The Future Role of Multilateral Development Agencies

31st October 2016Department for International Development, 22 Whitehall, London SW1A 2EG

With agreement on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, debate has shifted as to how these will be delivered and the role of multilateral agencies in the process. DFID is currently conducting its own multilateral aid review, which will look at questions of effectiveness, cooperation between multilateral bodies and how and where HMG can best invest in the multilateral system to achieve the greatest impact on the SDGs.

As we look ahead, it will be valuable to draw on the experience and expertise of those who are still working, or have worked in the multilateral system in the past. The seminar would bring together alumni with DFID staff currently responsible for policy in this area.

Questions to be addressed: how have the original roles of multilaterals changed over time and in what evolving political context? What contribution have they made in delivering global development goals? What lessons can be drawn from experience for their future role in delivering the SDGs?

Keynote speech:  Sir Suma Chakrabarti (President, EBRD and former Permanent Secretary, DFID).

Other speaker:  Nick Dyer (Director General, Policy and Global Programmes, DFID))

Chair: Myles Wickstead.

This is the 10th of the special Alumni Seminar arranged by the British Chapter of the 1818 Society, and the 4th in partnership with DFID

Cultural Dissonance – War Criminals Vs Tree Huggers

9th June 2016Department for International Development –Whitehall, London, SW1A 2EG

Lieutenant General Robert Fry

Our two speakers joined the marines on the same day in 1973 and have over 50 years of distinguished service between them.

Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fry KCB CBE was involved in military operations in Northern Ireland, the Gulf, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was appointed Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments) in July 2003, advising successive Prime Ministers on the conduct of operations in response to the 9/11 attacks. In March 2006, Sir Robert was deployed as Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General of the Multinational Force in Iraq. He has worked in the defence sector as an advisor to international companies such as Hewlett Packard, but his main business interests lie in communications and finance.

A talented essayist and columnist who writes regularly for Prospect Magazine, Sir Robert is a visiting professor at King’s College, London and a visiting fellow at Oxford University.

Simon Haselock is a pioneer in media intervention in countries emerging from violent conflict. Following the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in late 1995 and throughout 1996 he was the NATO Spokesman in Sarajevo. He stayed on in Bosnia from 1997 until early 2000 as Deputy High Representative for Media Affairs in the Office of The High Representative responsible for the public presentation of policy and media reform.

As Temporary Media Commissioner in Kosovo in 2000, Simon began the process of building the professional, legal and ethical structures necessary for the independent media to flourish there. He then served as the Director of Public Information for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) from 2001 to spring 2003 when he went on to head the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Media Development and Regulatory Advisory Team in Iraq. He has directed projects in Kosovo, Darfur, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Somalia and is an Associate of the Program for Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCLMP) at Oxford University

Sir Robert discussed the role of the military in developmentand provided some insights into the realities of military diplomacy. He stressed the importance of both “soft” and “hard” power, noting that the UK makes effective use of diplomacy in conjunction with less traditional mechanisms such as non-governmental organisations, and usually partners with other countries when it comes to boots on the ground. He left us in no doubt that he supported the Remain campaign.

Simon Haselock gave an overview of the importance of communication in times of conflict, and warned us of the need to exercise “media intelligence” in interpreting news stories.

Their presentations stimulated a lively question and answer session and the seminar was declared to have been “excellent” “very articulate” and “thought-provoking“mixed with humour”, and the speakers ”highly intelligent and knowledgeable”.

This was the ninth of the special Alumni Seminars arranged by the British Chapter of the Association of World Bank Group Alumni (the 1818 Society), and the third in partnership with DFID.

‘Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction’ – 15 December 2015

A talk by Myles Wickstead (Head of Secretariat, Commission for Africa) about some of the issues raised in his recent book ‘Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction’   –


Are long-term or short-term inputs to agricultural development in East Africa the best solution?

Click Here to obtain a flyer of the book.
Click Here to read The Guardian Review

and Presentation by Alan Harding entitled “Good Aid/Bad Aid: Reforming aid to get more of the former and less of the latter”.

Click Here to obtain a copy of the presentation slides.

Click Here to obtain a copy of the report.

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Forces Breaking All the Trends 

Tera Allas

26 November 2015Hosted in Oxford by Oxford Policy Management

A presentation by Tera Allas, a Visiting Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute. Tera was formerly the Director General for Strategy, Analysis and Better Regulation at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Deputy Head of the Government Economic Service. Tera holds a number of advisory and non-executive roles focused on strategy, economics and innovation.

