Photo: Seth Doyle, Unsplash

7 things we want to see in 2018

4 January 2018

From fighting poverty and providing humanitarian relief to promoting civil society space and better forms of financing, 2018 promises to be a busy year for the sector. 

Here is what Bond and our partners would like to see happen this year, based on seven key areas of our work.

Brexit negotiations

"My hope for 2018 is for the UK government to continue to put its commitment to poverty eradication and to “Leave No One Behind” before any political, trade or ideological considerations as it embarks on the arduous task of agreeing a future relationship with the European Union. The UK should lead the way in international development and humanitarian policy, and leaving the EU should in no way impede this.”

- Costanza de Toma, consultant and co-author of Bond’s report on the impact of Brexit on NGO funding

Civil society

“The UK is committed to protecting and promoting civil society in countries where basic rights and freedoms are under threat. In 2018, domestic policy must begin to back up this crucial task. This means revising the Lobbying Act, removing anti-advocacy clauses for grant agreements, and championing the right of charities to speak out here in the UK.” 

- Rowan Popplewell, advocacy adviser – operating environment, Bond


“My hope for 2018 is that CSOs, business and the public sector mainstream cross-sectoral collaboration into their organisations. Partnerships are not resource mobilisation. They are about understanding alignment of interests and collectively maximising impact from the limited human, financial and natural resources all sectors have available. Partnering should not be seen as an add-on owned by some dedicated partnering unit, but integrated into our core ways of working to deliver more innovatively, sustainably and transformationally.”

- Darian Stibbe, executive director, The Partnering Initiative

Cost transparency

“This year I’d like to see funders like DFID paying the true cost of delivering programmes. Funders need to redesign their processes in order to increase access to funding for small and national NGOs, which also requires a more grown-up conversation about risk and risk-sharing in humanitarian work.”

- Tim Boyes-Watson, global director, alliances and advocacy, Humentum

The future of livelihoods

“Trends such as automation, artificial intelligence and the biotech revolution are reshaping the world of work everywhere. These trends pose risks to jobs and livelihoods in developing countries, but offer potential new opportunities too. In 2018, I would like to see NGOs, governments, business and academics working together to develop a proactive and systemic response. Our goal should be to harness these trends to create new sustainable livelihoods around the world.”

- James Goodman, director of futures, Forum for the Future

Sustainable Development Goals

“In 2018 we want the UK government to act on its commitments to deliver the SDGs, developing an overarching plan and integrating it into departmental plans with concrete commitments to “Leave No One Behind” at home and abroad. We are all responsible for delivering the SDGs and I want to see the international development sector understanding the opportunities that sustainable development presents and embedding SDGs in organisational plans, policies and programmes. The UK government has finally committed to a Voluntary National Review (VNR) in 2019, so 2018 is the opportunity to create a VNR process that is collaborative, comprehensive and engages stakeholders across the UK.”

- Ruth Fuller, co-chair of the Bond SDGs group and international development policy adviser, WWF UK

UK aid

“My hope for 2018 is that the government redoubles its efforts to put people living in poverty and facing humanitarian crises at the heart of everything being done with UK aid.”

- Gideon Rabinowitz, policy manager, Oxfam GB

Find out more about what we can do to achieve these goals and hear important speakers, including secretary of state for international development Penny Mordaunt, at the Bond Conference, 26-27 February.