BEI Weekly Update
Apr 19, 2024

BEI Weekly Update - 19th April 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

Once again this week, there is no respite from disturbing news, both from Ukraine and the Middle East. And, it’s worth remembering, the absence of other humanitarian crises such as Sudan from the headlines certainly doesn’t mean that they’ve gone away. Many of our members are working in these and other difficult environments, often with multiple simultaneous problems to be anticipated and addressed.  

We tackled the particular challenge on Thursday in an online event “Operating in Complex Environments”. I had the privilege of chairing and contributing to the panel discussion in which we heard from: Justin Hedges OBE, Executive Chairman, Prevail Partners; Elinor Raikes, Vice President & Head of Programme Delivery, International Rescue Committee & Alex Johnsen, Project Consultant, Eagle Scientific. We explored the challenges involved in addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders, in-country and beyond, managing uncertainty by integrating and assessing different sources of information, building lasting relationships to deliver in the most difficult circumstances, as well as ensuring with (financial and other) contingency to deal with the unexpected. Notwithstanding my own experience in a few complex environments, I found the panel’s presentations both insightful and highly practical. If you missed it, do take the time to look at the recording and the presentations on our website here.

Next week, rather like the recent rainfall in Dubai, we seem to have several weeks’ worth of events in the space of one. We start on Tuesday 23 April with a virtual event on ‘Kenya – Opportunities in infrastructure, energy & climate’, with speakers Fridah Cherono and Naomi Kinyanjui, Senior Trade and Investment Advisors at DBT.  We have a huge number of registrations for this event, but there’s still time to sign up.

As I like to remind our members, our engagement with donors is not confined to FCDO. Also on Tuesday, we have a second virtual event on “USAID – Developing Strategies”, at which we will hear from Joshua Kaufman, Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Planning, Learning and Resource Management at USAID.

On Wednesday 24 April, we have a hybrid event looking at the newly-published ICAI Review on Climate Finance. ICAI have released a new report assessing whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. We’re particularly grateful to ICAI’s Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton for agreeing to speak to us on this important report. We will also be joined by Debbie Palmer, Energy, Climate & Environment Director at FCDO together with a number of other stakeholders to discuss ICAI’s findings and explore how UK aid can be used most effectively in this vital area.

Also on Wednesday, our parent Strategy International is hosting the next in our series of “Election Watch” virtual events with Senior Adviser Nick Forbes. The theme this time is  ‘Strengthening National Security & Resilience in Global Omni-crises’. It was great to see a number of BEI members at the first session in this series and I’m sure that this one, which will touch on the whole range of UK international activity, will be of particular interest to many. Do please register on our website. The session will be interactive, with the opportunity to ask questions. Given the number we expect to attend, we’d encourage attendees to submit questions in advance, on this occasion to

On Thursday 25 April, I am looking forward to chairing a special event in which BEI and the D Group are leading as part of the Lord Mayor’s “Coffee Colloquies” series at the Mansion House.   We will be focusing on the UK’s role in achieving SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Our panel, including several BEI and D Group members, will discuss how the UK, through public/private and international partnerships, is contributing to SDG 9’s goals at home and globally.

If that’s not enough, our sister organisation British Foreign Policy Group has a programme of events which I’m sure will be of interest to our members. The “Diplomatic Hour” series brings into Grafton Street senior London-based diplomats to discuss their countries’ positions on international issues as well as their expectations of the relationship with the UK. This week, I had the pleasure of hosting Mr Rudiger Bohn, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy for an insightful discussion, with a focus on security and particularly Ukraine. Next week, the Ambassador of Finland will join us. There may still be some space if you are interested: please register your interest here

Finally, our next Future Leaders Group programme is launching in June. Our cohort is complete, but we could make a couple of spaces for the right candidates. Please contact if you would like to learn more.