Tera’s talk was based on a recent publication by McKinsey Global Institute ‘No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Forces Breaking All the Trends’ which analyses various powerful forces that are colliding and are together transforming the global economy. Based on years of research, the book examines:

* the rise of emerging markets
* the growing impact of technology on the natural forces of market competition
* an aging world population and
* accelerating flows of trade, capital, people, and data

The central proposition is supported by in-depth analysis and informed by some memorable insights about the disruptive forces at work. For evidence of the shift to emerging markets, consider the startling fact that, by 2025, a single regional city in China—Tianjin—will have a GDP equal to that of Sweden, or that, in the decades ahead, half of the world’s economic growth will come from just 440 cities. What this illustrates is that, given the unprecedented nature of the disruption, leaders at all levels need to reset their – often linear – assumptions and intuition about the world around them.

Click Here
 to download (19MB) a powerpoint presentation of No Ordinary Disruption

Agricultural Seminar  – 15 September 2015

Are long-term or short-term inputs to agricultural development in East Africa the best solution?

15 September 2015at DFID Headquarters, Whitehall, London.

Exploration of the different approaches to agricultural development in East Africa by drawing on Hilary Sunman’s book ‘A Very Different Land: Memories of Empire from the Farmlands of Kenya’. Click Here to download the background papers. 

Speakers: Hilary Sunman introduced the main themes of her book and Professor Peter Hennessy reflected on the relevance of the colonial period to current aid policy and development. The presentation included information on current thinking on approaches to rural livelihoods and agricultural development.

The event was Chaired by Andrew Bennett, a former Chief Natural Resources Adviser at DfID.

Institutional Strategies for Sustainable Development – 18 June 2015

1818 Society British Chapter & DfID

Department for International Development, Whitehall, London

Linda Likar
Robert Clement-Jones

Linda Likar and Robert Clement-Jones have over 50 years of experience in international development between them. Ms Likar was Lead Economist for the 2003 World Development Report, “Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World”, which lead to the development of a training program which was quite different from previous work on the subject of sustainable development.  The Clement-Joneses discussed the elements essential for successful institutions and examined the role of inequality as a barrier to development.

The presentation also explained how the training addressed the question of overcoming obstacles and impediments to achieving development goals. The government of China embraced the program at a very senior level and it was used to train staff at the National Development and Reform Committee in China; leaders in the different provinces; and the faculty of public administration of the prestigious Tsinghua university, as well as several other countries.

Seminar on Anti-Corruption – 24 March 2015

Department for International Development, Whitehall, London

The seminar explored a realistic assessment of what DFID can do about corruption and the political need to show both “zero tolerance of corruption” and to “stamp out corruption affecting the poor”. It drew out lessons of past and present DFID efforts to tackle corruption and explored scope for new approaches.

Security Sector Support in Sierra Leone: The Key Success Factors and Wider Implications

16 October 2014 – Department for International Development, Whitehall, London

Speakers: General the Lord Richards (Chief of Defence Staff, 2000-2013), Keith Biddle (retired) (Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police 1999-2003), Brigadier (retired) Sir Patrick Davidson Houston (Military Adviser to the Government of Sierra Leone 2002-2003, Dr. Brian Jones (Head of ISAT in Sierra Leone, on secondment from the MOD); and Freddy Carver (a Senior Conflict Adviser in DFID and Head of the Security and Justice Group in the MOD/FCO/DFID Stabilisation Unit.

Seminar objectives: to identify the key factors in British Support; to draw out lessons from Sierra Leone experience for their application more widely in programmes of Security Sector support and reform; and to underline the importance of Security Sector Reform as the vital underpinning of all aspects of development.

Reflections on Today’s Development Challenges – 24 March 2014

Department for International Development, Whitehall, LondonClare Short, Secretary of State for International Development from 1997 to 2003. A prominent member of the Labour Party, she resigned over the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 1988, and again over the Gulf War in 1990, serving the last four years of her time in Parliament as an Independent. Since 2010, after 27 years as a Member of Parliament, Ms Short has been active in various organisations working on slum upgrading in the developing world; transparency in oil, gas and mining; African-led humanitarian action; destitute asylum-seekers in Birmingham; Trade Justice for the developing world; and for a just settlement of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict.  In March 2011, she was elected Chairwoman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and has been a member of the Advocacy Panel of Cities Alliance, an alliance of the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, local government and development partners committed to meeting the UN target to develop cities without slums since 2006 .

Fighting Poverty and Corruption – 3 December 2013

Nicholas Colloff

Oxford Policy Management, Oxford
A presentation by serial entrepreneur Nicholas Colloff, a member of the senior management team at Oxfam GB and a Trustee of Transparency International. Previously, Nicholas was Oxfam GB’s Country Director in Russia, where the programme focused domestically on urban livelihood and access to basic services, and internationally, on Russia’s resumed global role as donor and climate change actor. He has also been involved in launching a new SME impact investment fund; a partnership between Oxfam and Swiss-based company Symbiotics, aiming to tackle poverty by providing SME finance in the global South and addressing the dichotomy between big winners and small losers.