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CENFACS Annual Review 2019/2020

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

26 August 2020

 

Post No. 158

 

 

The Week’s Contentes

 

• CENFACS Annual Review 2019/2020

• Trending in Poverty Reduction in a Summer of Covid-19 Compliance – In Focus from Week Beginning 24/08/2020: Social Virtual Worlds as Means to Online Interaction to Reduce Reduction

• All-in-one Impact Feedback: Report on Reports

…. and much more!

 

 

 

 

Key Messages

 

• CENFACS Annual Review 2019/2020

 

CENFACS Annual Review 2019/2020 is a snapshot of what we did between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.  As it is stated, it is neither a statutory annual report nor an annual return.

It is a summary of the year 2019/2020 in the life of CENFACS that reports back to our supporters, users and other stakeholders the impact we have made; impact through stories, quantitative and qualitative data. 

It highlights accomplishments made and recollects milestones for the above stated year.

It is as well a performance review and annual review story of our finances.

For more on this review, please read under the Main Development section of this post.

 

 

 

• Trending in Poverty Reduction in a Summer of Covid-19 Compliance – In Focus from Week Beginning 24/08/2020: Social Virtual Worlds as Means to Online Interaction to Reduce Reduction

 

The last episode in our trending series in poverty reduction in a Summer of Covid-19 Compliance is about the impacts that Social Virtual Worlds can make on poverty reduction.  This week, we are following the social virtual world trends in their capacity of reducing poverty for those who are interacting in a virtual world environment.

Although the objective of virtual world is interaction in the world, it is still possible to check if poor gamers can use the opportunity of being in the virtual world to reduce poverty.  For example, one can try to check if poor gamers who are playing those massively multiplier online games (such as Fortnite, League of Legends, Pokémon, etc.) are finding any windows of opportunity to reduce poverty through those games. 

Before, going any further, let us say a few works about virtual worlds.

 

=> What is virtual world?

 

There are many online and print definitions of virtual worlds.  To make things easy we have selected the following online definition of virtual world which is this:

A virtual world is a computer-simulated representation of a world with specific spatial and physical characteristics, and users of virtual worlds interact with each other via representations of themselves called “avatars.”…

The objective of virtual worlds is to continue participating in the world, interact with other users, and gaining more status or experience within the virtual world’. (1)

Although this definition is technically restrictive and is telling us that playing in a virtual world is an end itself, we are interested in virtual world that is purpose-built for social or socialisation.  We are interested in social interaction-based virtual worlds through our process of following the direction of poverty reduction.

 

=> Following the direction of poverty reduction via social virtual worlds

 

We are looking at how interaction-based virtual worlds can help to reduce poverty and enhance sustainable development.  In other words, we are trying to find out if playing online video games like World of Warcraft can help their players or gamers to go beyond the interaction in the world by finding windows of relief from poverty and hardships, especially for those gamers of poor background. 

 

=> Poverty-relieving experience via social virtual worlds 

 

Although the objective of a virtual world is interaction in the world, it is possible for people engaged in the MMOGs to do their own assessment to find out whether or not social virtual worlds are helping them to reduce poverty and enhance aspects of sustainable development in their lives. 

The purpose here is that being in a virtual world is primarily for social interaction in the world.  However, if you are poor being in any world whether virtual or non-virtual should be also an opportunity to find ways of escaping from poverty and hardships.  This is regardless of what those who designed their world in which you are they may think of. 

For example, joining a computer-based online community environment is it poverty-relieving in itself?  If not, what can you do to make your journey in the virtual world an experience of relief from poverty and hardships?

The above is our way of following the direction of poverty through social virtual worlds. 

To enquire about this trending activity and /or to follow the direction of poverty with us, just contact CENFACS.

 

(1) https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/courses/cs181/projects/2007-08/virtual-worlds/history.html

 

 

• All-in-one Impact Feedback: Report on Reports

 

Last month was our Analytics month.  As part of the Analytics month, we asked some of you to report or give some feedback in your words and numbers on the experiences you had about the projects and programmes we delivered in the last financial year. 

We asked for two feedbacks: feedback from individuals as programme and project supporters and users, as well as feedback from organisations (Africa-based Sister Organisations).  Some of you responded and others did not.  We would like to thank those who responded.  

After analysing the information that the respondents provided and looking back what happened in the last financial year, we would like to share with you, through this report, some key information from the preliminary findings about your say and our look at last year’s poverty relief work.

