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Norway reduces contributions to anti-deforestation initiatives in Brazil

Norway has sharply reduced its contribution towards rainforest protection in the Brazilian Amazon as a result of increased deforestation in the country in 2016. Norway's average contribution to Brazil to fight deforestation was US$115 million between 2009 to 2016; this year, it will give only US$43.5 million.

However, according to the Norwegian government, Brazil's provisional deforestation rates from October 2017 appear to be lower than in 2016. If these numbers are confirmed, Norway's contribution will be increased for next year. 

Website - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

November 23, 2017: Partos holds event on improving efficiency in development projects

The Partos Efficiency Lab, an initiative of Partos, the Dutch development NGO umbrella organization, organizes an event on assessing and improving efficiency in development organizations’ projects. The event examines the trajectory of projects from start to finish, and discusses various methods that can help to improve efficiency. A wide range of cases, from Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) to higher education, is examined.

Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

Website - Partos

Canada increases support for domestic and international women’s rights organizations

Canada will increase funding and resources towards women’s rights organizations and movements, elevating its support for gender equality at home and abroad.

The Canadian government will work with the Equality Fund to bring the granting, philanthropic and investment worlds together to form a single innovative platform in order to mobilize unprecedented resources for women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries. The Equality Fund will shift how investment decisions are made for gender equality outcomes by providing resources directly to women’s rights organizations and by making investments that support gender equality.

So far the Equality Fund has raised CAD$100 million (US$77 million) to supplement the CAD$300 million (US$231 million) already pledged toward the cause by the Canadian government.

Press release- Global Affairs Canada

November 8, 2018: Seminar on the role of research in SDGs held in Oslo

Norwegian Association for Development Research (NFU) and the VID Specialized University host a seminar titled: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Critical Role of Development Research’. The seminar combines panels and workshops, and the Norwegian Minister of Development, Nikolai Astrup, is confirmed as a speaker. The seminar highlights topics such as food, inequality, and religion, in reference to the SGDs and the need for research. 

Location: Oslo, Norway 

Event website - VID 

May 28, 2018: German NGO umbrella organization hosts civil society exchange on implementation of Agenda 2030

German NGO umbrella organization VENRO and the Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung (Forum for Environment and Development) host a joint event that aims to serve as an exchange platform for civil society organizations (CSOs) working toward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030). The CSO exchange takes place under the headline 'New government – Old politics: when will the implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Germany move forward?' The event also aims to offer room for discussing opportunities for joint publicity and campaign activities.

Location: Berlin, Germany

Event website - Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung (in German)

Swedish government issues correction to media: development assistance for COVID-19 will come from current budget, not additional funds

Despite what has been reported in Swedish media, the Swedish government has not provided any additional funding to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in low-income countries. The funds invested to this point are derived from previous allocations to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

It was reported that the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson, had committed an additional SEK 140 million (US$15 million) of official development assistance (ODA) to combat COVID-19, which turned out to be incorrect.

The information was not corrected until more than a month later, until Yasmine Posio, the Left Party's development policy spokesperson, approached Minister Eriksson's staff, who in turn contacted Sveriges Radio and a correction to the online article was made.

News article – Omvärlden (in Swedish)

Impact evaluation highlights sustainability of MCC/Plan USA education project

To commemorate the International Day of the Girl, the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) hosted an event to highlight a recent 10-year impact evaluation of Plan International USA’s 'Burkinabe Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed' (BRIGHT), a girls’ education program in Burkina Faso. The independent evaluation showed that the government and local communities have successfully sustained the results of the program years after its conclusion, with notable improvements in school attendance and performance. 

Publication - Plan International USA

UK proposes ‘Brexit’ approach for R&D cooperation

The UK has outlined its preferences for a research agreement with the EU post-Brexit  in ‘Collaboration on science and innovation: A Future Partnership Paper’. The paper lays out the UK’s case for continuing a strong research partnership with EU Member States. It seems to suggest that the UK and EU should negotiate detailed terms for an enhanced ‘associate country status’  in the context of the next EU Research Framework Program (FP9). The UK benefits significantly from EU research funding: from 2007-2013, the UK contributed about €5.4 billion to EU research and development in 2007-2013, while it received €8.8 billion.

Publication - Government of the UK