JOBS Secti on

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Chec Out O k ur !

Animal Welfare and Sustainable Development

Making Sense of Population Projections UN Financing for Development Update

Helping People Help Themselves

Recycling the Rubble in Post-Disaster Reconstruction From Trash to Toys

Kidnapped! Family Involvement

October 2009 Vol. 27, No. 10

Managing Editor/Art Director Chad Brobst Copy Editor Kathy Ward Advertising & Sales Katherine Delaney Communications Department Nasserie Carew, Public Relations Tawana Jacobs, Public Relations Chad Brobst, Publications Katherine Delaney, Publications Tony Fleming, New Media Leslie Rigby, Writer/Editor Margaret Christoph, Admin Associate Editorial Committee InterAction Communications Team InterAction 1400 16th Street, NW Suite 210 Washington, DC 20036 Tel: 202.667.8227 ISSN 1043-8157



Cover Story: The Last Frontier | 10
Bringing financial services to Africa’s poor.

October 2009 • Vol. 27 • No. 10


Monday Developments is published 11 times a year by InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. With more than 170 members operating in every developing country, InterAction works to overcome poverty, exclusion and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all. InterAction welcomes submissions of news articles, opinions and announcements. Article submission does not guarantee inclusion in Monday Developments. We reserve the right to reject submissions for any reason. It is at the discretion of our editorial team as to which articles are published in individual issues. All statements in articles are the sole opinion and responsibility of the authors. Articles may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution. Letters to the editor are encouraged. A limited number of subscriptions are made available to InterAction member agencies as part of their dues. Individual subscriptions cost $80 a year (add $15 for airmail delivery outside the U.S.) Samples are $5, including postage. Additional discounts are available for bulk orders. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Advertising rates are available on request.

Kidnapped! Family Involvement | 13
The third article in a continuing series covering a fictional kidnapping scenario and how an NGO might respond.

Animal Welfare | 15
Sustainable development can benefit from partnership with animal-focused organizations.

Population Projections | 16
Making sense of the reality behind the estimates.

Urban Displacement and Growth Amidst Humanitarian Crisis | 19
New realities require a new strategy in Kabul.

The UN Financing for Development Process: Year in Review | 23
Key meetings in 2009 produced significant steps forward, offer promise for 2010.

Recycle the Rubble | 28
The benefits of using recycled concrete aggregate.

Inside This Issue | 3 Inside Our Community | 4 Inside InterAction | 5 Step By Step Advocacy | 6 Washington Update | 8 Events | 29 Employment Opportunities | 30

Investing in Health, Rights and the Future | 21
The need for and benefits of increased investment in reproductive health.

Halfway There, But Not Halfway Done | 24
The effectiveness of financing for development in Africa.

Trash to Toys | 27
Children demonstrate creativity amidst adversity.

INSIDE This Issue


Our Community’s Progress Against Poverty

NTERACTION REPRESENTS THE COMMUNITY OF NONprofits that has been the human face of U.S. foreign assistance for more than 60 years. Before Congress enacted the Marshall Plan in 1948 and the Kennedy administration established USAID in 1961, privately funded international relief and development organizations were responding to the needs of refugees and victims of conflict, getting food to famine-stricken countries and building schools and health clinics where none existed. Today, our community continues to work with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people to enable them to lift themselves out of poverty. Our members’ programs, managed by professional staff and skilled volunteers, reach millions of people in more than 190 countries every year. While historically InterAction member organizations have received the bulk of their funding from donor governments, contributions by private aid actors—including foundations, corporations and more than 13 million individual donors—now exceed U.S. government funding by a ratio of 2 to 1. These funds overwhelmingly go to support programs that target the poorest people in the poorest countries. Within those countries, InterAction members have established networks and infrastructure that work with and build the capacity of local institutions in both rural and urban areas. Our coalition has tremendous reach and decades of experience working in particular districts, towns and villages. Our collective approach to alleviating poverty is multifaceted and reflects the diversity of the U.S. nongovernmental organization (NGO) community, ranging from adaption to climate change and expanding opportunity through microfinance to protecting refugees, advancing the rights of women and improving agricultural livelihoods. A common theme runs through our work, however, as NGOs develop strong links with and through local institutions. When we partner with communities and local organizations, we help people gain the skills they need to reach markets and create better lives for themselves. A woman who can’t read will never achieve a level of independence or access to markets; a child who is hungry will struggle through school to learn and focus. A farmer without fair access to markets will never rise above the daily challenges of a subsistence farmer. For people without critical skills, education, good health or access to capital, “lifting themselves up” out of poverty is a monumental and sometimes impossible task. InterAction members work to bridge these gaps and help people realize their rights and acquire the techniques and tools needed to improve their lives. As InterAction hosts our third annual Progress Against

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WEEK Extraord During C inary W ha or
llenging k Times



Poverty Week October 13–16, we invite you to join us in showcasing the advances we have made in the fight against poverty and strategize on what more we can achieve together. We have made tremendous gains in development and humanitarian assistance, advancing the ability of people to adapt to climate change, cope with disease and shape their futures. In the coming year, InterAction aims to work with our members to gather the information needed to demonstrate the difference that we make—the resources our community brings, the people we reach on a daily basis and the best practices we have developed over years of experience working in communities around the world. Let Poverty Week be a time that encourages you to continue at this work and inspires you to work better as a community to reach the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and have a bigger impact. Thank you for your efforts. MD

Sam Worthington President and CEO InterAction



INSIDE Our Community
Catholic Relief Services “Tweets” with a Zimbabwean Orphan
(HKI) for its outstanding achievements in preventing blindness in the developing world. In particular, its decades-long leadership in the global control of vitamin A deficiency—the leading cause of childhood blindness and a significant contributor to childhood mortality—has helped to save the sight and lives of millions of people around the world. The Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award was initiated in 2006 and referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Vision” by the former President of India, A.P.J. Kalam who hosted the launching ceremony. The Award has the support of the World Health Organization’s VISION 2020—The Right To Sight initiative. In order to provide maximum support for the fight against blindness, it concentrates both on practical blindness prevention and on scientific research. In odd numbered years, starting in 2007, the Award is given for blindness prevention on the ground, particularly in developing countries. In even numbered years, beginning in 2008, the Award recognizes outstanding scientific research. In 2007, the Vision Award was given to India’s Aravind Eye Care System and in 2008 it was jointly awarded to King-Wai Yau and Jeremy Nathans, from Johns Hopkins University.

Recently, Catholic Relief Services allowed its Twitter followers to spend a day in the life of 14-year-old Brenda from Zimbabwe. Brenda is an orphan living with family members in Mabvuku Township, right outside of Harare. CRS staff spent time with Brenda and created a representative account of her daily life. This project used Twitter as a platform to show CRS followers what daily life is like for beneficiaries overseas. In the week leading up to International Youth Day on August 12, 2009, CRS followers on Twitter were directed to a landing page (available here: http://crs. org/zimbabwe/day-in-the-life/) to provide background information about Brenda and explain that, due to time differences and technical restraints, Brenda’s updates were based on prior conversations and were posted by CRS staff. This page also linked from most of Brenda’s updates throughout the day. Approximately 20 updates demonstrating a typical day for Brenda were broadcast to CRS’ Twitter audience, including activities such as household chores, attending school and preparing meals. This project’s audience consisted of CRS’ followers on Twitter, some of whom may have been recruited by promotions posted to Facebook. A few small web blogs picked up the story and followers of CRS did re-tweet (RT) and promote Brenda’s updates on Twitter. CRS also received feedback in the form of @replies, such as “brilliant job tweeting Brenda. Really enjoyed following her today. Thank you,” and “Good Night Brenda. Be safe.” CRS used hashtag #Brenda to categorize all tweets and conversations. Although the initial version of this project was successful, additional promotion is necessary to make a greater impact. Plans are being made for the next iteration of the project, using a different CRS beneficiary in another country or region. CRS hopes to continue these types of experimental social media projects to foster engagement and build awareness with online supporters. To follow CRS on Twitter, visit:

Helen Keller International Wins Prestigious $1.4269 Million Award

The Champalimaud Foundation, one of the largest global science foundations, recently announced the recipient of its 2009 Vision Award. The €1 million (US$1.4 million) António Champalimaud Vision Award is the largest monetary prize in the field of vision and among the largest scientific and humanitarian prizes in the world. The award has been given to Helen Keller International

Representatives Brad Miller and David Price from North Carolina have introduced the Shelter, Land, and Urban Management (SLUM) Assistance Act of 2009 (H.R. 1702) along with Michael Castle, Jesse Jackson Jr., Gwen Moore and Keith Ellison. The Act calls on the President to develop an affordable housing and urban strategy that fosters sustainable urban development and expands access to basic urban housing, essential services, and infrastructure for the poor. It does not, however, authorize any additional funding. To date 20 Members of the House have signed on as cosponsors of the Bill. It might well be a slow uphill battle for this Bill to see the light. Its message may ultimately be incorporated into broader foreign aid legislation, such as that introduced recently in the Senate. Senators John Kerry, Dick Luger, Bob Menendez, and Bob Corker, along with original co sponsors Ben Cardin and Jim Risch have introduced the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524). Among other things it would return the policy making function to USAID and require that USAID mission directors be made responsible for the coordination of all U.S. development and humanitarian assistance in the field. Whatever the outcome of these bills, the SLUM Assistance Act is a milestone of sorts in the history of U.S. foreign assistance. USAID has had an uneven relationship with housing and urban development, and the peak of its involvement (largely through the Housing Guaranty Program) in the sector is more than a decade past. In the meantime the inexora-

Up Date on Urban Development and Housing Legislation



INSIDE InterAction
ble march to a developing world that is more than half urban continues, with the attendant proliferation of slums and crushing poverty. The coming months will reveal whether Congress is intent on following through to better align foreign assistance with world demographic realities. The International Housing Coalition, in concert with Habitat for Humanity International and CHF International, all InterAction members, have been trying to focus more attention on the challenges and opportunities posed by an increasing urban world.

