NGO Insight 2017

28 November 2017 London

Inspiring leaders in international development

Be part of this unique forum for discussing the specific challenges facing organisations working in international development. 

Participate in lively panel debates, join targeted roundtable discussions and benefit from expert technical briefings. 

Download the brochure and booking form



28 November 2017

  • 9.00AM - 9.30AM
    Registration, refreshments & networking
    Registration, refreshments & networking
  • 9.30AM - 9.40AM
    Chairs' welcome
    Rose Caldwell, executive director, Concern Worldwide UK and Leigh Daynes, executive director, Doctors of the World
  • 9.40AM - 10.15AM
    Opening plenary: The role of UK civil society and the challenges of our era 

    To set the scene, we will consider the global role of British civil society in light of the many global challenges facing both individuals and institutions. Kevin Watkins will highlight what he considers the most significant prospects and challenges of globalisation and the future of international development in a rapidly changing world.  

    Kevin Watkins, chief executive, Save the Children and former executive director, Overseas Development Institute 

  • 10.15AM - 10.55AM
    Plenary: Wellbeing and mental health - building a more resilient workforce

    Staff working in humanitarian and development organisations are exposed to higher levels of stress than employees in other fields of work, and therefore more vulnerable to experiencing mental health issues. This interactive session will explore the increasing need for a proactive approach to stress management in humanitarian organisations to support staff, volunteers and partners in building mental resilience when dealing with crisis and trauma. Dr Sarah Davidson will describe why wellbeing should be a priority and will explain the practical and replicable approach being taken at the British Red Cross to improve the quality of their work through enhanced advice, training and support for staff, before opening it up to the floor – bring your questions for Sarah who will provide you with practical solutions to take back to your own organisation.  

    Dr Sarah Davidson, head of psychosocial, British Red Cross 

  • 10.55AM - 11.25AM
    Networking & refreshment break
    Networking & refreshment break
  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    1A. 1A. The future of funding - surviving and thriving in a changing landscape

    In light of recent changes to the funding landscape and mounting challenges to obtaining funding, the session will consider how such changes might impact international development organisations. Attend to gain greater understanding of funders' requirements and expectations, and how best to position your charity to make the most of the opportunities which arise. 

    Benedict Latto, head of civil society & Louisa Brewin, deputy head of civil society, DFID

  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    1B. Rethinking risk and compliance

    Creating a strong risk-management and compliance framework is a necessity for any INGO operating or funding overseas activities, and the tone set by senior leadership is critical for driving positive behaviours. This session will identify the key areas of risk INGOs should monitor and mitigate against and the approach of key regulators such as HMRC and the Charity Commission in relation to charities operating internationally. The session will consider the impact of counter-terrorism and bribery laws on INGOs and how to put practical measures in place to comply with legal obligations and to identify and manage risk appropriately.

    Stephanie Biden, partner and Augustus Della-Porta, senior associate, Bates Wells Braithwaite

  • 11.25AM - 12.10PM
    1C. Technical briefing - FX cost savings - advantages of treasury centralisation (Hosted by INTL FC Stone)

    The goal of an efficient treasury function of an INGO must be to help ensure that the full value is realised for the funding they receive. This session will look to explore the benefits that a centralised treasury function can bring to an INGO and will highlight the potential efficiencies available.

    Patrick Barker, head of finance and Apostolos Michalas, grants accountant,  Christian Aid

  • 12.10PM - 1.00PM
    2A.Technical briefing - Financial compliance for INGOs 

    As financial management and regulatory requirements for international organisations are becoming increasingly complex, this session will offer a practical response to the most common accounting and tax issues affecting INGOs.  From grant audits and donor reporting through to controls in field offices and the role of internal audit, attend this session to focus on best practice and gain practical advice on a variety of financial challenges. 

