats. Last year, Patience generated more than $350 in savings – that means she has almost a year’s income saved away to give her and her family financial security.

But there is a different story unfolding on the continent as well: the story of women and families in some of the poorest communities in the world endeavoring to change their own lives. It is a story of hope, not despair. Meeting these women and girls is one of the great joys of our work. We’ve seen firsthand what CARE’s experience shows: empowered, financially literate women and girls are among the world’s most powerful forces in the fight against global poverty. 24

Nearly four decades of global microfinance experience have shown that when poor people have access to financial services – secure savings, credit, insurance and other products, they can change their lives and build stronger, more prosperous communities. They invest wisely, not only in income-generating activities, but also in the welfare of their families. And these are not isolated stories of success; the trend is evident whenever the impact of microfinance is assessed. Increased household income for women translates directly into increased levels of health and education for the entire family.

Today, over 90 women in the village participate in savings groups, following the example of the first 11. More than just securing a loan, these women are achieving financial freedom – saving their money, planning for their future and,

Finance most importantly, building a new awareness that self-worth is more important than net worth.

Why focus on Africa?

pulling from CARE’s State of the Sector Report: Bringing Financial Services to Africa’s Poor which will be published in the fall, we would like to examine why microfinance overwhelmingly benefits indigent women; why Africa is now on the brink of its own microfinance revolution; and finally, how CARE’s own innovative contribution to microfinance – the village Savings and Loan – may be introduced.

In Africa, microfinance has caught on more slowly than in other regions of the developing world. While it has made some inroads, primarily in urban areas, the great majority of Africans who live off the land and in small towns and villages have yet to be reached. until very recently, the cost of bringing financial services – even microfinance services – to remote parts of Africa has been prohibitive, and the logistics of doing so daunting.

Why does microfinance focus on women?

In Africa’s vast rural areas, where the world’s poorest people eke out a living in sparsely populated communities, lack of infrastructure and untenably high costs per transaction have kept mFIs away. The low levels of savings and demand for credit generated by such clients are usually not viable, even for nimble mFIs that operate efficiently. Reaching the poorest of the poor has been limited because the scale and structure of microfinance programs have been defined by the need to build healthy institutions and a commitment to provide services to the enormous population of unserved rural poor.

Since microfinance began in the early 1970s, approximately 70 percent of the clients of microfinance institutions (mFIs) – and often 100 percent – have been women. The reason for this is deliberate and strategic. Women are the best conduit for ensuring that microfinance confers the greatest possible benefit on the greatest number of people. Throughout the world, women are responsible for the well-being of their families. most girls are obliged to start performing household chores at an early age – sometimes as soon as they can walk – and this fosters in them a work ethic and a sense of responsibility as nurturers, caregivers and educators of their young siblings. When women earn money, they invariably invest their earnings in improving the lives of their children and families with better food, clothing, shelter, health care and educational opportunities. When women earn, everyone benefits.

until very recently, the cost of bringing financial services – even microfinance services – to remote parts of Africa has been prohibitive, and the logistics of doing so daunting. moreover, poor women who have access to financial services have proven themselves to be highly credit-worthy. Anecdotal evidence indicates that women repay their loans more consistently than men. Necessity has made women careful strategists who plan for the future, shrewd risk-takers with an eye for economic opportunities and hard workers who put their families’ welfare first. Investing in the earning power of women pays big dividends for families, for society and for mFIs, enabling them to serve more and more clients. Thanks to microfinance, married women often gain greater control over household assets, a more equal share in family decision-making and greater freedom to engage in income-generating activities. moreover, women involved in microfinance groups are more motivated to take action to improve their lives and those of their families, and are more likely to engage in social and political activities. The effectiveness of microfinance is also evident in the extraordinary efficiency of the transactions. Typical microfinance loans can be as small as $50 or even less – which is one reason why banks have not been interested in microfinance: such small amounts are simply not profitable for banks, yet these tiny sums can have an amazing impact on people’s lives.

In densely populated areas of Asia and Latin America, providing credit has been the driving force of microfinance because there are many opportunities to invest in incomegenerating activities. up to now, most efforts have been focused on overcoming the obstacles involved in bringing banking and microfinance to Africa’s poor. Rural Africans have been left out mainly because they have been hard to reach and their bottom-rung economic status makes savings very difficult. In 2006, Consultative Group to Assist the World’s poor (CGAp) conducted a global survey of formal institutions that offer savings and credit services to lower income people including mFIs, postal savings banks, state-owned banks, rural banks, credit unions and financial cooperatives. SubSaharan African countries accounted for only four percent of the global total, with an average of four savings or loan accounts per 100 people, compared with 17 accounts per 100 people in Asia and the pacific. In rural Niger for example, there is one bank branch for every 844,000 people.

CARE’s innovative contribution to microfinance CARE has developed a radically different approach to building the financial health of Africa’s poor. It has found a way to enable isolated, often illiterate women to be their own bankers. CARE’s experience has shown that the answer is not necessarily to bring banks or mFIs to Africa’s poor but, instead, to make it possible for Africa’s poor to create their own basic village Savings and Loan Associations (vSLAs) without any outside funding. By mobilizing small amounts in savings and interest accrued from loans, CARE’s vSLAs are already laying a foundation of economic security and expanding economic opportunities for 1.2 million Africans. In Niger, the world’s poorest country and the site of the first vSLAs, nearly 200,000 women have collectively amassed $14 million in savings. moreover, 60 percent of the money saved by these groups is loaned out to members. The rest is redistributed to members with interest.



Finance Photo: Phil Borges/CARE.

When Ms Mamane visits these villages today, she is warmly welcomed. “The women tell me that, since we started these groups, their lives have completely changed. Before, they used to cook one meal and it had to last three days. Now, everybody cooks every day. In the past, people didn’t take their children to the hospital. Now they do. In the past, almost all of the women were illiterate and many children did not attend school. Today, many women have joined literacy groups and they insist that their children go to school. In the old days, most of the houses were made of straw. Now, lots of people have built brick houses. Some people have bought goats, some have bought calves and these things multiply. I met one woman who has seven milk cows – all because of a savings group. It is really amazing.” Women are the best conduit for ensuring that microfinance confers the greatest possible benefit to the greatest number of people.

Since 1991, CARE has implemented VSLAs in 16 African countries. The approach is based on savings and providing financial services such as savings, credit and insurance to women and subsistence farmers in the sub-continent’s least developed regions. CARE’s VSLAs build their assets, and disburse credit, solely from member savings. The self-managed, flexible system enables VSLA members to take advantage of economic opportunities that present themselves and to respond to unforeseen challenges such as illness that would otherwise drive them into a cycle of uncontrollable, unpayable debt. The VSLAs are not in competition with MFIs, but complementary to them. Over time, VSLAs help create pools of clients who advance to use MFI services. CARE estimates that between 20 and 30 percent of VSLA members will pursue a greater array of financial services than those offered by VSLAs alone.

VSLAs impact on communities

The way forward The potential benefit of reaching out to the poorest people in remote rural areas and city slums is becoming increasingly apparent. CARE’s VSLAs reach clients that formal financial institutions are unable to serve: poor women and men who are able to save as little as 10 cents a week. But providing financial services that will enable the poor to lift themselves out of poverty requires institutions like VSLAs, MFIs and traditional banks, as well as technological innovations and improvements in public policies to expand their capacity. After more than 30 years of supporting microfinance and nearly 20 years of nurturing VSLAs, CARE and other development organizations have reached a consensus: the poor need access to an array of flexible, cost-effective and sustainable financial products and services. They need a durable structure – a sustainable group where they can benefit from solidarity and the opportunity to learn new skills, solve problems and tackle a myriad of development-related issues. This model will help them build strong, prosperous communities and benefit the entire world.

About the authors Dr Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, is president and CEO of CARE USA. Dr Gayle is an internationally recognized expert on global health and development issues. Before joining CARE, she held top leadership positions at The Centers for Disease Control and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

While systematic studies of the impact of CARE’s VSLAs are still ongoing, extensive anecdotal evidence gathered by observers on the ground indicates that their impact has been significant and far-reaching. One such observer is Rahila Mamane, a former VSLA facilitator and trainer with CARE Niger. In the 18 years since she trained women in CARE’s first VSLAs in six villages in Niger, she has witnessed marked improvements in the lives of the people in these communities.

“The women tell me that, since we started these groups, their lives have completely changed.” All of the groups that CARE established in 1991 are still functioning. Members are accumulating large amounts of savings, and taking and repaying loans with interest. In fact, following the women’s lead, men in these villages have now started their own VSLAs as well. Moreover, young people who 18 years ago were infants and toddlers have also started VSLAs of their own. 26

Geoffrey Dennis joined CARE International UK as chief executive in 2004. He had previously served as chief executive of Friends of the Elderly, international director at the British Red Cross and Head of South Asia with the International Federation of the Red Cross.

About the organization CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Last year, CARE programs improved the lives of more than 55 million people in 66 countries. CARE places special emphasis on working alongside poor women because, when equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.

Enquiries To order a copy of CARE’s State of the Sector Report: Bringing financial services to Africa’s poor please email:

Workshop Report

Maximizing resources, partnering for financial survival and growth Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


t the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 world leaders signed the Millennium Declaration, which defined eight palpable, obtainable goals and deadlines for affecting and improving the lives of the world’s poorest, most deprived nations and people. The deadline for reaching these goals is the year 2015. The millenium Development Goals (mDGs) are: • End hunger • universal education • Gender equity • Child health • maternal health • Combat HIv/AIDS • Environmental sustainability • Global partnership. Reaching the goals, however, has fallen behind schedule. The millennium Campaign leaders fear that if the current economic crisis of many developing countries continues, whole populations could come very close to collapsing which could threaten the very survival of its citizens. In addition to the global economic shortcomings, according to Charley Ansbach, managing Consultant at Skystone Ryan, disasters have doubled in the last 20 years and will continue to increase if climate-related mega-trends continue. In the last 20 years, mega-disasters have increased from 200 per year to 400 per year. Recent, unrelenting and catastrophic

Speakers Charley Ansbach Managing Consultant, Skystone Ryan

Tracy Badcock President of The Shelter Alliance

Sally Begbie President, Global Hand

weather-related disasters, have yielded the following startling statistics: • 51 million jobs have been lost in formal economies. • 25,000 children die every day from malnutrition. • In the year 2020, 250 million Africans will live in water distress because of changes in the weather. Ansbach says 2.5 million people have fled their homes since may of this year and 77 million people are displaced – that equates to more than one percent of the world’s population – more than the populations of the u.K., France and Turkey combined. If mega-trends continue, the population in Africa will increase by 150 percent. Currently the world’s population is approximately 6.6-6.7 billion people. By 2025, the estimate is eight billion people with an additional eight mega cities. 49 percent of the population live in urban communities but by 2025, cities will house 59 percent of the world’s population. Tracy Badcock, Founding member of the Shelter Alliance and vice president of marketing and Communications of the Overseas Lease Group Inc., says weather-related disasters have affected shelter, food, clothing, potable water and healthcare tremendously and are constantly an issue for rescue efforts. Badcock says her organization has tried to prepare in known disaster regions for earthquakes, floods, cyclones and landslides that they are aware are probably going to evolve in a yearly span, probably several times over.


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report

Preparation for disaster is a key issue because, according to the U.N., vulnerability is what kills a population. The investment necessary is justifiable to eliminate or reduce the loss of life. Charles Ansbach and Tracy Badcock say corporations and companies can offer genuine help to those in need of assistance. No longer are companies just fancy sponsors. There are companies that want to offer serious corporate dollars to the areas where they will count the most. The corporate sides are now being called upon to help alleviate some of the stress of solicited donations and to help with the humanitarian sides to strengthen and create partnerships. Ansbach says that many companies have a genuine concern to help humanitarian efforts but they often get a bad rap. Corporations can often give good, sound information from their own experiences in working in different regions and with various governments. Some corporate executives may have even lived in affected areas.

“Vulnerability is what kills a population.” But, Ansbach adds, the responsibility also lies with humanitarian organizations who often do not want to approach corporations because of insensitive and powerful corporate images, lack of corporate response or negative corporate response. It is also often difficult, especially with large, major companies to find someone in charge who is able to answer questions, make deals and sign the bottom line. Therefore the problem often lies in one entity waiting for the other to make the first move while hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential relief money is never allocated. Sally Begbie, President of Global Hand, has a solution to the communication problem between


Photo: Global Hand

Of course, resources can scarcely keep up with such high demand. With barriers such as fuel, food and animal costs, conflicts on the rise and climate changes, keeping up with the demand for supplies and services is becoming increasingly difficult.

Resources can scarcely keep up with such high demand.

Corporate America and NGOs. Global Hand acts as a brokerage firm and matching service helping corporate/ community groups partner with NGOs. In other words, Global Hand is a non-profit organization that facilitates public/ private partnership. Interested parties log onto the United Nation’s website where a business interface matches businesses with U.N. organizations. Once the corporation reaches the Global Hand website, they can select which humanitarian effort they are interested in supporting. Global Hand matches offers with requests for services such as: • Human resources, including those serving in medicine, education, telecommunications, etc. • Freight, including shipping, warehousing, air, rail, road, etc. • Goods, including the full gamut in product line: computers, medical, textile, building materials, furnishings, tools, vehicles, food, etc. • Funding (source: On the website, there is a special section for selecting specific needs which allows an NGO to say exactly what it is they need instead of the corporation deciding for the NGO. That way, the NGO receives only the critical supplies that can mean life or death, and that unnecessary supplies will not be wasted. Conversely, there is also a section on the website where the corporation can testify as to where, what and how they want to offer assistance. A lot of corporations

are under the misconception that only their philanthropic support is desired, a point refuted by Begbie. Companies are certainly able to use their core business strategies and generate a profit. There are different levels of registration at Global Hand. Registration levels are indicated by a color which determines a company’s status or participation level in the program. There are several verification requirements, which are listed on their website.

“The time has come for corporations and NGOs to work cohesively and address the critical MDGs with a unified front.” Poverty kills roughly 50,000 people every day. According to Charley Ansbach, we must not focus on stopping the changes, but instead prepare and mitigate them for the future. New generations are being born into refugee camps which are morphing into new communities, preventing people from returning to their original communities. Because of this, the camps have now become economic entities. The time has come for corporations and NGOs to work cohesively and address the critical MDGs with a unified front. Disasters have increased two fold in the past 20 years. Aid, relief and cooperative efforts will have to work far beyond that just to catch up.

Workshop Report

Responsible, ethical purchasing and supply chain management Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


s there a role for morality and efficiency in NGO procurement and supply chain management? That was the question moderator Brian Hanrahan posed to a panel representing large and small aid organizations. Supply chains and procurement processes are especially vulnerable to disruption and corruption in less developed countries where humanitarian organizations typically operate. Any organization sending material to developing countries is at risk of corruption in the supply chain, says marie-Luise Ahlendorf of Transparency International. major risks include: blockage to aid resources (e.g. demand for bribes); diversion during transport (e.g. corrupt or unreliable

drivers); tampering with inventory; diversion of goods during storage (e.g. looting of warehouses). Transparency International is creating a handbook that will recommend policies to help organizations identify and combat corruption. policy solutions include creating strategic partnerships with experienced and reliable shippers, instituting inventory procedures (such as using information technology), and most importantly, training staff in transportation logistics. Advance Aid Director David Dickie argues that because there is a higher risk and a large environmental impact created by bringing aid to Africa from other locations, it would be more effective to manufacture emergency items in-country. making African

Speakers Moderator: Brian Hanrahan The BBC

Marie Luise Ahlendorf, Global Programmes Department, Transparency International Elizabeth Critchley Senior Logistician, American Red Cross International services Department Joice Williams Procurement Officer, American Red Cross

David Dickie Director, Advance Aid

Joseph Fernandez Founder and Executive Director, Trade Without Borders Michael Casella Acting Vice President, Administration and Finance, Millennium Challenge Corporation


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

In Sri Lanka as elsewhere, ensuring the quality of relief remains an issue.



Workshop Report

Photo: Mikhail Esteves

companies more competitive and creating jobs would holistically help improve the African economy, which has the highest level of unemployment worldwide.

“Any organization sending material to developing countries is at risk of corruption in the supply chain.” The procurement decision is not always financial, since environmental and social impacts are considered. Bringing aid from abroad creates a higher carbon footprint. There is also the risk of delay, leaving the supply chain vulnerable. Joseph S. Fernandez of the nonprofit social enterprise Trade without Borders agrees with Dickie. His organization is working to procure goods from micro-entrepreneurs and enable micro-manufacturers (such as small local artisans). Trade without Borders aggregates product requirements for small retailers, NGOs, and microentrepreneurs, placing larger orders with manufacturers and suppliers in order to save money and resources.

Aggregation of product requirements for small retailers, NGOs, and microentrepreneurs by placing large orders with manufacturers and suppliers saves money and resources.

Anyone can do business with the Red Cross and the organization has strict guidelines to disallow favoritism. Like the Red Cross, the United States government agency, Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) operates worldwide. The MCC works on largescale, long-term poverty reduction and infrastructure development in 18 countries around the world. Their five-year programs are funded upfront by the United States Congress.

Global aid organizations, such as the International Red Cross, regulate their purchasing under applicable laws.

MCC insists on independent review. To ensure fairness in their system, MCC relies on standard bidding

Photo: International Aid & Trade

Trade without Borders seeks to use properly certified factories. Factories would be pre-qualified using a “social responsibility audit.” The audit would measure important social and ethical concerns such child labor, forced labor, discrimination and health and safety.

Because of its scale, MCC has several procurement guidelines. Among the rules governing procurement are no sole source procurement, a mandate to maximize competition and the increased use of firm, fixed price contracting. Country representatives manage local procurement according to MCC Procurement Principles: transparency, fairness, competition and openness to anyone.

documents if the organisation also enforces strict environmental guidelines. MCC is using its procurement website as a one-stop shop for bidders. In 2009, the MCC created a Fraud and Corruption Policy aimed at preventing, detecting and remediating fraud and corruption. A major portion of the policy deals with increasing staff training and improving communications.

“The bottom line is to get the appropriate goods to the victim.” The American Red Cross adheres to strict procedures and code of conduct in international disaster relief. The IFRC can reach 5,000 families within two days. The ready availability is because goods are pre-positioned in places like Dubai, Panama and Kuala Lumpur. Before any disaster strikes, goods are procured in an extremely regimented and needs-based system. The IFRC specifies products (a full listing is available at The advantage of this system is that people on the ground know the exact specifications of the products, and how the supplies are packaged. “The bottom line is to get the appropriate goods to the victim,” advised Elizabeth Critchley from International Services at the American Red Cross.

International Aid & Trade Workshop in progress.


Workshop Report

Working with the UN – WFP Field & Emergency Support Office (FESO)

Speakers Finbarr Curran Director of Field and Energency support Office (FESO), UN World Food Programme (WFP)

Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter

The World Food programme (WFp) was created in 1962 and is headquartered in Dubai, a central location enabling emergency response to be carried out smoothly and quickly. WFp is 65 percent emergency-driven, responding to disasters quickly and with precision coordination. In 2008 WFp equipped with 10,000 staff members, received $5 billion in donations and delivered 2.8 million tons of food to 90 million recipients in 83 countries. According to Finbarr Curran, Director of Field and Emergency Support Office (FESO), at the WFp, the programme set up humanitarian coordinators, usually an experienced uN worker, familiar with working with other organizations, in each country it services. Typically, people cooperate very well with the WFp service providers on the

WFP has five critical objectives: 1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies 2. Prepare for emergencies 3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies 4. Reduce chronic hunger and under-nutrition everywhere 5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger.

ground. There are four humanitarian response depots located in Dubai, Italy, panama and malaysia, which serve as centralized hubs where food is stored in case of a hunger emergency. The humanitarian air services (located in Dubai) can have airplanes, people and food on the ground within 48 hours of a disaster.

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development

In 2008 WFP delivered 2.8 million tons of food to 90 million recipients in 83 countries.


Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report the vehicle leasing program, WFP has 16 vehicles they can sell. The organization operates an armored car pool and personnel receive road safety training. WFP procures about $25 million worth of non-food items which includes a fleet of vehicles standing by to respond quickly to a disaster. The best and most effective way to support WFP is through non-perishable food donations. The Programme purchases over 2 million metric tons of food every year and at least three quarters of it comes from developing countries. However, in recent years, the amount of cash contributions has steadily increased, thereby making procurement activities increasingly important also. By donating cash contributions, many donors feel they have a “say” in how the money should be distributed or spent so they impose conditions on their donations. While cash donations are certainly encouraged and welcome, the freer from constraints and the more flexible a contribution is, the greater the likelihood that WFP can make a cost effective purchase. That’s why it is very helpful if contributions can be timed in such a way that maximum quantities can be captured at the lowest prices, usually following the harvest period. One objective of the WFP is to restore and rebuild lives after emergencies.

Typically, the first team to arrive in a disaster zone is the telecommunications experts. These teams are made of some of the strongest, fittest ex-military personnel with experience in various military tactics. Once the areas are secure and telecommunications are put in place, WFP proceeds with its mission to deliver food to needy populations. The Programme insures its own shipments so that the beneficiaries do not suffer because of red tape and political motives in an already (usually) unstable political situation. Some areas affected by disaster and in need of food are not accessible by road, rail or river, so other means of transportation are used. An emergency zone may require a cargo drop from an aircraft or perhaps a helicopter airlift as well. However, WFP has had to be creative in their approach to transportation and has often had to 32

resort to other options. Local and native porters, as well as teams of elephants, yak, donkeys and camels have all been utilized when necessary. WFP teams may sometimes run into obstacles while attempting food deliveries right after a disaster. After devastating disasters such as earthquakes, droughts or fighting, teams may encounter fallen bridges and/or impassable roads to ensure the cargo’s destination. In these cases, logistics experts are dispatched to repair the roads and bridges to eliminate the chinks in the chain of the food supply line. The logistics experts can even build new roads if and when needed. According to Curran, the WFP is involved in a discount vehicle leasing program with Toyota the car manufacturer. The program is believed to reduce WFP’s carbon footprint and save NGOs millions of dollars. Under

“The humanitarian air services (located in Dubai) can have airplanes, people and food on the ground within 48 hours of a disaster.” For vendors to conduct business with WFP, they must be already on the WFP Registered Supplier Roster – both to receive monies for food, goods and services and to submit bids. To fight hunger across the world, WFP needs to be able to rely on a strong supply chain of reliable and reputable suppliers. With no space for trial and error, the agency requires that all potential suppliers apply to the WFP Registered Supplier Roster. The registrations are submitted through the United Nations Global Marketplace portal –

Workshop Report

How to work with USAID and OFDA Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By vaishali Honawar


fficials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) offered advice to humanitarian groups interested in applying for disaster-assistance awards and businesses seeking to contract with USAID, during a workshop titled “How to work with USAID and OFDA.” John Abood, the Team Leader and Contracting Officer of the Transportation Division at uSAID, said the “contract process for uSAID is bound by federal acquisitions guidelines.”


