Dear Members and Friends,
Now we’re into the second week of December, we can reasonably turn our attention to the Christmas holidays as well as no doubt completing end-of-year budgeting. Wednesday evening, I was delighted to meet so many members and friends at our end-of-year reception, which was an inspiring reminder of how much of an impact our members make around the world and across a diverse range of sectors vital for the future of people, economies and the planet. As it says on the tin, “British expertise” is something we can be proud of, and confident in promoting.
We also welcomed Dr Beverley Jandziol, Commercial Director, Programmes, at the FCDO, who shared with our International Development Heads of Business group her ambitions for the relationship between FCDO and suppliers in the light of the International Development White Paper and the upcoming Procurement reform. Both are of course recent and there is still more uncertainty than we would like about how programmes and processes will develop. So it is great news that Beverley, with her own extensive private sector experience, is committed to improving understanding between FCDO officials and suppliers. Personally, I was particularly encouraged when she said that she wants the FCDO to see suppliers as an extension of the organisation. We were really grateful for her time, and will certainly invite her back to the group before long. We are ramping up the Heads of Business group programme for next year, to reflect a full agenda including the implementation of the changes in the White Paper and Procurement Act, as well as the prospect of a general election in 2024.
Our final events are two more “Meet the FCDO Development Director” virtual sessions next week. On Tuesday, Peter McDermot will be presenting the UK Government’s development priorities and programmes in Syria and on Wednesday Chris Pycroft will talk about plans for Nigeria (register here). I’m sure many members will be interested in one or both of these sessions and we are grateful as ever to the Directors for making time for us.
I would also like to take the opportunity to mention that our wonderful sister organisation D Contemporary is hosting an exciting exhibition “Heart Ablaze” at 23 Grafton Street from 11-22 December. A significant number of BEI members are working intensively on projects to support Ukraine and I’m sure that many of you will want to see this inspiring exhibition of Ukrainian creativity. We would very much like to see you at the Private View next Monday evening 11 December, 18:00-20:00, or of course at any time during the exhibition. Please email Alexandra to RSVP.
This isn’t the final newsletter of 2023 - that will be next week. But I thought I’d share a preview of what we already have planned for the early part of next year. While we will doubtless add more opportunities to meet, discuss and network in the coming weeks, I hope you will agree that it continues this year’s intensive engagement across the range of BEI priorities. Your feedback is always welcome.
With best wishes for the weekend,
British Expertise International
Recordings of recent past events:
- 22nd November - Profit Repatriation in African Markets
- 23rd November - ASEAN-UK Supporting the Advancement of Girls’ Education (ASEAN-UK SAGE) Framework Presentation
Key events coming up include the following:
- 12th December 2023 09:00-10:00 GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Syria - Join us as we host Peter McDermot, the Development Director in Syria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Syria.
- 13th December 2023 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. GMT: FCDO Development Director Series: Nigeria - Join us as we host Chris Pycroft, the Development Director in Nigeria for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in Nigeria.
- 10th January 3:30 - 5:00 p.m GMT: Safeguarding Panel - Join us for a webinar discussion with representatives from FCDO, DAI Global and Social Development Direct on the topic of safeguarding. This event will be opened by Peter Taylor, Head of Safeguarding Unit, FCDO, who will offer remarks on CAPSEAH. The panel will provide an overview of the best practices in implementing safeguarding through all aspects of operations and programming, as well as addressing the challenges of implementation.
- 1st February 2024 09:30- 10:30 GMT: Skills and Training WG: Standards - Join us for our quarterly in-person Skills & Training Working Group with presentation from the British Standards Institution (BSI) and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) on the topic of Standards. The discussion will provide an overview of standards and the importance of standards education, followed by insights into the importance of accepted standards in the education sector, and the challenges and steps involved in developing them.
- 13th February 2024 10:00am-11:30am GMT: Intersection of Climate Change and Food Security - Join us for the next event in our “Intersections with Climate Change” series, this time focusing on the key intersection of Climate Change and Food Security. Our panel will discuss how their organisations are adapting their approach in response to climate change across their programmes and interventions to support and improve food security in a changing climate.
- 18th January 2024 - Launch: Unleashing the UK’s Innovation Capability to Support Our National Interests - This project aims to support the strategic alignment of the traditional (Military, Government and Industry) and non-traditional defence stakeholders (Venture Capital, Entrepreneurs and Academia). International competitors can develop and adopt innovation faster than the UK given their faster moving, more responsive innovation ecosystems.
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