Joanne Carter, executive director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, was recently selected for the position of Board Member for the Developed Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board, to serve for the next two years. Carter has a long history of leading RESULTS’ and RESULTS Educational Fund’s advocacy efforts related to the work of the Global Fund and global health, including multi-country efforts to expand the fight against tuberculosis. This work intensified with the creation of the Advocacy to Control Tuberculosis Internationally (ACTION) project in 2005, with RESULTS Educational Fund acting as the secretariat for the project. Since 2005, ACTION has been working in seven countries to increase funding and improve policies for TB, a disease of poverty that kills nearly two million people annually, and has helped mobilize over half a billion dollars to fight this global killer. In 2007, ACTION was awarded a five-year renewal grant by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build on the project’s successes and to continue advocating for needed resources and global leadership to stop TB. Many of ACTION’s advocacy efforts have been focused on increasing support for the Global Fund because of the Fund’s critical role in expanding countries’ ability to address TB, as well as AIDS and malaria, and strengthen their health infrastructure. “I am honored to take on this role.” said Carter. “The Global Fund’s impact and innovation have made it a top priority for my own organization and our network of volunteer advocates in over 100 U.S. communities, and in work we have helped lead with partners in the North and South.” Looking to the future, Carter said, “The Global Fund has already allowed countries to massively scaleup their responses to these diseases and strengthen their health infrastructure. It now faces a multibillion dollar funding gap in no small part because of its success—countries are now able to do more and ask for more, and we must ensure that the Global Fund has the full funding it needs to support countries to win the fight.” MD

Joanne Carter Joins Global Fund Board

To further facilitate InterAction’s engagement in climate change issues, it has decided to join forces with the US Climate Action Network (USCAN). USCAN is the largest US network of organizations focused on climate change and plays a critical role as the only network connecting organizations working on climate advocacy and policy development at all three levels of the debate: state/regional, federal, and international. The extensive networks that USCAN mobilizes for policy advocacy at the domestic and international levels can amplify InterAction’s voice on climate change issues. One of InterAction’s important goals is to address the causes and consequences of climate change within the developing world. InterAction pursues that goal through collaboration in policy advocacy, and information sharing and engagement on vital issues at the intersection of climate change, relief and development. The primary mechanism for InterAction’s activities in the area of climate change is its Climate Change Working Group (CC WG). The group facilitates and supports US NGOs in helping vulnerable developing countries respond and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It also advocates actively on behalf of appropriate policies and legislation to mitigate and provide support for adaptation to climate change. MD

InterAction Joins USCAN




Advocacy Activities: Part 3

choose the conference venue, the way you present the information and the mix of people you use to present the information. However, conferences consume significant resources and often have little or no discernable influence on actual policy-making. They should not be undertaken lightly. Carefully consider why you might hold a conference and make sure it will support your broader strategy. Collaborating with key decision-makers on shared tasks and goals is often the best road to influence. Working with decision-makers, their staff and supporters can produce changes that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to obtain. Being generous in giving your collaboration partners credit for new ideas or successful changes is often helpful. Pilot projects can demonstrate the usefulness of a particular idea. It is important to make sure you have the permission and resources needed to complete a pilot project before you begin one. You also need to keep complete records and conduct careful evaluations during and after the project in order to collect solid evidence that you can use to convince decision-makers of the effectiveness of the project. Involving decision-makers or their staff in the project design and evaluation can be helpful as it allows them to more fully understand the project. It may be necessary to strengthen capability of alliance members and/or decisionmakers to perform functions key to achieving your goals. Capacity building can involve training workshops, consultations, conferences, study tours, and other activities. Study tours can introduce decision-makers and their staff to new information and ideas, but they need to be part of a broader strategy. Study tours are popular but consume a great deal of resources. Without an advocacy strategy, careful planning, appropriate preparation, and follow-up study tours won’t move you towards your goal. You should also be careful about the details of who will cover what costs on the tour and possible issues concerning public perceptions for participants if your study tour will be to an exotic or desirable location or involve notable entertainment activities. (For example, members of Congress have run into trouble in the past for participating in all-expenses paid trips to places that might be seen as desirable travel destinations.)

Note: This is the seventh installment in a series of articles on developing an effective advocacy strategy. The series began in the March 2009 edition of Monday Developments. Previous installments have examined selecting an issue, defining your goal and “asks”, conducting a power analysis, building strategic alliances, developing objectives and advocacy activities (parts 1 and 2). DVOCACY CONSISTS OF A SERIES OF PLANNED activities that organizations undertake to press for policy changes related to a specific issue. The activities are the steps you use in your advocacy campaign to influence key actor(s) who can bring about your desired change. They should be based on a power analysis and designed to attain an objective. Advocacy activities can strengthen allies, increase pubic awareness of your issue, reduce the influence of opponents, and/or convince undecided actors to join your effort. An advocacy campaign does not mean you need to take to the streets in protest or physically confront anyone; in fact, doing so is often counterproductive and can literally be dangerous. When choosing your activities for a particular campaign, make sure they take into account the local culture, religious practices, social norms, and the political and security situations. The activities should also draw on and reflect the strengths and interests of your alliance members. In the last two installments we explored: (1) building relationships; (2) email, phone calls and letter writing; (3) meeting with individuals; (4) social media: (5) negotiations; (6) media; (7) research and publications; and (8) indirect persuasion. Other possible advocacy activities include: You can use conferences to present information about the issue and your proposals to decision-makers, their staff and interested members of the public. To reinforce the legitimacy of the information you present, make sure you carefully



Pilot projects

Capacity building

Study tours



Photo: Anatoly Tiplyashin -

Demonstrations, vigils and other public gatherings

Demonstrations, vigils, marches, and other mass gatherings need to be used very selectively, be carefully planned, and most importantly be part of an overall strategy. Demonstrations take a great deal of resources and effort, and they may be ignored by decision-makers. This is particularly true if there is little or no media coverage of the event. Demonstrations do not need to involve confrontation. If confrontation is involved it must be strategic, carefully planned (not spontaneous), and part of an overall strategy. Keep in mind that confrontation can have negative consequences for your campaign and unless covered by the media will have very limited or no impact (and even media coverage may not produce a positive impact if the media does not cover the situation in a way that is sympathetic to your goals). Confrontation may inadvertently lead to arrests that will both use up resources and be covered by the media. If after selecting a goal, conducting a power analysis, and setting objectives, you decide that a demonstration is the most effective means to achieve your goals, the demonstration must be very carefully planned and executed. Some of the issues you need to consider include: • Who is the target of the demonstration? Will the demonstration you plan influence him or her to support your goal or oppose it? • What size demonstration do you need to attract media coverage and have an impact on the target? In large cit-

ies like Washington, DC or New York City it takes an extremely large demonstration to obtain media coverage or have any impact. • To obtain media coverage it is important to have speakers with a high public profile such as credible celebrities or members of Congress. • What are the logistical requirements necessary to transport and supply the demonstrators (e.g., food, water, sanitary facilities, public address system, housing and security)? • You can’t always control participants in a demonstration. If some want to commit violence it will be very difficult to stop and media will focus primarily or exclusively on the violence and ignore your issue. • Media coverage is important to publicize an issue and to strengthen an advocacy campaign. However the media cannot be controlled and they may accentuate unpopular aspects of the campaign or focus on violence if it occurs. • What permits do you need for the demonstration you are planning? • How can you protect the physical security of the demonstrators both during the event and also while traveling to and from the site? MD Part eight of this series, which will discuss developing power to achieve your goal, will appear in the November edition of Monday Developments.




Shedding Light on a Many-Layered Process

EGULAR READERS OF THE WASHINGTON UPDATE column in Monday Developments know how frequently it focuses on the federal budget process, but they may not be familiar with the process itself. It is confusing, to say the least, so we decided to use this month’s column to outline the process. For normal bills, a Representative or Senator and their staff will draft a bill, which is then introduced and sent to a Committee for consideration and possible amendment. If the Committee agrees, the bill is scheduled for floor consideration and a vote by the full chamber. If the full House or Senate approves it, the bill goes to the other chamber, where the same process is followed. If both chambers approve a bill, it then goes to a Conference Committee to reconcile any changes made to the text during the second chamber’s process of reviewing and approving the bill that the first chamber approved. Each chamber appoints a number of “conferees” from among its members to work on this committee. Once the conferees have reconciled the bill, each chamber votes on it one last time. If both chambers approve the reconciled version, it is sent to the president for approval. If the president signs it, it becomes a law. If he vetoes it, it goes back to Congress where only the House and Senate both voting by a two-thirds majority can override the president’s veto. While a normal bill can be introduced at any time, the federal budget is on a timeline based on the federal government’s fiscal year (FY), which is October 1 through September 30. For example, FY2011 will run from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The federal spending bills are supposed to be approved and signed by the day before the start of that fiscal year; so for FY2011 they must be signed by September 30, 2010. If they are not, then the House and Senate must pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding so that the government does not shut down. CRs maintain funding at the levels set for the previous fiscal year. Instead of being drafted by a Representative or Senator, the federal budget process begins with the president’s budget request. The president must submit the budget request for FY2011 between the first Monday in January of 2010 and


the first Monday in February 2010. This gives Congress time to consider the request before they craft spending bills due to be approved by September 30. The budget request lists the amounts of money the president is seeking for various “functions” (subject areas) in the budget (such as National Defense or International Affairs). It also requests specific amounts for specific accounts and subaccounts within each function. For example, the “International Affairs” function includes Global Health and Child Survival, Migration and Refugee Assistance, Contributions for International Peacekeeping, and several others. After the president submits the budget request, the House and the Senate produce their own less detailed spending plans, proposing an overall spending limit and total amounts for each budget function. The final versions are called the House Budget Resolution and the Senate Budget Resolution. Like other bills, these originate in committee (the Budget Committees) and then are considered by the full House and Senate. Unlike other bills, however, these do not go to the president for signature, since they are not laws but simply spending plans to guide congressional spending bills— “appropriations.” Additionally, the House and Senate consider their budget resolutions at the same time instead of passing through the House first and then the Senate (or vice versa). Once both the House and Senate have passed their respective Budget Resolutions, the two resolutions go to a Conference Committee. After both chambers agree on the Budget Resolution, the Appropriations Process starts. The Budget Resolution tells the Chairmen of the Appropriations Committees what their overall spending cap is for that year. The Chairmen in turn divide this total amongst their subcommittees, which roughly correspond to the budget functions. The appropriations subcommittees for the accounts InterAction tracks are called the House and Senate “State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs” appropriations subcommittees. These subcommittees each then write an annual appropriations bill specifying how much money from their allocation goes to each account within their function. This bill is considered, possibly amended, and voted on (“marked up”) first by the subcommittee, then the full Appropriations Committee, and then the full chamber, just like other bills. Once each chamber has approved each function’s appropriations, if the two bills have different totals for the same functions and accounts, the two must be reconciled in a Conference Committee. After the bill has been approved by the House and Senate after the Conference Committee, it goes to the president for signature. If, partway through the year, emergency funding is needed for an account (for example, if more natural disasters occur
continued on page 18