OFDA is the office within uSAID that is responsible for facilitating and coordinating u.S. government emergency assistance overseas. OFDA provides humanitarian assistance to save lives, alleviate human suffering and reduce the social and economic impact of humanitarian emergencies around the world. It responds to all types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods, droughts, fires, pest infestations and disease outbreaks. OFDA also provides assistance to

OFDA provided around $73 million for logistics and humanitarian relief supplies to disaster-struck areas in 2006.

victims of civil conflict, terrorism or industrial accidents, and training to build local capacity for disaster management and response. “uSAID and OFDA have been providing disaster relief for many years now and at any time they have disaster relief capability, including blankets, tarps, water purification systems, etc.,” mr. Abood said. uSAID maintains three disaster relief commodity stockpiles, one in miami, Florida, another in pisa, Italy, and a third in Dubai, united Arab Emirates.

Speakers Moderator: Michael F. Walsh Director of Programs for Finance, Grants and Contracts, InsideNGO John Abood Team Leader/ Contracting Officer, Transportation Division, Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OFDA), US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bob Miller U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Ron Stanley U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

“Tell us about the product. When we see a product or technology out there, we do our best to buy the latest. We only work with responsible companies.” In fiscal year 2006, OFDA provided around $73 million for logistics and humanitarian relief supplies to disasterstruck areas. For those interested in contracting with uSAID, mr. Abood advised: “Tell us about the product. When we see a product or technology out there, we do our best to buy the latest.” He advised companies to make sure they have the skills and resources to meet federal guidelines. “We only work with responsible companies,” he added. Bob miller, the supervisory grants lead for the transportation division of the Office of Acquisition and Assistance at uSAID, reviewed the process by which OFDA awards a grant for disaster assistance. He handed out to audience members a how-to CD, “Guidelines for


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report Unsolicited Proposals and Reporting,” which is also available as a book. The document spells out the process for sending proposals to the USAID. A proposal typically takes the following course: • Once the application is received, OFDA will confirm receipt of the proposal. The program review takes approximately 45 days.

© U.S.Army/flickr

• If the proposal is deemed acceptable, OFDA conducts a formal review to consider programmatic, technical and cost issues. • Applicants are then notified about any questions that may have arisen, and asked for additional details or clarifications as needed. • Once all issues are resolved, OFDA notifies the applicant in writing that the proposal has been recommended for funding. If the application is rejected, the applicant is also notified in writing. • For proposals that are recommended for funding, OFDA puts together and processes any documentation necessary to the USAID’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance. Once the award has been granted, the OAA notifies the applicant’s point of contact. Michael Walsh, the moderator of the discussion and director of programs for finance, grants and contracts at InsideNGO, said: “There is a finite amount of money [available in grants], so the challenge is to optimize it” so that it has the maximum impact. InsideNGO, which is based in Washington, D.C., fosters crossfunctional and cross-organizational learning for individual professionals who manage human resources,

There is a finite amount of money, so the challenge is to optimize it.

finance, grants and contracts, and other operational functions in the international NGO sector.

modified proposal guidelines for a particular disaster, officials emphasized that delays are still likely.

Speakers emphasized that it is important that applicants read guidelines carefully to ensure their proposals move swiftly and smoothly through OFDA.

Proposals also sometimes trickle in weeks after major disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, Mr. Stanley said.

Mr. Miller said groups that have not worked before with USAID should expect longer waits in getting their proposals processed because they have to go through an auditor’s survey.

The USAID officials also spoke briefly about other disaster-response actions taken by USAID. In cases of major emergencies, Mr. Stanley said, USAID deploys its DART, or Disaster Assistance Response Team. DART is a rapidly deployable team that provides specialists trained in a variety of disaster relief skills, to assist U.S. embassies and USAID missions with the management of U.S. government response to disasters.

“We are looking for details [in the proposal] like budget breakdown, are your costs reasonable or not, before we continue processing the grant.”

“They (DART) assess the situation and notify headquarters in Washington what is needed,” Mr. Stanley said.

© USAID/Flickr

Ron Stanley, a contracts/grants specialist for USAID, said that someone brand new who does not know what the USAID regulations are is likely to get audited.

USAID and OFDA have disaster relief capability, including blankets, tarps, water purification systems.


Among other issues, “We are looking for details [in the proposal] like budget breakdown, are your costs reasonable or not, before we continue processing the grant,” he said. And although USAID and OFDA maintain flexibility when responding to emergency situations and may issue

Workshop Report

How to work with nonprofit procurement officers

Speakers Elizabeth Critchley Senior Logistician, International Services, American Red Cross Joice Williams Procurement Associate, American Red Cross

Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


he workers at the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are busy – very busy. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent was born and created in 1859 by founder Henry Dunant and four other men as a humanitarian response to provide non-discriminatory aid and assistance to the wounded on the battlefield. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement is the world’s largest humanitarian network, with a presence and activities in almost every country. The movement incorporates the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies. This globally recognised organization functions, primarily, under seven fundamental principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, voluntary Service, unity and universality. When disaster occurs, the IFRC spurs into action, with three main goals: accountability, collaboration and commitment to results. The Red Cross Red Crescent has built its reputation from trustworthiness and humanitarianism.

Services at the American Red Cross, The Red Cross bases their vendor relationships and the business they conduct with them on what is best for the victims, or end users. Williams says whatever her department needs to purchase is communicated by those at the disaster site, not her office. For example, if a site requests 50,000 blankets, that is exactly what Williams’ office buys; nothing more, nothing less. Additionally, she adds, each “chapter country” specializes in specific, smaller items. The Japanese are in charge of the mobile hospitals, for example.

“There are many dos and don’ts to follow if your company would like to initiate a business partnership with IFRC.”

There are many companies that would like to conduct business with IFRC; however, there are several things that must be considered before IFRC will enter into a business relationship with new vendors and maintain a healthy relationship with the vendors they already have.

The Spanish provide water treatment and Americans provide the smaller items such as toiletries. There are different kitchen kits for different parts of the world. For example, a Type A kitchen kit would contain westernstyle with pots, pans and utensils. A Type B kitchen kit would contain a wok and chopsticks. A real-time mobilization table is planned down to the last toothbrush in advance and the opportunity for the Red Cross to try something “new and exciting” is never during a crisis. Anything new is only planned during “peace” time.

According to Joice Williams, procurement Associate with Disaster

There are many dos and don’ts to follow if your company would like to


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


© Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

Workshop Report initiate a business partnership with IFRC. The process of bidding to conduct business with IFRC starts with an announcement, released by IFRC of services they need or looking for, or Request for Proposal (RFP) with a deadline for submission. Bidding companies enter a bids in the hope that the Red Cross will award a service contract to them. After the bidding period ends, a selection is made and a business relationship is born. The IFRC tends to use vendors who are have a proven track record for responsiveness, have a positive background, maintain a positive image and a sound reputation. They also select vendors who do not try to tell them to buy something they don’t want or need. Liz Critchley, Senior Logistician for International Services at The American Red Cross, says vendors should approach Procurement Officers appropriately. Procurement Officers are extremely busy people. They must spring into action quickly with very little notice. The IFRC has been active for a long time and the staff and personnel know how to handle disasters. After a while, according to Williams, knowing how to respond to disaster and knowing what to do become second nature. Specifications for the National Red Cross are different for the International Red Cross and they do not follow the same plans. A vendor should familiarize themselves with the requirements for both before attempting to make a presentation. Liz Critchley wants to assure vendors that the IFRC is certainly open to building new relationships with new vendors but there is a process that must be followed. The procurement officers and their teams get regularly inundated with requests to do business and it can become very aggressive between competitors. Critchley warns against this, however. The quickest way not to get a call is behave in an unethical and unprofessional manner. The organization will not do business with such vendors. Her advice remains painfully simple: Get to the point, offer something IFRC already uses, do not take rejection personally, be willing to try again another time and do not call her office in the midst of an emergency. 36

A real-time mobilization table is planned down to the last toothbrush in advance and the opportunity for the Red Cross to try something “new and exciting” is never during a crisis.

Some of Critchley’s advice to vendors includes: DO:


• Only show presentations of equipment or services that the IFRC currently uses;

• EVER call during a disaster;

• Demonstrate expertise and complete product knowledge; • Organize information and provide contact information (only what the procurement officer needs to know…get to the point!); • Be easy to work with; • Send all communication by email; • Sell during peacetime; • During a disaster, send everything you have on your inventory list. It will save the procurement officer time as they will not have to call back for more; • Know EXACTLY how to handle metric measures; • Respect the procurement officer’s time.

• Deliver a long presentation. A procurement officer does not have much available time; • Be confrontational; • Challenge a Procurement Officer’s authority and go over their head; • Argue about things she/ he cannot change. The Procurement Officer did not make the rules; • Bad-mouth the competition; • Try to get information from them about a vendor competitor; • Complain about not getting business from IFRC; • Oversell or out-bid the competition; • Ever lose focus of the bottom line – the victims.

Workshop Report

Logistics management, pre-positioning and stockpiling Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


f you ever doubted the importance of logistics and shipping management consider this: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) moves more than two metric tons of food each year throughout the world.

• manage logistics services to keep track of what is where;

Moderator: John Abood, Team Leader Contracting Officer, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Tim Smith Emergency & Relief Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel Philip E. Davies Vice President, ANERA

Thomas Shortley Global Account Manager, Agility

Dr. Teo A. Babun Jr. Executive Director, Americas Relief Team

• Communicate and share information; • understand and communicate expectations early; • Consolidate cargo to get best value for transport dollars; • Ship large quantities to reduce costs. When disaster hits, logistics become crucial. All NGOs have access to humanitarian resource depots (HRDs) but access becomes difficult when many organizations want to dispatch their supplies in an emergency.

© Torgrim Halvari/Norwegian Refugee council

Every single week, the u.S. government orders food, which is then shipped via rail to a port in the united States. Then, the food is shipped to a destination port, where it is picked up by the aid organization in the country and transported to its final destination. To complicate matters, food is perishable, and if not shipped and stored properly, it can spoil in transit. In case of disaster or emergency, uSAID pre-positions supplies in miami, Italy and Dubai, which are available to be moved immediately via emergency air services.

Due to the extensive nature of its program, uSAID has developed some best practices on how to move food supplies, says John Abood, a team leader and contracting officer at the agency. The main strategy is pre-planning, which helps lessen the impact of chance. Other practices are:


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

When disaster hits, logisitcs become crucial.



© Torgrim Halvari/Norwegian Refugee council

Workshop Report

A logistics management firm ships goods anywhere, including war zones.

According to Tim Smith of Kuehne + Nagel, proper management of a logistics program lessens the need for pre-positioning supplies. Kuehne + Nagel is a $20 billion logistics provider, which ships more containers than any other company in the world. The company has established an emergency relief organization in Copenhagen with specialists worldwide. Smith has good advice borne from extensive experience in the field. He says that it is important to know that a good supplier is also a good deliverer. Organizations should also have contacts of three to four logistics providers. Smith counsels humanitarian organizations to be wary of pro-bono shippers as their efforts may have ulterior motives. “The commercial world is looking for more interesting ways to interact with the humanitarian world,” he warns.

“Pre-planning and proper, detailed paperwork makes customs approval easier.”

A useful bit of advice is to have an export permit that can be used 38

throughout the year. This will cut down on paperwork and its concurrent delays. Organizations must be aware that there may be customs/duty levied on humanitarian aid, and it may be necessary to negotiate beforehand to avoid these additional costs. For ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid), an NGO that provides pharmaceutical and medical equipment to Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, the logistics logjam is in port and customs clearance. Pre-planning and proper, detailed paperwork makes customs approval easier. Bureaucratic requirements sometimes make it hard to respond quickly in an emergency, which makes it important to have competent staff with local language and cultural knowledge, says Philip E. Davies, Vice President of the organization. A logistics management firm ships goods anywhere, including war zones. Logistics firms work to provide a complete solution that covers pre-shipment, transit and post-shipment. Agility is one such logistics management company, which has extensive experience in the humanitarian sector. Agility worked with the United Nations mission in Sudan to implement a turnkey bulk fuel operation. For the World Food Programme in Pakistan, Agility provided

a dedicated fleet to help reach 2.8 million people. Agility also participates in the Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics Program (HELP) along with companies such as TNT and UPS. Perhaps the ultimate response to emergency is a “help the helpers” program. Dr. Teo A. Babun Jr. of Americas Relief Team explains a concept for pre-positioning supplies for local relief organizations in the Americas. The objective is to serve those who are serving the victims in a crisis. The program would be carried out through the Humanitarian Operations and Relief Supplies Center for the Americas, which would supply areas hit by disaster through partnerships and donations from governments and NGOs. The program would collect strategic supplies throughout the year. First responders would have access to the inventory and obtain what they need when emergency strikes. Warehousing is already available, since the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) has built Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Central America and the Caribbean. Aid and relief organizations should stick to their core competencies: helping those in crisis. The transportation and logistics aspect would be best handled by experts in that area.

Photo: Ocha / Flickr


Funding structures in humanitarian organizations What is their impact on humanitarian fleet management? Orla Stapleton, Research Associate HRG Alfonso pedraza martinez, INSEAD phD Candidate Rob mcConnell, INSEAD HRG Executive in Residence Luk N. van Wassenhove, Academic Director INSEAD Social Innovation Centre


ransportation is the second largest operational cost to humanitarian organizations, after personnel, and a cornerstone of program delivery. However, effective fleet management is not generally practiced across the humanitarian sector. Effective fleet management entails that vehicles be available when required; running costs be relatively low; the goals of fleet managers and program managers be aligned; and fleets be operated safely and sustainably. The benefits of effective fleet management include lower costs to organizations; the assurance of well-maintained vehicles for program staff when needed; fewer accidents; and above all improved program delivery. With all this and more, why haven’t more humanitarian organizations gotten on board?

Introduction Since 2007, INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group (HRG), part of INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, has been conducting an extensive research project on fleet management in international humanitarian (aid and development) organizations. We focus our study specifically on 4x4 vehicles, such as the Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan patrol, the most widely used vehicles in the last mile distribution of humanitarian program delivery. The project aims to do the following: firstly, to understand how

last mile vehicle fleets are managed; secondly to examine which are the critical factors affecting last mile vehicle fleet management, henceforth referred to as fleet management; and finally, to suggest possible solutions to the main challenges affecting fleet management in humanitarian organizations. INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group is dedicated to developing a science of humanitarian logistics and program delivery. Our work focuses on five themes: disaster preparedness and response coordination; corporate social responsibility; public-private partnerships; access to healthcare; and fleet management. We have produced over 33 pedagogical case studies and over 30 research papers and articles on these topics. In 2009 we published a collection of our work in book form, entitled Humanitarian Logistics. Our research is directed towards providing solutions to practitioners while contributing to academic theory. HRG has won the ‘Best Case Award’ at the EFmD case writing competition in 2005 and 2007 as well as a ‘Best paper Award’ at the London Business School TransAtlantic Doctoral Conference in 2009. In the course of HRG’s research on fleet management we have relied primarily on empirically-based data collection. Basically we have followed the principles of look, listen and learn. To this end we have carried out seventy interviews with a wide number of organizations. These have included donors, vehicle suppliers, humanitarian organizations, service providers and auctioneers; all of them key actors



Source: (INSEAD HRG 2008).


Figure 1. Humanitarian Last Mile Vehicle Supply Chain.

in the last mile vehicle supply chain. Some of these organizations are seen in Figure 1. To fully understand the way humanitarian organizations manage their fleets, we concentrated mainly on four organizations: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Food Program (WFP) and World Vision International (WVI). Our interviews were carried out at four levels: headquarters, regional, national and program. This involved numerous research trips to Geneva, Switzerland; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE; Maputo, Quelimane and Gurue, Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya, Kampala and Uganda. In designing our framework of analysis we used knowledge gained from active participation in the Fleet Forum annual conferences from 2005 to 2008. We also sought advice from experts in the field of humanitarian fleet management such as Rob McConnell, Executive in Residence at INSEAD HRG. We have validated our findings with the fleet managers of each of these organizations, and with the wider humanitarian logistics community via presentations at forums such as Fleet Forum or the Inter-agency Procurement Group. Of the several key factors that we have identified as impacting on fleet management in humanitarian organizations, this article focuses on vehicle funding structures. It looks at their position in the program delivery chain, the different types of funding structures in use, and the impact of funding structures on humanitarian fleet management.


Program delivery chain – the importance of vehicles In the program delivery chain the first link consists of securing program funding. Larger agencies then have the option to employ implementing partners to carry out the last mile distribution of the programs or do it themselves. Last mile distribution in humanitarian program delivery relies on two key elements: the aid and services that the program is delivering; and transportation (Figure 2). Improving fleet management in humanitarian organizations is a vital component in increasing the effectiveness of program delivery.

Source: (Last Mile Vehicle Fleet Management in Humanitarian Operations: a Case-based Approach. INSEAD Working Paper 2009/39/TOM/ISIC).

Figure 2. Last mile distribution in humanitarian operations.

Source: (INSEAD HRG 2008).


Figure 3. Funding structures of humanitarian last mile delivery vehicles.

Funding structures – the impact on humanitarian fleet management models HRG has identified two main funding structures currently in use in humanitarian organizations that impact directly on fleet management. The first is where vehicles are funded as part of a given program. The second is where fleets are funded in support of program delivery. Figure 3 illustrates the main contrasting characteristics of these two structures. The first illustration shows the situation where vehicle funding is earmarked to a specific program. This funding structure is closely linked with the decentralized or program-based fleet management model in Figure 4.

Source: (INSEAD HRG 2008).

As Tomasini and van Wassenhove state in the book Humanitarian Logistics, humanitarian program delivery must preserve the three principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality. In this scenario, programs are primarily focused on fulfilling the organizations’ mission, serving beneficiaries without bias or affiliation to a party in conflict and giving priority to the most in need, without discrimination. Fleet management however, is primarily focused on managing scarce resources efficiently. Further, it is responsible for ensuring that transport is available to provide access to and coverage of those in need while guaranteeing speed of response. These seemingly diverse goals collide as funding for vehicles is brought under the umbrella of program funding.

Figure 4. Decentralized or program-based model.



Source: (INSEAD HRG 2008).


Figure 5. Centralized model.

Decentralized or program-based model

Centralized model

The program procures vehicles directly from a national or regional dealer. In some circumstances orders may go through the national office, though this is not standard. Flows of information between headquarters and the national or project level generally consist of operational or financial reports and recommended policies. Standardization of the fleet is an issue. Accountability for the vehicle lifecycle is also unclear and there is little obligation to adhere to global policies or procedures. Furthermore, as each project procures vehicles individually there is little incentive to plan transport needs in advance.

In the centralized model, vehicle procurement is planned well in advance. Orders are centralized annually at global headquarters that procure the vehicle from the manufacturer using the global investment budget. All running costs of the vehicle come from the national office budget. Data analysis, organization policies and procedures flow from headquarters to the national level.

Management of the vehicle is an inherent responsibility of the program. Vehicles are not generally shared between programs, a characteristic which has a strong impact on availability. Vehicle lifecycle is dependent on the duration of the program instead of depending on use, cost or operating conditions. At the end of the program’s or vehicle’s life, the vehicles are usually sold or donated using a highly bureaucratic process derived from donor requirements or internal audit specifications.

Commercial servicizing model In the commercial servicizing model (Figure 6), headquarters approves the external fleet solution supplier and the vehicle

Source: (INSEAD HRG 2008).

The second illustration highlights the case where funding for vehicles is non-earmarked to specific programs but rather, is used to fund fleet management as a support activity. This funding structure is closely linked with the centralized (Figure 5) and the commercial servicizing (Figure 6) models.

In this model, management of the vehicle lifecycle is shared between the organization’s headquarters and national level. It is therefore possible to standardize the fleet at national level. Planning for transport needs is a key factor in this model. Economies of scale are possible both in procurement and vehicle repairs by using one supplier. In this scenario, monitoring of the vehicle usage is carried out by a dedicated team. Vehicles are pooled and can be shared among programs, with the effect of reducing the number of vehicles required, and therefore costs. At the end of its lifecycle, the vehicle can be returned to the pool for use elsewhere, or for disposal. By moving from a program-based model to a centralized model, one of the organizations we are working with decreased their fleet size by 16 percent.

Figure 6. Commercial Servicizing Model.


Transport orders are sent from the national office to this supplier. The supplier procures the vehicles from the manufacturer and delivers them to the national office where they are rented for a specified monthly fee or are purchased outright. vehicle lifecycle management, training, and data analysis are carried out by the external supplier in conjunction with the fleet manager. A preventative maintenance schedule is also established. Advanced planning for the transport needs of programs is vital. The external supplier works with the organization to improve their fleet composition in order to reduce the size of the fleet required. Once programs no longer require a vehicle, it can be returned to the supplier for disposal. In this model, fleet assessments carried out by the supplier enable organizations to have a more accurate overview of their fleets. using a specially adapted fleet management system, the organization and the supplier work together to compile effective data used to monitor and make decisions regarding the fleets. These three models serve to demonstrate that the type of funding structure under which they operate is fundamental to the type of fleet management model in use in a given humanitarian organization.

Conclusion Transportation is a cornerstone of humanitarian program delivery. Effective fleet management leads to more effective program delivery. Fleet management has moved higher up the agenda in humanitarian organizations in recent years but the discussion needs to go further. Successful fleet management means ensuring that fleets are available when required, that costs are kept low, that the goals of fleet managers and program managers are aligned, and that fleets are operated safely and sustainably. This is attainable, but will require each link in the program delivery chain to examine what their role is in the process. Donors are the first link in the chain. As stated in this article, different funding structures have a different impact on fleet management in humanitarian organizations. When funding is earmarked to vehicles for specific programs, this can have a negative impact on last mile distribution and fleet costs. Alternately, when funding is non-earmarked to fleets in support of program delivery, this can have a positive effect on reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of the fleet. It can also increase an organization’s options as to which fleet management model they wish to employ. Donors and organizations alike would benefit from examining which funding structure and fleet management model is ultimately best for them to achieve the goal of more effective program delivery.

About the organization INSEAD HRG’s research continues on the topic of fleet management in international humanitarian organizations. To date, we have identified the key issues and written about them in a series of working papers and case studies (available upon request from the authors). using quantitative and qualitative tools, we now aim to find solutions to each of these problems.

Enquiries Orla Stapleton, Research Associate, INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group Tel: +33 (0)1 60729291 | INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, Europe Campus – Boulevard de Constance, 77305 Fontainebleau, France INSEAD – The Business School for the World® | Web:



Photo: Tom Oldham/Riders for Health.

