BEI Weekly Update
Mar 15, 2024

BEI Weekly Update - 15th March 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

It’s been another busy week for BEI, with a variety of events on diverse topics. One of the events reviewed in this newsletter is in our “Intersections” series. “Intersections” is more than a convenient title, it’s a reminder of the importance of bringing together multiple disciplines and avoiding silos. It's something we at BEI are particularly keen to use our diverse network to do. If you spot other connections between our focus areas that you’d like to explore, please do let me know.

On Wednesday, we were pleased to welcome Peter Batten, Head of Capability Building and Action, International Climate Finance at the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) along with three BEI members (Mott Macdonald, DAI and Oxford Policy Management) to explore the obstacles to but, more importantly, possible solutions for mobilising private climate finance. With an estimated $125 trillion needed to achieve net zero by 2050, there is an acute need to create the enabling environment for more involvement from the private sector. Our panel discussed some of the barriers, opportunities and successes in this space, with a real insight into the breadth of capacity building programmes and tools which can help provide a coherent and logical end-to-end service for mobilising private finance for climate mitigation and adaptation.

On Thursday, our latest in the “Intersections” series focused on the Intersection of Climate Change, Gender-Based Violence and other Harmful Practices. We were grateful to our speakers: Alethea Osborne, Senior Technical Specialist on Gender and Social Development, MannionDaniels; Tina Musuya, Head of GBV Portfolio, Social Development Direct; and Dr Anik Gevers, Independent Consultant, VAWG Prevention and Gender Equality Specialist.

Also on Thursday, we once again “met the Development Director” and this time were pleased to hear from Kobi Bentley, FCDO Development Director in South Sudan, with an important update on priorities and the programmes pipeline, in a country which I know is a priority for a number of our members.  

Next week, we will again be covering an interesting range of topics.

On Tuesday 19 March we will explore a particularly interesting topic: “Flourishing as a Female Leader in the ID sector” led by Annika Burke, Senior Manager at Adam Smith International, following hot on the heels of International Women’s Day. I’m particularly glad that on this occasion, some of our existing members will be joined by future senior leaders in their teams. If, having been inspired by this session, you are looking for career development opportunities, I’d encourage you to look at the Future Leaders Group.

On Wednesday 20 March, the Skills and Training Working Group will hold a virtual meeting to debrief on the South East Asia Skills Trade Mission: Luisa will share her takeaways alongside Jonathan Ledger, Skills and Professional Bodies Specialist in Technical and Vocational Education and Training at the Department of Business and Trade (DBT). We will also be joined by regional colleagues from DBT to update on TVET opportunities in Indonesia and Malaysia and to provide a guide to engaging in these markets.

Our final event next week is on Thursday 21 March, when we will host the latest in our our series of Climate Change Networking Evenings: this time, the keynote speaker will be Charles Reeve, Principal, Economic Growth and Infrastructure at Tetra Tech International Development, who will have plenty of practical experience to share. 

Coming up soon, as part of the Strategy International Group, we are pleased to be sharing in the Group’s International Women’s Day event, which will be held on Tuesday 26 March on “Women Shaping Global Politics” with a stellar panel. Full details and how to register can be found here. We are expecting this in person event to be “sold out” quickly, so please do RSVP quickly if you would like to attend.

Finally, for our international development SMEs, FCDO has just announced a request for expressions of interest to join its SME Advisory Forum. The forum consists of 10 representatives from micro, small and medium size businesses, who have direct and indirect contracts with FCDO. There are currently five vacancies. Membership, which is voluntary and initially for 12 months, offers an incredible opportunity to input direct to FCDO and the Crown Commercial Representative on the opportunities for SME participation in development work and the challenges which SMEs can face. Meetings will be quarterly, three virtual and one in person, in London or East Kilbride. If you’re interested, take a look at the FCDO SME Action Plan. The deadline for submitting the EOI is Friday 19th April 2024. Appointments will be notified by June 2024, with the first meeting due to take place late Summer 2024.

I feel quite exhausted having described all these events, past and future – so many thanks to all the team for putting them together. I hope you – and our team too, of course – enjoy a restful weekend.

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 20th March 2024 9:30 - 10:30 GMT: Skills and Training Working Group: DBT Briefing - Southeast Asain Skills and Trade Mission - Our March Skills & Training Working Group will provide an overview from the Skills and Professional Bodies Trade Mission, organised by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) International Education Team, to Malaysia and Indonesia in January 2024. The mission showcased a wide range of opportunities that could provide export growth and partnership opportunities for UK suppliers in these dynamic markets.
  • 21st March 2024 16:00 p.m. - 19:00 p.m. GMT: Climate Change Working Group Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation, potential new partnerships, and the chance to meet with members of our Climate Change Working Group. Our keynote speaker is Charles Reeve, who specialises in preparing and financing infrastructure to build climate resilience for the economically disadvantaged.
  • 26th March 2024 5:30 - 7:30 GMT: Women Shaping Global Politics This event will bring together a panel of leading female foreign policy voices from across Westminster to discuss their expectations for the future of global politics, and draw on their experiences to explore how we can meet some of the challenges that this changing global environment will create.
  • 9th April 2024 09:00 - 11:00 GMT: Developing Education & Social Infrastructure - Join us for a panel discussion on the role of Education in the context of Social Infrastructure. This event will offer an overview of the development of Education Infrastructure across sectors with speakers from Arup and Gleeds.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 p.m. - 17:30 p.m. BST: ICAI Review: International Climate Finance - A new review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) assesses whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. Join Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of the report and how UK aid can be used most effectively to meet this monumental global challenge.

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