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Weekly wire: The global forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Refining advocacy assessment: reflections from practice
Efforts to assess advocacy – and thinking about how best to do so – are relatively recent compared to other fields. However, in the past decade a number of advocacy evaluation frameworks have emerged. This working paper looks at how these existing frameworks classify people and activities, and define and assess outcomes. It identifies problem areas, discusses implications for practice, and offers suggestions on how they can be addressed. The paper is derived from work over the past five years, revisiting recommendations from existing guidance, many of which the authors have followed and suggested to others. The working paper aims to contribute to further adaption and refinement of conceptual thinking and practical tools to assess advocacy.

Humanitarian Connectivity Charter Annual Report 2016
The 2016 Annual Report tells the story of the growthof the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter from its launch in 2015, to the end of 2016, charting how its footprint has expanded to more than 75 countries, becoming a globally recognised industry-wide initiative. This report also details signatory and partner achievements in upholding the HCC principles.

Aid effectiveness in fragile states: How bad is it and how can it improve?
Brookings Institution
Fragile states around the world are at risk of being left behind, making them a high priority for increased foreign assistance. But is the donor community capable of delivering that aid effectively? To explore this question, we develop a set of aid effectiveness indicators that are relevant to aid-giving in fragile states and that allow a fair comparison of aid practices in fragile and stable countries. We then make that comparison using different definitions of fragility. Under certain definitions, we show that aid practices in fragile states are inferior to those in stable countries. We then turn the spotlight onto individual donors, revealing substantial variety in their performance in fragile settings. The patterns we find among donors point to workable, though difficult, ways to raise the standard for aid in the countries that need effective aid the most. Chief among these is a call for the worst performing bilateral donors to withdraw themselves from fragile states and support a larger role for multilateral agencies in their place.

Can Women Achieve Economic Equality in the Changing World of Work by 2030?
Yayi Bayam Diouf became the first woman to fish in her small rural fishing village in Senegal despite initially being told by the men in her community that the fish wouldn't take bait from a menstruating woman. When she started practicing law, Ann Green, CEO of ANZ Lao, was asked to make coffee or pick up dry cleaning (by men and women), simply because she was a young woman. The difficulties faced by Yayi and Ann in entering the labour force and at the workplace are not only unique to them, but sadly is the reality for many women across the globe. These difficulties represent violations of women's human rights to work and their rights at work with gender-discriminatory laws still in existence in 155 countries, resulting in the gender wage gap of 23 percent globally. Also, women represent 75 percent of informal employment, in low-paid and undervalued jobs that are usually unprotected by labour laws, and lack social protection.

Syrian children in state of 'toxic stress', Save the Children says
Millions of Syrian children could be living in a state of "toxic stress" due to prolonged exposure to the horrors of war, aid group Save the Children says. The damage to an entire generation of children could soon become irreversible without immediate help, it adds. The stress of war has led to increased bedwetting, self-harm, suicide attempts and aggressive behaviour among many children, according to a new report. The findings are based on hundreds of interviews in Syria. Save the Children says its study is the largest of its kind into the mental health and well-being of Syria's children amid the war, which began in 2011 and has left more than 300,000 people dead. The report, Invisible Wounds, reveals a "terrifying mental health crisis among children trapped in Syria".

How the legal system is failing to protect women and girls from sexual violence
The legal system is failing to protect women and girls from sexual violence in many developing countries — but also in parts of Europe, in some cases enabling rape, according to a new report by human rights organization Equality Now. At the same time, gender experts told Devex that ensuring victims’ access to justice goes well beyond reforming inadequate laws and also requires institutional and cultural change in both the developed and the developing world.  The Rape Law Report, which looked at laws in 82 jurisdictions from 2014 and 2015, found that a perpetrator of rape or sexual assault can escape punishment by marrying the victim in nine countries; that rape laws are only applicable in many jurisdictions if the victim can demonstrate that they were unable to resist the attack; and that marital rape is expressly legal in at least 10 countries — in four of these, even when the wife is underage.

Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomit

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