‘’Shaping the agenda: a world free from poverty by 2030’’ – RESULTS UK’s national conference 2016: international development in a changing world
The world is rapidly changing. Economic growth has lifted millions of people out of poverty, and the new Global Goals show exactly what we need to end extreme poverty by 2030. In the UK, we have a new law requiring us to ensure that 0.7% of our national income is spent on international development efforts. But there are some major challenges to the way international development is being practised. Inequality is on the rise. Security and migration, increasingly fragile states, a changing global economy, and vulnerability to climate change all require new solutions. And there is ever more vocal criticism that aid money should not be prioritised over domestic spending priorities.
The event, organised by Result UK at their annual conference at the Resource for London, brought together leading thinkers, campaigners , students and practitioners who came together to debate the hottest topics in international development as well as engaging in 10 advocacy meetings at the Department for International Development and in parliament. Hot topics covered were; the role of the private and third sectors in development, how to reduce vulnerability to climate change, and the use of aid spending to promote the national interest. The conference offered a huge array of informative and inspiring sessions, including talks and debates by leading experts on poverty issues, as well as skill-building workshops on community organizing and working with the media. This was a great opportunity for SpringAid to show case their activities, take part in the debate, engage with others and sharpen their advocacy.
The conference started with a full day of thought-provoking panel debates and external speakers discussing a variety of topics, including: disability inclusive development, climate change, universal health coverage and financing the future of sustainable development. Experts (including: Anja Langenbucher- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lord Low of Dalston CBE, Dr Charles Palmer- London School of Economics, Rob Yates- World Health Organisation, and Cordelia Lonsdale- Development Initiatives) debated their issue and asked each other what developments have there already been made, what is yet to be done and what potential can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The second day concentrated on training the grassroots volunteers in all things advocacy. The RESULTS team explained their key priorities for the year as well as looking back at some of the highlights from 2014/2015. In the afternoon, Tom Baker and Alice Delamere from BOND joined and focus the group on power mapping target MPs and getting their message across in a persuasive manner to build the political will to end poverty. These new skills were put into action on the third day when the grassroots volunteers joined DFID teams, MPs and Peers in Parliament.
The third day saw grassroots volunteers share encouraging conversations with DFID teams, touching on many different topics such as disability in development, education for all, the Global Fund, and post- 2015 development. After lunch, there were meetings with Gavin Shuker MP (Labour’s Shadow Minister for International Development), Patrick Grady MP (SNP, Spokesman on International Development), Jeremy Lefroy MP (Conservative, Member of International Development Committee), Pauline Latham MP (Conservative, Member of International Development Committee), Baroness Kinnock (Labour, Spokesperson on International Development) and Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat, Former DFID Minister) to talk about their role within parliament and how they could influence the decision-makers within international development.
Highlights for SpringAid Consultancy International and key message from the CEO
It is evident that in this fraught political moment, we talked about the issues we care about. We joined other advocates from the UK and countries all around the world, and learned how to help change policy that advances education, health, and economic opportunity for all. The International Conference was a great chance to increase our knowledge and develop crucial advocacy skills. It was an opportunity to raise our voices and we were ‘thrilled to see communities of advocates showing great desire on the issues that matters – ending poverty’’.
We had the chance to attend in-depth training in campaigning techniques:
- Mapping our sphere of influence
- Advocacy skills share
- Powerful storytelling to win over your audience
- Tools to maximise your influence
- Influencing using the local media
- Reaching out with social media