Racial Justice in International Development

In November 2020, ACFID’s members moved a resolution at the AGM regarding “Race, Diversity and Australian INGOs”. The full resolution can be read here. Through Boards and senior leadership, it calls on the membership to build greater representation, participation and access to decision making with peoples of varied cultural and racial origins and intersections in the sector.
The RDI Network has supported these tough conversations with parallel events to progress discussions on this topic. The ACFID Racial Justice CoP is co-convened by RDI Network, AVI and Open Government Partnerships, and has representation from many other agencies, private sector organisations and academic institutions.

Panel: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In early 2020, the Research for Development Impact Network (RDI Network) and The University of Queensland invited academics and practitioners from across the development sector to join an online opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity. Celebrating World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the panel explored cultural diversity in sustainable development.In particular, what kind of dialogue do we need to have, to recognise cultural diversity while achieving SDG 3: Health and Welbeing, SDG 5: Gender Equity, and SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities?

The audience heard from a panel of thought leaders and experts offering diverse experiences and ideas on welcoming and recognising intersectionality and the pluriverse – culture, ethics, gender, abilities, class and socio-economic status – in sustainable development. Download the presentation and prompt questions to get yourself thinking. 

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An Elephant in the Room: Starting the Conversation about Race, Diversity and Inclusion in the Sector - Presentation Slides

Following a provoking discussion on cultural diversity and inclusion on ‘World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue’, the RDI Network, in partnership with Good Return, Quaker Service Australia, and Oaktree Foundation delivered a thought-provoking session at the ACFID’s Oceania Connect 2020 conference.
The session opened a space for open, honest conversation on race and diversity within the sector and (Australian) NGOs – to look at and reflect upon questions such as why so much of our sector is still lead largely by people with privilege and the implications within our own context as well as for our development work. The session worked together with participants to:

  • Deliver practical actions to put forward as recommendations to ACFID (currently as Racial Justice CoP in action)
  • Use to instigate cultural change as individuals or representatives in their respective NGOs
  • Take away and reflect on in terms of addressing racism and everyday practices in the workplace

Download the slides from the conference session

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Executive Summary

Download an executive summary of the conference session

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Activity Prompts

For members who would like to utilise the backcasting activity used in the session, prompt questions are available for download

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Audience Takeaways

A snapshot of key reflections for the audience members

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Event: What scares you most about having a discussion about cultural diversity, race and racism?

Driving Change and Shifting Power. What does it take?
The key theme of Oceania Connect 2020 is driving change, shifting power, and taking action towards a more equitable, collaborative and effective development future. So, what does it take to shift power? For individual practitioners? For teams? For organisations and their boards?
The RDI Network delivered a networking session to Oceania Connect 2020 Conference delegates to explore, reflect and acknowledge the challenges of transformative change. The space was held to learn from other people’s perspectives, share challenges in creating change, as well as, practical strategies for systems change.

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