Dear Members and Friends,
As the year end approaches planning is underway for events in 2021. Whilst we will retain a significant virtual element to our events and outreach, we will of course begin to explore hosting physical events as soon as it is safe to do so. A more detailed summary of our key achievements will be forthcoming in our end of year review email and brochure, to be launched shortly. However, a couple of areas are worth highlighting now as we begin to seek member and key stakeholder feedback ahead of what will be an incredibly busy start to 2021 as all of us look to both continue and accelerate efforts to recover from the impacts of the Covid epidemic, having formally exited the European Union.
The first is around preparations for United Nations Climate Change Conference — COP26 — to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow from 1st-12th November 2021. Active preparations within government have now begun, and BEI will engage with government and other stakeholders to find ways to showcase our members and the expertise, products and services they excel in related to tackling climate change and advancing the net zero agenda globally, as part of the UK’s global offer. In the first quarter of 2021 we will be working on developing a coherent narrative and offer on the part of the UK private sector to support the global climate agenda, grounded in the export capabilities amongst our membership. We will then look to build on this throughout the year and host a number of thematic events around COP26 that will profile this expertise to a global audience. In preparation for this we welcome members’ thoughts on areas where they feel they have particular strengths, and we will follow up more formally in the New Year.
The second area related to this is around early planning for our BEI Awards in 2021. We are revising the categories for the awards, which next year are likely to be divided into separate events focussed on International Development and Infrastructure respectively. In coming weeks we will be inviting feedback from our members on shaping the categories to best capture the range and depth of the excellence amongst our membership and the wider sectors they represent. Please do reflect on this and we welcome thoughts ahead of more formal consultation shortly.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ACAI) published an information note today on UK aid spending during COVID-19: management of procurement through suppliers. The report found that Aid-spending government departments worked flexibly with suppliers to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their work, but lack of transparency about the government’s new aid priorities hampered delivery, and the long-term impact of the cuts to the UK aid programme remains to be seen.
Next Week at British Expertise…
On 8th December, DIT South Africa Country Director Sean Jordon will present on Infrastructure Opportunities in South Africa, highlighting potential prospects in ongoing and upcoming projects. In addition, the presentation will cover political and economic updates.
On 9th December, Sir Hugh Bayley Commissioner for the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) and Review Team Leader Peter Grant will present the findings from their review on UK Aid & Tackling Modern Slavery. ICAI’s review looks at UK aid spending of over £200 million to tackle modern slavery in developing countries.
Delivering development programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic has required creative solutions, resilience, adaptation, innovation, dealing with uncertainty, safeguarding the most vulnerable, working remotely, realigning priorities, exploring digital solutions and more. Join us on 10th December, as our panel share their experiences and learning from Delivering Aid Programmes During Covid-19.
Future Event Highlights…
On December 15th, we are convening a fantastic panel on 2020 in Review — and looking ahead to 2021. As the world recovers from the pandemic, ‘Building Back Better’ and ‘Greener’ are the buzz phrases. Key issues to address include how the UK will fare post-Brexit transition, where are the areas of global opportunity for UK business, what unique capabilities does the UK bring in its global offer and much more. Join us.
Remember to join our LinkedIn Group!
We are more active than ever on the BEI LinkedIn Group, where we share insights, highlight upcoming events and showcase our members’ latest news and thought leadership. Join the group here.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International