World Bank

Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear colleagues,

The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring ReportHuman Rights Watch, the World Bank’s Inclusive Education InitiativeInclusion International and its Catalyst for Inclusive Education programme are co-hosting a side event in the framework of the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The event titled “Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education during the COVID-19 Pandemic” is also co-sponsored by the Italian Government, the Mission of Panamá to the United Nations, the International Disability Alliance, Instituto Jô Clemente and the Brazilian Coalition of Inclusive Education.

We invite you to join us in this side event that will be held on Tuesday 15 June at 8:30am – 9:45am EDT (New York time).

Registration linkhttps://hrworg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q0kjeYF4SW2AemQBhl7VjA

Speakers:

  • Opening Remarks: Antonio Caponetto, Director of the Office for Policies in favor of persons with disabilities of the Italian Government (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
  • Moderator: Sue Swenson, President, Inclusion International

Panelists:

  • Gabriela Martinez, Inclusion International Regional Representative (Latin America)
  • Stella Reicher, Inclusion International / Instituto Jô Clemente (Brazil) Self-advocate, Inclusion International (Africa)
  • Karolina Kozik, Human Rights Watch (Italy – inclusive education in practice during COVID-19 example)
  • Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, World Bank IEI Survey “Learners with Disabilities and COVID-19 School Closures”

Closing Remarks: Manos Antoninis, UNESCO GEM Report

For more information, please find our Guide to the Conference of State Parties 2021 at this link: https://inclusion-international.org/cosp-2021/

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit childrightsny.org.

Universal Access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Draws Closer to Epic Goal Despite Global Pandemic

50 Years and Billions Spent: New Reporting Shows Universal Access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Draws Closer to Epic Goal Despite Global Pandemic

Join a special session with Ambassador Mark Green featuring groundbreaking reporting on one of the most stubborn challenges in human history—universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Register here: https://engage.wilsoncenter.org/a/50-years-and-billions-spent?_ga=2.257362504.2142016265.1620277195-242578209.1620277195

Over the last half century a global galaxy of projects, programs, banks, philanthropies, government departments, idea centers, utilities, service companies, research groups, and consultancies devoted itself to one objective—providing every person on Earth clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. In 2020, many of the sector’s leaders worried that the COVID-19 pandemic would sidetrack investment and slow progress. But while the signs of a potential catastrophe were apparent, the actual effects of the pandemic in delivering water and sanitation to people who needed it were not nearly as dire as anticipated.

Decades of frontline experience provided the WASH sector keen understanding of the various components of their ecosystem—finance, governance, installation, management, operations, oversight—and how each influenced the other. In essence, the WASH community developed a set of approaches that simplified the complexity of what they were after. Achieving universal access to clean water and hygiene is reachable by 2030. Universal access to sanitation could come by mid-century.

Program

Opening Remarks:

  • Ambassador Mark Green – President, Director, & CEO, Wilson Center

Framing Remarks:

  • Maura Barry – Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and interim Global Water Coordinator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Reporting Presentation:

  • Keith Schneider – Senior Editor and Chief Correspondent, Circle of Blue

Panelists:

  • Sheila Kibuthu – Communications Director, Sanergy
  • Joel Kolker – Program Manager, Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership, World Bank
  • Duncan McNicholl – Director and Co-founder, Uptime
  • Tanvi Nagpal – Director, International Development Program, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Keith Schneider – Senior Editor and Chief Correspondent, Circle of Blue

Closing Remarks:

  • Peter Laugharn – President and Chief Executive Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit 

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

VAWG and COVID-19: Policies and Practices needed to build back better

VAWG and COVID-19: Policies & Practices needed to build back better

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This webinar’s panel of experts includes Dubravka Šimonovic (UN Special Rapporteur on VAW), Diana Arango (Senior Gender-Based Violence Specialist, World Bank), Hilary Gbedemah (Member and Immediate Past Chair of UN CEDAW Committee), Hyeshin Park (Economist, Gender Programme Coordinator, OECD), Grizelda Grootbroom (Director of Survivor Exit Foundation and a survivor-turned-activist helping survivors of the sex trade) and Mohinder Watson (Founder Action on Child, Early and Forced Marriage and a survivor-advocate working against forced marriage and honour based violence). The panel will be moderated by Linda Liu (Vice-President, ICW-CIF).

The panel will present current policies, measures, and best practices to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls as we build back better, as well as provide personal insights from two survivor advocates – one related to the sex trade and the other on forced marriage and honour based violence.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org.  For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org.