The future of international development cooperation isn’t just hashed out in dusty field offices and ramshackle schools and hospitals, but also at a variety of events, celebrations and other gatherings. Here are some of this week’s most noteworthy:
It’s the largest-ever event on sustainability in the Middle East and perhaps the biggest gathering on sustainable development since Rio+20, hosting 30,000 experts and decision-makers from 150 countries. The goal: to stimulate investment and promote innovation in the global water, energy and environmental sectors. It includes the following subevents:
International Renewable Energy Agency General Assembly Jan. 13-14
Launched 2009, IRENA seeks to promote broad adoption and sustainable use of renewables such as hydropower and geothermal, ocean, solar and wind and bioenergy. It currently has 160 members, with China as the latest to sign up to the organization’s target of doubling the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030. This year’s session tackles financing of renewables and launches the first global atlas for renewable energy potential.
World Future Energy Summit and International Water Summit Jan. 15-17
Queen Rania of Jordan and French President Francois Hollande will both speak during the opening of the twin events, which aim to elevate the water-energy nexus on the global development agenda. While the World Future Energy Summit looks to shape the future of energy, the inaugural International Water Summit will hone in on finding solutions to water issues in arid regions.
1st Energy Meeting of the Arab League and the South American Energy Ministers Jan. 16
The meeting will focus on opportunities for investment and cooperation in the two region’s hydrocarbon and renewables markets.
The conference is expected to yield African stakeholders’ recommendations to the 57th CSW, which will focus on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Delegates will strategize on how to accelerate national, regional and global action on the issue.
With the No Impact Week, the Asian Development Bank hopes to make its operations and staffers more carbon-neutral through their choices of transport and food and their use of energy and water. According to the bank, nearly 1,400 of its personnel have pledged to join the one-week carbon cleanse. Each day of the week has a theme; Jan. 16, for instance, is “eat local, eat less meat.”
Globally, maternal mortality remains high (nearly 300,000 deaths each year), most of which could be prevented with timely access to quality care. And so in 2013 — two years before the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals — GMHC’s theme underscores the need to improve the quality of care to reduce maternal mortality. Co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, United Nations Population Fund and UNICEF, the technical conference will feature presentations by researchers, practitioners and policymakers on approaches, perceptions and the acceptance on the use of mobiles phones for improved maternal health, among other topics.
Experts and ministers of health from more than 50 African countries are convening at African Union headquarters to accelerate progress in maternal, newborn and child health in the region by sharing best practices for ramping up high-impact and behavioral change interventions. The meeting is designed to galvanize momentum and resources for country-led child survival action plans.
Co-organized by the World Bank and EMBARQ, the conference brings together senior decision-makers and transport experts from around the globe to discuss the future of sustainable transport. On Jan. 18, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will take part in a live-streamed plenary session titled ”Shaping the Future of Urban Transportation.”
Know of an upcoming event that might be of interest to the international development community? Leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.
Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.