Budget Resolutions

Non-Budget Bills

The Appropriations Process

The Budget Process

The President’s Budget Request

Supplemental Funding



Photos: CARE


HE STORY OF AFRICA TODAY IS OFTEN TOLD in grim statistics. Three-quarters of those living on less than 50 cents a day are in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has 11 percent of the world’s population, but 60 percent of the world’s people living with HIV/AIDS, and the average life expectancy is actually decreasing in some places. But there is a different story unfolding on the continent as well: the story of women and families in some of the poorest communities in the world changing their own lives. It is a story of hope, not despair. We have seen firsthand that empowered, financially literate women and girls are one of the world’s most powerful forces in the fight against poverty. The power of financial services Nearly four decades of global microfinance experience have shown that when poor people have access to financial services—secure savings, credit, insurance and other products—they can change their lives and build stronger, more prosperous communities. A 2006 World


Bank report shows a strong correlation between reductions in poverty and the development of the financial sector. If African countries are to achieve long-term development, the poor in Africa must have access to an array of flexible, cost-effective financial products and services targeted to their needs. The goal of microfinance is to adapt financial services to meet the needs of poor people who usually lack access to mainstream banks. Microfinance provides very small loans from $5 to $50—and accepts savings deposits of less than $1, which despite the small size, can be essential to creating income-generating activities and sustainable livelihoods. Why does microfinance focus on women? Since microfinance began in the early 1970s, approximately 70 percent of the clients of microfinance institutions—and often 100 percent—have been women. The reason for this is deliberate and strategic. Women are the best conduit for ensuring that microfinance confers the greatest possible benefit on the greatest number of

The Last Frontier
Bringing financial services to Africa’s poor.




Throughout the world, women are responsible for the well-being of their families. Most girls are obliged to start performing household chores at an early age—sometimes as soon as they can walk—and this develops a work ethic and a sense of responsibility as nurturers, care-givers and educators of their young siblings. When women earn money, they invariably invest their earnings in improving the lives of their children and families with better food, clothing, shelter, health care and educational opportunities. When women earn, everyone benefits. Moreover, poor women who have access to financial services have proven themselves to be highly creditworthy. Anecdotal evidence indicates that women repay their loans more consistently than men. Necessity has made women careful strategists who plan for the future, shrewd risk-takers with an eye for economic opportunities, and hard workers who put their families’ welfare first. Investing in the earning power of women pays big dividends for families, for society and for microfinance institutions, enabling them to serve more and more clients. Through microfinance, married women often gain greater control over household assets, a more equal share in family decision-making, and greater freedom to engage in incomegenerating activities. Moreover, women involved in microfinance groups are more motivated to take action to improve their lives and those of their families and are more likely to engage in social and political activities. In Africa, microfinance has caught on more slowly than in other regions of the developing world. While it has made some inroads, primarily in urban areas, the great majority of Africans who live off the land and in small towns and villages have yet to be reached. Until very recently, the cost of bringing financial services—even microfinance services—to remote parts of Africa has been prohibitive, and the logistics of doing so daunting. In Africa’s vast rural areas, where the world’s poorest people eke out a living in sparsely populated communi-


ties, lack of infrastructure and untenably high costs per transaction have kept microfinance institutions (MFIs) away. The low levels of savings and demand for credit generated by such clients are usually not viable, even for nimble MFIs that operate efficiently. Reaching the poorest of the poor has been limited because the scale and structure of microfinance programs have been defined by the need to build healthy institutions and a commitment to provide services to the enormous population of the unserved rural poor. In densely populated areas of Asia and Latin America, providing credit has been the driving force of microfinance because opportunities to invest in income-generating activities are many. But rural Africans have been left out, mainly because they have been hard to reach and their bottom-rung economic status makes savings a higher priority than credit. In 2006, the Consultative Group to Assist the World’s Poor (CGAP) conducted a global survey of formal institutions that offer savings and credit services to lower income people, including microfinance institutions, postal savings banks, state-owned banks, rural banks, credit unions and

financial cooperatives. Sub-Saharan African countries accounted for only four percent of the global total, with an average of four savings or loan accounts per 100 people, compared to with 17 accounts per 100 people in Asia and the Pacific. In rural Niger, for example, there is one bank branch for every 844,000 people. Without access to basic financial services, Africans are at risk of remaining at the margins of economic opportunity. In the past, most poor Africans relied on homegrown, often unreliable and exploitative traditional services in the form of deposit collectors and moneylenders. Microfinance offers freedom from these traditional practices, allowing one to monitor their finances. But to finally reach the hundreds of millions of Africans without access to any form of financial services, microfinance must become a much bigger piece of the microfinance landscape in Africa. MD This article is an excerpt from CARE’s “State of the Sector Report: Bringing financial services to Africa’s poor”. To order a free copy, please email info@ It can also be downloaded from the CARE website:

CARE’s innovative contribution to microfinance
CARE has developed a radically different approach to building the financial health of Africa’s poor. It has found a way to enable isolated, often illiterate women to be their own bankers. CARE’s experience has shown that the answer is not necessarily to bring banks or microfinance institutions (MFIs) to Africa’s poor, but instead make it possible for Africa’s poor to create their own basic Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) without any outside funding. By mobilizing small amounts in savings and interest accrued from loans, CARE’s VSLAs are already laying a foundation of economic security and expanding economic opportunities for 1.2 million Africans. In Niger, the world’s poorest county and the site of the first VSLAs, nearly 200,000 women have collectively amassed $14 million in savings. Moreover, 60 percent of the money these groups save is loaned out to members. The rest is redistributed to the members with interest. Since 1991, CARE has implemented VSLA’s in 16 African countries. The approach is based on savings and providing financial services such as savings, credit and insurance to women and subsistence farmers in the sub-continent’s least developed regions. VSLAs build their assets, and disburse credit, solely from member savings. The self-managed, flexible system enables VSLA members to take advantage of economic opportunities that help them respond to unforeseen challenges such as illness that would otherwise drive them into a cycle of uncontrollable, unpayable debt. The VSLAs are not in competition with MFIs, but complementary to them. Over time, VSLAs help create pools of clients who advance to receive the more sophisticated financial services as their resources, skills and confidence grows. The next step is the linking of VSLAs to microfinance institutions and banks so that the poorest people in Africa have access to all of the financial services that can help them improve their lives.

Next Stop: Africa




Family Involvement


This is the third in a four-part series detailing a fictional kidnap scenario. The purpose of the series is to highlight appropriate and inappropriate responses that organizations might take and resources that are available when faced with the kidnapping of staff. The scenario is based on a recent hostage incident management training conducted by the InterAction Security Unit in conjunction with InterAction’s Security Advisory Group. All events and characters are entirely fictitious, as are all the organizations with the exception of United Nations Department of Safety and Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Overseas Security Advisor Council.


OUR NGO WORKERS—TONY, Wali, Sally and Hamid—were kidnapped 48 hours ago. As NGO Alpha scrambled to respond to the incident, the driver Hamid’s dead body was found with a note stating “no negotiation policy.” NGO Alpha headquarters has set up a Crisis Management Team; NGO Bravo’s CEO has decided to step in and handle the situation himself. Meanwhile, both organizations’ field offices are awaiting direction from headquarters, as are the victim’s families and the media. Not long after NGO Alpha’s Crisis Management Team had convened at headquarters, the organization received a call from Patricia, Sally’s mother. Sally had been kidnapped nearly two days ago and Patricia, a wealthy widow, explained that she was at London’s Heathrow Airport, awaiting her flight to Nairobi, from where she planned to find her way to Mogadishu. Once there, her intention was to pay the $1 million ransom herself. The call was patched through to Vivek, who had been tasked by the CMT to liaise with the victims’ families. Vivek pleaded with Patricia to remain in the UK, but she would not be swayed. She was outraged that NGO Alpha had not contacted her, while

she had reached out to them twice. She explained that she did not have faith in Alpha to resolve the situation and so she was taking matters into her own hands. After she had hung up on him, Vivek immediately picked up the phone and called Alpha’s Mogadishu field office to explain the situation, and instructed Abdi, the security focal point, to convene the Incident Management Team (IMT). An IMT is a field-based equivalent of the CMT, designed to help an organization cope with a crisis in the most efficient way possible. The IMT is also responsible for briefing the CMT as events unfold. Abdi, always one step ahead of the game, had made Alpha Mogadishu staff practice convening the IMT quarterly since he had taken the post. The IMT consisted of Rex, Alpha’s logistics person, acting as Coordinator (in lieu of the Country Director who was on R&R); Laila the administrator, acting as “Boardman,” the person who keeps a written log of events; and Abdi, acting as Communicator. Abdi’s role as Communicator was crucial, as he was tasked not only with relaying updates to headquarters, but also reaching out to the families of local staff who were affected by the incident. Currently, that involved visiting Hamid’s family in wake of his murder at the hands of the kidnappers. Abdi was filled with a sense of dread as he jumped into a Landcruiser with his driver. Hamid had been a close friend. He had also been the sole bread winner for his wife Aziza, their children, and several members of their extended family. In the Somalia context, dealing with the family of his slain co-worker meant not simply extending NGO Alpha’s condolences, but arranging for the financial well being of his family and, possibly, ensuring that the family did not attempt to take action against his killers. Adbi, though an experienced field security professional, had never before been in this situation. When he arrived at Aziza’s home, Abdi was greeted by Aziza and what appeared to be Hamid’s entire clan. The front room of the house was packed full of people. Abdi took a deep breath and began by expressing his own grief for the loss of Hamid, his friend and co-worker. Aziza thanked him for his kind words, but told him that she held