Transport and Logistics

Learning to love fleet management Barry Coleman, Executive Director Riders for Health

Without the correct systems of management vehicles will break down, no matter where they operate.


ach year rational people continue to make the same irrational decisions. They end up costing the developed world billions of dollars and ensure that people in rural communities in Africa continue to die of diseases that are so easily preventable they should embarrass anyone involved in healthcare in Africa. Despite all the evidence, at all levels there is a still an unwillingness to recognize that reliable transport should be at the heart of delivering healthcare in Africa. The solutions are there. There is no reason for vehicles to fail in Africa and cannot therefore be an excuse for the failure of a program. So why is this topic continuingly ignored? Why bother with fleet management? After all, most agencies clearly do not. The tradition has been to select vehicles, whether appropriate or not, from a list and then simply to send them to the designated country. And the tradition lives on, alive and well. Billions of dollars each year are being invested in a bid to develop the silver bullets that will completely prevent malaria and cure HIV. Yet there are healthcare interventions that are available now but that never reach the people that need them simply because the transport required to deliver them is not in place. And what of all those in rural communities dying from AIDS or TB who will never receive the drugs that could 44

help them because no one has ever visited their village to test them? Or what of those who were tested but the samples took six weeks to reach the laboratory because they were transported in a van that was also delivering newspapers? In the latter case, as the samples were packaged incorrectly, the vibrations and heat meant that, by the time they reached a lab technician, they were useless anyway. If it takes six weeks for the samples to reach the laboratory, how long will it take for the results to arrive back at the clinic? Without testing, those that could benefit from treatment will never be identified. The hundreds-of-billions of dollars that are spent in the world’s leading universities and research centres are being wasted because the results of their research do not reach those that will benefit. Further billions of dollars are spent by governments and agencies each year on fleets of shining new Toyota Landcruisers. However, time and again, it will often only take a few months for these vehicles to be parked up, rusting, and stripped for parts. Immobilized forever because no one thought of what would happen when the vehicle landed in Nairobi, Dakar or Addis Ababa or, worse, when they rolled out into the rural communities where these vehicles might actually make a difference. Without maintenance, the vehicles will certainly fail. And the same refrain will be heard again and again. “It’s too dusty,” “The terrain is too harsh”, “It’s just Africa.”

Source: Riders for Health.


The cost of running managed and unmanaged vehicles in Africa.

Unpicking the problem We know that unless the vehicles delivered are managed correctly – from the technical and usage points of view – they will fail. And that is nothing to do with the harshness of the conditions. unmanaged, they would fail just as quickly in Washington or melbourne. Technical management of individually-owned vehicles in melbourne and Chicago – in other words, throughout the developed world – now happens automatically. The owneroperator has no reason to know what a timing belt is, still less how to change one. Like almost every other technical aspect of modern life, vehicle maintenance has become specialized and highly ‘packaged.’ You take your Toyota to the Toyota dealership and it comes back serviced. Less expensive items have another life cycle. Your DvD player demonstrates a fault – you buy a new one. It is easy to muddle up the two. In Africa, it seems that they are often well and truly muddled. In any event, fleet management for vehicles in humanitarian service is rare and, when it is found, it is not very effective. That is hardly surprising. Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Yamaha dealerships are rarer by far than white rhinos in rural Africa. You are on your own. Training won’t help much. Train a technician to change a mitsubishi oil filter by all means. There’s no harm in that. But if the nearest filter of the kind he needs is in Japan, there’s not much point in it. Technical skills, supply chain, administration, accounting, fuel supply management, vehicle data capture and management and, above all, ferocious cost-control are the vital elements of fleet management – anywhere.

Logical solutions to illogical problems So how do you put all those together in, for example, rural Africa?

With difficulty, but it is non-negotiable. It must be done. In Riders for Health we have spent the last twenty years learning how to do it and we think we are beginning to get the hang of it. To start with, we trained motorcycle riders and motorcycle technicians to operate a ‘zero-breakdown’ system of preventive maintenance. It went well. In our first seven years of operation in Lesotho between 1991 and 1997, we never had an unplanned downtime moment. But learning at that pace was too slow. After two years in Lesotho we began learning, in parallel, in Ghana and Zimbabwe. In Ghana we learned that you can’t run a large fleet of anything unless you control the supply of replacement parts, and in Zimbabwe we learned to work with the ministry of health on a regional basis. Things have been challenging at times in Zimbabwe but we are opening a brand new headquarters compound on the outskirts of Harare. In spite of the economic tsunami, we continue to run vehicles for the ministry and some local and international NGOs and, as far as we know, we have never had any unplanned downtime on any of them. And for our partners, this means predictable, reliable access to their beneficiaries: “most of these disadvantaged children live off unbelievably bad roads. When we were looking for a transport system to cover our area, we realized that we needed experts in the vehicles, mechanics and training to ensure that the whole thing functioned efficiently. Riders enables us to get to these communities.” (Director of the Farm Orphan Support Trust, Zimbabwe)

A tested solution For six and a half years, we worked with WHO on the polio eradication program in Nigeria. We learned vital lessons there, not least in adapting to the needs and procedures of a global multinational agency. But our main lesson was in control of the disposal point of fully functioning vehicles.



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Photo: Tom Oldham/Riders for Health.


In the Gambia, Riders for Health manages the entire ministry of health fleet, including ambulances, trekking vehicles and motorcycles.

They must be recycled at their point of maximum residual value. And of course, you must know every tiny element that makes up the cost-per-kilometer of running any given vehicle in any given set of geographical and economic circumstances. It is no good knowing merely what a shock absorber costs if you don’t know how long it will last in a particular district of western Zambia.

“most of these disadvantaged children live off unbelievably bad roads. When we were looking for a transport system to cover our area, we realized that we needed experts in the vehicles, mechanics and training to ensure that the whole thing functioned efficiently. Riders enables us to get to these communities.” Director of the Farm Orphan Support Trust, Zimbabwe

Knowing what it costs to run any vehicle in any terrain means we can construct a budget that suits a client. And because the client knows how much their vehicle will cost to run for the whole of its lifespan, they can budget, safe in the knowledge that there will be no unexpected costs. Costs which would normally have to be drawn from some other essential area of the program or simply not be met, leaving the agency with a valuable asset they cannot use. And by consolidating all vehicle running costs, organizations can immediately see where they are wasting money. And, for good measure, we based all these programs on the fundamental principle that every aspect of the work should be in the hands of local men and women so that the benefits of those years of accumulated expertise and training would stay in-country and not leave with any expatriate staff.

All of this we have learned and are now putting every single lesson to work in our transport asset management program, beginning in the Gambia. We own the vehicles and lease them to the ministry of health. We employ the drivers of the ambulances and trekking vehicles so they will only be used for their authorized purpose; no wasted or misused kilometers. Especially not since the cost-per-kilometer includes the capital cost of the vehicles written down over five years. That money has to be repaid. Since the fleet has been tailored to the needs of each health centre, each hospital and each district, the balance of vehicles is correct and for the first time an African country will be able to reach every man, woman and child with healthcare – forever, as far as we can predict. But then, that’s another lesson that must be learnt.

The key piece of the puzzle This has been about twenty years of successful fleet management in hostile conditions based on learning. Then learning some more. And then more. Which brings us to a point to consider: what NGO dedicated to its humanitarian purpose has twenty years to spare for learning on this scale? Or the resources to focus its attention on oil filters instead of vaccines and bed-nets? Not many, we think. And for those who do not have that time at their disposal and for those who constantly find their programs impaired or even undermined by failing vehicles (also the most costly kind), we wonder if talking to professional, specialist fleet management experts might be of some help. But until they do, people will continue to die in their millions and governments will continue to spend billions of dollars without ever reaching their goals. Conferences will be arranged, targets set and money committed to laudable projects. At the same time, it will be ensured that there is no hope of a positive outcome because the fundamental need of any project, of any type, anywhere in the world, has been neglected. Again.



Photo: Tom Oldham/Riders for Health.


Reliable transport means even more families in rural communities can receive health care.

A broken vehicle not only means that communities will go without healthcare, it is also senseless waste of valuable resources – a waste that could be prevented. A lack of transport infrastructure, or a failure of vehicles, is no longer an excuse for a program to fail in Africa. The solution has been developed, tested and proven.

“A lack of transport infrastructure, or a failure of vehicles, is no longer an excuse for a program to fail in Africa.” There is not a single country in Africa that would not profoundly benefit from our work. Ministries of Health would be able to reach everyone, no matter where they lived. National immunization campaigns and disease eradication targets would actually be met. Children would become healthier. Education would improve. Economies would grow. On a recent visit to Zimbabwe, I asked my colleague Alec Makuyana – Riders’ technician for Manicaland province – why he continued to work for Riders for Health. “We are helping other organizations to realize their dreams through a sound transport management system,” he replied. “When we do not hear of terms such as ‘breakdown’ in relation to vehicles and motorcycles, it means health delivery targets are being fulfilled for all.” It seems he may have a point. Or maybe we are just slow learners! 48

About the author Barry Coleman is the co-founder and executive director of Riders for Health, the award winning social enterprise he founded with the current CEO of the organization, Andrea Coleman. Barry holds a postgraduate degree in law. He has previously worked as a journalist for the Guardian, BBC and Forbes Magazine. He also spent ten years as a consultant on corporate communications.

About the organization Riders for Health manages and maintains fleets of vehicles for healthcare delivery in Africa. They manage over 1,400 vehicles across six countries, managing clients with large scale, integrated fleets of vehicles covering entire countries. They also mobilize smaller community based organizations with a very small number of vehicles.

Enquiries Riders for Health The Drummonds Spring Hill Office Park Harborough Road Pitsford, Northampton NN6 9AA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1604 889 570 Fax: +44 (0)1604 889 595 Email: Website:

Photo: OCHA


Transport – an enabler of development Natalie Teperdjian, marketing & Communications Consultant, Fleet Forum

While in many countries strict government regulations exist regarding safety as it relates to vehicles on the road, in low- and middle-income countries it often becomes difficult to enforce the regulations.


leets of vehicles, trucks and motorbikes that are utilised by humanitarian agencies to achieve their development, emergency response and aid actions, as well as by commercial companies to achieve their business objectives, are an essential component of achieving development goals. They are a critical link in the humanitarian supply chain and as such, greatly impact achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) overall. Yet interestingly none of the MDGs mention transport, and many do not recognize the link between improving lives in low- and middle-income countries and transport. Impacting issues of health, child well-being, environmental sustainability and poverty, transport has an integral effect that should be recognised and addressed. Transport operations around the globe often strive to improve safety and environmental records of their fleets, but in low- and middle-income countries where the impacts are often the greatest, more needs to be done to address these issues.

The impact of transport Road traffic accidents kill more than one million people each year, while 20-50 million are injured or permanently disabled. This is approximately equal to 3,000 deaths every day. more than 80 percent of road traffic fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, where the repercussions

of an accident can mean the total loss of income for large extended family networks, with a massive impact on livelihood and survival rates. A road death in Kenya where a primary income earner was killed saw 18 extended family members impacted by this loss of income, in addition to the emotional loss of a family member. Today, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide for children and young people aged between 10 and 24, and by 2020 it is projected that road traffic injuries will be the third leading contributor to the global problem of disease and injury. Road traffic accidents are a public health risk. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises this fact, road traffic deaths and injuries continue on a daily basis, affecting millions of lives while clear solutions to address this risk are readily available.

“Today, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide for children and young people aged between 10 and 24.” The environmental impact of transport is another significant challenge posed by vehicles, particularly in low- and middleincome countries. WHO has stated that only 15 percent of the largest cities in these countries have access to what



Photo: OCHA


Responsibility for transport safety within any organisation lies with management who must understand that safety is an organisation-wide issue that needs to start with them.

is considered to be acceptable air quality. More than three million deaths each year are attributed to this poor air quality. Transport has also been said to cause more than 25 percent of the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Based on these statistics alone, transport poses a clear risk, both to the environment and due to the environmental impact on public health.

“Transport causes more than 25 percent of the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions around the world.� While transport is a necessary component of everyday life, and is the backbone of humanitarian activities themselves which cannot be achieved without the involvement of transport in some capacity, steps need to be taken to stop the continued, often unrecognised, negative impact of transport particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

The road to change The United Nations General Assembly has already raised a call for increased attention and resources to be directed towards road safety, through increased international cooperation, awareness and activities aimed at combating the problem, particularly within humanitarian operations. Organizations operating fleets must utilise a step-by-step process to assess, measure, and correct all aspects of their transport operations. 50

While in many countries strict government regulations exist regarding safety as it relates to vehicles on the road, in low- and middle-income countries it often becomes difficult to enforce the regulations. In these countries, where the impact of road accidents is greatest, it is the responsibility of all road users to approach their transport activities responsibly. This responsibility should start with organizations and businesses operating vehicles in these countries who are not only able to exert control within their operations, but also create a knock-on effect where staff take these lessons into their everyday vehicle usage. Organizations must start by asking themselves a series of questions. Are we operating safely? Are we aware of the number of accidents and incidents our vehicles are involved in? Do we analyse accidents to take action to prevent reoccurrence? Are our drivers trained appropriately to ensure they are adhering to accepted safe driving practices? Are our occasional drivers knowledgeable about safe driving practices? As an organisation, have we adopted an ethos of safe fleet operations ensuring the security of our drivers and the communities we operate in? For many organizations looking at their fleet safety records, the first reaction to issues of road traffic accidents is to point to drivers and driver errors as the primary culprit, but this would not be a suitable reaction. While there may be a need for driver training, or more stringent selection criteria for drivers, the real responsibility for transport safety within any organisation lies with management who must understand that safety is an organisation-wide issue that needs to start with them. From management’s taking responsibility for safe operations of fleets, organizations must then strive to instill

Transport an organisation-wide culture of fleet safety. using specific trainings, data gathering and analysis tools, monitoring mechanisms and most importantly creating a sense of individual responsibility in all staff, an organisation can move through the process of creating and implementing a viable Fleet Safety management System. External consultants and road safety experts can often help by guiding these processes and bringing to the table established tools and knowledge that facilitate the process. Some ideas include conducting a Fleet Safety audit like that found at nonmembers/selfaudit.php which helps guide organizations through identifying their fleet safety risk rating. Established Fleet Safety Toolkits, like that created by the Fleet Forum and awarded the prince michael of Kent International Road Safety Award, provide step-bystep mechanisms to guide organizations through the complete development and implementation of a fleet safety management system. (The toolkit can be found at http:// When it comes to the environment, the entire vehicle supply chain needs to be addressed. Starting from procurement, where the acquisition of a new vehicle means environmental impacts from manufacture and transport to its end user, through the final disposal of vehicles, each stop along a vehicle’s lifecycle needs to be considered for its environmental impacts. Organizations must start by asking themselves – what is the carbon footprint of our vehicle operations? For one large international NGO a detailed analysis of its carbon footprint indicated that, after air travel, its vehicle fleet accounted for the largest single contribution to the organization’s total emissions. Armed with basic data that all fleet operators should have to hand, a simple tool that can assist in this process of calculating the CO2 emissions and other air pollutants being emitted by each organisation is available from the united Nations Environment programme ( This tool provides a very clear picture of the damage being done to the environment based on typical vehicle usage by an organisation. Next, organizations must consider if they are able to operate the right Eu certified vehicles, and if they have access to the right fuel to ensure these vehicles can run effectively. If the right fuel is not available, then filters and other specialised tools which allow Euro compliant vehicles to operate suboptimal fuels are available to be retrofitted to vehicles and improve their emissions.

Collaboration as a key to change Together, all entities, both commercial and humanitarian, operating in low- and middle-income countries have a responsibility to minimise their negative impacts on the communities in which they operate. many of the tools that have been established to address the environment, safety and fleets are derived from commercial-humanitarian partnerships that draw on the specific expertise of both sectors to create proven tools that have helped enable organizations’ work towards achieving the mDGs by first improving their own operations. Ideally, collaboration between the commercial and humanitarian sectors would mean optimised operations for both, lessons learned on both sides and a unified approach to addressing how transport operations are impacting development goals. From the humanitarian perspective, this means more resources and more individuals working towards improving the lives of millions in need around the world.

About the author As marketing and Communications manager for the Fleet Forum, Natalie Teperdjian is responsible for knowledge and information sharing, partnership building and fundraising aimed at confronting poverty issues using transport as an enabler of development. prior to joining the united Nations World Food programme through which she is assigned to the Fleet Forum, ms Teperdjian has spent ten years working in both commercial and non-profit marketing, communications, strategy building, and programme development.

About the organization Founded in 2003 and currently managed as a joint initiative between the uN World Food programme, World vision International and TNT, the Fleet Forum is the first independent knowledge centre, focused on issues surrounding fleets within the aid and development community. An interagency association of more than 40 members, including NGOs, international organizations, the uN, academic institutions, donors and corporate partners, it is the vision of the Fleet Forum to improve lives by raising the profile of transport’s impact on development, and optimising fleet operations by making them safer, greener and more effective. The Fleet Forum won the prince michael of Kent International Road Safety Award for its Fleet Safety Toolkit and work towards improving the safety of fleet operations.


Fuel is often the largest contributor to the overall impact of a vehicle fleet on the environment and must be addressed.

Natalie Teperdjian marketing & Communications Consultant Fleet Forum Tel: +971 (50) 4559714 Email: Website:

Training also comes into play when improving the environmental impact of fleets, particularly in the area of eco-driving. Eco-driving leads to reduced fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and accident rates through optimised driving principles. It also points to clear linkages between safety and the environment, illustrating the inter-related nature of all aspects of fleet operations and how they impact the communities in which they operate.

Fleet Forum c/o united Nations World Food programme p.O. Box 506003 Dubai united Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 368 1383 Fax: +971 4 368 1381 Email: Website:






Page 1

Workshop Report Speakers

Effective transport systems

Moderator: Brian Hanrahan

Martin Bettelley Coordinator, Fleet Forum

Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By vaishali Honawar


s many as 25 percent of deaths among humanitarian aid workers result from vehicular accidents, highlighting the need for better and more effective transport systems in disaster-hit areas, speakers at a workshop on effective transport systems said. “An increasing number of aid workers are killed or injured in road crashes… but road safety doesn’t get much attention,” said martin Bettelley, the coordinator of the Fleet Forum. The Fleet Forum is an independent knowledge center focused on issues surrounding humanitarian fleets within the aid and development community. It supports efficient and effective humanitarian action by catalyzing the professionalization of fleet operations, increasing road safety and security, and improving the environmental impact of fleets. The Fleet Forum is now engaged in trying to create a road safety guide,

mr. Bettelley added. “vehicles represent a huge cost in any operations. But only a few [humanitarian] agencies now have fleet management systems,” he said. There are other problems too when working in some disaster-affected regions. For instance, “in Darfur there are no roads. So how are you going to track your fleet?” he said. “What we need is to find innovative solutions for this problem.” Speakers urged that technology today can help in creating some of these solutions. “You can run fleets using new technologies. Gone are the days when computers would crash easily. We now have very reliable systems that will help run your fleet,” mr. Bettelley said. For instance, once a vehicle goes outside the compound, it can be tracked with satellite devices.

John Abood, Team Leader/Contracting Officer, Transportation Division, Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OFDA), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Lionel Marre Project Manager, OMIF – IT-Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch, World Food Programme (WFP) Dr. Teo A. Babun Jr Executive Director, Americas Relief Team

Google Earth, which is a free virtual geographic program that can be linked to all satellite systems, can also be used to track fleets, he added.

© Gene Dailey/American Red Cross

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

Up to 25 percent of deaths among humanitarian aid workers result from vehicular accidents.


9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time



Workshop Report

Vehicles represent a huge cost in any operation and therefore it is important to emphasize fuel-saving methods like driving gently, avoiding harsh braking, better vehicle control, and a potential reduction in unauthorized trips.

Mr. Bettelley also emphasized the importance of using eco-friendly methods while running fleet systems. Vehicles represent a huge cost in any operation and therefore it is important to emphasize fuel-saving methods like driving gently, avoiding harsh braking, better vehicle control, and a potential reduction in unauthorized trips.

John Abood, a team leader and contracting officer in the Transportation Division of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), described some of the methods used by the agency and their PVO partners to ship 2.6 million metric tons of food and non-food items each year around the world. USAID is the principal U.S.

government agency that extends assistance to individuals recovering from disasters, trying to escape famine and poverty and engaging in democratic reforms. “Transport represent a substantial cost in any development operation and therefore it is important to apply efficient methods.”

© Jean-Francois Dontaine/FAO

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture buys food for delivery around the world day after day. These are highvalue commodities and they have a shelf life. They have to be delivered quickly,” Mr. Abood said.

Actual transportation of aid is one of the biggest questions faced by donors.


“Vehicles represent a huge cost in any operation and therefore it is important to emphasize fuel-saving methods.”

The U.N. World Food Program and very dedicated private voluntary organizations request commodities, which are put on ocean vessels and shipped to destination ports overseas.

Workshop Report From there the food is transported to distribution centers and made available to families, he added. Often, non-food items – tents, blankets, medical supplies, water treatment systems – are also donated through our uSAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. “We don’t send a little here and a little there. We are always consolidating cargoes so we have full ocean vessel, aircraft or container loads,” mr. Abood said. Our transport and logistics systems are highly organized, with our assessment and program teams coordinating logistics with our partners on a constant basis, he added. He pointed out that small groups wishing to ship their cargo can often find help. While the uSAID does not offer space to smaller programs, mr. Abood described two programs that do: the Denton and Ocean Freight Reimbursement programs,

which do. The u.S. Air Force also sometimes makes space available for cargo, he added. Teo A. Babun, Jr., the Executive Director of Americas Relief Team, said the actual transportation of aid is one of the biggest questions faced by donors. “After any crisis there is a reaction, usually unorganized, and small and large NGOs in the diaspora go into action,” he said. In the united States, he said, there are huge diasporas from around the world, all with a tremendous desire to help their communities.

“The actual transportation of aid is one of the biggest questions faced by donors.” “They put aid together and the shipments are small. But they don’t have funding or don’t remember that it has to be shipped,” he said, adding


that the “problem in getting aid to countries is logistics.” “We are trying to bring some sense to that process,” said mr. Babun. The Americas Relief Team is a private sector collaboration of corporations and non-profit organizations created to help Latin American and Caribbean countries during times of crisis and disasters. “Our main aim is to provide assistance to those in need after crisis by calling on NGOs to collaborate, consolidate and ship humanitarian aid to areas in need,” mr. Babun said. The ART collaborates with freight consolidators in Florida, where it is based. “We have a bank of charity cargo operators. There are hundreds of cargo companies in the port of miami and we try to find ways they will give space.” In exchange, he said, the only benefit they can offer to these cargo operators is small tax relief or a trophy at the end of the year.


KJAER GROUP A/S Founded in 1962, Kjaer Group A/S is a leading automotive service and solution provider to the international aid and development sector serving organizations, companies and expatriates worldwide. Our group has coverage in 10 donor countries and 33 developing countries, the majority of which are in Africa. This global presence enables us to work in close cooperation with our customers, both at their headquarters and throughout their regional and field offices around the world. With our customers and partners, Kjaer Group invests in developing turnkey automotive solutions which have delivered and serviced vehicles in more than 133 countries.

























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KJAER GROUP FLEET SOLUTIONS Managing a global fleet of vehicles is a complex proposition. Take this challenge and move it to the aid and development sector and the difficulty is even more complex. Many organizations and commercial companies have realized this and are taking steps towards improving mission effectiveness via their second most critical asset - vehicles. Against this backdrop, Kjaer Group partnered with leading aid and development organizations to develop and test Kjaer Group Fleet Solutions, an innovative turnkey fleet management offering that bundles key automotive services together. Depending on the requirements of your operation, three individual and scalable solutions are available to support your needs. At any time we welcome an open dialogue on how to optimize your fleet.











