Global Weekly Update September 27, 2010
Do You Have One Last Global Fund Media Effort in You?
Last week at the UN MDG Summit, President Obama outlined his vision for fighting global poverty, which would empower countries to embrace accountability for their own progress. As we anticipated, the president did not make a pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (although he did mention we’d be “strengthening our commitment” to the Global Fund).
However, the administration is still considering a multi-year pledge. In fact, increasingly the question is not whether they will make a pledge, but rather when and (most importantly) how much. The Global Fund replenishment conference is October 4-5. The U.S. might wait until the replenishment conference, or might signal its pledge this week.
For our media advocacy, that means we have more time to push editorials, op-eds, and letters to the editor. In fact, the president’s speech on the MDGs, which received wide coverage from wire services and other media outlets, offers a huge new hook.
Here’s a statement that Joanne shared with yesterday, which frames the Global Fund replenishment conference as the first test for the president new strategy:
“Today the president outlined his vision for a development strategy that empowers countries and communities to embrace accountability for their own progress. The first real test of this strategy will be the Global Fund donor conference next month. Unfortunately, the president’s 2011 budget proposes cutting U.S. contributions to the Global Fund, which has pioneered the most innovate approaches to accountable, results-based, country-led development. Whether or not the U.S. pledges its fair share of resources for the next three years for Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will be a true measure of the President’s commitment to this new vision.”
So much of what the president described in his speech is already embodied by the Global Fund:
- “Guided by the evidence, we’ll invest in programs that work and end those that don’t. Because we need to be big-hearted and hard-headed.”
- “. . . a new approach to development that unleashes transformational change and allows more people to take control of their own destiny.”
- “. . . we will seek partners who want to build their own capacity to provide for their people.”
- “In other words, we’re making it clear that we will partner with countries that are willing to take the lead. Because the days when your development was dictated in foreign capitals must come to an end.”
We’re here to help if you’re looking for coaching on how capitalize on the MDG Summit to generate additional media in support a robust multi-year pledge to the Global Fund. If you need some inspiration — or if you just want to take pride in the work of your fellow RESULTS partners — be sure to check out the media we’ve accumulated so far.
New Activist Orientation Starts This Wednesday!
We have organized a series of training calls for those who want to know more about becoming a RESULTS activist and those who have recently started or joined a group. For many people, what we do in RESULTS is brand new. Many of us were never trained to communicate effectively with our elected officials, and we don’t know how to create political will to address poverty. During the new activist orientation we will familiarize you with how RESULTS works, help you develop skills, get you started taking action, and help you bring your skills and talents to the table in implementing solutions to poverty.
The calls start this week on Wednesday, September 30, at 9:00 pm ET and continues on October 13, 27, and November 3. Call in number is (712) 432-3100, passcode: 761262. RSVP to Ken Patterson ([email protected]).
Education Successes at the World Bank and the Senate!
World Bank Announces New Funding for Basic Education
Last week, the World Bank announced that the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will increase grants and zero interest loans for basic education by an additional $750 million over the next five years. These additional resources will be targeted toward countries that are off-track to reach the education MDGs by 2015, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
A RESULTS report was instrumental in calling attention to the Bank’s underfunding of basic education. RESULTS celebrates this annoucement,and will be working to ensure oversight of this funding. Joanne Carter, co-chair of GCE US and executive director of RESULTS notes that, “This is a very welcome correction in course, and these new resources could have a real impact if delivered in a smart way. However, its vital that the Bank’s education funding be dispersed over 3 years, and not 5 as the Bank has suggested — and it must maintain this higher level of funding for basic education over the next decade. We still have a long way to go to get every child in school, learning, and new resources are a key first step.”
Education For All Act Introduced in the Senate
On September 17, Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) reintroduced the Education for All Act in the Senate! It is very simliar to the House version, with minor tweaks.
A big round of applause to our NY City partners who have worked to educate Sen. Gillibrand and her staff. Without those efforts at education and relationship building, we very well may not have a bill to rally behind!
Huge Congressional Victory for Microfinance! Celebrate by…Watching The Simpsons?
Yunus on The Simpsons!
This Sunday, October 3, Prof. Yunus will guest star on The Simpsons! In the episode, Professor Yunus teaches Lisa Simpson about the power of microfinance to lift poor people out of poverty. Watch Oct. 3 at 8:00 pm ET/PT! The actress who plays the voice of Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith, has traveled to Bangladesh with the Grameen Foundation.
House Passess Congressional Gold Medal Bill!
If that isn’t cool enough, now you can watch and know that you were instrumental in getting Prof. Yunus the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor! On Thursday, September 23, the House passed the bill to award Prof. Muhammad Yunus the Congressional Gold Medal!
The president will now sign the bill, probably within the next couple of weeks. We will work with the offices of Sen. Durbin and Rep. Holt to organize a ceremony for awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Prof. Yunus; it will probably be early next year. This passage is truly an amazing accomplishment! You were the only activists working on the bill, which had to meet the extremely high threshold of securing two-thirds of each chamber — 67 senators and 290 representatives — as cosponsors; you in fact got 296 representatives!
By happy chance, earlier this week Sam Daley-Harris, founder of RESULTS and the Microcredit Summit Campaign, was with Prof. Yunus in New York City for the Clinton Global Initiative. Sam told him that the bill would be voted on and passed this week. Prof Yunus said, “It passed in the Senate but it never passes in the House.” But when Sam assured him it would pass and that the power of RESULTS volunteers was behind it, Prof. Yunus got very excited and said, “Let me know as soon as it happens.” Remember, Prof. Yunus has won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and countless other awards. But he knew what an rare honor it is to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, and he wouldn’t let himself believe it would really happen! But thanks to you, it did!
During the session, Reps Rush Holt (D-NJ), Andre Carson (D-IN), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Danny Davis (D-IL) spoke on behalf of the bill.You can listen to the remarks by visiting the following links:
- Rep. Carson: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/clip.php?appid=598838103
- Rep. Bachus: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/clip.php?appid=598838108
- Rep. Holt: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/clip.php?appid=598838113
- Rep. McDermott: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/clip.php?appid=598838127
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge some of the people who helped bring this bill to the floor. . . . Grassroots members of the RESULTS advocacy organization from around the country have helped raise awareness about microfinance and the efforts to recognize Muhammad Yunus for his efforts.
— Rep. Holt (D-NJ) on the floor of the House of Representatives, on passage of the bill to awared Prof. Yunus with the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
October 3: Prof. Yunus will be on the Simpsons! 8:00 pm ET/PT.
October 5: Global Fund Replenishment Meeting
Sept. 29; October 13, 27; Nov. 10: New Activist Orientation. (712) 432-3100, passcode: 761262
October–December: Fall fundraising campaign.
October 3: Muhammad Yunus will be on the Simpsons to talk about the power of microfinance! Think about hosting a house party. Listen to this interview with Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson and microfinance advocate.
December 1: World AIDS Day. Interested in an event to raise awareness about TB-HIV coinfection? Think of all the possibilities, and then apply for a mini-grant to help your event take off!
September–November: We’ll be working to identify U.S. TB patient advocates who can speak powerfully about their experience with TB to make it real for our communities.
January 2010: Media training for TB Controllers and grassroots activists.
June 19–21: RESULTS International Conference in Washington, D.C.