 

Report on feedbacks from Individuals and Organisations

 

=> Aims

 

This report aims at examining and informing what you told us from the feedbacks we asked about the experiences you had with the programmes and projects we selected to monitor, evaluate and review last July.  In particular, it aims …

√ To get the experiences that project supporters and users had with the programmes and projects selected for monitoring, evaluation, review, assurance and analysis

√ To know the views of project supporters, users and other stakeholders on how they perceived and interacted with CENFACS’ products and services

√ To find out where things went well and where they did not

√ To reflect the needs of Africa-based Sister Organisations in future programmes and projects development

√ To improve the way we work with them.

 

=> Findings

 

Our findings from what you said are as follows:

√ To put a time limit on campaigns

√ To make the voices of the users resonate and visible in our advocacy materials and publicity

√ To get more data and further access to data about work in Africa with Africa-based Sister Organisations

√ To narrow the scope of appeals to match CENFACS’ mission, aims and objectives

√ To make the Individual-Capacity-Development-Programme resources reachable and accessible by all users

 

=> Recommendations

 

The report recommends the following:

 

√ To undertake a better advertisement or reach out in the future so that many people can turn out and contribute to children and women projects

√ To communicate the outputs and outcomes of each campaign at their different stages of delivery

√ To insert users’ description (e.g. quotes, comments, etc.) in the published advocacy materials

√ To reduce the gap in data availability and access as far as African projects are concerned

√ To ensure that appeals reflect specific and clearly defined needs of users and beneficiaries with specific aims and objectives to achieve

√ To improve the coverage of Individual-Capacity-Development-Programme resources to reach all the users while explaining all the technical jargons by making them understandable to our diverse audience

The report concludes that every effort will be made within CENFACS so that the wishes of supporters, users and African organisations as expressed in their feedbacks could be translated into tangible action in the future.

 

 

 

Extra Messages

 

• ‘Mission’ Activity for August 2020: Find 6 Social Trends in Health Poverty Alleviation

 

Our link of ‘Mission’ Year/Project to the month of Track, Trip and Trending via ‘Mission’ Activity continues this week.  The ‘Mission’ Activity of this week is to search and find 6 Social Trends in Health Poverty Alleviation and health-enhancing aspects of sustainable development.

We would like to ask to those who are doing it or decide to do it to share their experience about this ‘Mission’ Activity.  Thanks!  

To communicate or share your experience, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

 

• The Review of the African Sahel and Lake Chad Basin Appeals

 

There are similarities and dissimilarities about what is happening in the African Sahel and Lake Chad basin.  The commonality of these situations is insecurity, human displacement, climate change issues, etc.    People have been internally displaced, there are in- and out-of-camp refugees, there is a low level of resilience, extreme poverty is prevailing in the two areas, etc.  This is despite the fact that the two areas have a low number of Covid-19 cases.  Because of the poverty situation in both areas, we are reviewing the two appeals we previously and separately launched for them. 

The purpose of this review will be to evaluate these appeals in the light of the current situations in these two areas.  The review will also tell us whether or not there has been any progress since we first launched these appeals.  There will be stages in this review:  evidence-based process, information, verification of the information provided, analysis, etc.  At the end of this review, we shall decide whether or not to renew our appeal for the two areas.

To discuss or share your views about the African Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, please contact CENFACS.

 

 

• CENFACS Poverty Relief League: Team Countries Replacement Window

 

For those who are playing the CENFACS League of Poverty Relief, please note that there is only little time left for those who want to change or swap the teams.  This is because it takes time to complete the game and decide your best country that has best relieved poverty.

If one wants to change or swap team countries because they are having problems to get the poverty data, especially at this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic, it is better to do it by the end of this Summer.  This will enable them to still have enough time to get data, analyse them, test them and decide their best poverty-relieving country by the 23rd of December 2020.  

If anyone has any concern or query about Team Countries Replacement, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.

 

 

Main Development

 

Annual Review 2019/2020

 

This review aims at explaining to those who are interested in the work CENFACS does to get a glimpse of what happened during the financial year 2019/2020.  It is a summary of our activities, performance, achievements and accounts for the financial year 2019/2020. 