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Humanitarian Tools

Putting people at the center Responses for the challenges of managing people in our sector


Jonathan Potter, Executive Director, People In Aid


taff and volunteers are the most important contributors to the effective and cost-efficient fulfillment of an organization’s mission. People In Aid’s global network keeps us well informed of the key people-related concerns for organizations working in the development and humanitarian sector. This article challenges the reader with questions on organizations’ preparedness for what will make them more effective through engagement with and management of staff. It is your people who are your organization. They achieve your mission for you (as fundraisers, communicators, fieldworkers, accountants and managers). They are your present and your future. The challenges relating to the people in one’s organization never diminish. It is necessary to have an HR function to deal with these challenges, essential to have line managers trained to work productively with the people themselves, and it is mission-critical to have leadership that recognizes and addresses people-related concerns. Gary Hamel, author of The Future of Work, states: “You can’t compete or win unless you can get the very best out of your people. The people around you are more innovative, resilient, adaptable and engaging than your organization. You must change for the benefit of performance and above all for the benefit of the people who turn up every day.” 58

The following article presents the current concerns and challenges facing People In Aid’s network of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) working in the humanitarian and development sector. The reference points are not theories but, rather, your peers and their practice and policies. The aim is to help you think about what needs addressing now, what’s likely to affect the management of people in the future and, finally, the role of the leader.

“You can’t compete or win unless you can get the very best out of your people. You must change for the benefit of performance and above all for the benefit of the people who turn up every day.” Current challenges in people management People In Aid has close to 150 NGO members. Their staff and many non-members check in to what we are doing and contribute to the regular exchange of information we facilitate, making buy-in to our services a bellwether for the sector’s concerns. Here are the top people-related concerns of our current members: HR departments are focusing on: • Budgets being cut when people are ever more important to the organization;

Humanitarian Tools • Getting the basics right: gathering and learning from metrics, creating and disseminating policies and principles; • Surge capacity (for humanitarian agencies); • Reward principles, policies and benchmarking; • performance management and accountability; • Crosscutting issues such as leadership or the use of technology for HR systems. people-related issues challenging our member organizations include: • Employee wellbeing: ensuring the psychological, economic and physiological wellbeing of every member of staff, hopefully promoted as part of a moral duty of care rather than as a legal obligation; • Management and leadership capacity: enhancing the capability of every employee, whether technical or not, to manage his/her team and become a leader; • Distance management and building effective teams: managing people and teams from afar; • Retention, talent management, career pathing and succession planning: guaranteeing the future health of your organization; • Employee ‘engagement’: building a culture of trust, ensuring all colleagues live to the shared values and are dedicated to the mission. Analysis of how the sector is using our work, as both a hub and central resource, illustrates these challenges further. people in Aid’s February 2009 conference on Talent management was very well attended. Some of the key recommendations from the speakers included the importance of assessing the ability, aspiration and engagement of one’s staff; balancing expatriate assignments with growing local capabilities; promoting diversity; and being aware that talent exists at all levels of an organization. Figures from the Society of Human Resource management (SHRm) show that only ten percent of staff intend to seek a new job when the recession is over, so it is important to plan for retention and to make sure that the ten percent aren’t the most talented. Interestingly, retrenchment has not recently been a subject of enquiry so much as career pathing and talent management have been.

At our most recent workshop, managing at a Distance, 40 percent of the participants were CEOs or senior operational staff. Budgets for travel have been drastically reduced, yet the need to manage people from afar continues. In order to assess how your team can continue to be effective and how you can manage well while at your desk, it is necessary to consider key issues such as fostering trust, team building, expectation management, carefully constructed conversations and e-mail protocols. In September 2008, downloads quintupled in all three main languages for a paper we wrote on motivating national staff where financial resources are not available. Said one CEO in the report: “Employee motivation is a continual challenge, where falling back could mean the death of the organization.” The download numbers show how important it is to assess how they are managing motivation. Consider some of the following practices: secondments, performance management, special projects, promotion and low-cost benefits such as medical care. Cultural considerations are also important.

One organization interviewed for the motivation study pointed out that “low staff motivation was due to an unhelpful and autocratic management style in the past resulting in lack of respect for employees, nepotism, indifference to employee issues, lack of listening, imposition of policies and procedures without employee consultation, including low salaries. A number of employees left the organization.” And then the leader was fired.

people In Aid has over 100 organizations signed up to salary benchmarking which we are doing, jointly with partners, in 90 countries. While this shows the importance of compensation and benefits, the questions increasingly being asked are not so much about how much a country manager is being paid, but about principles rather than practice. Are you considering the future of the expat reward package (or indeed of the expat as a breed of employee)? What are the perceptions of nonfinancial rewards such as great working environment, holidays or learning and development opportunities?

“Employee motivation is a continual challenge, where falling back could mean the death of the organization.”

People In Aid’s May Newsletter on talent management.

pressures on staff are building. Jobs are being cut, but the work usually remains. There are multiple impacts here. Take one large organization full of dedicated humanitarian and development workers, each probably giving 110 percent. Add on a new responsibility: the learning and development department has gone, so each manager is now responsible for all stages of the development of their staff. Surely, effort is now up to 125 percent. And this comes at a time when staff are increasingly motivated by learning opportunities, when organizations can motivate by developing talent if pay



Humanitarian Tools is not available, and when staff are stretched to the possible breaking point. Staff wellbeing is maintained primarily through good, sound management and support.

“The following are seen by staff as key over arching issues related to staff support policies and programs: the critical role of skilled managers in effective staff support; the equity of policies and programs as applied to national and international staff; the availability of funding and other resources for staff support purposes; and the complexity of the situations in Sudan and Chad, and the challenge this poses to designing and implementing relevant and appropriate policies and programs from headquarters.” Observations of the Headington Institute study of staff wellbeing in Darfur 2007 Around 25 people monthly are still joining the global community of practice we run for HR and people managers in the sector. The good news is that not every learning and development specialist or HR generalist has been laid off or made themselves redundant in the last few months. The news I can’t interpret is that the discussion threads have not related to the bigger issues of redundancy or organizational restructuring, but continue to address matters of policy such as debriefing, reference checking or expenses. This could mean HR professionals are not being consulted about the bigger picture.

Preparing for change The abovementioned are present concerns, but what does the future hold? And are you ready for the changes it will undoubtedly bring? We have held two conferences recently on Facilitating Successful Change. The key conclusion from Nairobi-based agencies was that organizations need to have change plans just as they need to have surge or preparedness plans. Shouldn’t the humanitarian sector be good at dealing with change? There’s an insight in an article in our April 2008 newsletter: “In common with many disaster response organizations, the Red Cross excels in its core competency of dealing effectively with emergencies. But this means that for anything to be taken seriously it has to be turned into an emergency.” Equally, from the Nairobi point of view, preparedness was essential because the regional and country offices were too often told, without consultation, what the change was and by when it had to be implemented. Raising head office awareness of the need for whole-organization preparedness is essential. Conclusions from both conferences focused on the key role of people in change, and on the language of change being used. The conferences advocated the use of the words “adaptation”, “improvement”, or “enhancement of capacity” over the vocabulary of “change”. Any staff member being told about “a change process” is likely to feel susceptible to victimization. Equally, change is a constant: what you might hear at the water-cooler results in a change of priority or opinion; and the previous experience of a new country director may change organizational practice for the better. 60

‘Be humane’ was the message about how change impacts on individuals. This requires the HR department to have an early role in every ‘change process’ (rather than leaving it to sweep up the fall-out), demanding constant communication and raising the emotional intelligence levels of the chosen ‘change agents.’

Future challenges Organizations working in the development and humanitarian sector face a number of people-related concerns for the future: What are the most likely situations in which your organization will be asked to ‘adapt’, and what impact will it have on you, your staff and volunteers? Are you prepared for the increasing number of disasters caused by climate change, human conflict and other causes? Are you, similarly, prepared for expanding work into disaster risk reduction? To be prepared, you need to know the mix of skills held by your current staff, both national and international; you need to listen when your HR department tells you they won’t be able to find suitably qualified people with a particular language skill; and you may need to develop the skills of staff on your development programs to respond to a natural disaster. You should also look beyond your own organization if you use partners or local NGOs: have they a capacity to respond which would be strengthened by investment in HR practices, in learning and development, in security training, or in funding core costs to retain key staff? What will happen if you are hit by a pandemic? Are contingencies in place to manage programs and people? Is it clear to all managers whether the usual employment policies apply: eg sickness, home-working, compassionate leave, time off in lieu, business continuity? If you are expelled from Darfur or another country, what will you do with the suddenly-available expatriates and the national staff? 6,500 staff were affected by the expulsions in March. One of our members gave us a good case study of preparing for retrenchment. The security threat to your workers is increasing. One study showed that attacks on NGO and UN workers is increasing, with the greatest increase directed to national staff. Ask yourself whether your organization has undertaken what the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) calls an “unconscious transfer of risk” to national staff? Have your national staff been trained in security? Are they included in security briefings? If, for example, the Sri Lankan government is to believe that NGOs are an impediment to peace and the President of Sudan calls the NGOs expelled in March “spies and thieves”, how can you reassure your national staff, as individuals, that they will be protected? Related to both of the above, are your policies and practices relating to abduction sufficiently strong and well known amongst colleagues? It was clear from a simulation we ran jointly in Washington last year that the handling of an abduction requires clear procedures, with established levels of responsibility between head office and country office. Consideration also needs to be given to areas such as the media, the effect on colleagues, donors and communication protocols.

Humanitarian Tools examples were given of too many change processes happening at one time, or of change being suggested by senior people with no business case or clear objective provided. Second, that there were times when change clearly needed to happen but senior people were not addressing the need. Photo: trokilinochchi/Flickr

• Leading by example. Leaders need to be seen to be living the organizational values by modelling behaviour: they need to recruit their senior team in the same way everyone else has to; they need to communicate on the same level as the rest of the organization’s staff; and they need to set an example in how they treat staff (eg expectations of working hours). Organizations working in the development and humanitarian sector face a number of people-related concerns for the future.

Responsibility for people issues lies with the senior team I’ve asked a lot of questions and suggested some generic areas that should be under consideration in your organization. But whose role is it to consider all these questions? ultimately, managing and engaging staff and volunteers must start at the top of the organization. One of the presenters at our talent conference referred to the CEO as the ‘chief talent officer’, for example, suggesting that good leadership attracts, recruits and retains talent.

“Senior management must be aware that their staff’s capacity to adapt is key to organizational change moving forward positively.” The role of the leader is of course multi-faceted but, as Hamel says above, people make organizations. If, based on feedback from and activity amongst our membership, I had to highlight key areas for focus, I would choose three areas with important people-related challenges: • Strategic planning. i) HR needs to be represented on the senior management team so workforce planning is done at the same time as operational planning and the organization benefits from consistent and joined-up approaches. ii) Donors need to be lobbied to be sympathetic to requests for more ‘core’ costs. Some donors have shown they will fund security costs as a percentage of the budget, others have invested in staff wellbeing measures; if they don’t, the programs they fund will be much less effective. • Change. Senior management must be aware that their staff’s capacity to adapt is key to organizational change moving forward positively. For example, a future-focused organization may tell its people their jobs will be different tomorrow, or will emphasize the mission and values at every opportunity. The two conferences mentioned earlier had two messages for leaders. First, that there are times when change is happening when it isn’t necessary:

A tight financial climate means that now is the right time to retain the staff you need for the future, and to distinguish yourselves from the crowd by being an organization that truly engages with and values its people. For the leaders amongst you, there’s lots of help out there – namely, your staff!

“Tight financial climate means that now is the right time to retain the staff you need for the future, and to distinguish yourselves from the crowd by being an organization that truly engages with and values its people.”

About the author Jonathan potter has been Executive Director of people In Aid since 2001. He has overseen growth in membership, international expansion and an increase in the range and quantity of output and services offered by people In Aid. He previously worked for ActionAid and the volunteersending organization BESO, and has degrees from Oxford university (Oriental Studies) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (International Relations).

About the organization people In Aid improves organizational effectiveness within the humanitarian and development sector worldwide by advocating, supporting and recognizing good practice in the management of people. We support our member agencies through the provision of information, support and networking opportunities and award Quality marks to recognize members who achieve excellence by implementing The Code of Good practice. people In Aid is a registered charity, based in London, uK.

Enquiries Jonathan potter, Executive Director people In Aid 356 Holloway Road London N6 7pA united Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 30 95 39 51 Email: Website:



Humanitarian Tools Speakers

Legal barriers to aid provision, including customs, visa and immigration

Doug Jackson President, Project C.U.R.E

Tracy Reines Director, International Response Operations Center, American Red Cross

Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C.


ost of us have accepted that the results of the disasters which occurred on September 11, 2001 have drastically changed traveling for all of us. Gone are the days when we can arrive at the airport 10 minutes prior to flight departure, arrive at the gate with a boarding pass and simply stroll onto the aircraft with a briefcase and a smile. Traveling today has become much more complicated and dramatic, to say the least. With luggage fees, expensive on-flight refreshments, and long check-in lines, many of us grumble about the changes to air travel. The inconveniences we encounter are, however, minimal compared to what Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. experiences on a daily basis. Doug Jackson’s father, Dr. James Jackson, founded project C.U.R.E. in 1987. The elder Jackson was working as an economic consultant in povertystricken countries and while on a trip to Brazil, was moved by the lack of appropriate medical supplies in a local clinic just outside of Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Jackson learned that people were sometimes turned away from medical care because of the lack of supplies and equipment. He was moved so much, he sprung into action once he returned home. Using his own funds and the help of friends, Dr. Jackson collected around $250,000 worth 62

Š Yoshi Shimizu/International Federation of Red Cross

By Carlette N. Ritter

A warehouse containing relief goods at the Indonesia Red Cross central office in Banda Aceh.

of medical supplies in a little over a 30-day period which he stored in his garage until he could ship them directly to Brazil via an ocean-going cargo container. Dr. Douglas Jackson now holds the reins of Project C.U.R.E. as President and CEO. PROJECT C.U.R.E. currently operates and maintains large distribution warehouses in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee where donated items are gathered and then delivered to the distribution warehouses in collection centers located in 10 U.S. cities. Project C.U.R.E. has delivered supplies to 120 countries worldwide. But it is not always easy to get the supplies to their destination because of customs regulations and problems. Dr. Douglas Jackson, also an attorney, says that it is really a very good practice to have agreements in place prior to disasters regarding the importation of goods, equipment, tax exemptions and visa processes. By practicing the International Disaster Response Laws (IDRL), Project

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time



Humanitarian Tools

The key to successful and smooth operations lies in the planning that was done prior to the disaster.

C.u.R.E. as well as other humanitarian relief organizations pre-plan by assessing a country’s needs upfront according to information gathered through studies, fact sheets and legal databases. Despite their efforts however, Dr. Jackson’s personnel prepare their 40-ft cargo holders and ship their goods only to be met with the tangled mess of legal issues to get the goods to their final destination. project C.u.R.E. supplies anything and everything that can be found in a normal, regular hospital including beds, tables, needles, bags and so on… but sometimes there are immigration issues that delay the supplies getting to the needy. many times, according to Jackson, the problem lies with a general lack of preparedness in the receiving country, an international staff that is not aware of legal processes and also the unscrupulous notion, on the receiving end, that a bribe is acceptable. Dr. Jackson adamantly warns against such practices. He says to pay a bribe is sending a message to everyone, worldwide, that an organization is amenable to the idea of being bought. Dr. Jackson says that leaves an organization weak and vulnerable. No matter how difficult the red tape is to wade through, an organization must stay focused on the right path. To pay a bribe for $5,000 for example, will imply to the next country that a $10,000 bribe will also be acceptable. Dr. Jackson refers to the process as incorrigible and his organization would never participate in such a practice. Also, his states, his organization will not do business with any organization or company who is known to have bribed officials.

Tracy Reines is the Director of the International Response Operations Center of the American Red Cross. Her department oversees every international disaster response that the Red Cross undertakes. The logistical responsibilities of the department included dispersing funds, mobilizing response teams including personnel and equipment, and keeping track of tons of supplies – all at the same time, and as quickly as possible since lives depend on her coordination.

“To pay a bribe is sending a message to everyone, worldwide, that an organization is amenable to the idea of being bought.” ms. Reines says that before the Red Cross can respond to a disaster, an assessment has to be done to ascertain exactly what aid needs to be provided, by whom, and how best to provide it. There are many agencies involved in the assessment including the area’s local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which play a critical role in determining aid because they are the on the ground and therefore know exactly what is needed and where. Because there are many others involved in the process of organizing fundraising dollars and supplies for aid, it is important to make sure funds are raised and allocated in the exact manner for which they are needed. The key to successful and smooth operations lies in the planning that was done prior to the disaster.


Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance contribute to national legal preparedness by providing guidance to States interested in improving their domestic legal, policy and institutional frameworks concerning international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance. While affirming the principal role of domestic authorities and actors, they recommend minimum legal facilities to be provided to assisting States and to assisting humanitarian organizations that are willing and able to comply with minimum standards of coordination, quality and accountability. It is hoped that the use of these guidelines will enhance the quality and efficiency of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance in order to better serve disaster-affected communities. The guidelines are very comprehensive and are written with the layperson in mind. They include: Core Responsibilities (for the affected states, the assisting actor and the intention of services), Early Warning and preparedness, Initiation and Termination of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance, Eligibility for Legal Facilities and Legal Facilities for Entry and Operations. Each guideline lists sub-topics which service as a foundation for smooth operations between entities; however even the best-laid intentions can go awry. Dr. Jackson says that preparation can prevent a lot of problems further down the road. Opening bank accounts in foreign countries and building a rapport with other organization leaders is a good start. Essentially, one should take special care to make sure they have all of their proverbial legal ducks in a row and an adequate checks and balances system. An appropriate checklist to prepare as well in advance as possible would include, for example: personnel, goods and equipment, transportation, domestic legal status (the bank accounts and contacts aforementioned), taxes, security and costs. Additionally, expect to work long hours to accomplish the ultimate goal, which is to ensure the goods and supplies your organization is shipping; get there safe and sound and to the people who desperately need them, with your organization’s reputation, ability and respect still intact. 63




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Workshop Report

Insurance issues – benefits and potential concerns of establishing a global insurance program Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


umanitarian organizations and other NGOs operating outside their home country are generally at risk of natural and manmade disasters, making risk management plans and good insurance policies critical necessities. In the NGO world, security and natural disasters may force evacuations, there is a growing need for kidnap and ransom insurance, and organizations may get sued by the family of a staff member who is harmed. Additionally, when NGOs have to get individuals and families out of harm’s way, the costs quickly add up, which is why insurance is critical, explains maggie Burke, management services director at Africare.

“Active participation in selecting and managing insurance, and knowledge about insurance options, is critical to protecting the organization.” “You need to understand insurance from a consumer standpoint. There are issues with new situations such as dealing with war zones or hostile environments,” says Burke.

“Active participation in selecting and managing insurance, and knowledge about insurance options, is critical to protecting the organization.” To this end, Burke advises finding a good insurance broker. Brokers can deal with various insurance agencies and get multiple quotes, as wells as serve as advocates in case of claims or if the insurance company goes out of business. They can look at policies and judge whether they meet the organization’ needs based on their understanding of what is being done in the field. Finally, it is important that the insurance company have a local office. or individual familiar with the laws and culture of the country. In the insurance world, definitions become very important. What is considered terrorism? What is civil unrest? What is considered an act of war? Organizations will have to understand where their insurance begins and ends, and where lines are drawn. To muddy the waters further, some life insurance policies do not cover certain countries like Zimbabwe. Additionally, the global economic recession is taking a toll on the coffers of many organizations, forcing insurance policy cutbacks. There are several insurance issues, ranging from currency valuation to jurisdiction to consider when buying local insurance policies in other countries, says Laura Schauble of


Speakers Moderator: Sally Begbie

Jan Vermeiren, PhD CEO, Kinetic Analysis Corporation Maggie Burke Director, Management Services, Africare Laura Schauble Comercial Sales Account Executive, Clements International

global insurer Clements International. The first thing to do is to balance

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report insured have if there is a claim dispute or if the insurer goes under? Insurance companies have exclusion policies, and may not cover events such as terrorism. However, excluded events may be insurable through other means.

© Save The Children

A risk management plan may help reduce insurance premiums. For example, some insurers will provide training, ranging from drivers’ education to kidnap avoidance. The insurance policy is only one part of the risk management process.

NGOs will want to check that the insurance is in compliance with local regulations and comulsory coverage parameters.

headquarter needs with local office needs. To this end, insurance decisions should be made in a centralized manner to help eliminate gaps in coverage, and create cost savings. Organizations will want to identify common risks and a risk management approach. Additionally, a unified policy minimizes loss.

“Insurance decisions should be made in a centralized manner to help eliminate gaps in coverage, and create cost savings.”

Schauble says it is very important to define and understand policy exclusions and how standards differ from the home country. Are there clear, enforceable laws regarding insurance in that country? What recourse does the

© fortes/Flickr

When dealing with a local country’s insurance, NGOs will want to find out what is the coverage territory: Is coverage restricted to a particular country? Are any locations within the country excluded? NGOs will have to ask about inflation and whether claims will be paid in hard currency or local currency that may not be convertible beyond borders. Finally, NGOs will want to check that the insurance is in

compliance with local regulations and compulsory coverage parameters.

Some insurers will provide training, ranging from drivers’ education to kidnap avoidance.


When Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada, the country imploded. The government did not have enough cash to keep critical functions afloat. To prevent this situation from happening again, a system of risk transfer via parametric insurance is being piloted through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. It is the first and only multi-country parametric insurance for governments in the world. Jan Vermeiren explains that this facility is, in effect, using insurance as a tool for safeguarding development. The Facility, which is owned by Caribbean governments, has a significant cash reserve contributed by a multi-donor trust at the World Bank, and provides hurricane/earthquake coverage to offset government account shortfalls after a disaster. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, governments lose revenue and incur extra expenses, creating a liquidity gap. This short-term insurance helps them overcome that gap. Participating countries pay a premium, and pool their risk, allowing for economies of scale and making the insurance more affordable. Payments are reliable and quick, as there is no negotiating with adjustors or lengthy paperwork. Within days after catastrophe strikes, countries will know how much the payout will be. The insurance uses highly detailed loss modeling to determine the premium to be paid for a given cover, and to calculate payout based on the magnitude of the wind event or earthquake. In summary, insurance plays an important role in allowing countries and NGOs to continue operations during crisis situations.

Workshop Report

Security of aid workers and aid provision in hostile environments Friday, July 10, 2009, International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


ere’s a chilling statistic: in 2009, more humanitarian workers have been killed overseas than United States soldiers in Afghanistan. Even though there is an almost universal assumption that neutrality will protect relief workers, it is not a guarantee of safety. missions operating in hostile environments face a host of security threats such as kidnapping; unlawful detention; civil unrest; property theft and destruction; workplace violence; hijacking; vehicle theft; terrorism; hazardous waste; and medical crises. To mitigate damage and to increase the safety for staff, organizations must provide reliable and realistic plans to ensure the safety and security of aid workers and the provisions they distribute. “Hope is not a security plan,” says John Schafer, senior security coordinator at InterAction. Instead of hoping for the best, organizations should plan ahead, educate their staff and never underestimate what can happen. Organizations need to ask themselves if they have the capability, capacity and competency to deliver aid securely, says Erin Noordeloos of the disaster relief charity RedR uK. Then, each organization should work to create best practices to ensure safety and security. There are existing developed standards and competencies for organizations and individuals working in hostile environments, indicating the minimum security practices that must be taken.

proper training is one of the essential security tools, and should begin in the recruitment and induction process. Training should be practical, aiming to familiarize personnel with equipment and skills. However, organizations will have to contend with the large turnover of personnel in the field (due to the nature of the industry) and a constant need to re-train. NGOs working in hostile environments have a minimum goal to ensure the mission can continue to operate in spite of problems. A risk mitigation program prepares in-country staff to deal with safety issues.

