Dear Members and Friends,
A busy week at BEI this week, and no doubt for you too. The extension of the lockdown in England and other parts of the UK will continue to slow down economic recovery, but I appreciate the government is caught between a rock and a hard place and protecting lives must be their priority.
This year, all roads lead to COP26, and BEI and our members will be looking to profile, showcase and highlight the UK’s unique offering in climate adaptation and resilience — with the ultimate goal of winning business internationally. As the Race to Zero picks up momentum, the exceptional expertise and capabilities in technology and innovation our members and UK plc bring in the areas of net zero, clean growth, climate adaptation and resilience need to be centre-stage to the UK global offering. On Tuesday, COP26 President Alok Sharma set out the four key priorities for COP26, and BEI has an important role in collaborating with members and partners to further these goals.
Earlier in the week, FCDO Secretary of State gave evidence to the International Development Committee (IDC) on his future plans for UK aid. Our sister organisation The British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG) provided some key insights and reported on what they saw as the 10 things learned from the meeting. There were threads around evidence and ODA effectiveness (in reference to KPIs, ICAI, research etc.) that we expect most of our members would support, and would want to see leadership on these issues maintained, especially as ODA becomes more integrated.
The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), a cross UK government fund which supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts, published their Annual Report for 2019 to 2020. The report covering both ODA and non-ODA funding outlined how the Fund worked to deliver on both its National Security and UK Aid objectives, and towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Also this week, BEI hosted an event discussing the FCDO-EU Relationship post transition period, as a number of our members deliver EU development programmes. With an optimistic tone, the discussion highlighted that the mutually shared political will between the EU and the UK will allow for continued international development engagement and cooperation. Most of the pre-existing structures have been reviewed and others are work in progress. Through shared interest and geopolitics, the UK and EU are committed to continuing to work constructively together. Members are encouraged to read this brief blog post if you were unable to attend.
On Tuesday we hosted Franziska Ohnsorge of the World Bank’s Economic Prospects Group, who presented a fascinating summary of the World Bank’s January 2021 Global Economic Prospects Report with a focus on the emerging and developing economies. Although the global economy is emerging from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, the report is clear that this downturn may bring significant and considerable risks unless there is coordinated global action to deal with and mitigate these risks. The rollout of the vaccine around the world will be critical in enabling recovery and economic growth to resume.
Coming up at BEI…
Join us next Thursday 4th February as we explore some of the latest innovations in key areas such as disease control and climate monitoring & resilience. You can sign up here. This panel discussion with some of our members will highlight how they are driving development innovations and pushing the boundaries. This event is the first in our series of events celebrating the winners of the 2020 BEI Awards.
The series continues on 9th February, with an event discussing some of our members’ best practice in Achieving Positive Social Impact in International Education Projects. Join us to explore how two British education projects on opposite sides of the world, in Pakistan and in Uruguay, achieved excellence through innovation to help achieve a positive social impact and sustainable outcomes.
On 11th February, join our expert panel for a discussion on the experiences of and lessons on Working with Government Clients Internationally — how these relationships can be leveraged to enable and support sustainable development, and how to make them work for the entire stakeholder network.
Finally — with snow expected in many parts of the UK this weekend, stay warm and I wish you all a restful weekend.
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With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
The events below will be hosted via webinar. For any event registration support please contact Matthew Gibbons. 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*.
1st February, 2021 — BEI Education Working Group Meeting
4th February, 2021 — Latest Innovations in Disease Control & Climate Monitoring (BEI Awards Showcase Series)
4th February, 2021* — Bank of England Quarterly Monetary Policy Report
9th February, 2021 — Achieving Positive Social Impact in International Education (BEI Awards Showcase Series)
11th February, 2021 — Effectives Strategies for Working with Government Clients Internationally (BEI Awards Showcase Series)
11th February, 2021 — BEI Infrastructure Exports Working Group Meeting
16th February, 2021 — Tajikistan — UK Trade Mission Scoping Meeting
18th February, 2021 — Address Resilience & Security in International Projects (BEI Awards Showcase Series)
23rd February, 2021 — Minister Stuart: Post Brexit Trade & Sustainability
External News & Events
3rd February — The UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership Forum virtual series is creating an opportunity to advance the climate agenda in the journey towards COP26 and beyond by bringing together experts and leaders from Bangladesh and the UK. Register HERE for an event on scaling up clean energy investments.
9th and 11th February, 2021 — Transforming Environmental Data in R. This 2-day interactive online course will help you understand the benefits of data transformation tools (such as R). You will learn about aspects such as auditable workflow, repeatability, timesaving, improving efficiency and reduced risk of data loss.
24th February, 2021 [SAVE THE DATE] — The Safeguarding Leads Network (SLN) have been in collaboration with the Safeguarding, Resource and Support Hub. SLN member organisations Mott MacDonald and Justice Studio will be contributing to the upcoming Webinar ‘Sharing Experiences in Responsible Safeguarding’, open to both NGO and the Private Sector. The purpose of the webinar is to support private sector supplies to the FCDO in implementing safeguarding. We will hear from these two very different organisations, their experience of implementing safeguarding, particularly around the key priorities for focus of the SLN: Leadership; Survivor Support; Diversity and Inclusion; Improving Safeguarding Capacity; and Reporting Mechanisms. Watch out on the RSH Hub for further details on how to join and share your questions.
21st and 22nd April, 2021 — Using Drones to Map Habitats. This two-day interactive online course will provide participants with the basic skills needed to take images collected from a UAV platform such as a quadcopter, process the images into a scene suitable for image processing, and generate classified images. Early bird discount available.
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