Photo: endostock -




NGO Alpha responsible for Hamid’s death. The note found on Hamid’s body—“No negotiation policy”—was a clear message that Alpha had not acted quickly enough to secure the hostages’ release. Did Alpha not care about their Somali staff? Why would they not negotiate? Did they not realize that Hamid had people who depended on him when they sent him out on a dangerous road? Abdi maintained his composure, explaining that NGO Alpha had indeed tried to reach out to the kidnappers, but that the kidnappers had used Hamid to force the families of the American victims to pay a higher ransom. He was quick to point out that responsibility for Hamid’s death lay squarely with the kidnappers, and that NGO Alpha would work with the appropriate authorities to bring them to justice, once the other hostages had been freed. Finally, Hamid explained that NGO Alpha would continue to pay Hamid’s family’s finances for four months. This was eventually negotiated up to eight months by Aziza and her family, a settlement that seemed

satisfactory for all, and one that Hamid was sure he could convince Alpha to agree to. Finally, Hamid felt comfortable enough to leave Aziza and return to the business of securing the release of the three remaining hostages. In Los Angeles, NGO Bravo’s CEO, Booker, had taken over management of the incident. With little experience in these matters he was in over his head. Bravo did not have kidnap and ransom insurance, nor did they have any policies dealing with the kidnapping incidents. Vijaya, Bravo’s Operations Director, pleaded with Booker to hire a consultant to handle communications. She quickly prevailed. NGO Alpha had suggested that Bravo hire the same consulting company employed by Alpha, and Booker wisely agreed. However, two problems remained for Bravo: dealing with the media, and with Tony and Wali’s families. The media was the more immediate of the two concerns, because inaccurate or inappropriate media reports could spell disaster for the kidnappers’ victims. A well crafted press statement could help the kidnappers view their

victims as human beings, increasing the likelihood of their safe return. Not long after Hamid’s body was discovered in Mogadishu, Al Jazeera ran a story on the kidnapping, citing unnamed sources as saying that the kidnappers had demanded ransom. NGO Alpha’s CMT in New York called NGO Bravo immediately to devise a media statement. Their consultant had recommended that Sally’s and Tony’s parents give a joint statement, the intent of which would be to humanize the victims and place the responsibility for their safety on kidnappers. Since Sally’s mother was en route to Nairobi and unlikely to cooperate anyway, it was decided to contact Bruce, Tony’s father. NGO Bravo set up a meeting between Bruce and the consultant to work out the details, and a press conference was called soon after. Various international media outlets were called in, and Bruce read a prepared statement that highlighted Bruce’s personal background, his love for his family, and his desire to make the world
continued on page 30




Animal Welfare
Sustainable development can benefit from partnership with animal-focused organizations.
LTHOUGH WE TACKLE development and relief from different perspectives, the animal welfare community has much in common with the traditional humanitarian community, which is why we belong to InterAction. Indeed, neither can fully reach their potential without the other. I first saw this in the 1980s while serving in the Sinai Peninsula on detached duty from the Department of State. It was my third time living in Egypt. During my first stay in the 1950s, I learned to ride camels from a police brigade near my home in Maidi and since the camels followed me home regularly, the police decided I needed to learn how to wash and ride them. Years later while teaching desert survival and Bedouin culture, I realized that I hadn’t ever been on a caravan longer than about twenty miles, so I joined one from Somalia into Cairo to learn how to herd. I also did it so that when I entered a Bedouin camp, I would have a better idea of what motivated the inhabitants. One day in a market, a young camel became angry and protested loudly. He was beaten to the ground and burned alive! I can still smell the flesh and hear his screams. What I saw was great cruelty of course, but it was also a lesson in the interaction of development and animal welfare. Killing the camel meant a loss of investment for the herders. Further, the buyers lost a valuable asset needed to develop their farms. Everyone lost, including the camel, most horribly. For less and more dramatic ways that is why our communities need to collaborate more than we do. Of the world’s one billion very poorest people, over 650 million totally depend on animals for a living, according to the UN. Take away their animals and the people go from poverty to desperation.



Of course, many more hundreds of millions depend on animals for food, jobs and culture. Further, harming animals can spread disease, as we have seen through the bush meat trade. Harming animals also reduces productivity on the farm and in the slaughterhouse. Intensive farming hurts the climate and many poor farming practices damage the environment in general. To tackle those issues, like any responsible humanitarian NGO, The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is prepared to operate in any political or physical environment so long as effective animal welfare (in our case) can be produced and so long as the staff involved can operate in reasonable safety. After all, as with people, animals in greatest need often live in harsh environments like droughts or floods, and in conflicts or lands managed by governments or local bands with terrible human right records. The animals did not ask to live there and should not be left without assistance simply due to an accident of residence. We have been doing our work since 1964, when we first established a reputation of which we are proud by sending an expert from Massachusetts named John Walsh and his volunteers to save thousands of animals in an 870-square mile area of dense rain forest in Suriname. A man-made flood related to the building of a dam prompted a largescale human evacuation. The society took a moral stand that it could not passively sit by while animals died a terrible death due to rising lake water. That willingness to tackle such a crisis set the tone for four decades protecting animals: from floods in Europe and South America, to famine in India, earthquakes in Peru, abandoned animals in the 1974 Cyprus conflict (in partnership with the World Health

Organization), working and zoo animals in war-torn Afghanistan in 2004, and livestock harmed by the Myanmar cyclone in 2008 (in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization). In Myanmar, an operation I supported, we operated in a country with the very worst human rights record; but because without livestock the rice could not have been brought in, and because without rice, people would have starved, we went in. In 1992, WSPA was in warstruck Bosnia, providing assistance to stray dogs, cattle and zoo animals, which in turn helped people. We did the same in Gaza in 2009. All these operations took place within the rubric of disaster management; but what is often misunderstood is that disaster management is really just a part of sustainable development. We also work with farm animals to reduce cruelty from poorly managed slaughterhouses, to foster better livestock care through model farms and protect wildlife, zoo and entertainment animals; all have a role in sustainable development. What that leads to is a need for collaboration between the animal welfare and development NGOs. After all, disaster management and development is more than simply putting people in shelters or about money. It is about fostering a sustainable recovery after an emergency and creating a society that can resist hazards turning into crises. This requires a holistic approach that benefits all parties. WSPA looks forward to working with its fellow InterAction members to that end. Mr. Roeder retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2005 as the Policy Adviser on Disaster Management in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. MD

Photo: Hamady -




Population Projections
Making sense of the reality behind the estimates.

“It’s rather odd to talk about climate change and what we must do to stop and prevent the ill effects without talking about population and family planning.” —Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, July 2009 “The Middle East is home to six percent of the world’s population but just two percent of the world’s water. A demographic boom and a shrinking water supply will only tighten the squeeze.” —Senator John Kerry, July 2009 “Over the next 20 years certain pressures—population, resource, energy, climate, economic, and environmental— could combine with rapid cultural, social, and technological change… Looking ahead, I believe the most persistent and potentially dangerous threats will come less from emerging ambitious states, than from failing ones that cannot meet the basic needs—much less the aspirations—of their people.” —Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, July 2008 HESE RECENT STATEMENTS INDICATE THAT U.S. administration officials and legislative leaders increasingly recognize the importance of population trends in development and foreign policy. Together with health, human rights, security and other factors, changes in population size and age composition influence individual well-being and national development. However, population projections that are key for policy-making are unrealistic in some countries, and assume increasing provision of voluntary family planning, reproductive and primary health care, and education. Demography offers a unique benefit for long-term planning because population dynamics over the next few decades can be projected with a greater degree of confidence than many other socioeconomic factors, given that the majority of the people who will comprise a country’s population 10 or 20 years hence are already alive today. However, population projections are not guaranteed, and their uncertainty is particularly notable in the least developed countries, where much U.S. development assistance is directed. The accuracy of population projections will be driven in large part by the policy decisions made today and their impact on individual


choices or lack thereof that, taken together, shape the direction of the demographic future. Population change is driven by three major factors: fertility, mortality and migration patterns. Fertility (the average number of children per woman) has by far the greatest effect on population trends. Although they remain far too high in some places, mortality rates have declined around the world and most children born today survive to adulthood. Even in the countries in southern Africa hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and other illnesses, fertility rates are high enough to offset mortality, ensuring population growth. Migration, meanwhile, can affect population growth rates and age composition in countries that send or receive a high proportion of migrants, but the scale of its impact does not approach that of fertility. Projections of global and national population change, therefore, must make assumptions about the future path of fertility, migration and mortality. Population projections