    Murtaza Jessa, head of charities and Steve Harper, senior audit manager, haysmacintyre 

  • 12.10PM - 1.00PM
    2B. Workshop: Governance challenges for international organisations 

    Never before has the spotlight shone so brightly on charity governance and leadership, and this session will consider some of the recommendations laid out in the new Charity Governance Code, and specifically their application for international organisations. Join this interactive session to debate what exemplary governance in recommended areas such as increasing board diversity, openness & accountability, decision-making, risk and control, really looks like in practice.

    Andrew Purkis, trustee, ActionAid International 

  • 12.10PM - 1.00PM
    2C- Tackling travel in international development

    Travel is a fundamental necessity for most development organisations, but it’s a crucial area that is often overlooked. Join this insightful session to understand the importance of grasping the nettle with your travel programme and the key methods of ensuring budget control, encouraging policy compliance, and fulfilling duty of care obligations to your people.

    Christopher Airey, managing director, Diversity Travel

  • 1.00PM - 2.00PM
    Lunch & networking break
  • 2.00PM - 2.45PM
    Panel: Tech and disruption in international development 

    Our panel will consider emerging innovation and tech trends which could fundamentally change the face of international development. From the emergence of 'transparency-tech' such as blockchain, to responsive websites and social media, should traditional charities be embracing potential disruption in order to remain relevant and effective, and if so how can they harness innovation within their own organisations? 

    Chair: Ben Jackson, global director of innovation and partnerships, United Purpose
    Panellists: Eleanor Harrison, chief executive, GlobalGiving UK, Ben Joakim, founder, Disberse and Dan Lewis, innovation manager, WaterAid

  • 2.45PM - 3.15PM
    Pump aid case study: delivering aid without dependency

    This session will describe the self-supply model developed by Pump Aid to provide safe water and sanitation to some of the poorest and hardest to reach communities in the world. Through adopting commercial principles and treating people as customers, not beneficiaries, they have been able to generate sustainable change. Michael Chuter will advocate a new, more effective approach to aid which is the antithesis of dependency, and outline how he believes this model could be replicated by other organisations and sectors to enhance impact. 

    Michael Chuter, chief executive, Pump Aid 

  • 3.15PM - 3.40PM
    Networking and refreshment break
    Networking and refreshment break
  • 3.40PM - 4.20PM
    Oxfam case study: A new strategy for new times 

    This session will outline Oxfam's evolving strategic objectives as the charity undergoes a major restructuring of its international services. In response to a changing world, mounting challenges and shifting priorities, the charity has taken practical steps towards increasing efficiency and impact, as well as devolving more power to the south.  Practical steps taken include relocating Oxfam International's HQ from Oxford to Nairobi and streamlining country operations. Alison Hopkinson will share her account of the journey so far as well as some of the difficulties, benefits and learnings for other organisations. 

    Alison Hopkinson, director of finance and information services, Oxfam GB

  • 4.10PM - 4.55PM
    Closing panel discussion: Stating the case for aid in light of changing public perceptions

    It is undeniable that recent years have seen a profound shift in the public perception of aid, and a heightening of anti-aid rhetoric in the media.  Against a backdrop of growing political and economic uncertainty in the UK, as well as concerns over the ongoing relevance of the traditional aid model to address global poverty and inequality, is now the time to face these challenges head on? Our panel consider the relevance and potential impact of this shift, including the heightened importance of accountability and transparency, and their own roles in shaping the future of international development. 

    Chair: Rose Caldwell, executive director, Concern Worldwide UK
    Panellists include - Jehangir Malik, chief executive, Muslim Aid UK, Simon Starling, head of advocacy, Concern Worldwide UK, Tim Singleton, director of communications, Department for International Development & Dr Jason Hickel, lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London

  • 4.55PM - 5.00PM
    Chair's closing remarks
    Chair's closing remarks
  • 5.00PM - 6.00PM
    Festive drinks and networking reception
    Festive drinks and networking reception 


  • Sarah Davidson

    Head of Psychosocial , British Red Cross

    Dr Sarah Davidson is the Head of Psychosocial for the British Red Cross and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.  She is also the Chair of the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent's European Network of Psychosocial Support.  