Speakers John Schafer Senior Security Coordinator, InterAction Maggie Burke Director, Management Services, Africare Steve Summers Chief Operating Officer, Key Travel

Doug Brooks President, IPOA

Erin Noordeloos redR UK Security Programme Manager

“proper training is one of the essential security tools, and should begin in the recruitment and induction process.” Safety and security planning start at the proposal development stage. proposals deal with questions like: Are you prepared to evacuate staff? Are members of your staff medically, physically and psychologically compatible to the assignment? Have you considered cultural compatibility? Where will your offices be located and what type of security will you need? Answers to these questions provide a framework for planning.

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

According to maggie Burke, who has overseen many high-risk assignments in Africa through her position at Africare, best practices include:

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Security. Anywhere. Anytime. Security threats are unpredictable and unique to the regions in which you work. At Triple Canopy, we strive to ensure that your environment remains secure no matter where you are. Together with Clayton Consultants, a Triple Canopy company, we provide security and risk management services for relief and aid organizations worldwide. 路 路 路 路

Country assessments Pre-incident training Kidnap-for-ransom negotiations Personal protection

Count on Triple Canopy. Anywhere. Anytime. Learn more at

© Austin King/Flickr

Workshop Report • Review local culture and advise what is expected of employees in issues such as clothing, socializing, associates, body language and attitude so that personnel blend into environment. • Ensure employees should have the proper documentation such as wills, immunization records, and power of attorney. • Train employees to be able to execute safety, security and evacuation procedures. • provide specific information about the security climate in-country from sources such as the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). • Review additional security risks for women. • Encourage expatriates to foster good local relationships and to stay in touch with their local embassies. • Create a core crisis management team and have a security director to analyze the situation. Among the many resources available to organizations building risk mitigation plans is the Overseas Security Advisory Council (, which provides templates for security programs and training. Additionally, insurance companies often provide security training. Traveling creates its own risks and a third of NGOs do not have any type of travel policy. Safety can be compromised by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, even in non-hostile situations and countries. Clearly defined travel policies can help organizations mitigate risks associated with travel. A travel policy includes a plan or procedure to deal with issues in case of emergency and outlines a method of checking in with or alerting colleagues regarding a dangerous situation. Additionally, the policy would answer questions like: Which countries are safe? Is insurance available and needed? What happens in case of emergency? Travel policies must include methods to monitor staff’s location. When travel is booked independently, it makes it difficult to keep track of employees. Instead, organizations should manage travel centrally, allowing only authorized personnel to book trips.

NGOs may need to outsource security.

According to Steve Summers, chief operations officer at Key Travel, a travel management company (TmC) conducts risk assessments; helps develop travel policy; provides risk management tools, such as lists of blacklisted airlines; ways to track travelers; and SmS systems to provide warning.

“Are you prepared to evacuate staff? Are members of your staff medically, physically and psychologically compatible to the assignment? Have you considered cultural compatibility?” perhaps one area that NGOs may need to outsource is security. There are several private sector services to deal with risk, says Doug Brooks, president of the IpOA, a trade association that publishes the Journal of International Peace Operations. There are three categories of private companies dealing with risk management: logistics and support companies (for instance, providing water purification services); private security companies; and security sector reform and development companies, which work with law enforcement.


“Traveling creates its own risks and a third of NGOs do not have any type of travel policy.” private companies provide a wide array of services that include vulnerability assessment; evacuation assistance; intelligence gathering and delivery, armed and unarmed emergency response; training; vehicle and personnel tracking; and dealing with kidnap and ransom (K&R) negotiations. Before hiring a private security company, organizations should check out various companies. Security companies should provide realistic quotes and plans in line with the organization’s needs and budget. NGOs should inquire about general reputation, quality of personnel, client list, experience, and whether they have worked in the area before. Organizations will also need to determine whether they want their security efforts to be high visibility or low visibility, and whether guards should be armed or unarmed. Since NGOs are motivated by program needs rather than threat assessments, they will have to implement a realistic, workable plan to deal with safety and security. Organizations will need a security budget and a risk management methodology to assess risks and how to manage them.


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Keeping aid workers safe and equipped with the latest skills

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Harnessing the private sector The private sector’s role in making stability operations more effective J. J. messner, Director of IpOA


he last decade has seen an exponential increase in the number of private companies providing services to stability operations in conflict, post-conflict and disaster-ravaged environments. On the one hand, this increase has been caused by a rise in demand for those services. This demand has been driven by the ever-increasing number of peacekeeping missions deployed by the United Nations, NATO and the African Union; the private sector has also been heavily utilized by the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the other hand, this increased utilization of the private sector has occurred due to a growing recognition of the significant benefits such private sector support can have in improving the effectiveness of stability operations.

The rise of the private sector The private sector has supported stability operations for decades – indeed, tens of thousands of contractors provided logistical support to uS operations in vietnam over 30 years ago. However, there has been a significant expansion in private sector operations in recent years. Following the Cold War, many of the world’s militaries were significantly downsized. At the same time, western nations have, generally speaking, severely curtailed their participation

in international peacekeeping missions just as the number of international peacekeeping missions has vastly increased. To meet this demand, international peacekeeping operations have come to rely on militaries from less developed nations, whose service support capabilities are either non-existent or extremely inadequate. Consequently, the ability of these peacekeepers to conduct basic military and humanitarian operations is severely restricted. Without the necessary expertise or equipment, force mobility and responsiveness suffer, and complex engineering activities (such as demining and unexploded ordnance removal) become impossible. Therefore, a substantial gap between demand and supply of peacekeeping capacity, capability and expertise has arisen – a gap more than ably filled by the private sector. But the use of the private sector is definitely more than simply a stopgap measure. The use of such contractors vastly expands the combat potential and peacekeeping capacity of armies and is generally a more cost effective alternative. Increasingly, militaries and international organizations are turning to private contractors to maintain their effectiveness and remain relevant in the field of global security.

Capabilities of the private sector private companies provide a vast array of critical services to peace and stability operations. These services can include aviation services, base support, communications, construction, consultancy, demining and unexploded



Photo: Olivier Chassot/UN


Refugees boarding a truck in Sudan.

ordnance removal, humanitarian development, insurance services, intelligence, K-9, legal services, logistics, medical support, products, risk management, satellite tracking, security, supply, surveillance and training. One of the most visible private sector tasks in international peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations is logistics support. Indeed, within the peace and stability operations industry, around 90 percent of field workers operate in the logistics sector which, in turn, attracts around 90 percent of the total revenue earned by the industry. National governments and international organizations are increasingly utilizing large scale, comprehensive support contracts such as the United States’ Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) and the AFRICAP, which is benefiting African peacekeepers to robustly support their operations. Outsourcing logistics allows governments and international organizations to better focus their generally scarce resources on core military functions, rather than concerning themselves with auxiliary logistics functions. In terms of institutional reform, the private sector is able to make a significant impact on reconstruction efforts. Private companies are especially active in security sector reform as well as training and reforming governmental institutions, civilian police and militaries in post-conflict countries in an effort to professionalize those services and hopefully avoid a rapid return to conflict. The African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) Program, for example, highlights the impact that the private sector can have on the development of stability in Africa. Through close collaboration with the US Defense Department’s International Security Affairs Africa Bureau, ACOTA contracts retired military personnel to work with troops from African nations to conduct training related, but not limited to, command and control, disarmament and the management of refugees. By breeding a sense of professionalism and accountability that African militaries have often lacked, ACOTA has made, and continues to make, an essential contribution to the development of effective armed forces. The private sector is particularly important to humanitarian development programs. The government of South Sudan has received close support from private companies in organizing its response to the urgent matter of population return and reintegration. Working closely with USAID, the private sector has helped develop town-planning projects


for the new seat of government at Juba and provided digitized maps of provincial capitals. Through close partnership with local stakeholders, development companies have promoted the sense of municipal ownership of projects pertinent to local resources and future development. The specific nature of these highly important, if somewhat obscure, activities reflects the importance of integrating private sector knowledge into redevelopment planning. Host government agencies are simply neither large enough nor properly resourced to provide such specific expertise, and yet rebuilding resilient states requires an appreciation of this minute detail. Private security is another key service available to peace and stability operations. Although comprising less than five percent of the entire industry, private security nevertheless attracts almost 100 percent of its publicity, the majority of which is laced with negativity. The controversy surrounding private security is largely due to the fact that these companies are generally armed, conducting high-risk operations in volatile environments. In truth, the sensationalist reportage against private security companies belies their essential contribution to the recovery of countries as diverse as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq. Here, the search for stability in the midst of conflict continues to pay testament to the old adage that security is 90 percent of the problem but only 10 percent of the solution. This maxim recognizes that although providing security alone cannot turn an unstable country into a contributing member of the international community, almost nothing can be accomplished in a fractious and violent society unless international NGOs, elected officials and, most importantly, local citizens can feel safe in going about their daily lives. Despite this vast array of expert-led services, many in the international community still balk at the idea of private companies supplementing national force contingents deployed on peacekeeping missions. Consequently, poorly supported and ultimately ineffectual humanitarian actions persist, meaning that at-risk populations continue to suffer on an incomprehensible scale. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa. Despite the AU-UN peacekeeping force in Darfur being largely impotent in preventing the attacks on Sudanese civilians, growing calls for the deployment of helicopter gunships and advanced surveillance capabilities have gone unheeded. This equipment, easily available from the private sector, would help international forces cover the vast tracts of western Sudan effectively and quell incipient violence by identifying and responding to it early. The seeming disregard for this advice is not the result of cognitive dissonance on the part of UN planners, but rather the consequence of global governmental reluctance to provide the necessary hardware. One can only surmise as to the lives that might have been saved should a private security company have been deployed to keep the peace between the Hutus and Tutsis prior to the genocide that witnessed the avoidable deaths of some 800,000 Rwandans. In this case, Western fears of national casualties prevented powerful states from providing the limited force required to avert the massacre.

Security This, along with countless examples of seeming apathy for the lives of innocent Africans by militarily able powers, raises the possibility of empowering the uN through using the private sector to support effective action in preempting humanitarian disaster.

Making a difference When it comes to international stability operations, the private sector has truly become the ‘invisible elephant’ in the room. The days of Cold War-sized militaries with excess capacity easily made available for uN missions are long gone. militaries are leaner, more specialized and less able (or willing) to deploy for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. Given the current, and growing, demand for conflict and post-conflict intervention in the developing world, the international community must search for new formulas to bridge this capability gap. The private sector offers global civil society the opportunity to take affirmative action in support of humanitarianism, stability and the rule of law. From logistics to training, from security to reconstruction, the private sector offers scales of operation not available to peacemakers in recent years. The traditional actors in global politics must find the best way to cooperate with and ultimately utilize private support. This highly capable industry can bring a vast wealth of experience and specialization to the pursuit of peace and stability worldwide.

About the author J. J. messner is the Director of IpOA. He received his master’s degree in peace Operations from George mason university School of public policy where he specialized in refugees and post-conflict elections, with an emphasis on the fledgling nation of Timor-Leste. J. J. also holds a BA in politics and International Studies from the university of Adelaide, during which he also studied at the university of Adelaide Law School and the College of William & mary in Williamsburg, virginia. He previously worked in the field of corporate antitrust law for a large firm in Washington, DC and for education-related non-profit organizations in Australia.

About the organization IpOA is a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to promote high operational and ethical standards of firms active in the peace and Stability Industry; to engage in a constructive dialogue with policy-makers about the growing and positive contribution of these firms to the enhancement of international peace, development, and human security; and to inform the concerned public about the activities and role of the industry.

Enquiries J. J. messner, Director, IpOA 1634 I Street, NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20006 uSA Tel: +1 (202) 464-0721 Fax: +1 (202) 464-0726 Email: Website:



Workshop Report

Cohesion and the role of the military in humanitarian assistance Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Vaishali Honawar


peakers at a session on the role of the military in humanitarian assistance discussed some of the challenges and trust issues that arise when non-governmental organizations work with the military in disasterstruck areas. “An effective response to emergencies depends on the existing cooperation between militaries, the government and NGOs,” said Col Chris Mayer, (Retired), of the U.S. Army. However, he conceded, the strong ethical commitments of non-government organizations to neutrality, impartiality and independence may be incompatible with military objectives to maintain order and support the governance structure.

Moderator: Doug Brooks President, International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) Michael Marx Chief, Civil-Military Coordination Section, UN OCHA COL Christopher Mayer (Rtd), US Army

Thomas Shortley Global Account Manager, Agility

Linda Poteat Director of Disaster Response InterAction

In Liberia, a UN military operation, “medical outreach,” was used successfully to build the trust and confidence of the local population toward the United Nations. The operation provided medical care for remote and underserved areas of the country with no functioning health care facilities, and required the coordination of the U.N. military, NGOs and the local government.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ricky A. Bloom/Flickr

In 2007 and 2008, Col. Mayer, as the Chief of Civil Military Coordination, planned and executed military civic

action projects across Liberia, working with national contingents of 48 different nations, the Government of Liberia, UN civilian agencies, other inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He also initiated a series of cooperative projects among the United Nations Mission in Liberia, NGOs, and the Government of Liberia, including the first field operation of the new Armed Forces of Liberia.


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

Military objectives and humanitarian imperatives can work together.


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth R. Hendrix/Flickr

Workshop Report

Coordination between the UN and the military can be difficult.

But there were challenges, Col. mayer pointed out. For instance, in Liberia, during a cholera outbreak, “for a long time the …government refused to acknowledge there was a cholera outbreak.” When working in disaster areas, permission is needed from local authorities. For instance, the controlling power must grant passage to the military and might impose certain conditions on the military’s work, he said. Col. mayer concluded with what he said were “lessons to be learned” from the experience gathered by the military in working in disaster areas. military objectives and humanitarian imperatives can work together, he said. “We have to force the system to work. The military should be the last resort. “military assistance should be used to fill the gap in requirements and resources available to residents in disaster relief,” Col. mayer said, adding that the responsibility of relief lies with the host government, “although it is recognized that host governments often don’t have that capacity.” michael marx, the chief of the Civilmilitary Coordination Section of the united Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said they are the only unit in the united Nations with a dedicated civil military capacity. “We work with the entire humanitarian community,” he added. OCHA’s Civil-military Coordination Section is mandated to facilitate and coordinate the access to and use of international military and civil

defense assets in countries hit by humanitarian emergencies. For this purpose, it serves as the uN focal point for governments, international organizations and military and civil defense establishments for the employment of these assets in humanitarian situations.

“During large-scale disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, it would not be possible for the humanitarian community to function successfully without the military’s help.” From the uN perspective, mr. marx said, the military plays a very crucial role in disaster-relief and humanitarian operations. For instance, during largescale disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, it would not be possible for the humanitarian community to function successfully without the military’s help. “The military has assets that civil communities cannot bring, such as dozens of heavy-lift aircraft. The military is best positioned to do it,” he said. However, mr. marx said, the humanitarian community “needs to be careful about the political motivations” that military involvement could sometimes bring. “We need to accept that there are times when it is not in the interests of the military to work with humanitarian entities,” he added. There are, he conceded, serious issues of trust on both the humanitarian side


and the military side. “Humanitarian groups don’t want to provide information to the military that would potentially be used to target populations,” mr. marx said. He added that there is a need to decide at the start of any operation what information is to be shared, but reiterated that because of trust issues, “there are so many individuals that don’t want information shared.” Col. mayer said that NGOs sometimes don’t share information with each other, and not just the military. Coordination between the uN, which encompasses hundreds of organizations, and the military which has so many different commands and member states, can also often be difficult, mr. marx said. Thomas Shortley, the global account manager for Agility, said there are many different perspectives and players involved in a relief situation: political, military, peacekeeping, humanitarian and development groups. Agility, which has offices worldwide, describes itself as a global leader in integrated logistics, meeting the specialized requirements of defense and government customers. “Everyone has different priorities. The main thing is to understand each other. Each actor doesn’t know what the other can bring to the table. When you talk of planning between these groups, you talk about enhancement and cohesion,” mr. Shortley added. It is key for the various players to know their partners, jointly prepare and plan operations, define the parameters of involvement and adhere to the rules of engagement, among other things, he said. Speakers at the workshop also spoke briefly about transparency issues, with Col. mayer saying there have been instances of a military contingent selling food, another contingent getting involved in blackmarketing, etc. “It is a problem,” he said. mr. marx said that while openness and transparency in military projects is important, right now they are “clouded in lots of secrecy.” “Civic action programs may have a humanitarian nature but they are there to achieve military objectives. They rarely address corruption.” 75




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Workshop Report

Access to medicines and healthcare Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


he paradox in healthcare access around the world is that a shortage of capital is often accompanied by increased medical needs. Ethiopia, where a lack of capital and equipment means that people with heart disease have to be sent to other countries to get certain cardiac procedures, is a prime example. While medical care and health are improving in developed countries, they are worsening in the developing world (especially in the bottom third countries). An increasing number of countries do not have a proper health infrastructure, or access to medicine. According to Anthony Dunnett, president of International Health partners, part of the solution may lie in stemming the “brain drain” and encouraging private sector collaboration. many other healthcare issues exist, for instance the safety and workability of the medical supply chain. Although there are systems in place to guarantee the distribution of medicines, there is a lack of biomedical technicians. If an aid organization wants to help, it should first make a country visit and assessment. It is not effective to donate medical equipment to a place that cannot supply proper maintenance. Another problem is vertical funding for something that needs a more holistic approach, e.g. funding AIDS drugs but not HIv prevention education. many of the hardest hit countries in terms of healthcare are in Africa. In Gambia, International Health partners has launched the Gambia Health Alliance, which aims to work with the Gambian government and the NGO community to build sustainable health improvements.

Finances, although a large component, are not the only constraint to healthcare access. people must have the knowledge to seek treatment. There must be capacity to deliver care – trained personnel, adequate equipment and proper facilities. Finally, the supply chain is still ineffective in allocating the proper resources to the right place. AmeriCares, which delivers gift-inkind medicines around the world, develops partnerships with healthcare institutions to assess their needs. By delivering donated medicines, AmeriCares helps to defray expenses for health institutions, fill supply gaps on commonly used medicines and extend formulary to enable healthcare workers to deliver additional treatments such as chemotherapy.

Speakers Moderator: Anthony Dunnett, CBE, President, International Health Partners (IHP) Doug Jackson Project C.U.R.E Carl Stecker, Senior Technical Advisor for HIV & AIDS, Catholic Relief Services Vladimir Kuna Vice President of Technical Services and Formulations, Magno Humphries Elizabeth Furst Frank, Senior Vice President, Global Program Operations, AmeriCares Kate Janis, Area Manager for North America, IDA Foundation

There are risks in donated medicines which may be inappropriate to local conditions, labelled for another country or part of a combination and can’t be used safely. Additionally, some countries do not allow import of drugs not on the national formulary registry. To make sure donated medicines are safe and useable, they should only be delivered to qualified medical institutions, only in response to Demand and produced and packaged locally. Generic medicines can be a cheaper solution. They are intended to be interchangeable with branded products, and are bio-equivalent (used equally in the body). The IDA Foundation, with a mission to improve access to medicine at the lowest possible price to low- and middleincome countries, often relies on generics.


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report Of utmost importance is quality, says Kate Janis, area manager for the IDA Foundation. Poor quality drugs produce therapeutic failure, drug resistance, toxic and adverse reactions in patients and wasted financial resources. Drug quality is determined by product design (active and inactive ingredients), the manufacturing and production process, distribution and monitoring. Certain standards must be followed to ensure quality. Drugs are usually governmentregulated to ensure quality. Although every country has a medicine regulating authority (MRA), 90% of these authorities in Africa lack the capacity to regulate medicines, and guarantee their safety and efficacy. The United States Federal Drug Agency (USFDA) only approves drugs in the USA. The World Health Organization (WHO) monitors quality for a limited range of drugs, like anti-malarials. There are international standards for drugs and different regulatory bodies, such as the WHO, USFDA. However, there are still gaps in regulation. 1) each actor uses different criteria, 2) WHO


Prequalification does not cover the entire essential medicines list, and 3) stringent regulatory authorities such as the USFDA are focused on approving drugs for their own in-country needs. Counterfeit drugs – deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled or substandard drugs are a dangerous and growing global issue. Faith-based organizations (FBOs), such as Catholic Relief Services, have a long history of providing healthcare in the developing world. FBOs provide from 30 to 70 percent of healthcare in developing countries, and in some cases, are the only source of healthcare. These organizations have extensive reach, leadership and capacity in delivering healthcare. On the other hand, FBOs have constraints in delivering certain medical services such as abortion because of religious principles. An often overlooked area in healthcare is nutrition, specifically the impact of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Significant micronutrient deficiencies in iron lead to anemia, while a lack of Vitamin A leads to blindness. Other

common deficiencies include iodine (mental development problems, hypothyroidism), niacin (pellagra), thiamin (beriberi) and Vitamin C (scurvy). Clearly, long-term vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to poor health and development and can threaten a population’s ability to be productive. Although there are several ways to address micronutrient deficiencies, from fortifying food to promoting vegetable and fruit production, the simplest and most reliable way may be the distribution of supplements. According to Vladimir Kuna, Magno Humphries Laboratories is working with partners to distribute supplements based on Unicef/WHO/WFP recommendations. Global healthcare improvement will depend on empowerment and sustainability. Health relief organizations will only succeed if they specialize, and form partnerships when needed. Doug Jackson of PROJECT C.U.R.E. says that the ideal project would be so successful that international aid would no longer be needed.