Photo: Jocelyn Cunningham


Figure 1. World population under different UN scenarios

are produced by a handful of organizations, but the most comprehensive and widely used are released biannually by the United Nations Population Division, with eight variants for every country over the century between 1950 and 2050. Most of the UN projections’ variants are related to different assumptions about fertility. The most commonly cited “medium-fertility variant” assumes that all countries’ fertility rates will ultimately converge at a universal rate of 1.85 children per woman, regardless of whether current fertility rates are significantly above or below that figure. The model only takes recent trends into account over the next five to 10 years; beyond that period, the projections assume regular changes in fertility rates towards the universal level. The fertility variants also assume gradual improvements in life expectancy from current levels, and roughly a status quo effect for migration. The differences and assumptions underlying the population projections may seem technical or mundane, but policymakers and program managers must carefully select which projection variant to use, based on which demographic assumptions they feel are most likely. Played out over decades, seemingly minute differences in fertility rates can have a major impact on a population’s growth or decline. For example, a slight increase in Kenya’s total fertility rate from 4.7 to 4.8 children per woman earlier this decade nearly doubled the country’s projected total population for 2050 under the medium-fertility variant. This in turn has major implications for demands on health care and education systems, labor markets, social welfare programs and infrastructure. Although the “constant-fertility” variant functions primarily as an intellectual exercise, given that most countries have experienced declines in fertility as they pass through the demographic transition, the medium-fertility variant does not appear to be a realistic possibility in some cases. Consider Niger, which currently has the highest fertility rate in

the world (7.1 children per woman in a 2006 survey). Niger’s population has doubled in the past two decades and is estimated at 16 million in 2010. If fertility stays constant at the current level, the population would more than quadruple

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Figure 2. Total population in high and low fertility countries under different UN scenarios

to reach 88 million in 2050. The UN medium-fertility variant, however, projects that Niger’s fertility rate will steadily decline to 3.8 children per woman by mid-century, resulting in a total population of 58 million—one-third smaller than under the constant-fertility scenario. Given that Niger’s fertility rate today is the same as in 1992 and only five percent of married women are using a modern contraceptive method, it is, unfortunately, overly optimistic to assume a speedy and rapid decline in the future without a strong policy response. The projection of a universal fertility rate is also optimistic for the countries where fertility rates have reached very low levels, a smaller group than those with persistently high fertility but one where current trends also call the prospect of rapid demographic change into question. In Ukraine, the fertility rate has already been lower than the replacement level of 2.1 for a generation and was estimated at 1.15 children per woman in the early 2000s, nearly half the level needed to maintain a stable population. At this level, the country’s population will decline from over 45 million today to fewer than 31 million in 2050. The medium-fertility variant projects that fertility in Ukraine will reverse its long decline and rise to 1.85 by mid-century, leaving the population to still decline, but by 10 million instead of 15 million people. The different trajectories of Niger and Ukraine illustrate not only the significant levels of uncertainty inherent in population projections, but also the disparities within current demographic trends. It is fairly well understood that developing countries, in general, will continue to experience population growth for decades to come while developed countries are addressing population aging and, in some cases, the prospect of decline. This simple demarcation only tells part of the story. Within the developing world, many regions and countries are headed on different demographic paths. In Eastern Asia, fertility has on average already dropped below replacement level, and is at or below 2.5 children per woman in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and South America. The fertility declines in these regions in recent decades can in

large part be attributed to government and donor investment in voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs, provision of primary health care and increased rates of girls’ education. However, as the example of Niger demonstrates, this success has not been replicated everywhere. Fertility rates have stalled or never begun to decline across much of sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Middle East, where the unmet need for family planning ranges as high as 51 percent among married women. These stark differences underscore that population projections cannot possibly be achieved—and in fact should be treated carefully—unless policy and funding changes provide women, men and young people with the services they desire and need. MD

Washington Update
continued from page 8

in a year than expected and therefore not enough emergency response funding was appropriated in the normal budget process), the president will propose a supplemental funding bill. Like regular appropriations bills, a supplemental appropriations bill generally must go through the whole process of subcommittee, full committee, floor consideration and vote, conference committee, and presidential signature. In recent years supplemental appropriations were used to cover significant amounts of spending that some would argue could have been included in the regular budget process (e.g., funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and funding for a number of humanitarian efforts). The Obama administration has stated that it does not want to continue that trend, but it is too early to tell exactly how that will play out in the budget process over the next few years. MD Ken Forsberg, Senior Legislative Manager at InterAction, contributed to this article, and writes legislative pieces for InterAction’s weekly e-mail update for public policy issues.




Urban Displacement and Growth Amidst Humanitarian Crisis
New realities require a new strategy in Kabul.


Y 2008, AN UNPRECEDENTED half of the world’s population resided in urban areas. The current total population of 6.8 billion people is projected by the Population Reference Bureau to increase to more than 8 billion by 2025, with a majority of growth occurring in the urban centers of developing countries. While sufficiently daunting, the projections fail to capture urban growth attributable to displacement. Enduring conflict and frequent natural disasters in parts of the developing world encourage or force rural migration to urban centers at rates that accelerate and exacerbate the urbanization process. In recent years, for example, cities such as Freetown, Khartoum and Prishtina, among many others, have experienced dramatic population increases (far beyond projections) that confound efforts to promote urban recovery and development. A new approach to urban recovery that addresses humanitarian concerns and incorporates risk reduction strategies is required to address needs generated by rapid urban growth, reverse the cycle of perpetual humanitarian crisis among a largely invisible segment of urban populations, and ultimately lay the foundation necessary for successful urban development.

lion people, with returning refugees and migrants (both those economically motivated and those forcibly displaced) constituting 80 percent of the change. In 2002, only 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population lived in urban areas. The figure may have increased to as much as 35 percent by 2009, indicating unprecedented urban growth countrywide, a trend data suggest will continue for the foreseeable future. Volatility amid continuing efforts to eradicate the insurgency, the ravages of recurrent drought and environmental degradation, limited employment opportunities, and natural disasters in communities with poor risk management and response capacities continue to erode coping mechanisms in rural areas and prompt residents to flee to Kabul and other cities. Current and future migration rates remain indeterminable and unpredictable, respectively, adding

additional challenges to urban recovery planning in the capital city. Urban displaced populations are often difficult to count, invisible amongst significant numbers of other urban poor. Rarely do displaced households reside in designated areas, but rather with host families, in demographically diverse informal settlements, or in abandoned buildings. The absence of mechanisms to locate displaced individuals living in the city, in part a consequence of limited humanitarian engagement in the urban

Urban Displacement: A Burgeoning Area of Study • Over the next two years, the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) will be studying urban displacement in partnership with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and in collaboration with the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, UN-Habitat and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) research on urban displacement includes: • Preparations for the December 2009 High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges and ‘Urban Displacement,’ further details of which can be found at:

The manifold challenges confronting Kabul include, most predominantly, rapid growth—perhaps the fastest in the world. In the years since September 11, 2001, Kabul’s population has tripled in size to approximately 4.5 mil-

An often ignored phenomenon





USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
USAID/OFDA programs account for unique vulnerabilities, natural hazard risks, cultural context, existing social and economic systems, and the role of Kabul Municipality: The multi-sectoral KASS project: • Provides seismic-resistant transitional shelter and basic services and infrastructure using local labor and resources; • By generating livelihoods, promotes recovery and local ownership of projects; • By accounting for risks, incorporates long-term view to support development; and • By investing in existing communities to upgrade and expand shelter and services, ensures cost-effective, timely humanitarian assistance, while building on established social and economic networks. Capacity building in Kabul municipality: • USAID/OFDA partners build the urban recovery management capacity of Kabul Municipality. • Means include technical assistance, advisory services and technology transfer. • Urban planning advisors address strategy and policy issues related to large-scale urban displacement and growth. For additional information, please see: • Shelter and Settlements Sector Update, Sept 2009 humanitarian_assistance/disaster_ assistance/sectors/shelter.html • Overview of the KASS Project humanitarian_assistance/ disaster_assistance/sectors/files/ kass_summary.pdf • Delivery of Humanitarian Shelter in Urban Areas: The Case of “KASS” humanitarian_assistance/disaster_ assistance/sectors/files/case_of_ kass.pdf

context, allows government and international actors to downplay the displacement crisis, advocate for status quo programs, and ignore a growing segment of the population, many of whom require immediate assistance after arriving in Kabul with limited or no resources. Efforts by the humanitarian community to distinguish between the urban displaced and urban poor—and, therefore, demarcate humanitarian assistance and development assistance—have generated controversy among both policymakers and assistance providers. Two clear facts emerge as indisputable, however: humanitarian needs exist among Kabul’s population, due in large part to rapid and untenable growth, and these needs are often more acute for households displaced from rural areas. The time-warp speed at which Kabul grew in the last eight years hardly afforded government officials the luxury of foresight to effectively plan for and accommodate growth when warand disaster-ravaged resources and infrastructure precluded even minimal responses to meet the most basic needs. Surprisingly, however, a significant majority of the population occupies what the World Bank describes as “substantial” structures, generally made from mud bricks. The government considers only 0.5 percent of the population homeless. The buildings where people live, however, form highdensity, crowded settlements precariously balanced on steep hillsides and buttressing towering and dilapidated buildings in the city center. The construction of settlements kept pace with the high rate of displacement and threefold increase in population, resulting in a four-fold increase in land devoted to urban activities. Unfortunately, continued government reliance on a 1978 master plan designed to accommodate only two million people resulted in one of the highest rates of informal housing in the world. Thus, although Kabul avoided a homelessness crisis, approximately 80 percent of the total population resides in officially unauthorized and unrecognized areas that lack adequate drainage, refuse disposal, graveled roads, water and sanitation facilities, and safe drinking water sources.

Further, although “substantial,” many structures remain vulnerable to collapse during seismic events—the latter a critical consideration in one of the world’s most seismically active and vulnerable cities courtesy of the Chaman fault and low-quality building materials and practices. As a result of location and poor services, settlements are more vulnerable to other disasters as well, including floods, waterborne diseases, physical damage or loss of life caused by falling boulders in the hillsides, and landmines from earlier conflicts.

