Dear Members and Friends,
Like so many others, I would like to offer my congratulations to the England team for the great effort and making it to the Euro finals. I can only imagine how devastated the team must still be — but disappointed and angry at those who took to social media to racially abuse Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho. It is unforgivable and points to the need for greater sanctions by government and the FA to the few who continue to tarnish and bring into disrepute the game of football. I hope that the public support that has been shown in the last week will signal a step change in this area.
Sadly, this week, we had to postpone our planned sessions with Andrew Selous MP, PM’s Trade Envoy for South Africa on 15th July, as a number of the planned participants were dealing with urgent issues related to the unrest currently being experienced in South Africa. It was a stark reminder of the challenging environments many of our members do business in every day, and continue to deliver exceptional expertise and great impact.
This week, we did manage to hold three fascinating sessions:
On Tuesday 13th July we heard from members of the LearnAdapt team following 3 years of work with DFID/FCDO on Adaptive Programming, in development programmes and reflections on the future of adaptive programming in a rapidly changing environment. Thanks to Alina Menocal, Jamie Pett and Emma Proud for the comprehensive presentation, great panel discussion and Q&A session. I was left feeling that adaptive programming was one of the ways forward for effective development aid programmes delivery — and speaks well to the non-linear, contextually complex, often challenging and uncertain nature of aid programmes that our members frequently have to navigate.
What is required, as Emma Proud put it, is “building coalitions of the brave”. Key takeaways included the need for — flexibility, openness to pioneering new approaches, leadership from the top, building trust, a shift from reporting to learning, rethinking ‘value for money’, linking adaptive management to other approaches and creating networks of practitioners to share and learn from each other.
On Wednesday 14th July we held two sessions. Teju Akande, International Trade Advisor ran through the key insights from the recent publication: UK Business Guide to achieving Net Zero. The report provides essential guidelines for businesses on how to incorporate sustainability values into their business models and reduce their carbon footprint.
Sam Hughes and Ian Mitchell from the Center for Global Development in Europe shared headline findings of the QuODA 2021 publication which assesses the largest providers of development cooperation on four dimensions of quality and what progress has been made 10 years after the Busan Agreement on effective development cooperation. The UK was placed in 16th out of 49 providers of development aid who together provide in excess of $150 billion in aid. With a new UK development aid strategy in the making, the recent ODA cuts and the realignment of priority areas and geographies, it will be interesting to see how the UK performs in the next QuODA report. No doubt the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased attention to fighting climate change will both impact the next set of results. It was, however, interesting to learn that the analysis suggests that funders that give a higher proportion of their gross national income (GNI) as ODA perform better on QuODA — some food for thought.
Next week, we are hosting the following events:
On 20th July we will be hosting a Brazil Deep Dive. During Our recent ‘Meet the Ambassadors’ series, we were unable to hear from the team in Brazil. This session provides an opportunity for members to hear from the Ambassador, HE Mr Peter Wilson CMG and DIT colleagues on opportunities in this vast and complex country. Sign up here if you would be interested in attending this Deep Dive
On 21st July our Climate Change Working Group will be meeting to review the progress being made in each of its sub-groups and review plans for Autumn to begin to showcase the UK’s capabilities in this critical area. The sub-groups focus on nature-based solutions, the built environment, climate finance and flood & weather risk management. Contact Joe about joining the Climate Change Working Group
On 21st July we will also continue our Trade Envoy series with a closed round table discussion with Trade Envoy Dr Andrew Murrison MP, who focuses on Morocco. Ranked 3rd in Africa in the World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business report, Morocco is a top African investment destination. The main opportunities for UK businesses are in education, infrastructure, energy (hydrocarbons and renewables), and financial and professional services. Numbers are limited, to participate in this discussion, please contact Ingrid.
As I mentioned last week, our gallery, D-Contemporary this week opened their summer exhibition ‘Threshold’, with 36 artists displaying their works at 23 Grafton Street in an explosion of creativity. It will be open until 22nd August 2021, and would encourage you to pop in if you are in the vicinity and enjoy the great works on display.
Finally, it now appears that British Summer has finally arrived — despite the fact that one of our team found their basement completely flooded during the flash floods at the beginning of the week. I hope you will have a chance to enjoy the sunshine over the next few days.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
See our full events programme here, and to enquire about becoming a member of BEI, register your interest here.
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Currently all our events are hosted virtually and look forward to exploring hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact the events team. Click on titles to access full event details. The full calendar of events can be viewed here and recently added event dates are highlighted with an asterisk*.
20th July — Brazil Deep Dive
21st July — Climate Change Working Group
21st July — Close Roundtable Discussion with Trade Envoy Dr Andrew Murrison MP
27th July — Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
7th September — Closed Roundtable Discussion with Heather Wheeler MP
15th September — Business Opportunities in the Asian Development Bank — Transport and Energy
External News & Events
20th July — The Expert Working Group on Global Public Investment is launching a Global Consultation which will run from July to October. At the launch they will present a Progress Report and you will hear more about their latest thinking on GPI and how to engage. There will be three sessions in July for different time zones, including one in Spanish. Follow this link to read more.
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