However, before starting this review we would like to mention three factors which were at play during the above stated period and which made the context of our poverty relief work.  They are: life-threatening impacts of climate change, economic uncertainty linked to the exit of the UK from the EU regional economic integration model, and the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

• • The Contexts of Poverty Reduction of the 2019/2020 Financial Year

 

There are three key factors which affected or impacted our resources, plans and the way we conducted our poverty reduction work, which are:  the changing climate, economic uncertainty and transition, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.  Like any organisation that could face this type of challenges, we had to develop a strategy or plan on how to approach our work differently during the year knowingly or unknowingly that events beyond our own control were going to happen.

We decided to choose the theme of changing climate since climate change was the dominant factor from the beginning of our financial year.  We did it while still having in mind the economic uncertainty linked to the exit situation of the UK from the EU.  The two factors (climate change and economic exit) were the prevailing external factors of the first part of our financial year. 

The second part of our financial year which literately started from January 2020 was dominated by the economic transition since the economic exit of the UK became clear with the new Government.  Then, the coronavirus pandemic came to largely influence our poverty reduction agenda in the last four months or so. 

Although we organised this review according these three key contexts, one should not think that the factors making them are separate or exclusive.  Let us explain.  When we speak for example about poverty reduction in the context of Covid-19, it does not mean that the climate change factor has disappeared.  We just want to mean and put emphasis on the dominant factor or the factor that impacted us the most at a particular time. 

Having clarified the contexts of work, let us now review our financial year 2019/2020.

   

• • Activities Review

 

This summary covers CENFACS’ financial year 2019-2020, which we started with a July 2019 consultation of our supporters and users about what we did in the last 11 months and two weeks preceding the above named financial year.

 

=> Poverty Reduction Activities in the Context of Changing Climate

 

While this consultation was going on, we organised our usual Summer Festival of Thoughts and Actions, the Seven Days of Development in July.  The Festival of Thoughts was about “How Democratic Transition Can Transform Poor People’s Lives in Africa”.

The Festival helped us to spot the signs of hope for poverty reduction that could be brought by the democratic transformations that were happening in Africa in 2019.  It also gave us the opportunity to think about how the transformations or the change of political climate could make our poverty reduction and the work of our African colleagues easy or stay the same.

We continued to develop CENFACS’ Analytics Dashboard as a project by making it an effective management tool of tasks for our system of poverty reduction.  We did it while delivering other areas of our programmes. 

The year was also about the best response that could be brought to support children living in conflict-stricken and climate change-affected areas in Africa, particularly in the new school year.  Our response was to launch an appeal to support them; which we did.

The context of life-threatening impacts of climate change and of armed conflicts continued to claim more hungry people in Africa.  As a result, we had to step up our Making Zero Hunger Africa campaign.  Likewise, we could not stay silent with what was happening in the 3-Frontier Area of Africa (made of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) where people were displaced and fleeing from insecurity and violence in the area.  We set up an appeal for peace and stability to deal with this situation. 

As climate change was and still is an unavoidable factor in any of our work, especially with regard to its impacts on children, we continued to follow up the United Nations Climate Talks.  In December 2019, we followed the Madrid Climate Talks through our Climate Talks Follow-up Project under the advocacy of “Climate Protection and Stake for African Children, Phase 3”with “Madrid Makes It Work“, as our working theme.  To enable us to better follow up these talks in the future we agreed and set up our guiding principles which we summarised in what we called “The Compendium of Climate Advocacy”.  

Since 2019 was dedicated as a “Quadranscentennial” Year at CENFACS, we carried on delivering other areas of the “Q” Project in the last months of the year 2019.

2019/2020 was also the year of the discussions about the Twenty twenties (2020s) Programme.  This is a programme that took over the Twenty tens (2010s) Programme.  We started with these discussions in 2019 and finished them in the early 2020 with a new programme. 

 

=> Poverty Reduction Activities in the Context of Economic Transition

 

As we entered the new decade, there was still the problem of economic transition related to the confirmed exit of the UK from the EU after the election.  This transition affected the way we do our development work and poverty relief work in particular. 

Since our programme of the last decade ran out, we had to make sure that the new programme which was in discussion became a reality.  We had as well to develop new tools to fight poverty in the new decade.  

As a result, we set up the 2020s Poverty Reduction Programme and Development Agenda.  We also assembled various tools of poverty reduction system into a box to make up a Poverty Relief Tools Box.  In doing so, this would help us to deal with poverty reduction more effectively than in the situation where these tools are used separately.