Responding to needs

Informal settlements become the norm

The case of Kabul clearly demonstrates the need for humanitarian and development actors to re-think urban interventions. A new strategy that addresses humanitarian needs caused by rapid urban growth and displacement in a manner that supports longterm development goals is required. As the preceding assessment illustrates, the current situation is a complex intertwinement of significant humanitarian needs and basic development needs, compounded by the effects and high-level risks associated with natural and human-generated hazards. Given the sheer number of structures, the minimal resources in Kabul Municipality coffers, and the need to quickly address pressing humanitarian needs, improving the informal settlements remains the most viable option at present. Two questions then arise related to supporting long-term development: how to develop and service settlements in a sustainable manner while strengthening local capacity to assume ownership of urban recovery; and how to mitigate risks in order to protect progress and maintain a foundation for development. For an overview of how the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), continues to answer these questions through the Kabul Area Shelter and Settlements (KASS) Project and capacity building programs, please refer to the sidebar. MD The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the United States Agency for International Development.




Investing in Health, Rights and the Future
The need for and benefits of increased investment in reproductive health.

Photo: Benjamin Edwards


HIS YEAR MARKS TWO IMPORtant occasions: the 40th anniversary of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the 15th anniversary of the historic International Conference on Population and Development. This provides an opportunity for reflection. At the international conference in Cairo 15 years ago, 179 governments agreed to work towards universal access to reproductive health by 2015. This target now appears in the Millennium Development Goals, under MDG 5 to improve maternal health. But this is an area where we need to make far greater progress. Today, poor reproductive health is a leading killer and disabler of women in the developing world. This causes vast and needless death and suffering, and it is dragging down economic growth and stalling efforts to reduce poverty. Every year, more than half a million women die during pregnancy and child-

birth, largely from problems that can be prevented. For every woman who dies, 20 other women suffer injuries and disabilities that can last a lifetime. The sad and shocking truth is that maternal mortality is the largest health inequity in the world. African countries have rates at least 100 times those in developed countries. The result: of all the MDGs, the one to improve maternal health is lagging the furthest behind. It is not lack of knowledge that is hindering progress; it is weak capacity and a lack of political will. Decisionmakers must act to protect the health and rights of women, especially their right to decide freely the number and timing of their children. The world is paying a high price for not allowing women to live up to their full potential. While the loss of a mother is beyond measure for her child and family, the loss to the world has actually been measured: maternal and newborn mortality costs the planet $15

billion in lost productivity every year. This is unacceptable. UNFPA has joined together with the World Bank, UNICEF and the World Health Organization to reduce the needless deaths of women and newborns. In countries where women have access to a full range of comprehensive reproductive health services, maternal death is rare. Together, we support governments and civil society to strengthen health systems, address the shortage of skilled health workers, and scale up quality health services to deliver reproductive health care. This package includes family planning, skilled attendance at delivery and emergency obstetric and newborn care, ensuring coordination with HIV prevention and treatment. We are also tackling the root causes of maternal death and disability, including gender inequality, poor access to education—especially for girls—child marriage and adolescent pregnancy. And to ensure we are on track, we are strengthening systems of monitoring and evaluation. We estimate that access to voluntary family planning could reduce maternal deaths by 25 to 40 percent, and child deaths by as much as 20 percent. The World Bank estimates that ensuring skilled care in delivery, especially access to emergency obstetric care, would reduce maternal deaths by about 74 percent—the target of MDG5. The personal, social, economic and demographic benefits of reproductive health services will be even higher. Reproductive health is not only a right, but also a critical factor in population dynamics—the size of a country’s population, its growth rate, its age structure. Today almost all population growth is occurring in less developed countries, where young people under age 25 are nearly half of the total population. Yet national systems are already failing to meet growing demands for education, healthcare, employment, sanitation and housing. Access to reproductive health care, particularly family planning, lets women and girls avoid unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortions. Women stay healthier, are more productive, and have more opportunities for education, training and employ-




At the moment, just one in four married women in the leastdeveloped countries is using modern contraception.
ment. This benefits entire nations: more and healthier women in the labor force earn more income, which means less poverty and faster economic growth. Yet despite the benefits, some 200 million women today who want to plan and space their births lack access to safe and effective contraception. If they were able to exercise this right, it would help to slow population growth so as to be more in balance with economic growth, giving governments more time to provide schooling, medical care and other services to individuals and families. Whether family planning services are provided and expanded to meet rising need will determine whether global population grows from today’s 6.8 billion people to 9 billion by 2050, the UN’s most likely projection, or to the high projection—a staggering 11 billion people. I make this point because I do not think it is widely appreciated that the projection of nine billion people by mid-century assumes further reduction in fertility in the least-devel-

oped countries. Today, each woman there bears 4.4 children on average, and the nine billion projection assumes that by 2050 they will each have 2.4 children—in other words, two children fewer than they are having today. This will require a dramatic expansion in access to voluntary family planning. At the moment, just one in four married women in the least-developed countries is using modern contraception. A further one in four has an unmet need for family planning. So the need to expand these services is urgent while the funding for international family planning, as a percentage of population spending, has been falling for the past decade. Think of the many crises the world faces today: the food crisis, the water crisis, the financial crisis, the crisis of climate change, the energy crisis. None of these can be managed unless greater attention is paid to population issues. Stronger action must be taken to implement the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. Investments in women and reproductive health are critical for overcoming poverty and achieving the MDGs, and they are also cost-effective. An investment in contraceptive services can be recouped four times over—and sometimes much more over the long term—by reducing the need for public spending on health, education, housing, sanitation and other social services. When a mother survives, when a young girl gets an education and grows into a life filled with opportunities, the consequences reach far beyond these individuals. The return on our investment is a better world for all. MD




The UN Financing for Development Process: Year in Review
Key meetings in 2009 produced significant steps forward, offer promise for 2010.



INCE THE INTERNATIONAL Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey Mexico in 2002, NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs) have been actively convening and participating in initiatives aimed at monitoring progress and holding governments accountable to their commitments made in Monterrey. They have worked on key Financing for Development (FfD) themes such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty eradication, capital flight, debt cancellation, labor rights and employment issues, and financing for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This has proved of great value in advancing the FfD goal of policy coherence, given that FfD is among the most holistic and inclusive global processes. It brings together multiple stakeholders to discuss a wide range of development-related themes. From November 2008 to July 2009, the FfD agenda has advanced substantially through three important meetings.

the UN Doha Declaration on Financing for Development. Many CSOs developed critiques of the Doha Declaration. For example, the International Trade Union Confederation felt that “in general, the language of the Doha Declaration was non-prescriptive, and failed to establish clear commitments and monitorable goals. Member States merely promised to do their best to honor commitments and formulate policies to address the issues of the Monterrey Consensus with a view to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.” However, CSOs welcomed the Doha Declaration mandate to hold a follow-up, high-level conference to take stock of the global financial and economic crisis and craft a lasting response. Subsequently, President of the 63rd UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockman spearheaded the preparations and chaired the conference at UN headquarters in New York in June 2009.

ment forward by preparing strategic policy interventions for their participation in roundtables and a civil society address to the plenary of the UN conference. The forum also helped build synergies with governments and institutional stakeholders, with a view to intensifying the quest for comprehensive and enduring solutions to the global economic and financial crisis. In preparation for the UN conference, the president of the General Assembly appointed a commission of experts, headed by former Chief Economist of the World Bank and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, to produce a report outlining key components of the crisis and providing recommendations. CSOs and NGOs had the opportunity to contribute to the report through on-line consultations set up between the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the United Nations Non-Governmental

“In general, the language of the Doha Declaration was nonprescriptive, and failed to establish clear commitments and monitorable goals.”
Liaison Service (UN-NGLS). While the report was intended to inform discussions at the UN conference, many NGOs and CSOs felt that the conference outcome document did not sufficiently reflect the findings of the experts’ report. While the outcome of the conference did not meet the expectations of many CSOs and NGOs, it provided the basis for the establishment of an ongoing process within the UN to promote lasting and comprehensive reform of the existing global economic governance framework—namely, through the creation of an ad-hoc working group and a panel of experts. Other positive elements in the conference outcome document included: recognition of the International Labour Organization’s Global Jobs Pact as an important roadmap for a sustainable recovery to the crisis through a jobintensive approach; strengthening international cooperation on tax matters; and

FfD thematic issues have been championed by key UN member states (countries) and given greater prominence at the United Nations. This progress began with the Doha Review Conference in November/December 2008. The conference brought together officials from more than 160 countries, including some 40 heads of state. CSOs participated actively in the conference through roundtables, side events, lobbying and media activities. The conference concluded with the adoption of

The Doha International Review Conference on Financing for Development

The June follow-up conference was the only place other than the G20 summits in Washington, DC and London where the financial and economic crisis was specifically addressed at the intergovernmental level, with the notable distinction being that 172 countries that are not members of the G20 were also present at the negotiating table at the June UN conference. A civil society forum was also held just prior to the UN conference. The forum offered a unique opportunity for CSOs and NGOs to carry their engage-

UN Conference on the Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development




emphasis on the importance of the role of debt in the crisis, providing the possibility for debt standstills.

The General Segment of the Substantive Session of ECOSOC

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recently met in Geneva to take stock of the past year’s work and review reports of its subsidiary bodies. An important agenda item was a resolution that would provide a more prominent space for the FfD process at the UN. CSOs and NGOs were pleased with the outcome of negotiations, as the agreed upon resolution accomplishes this goal by formally strengthening the FfD follow-up process. The resolution moved to raise the profile of the ECOSOC annual high-level spring meeting by changing its timing so that it will be held no less than five weeks before, and therefore be better positioned to influence, the high-profile spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Other key provisions in the resolution give FfD more prominence at both the four-week annual Substantive Session of ECOSOC and at the General Assembly, with high priority given to the biennial High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.

