Bond, the UK membership body for organisations working in international development, organised the extremely successful conference “The Shock of the New: Bringing Innovation back to Development” on Tuesday 5th November 2013 with attendance from over 300 organisations, including CYINDEP.
The programme centred on the theme of innovation included sessions on humanitarian aid in crisis, engaging Diaspora communities, the public heart and mind on international development and what we want post 2015.
The initial keynote address was given by Theo Sawa, Chief Executive of African Women’s Development Fund. She spoke of innovation as the ability to tackle problems struggled with for generations by seeing a different way of acting, cooperating and finding solutions and emphasised that “the most exciting innovation Bond members can do is their partnerships”. In addition, innovation brings young people into the conversation and enables wider discussion and participation. ‘Crowd Funding’ was mentioned as an exciting innovation and the roles of women were underlined, not as a new innovation, but as one which needs to be supported.
Theo Sawa also engaged in discussion with Jeff Raikes, CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Larry Elliot, Economics Editor from The Guardian.
There was praise that the UK became the first G8 country to meet the 0.7% aid target. However, it was acknowledged that aid must be accompanied by better policies in order to remain effective. This message also resonated during the discussion on Millennium Development Goals Post 2015. Challenges of integrating sustainability and development agendas were explored with particular focus on inequality.
The final keynote address was given by Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of ODI. He spoke of the need to form a strategy and have an implementable framework with systems underpinning it, in order to deliver a more cohesive agenda for global change. Public engagement and global cooperation is needed for post 2015 to be effective, an agenda of “no one left behind” and a common vision and set of values.
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