    In 2008 she received an MBE for her work following the response to the 2004 South East Asian tsunami where she collborated closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  Since 2005 the British Red Cross have provided psychosocial support professionals to the FCO as part of their Rapid Deployment Teams who respond to international major incidents involving.  Sarah has lead over 12 such deployments, including to terrorist events and major events in Algeria, Bahrain, Brussels, Ethiopia, Haiti, Qatar and Zimbabwe. As well as being the author of the British Red Cross' psychosocial framework CALMER, she also established the psychosocial team at the British Red Cross who support staff and volunteers delivering services; and developed commercial psychosocial courses.  

    This year, AVIVA won the customer care award at the annual national insurance awards due to their partnership with the British Red Cross who deliver courses on Supporting People in Crisis to their insurance assessors who go into peoples's homes following burglaries, fires and floods.  Most recently, Sarah and her team have been very involved in the recent events in Manchester, London Bridge and the Grenfell Tower fire.  

  • Alison Hopkinson

    Director of finance and information services , Oxfam GB

    After qualifying as  a chartered accountant accountant at PwC, Alison joined a wide area network company called Telematics, where she learned the basics of her trade.

    Later she joined a small, new, entrepreneurial company called Dell, which grew into the world's largest PC company! Alison says, what I enjoyed then - and still do - was the fast moving, responsive environment as well as the strong focus on people. But she wanted to make a real difference, not only by having an impact on the organisation she worked in, but also by improving people's lives.

    After Alison had spent some time at the FD Centre advising a range of companies on their finances, she joined Tearfund, an international Christian development charity, as Finance and IT Director.

    In 2015 she joined Oxfam GB as their director of finance and information services.
    I feel very privileged to have joined Oxfam. Alison says, I can make a real difference to people's lives across the world, and once again lead change and create simplicity around the services we provide to the organisation, removing any unnecessary complexity.

  • Ben Joakim

    CEO & Co-Founder , Disberse

    Ben is a social entrepreneur with experience and expertise within international development. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Disberse, a fund management platform that drives the transparent, efficient and effective flow and delivery of development and humanitarian aid, built on blockchain technology.

    Ben was formerly a Global Advisor at SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, leading a $30 million project portfolio, primarily across sub-Saharan Africa, whilst developing global strategy. He has also led UK charitable trusts and foundations, and invested in a number of early stage social enterprises, both in the UK and internationally.

    Ben is a Cardiff University and UWC Alumnus.

  • Kevin Watkins

    Chief Executive , Save the Children

    Kevin joined Save the Children in September, after spending three years as Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute. Previously, he held a senior academic role at the Brookings Institution, and acted as an adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Education, before which he spent seven years at the United Nations, as director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report and UNDP’s Human Development Report.

    He is a senior visiting research fellow at Oxford University’s Centre for Global Economic Governance and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the London School of Economics.


  • Michael Chuter

    Chief Executive , Pump Aid

    Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants who has spent much of his working life in the retail and consumer sectors.  But, after a 30-year career, including senior positions at Gillette, Spillers, Hertz, Burton (now Arcadia), Evans and Episode, he had had enough of selling overpriced merchandise to people who didn’t need it and he moved into the not for profit sector. 

    He is presently Chief Executive of Pump Aid, a small but highly innovative INGO working in the water and sanitation sector.  Michael has a wealth of commercial and strategic experience and now seeks to harness the power of economic development to deliver positive and lasting social change.  It is this passion that first attracted him to Pump Aid and this mission that now drives him to deliver it. 

  • Andrew Purkis

    International board member , ActionAid

    Andrew has been an international Board Member of the global development charity ActionAid since 2013. He is p/t Adviser to a grant-giving charitable trust and Deputy Chair of the Ombudsman scheme for universities in the UK.