Since last November, the financing for development process has grown significantly in importance. It also gave birth to the UN conference on the financial and economic crisis which allowed for the establishment of an ad hoc working of the general assembly to follow up issues contained within the outcome document. The outcome document has also given ECOSOC a fresh mandate to develop a new mechanism, namely, a panel of experts to follow up on the UN Conference. Additionally, with the FfD process taking on a more prominent role at the UN, ECOSOC now has a stronger mandate to tackle important development issues. Therefore, it is imperative that civil society organizations stay engaged with these parallel processes as they move into the up-coming 64th UN General Assembly (September 2009 to August 2010) with a goal of monitoring their effectiveness in achieving a more just and equitable world. MD

Staying Engaged

Halfway There, But Not Halfway Done

The effectiveness of financing for development in Africa.



Photo: Azra Kacapor


FRICAN ECONOMIES ARE mainly characterized by growing poverty, a result of the economic crisis that has lingered since the late 1980s. Since that time, the continent has suffered continuously in terms of trade degradation and growing debt. Various solutions, including assistance from international

financial institutions and bilateral and multilateral partnerships, have had very little success. This article is based on a contribution by Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) to the Civil Society Consultation on Innovative Development Financing Mechanism held in Dakar, Senegal in April of 2008. It illustrates the socioeco-


nomic situation in Africa using the case of Cameroon to appraise the financing for development process. It reviews poverty reduction policies and challenges, financing for development mechanisms, and concludes by highlighting the need for a new approach to financing for development that takes better advantage of domestic financing opportunities and better implements the resource recycling scheme of the HIPC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) process. Cameroon offers a good example of what has happened in sub-Saharan Africa. After some signs of prosperity in the late 1970s and great hope of rapid development in the early 1980s, Cameroon, like many sub-Saharan African countries, has sunk into an economic crisis. Twenty years of economic adjustment under World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs have not produced an effective solution; and many challenges remain across the continent, including growing unemployment and poverty, corruption and public mismanagement, and fragile sociopolitical environments and impaired democracy. In February 2008, Cameroon experienced social unrest, partially because of the high cost of living. The unrest served as a strong warning that the people’s suffering had reached an unsustainable level. Other African countries faced similar situations.

vision for fighting poverty with the clear objective of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The PRSP was approved by the World Bank and the IMF in 2003 and has seven main objectives: • Promoting a stable and growthenhancing macroeconomic environment; • Strengthening growth through economic diversification; • Empowering the private sector as the main engine of growth and a partner in delivering social services; • Developing basic infrastructure and natural resources in an environmentally sustainable manner; • Accelerating regional integration within the framework of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC); • Strengthening human resource development and boosting social services; and • Improving the institutional framework, administrative management and governance. In Cameroon, as in a number of other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, implementing the PRSP has been a nightmare with poor results. When Cameroon’s PRSP was drafted, four out of ten Cameroonians lived below the poverty line, locally estimated at CFA Francs 232,547 (US $465) per year as of 2001. Since then, any improvements that PRSP implementation efforts might have produced have been washed out by the recent economic hardships characterised by the very high cost of living, which likely contributed to the social unrest in February 2008. In fact, four years of PRSP implementation have brought very little livelihood improvement and few of the objectives set out in the PRSP have been met. The government effectively acknowledged this in an assessment of the implementation process that led to adjustments and a revised version of the PRSP in June 2008.

the public investment budget. Foreign assistance funds supplement the domestic financing to address needs not met by domestic funds. The financial system (which includes banks and microfinance institutions) suffers from multiple weaknesses, including mismanagement in the selection of projects to fund and in the expenditure structure. Another major challenge is the difficulty in obtaining access to needed investment. Small and medium size enterprises and other underground structures are the backbone of the economy, but they find it difficult to access available financial resources as they generally cannot afford the related banking and credit conditions. Nor do traditional financial facilities generally meet the financing needs of the rural sector, which is also very important. In short, the system does not respond to the need. People would very much like to get credit in rural areas, but funding is out of reach.

HIPC and poverty reduction strategic papers

In Cameroon, a Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper has been in effect for more than five years, but serious challenges remain and progress has been limited at best.
Foreign aid, HIPC and other financing sources. The development strategy in sub-Saharan Africa has always included foreign assistance: bilateral and multilateral financing agreements intended to complement domestic financing. Official development assistance and foreign direct investment, highly promoted by governments have traditionally been regarded as crucial. As in other African nations, Cameroon has also relied on international financial institutions. Besides the IMF and World Bank economic adjustment facilities, the country also receives financing from the African Development Bank, the Islamic Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). While these institutions have funded numerous projects, the results have

The time period since 1987 has actually seen a worsening of economic conditions across the continent – despite programs with the World Bank and the IMF (including structural adjustment plans) and other similar efforts. In fact, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have actually moved down the economic ladder so that they now qualify as HIPC nations. In Cameroon, a Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper (PRSP) has been in effect for more than five years, but serious challenges remain and progress has been limited at best. As in many African nations, Cameroon’s National Development Strategy essentially focuses on poverty reduction. In this respect, Cameroon’s PRSP lays out the government’s strategic

Mechanisms for financing

Domestic financing. The state is the main source of domestic financing for development in Cameroon, as in many African countries, through public funds from the annual national budget in two parts: the current working budget and




generally failed to meet expectations. Failure and early project termination have most often been the result. Major rural development projects like the Priority Integrated Action Zone, funded by the World Bank in the 1970s to boost rural production in eastern Cameroon through more efficient community structuring, turned out to be a debt burden booster. Similarly, all of the projects funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development have come into question, including the Community Development Support Project ($18.3 million), the Roots and Tuber National Development Programme ($21.7 million) and the Support Project to Microfinance Programme ($22.5 million). When visiting Cameroon in 2008, the president of IFAD raised the issue of how best the country could deal with funding from his institution and a subsequent IFAD review mission found situations of management incoherence in almost all IFAD-funded projects. In a few African countries, the HIPC process has increased the resources available for achieving the MDGs. For example, in Cameroon, $426 million was made available for funding of social projects between 2001 and 2006. When the country reached the HIPC completion point in 2006, the available funding increased dramatically with the potential to reach a total debt relief amount of $2 billion if the related conditions are met. Other bilateral initiatives provide additional resources. For example, since 2006 the French government’s Contrat Désendettement Développement (Debt Relief for Development Contract) has made $172 million in French debt relief funds available for eligible projects in Cameroon. However the uti-

lization rate of the funds has remained very low in Cameroon (around 30 percent on average), and the program has remained inefficient because of: • the conditions attached to the use of the funds; • insufficient information on the availability of the funds and on the financing process; • incompatibility between French-imposed conditions for access to the funds and the operational processes of the local bureaucracy; and • some public service corruption. Another significant problem is ensuring that projects respond to people’s most pressing needs. One reason for the current shortcoming in this matter is that civil society is not really allowed to fully participate in choosing or shaping projects. We can see that the financing for development process in Cameroon, as in many African countries, is still very weak and the efficiency of resource allocation is doubtful. The primary reasons are mismanagement and lack of proper prioritization. Now, at the halfway point to the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, we are behind where we should be and the quality and quantity of available financing is lacking. It is time for solutions. Two changes that could make a significant difference are the improved use of domestic financing and better implementation of HIPC resource recycling schemes. Improving the impact of domestic financing. It is crucial to try to draw all possible benefits from domestic financing opportunities by gearing efforts toward enhancing the capacity of local resource generation. This should include: • Establishing an effective micro-development bank for local small size initiatives; • Microfinance systems built on production potential at the grassroots level and in rural areas in particular; • The writing and enactment of financial regulations that ensure real accessibility to financing resources for all, including the rural poor; and • Empowering civil society to play a central role in decision-making on financing allocations and utilization, parallel to traditional donor/international financial institution co-operation with governments. Implementing better HIPC resource recycling schemes. It is important that HIPC financial resources are allocated to relevant socioeconomic projects. These projects should be designed by the people themselves at the community level and should reflect their needs. To reduce dependence on external assistance, priority must be given to sustainable projects capable of generating permanent additional resources. HIPC and other poverty alleviation resources should then be treated as a source of capital investment for poverty reduction and should be plowed back into the system to fund the next cycle of sustainable projects. Using this as a means to establish an innovative, self-sustaining financing mechanism for poverty alleviation, offers a promising solution that could address many of the shortcomings of the current situation. It is crucial to design “Innovative Financing Mechanisms” for development in Africa.
continued on page 30

Moving forward

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Trash to Toys W
Children demonstrate creativity amidst adversity.

HEN PEOPLE THROW their trash away, little do they know that it could end up in the hands of children around the world who not only make the best of their situations, but also manage to transform such overlooked items into innovative toys. Through ChildFund International’s program “The Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure,” children from areas of Africa, South America, and Asia show off their ingenuity in creating toys from materials such as bottle caps, worn flip flops and old beer cans. These toys are conceived by children who inhabit some of the harshest environmental, political, and economic conditions. At an August event at the National Press Club in Washington, ChildFund International’s President and CEO, Anne Lynam Goddard, declared that “these are children who have experienced all the grinding burdens the developing world can inflict on childhood—famine, war, poverty, sickness. But the toys they make offer dramatic proof that— through it all—children can retain their sense of wonder, their desire to play, their indomitable spirit, and their ability to imagine and create.” On display were soccer balls, dolls, cars and boats; common toys, yet also one-of-a-kind crafts that not only entertain, but provide a sense of pride and self-esteem for the children who have made them. MD

Photos: Leanne Schreibstein




Recycle the Rubble
The benefits of using recycled concrete aggregate.