Shelter in transition: past, present, future Dr Tom Corsellis, Executive Director and co-founder of Shelter Centre


ew inroads were made in the provision of shelter assistance in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that devastated the coastlines of 14 countries, killing at least 230,000 people and leaving 1.7 million homeless in December 2004. Long after the direct threat of the natural disaster, many people were still far from entering reconstructed dwellings. The continued displacement of these people was not due to natural hazards but, rather, a result of unresolved land rights extending over a matter of years. The challenge posed by the inadequacy of emergency shelters to cover this period was apt to be addressed. Although local solutions are preferable, the urgent and large-scale need following major conflicts and disasters can often overwhelm local construction and material capacities, creating the necessity for a family shelter solution that can be stockpiled and airlifted. In the humanitarian community, canvas tents have supplemented these needs. Since the first use of tents in the provision of emergency shelter in post conflict and disaster situations, there has been considerable progress made in materials, transportability and contextual sensitivity, resulting in an optimization of tents in providing emergency shelter. This has recently been consolidated in agreed standards for ridge tents by organizations such as the Department for International


Development (DFID), the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Nevertheless, while meeting initial needs, the use of tents also presents challenges given their lack of flexibility, especially in upgrading, as well as their susceptibility to degradation, both in storage and when deployed. From early January 2005, in response to the Indian Ocean earthquake, Tom Corsellis and Antonella Vitale were seconded from Shelter Centre by DFID to UNHCR in Sri Lanka, and to UNDP and UN/OCHA in Indonesia respectively. There the new ‘transitional shelter’ approach was introduced, and became a central part of these responses and shelter response to other subsequent disasters and conflicts. Shelter Centre is currently consolidating these experiences in technical guidelines, in addition to a complementary project involving a group of humanitarian agencies and manufacturers to develop a stockpiled version light enough to be airlifted. The idea of an upgradeable shelter was already in use in post-conflict situations, such as Sri Lanka and postearthquake Gujarat; however, these semi-permanent dwellings did not deal with disputes over land rights. Issues that often delay the attainment of permanent shelter could now be addressed with the introduction of a re-locatable shelter. By providing a shelter that could be deconstructed and re-located, land tenancy issues were resolved and problems due to lack of resources could be 79


Figure 1. Transitional shelter options for displaced and non-displaced populations.

addressed. In either case, the lifecycle of the structure would be sufficient for the long periods of time required. The basis of the Transitional Shelter approach lies with the understanding of reconstruction as a continual process – from the initial response, to the conflict or natural disaster, to the achievement of permanent shelter and recognition of the need for lasting shelter provision in the intermediate period. The term Transitional Shelter refers to a habitable, secure, private living space that intends to be upgraded, relocated or disassembled for materials, which commences during the emergency response and is maintained until a durable solution has been reached. Depending on the settlement and reconstruction options that apply to an affected family, different methods are applicable in different contexts. For a comparable weight and cost to tent structures, a re-locatable rigid frame shelter can be produced which is amenable to upgrading over time, and anticipates the use of local materials, labour and know-how in the reconstruction process. A Transitional Shelter thereby provides protection during reconstruction. This may be in the form of a semi-permanent structure that is supplemented with local supplies to such an extent that it becomes permanent or that may be used until the family can return and the materials sold. The Transitional Shelter approach takes into account both those who have been displaced and those who have not but nevertheless still need to regain longer-term housing. The categorization into six transitional settlement options and six transitional reconstruction options (Figure 1) allows the totality of situations faced by an affected population to be taken into consideration. In all cases, a clear understanding of the durable solution to which beneficiaries will potentially transition is vital. The Transitional Shelter approach widens the vocabulary of response methods available in post-conflict or disaster. situations. The implementation of a Transitional Shelter program is nonetheless only one response method. As different members of the affected population will require varying levels and natures of support depending on their situation, a range of different assistance methods are often utilised (Figure 2). As with all methods, a Transitional Shelter program should only be implemented in situations where it is considered to be the most appropriate means of response. 80

Figure 2. The 16 assistance methods. However, for this to occur, there needs to be a stockpile resource of Transitional Shelters, which are storable, rapidly deployable, easily constructible and durable. As can be seen in the development of efficient and effective tent structures, it takes considerable time and effort to reach optimal performance. The development of Transitional Shelters is still underway, but the rapid evolution of a Transitional Shelter able to be stockpiled is in great demand – allowing the requirements of emergency shelter to be adequately met while engaging in the long process of reconstruction from the outset. Since the first applications after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, The use of Transitional Shelters has become extensively accepted and applied by all the major humanitarian organizations, as seen in Shelter Projects (UN Habitat, 2008). The Transitional Shelter approach has proven successful in places as far as Pakistan, Kenya and Indonesia in providing a practical solution to the problem created by the longevity of tents over longer-term displacement.


Photo: Shelter Centre

The responses so far have displayed creative solutions that are rapidly deployable, durable, secure, transportable, reusable, recyclable, affordable, adaptable, deconstructable and re-locatable. These were presented and discussed in front of a consortium at the bi-annual Shelter Meeting, from which a donor took one of the prototypes for testing.

Semi-permanent dwellings do not deal with disputes over land rights. However, despite its widespread use, there are no practical guidelines on Transitional Shelter to be used in the field. The Transitional Settlement and Reconstruction after Natural Disasters Handbook (UN/OCHA, Field Edition 2009) is the only publication so far to address the subject, available in the Shelter Library (, which Shelter Centre continues to co-ordinate alongside Home Again: A Handbook for Reconstructing Housing and Communities After Disasters (World Bank, Draft 2009) for consistency. In recognition of the need for clear directives, Shelter Centre is developing the Transitional Shelter Guidelines, a preliminary draft of which is available online in Shelter Centre Projects ( These guidelines will clearly define Transitional Shelter, assist in determining whether it is an appropriate response method in a particular scenario, and instruct on the best way to implement an effective Transitional Shelter program. With funding from USAID/OFDA and DFID, draft Transitional Shelter Standards, which address both local build and stockpiled options, have also been produced by Shelter Centre. These were agreed by the Transitional Shelter Standards Consortium consisting of four manufacturers, four UN bodies, three IOs and 11 NGOs, and were launched at the Aid and Trade Conference in 2008, as well as being published in Tents: A guide to the use and logistics of family tents in humanitarian relief (UN/OCHA, 2004). From the draft Transitional Shelter Standards, Shelter Centre established the Transitional Shelter Prototypes Working Group, funded by DFID until 2011. In order to avoid the prefabricated one-size-fits-all solutions resulting from a restrictive brief, the use of the Standards rather than specifications is intentionally employed. This stimulates competition and progress while giving the developers of different designs the right to protect their intellectual property, and creates a diversity of solutions that can be selected to best suit a certain context or situation. The further development and testing of prototypes will be fed back into the Standards before a final version is published. To date, two manufacturers have produced prototypes, while two more manufacturers explore further possibilities.


Shelter Centre is now seeking more manufacturers to commit to building prototypes at their own cost. In return for a commitment to Research and Development, manufacturers will have an audience of all the major humanitarian agencies whose interest has already been engaged. While agencies have made no commitment to purchase, positive responses from interests shown at the consortium and the number of agencies willing to participate in the testing period, as well as the physical demonstration of the viability of the category, reveals the merit of such a proposal in the provision of sustainable aid. The Indian Ocean Tsunami wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, displacing over half a million people, many of whom are still in transition towards durable solutions. Only through collaboration between assisting agencies and local capacities are successful results being attained. A similar partnership between humanitarian organizations and manufacturers would have multiple benefits. In working together on the research and development of complex problems, manufacturers should have the opportunity to gain from humanitarian agencies’ experiencebased understanding of technical and operational requirements, while humanitarian agencies could profit from the strengths of the private sector and expertise in building structures. Above all, Shelter Centre recognizes that, following a conflict or natural disaster, the livelihoods and shelters of the entire affected population should be sustainably and progressively supported by emergency response until a durable solution is achieved.

About the author Dr Tom Corsellis has undertaken humanitarian operations in Africa, Asia and Europe with agencies including CARE, DFID, MSF-F, Oxfam GB and UNHCR, as well as policy and training collaborations with such agencies as DFID, ODI, Oxfam GB, The Sphere Project, UNHCR and UN/OCHA.

About the organization Shelter Centre is the NGO supporting the humanitarian community in practice in post-conflict and disaster shelter and housing, which was established as a response to the under-representation of shelter issues in the humanitarian sector.

Enquiries If you are a humanitarian agency who would like to be part of the Transitional Shelter Standards Consortium, please contact: If you are a manufacturer interested in developing a prototype as part of the Transitional Shelter Prototypes Working Group, please contact:


Workshop Report

Shelter and infrastructure provision Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Vaishali Honawar


peakers presented/ expounded the logistics of providing shelter and infrastructure during disaster situations, as well as the hurdles faced by aid workers providing these services, including cost barriers and ensuring their work is in tune with sound environmental practices. Norm Leatherwood, a member of the board of directors of Shelter for Life (SFL) International, (a faithbased organization that helps train disaster-struck communities to rebuild structures, including schools, homes, and clinics) said his group tilts toward using local materials and technology, and finding ways to provide costeffective alternatives that are not hazardous.

© World Food Programme

Mr. Leatherwood said that quality of construction determines how safe people are during natural disasters like earthquakes. He illustrated this by pointing out that in some parts of the world an earthquake claims

The quality of construction determines how safe people are during natural disasters like earthquakes.


just a handful of lives, while in others similar-scale earthquakes might claim hundreds and even thousands.

Speakers Grant Dillon International Advisor, Global Heath Issues and Emergency Responses Norm Leatherwood Board of Directors, Shelter for Life International Jonathan Randall Humanitarian Partnerships, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

“Unreinforced masonry construction does not perform well in earthquakes,” he said. And although safe building technology is now available, “there are cost barriers for poor people.”

Richard Choularton Director, Office of Humanitarian Assistance, CHF International

His organization is working toward the goal of creating buildings that preserve their integrity long enough during a disaster so people can get up and escape before walls collapse.

Tracy Badcock President of The Shelter Alliance

In 1998, Shelter for Life (SFL) went to Afghanistan after a devastating earthquake, working in the remote provinces of Badakhstan and Takhar to offer construction assistance, even as a civil war was raging between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. The group helped rebuild and repair thousands of homes and schools, and has since continued working on construction projects around the country, helping victims of natural disasters and war. SFL also has projects in Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Tajikistan.

Graham Saunders Head of Shelter, IFRC

Richard Choularton, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Assistance, CHF International, detailed how his organization had worked in Georgia after the military crisis there last year. The crisis, he said, displaced thousands of people, and many had to be moved to community shelters or to the homes of host families. CHF International works in over 30 countries around the world, across Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Caucasus and Asia, seeking out the needs of the communities they work with and tailoring their work to suit those needs, using local labor and materials.

Tom Corsellis Shelter Centre

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

© Isaac Boyd/Architecture for Humanity

Workshop Report providing a case in point, Saunders mentioned the plight of Bangladesh, which was hit by Hurricane Sidr, a Category 4 hurricane, in 2007. Floodwaters did not recede for weeks, leaving victims in need of alternative shelters for months after the storm hit. There is a need, he said, to harness technology to make aid available to larger numbers of people after a disaster. “If you look at all the countries affected by disaster, you will find that a majority of families had to help themselves.” The question, he said, “is do we provide substantial systems to a many or modern systems to few.”

Different people and communities have different needs.

Among the questions CHF workers confronted in Georgia, mr. Choularton said, “was how could we continue benefiting both the host family and the IDp (internally displaced persons) family.”

needs, then disperse cash,” confirmed mr. Choularton. “We also worked with communities to find alternative sources of irrigation and agriculture so they could return faster to their old lives.”

Furthermore, the IDps had lost their means of making a living, so finding a way to ensure that they could move back into their lives was important, Choularton added.

Graham Saunders, Head of Shelter, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), discussed the increase in the number of natural disasters in recent years, which has created a greater need for shelter aid.

The workshop group also looked at options beyond engineering to help the victims, including providing cash grants to host families and families returning to disaster sites. “It allowed host families to continue support…it allowed people when they returned to make specific choices about getting their lives together,” he said.

© CHF International

Different people and communities had different needs. One community asked for fences for their livestock, for instance. “We learned to identify communities and talk about their

The most effective solutions have to emerge from within the local communities.

“The most effective solutions have to emerge from within the local communities.” Disaster management represents the largest portion of IFRC’s work, and the federation provides aid and assistance to around 30 million refugees and victims of natural disasters each year. The IFRC also aims to make communities and national societies more aware of the risks they face from natural disasters, how to reduce their vulnerability, and how to cope when disaster strikes. The number of hydrometeorological disasters like hurricanes and cyclones has increased exponentially in recent years. The onset and aftermath of these disasters is also much worse than ever before.


The most effective solutions, he concluded, have to emerge from within the local communities. “How do we support [communities] on that? How do we get better engagement by shelter providers at that local level?” maybe it’s too idealistic, but I think there’s something here. Other speakers agreed on the importance of working with local groups. mr. Choularton said his group (while in Georgia) concentrated on working with locals. “We really focused on a community-based program in designing and implementing shelter projects.” Speakers also pointed to difficulties in ensuring that the aid they helped provide was in tune with environmental standards. For instance, responding to a question from a member of the audience, mr. Saunders said that after the tsunami that hit parts of Asia in 2004, it was a challenge for aid groups as they tried to ensure that the timber used for rebuilding came from sustainable sources. Tom Corsellis, the executive director of the Shelter Centre in Geneva, a group that supports humanitarian operations responding to transitional settlement and reconstruction needs of people in conflict- and disaster-struck areas, said that over the long term, good construction practices would lead to good environmental practices. mr. Leatherwood said it was important for aid groups to be conscious of the environmental impact of the work they do.


Photo: Practical Action/Zul Mukhida


‘Without energy, poverty is like a dog chasing its tail’ Jane Eason, Press & Media Officer, Practical Action

Tungu Kabiri micro hydro scheme, Kenya.


n the searing African heat it is not unusual to find groups of people from small villages sharing countless bright and vibrant ideas to achieve a future free of poverty. The same scene is mirrored in poor communities across the rest of the world yet, without access to appropriate technologies, information and knowledge, these ideas will remain a pipedream for millions, according to international development charity, Practical Action. The charity sees firsthand how poverty for communities in developing countries remains a reality. It remains as extreme as ever and people now have to face new and existing enemies; food prices are rocketing along with the reality of living with climate change and increased energy poverty. Meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty by half is increasingly becoming more difficult to achieve.

Changing lives: small is beautiful Introduced by radical economist, philosopher and author of Small is Beautiful, Dr E F Schumacher, Practical Action was founded in the 1960s. He strongly believed in using small scale, low cost and appropriate ideas. With more than 40 years’ experience working towards reducing poverty, the charity’s ethos is that the right idea – however small – can change lives, create jobs and improve 84

health and livelihoods. The tools to reduce poverty may be simple or sophisticated, but to provide long-term, practical answers, they must be firmly in the hands of local people. Since Small is Beautiful was written, thousands of projects have proved that small is working, but ensuring people have the freedom to choose and control the way they use resources – and at a scale that works for them – is still not always given top priority. Our work in Africa, Asia and Latin America is in partnership with poor people and their communities. Our work is people focused, locally relevant, and environmentally sensitive. It builds on knowledge and skills to come up with innovative, sustainable and practical solutions.

Lack of energy – locking people into poverty Two billion people globally lack access to electricity, while the rest of the world takes for granted its lighting, heating, cooking, refrigeration and telecommunications. There are huge inequalities in energy consumption. The World Energy Council states 20 percent of the world’s population living in industrialized countries – more than one billion people – consume 60 percent of the world’s energy supply. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s population has no access to electricity while in Africa this figure drops to only 15 percent of the population. This translates to four out of five people in rural areas living without electricity.

Photo: Practical Action/Karen Robinson

Energy micro-hydro power is the small-scale harnessing of energy from falling water, such as steep mountain rivers. using this renewable, indigenous, non-polluting resource, micro-hydro plants can generate power for homes, hospitals, schools and workshops. practical Action promotes small-scale hydro schemes that generate up to 500 kilowatts of power. The micro-hydro station, which converts the energy of flowing water into electricity, provides poor communities in rural areas with an affordable, easy to maintain and long-term solution to their energy needs. The charity has developed micro-hydro systems with communities in peru, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Kenya. These systems, which are designed to operate for a minimum of 20 years, are usually ‘run-of-the-river’ systems. These systems do not require a dam or storage facility to be constructed. Instead they divert water from the stream or river, channel it in to a valley and drop it in to a turbine via a pipeline called a penstock. Mobile phone charging system now possible thanks to a micro hydro scheme.

Yet in 2005 the G8 recognized the link between energy and poverty, a move which was welcomed by Tinashe Nhete, an energy specialist with practical Action in Zimbabwe. Tinashe strongly believes that “without energy, poverty is like a dog chasing its tail.” “I have been working on access to energy for nearly a decade with practical Action,” Nhete states, “and let me tell you, energy issues and poverty go hand-in-hand.” Tinashe added: “Without access to energy, poverty is a dog chasing its tail. Let me explain: searching for food and water means less time for processing and production, leading to less money; communities are becoming more and more steeped in poverty and are struggling to claw their way out. “Zimbabwe, along with other African countries is already suffering from climate change. Droughts are increasing; leading to the loss of livestock, the water table is dropping leading to longer journeys for water which is having an adverse effect on education.” For more than four decades, practical Action has worked on renewable energy schemes – from biogas in Sri Lanka, micro-hydro in Kenya and peru, to a renewable energy village in Nepal – showcasing what can be done. Waste from toilets has even been used to light a school or provide hot water for showers. micro-hydro can provide electricity for grain processing. One such scheme in Zimbabwe benefits 300 households directly, 700 through a local schools and has also increased production of rice by a massive 300 percent, while windmills can enhance old water systems, making it easier to collect water.

Powering communities For around uK£5,000 a community can benefit from a micro-hydro system. Turning the flow of water into electricity via a turbine, a system with a capacity of six kilowatts is big enough to drive a mill and provide electrical lighting for up to 20 families.

The turbine drives a generator that provides the electricity to the local community. By not requiring an expensive dam for water storage, run-of-the-river systems are a low-cost way to produce power. They also avoid the damaging environmental and social effects that larger hydroelectric schemes cause, including a risk of flooding.

The power to recharge communities micro-hydro can also supply power to villages via portable rechargeable batteries. people can use these convenient sources of electricity to fuel anything from workshop machines to domestic lighting – and there are no expensive connection costs. The batteries are charged at a station in the village, thus providing the local community with a clean, renewable source of power. For industrial use, the output from the turbine shaft can be used directly as mechanical power, as opposed to converting it into electricity via a generator or batteries. This is suitable for agro-processing activities such as milling, oil extraction and carpentry. micro-hydro schemes are owned and operated by the communities they serve, with any maintenance carried out by skilled members of that community, providing employment in themselves, as well as providing the power to re-energize entire communities.

Water powering Zimbabwe In Zimbabwe, practical Action is working with communities to ensure communities and farmers in marginalized areas have access to electricity through micro-hydro. This is also aimed at benefiting malawi and mozambique where energy is a major challenge – with some areas being marginalized and failing to access conventional electricity. According to practical Action’s project manager, Fungai matahwa, “we want to ensure the communities benefit from local natural resources in their areas. The hydro-energy source is environmentally friendly and renewable.” He added that the project had resulted in the electrification of local boarding schools, clinics and households with



Photo: Practical Action/Karen Robinson

Energy On grid can be useless for many – small scale off grid is often the solution but investment in cleaner energy does not by itself mean improved access for the two billion who need it. Poor communities must receive improved access to renewable, off-grid modern energy. Practical Action believes the solution is to focus on small-scale decentralized energy schemes – such as micro-hydro and wind power. These would provide both appropriate and efficient energy to the world’s poorest people. Developing cleaner energy is essential but must not be confined to large-scale centralized power generation systems. Co-founder of Practical Action George McRobie believes that Practical Action’s approach of putting people and the environment first is more relevant today than ever before. “The gap between the rich and the poor in developing countries is increasing. This is a disaster for the poor, a disaster for the developing countries and, in the long run, a disaster for us all. Communities can now take advantage of a battery charging service, thanks to the micro hydro scheme.

some people now being able to operate their grinding mills using the power. “The response from the community has been overwhelming. In Zimbabwe we have three projects in Nyanga, Cashel Valley and Nyamarimbire and we are looking forward to starting a new one in Chipendere in Mutare. “The people are very interested in irrigating their crops, processing them and storing them under refrigeration and this can only be made possible by the availability of power,” said Matahwa.

“We are persisting in big-scale technology, eliminating people from the process of production. We need greater localization to prevent people being ground into the earth by big technology.” “We need to ask of technology and economic activity: Is it good for people? Is it good for the environment? Is it good for the resource base?” If organizations have been working for many years with developing countries on appropriate technologies, why have they not had more impact on poverty?

The beneficiaries of the projects pay a tariff, which is channelled into a fund used in the development of the communities.

Practical Action believes there are a number of reasons for this: too many solutions have been imposed on communities without significant assessment of need; techniques to share knowledge have not been put in place; and too many different approaches – failing to embrace and compliment traditional cultures – have led to failure.

Locals can borrow from the fund to develop their enterprises. “We also want to venture into training of the local people to manufacture parts of the machine used for the power generation such as turbines and this is set to create employment for the community,” said Mr Matahwa.

The charity has a very clear message: using the right technologies and techniques will help millions of people escape poverty. It believes this is one of the most effective ways to address poverty and improve people’s lives, now and for generations to come.

Practical Action aims to target 15 projects set to benefit about 45,000 households. Similar projects – such as the Tuungu Kabiri community micro-hydro project in Kenya – provides electricity 24 hours a day. In addition, it has enabled people to start small businesses such as woodwork, metal welding, battering charging and even a hairdressing salon.

Photo: Practical Action/Karen Robinson

Many more people benefit as they come from outside the community to use the facility. This scheme demonstrates both the benefits that access to modern energy can bring to poor communities and the economic empowerment that comes from a small decentralized scheme, controlled and maintained by local people.

Escaping poverty through technology Practical Action has a very clear message: using the right energy technologies – not necessarily new technologies – will help millions of people escape poverty. Access to energy is one of the most effective ways of addressing poverty and mitigating environmental damage and climate change. 86

Boys from a local village next to the weir which services the micro hydro scheme.

Energy There is also a question surrounding ‘technology democracy’ for developing communities. Simply offering A or B as an answer is not sustainable; people need to be able to make their own choices about what is needed to provide a solution to poverty, while being able to make the most of resources available. Lack of information and new schemes can often price communities out of the market, and their voice and concerns are often not considered in the planning or policy-making stage. As the majority of natural disasters occur in the developing world and communities do not have the infrastructure to cope, they are also most likely to be effected by impacts – facing greater risks to assets and livelihoods. By working with communities – using either very simple ideas or more traditional methods – people are embracing new ways of working, but without knowledge sharing and scaling up ideas, results often remain localized.

Conclusions poor communities often lack information on energy options, cannot afford or indeed even access existing schemes, while people’s voices and concerns are not considered in the planning or policy-making process. The energy priorities of the poor must be considered as a moral obligation by industrialized nations.

Without working directly with communities, poor people will continue to live in poverty with little chance of escape. Energy can provide wealth, and not just in monetary terms. practical Action’s work is proof of how small-scale technology is effective in providing sustainable energy solutions.

About the author Jane Eason is press & media Officer of practical Action.

About the organization practical Action is an international development agency working with poor communities to help them choose and use technology to improve their lives today and for generations to come.