 

=> Poverty Reduction Activities in the Context of Life-threatening Impacts of Covid-19

 

While we were trying to deal with economic transition of the UK’s exit from the EU, a new global economic and health threat emerged, the coronavirus pandemic.  This pandemic with the lockdown it has generated forced us to reorganise all our work like everybody did in the sector. 

We had to entirely go out our way to reinvent new tools to fight the coronavirus-induced poverty and vulnerability.  As a result, we developed a Cube of Protection against the coronavirus.  The cube contains most our munitions against the life-threatening and destroying impacts that the coronavirus has posed and still poses.  Besides that we had to stage a new campaign, the Covid-19 Campaign (or the Campaign for resilience against the Coronavirus Pandemic).

As part of our emergency and contingency plans, we had to reorganise both the Spring and Summer 2020 themes of our poverty relief work.   Life-salvation and healthiness came to dominate the Spring and Summer agendas respectively. 

We started the 2019/2020 financial year with democratic transitions as hopes for freedom from poverty in Africa, and we ended up the same year with healthiness as we continued to deal with sanitation poverty and the other far-reaching impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in our poverty reduction work and the lives of beneficiaries.

 

• • Achievements

 

We would be indebted if we end this review without mentioning or adding to the above summary of work carried out these three achievements:

 

(1) A new poverty reduction programme and development agenda

 

The 2020s Development Agenda is a series of processes and tools defining the 2020s development framework that will enable CENFACS deliver its poverty reduction goals.  It is also a summary and coherent list of the issues and challenges that poor people are facing in 2020 and will face throughout the 2020s; issues and challenges that need to be addressed in order to reduce and end poverty in Africa.

CENFACS’ 2020s Poverty Reduction Programme, which is a group or package of related projects and activities organised in a coordinated fashion to reduce and possibly end poverty, aims at identifying and reaching out to extremely poor and help them out of poverty through sustainable development means. 

The new agenda and programme will take into account the needs of our users and beneficiaries in the new development landscape and in the new Age of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

(2) CENFACS’ Compendium of Climate Advocacy

 

This Compendium is our guiding principles that are summarised in terms of what CENFACS and its beneficiaries would like the climate community (like the one gathering on annual basis to talk about climate change, the Conference of the Parties) to achieve for children, particularly but not exclusively African children, in terms of outcomes.

 

(3) CENFACS’ Cube of Protection against the coronavirus pandemic

 

This Cube brings together coronavirus-related initiatives that are intended to help poor, vulnerable people and incapacitated Africa-based organisations.  

 

• • Performance review

 

In terms of our performance this year, we would like to let you know that our cash funds continue their upwards trend passing from 22% in 2018/19 to 33% in 2019/2020 financial year.  However, in this net improvement there is a mix story picture brought by the coronavirus in our finances in the last four months of our financial year 2019/2020.  On one hand, we made some savings; on the other hand there is a different type of costs that have appeared. 

Because of the coronavirus and the lockdown effects, we were able to save on our payments accounts on items such as physical networking and meetings, transport and travel, postage stamps, outreach, printing and photocopying.  While these savings were made, there was appearance of other types of costs which were existing since we went digital a few years ago, but which became more pronounced by the end of our financial year 2019/2020. 

This appearance and increase was attributable to online and virtual way of working to counteract the adverse impacts of the coronavirus.  This led to additional investment in online and virtual technologies and infrastructures as we were trying to respond to an unprecedented health crisis and finding other ways of still helping to reduce poverty and hardships. 

In all, the savings made were higher than the increase in online and virtual costs.  We managed to control our finances despite the coronavirus-led economic and health adverse effects.  We did what we could in the midst of the pandemic to meet our key performance targets and indicators. 

  

• • Thank you

 

The work of CENFACS is a collective endeavour that relies upon the voluntary contribution of others, a key to our success.  As such, there is a number of people and organisations who contributed to the realisation of our financial year 2019-2020. 

We would like to indiscriminately acknowledge them.  Without their helpful support, we would not be able to achieve the above.  We are grateful to our volunteers, users, website/blog readers and supporters. 

Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge those who posted their comments and responded to our advocacy appeals and other development campaigns. 

We would like to thank all of them for their unwavering commitment and impactful support for helping us to voice and bring once again our poverty reduction message into the world in development, especially at the very difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic and economic recession.

Many thanks for making 2019-2020 another deservingly memorable year at CENFACS.

 

Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the future.

Donate to support CENFACS!

 

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.

With many thanks.

 

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