N OCTOBER 8, 2005, THE 7.6-magnitude Kashmir Earthquake in Pakistan demolished the homes of four million people. Even more destructive, the 7.9 Eastern Sichuan Earthquake of 2008 damaged or destroyed 26 million buildings in China. When regions encounter natural disasters, half-demolished structures provide unsafe havens for impoverished individuals and families, while creating undefined new landfills that contribute to the degradation of the environment. Because concrete has been the preferred building material for over 2,000 years, much of the debris caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters exists as concrete rubble. In areas with a substantial amount of concrete debris, constructing cast-in-place concrete homes using locally produced recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) provides a lowcost solution for disaster reconstruction.

batch plants to disaster reconstruction sites. Demolishing and reconstructing simultaneously using on-site materials shortens the construction schedule and allows local residents to focus their efforts on rebuilding their communities rather than becoming refugees. Following a disaster, a decision must be made concerning what to do with the construction debris. In underdeveloped or impoverished countries, few designated or regulated landfills exist; therefore, construction debris is often dumped in rivers, drainage-ways or shorelines. Within the last thirty years, the life cycle of concrete has extended beyond manufacturing, placement, demolition and transporting to the landfill or other dump location. Once concrete’s intended use becomes nonfunctional, the material can be crushed and reused in new concrete generated for pavements, shoulders, median barriers, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, bridge foundations, structural grade concrete, stabilized cement aggregate pavement bases, lean-concrete, bituminous concrete and aesthetic design, as stated by the Portland Cement Association. Oftentimes, these opportunities for reapplication become necessary after earthquakes and other disasters. In addition to the reuse of concrete for the previously mentioned construction applications, a multitude of case studies recommend its application for structural use in residential construc-

Applications for Utilizing RCA

tion (i.e. single-story concrete homes). Exploring the structural integrity and strength of newly generated concrete with RCA, Falkner, Sun and Xiao (2005) performed a series of experiments supporting the use of RCA in concrete framed structures in areas with seismic activity. Using concrete mixes consisting of zero percent, 30 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent RCA, seismic performance was tested under a low-frequency cyclic lateral load with constant vertical actions, similar to what would be experienced during an actual earthquake. Utilizing RCA produced from the Shanghai International Airport runway deconstruction material, the researchers determined that increasing the percentage of RCA resulted in a decrease in the general seismic behavior; however, a concrete structure with a high percentage of RCA will still resist an earthquake according to Chinese national building standard GB 50011-2001. In fact, the lowest compressive strength of a specimen cast with 100 percent RCA broke at 3160 psi, supporting the use of RCA in structural concrete. The researchers’ conclusion stresses the importance of quality control by stating that any concrete mix (i.e. with or without RCA) must be designed properly for a structure to withstand an earthquake. The potential for using RCA is clear; however, little research exists that explores the monetary costs associated with disaster relief efforts in which RCA produced on-site is used in concrete mixes for the construction of lowincome, cast-in-place concrete homes. Research was conducted that assesses the assumption that constructing simple-designed concrete homes with RCA instead of virgin aggregate provides an economical solution to lowincome housing in disaster locations with severe building and infrastructure damage. To explore these costs, market research was gathered from ready-mix and aggregate suppliers and incorporated into the structural RCA concrete design mixes suggested by Falkner, Sun and Xiao. These researchers also compared the unit price cost for a cubic yard of concrete fabricated in the field using locally produced RCA versus the cost

Crushing, screening and transforming concrete debris into RCA provides several environmental, societal and economic benefits. Referred to as the triple bottom line, these benefits partially stem from concrete’s sustainable characteristics, which include significant energy savings once in place, minimized life-cycle costs, high insulation values, improved air quality, reduced maintenance costs, and post-consumer waste minimization, as described by the Environmental Council for Concrete Organizations. Generating RCA in disaster locations for use in new concrete mixes decreases the total societal impact of the reconstruction process by reducing the need for raw aggregates. In turn, CO2 and NO2 emissions caused from blasting, crushing and transporting raw aggregate decrease, as well as harmful emissions released from readymix trucks transferring concrete from

RCA and Sustainability

Economics of Producing RCA



Photo: Jean Marie Stratigos

per cubic yard of concrete delivered to a disaster site from a stationary concrete batch plant. After incorporating the mobilization costs of concrete recycling equipment ($42,500) and a portable concrete batch plant ($60,000), this research found that a cost savings will be experienced once 4,043 tons of RCA is generated and used to produce 4,492 cubic yards of concrete. (These costs and quantities assume all roads and infrastructural components are accessible.) Once this break-even point has been achieved, the savings for producing concrete on-site for the production of concrete homes increase by $22.82 per cubic yard of concrete. To aid with visualization, once approximately 150 homes that are each 20 ft. by 20 ft. have been built using 4,043 tons of RCA, a savings of $22.82 per cubic yard of concrete will be experienced for ongoing construction in which concrete is utilized.

24-25 September G-20 Summit David L. Lawrence Center Pittsburgh, PA 25 September OCHA / InterAction Monthly Meeting UN Secretariat Building New York, NY Contact: 28 September InterAction Member Discussion on Urban Poverty: Who’s Doing What? What Should InterAction Do? InterAction Offices Washington, DC Contact: 29-30 September 2009 Global Youth Enterprise Conference The George Washington University Cafritz Conference Center Washington, DC Contact: 17 October International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 24 October UN Day 2009 29 October OFDA/PRM/InterAction Monthly Meeting National Press Club, 7th Floor Washington, DC Contact: 30 October OCHA / InterAction Monthly Meeting UN Secretariat Building New York, NY Contact:

2-7 November Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) Summit 2009 Nairobi, Kenya htm 17-18 November HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Summit National Press Club Washington, DC Contact:

Opportunities and Future Markets

The market for this type of application will most likely be created through humanitarian responses initiated by governments and adequately funded disaster relief organizations following disasters. Environmental and social responses to disaster relief and reconstruction will also encourage governments to seek alternative disposal methods for concrete debris and new rebuilding techniques. While a private company working for a government entity could potentially experience a profit by transporting all the equipment and materials to the site at the beginning of a disaster relief and reconstruction project, a non-profit organization could use the break-even point previously identified to develop a humanitarian relief effort without the profit motive; resulting in more potential reconstruction impacts for those affected by the disaster. In some situations, infrastructure loss may make it more economical to transport the materials and equipment (i.e. concrete crushing plant, portable concrete batch plant, earthmoving equipment, cement) via air. Once logistics, operations, management procedures, and all issues have been worked out, the organization could potentially restructure and transform into a successful for-profit, private company with a humanitarian agenda. MD

1-2 October 2009 Global Corporate Citizenship Conference U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center Washington, DC Contact: 6-7 October World Bank Annual Meeting Istanbul, Turkey Contact: 12-16 October Progress Against Poverty Week InterAction Offices Washington, DC Contact: 14 October International Day for Disaster Reduction Contact:

7-9 December InterAction CEO Retreat Washington, DC Contact: 7-18 December United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen, Denmark

9-29 January World Learning Policy Advocacy Seminar Washington, DC Contact: policyadvocacydc@



continued from page 26 IFPRI seeks a Communications Specialist for its Communications Division. Duties include obtaining coverage of IFPRI research in developed and developing countries, organize and participate in media outreach campaigns; managing press events; writing and editing press materials and other content; develop and maintain relationships with journalists ; monitoring news outlets; Requirements: Bachelors in Journalism, Communications, International Development, or related field; Minimum of three years experience in media relations, experience in project management, excellent communication skills. For a complete job description and to apply, go to and click on “Careers” and then click on “Other” to link you to Position # 09-152- Communications Specialist, COM.


InterAction's Job Networking Event
Wednesday, October 14, 9am-11am
By attending this recruitment event, you will: • Meet HR directors from InterAction member organizations. • Listen to a round table talk about what NGOs look for in prospective employees in the current job climate. • Talk with them directly about your skill set. • Receive a voucher for ONE-MONTH of FREE ACCESS to InterAction’s Online Job Board! • A light breakfast will be provided.

The role for civil society. No government in Africa is capable of achieving a good solution on its own. Civil society should force its way into the African development process and take a more proactive role by working closer and more efficiently with local communities and people at the grassroots level. It must shape projects that can be pressed on decision-makers as the price for political support. Ways should also be found to allow civil society to deal directly with international financing institutions where necessary. Civil society in Africa can help foster effective solutions. Drawing on its independence and community-oriented mindset, which contrasts with the mindset in government which is far too affected by corruption, self-centered decision-making including a desire to retain or expand one’s own power, and subservience to foreign interests that sometimes conflict with local needs. Civil society organizations can help identify promising opportunities for policies and programs that could really make a difference. It can publish and publicize information that is important in selecting and monitoring projects and that demonstrates the performance of implementing and regulatory institutions. It can also use its position to help communities upgrade their project management systems and arrange for a platform that will allow for ongoing communication and negotiation between communities and officials from the government and international financing sources. MD For more information or if you have comments please contact the author at

continued from page 14

a better place. Vivek then expressed similar sentiments on behalf of Sally. Now that a cogent message had been funneled through the media, both NGOs hoped that the kidnappers would soften their approach. Meanwhile, in Mogadishu, Alpha’s IMT met to discuss the looming arrival of Sally’s mother, Patricia. Abdi reckoned that she would get hung up in Nairobi, but he wasn’t taking any chances. He decided to designate Laila to depart for Nairobi the next morning to meet with Patricia. Though he was losing a valuable staff person from his IMT, he felt it important that someone with strong interpersonal skills be sent on this important mission. It also served the purpose of removing one more staff person from a very dangerous situation as Abdi suspected that NGO Alpha had been specifically targeted by the kidnappers. Laila’s instructions were to prevent Patricia from coming to Mogadishu and to enlist the help of the U.S. embassy if possible. At the conclusion of the IMT meeting, Abdi picked up the phone and dialed Tony’s Thuraya satellite phone number. After two rings one of the kidnappers picked up the phone. MD Next month: Resolution and post-incident management.


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