With this full programme in view for next week, I wish you a relaxing – and possibly sunny – weekend,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 23rd April 2024 10:00 - 11:30 BST: Kenya - Opportunities in Infrastructure, Energy, and Climate - We are delighted to be hosting colleagues from the UK Department of Business and Trade based at the British High Commission in Kenya for a deep dive session on the opportunities for UK businesses in infrastructure, energy and climate.
  • 23rd April 2024 15:00 - 16:30 BST: USAID: Developing Strategies - Join us for the latest event in our series exploring the practicalities of working with USAID. This event will offer members the opportunity to hear from USAID colleagues about the USAID Policy Framework and the processes of advancing Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCSs).
  • 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.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Strengthening National Security and Resilience in Global Omni-crisis - In the midst of unprecedented geopolitical pressures, Labour has committed to a Strategic Defence and Security Review in its first year in office. In terms of resilience, Labour has already committed to proactive measures to embed this at the very heart of Government, including a new cabinet sub-committee on resilience and a Minister for Resilience in the Cabinet Office to take a ‘cross-department’ view of the key issues and required responses.
  • 25th April 2024 08:45 - 11:15 BST: Maximising the UK’s skillset in achieving SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - As part of the Lord Mayor’s Coffee Colloquies series, British Expertise International and The D Group are pleased to present a special session exploring the UK’s role in achieving SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Our panel will discuss how the UK, by working in partnership, is contributing to SDG 9’s goals in the UK and globally.
  • 30th April 2024 15:00 - 16:30 BST: SME Wider Community Engagement with the FCDO SME Advisory Forum - BEI is delighted to announce the collaboration towards supporting the members of FCDO’s SME Advisory Forum to engage with the wider SME community. Join us for our first virtual meeting led by the FCDO SME Advisory Forum members: Charlie Duff, Managing Director and Vice President, Alinea International and Sue Griffiths, Managing Director, Social Development Direct.
  • 1st May 2024 16:00 - 19:00 BST: Climate Change Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation. Our keynote speaker this time is Dr Steven Wade, Technical Director at AtkinsRéalis. Steven will discuss several “wicked” climate change problems with rapid increases in risk affecting large numbers of people in the UK and internationally, and reflect how our approaches to risk assessment and adaptation planning have changed since the 1990s.
  • 8th May 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: The Devolution Arms and Place Race - Both main political parties have flagged an increasing commitment to regional devolved decision making. For Labour, greater economic devolution is a key pillar of their emerging industrial strategy. They are actively empowering local leaders to bring their knowledge to bear and tailor economic policy to support growth and aligned implementation of their core missions.
  • 14th May 2024 09:00 - 10:30 BST: FCDO Development Director: Indonesia & Minister-Counseller Development in UK Mission to ASEAN - Join us as we host Amanda McLoughlin, FCDO Development Director in Indonesia for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), as well as Minister-Counsellor Development for the UK Mission ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Indonesia and in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat.
  • 16th May 2024 16:00-18:30 BST: Addressing the Skills Gap - Join us for an in-person round table on Addressing the Skills Gap. Pearson will provide a better understanding of the current skills gap in the UK and globally. They will also discuss solutions for employers which build towards a sustainable approach to developing skills that is able to respond to future economic and global transformation, especially in the infrastructure and climate change sectors.
  • 23rd May 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in the World: Linking Foreign and Defense Policy with Trade - Labour has spelled out its view of ‘progressive realism’, which sees the UK becoming more active in promoting a values-based global order. In addition, Labour’s industrial strategy is clear on the need to identify ‘global champions’. From a range of sectors, these businesses are highly productive and create thousands of well-paid jobs. Labour has made it clear they understand the need to create a stable environment for these global champions.
  • 12th June 2024 16:00-17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in the World: Does Charity Begin at Home? - The Labour Party clearly recognise the importance of the UK’s investment in development. They have stressed the importance of focus and prioritisation of effort aligned to the UK’s core strengths, while continuing to support the poorest countries and communities globally. As a key pillar of UK foreign policy and tangible evidence of the UK’s soft power, the specific plans and priorities will be important beyond the development community.
  • 26th June 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: What is Infrastructure for Opportunity and Does it Mean Game Over for Levelling Up? - Labour clearly sees the link between infrastructure investment and wider economic growth. They have expressed their intention to drive quicker and cheaper delivery of major projects, unlocking private sector investment. The announcement of the British Infrastructure Council signals Labour’s intention to turn this into reality.
  • 3rd July 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in The World: Using UK Soft Power More Effectively - If Labour wins the election, they will be keen to ensure that the UK’s reputation on a global stage becomes part of its toolkit to drive economic and social prosperity. From their commitment to the culture and the arts, to their belief in the strength of the UK’s reputation across sport and education, soft power has a key role to play.

Register for an upcoming event →

External Events

Not a member?

Apply for membership →

Learn more

For more information about British Expertise International:Sign up to receive this Weekly Update

Read the full reportRead the full article

Continue reading

BEI Weekly Update
Sign up to receive our weekly update, including a full programme of events, every Friday