Enquiries practical Action The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development Bourton on Dunsmore Rugby, Warwickshire Cv23 9QZ uK Tel: +44 (0)19 26 63 44 00 Fax: +44 (0)19 26 63 44 01 Website:



Workshop Report

System satellite, wireless & “the digital community” Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


e are more than halfway to the year 2015, the deadline for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which were established in 2000. Many organizations are working to meet that deadline including Global V Sat Forum (GVF), Communications Cooperative International (CCI) and Nethope. These organizations have to fulfill milestones in bridging the digital divide, particularly between satellite wire and the digital community, by 2015. Currently, in excess of US$33 billion is used for humanitarian development including emergency response and conservation programs in 150 countries. Joe Simmons, the Program Director for Nethope, says the need and opportunity for digital communities in the developing world is huge. Simmons claims technology matters. Nethope addresses five critical needs: Connectivity, Emergency Response, Field Capacity Building (note: the lack of ICT skills and training is the number one obstacle), Shared Services and Innovation for Development. By combining inter-agency collaboration, public-private partnerships and technological innovations, the goal is certainly obtainable. To achieve long-term development, successful milestones must be reached in areas of skilled personnel (including training and support), infrastructure and security strategies. To solve large global issues, companies must join forces and work together to reach their milestones. 88

Jointly, countries can share the risks and related costs while mutually benefiting from each other’s expertise. Without collaboration, the world’s neediest will simply perish. Some of Nethope’s organizational memberships include: Save the Children, The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, WaterAid, Christian Aid and Children International along with many other outstanding NGOs. These organizations combine resources to serve underdeveloped, poverty-ridden countries in the areas of health, education, disaster response, financial services, safety and security, agriculture and environment. Through its impressive list of corporate sponsors such as Google, Dell, Microsoft, Yahoo, Inmarsat and the W.K. Kellogs Foundation, among many other prestigious and well-known companies, Nethope is able to supply technology that will significantly narrow the distance in technological gaps. Through corroborative efforts, Nethope and its sponsors provide much-needed services, staffing, capacity building, financing programs, hardware and software. Nethope’s strategic intent is to enable Nethope Members to more effectively provide sustained social and economic opportunity for the “next five billion” people through smarter use of information and communications. By addressing the critical need of connectivity, Nethope is working to extend broadband access for programs and communities. According to DDR Consultant Denney Decour, about 91 percent of Africa relies on telephony for communication and only six percent relies on internet

Speakers David Hartshorn Secretary General, Global V Sat Forum (GVF) Maria Kendro Executive Director of the Communications Cooperative Initiative (CCI) Joe Simmons Connectivity Program Director, Nethope Denis Descour Principal, DDR Consultancy

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report access policy; microenterprise and SmE development; telecom and internet strategy and implementation; community mobilization; and community-based network solutions. unfortunately, Kendro adds, universal Service Funds on the macro level are often abused and misappropriated due to high levels of corruption. Additionally, some companies do not adhere to their social responsibility (if, in fact, there is one) when it comes to sponsorship dollars.

Developing and fostering private, sustainable and local delivery of ICT solutions enable enterprises to flourish.

connectivity. The low availability of internet connectivity is crippling to development. maria Kendro, Executive Director of Communications Cooperative International (CCI) looks for both providers and vendors with favorable pricing to accommodate the lower spectrum of populations. CCI is a not-for-profit, cooperative organization dedicated to stimulate economic growth and human development in underserved communities around the world. According to Kendro, CCI’s work ranges from developing and fostering private, sustainable and local delivery of ICT solutions, to promoting favorable national-level policy environments that will enable these enterprises to flourish. CCI works to connect people, whether in large underserved areas, remote villages or small towns, to expand that population’s opportunities, empower the people to improve conditions in their own communities while enabling

them to participate in an increasingly information-driven and globalized marketplace. Fundamental values are the principles of partnership, self-help and long-term sustainability.

“About 91 percent of Africa relies on telephony for communication and only six percent relies on internet connectivity.” The staff at CCI comprises a team of highly experienced professionals, managers and technicians with in-depth expertise in international development and the ICT sector while also providing technical assistance and training to governments, businesses and communities in such areas as market liberalization, interconnection and universal


Sea mobile Europe boasts easy and fast deployment of essential, resilient communications, rapid coordination of relief effort or action in the field, and can be split into maritime-based and land-based product lines, reflecting the nature of its end-user’s business from both the public and the private sectors. In fact, their slogan is: “Be in the middle of nowhere and at the center of everything.” Seamobile Europe has built strong relationships with key industry players to develop technological and strategic plans, and include: Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, vizada, Stratos, Iridium and iDirect. Each company brings its area of expertise to the table and these powerhouse entities work together to reach the ultimate goal of creating connectivity accessibility. Iridium is the only mobile satellite service offering gap-free, pole-to-pole coverage. Inmarsat is the world’s leading mobile satellite communication company covering almost the entire Earth’s surface. Through Stratos and vizada, Inmarsat provides optimized mobile broadband services. Seamobile Europe has chosen Eutelsat and Intelsat for its vSAT services. The quality and breadth of the two companies’ coverage, combined with iDirect’s advanced technology, allows customers the benefit of receiving the best technologic alliance for their vSAT communications. Seamobile says its phones are flexible, portable, easy to use, secure, reliable and have global coverage. By working together toward a common goal, companies achieve a lot more in the end and costs are divided among the stakeholders so that no one entity bears the complete burden of the expensive intricacies of implementing modern technology. 89

Workshop Report

GIS: an innovative approach to land tenure and poverty reduction Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Carlette N. Ritter


y the time the average child in the United States reaches kindergarten (about 5-6 years old), more than likely, they will be able to recite not only their name and phone number, but also their address. Knowing your address, the place where you live, is quite possibly one of the most basic fundamentals of identification that we use almost on a daily basis. An address can tell, at the quickness of a glance, many things about us. Just on the basis of an address, it is possible for people to judge our socioeconomic status and/or our relative income, perhaps our race and even our culture. Have we ever been in a situation when we saw an address and were either impressed or wary? How quick we are to develop an opinion of someone or something simply based on its location or address. While we probably take this basic fundamental knowledge for granted, there are millions of people who don’t know their address. Let’s be clear however. These people know where they live – but they don’t know their address, because they don’t have one. Carmelle Terborgh, Ph.D., explains that people in Ghana, for example, cannot receive goods or services because they don’t have an address. Terborgh and her company, ESRI want to help change that. So then, the question still remains: “How does one obtain an address?” and that is certainly a fair question. Former President Bill Clinton’s project (CGI) addresses the formalization 90

of property ownership which will significantly put landowners in a far better position toward a life outside of poverty. By having titled property, landowners are able to apply for bank loans, using their land/property as collateral. Those funds could then be used to create a small business, which would then provide a means to end poverty.

Speakers Moderator: Carmelle Terborgh Federal/ Global Affairs Team Lead and Account Manager, ESRI Salim Sawaya Federal/Global Affairs Account Manager, ESRI Keith Hofgartner Projects Manager, Worldwide, Trimble

Noel Taylor Vice President for International Programs, International Land Systems (ILS)

“These people know where they live – but they don’t know their address, because they don’t have one.” The first step is to create a registration process in which survey and mapping would determine property boundaries. Then a safe process for landowners to obtain legal documentation would have to be created as well. Before the pilot program, approximately 60 percent of all cases taken before the courts were land and property related. For that reason, lending institutions were extremely wary of extending microfinance loans. Having a land license/title will significantly reduce the number of land disputes, thereby reducing risks for the loan institution. Also, by not having a property title, inheritances could be withheld from families as well as the property itself being undervalued. Without a title, land could easily be snatched from the landowner which, of course, would threaten his business prosperity,

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

Workshop Report passes through the Cadastral Office, a title/deed is issued.

© UN Habitat

After the data is collected and input into a database using the software created by ISL and ESRI, a map can be generated which provides the loan officer with enough data/information to create a paralegal Title.

Without a title, inheritances could be witheld from families as well as property itself being undervalued.

According to Noel Taylor, vice president for International programs, International Land Systems (ILS) a CGI project participant, ILS led the efforts in the pilot program staged in Ghana. Ghana was chosen because of its independence but also because of the population’s access to microfinance loans. The pilot program took place in Ashiaman, Tema and was based on the de Soto Theory. The de Soto Theory, in a nutshell, was created by peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto polar and his Institute for Liberty and Democracy. The theory proposes nations to build a process for cost and time effectiveness for land registration and titling for poor people. De Soto asserts that by streamlining and simplifying the property registration process, historically poor people have an opportunity to thrive where they weren’t able to in the past. Since cadastral mapping never existed in the region prior to the project, ILS faced a daunting and very difficult task of determining boundaries. To accomplish the task, ILS used a cadastral mapping system – multiCadastre which collects data and provides mapping. By using a satellite image and aerial photography, spatial land data was gathered. personnel were set up in the home base offices in Accra as the project pilot launched. ILS provided a trusted, neutral third party to interface between the land registry and the poor. The poorest private schools in Ghana were included in the first 50 initial test subjects in the pilot program.

Opportunity International in Ghana served as the “trusted broker” between ISL, ESRI and the local bank loan officers. Opportunity International trained a cross-matrix of women and tribal members in the process of data collection and landownership. The broker provided a front office equipped with everything needed to create land registrations. personnel went on-site to conduct interviews, which served to verify the number and actual occupancy of tenants, plot lines and GpS coordinates. Neighbors were sometimes interviewed also and each person was armed with a list of prepared questions. For the most part, the process went fairly smoothly and with practice, boundaries and ownerships were easy to prove. Once a registration application form is completed, a legal documentation and survey mapping details are assessed and recorded. Those documents are then sent to the Registry of property and Ownership Rights where a property ID (pID) is generated on its way to the Cadastral Office. Once it

The paralegal Title, priced at about $30-40 (some sources say as much as $100), and only takes about 10 days. The alternative to a paralegal Title is the more costly Legal Title which could cost upwards of $3,000 and the process could take over 10 years to complete. According to Salim Sawaya, Federal/Global Affairs Account manager at ESRI, the multiCadastre system and the GIS-based property survey have been extended to many other countries and cities as well, including the newest country to be added, Timor Leste, in Asia. Timor Leste has a population of approximately one million people. ILS is using GIS and mobile technology to identify and record land property claims throughout the given area. The jury is still out regarding a final judgment about this process, however there is optimism among micro-financers that the multiCadastre system will continue its momentum in taking a bite out of world poverty and providing landowners with their rightful titles.

Nations should build a process for cost and land registration and titling for poor people.



resulting in a default of the original loan.

“By streamlining and simplifying the property registration process, historically poor people have an opportunity to thrive where they weren’t able to in the past.”


Workshop Report Speakers

Disaster communications – advance warning and emergency alert systems

Moderator: David S. Diggs, Vice President & Executive Director, The Wireless Foundation Keith Robertory Disaster Services Technology Manager, American Red Cross

Paul Margie US Representative, Télécoms sans Frontières

Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Vaishali Honawar


n effective early warning system can make the difference between life and death for hundreds of victims of a natural disaster, or a manmade one such as a terrorist attack. At a workshop on disaster communications, experts spoke about the kinds of technologies that are now available to warn populations that could be facing a threat or are already in a disaster situation. Leigh Fitzpatrick McCook of the Georgia Tech Research Institute said a great deal of work is now being done on early warning systems used to alert those in disaster areas. Various events, she said, have various timelines for broadcast warnings.

Courtesy: Télécoms Sans Frontières

In the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Work is now being done on early warning systems used to alert those in disaster areas.


Administration operates early warning systems for weather and natural disasters. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security operates a homeland security advisory system that combines threat information with vulnerability assessments and provides communications to public safety officials and the public. A study recently conducted by the Department of Homeland Security looked at how we make communications more resilient, Ms. McCook said. “We looked at what is the information that private and future systems need.” During disaster response, all warnings needs to be timely, easily understood and familiar, and they should be broadcast to all affected constituencies, Ms. McCook said. Traditional warning systems utilize existing infrastructure for public warnings. And recent events, she added, have led to the exploring of new technologies that could be used for early warning systems, including email blasts, instant messaging, podcasts and cellphones or texting systems. Some web and social networking technology is already is use currently by public safety and emergency managers, she added. Keith Robertory, the disaster services technology manager for the American Red Cross, spoke about

Lou Altman SatCom Global and GlobaFone

Stuart Castell Director, Castell Satcom Radio

Leigh Fitzpatrick McCook, Principal Research Associate and Division Chief, SocioTechnical Systems Division, Georgia Tech Research Institute Lionel Marre Project Manager, OMIF – IT-Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch, World Food Programme (WFP)

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

Workshop Report

Courtesy: Télécoms Sans Frontières

communications systems in areas affected by disasters. In the event of a disaster, he said, those charged with rescue and relief have to operate fast. There could be a need to mobilize hundreds of people in a hurry, making an effective communications system absolutely imperative. The Red Cross, mr. Robertory said, always assumes there is no infrastructure for a communications system in the affected area. “We bring in the whole system: Ip phones, satellite phones and cell phones.” Sometimes, even those areas which do have an infrastructure could find that it stops operating after a disaster, and it can take at least a couple of days to recover the system. Agencies are constantly exploring new ways to get the message across in emergencies. The Red Cross, mr. Robertory said, now has a Twitter feed as well as a Facebook page to help with disaster communications. “We are thinking of different ways of reaching people where they are and with what they are comfortable with,” he added. paul margie, the u.S. representative of Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), said his organization sends in teams to set up disaster communications within 48 hours of a disaster. The organization was founded when, during missions responding to the crisis in the Balkans and in Kurdistan during the 1st Gulf War, the group’s founders realized that, in addition to medical and food aid, there was a critical need for reliable emergency telecommunications services. Refugees would approach the founders with scraps of paper asking them to call relatives with messages about their wellbeing or about casualties. TSF, mr. margie said, produces emergency response centers during any disaster in tandem with united Nations agencies like OCHA, WTO and uNICEF. “We set up a telecommunications hub. We also set up temporary telecom centers to provide free calling to victims of disasters.” TSF also helps achieve better coordination in the field with governments, other relief agencies, and home offices. There is a need for effective telecommunications at every level of

Even those areas which do have an infrastructure could find that it stops operating after a disaster, and it can take at least a couple of days to recover the system.

a disaster operation,” mr. margie said. For instance, when the World Food programme is moving tons of food to an affected area, “they need the ability to have communications at both ends.” TSF has also been setting up communications hubs in areas challenged by the digital divide. For instance, in Niger, a long-term satellitebased communications center was opened in 2007 to support local and international organizations working with the most underprivileged people in the region of Dakoro. Before the center was opened, it would take a drive of six hours to send an email.

“We are thinking of different ways of reaching people where they are and with what they are comfortable with.” Also at the workshop were two providers of satellite telecommunications technology who spoke about the benefits of such systems. Lou Altman, of Satcom Global and GlobaFone, said aid-givers rely on satellite communications technology to save lives. Satcom, he said, helps restore essential communications immediately, and enables a rapid coordination of the relief effort, and helps track staff and resources, among other benefits. “They play an integral role in disaster relief,” he said.


Satellite communications systems, mr. Altman said, are compact and portable; they are easy to use because they require no special technology expertise; they can be used to make conference calls, for video feeds and file transfers; they are secure; and they offer global coverage. Stuart Castell, the director of Castell Satcom Radio, said all disasters are different and require a different response. He emphasized the importance of training aid workers in using the satellite communications technology before they could go into a disaster situation. “In a stressful situation, training is really important, and especially sustained training,” he said. David S. Diggs, the vice president and executive director of the Wireless Foundation, described his organization as one that “applies wireless technology to keep [American] communities safe.” He described the foundation’s “Wireless Amber Alert System” under which cell phone users in the united States can sign up for alerts on abducted children in the area. The amber alert system is also being explored as a tool for sending out alerts in emergencies, mr. Diggs added. For instance, cell phone users could opt in to receive a warning if there was a disaster or emergency in their area. The system was originally slated for completion in 2010, “but it looks more like [it will be in place by] 2012 now,” mr. Diggs said. 93

Workshop Report Speakers

Water supply and management

Moderator: Rhett Butler Founder/Chairman, SkyJuice

Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C.

Jonathan Randall Humanitarian Partnerships, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

By Vaishali Honawar


roviders of clean water technology stressed the importance of developing a realistic plan to provide safe drinking water to all human beings, and discussed some of the challenges faced in moving toward this goal, during a workshop on water supply and management. Rhett Butler of SkyJuice Technology said 4,500 children die each day due to the consequences of consuming unsafe water and inadequate hygiene. As many as 1.1 billion people in the world are currently without access to clean drinking water, and the number would grow to 2.3 billion by 2015, he added.

© WaterAid/Abir Abdullah

But bringing safe water to each of these people would require building new water supply services for 375,000 people each day until 2015 – an impossible goal. “We need to look for alternatives,” Mr. Butler said.

Detailing the characteristics of those most likely to not have access to safe drinking water, Mr. Butler said as many as four billion people, or 60 percent of the world’s population, now make incomes of under $3,000 each year. Higher proportions of these people are unlikely to have access to piped water supply, and many buy from mobile water vendors. Many also rely on unregulated surface water collection.


Mirco Richardson Mage Industrie AG (Watercone)

“4,500 children die each day due to the consequences of consuming unsafe water and inadequate hygiene.” The challenges, Mr. Butler said, are to implement suitable but low-cost technology that can stretch from emergency short-term to medium-term. The design should be sustainable with an option for community ownership and plants must be reliable and simple to operate, he added. The solution, according to SkyJuice, is a simple, localized solution that does not require costly infrastructure and that can serve as an effective solution for water treatment for emergency supply and/or medium-term potable water. The SkyJuice system, Mr. Butler said, has low-cost upfront and ongoing operating costs, and it produces potable water swiftly and easily, among other benefits.

As many as 1.1 billion people in the world are currently without access to clean drinking water.

Neil Wrigglesworth Export Sales Manager, Wagtech International Limited

SkyJuice technology uses ultra filtration membrane technology which is highly effective in removing all nondissolved species in potable water.

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

© Zambia WaterAid/Jon Spaull

Workshop Report The technology purifies by direct filtration and physical removal and does not use chemical reactions or electricity, chemical satchels, collectors or reflectors etc. units are designed for a life of five years minimum with an expected service life of up to 10 years. Neil Wrigglesworth, the export sales manager of Wagtech International Limited, said his company works primarily in developing countries like Ghana, Rwanda and Bangladesh. “Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right,” mr. Wrigglesworth said. “But each year there are 1.6 million deaths due to diarrhea alone.” Wagtech manufactures water and environmental testing equipment. The Berkshire, u.K.-based firm has offices in the Far East, Indian sub continent, East, West and South Africa, Central Asia, middle East and South America. The kits have been used successfully in disaster-hit areas. For instance, Wagtech International has provided 13 mobile testing laboratories to three major cities in Northern Iraq in a $2 million project. mr. Wrigglesworth described Wagtech as a “lab in a box.” Among the benefits of the Wagtech kits, he said, is that the analysis they conduct conforms to World Health Organization guidelines. Further, he added, the kits also reduce dependence on a central, fixed-site laboratory for water testing. He said he is just back from a trip to Zimbabwe where the infrastructure for monitoring water quality has broken down entirely and the country has neither the staff nor the money to revive it. “The central and fixed-site labs are no longer functioning,” he said, adding that in such a situation portable kits can reduce the dependency on laboratories. Outlining the characteristics of good kits, mr. Wrigglesworth said that they need to be lightweight and durable, and one shouldn’t have to be a technician to use a kit. “In many countries, they don’t have any information [on water quality], especially in rural and poor urban areas. A rapid field assessment will provide the first set of usable information on water quality in a country and this can be the basis for designing a national routine monitoring and surveillance program,” mr. Wrigglesworth said.

Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right.

“Field testing is logistically easier and more cost-effective,” he added. mirco Richardson of mage Industrie AG, introduced the audience to the Watercone, a portable still that turns salt water into potable water, and which has been used effectively in some parts of Yemen under a pilot project.

“While there are many systems that purify and filter muddy water, there are not many simple systems that desalinate.”

“The Watercone started out as a design experiment,” mr. Richardson said, adding that it is yet to be tested on a larger level. “Large parts of human settlements are near oceans or rivers or near salt lakes,” he said. “But salt water is undrinkable and river water is polluted.” While there are many systems that purify and filter muddy water, there are not many simple systems that desalinate, he said, adding that the small Watercone units ensure a supply of fresh drinking water each day.

using the sun’s energy alone, into up to 1.7 liters of drinking water. “It is not really distilled water, but close to it,” mr. Richardson said, adding it was safe enough to add to children’s milk powder, for instance. The Watercone also removes any mercury, arsenic or cadmium in the water, he added. mr. Richardson described a successful pilot project that began in Yemen in 2004 where 100 Watercones were given to 10 fishermen families in two villages. Yemen has a large coastline and an acute shortage of drinking water, making it an ideal testing ground for this device. The Watercones became so popular, he said, that the men in the village would guard them at night, worried that people from neighboring villages would try to steal them. In 2009, he said, mage Industrie hopes to start more pilot projects where Watercones are needed. “For instance, when Haiti gets hurricanes, perfect conditions are created for a Watercone,” he said. mr. Richardson also detailed some of the problems with Watercone production, however, such as the very high cost due to the expensive recycled polycarbonate used to make the cone, as well as the long time required to produce them. “Right now we can’t sell them for under € 100, and NGOs are apprehensive about paying this,” he said.

Over a period of 24 hours, five liters of salt water can be transformed,



Source/Photo: WaterAid/Suzanne Porter


The silent crisis – why we need a global framework for action on water and sanitation Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid

Sophie Zongo collects water from a pond rimmed with animal faeces in her village of Bayandi Palogo, Burkina Faso.


here is a silent development crisis gathering pace around the world today. It is silent, because it affects primarily those who have the least power to speak up: women, children, and those living in extreme poverty. Every year, 1.4 million children die from diarrhoea directly caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, and hundreds of millions of children miss school as a result of being ill. This crisis is holding back human and economic development. The current response of the international community is inadequate. To resolve this situation a ‘global framework for action’ is required. Water and sanitation are taken for granted by most people. However, one in eight people around the world do not have clean drinking water, some 900 million people in total. Furthermore, one in three do not have anywhere safe to go to the toilet, a total of 2.5 billion. This masks the fact that the only option for almost half these 2.5 billion people is open defecation – in fields, gutters or bushes – a daily reality for 665 million people in India alone. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7, Target 10, outlines the global ambition to halve the proportion of people without access to water and sanitation by 2015. However, at current rates of progress, in sub-Saharan Africa the water target will not be met until 2035 and the sanitation target will not be met until the 22nd century. This is a crisis compounded by rapid urbanisation. Nowhere is urbanisation happening as 96

fast as in Africa, where by 2030 more people will be urban dwellers than rural dwellers. Because most African countries are not managing to keep up with rising demand for housing and services, this is not urbanisation, but ‘slumisation’.

A gendered crisis that holds back progress on health and education In much of rural Africa and South Asia, women and girls spend on average 15 to 17 hours a week collecting water, often from dirty, unprotected sources as the woman in Burkina Faso in the photo on the right is doing. Access to safe water near the home would end this daily drudgery, but also allow women to increase their incomes by engaging in productive work. One study from rural India suggests that reducing water collection to one hour a day would enable a woman to earn an additional $100 a year, when many live on less than $2 a day. Collecting water also impacts heavily on girls’ education. In Tanzania, school attendance levels are 12 percent higher for girls in homes 15 minutes or less from a water source, than in homes an hour or more away. Furthermore, UNDP estimates that about half the girls in sub-Saharan Africa who drop out of primary school do so because of poor water and sanitation facilities. Often this water is not even fit for human consumption – it can spread diseases like diarrhoea and cholera. Every year, 1.4 million children die from diarrhoea directly caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Credit: Google Earth

Water That is 4,000 children dying every day for want of these basic human rights. Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of under-fives around the world, and kills more children than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The associated costs of illness are also significant. It is estimated that 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases. These illnesses also hinder the health sector – at any one time, half of all hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases. These avoidable costs equate to about 12 percent of public health spending in sub-Saharan Africa.