    He is a former Chair of ActionAid UK and of 3 other UK charities, and a former Board Member of the Charity Commission and of the Parole Board.

    A former fast stream civil servant, he has held senior leadership positions in NCVO, CPRE, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and been a special adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury about the world outside the Church. He is a former Board member of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and also of the Parole Board.

    Andrew is a frequent contributor to Civil Society News and blogs about the campaigning role of charities and charity regulation at Find him on Twitter at @AndrewPurkis.


9.40: Opening plenary: The role of UK civil society and the challenges of our era 

10.15: Plenary: Wellbeing and mental health - building a more resilient workforce 

1A. The future of funding - surviving and thriving in a changing landscape
1B. Rethinking risk and compliance
1C. Technical briefing - FX cost savings - advantages of treasury centralisation (Hosted by INTL FC Stone)

2A.Technical briefing - Financial compliance for INGOs  
2B. Workshop: Governance challenges for international organisations  
2C. Tackling travel in international development

14.00: Panel: Tech and disruption in international development 

14.45: Pump aid case study: delivering aid without dependency 

15.40: Oxfam case study: A new strategy for new times 

16.10: Closing panel discussion: Stating the case for aid in light of changing public perceptions 


Advisory board

Caldwell, Rose.JPG

Rose Caldwell
Executive director
Concern Worldwide


Leigh Daynes
Executive director
Doctors of the World


Eleanor Harrison
Chief executive


Bob Humphreys
Oxfam International



Ben Jackson
Global director of
innovations and 
United Purpose


David Nussbaum
Chief executive
The Elders



Myles Wickstead
Visiting Professor
King's College London



Sponsors & exhibitors

Sponsored by: 

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J Lundie

Director of communications


Really well-led series of panels with world-class speakers

P Ochama

Finance manager

Muslim Aid

The mix of skills of the different speakers was excellent

F Mogaji

Finance Director

Human Appeal

Excellent – very relevant discussion of key topics impacting INGOs

Linda Horgan


SOS Sahel UK

Really interesting and stimulating

C Brownlee

Finance Director

War Child

Very relevant topics, all important and urgent at the forefront of what we are facing in the sector at the moment. Excellent speakers

M Devlin

Chief Operating Officer

Unicef UK

Excellent range of speakers and topics

Bob Humphreys

Director of finance and information systems

Oxfam GB

A channel to explore many interesting and diverse topics, all of which were relevant to the sector; well done on developing such a strong programme



For sponsorship and exhibition queries contact Yvette Micallef

For speaker queries contact Jenni O'Donovan

For registration queries contact Chloe Vezey

For media partnerships and marketing queries contact Kirsty Brown 


Great ways to save!

  1. Be an early bird! Book your place by 20 October to save £99.00 off the ticket price.
  2. Attend with your team!
    Ensure your whole team benefits from a great day's learning. With the Charity Team Ticket you can send up to four people for less than £150 each, saving your charity 40% on the booking fee. 
Ticket type Early bird
(booking made by 20 October)
Booking after 20 October
Charity delegate £150 £249
Charity Team Ticket (up to four places) £499 £599
Non-charity delegate £699 £749


15 Hatfields
Chadwick Court
020 7827 5920

Terms & Conditions

Please note that speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing, however, circumstances beyond the control of the organisers may necessitate substitutions, alterations or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. As such Civil Society Media Ltd reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or topics if necessary. Any substitutions or alterations will be updated on our web page as soon as possible.

Substitution and cancellation policy: On receipt of your booking form, your place is confirmed. Delegate substitutions are allowed. Refunds on cancellations will only be issued (less a 15% administration charge) up to and including 14 days prior to the event. Refunds will not be issued after this date. Confirmation of cancellations MUST be in writing and sent or faxed to Civil Society Media at 15 Prescott Place, London, SW4 6BS 020 7819 1200 (fax: 020 7819 1210).

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