The nature of humanitarian and development work continues to shift and change.

ACFID Conference 2019 will examine the dynamics at play in “Championing Sustainable Development Co-Operation”, providing delegates with an opportunity to harness diverse perspectives from the global south as well as voices from outside the sector on adapting to the opportunities and challenges presented by shifts in the global political and economic landscape.

The development landscape is increasingly diversified. The need for climate action is ever more urgent. Global poverty continues to decline, yet inequality is on the rise. The need to invest in culture change towards the localisation agenda has never been more important. Emergent technology brings about new opportunities for increased impact, evidence and accountability, but also brings transparency and power issues that we need to consider carefully. Alternative forms for financing global development raise new possibilities and new questions for our sector.  

Developing countries are no longer a homogeneous group of “poor” countries but instead are highly differentiated in their capabilities and needs, and most of the world’s poorest people now reside in middle-income as opposed to low-income countries. So too, aid donors are no longer a homogenous group – many not even new players at all, such as business and the private sector. Nevertheless, their impact is growing and helping to reshape the development landscape. In response, as it’s done before, the global economy is shifting once again, with the emergence of new economic powerhouses like China. New players are becoming important partners for the world’s poorest countries, introducing new ideas, energy and money, but also new challenges for championing sustainable developmentco-operation and partnership 

In 2019, we seek to return our attention to the ever-pressing issue of sustainable development in a changed development landscape and the plethora of emerging powers – is the sector changing quickly enough to move beyond traditional systems and approaches to accommodate new paradigms? 

Maintaining public confidence in Australia’s aid program, building influence as a trusted development partner, and achieving real, sustainable results in poverty reduction depends upon efficient, effective and accountable aid programming. What does this mean for the humanitarian and development sector in practice, increasingly operating in contested spaces?  

ACFIDs National Conference 2019 seeks to connect NGOs with the voices that matter providing access to insights and actionable strategies to assist organisations in their ongoing evolution as they progress the sustainable development agenda.  

Conference 2019 aims to build a “listening” then “taking action” approach to the program development:  

Day 1 – Listen and Engage – Here we look at the bigger picture, discuss a contested geo strategic context and what this means for sustainable development. Day 1 will provide delegates with an opportunity to harness and engage with diverse perspectives from the global south as well as voices outside the sector on adapting to the opportunities and challenges presented by shifts in the global political and economic landscape.   

Day 2 – Adapt and Deliver:  There has never been a better time to focus on the development of contextually relevant and integrated actions to ensure lasting responses to the most challenging deficits in aid and development On Day 2, we invite delegates to consider the changed development landscape in the context of their own programming and partnerships and consider how to adapt in order to continue delivering on the principles and imperatives of the sustainable development agenda.  Where are the opportunities for NGOs in this changed system, and how can we seize them?  

Possible topics for discussion: 

Geopolitical dynamics, emerging donors, graduation, multilateralism, financing development, social capital and innovation, creative engagement with the private sector, adaptation, promoting intersectionality, strengthening civil society, localisation, resilience, using innovation to tackle enduring threats such as climate change. 

Please check back as the program continues to develop.