Turkey's tough refugee bargain and the promise of SDG data overload: This week in development news

By Kelli Rogers 17 March 2016

A wide view of the briefing on the global SDG indicator framework. The framework is now on its way to the U.N. General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council for adoption. Photo by: Rick Bajornas / United Nations

The culmination of tense refugee talks in Europe, the suspension of the United Nations Development Program’s goodwill toward a tennis star and an introduction to the best teacher in the world. This week in development news.  

Still summiting. Some say the next two days will be a refugee crisis game changer. Others say “another week, another EU summit.” Either way, tough talks await Turkey at a European Union summit on March 17-18. It’s meant to clinch the controversial “one in, one out” Turkey-EU draft deal to stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for concessions to Turkey. German Chancellor Angela Merkel — under intense pressure at home after more than a million asylum-seekers entered Germany last year — said Wednesday the planned deal would be vital to easing Europe's migrant crisis, but stressed there won’t be any waffling on democratic principles to win over Ankara.

This week Devex digs into how best to assist people upon their arrival in a new country with #AcrossBorders, our effort to reshape the global conversation around migrants and refugees.

It’s game, set, match for Maria Sharapova’s UNDP gig. The 28-year-old tennis star tested positive for the drug meldonium in January and has been suspended from “any planned activities while the investigation continues,” according to a statement from the UNDP, for which Sharapova has acted as a goodwill ambassador since 2007. Sportswear company Nike, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer and German carmaker Porsche also halted their relationships with Sharapova.

Classroom envy. Hanan al-Hroub is the best teacher in the world. The Palestinian primary school teacher, who works with children who have grown up exposed to violence, was awarded the Varkey Foundation’s second annual Global Teacher Prize worth $1 million during the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai last weekend. Hroub, from Bethlehem in the West Bank, grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp and accepted the award “as a win for all teachers in general and Palestinian teachers in particular.”

Cue the SDG data deluge. On the last day of its 47th session, the United Nations Statistical Commission approved a draft global indicator framework to measure Sustainable Development Goal success. The set of 230 proposed global SDG indicators will require the analysis of an unprecedented amount of data — and will pose a significant challenge for national statistical systems in both developing and developed countries. The framework is now on its way to the U.N. General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council for adoption.

A gender equality bill dies just as the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women kicks into high gear. Nigeria’s proposed Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill — which activists said would promote women’s equality in marriage, inheritance and education — was thrown out Tuesday after some lawmakers argued the constitution already recognizes the rights of all citizens. Meanwhile, discussions by government representatives present at CSW 2016 are to focus on creating a conducive environment for gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 agenda.

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About the author

Kelli Rogers@kellierin

In her role as associate editor, Kelli Rogers helps to shape Devex content around leadership, professional growth and careers for professionals in international development, humanitarian aid and global health. As the manager of Doing Good, one of Devex's highest-circulation publications, she is constantly on the lookout for the latest staffing changes, hiring trends and tricks for recruiting skilled local and international staff for aid projects that make a difference. Kelli has studied or worked in Spain, Costa Rica and Kenya.

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