The famine in east Africa, floods in Pakistan, the war in Ukraine, more cuts to Official Development Assistance (ODA), shrinking civic space and multiple periods of political instability made 2022 a very difficult period to navigate.
But, as the year ends, we can see the sector has made critical strides on a number of fronts, including decolonisation, anti-racism and the locally led agenda, and now with Andrew Mitchell as the new secretary of state for development in post, there are some promising signs.
At Bond and across the sector, we had a very busy year. Thanks to you, our working groups and many of our allies across the sector and beyond we achieved lots of things this year that we’re proud of.
Here are a few of them.
Building an anti-racist and locally led sector
Having heard many members ask for support thinking through how to become more locally led, Bond worked with The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) and our locally led working groups to publish Becoming locally led as an anti-racist practice: a guide, which we created to help teams within organisations work with their colleagues to discuss what locally led supportive practices mean in practice, from policy making to communications and fundraising. Many of our members are already putting it into practice.
We held The Power in Development Conference: Building an Equitable System. The conference saw keynote speeches from Françoise Moudouthe, CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund and Roberta Clarke, Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and pulled in speakers from all around the world to showcase the practical steps INGOs, donors and government should take to move towards a devolved and decolonised development system. 386 people from countries all over the world attended.
We have now engaged close to 100 CEOs and continued our programme for Boards aimed at creating a more actively anti-racist sector. Our work onx racism and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) aims to help build the confidence of senior leaders to engage with, take action on and understand the issues around racism and EDI.
In collaboration with Recrear, we launched a tool for donors, How to be a Locally Led Funder: Stories from Your Partners. It provided concrete ideas to help design funding models that are accessible and appropriate for community-led development.
This year we launched our Reimagining Development Narratives training course to help colleagues come together and learn how to contribute towards positive narrative change in international development and humanitarian organisations.
We also launched our Responsible Fundraising series with INGOs and their partners to discuss and learn how organisations can fundraise more responsibly, and in a way that supports locally led development and community-based organisations.
Protecting INGO’s right to campaign and civic space
There have been multiple threats to civic space here in the UK: the Police Bill, the National Security Bill, and the Foreign Influence Registration Scheme. As part of the Police Bill Alliance, Bond ensured the worst parts of the Police Bill were removed. Unfortunately, the legislation still threatens our right to campaign, and we continue to advocate against these draconian measures.
We also continue to host webinars with members so they understand how different legislation will impact their campaigning and advocacy efforts, as well as push back against proposed legislation that threatens civic space and the right to campaign.
We influenced the International Development Strategy (IDS) and called out ODA cuts
Bond influenced both the approach and substance of the IDS, first producing a sector-wide paper, Setting a New Course, and lobbied the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to allow formal inputs from our members.
Following the publication of the report, we offered a full and detailed analysis of the strategy and advised on what needed to happen next.
Through Bond’s blogs, meetings convened on behalf of the sector with FCDO ministers and officials, events at party conferences, parliamentary briefings and media coverage Bond continues to call out cuts to ODA. More recently, the FCDO and the Treasury have committed to reviewing how the Home Office is spending ODA to cover refugee and asylum costs in the UK.
We also launched The UK’s global contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. The report was written with input from over 50 of our members and 9 networks, builds on Bond’s 2019 SDG report, and looks at the impact Covid-19, cuts to ODA and other emerging threats are having on the UK’s ability to deliver the SDGs and leave no one behind.
Exploring the future of development and humanitarian assistance through Future Dialogues
Futures Dialogues was launched at the back end of last year, bringing together thinkers and influential voices to share the ideas they think will reshape both the sector and the nature of “humanitarian assistance and development.”
We brought INGOs and the FCDO together in response to humanitarian issues
Supporting our Humanitarian Work Group and the wider sector, Bond continued to bring INGOs and FCDO officials together to share information, evidence, and coordinate humanitarian response to Afghanistan and the Russian invasion in Ukraine to ensure support quickly reached communities. Bond also led a joint public letter to the Prime Minister ahead of the G7 on the worsening global food crisis.
We also continued to work with the government on issues of sanctions and humanitarian access, to try to ensure UK government policies do not impact INGOs trying to deliver humanitarian assistance in conflict areas.
We supported INGOs efforts to create a safeguarding culture
Following the launch of our safeguarding tool, one of Bond’s most popular resources, we’ve continued to support the sector to create positive safeguarding cultures.
In our safeguarding survey, 97% of respondents reported that their engagement with Bond had improved their knowledge and understanding of safeguarding. 87% reported that they had successfully applied their knowledge within their organisation. 92% reported that they had seen progress towards better safeguarding practices in their organisation over the last year.
We were a strong voice for the sector and our website and working group pages got a facelift
We published 118 blogs and 22 resources. Our most successful blogs, written by colleagues from around the world, have reached thousands of people, and our weekly newsletter now reaches over 16,000 of you.
In support of our advocacy efforts on behalf of the sector, we landed 350 pieces of coverage in across national, broadcast and sector press on a range of issues, including ODA cuts, safeguarding, the SDGs, civic space, locally led development, anti-racism, ODA transparency and the International Development Strategy.
Our website and community pages also got a facelift, moving to a new platform, updating the functionality, and refreshing our look.
We brought the sector together, increased learning, helped NGOs find the right candidates and revised the Bond Charter
Working with INGOs and corporate partners, we delivered 19 events and webinars with over 1700 attendees from around the world on topics including looking at funding strategies and the cost of living crisis to help NGOs through a turbulent time to thinking through disability inclusion when planning climate action. Bond ran 56 courses, helping 695 participants improve their skills on a range of issues, including new course Reimagining Development Narratives and a new bespoke course Understanding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for trustees and senior leadership teams.
Hundreds of jobs were posted on our revamped jobs site, helping INGOs find the right candidates to join their causes.
Finally, at the Bond Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2020, it was agreed that the Bond Charter should be updated and revised, to better reflect the transformation we have seen in the sector over the last 10 years and establish core values for Bond members. Working with a steering group made up of board members and the wider membership to create a refreshed Bond Charter which has now been adopted.
CategoryNews & Views
ThemesAid, Communications, Decolonisation, Effectiveness, Emergencies, Funding, Governance and democracy, Leadership, Lobbying Act, Politics, Safeguarding, SDGs, Transparency, UK aid