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Albania has recovered well from the impacts of war in neighbouring Kosovo, and has shown steady economic growth since the late 1990s. The country is taking active steps towards accession to the European Union, but is held back by lack of political reform and concerns over corruption.
One initiative seeking to contribute to improving Albania’s external image and the transparency of the business sector is the United Nations Global Compact. The Global Compact is designed to help advance sustainable business models and markets through the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability practices. Operational since 2005, the Global Compact Local Network Albania has 16 members from business, civil society, academia and government.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Albania works closely with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy (METE) to host the secretariat of the UN Global Compact, and Integrity was recently contracted to support the management of the network and increase companies’ active participation. Integrity developed a set of national-level indicators to track annual progress against corporate responsibility objectives. The indicators were discussed at a multi-stakeholder forum on CSR in April 2012, and will be finalised through stakeholder consultation over the summer.
Posted by Kate Ives, Head of Stakeholder Engagement and lead on Corporate Social Responsibility
Integrity is proud to sponsor, for the second year running, the Dominic Simpson Memorial Trust fund-raising dinner. The trust was set up in March 2005, in memory of Dominic Simpson, ‘to advance education and facilitate educational opportunity for individuals and communities in the Middle East’. In the first six years of operation the trust has raised over £300,000 to support educational projects targeting young girls and women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The trust aims to:
- Target areas of need where relatively small interventions can make a difference
- Work with partner organisations with an established presence ‘on the ground’ in the region
- Undertake work that otherwise may not be funded
- Concentrate on activities that have direct practical benefits to individuals and communities
- Establish on-going links with the organisations and communities we work with eg between schools in the Middle East and the UK.
The focus of this summer’s fund-raising and publicity was a dinner in the delightful surroundings of the Great Hall at Lincoln’s Inn, a spectacular oasis amongst the surrounding City streets. A high spot of the evening was a very heartening speech by broadcaster and former hostage, John McCarthy. His speech combined realism with hope, and offered a strong endorsement of DSMT’s support for education for young people in the region.
From ticket sales, auction, raffle and donations the dinner raised more than £31,000, all of which will go towards providing access to high quality education for disadvantaged young people from kindergarten to university level through our well-established partner organisations in the region:
- Early Childhood Resource Centre, East Jerusalem
- Dar El Tifl School and Orphanage, East Jerusalem (school and higher education scholarships)
- Bardala School for Girls, Jordan Valley (via ANERA)
- East Jerusalem YMCA Vocational Training Centre Jericho (via Ycare International)
The IMPROVE programme, funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, was set up to enable the sustainable reintegration of returnees into host environments in areas around Morobo, Juba and Torit Counties and aimed to provide increased
food security, income earning opportunities and improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Food security projects included training participants in proper agronomical practices and providing seeds and tools.
Income earning projects included the establishment of Asset Building Groups trained in business skills and an initial investment in asset based goods. Vocational Training of young men and women was provided in electrical and plumbing engineering in Torit County.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects included training in sanitation practices, water treatment techniques and the provision of hygiene kits.
The evaluation found the agriculture projects and Asset Building Groups had produced real improvements in food security and income earning potential. Interventions were most sustainable where training was combined with an opportunity to put new skills to use, rather than stand-alone training. Training in WASH was found to be effective and participants noted improved health, particularly among young children.
The majority of participants, over half of which were women, found group work - as opposed to individual work - gave greater opportunity to balance domestic responsibilities with work, led to more sustained outcomes and helped produce an increased sense of unity among members.
CHF International continue to support Production Plot groups and Asset Building Groups in their new programme IMPROVE +.
Agnes and Mary who founded Pipita Tijara (Growing Trade), a Bakery in Bungu
CHF team members with an Asset Building Group in Khor Wulliang, Juba
Andrew Cleary and Martine Zeuthen, Director and Head of PDE, respectively, are in east Africa for the first half of July on a research project to better understand international security interventions in the horn of Africa. Integrity is working with the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation (CGCC), the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA) and the Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP) to undertake qualitative research with leading international NGOs and UN agencies in Kenya (Nairobi and Mombasa) and Somaliland (Hargeisa).
Presently, Martine and Andrew are in Hargeisa, where they have just completed a series of focus groups with men and women from across Somaliland. The focus groups aimed to better understand locals' perceptions of international organisations, as well as what 'safety and security' means in a context where instability has been an integral part of the every day life for generations. The research Integrity is conducting in the horn of Africa under this programme will be used to inform a larger study and report conducted by CGCC on how international organisations can better engage in east Africa to prevent the emergence of violent extremism.
Research Analyst, Will Carter, has been seconded to War Child UK for four months to serve in their Programmes Team as interim Security & Logistics Officer. War Child is a prominent INGO working on child protection projects for conflict-affected children and youth. War Child currently has programmes in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Uganda.
The secondment sees Will primarily supporting multi-country security management in a period where War Child has prioritised mainstreaming NGO security best practice and procedures.
In his first month, in addition to routine security requirements, such as delivering pre-deployment briefings and conducting risk assessments, Will has conducted an internal security audit, drafted a safety and security training strategy, designed a deployments management system and undergone a professional certificate course in NGO security management.
In the coming months it is anticipated that he will be significantly updating security plans for War Child's country programmes, to reflect exciting new and future projects. He will also be consolidating and standardising a multi-country asset registry and initiating an annual audit cycle, as well as producing donor compliance guidance for procurement. War Child are evaluating the merits of Will being deployed to a country programme during the secondment in order to directly support their security planning, procedures and training.