Scarcity or inequitable distribution? Reading the global media in recent years, one would think that climate change and water scarcity are the leading drivers of poor access. This is far from the case. While it is a serious problem that by 2030 more than half the world’s population will live in high-risk areas of water scarcity, this is first and foremost a justice issue. There is enough water to go around, if it is shared equitably. Across the world, there would be enough water for everyone if it was shared in a fair way, climate change or no climate change. The crisis in water and sanitation hits the poor hardest. Two-thirds of the 900 million people without water live on less than $2 a day. Furthermore, the richest 20 percent in many countries are three times more likely to use improved sanitation than the poorest 20 per cent. This comes as no surprise to poor people themselves. On the rare occasions that they get asked, poor people frequently put access to safe water at the top of their priorities, ahead of health and education. Scandalously, the urban poor even pay more for their water than their richer neighbours. This is because they cannot afford the large fees required to be connected to the network, and must therefore pay water vendors by the bucket. These vendors, with their inefficient supply chains, sell poor people water for typically around 10 times more than the networked rate, litre for litre.

Source: OECD DAC database

The World Health Organization has found that when all the benefits of access to water and sanitation are quantified

Relative aid levels to health, education and water and sanitation (five-year moving average).

The irrigated Royal Nairobi Golf Club next to Kibera, a slum where one million people lived until September 2009 with poor access to water.

and added together, every dollar invested in water and sanitation brings at least an $8 return. But it is the poor who are least able to finance their way out of poverty. particularly with water, there is a mandate for governments to provide services for their citizens. Without getting into debates about who pays and who provides, all can agree that governments need to fulfil this mandate. In line with this, the uN recognised the right to water for personal and domestic use in 2002.

The drivers of the crisis Given the scale of the crisis, and the massive potential benefits of action, why is so little happening? There are a multitude of reasons, and the responsibility lies with both developing country governments and donor governments. First of all, institutional fragmentation means that in many countries, responsibility for delivering these essential services is split across several ministries. Sanitation often falls between the gaps of ministries of water, health, education and environment. Accountability is further undermined by the fact that the burden of the crisis is borne disproportionately by women, children and those in extreme poverty – the very people who have least voice in key decision-making processes. Analysis of sector expenditure often reveals that, in urban areas, money is often not going towards financing new connections for the unserved, but towards improving services for the non-poor who already have connections. An analysis of aid levels to the sector reveals how donor countries are complicit in the misallocation of financing, with roughly three times as much aid going to ‘large systems’ rather than basic levels of service. Looking at the distribution of aid by country also reveals worrying trends, such as middle-income countries receiving the lion’s share of aid. For example, Jordan, malaysia and Tunisia all received an annual average of $80-100 million over 2002-2006, despite all having around 95 percent water coverage. Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Togo, with around 50-60 percent coverage, received an average of $1-2 million over that time.



Water A development narrative with a missing link Political leaders rarely extol the virtues of toilets. Health and education are far easier ideas to sell. This neglect is reflected in aid levels over the last decade, as the graph shows. Since 2000, the proportion of aid to health and education has increased significantly, while the proportion for water and sanitation has declined and then stagnated. This approach, when compared to the success of Asian ‘tiger’ states such as South Korea and Malaysia, appears to pay little heed to history. In the 1960s, these developmental states frontloaded investments in water and sanitation, leaving investment in health until after these building blocks had been laid. For example, South Korea made huge investments in water and sanitation during the 1960s, when its per capita income was the same as Ghana’s. During that decade, under-five mortality more than halved, while the number of medical staff stayed virtually the same. Only in the late 1970s did South Korea start investing in health systems and increasing the numbers of medical staff, capitalising on the fact that most of the population then had a safe water supply and access to toilets.

What would a global framework for action achieve?

UN’s Global Annual Assessment on Water and Sanitation (GLAAS) report provides a good starting point for this. An annual high-level meeting. This annual meeting would be attended by political representatives of donor agencies, and by government ministers from countries in regions where the MDGs are likely to be missed. At the meeting, these people would jointly decide on key actions based on the report’s findings. The aim would be to build consensus, and ensure everyone is on the same page. No credible national plan should fail for lack of finance. One of the reasons for the lack of progress on water and sanitation is poor planning and monitoring procedures in many developing countries. Donors should help these countries to develop credible plans, which would include realistic annual targets with timelines, and costed strategies for water supply and sanitation, as well as a system for monitoring the plan. Once a country has a credible plan, donors should commit to providing the necessary financing to ensure it is successful. A further aim of the high-level meeting would be to identify which credible plans are not being properly financed. Donors would then jointly decide on how to align their money to finance those plans.

Tackle the crisis urgently

The main problems identified have been low levels of finance, and the fact that the money is not going to those countries that most need it. A global framework for action would aim to solve both these problems by doing two things. Firstly, it would catalyse more donor support for the sector. Secondly, it would provide a mechanism for coordinating all financing, so the money can flow through to the places the water and sanitation crisis is hitting hardest.

The water and sanitation sectors are among the weakest performing MDG sectors, with sanitation trailing furthest behind. The critical weaknesses in water and sanitation are down to a failure of leadership. The international development community must now urgently bring together high-level bodies that can target resources at the areas of critical failure. Without a framework for action, we will continue to see unbalanced financial inputs and diminished outcomes.

A global framework would ensure everybody is on the same page, so no countries are ignored, and no efforts are duplicated. It would also bring clear lines of accountability for poor performance. There have been a whole host of international commitments in this sector over the last decade, but they have failed for several reasons. They have not been binding, and have consisted of vague platitudes instead of clear plans of action.

The beginnings of a global framework for action are already appearing, championed by the Dutch and UK governments. However, there is still a long way to go, and more high-level support is needed. This is why WaterAid calls on governments to urgently tackle the crisis by agreeing to a global framework for sanitation and water, including an annual review of the sector, an annual high-level meeting, and a commitment that no credible national plan should fail for lack of finance.

Drawing on successes from similar initiatives to coordinate action in the health and education sectors, WaterAid is calling for three key elements of a global framework for action: • An annual report to review progress • An annual meeting of key people to act on the report’s findings • A commitment from donors that if a country has a credible plan for achieving the water and sanitation MDGs, they will not doom it to failure by not providing enough money. These three essential components are outlined in more detail below.

About the author

Essential components of a global framework for action An annual review of the sector. This report would look at how much money is being spent, and how effectively progress is being achieved. Crucially, it would do this separately for water and sanitation, so the latter is not left behind, as has often been the case in the past. The 98

Barbara Frost is the Chief Executive of WaterAid. She joined WaterAid in September 2005 after nine years as Chief Executive at Action on Disability and Development (ADD). Barbara has previously worked in Africa for over seven years with ActionAid, Save the Children, and Community Aid Abroad, managing programmes in Mozambique and Malawi.

About the organization WaterAid is a leading independent organisation which enables the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. We work in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region and campaign globally with our partners to realise our vision of a world where everyone has access to these basic human rights.

Enquiries WaterAid, 47-49 Durham Street London, SE11 5JD UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 4500 Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 4545 Website:

Workshop Report

The food crisis and aid issues Thursday, July 9, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By vaishali Honawar


lglobal food crisis that exploded last year is far from over, and unless checked, could escalate to a point where a third of the world’s population could be food insecure by 2025, speakers warned during a workshop titled “The food crisis and aid issues.” The number of people going hungry has risen from 850 million to 1 billion in a single year, as a result of high food prices and the global economic downturn, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the united Nations. Hansjoerg Strohmeyer, the Chief of the policy and Development Branch of the united Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), said that in 80 per cent of the countries, the price of food is 50 per cent higher today than it was in 2004, and they are never again expected to drop to pre-2004 levels. OCHA, in partnership with other international agencies, mobilizes humanitarian support during disasters and emergencies.

The increasing price of oil has also further impacted the food crisis, mr. Strohmeyer added. “The moment oil prices climb beyond a certain level, it will have serious implications on agriculture. “The buzzword is volatility,” he said. “No one can predict which way this will go.”

“The number of people going hungry has risen from 850 million to 1 billion in a single year, as a result of high food prices and the global economic downturn.” In laying out solutions, Strohmeyer pointed to a Comprehensive Framework of Action to combat the food crisis that was produced last year by a task force convened by u.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. This task force included several u.N. agencies as well as the International monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization. The Comprehensive Framework for Action calls for a multi-step approach to combat the food crisis, including emergency food assistance for those affected, assistance for small farmers to boost local food production, and adjusting trade and tax policies.

In 80 per cent of the countries, the price of food is 50 per cent higher today than it was in 2004.

“We were trying to draft an innovative approach to [resolve the food crisis],” mr. Strohmeyer said, adding: “Although the crisis is now a year old, most of the problems are still valid.”


Speakers Hansjoerg Strohmeyer Chief of Policy and Development Branch, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Finbarr Curran Director of Field and Energency support Office (FESO), UN World Food Programme (WFP) Gary Clements Director, Office of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Textile Trade Affairs Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State Dr. Shaun Ferris Senior Technical Advisor for Agriculture and the Environment, Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Silke Pietzsch Food Security Advisor, Action Against Hunger

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report Finbarr Curran, director of the Field and Emergency Support Office (FESO) of the World Food Programme (WFP), the U.N.’s frontline agency in the fight against global hunger, said the problems that created the crisis will continue. “High prices of food are here to stay; the high price of fuel is here to stay. There are issues of water [shortage] and soil erosion…we realize we are facing a very different world.” He detailed the holistic approach being taken by the World Food Programme is taking to combat the crisis. In 2008, the WFP supplied food to 102 million people, and bought US $1.1 billion worth of food in 73 developing countries. The WFP’s Purchase for Progress program, or P4P, gives smallholder and low-income farmers the know-how and tools to maximize crop production. Further, it helps hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers gain access to reliable markets to sell their surplus crops at competitive prices. “This helps not just farmers but the whole community and ultimately the whole world,” commented Curran. P4P initiatives will now be piloted in 21 countries over the next five years including Asia, Africa and Latin America. The food WFP buys from farmers will go toward feeding the hungry in the same country. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation have committed $79 million to P4P.

outlines a comprehensive plan for the short, intermediate and long term. The comprehensive strategy includes emergency response and management, safety nets, nutrition and agricultural development. The bill also proposes appointment of a coordinator on Global Hunger and Food Security in the White House and creates a bipartisan, bicameral select committee on hunger within Congress to focus on global hunger.

“In 2008, the WFP supplied food to 102 million people, and bought US $1.1 billion worth of food in 73 developing countries.” Gary Clements, director of the Office of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Textile Trade Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, offered a sobering statistic: half of all children’s deaths in the developing world stem from malnutrition. Mr. Clements reminded the audience of President Barack Obama’s commitment to fight poverty and hunger. During his inauguration address in January this year, President Obama said, “To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.”

The Obama administration is now working on a strategic initiative to increase agricultural productivity and end world hunger. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is spearheading this effort, has said that this would include improving farmers’ access to quality seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, tools and credit, improving food storage and processing facilities, and supporting women farmers, Clements said the President has also announced a doubling of aid for agricultural growth in developing countries to more than US$1 billion in 2010. The need is to find sustainable agricultural solutions, including increasing agricultural productivity with a focus on the small farmer. “Our goal in the long term is to reduce emergency aid by making countries more self-sufficient,” he added. Silke Pietzch, Food Security Advisor with Action Against Hunger, a New York-based organization that has programs to fight malnutrition in 40 countries, emphasized the importance of preparing in advance for emergencies. Donor and funding cycles, she said, need to change so that those affected get aid soon after an emergency, when it is needed most. “Working before emergencies is much more effective and cheaper than after,” warned Ms. Pietzch.

Bruce White of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a faith-based group based in the United States that works on alleviating disease and poverty globally, said the only positive outcome of the food crisis was that it grabbed the world’s attention. “The U.S. policy is that both [former president George W. Bush] and [President] Obama have embraced ending hunger and poverty by 2015,” he said. However, he added, the U.S. government does not have a comprehensive strategy on fighting world hunger. White explained that CRS is supporting a bill recently introduced in Congress that would implement a comprehensive plan to address global hunger and increase food security. The bipartisan ‘Roadmap to End Global Hunger and Promote Food Security Act of 2009’ bill 100

Working before emergencies is much more effective and cheaper than after.

Workshop Report

Reducing risk and vulnerability – our collective environmental responsibility Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


here is little doubt that global warming is a real phenomenon with measurable impact. Ocean levels have risen, which means that in Belize City, high tide now floods parts of the city that were once dry. Warmer sea temperatures are damaging and bleaching Belize’s coral reef. Is the humanitarian aid sector contributing to global warming? It may well be. The aid sector operates about 80,000 vehicles worldwide. Emissions from trucks delivering tons of food each month and continual, global travel add up to a large carbon footprint. During the Rwandan crisis in the 1990s, cooking was entirely dependent on wood, which led to massive

deforestation. Another issue was that refugees were provided beans for food, which can take two hours to prepare and waste massive amounts of fuel in the process. A solution would be to give food that can be prepared with less fuel. Better inter-agency communications would help achieve environmental priorities.

Speakers Moderator: Brian Hanrahan

Ambassador Nestor Mendez Embassy of Belize

Anita van Breda Humanitarian Partnerships, World Wildlife Fund Martin Bettelley Coordinator, Fleet Forum

Aid organizations may want to promote the principle of “do no harm.” In practical terms, this means organizations must use a different approach and make decisions to promote better environmental outcomes. According to Anita van Breda of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), humanitarian aid can and should be environmentally conscious. Additionally,


Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

By protecting the environment, the impact of natural disasters is lessened because healthy ecosystems act as a natural buffer to floods and landslides.


9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time


Workshop Report by protecting the environment, the impact of natural disasters is lessened because healthy ecosystems act as a natural buffer to floods and landslides.

“A key issue in making humanitarian relief more environmentally friendly is efficient transportation.”

What can humanitarian groups do? First, agencies should resist media pressure to act quickly in a disaster, and take the time to deal with environmental impacts when initial assessments are being conducted. Groups should train their local staff regarding environmental practices. Additionally, agencies could use sustainable materials and technologies. They should engage in better planning, which can minimize material waste. Ultimately, environmental stewardship will require a multi-sector approach: private sector, government, and NGO.


Belize and its government are proving that a government-led approach works well. The Central American country’s environmental legislation is cuttingedge and is being used as a model.

Organizations should have simpler vehicles in the field.



Disaster-struck areas need better environmental practices. A big issue in disaster recovery is dealing with debris and waste. Another issue is rebuilding communities in sustainable areas. A relief agency that is taking its environmental impact seriously is the International Red Cross. In partnership with the WWF, it is actively working to minimize the environmental impact of its disaster relief programs.

Give food that can be prepared with less fuel.

With the world’s second largest living coral reef, and an economy dependent on ecotourism, Belize is committed to protecting its natural assets. The government has linked environmental responsibility and economic development. According to Ambassador Nestor Mendez, dialogue between government, environmentalists, and the community is important. However, dialogue alone won’t suffice. Another element is international investment. Investors must be sensitized to the importance of the environment. Belize does not accept international investors if they don’t have an environmental responsibility plan. According to Martin Bettelley of the Fleet Forum, a key issue in making humanitarian relief more environmentally friendly is efficient transportation. With 40 member organizations, and a board that includes representatives from the World Food Programme, World Vision and TNT, the Fleet Forum supports humanitarian aid with the mandate to reduce environmental impact and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of fleets. The solution is to create and implement a clean fleet strategy. This strategy may include several actions aimed at reducing the impact of transportation. Organizations should have simpler vehicles in the field, because

sophisticated vehicles may cause more problems. They must engage in vehicle control and reduce unauthorized trips. They can investigate hybrid vehicles. Lately, an emerging area is eco-driving – using special driving techniques in a way to reduce impact on the environment. The environmental principle of reduce, reuse and recycle can be applied to transportation. Some agencies are installing kits and catalysts on vehicles. One agency is committing to carbon offset by planting trees. Tyres are recycled in Kenya and Nairobi. Another tactic is to find alternate uses for things when possible. For instance, the WFP had bought too much jet fuel, which has a short life span. To prevent massive waste, the WFP was able to use the jet fuel in trucks that were multi-fuel equipped. Agencies can also commit to lowering their carbon footprint by using low energy lights in their offices, reducing air conditioning use, and turning off air conditioning and lights when not in use. Agencies can look to the future and begin implementing eco-friendly changes from not bringing in things with no alternative use to including practices for environmental protection during disaster relief and recovery. “What we need are eco-warriors – young people who are informed and who are responsible for stewardship of the earth,” says Ambassador Mendez.

Workshop Report

The role of the media in relief and development Friday, July 10, 2009 International Aid & Trade, Washington D.C. By Deborah Brody


nderscoring the media’s importance, former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali once said that CNN is the sixteenth member of the UN Security Council. This is simply because politicians want to seem to be responding to what is being covered on television.

Why are aid organizations getting it wrong? NGOs may have limited public relations skills and personnel. Humanitarian press releases may lack news value and tend to be fundraisingoriented. Aid groups can help reporters by knowing what makes a good news story and learn to tell development stories in an exciting way.

The media play a significant role in relief and development. A study sponsored by Global Hand found that donations correlate perfectly to the amount of media coverage. For instance, the extensive worldwide coveage of the 2005 Tsunami helped garner five times the amount of donations needed.

The media has problems too. For one, media is a for-profit business and needs to report more than “doom and gloom” stories. Journalism has been curtailed by the rise in social media, and the economic downturn. Reduced media budgets have led to cutbacks in foreign news bureaus, and fewer people to do reporting.

“The public is not informed on the issues, so it doesn’t know to be interested in the issues,” says Nathalie Applewhite of the pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This does not bode well for forgotten disasters or situations that do not receive coverage. “Right now we are getting it wrong. If we fail to act, appalling atrocities are allowed to happen,” says Sally Begbie, president of Global Hand.

Ben Barber, editorial director at the united States Agency for International Development (uSAID)’s Frontlines publication believes some aid workers resent the media. They are afraid of something negative being written about their organization, and believe that journalists just want to find fault. Journalists see themselves as truth seekers. In their eyes, if you are doing what you are supposed to do, there is

Speakers Moderator: Brian Hanrahan Foreign Correspondent, BBC Suvendu Chatterjee Photographer, Media Entrepreneur, Founder and Director of Drik India Sally Begbie President, Global Hand

Ben Barber Editorial Director, Frontlines, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mark Frohardt Vice-President for Africa and Health and Humanitarian Media, Internews Nathalie Applewhite Associate Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Roy Gutman Foreign Editor, McClatchy Newspapers

© UN Habitat

Workshop report from the 2009 Aid & Trade Event

9-10 July 2009 Washington D.C., USA Building Partnerships for Relief & Development Procurement & Logistics Getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time

If we fail to act, appalling atrocities are allowed to happen.



© Simon Crittle/WFP

Workshop Report many aid organizations spend more time communicating to international media and very little effort providing information to the local population.

To relate well to news organizations, NGOs must understand their essence, which simply is presenting the news.

no story. The “hacks” are out to find out what is wrong while the “flacks” see themselves as promoting the good stuff. News reports sometimes concentrate on what is more sensational: the 10% of wasted resources, instead of the 90% of properly used funds. In the world’s largest refugee return, four million people have voluntarily returned to Afghanistan. The media have instead focused on 50,000 people who are still in refugee camps in Pakistan. This type of hack journalism hinders international aid. Negative reporting on foreign assistance programs bolsters the view that the world is corrupt. Journalists are pushed by editors to pursue “gotcha” stories. In Sanskrit, drik means the power of vision. Drik is also the name of Suvendu Chatterjee’s organization, which seeks to combat Western media hegemony and to “share in the power structure of disseminating information.” Drik is working to develop citizen journalism in India. The recent Aila cyclone caused great losses despite warnings, mainly because millions are neglected by the state and the media. It is as if no lessons were learned from other natural disasters. Although “disaster is a favorite element of story telling,” some media organizations move on after a disaster and do no follow up. There should be synergy between development agencies and the media, as the media can be an invaluable conduit of information during a disaster. But often the synergy is not there. 104

The media’s side “If a door is closed, I want to open it,” says Roy Gutman from McClatchy Newspapers. He says editors are gatekeepers who want to find what is going on, to illuminate the “dark corners.” To relate well to news organizations, NGOs must understand their essence, which simply is presenting the news. Likewise, it is important to understand what news is. The question is how to get reporters engaged in a story. Gutman quips that “news is something that someone, somewhere wants to suppress, everything else is advertising.” Gutman points to the case of Afghanistan in the 1990s. The Taliban had mounted a reign of terror, producing more refugees than any other country on earth. The aid community were present and active, yet the situation was not reported in the media. Apparently, aid organizations hadn’t figured out how to get media involved. Journalists had a dilemma: they couldn’t report what was happening due to governmental repression. Many distressed populations face double jeopardy: they need more information but have less access to information. Victims of disasters need to know where to find aid, whether they should evacuate and other crucial information. Yet, many times, media do not regard refugees or displaced persons as audiences. Humanitarian media can fill the void and provide critical information during crisis. Instead,

According to Mark Frohardt, local media tends to sensationalize rather than inform. They like to write stories about the ineptitude of aid organizations and simply don’t understand disaster response complexity. This is why InterNews was founded. InterNews is a media development organization that works on building the capacity of local media. For instance, there is no local media in Chad/Sudan, so InterNews built radio stations to reach Darfur refugees. InterNews is also working on using mobile media (SMS texting) to help affected populations to get information. Global issues like development and relief are the “least sexy,” and they are being systematically underreported, says Nathalie Applewhite from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Additionally, the journalism industry is falling apart and is less able to cover certain issues. Many people have been focusing on the promise of new media, but that is not a solution. With new media, the audience is informing itself. Questions remain about the quality of the information. And with so much information available, from so many different sources, it is as if there is no information. The solution may lie in a nonprofit model for the news. The Pulitzer Center of Crisis Reporting provides travel grants to journalists to promote sustained coverage of a story. The Center is also focused on using multimedia to put a human face on issues, for instance, working with a Jamaican poet to tell a story about AIDS. The Center is encouraging audience involvement by inviting people to tell their personal stories. Undeniably, media attention and coverage are important to public awareness about world problems. To garner media interest, NGOs should focus on the issues, even if the organization is not mentioned. NGOs must learn good media strategies – contacting both traditional and nontraditional media – to disseminate their organization’s story.




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2009 International Aid & Trade / Aid & International Development Forum

International Aid & Trade has been re-branded as the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), incorporating both humanitarian aid and international development solutions


REVIEW Building Partnerships for Relief and Development

22-23 July 2010 Building Partnerships for Relief and Development Walter E. Washington Convention Centre, Washington D.C., USA

International Aid & Trade - Review 2009  

International Aid & Trade - Review 2009

International Aid & Trade - Review 2009  

International Aid & Trade - Review 2009