RESULTS National Conference 2022: The Power in All Our Voices

18 Jul 2022

Over the weekend of 2-3 July, 2022 we held our annual National Conference! This year was extra special as we had our first hybrid set-up, with attendees and speakers joining in-person or online. Many of our campaigners, new and old, were able to connect in-person for the first time in two years after our switch to virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was great to be joined by campaigners from all over the UK, and speakers from all over the world, to really compliment this year’s theme ‘The Power in All Our Voices’.

The unfairness of the rich world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 revitalised debates on whose voices are valued in society and listened to by politicians. To help ensure our campaigning on global poverty doesn’t perpetuate harmful narratives of ‘us versus them’ used in some international development debates, we explored the ways we can strengthen our own voices as campaigners and amplify the voices of people with lived experience of poverty and oppression; we confronted damaging perceptions in international development; and learnt how to respond positively to global challenges and stay optimistic in the face of adversity, as well as build on our advocacy skills.

Over the weekend, we had a varied agenda (see the agenda here) and were joined by a range of incredible speakers (read our speaker bios here). Thank you to everyone who came, and to all our fantastic speakers!

If you are inspired by the conference to get involved with our campaigning, find out more here.

If you couldn’t join us, or would like to re-watch parts of the conference, you can view recordings and read recaps of the sessions in this blog.

Pre-Conference Call with RESULTS Australia


RESULTS Campaigners from the UK and Australia have a joint call together on Zoom.

Grassroots advocates in the UK and in our sister organisation in Australia shared with each other why they're passionate about pushing for an end to global poverty, and what it's like doing advocacy in the UK and Australia. We are all looking forward to the next time we catch up! #Voices4RESULTS

Aaron’s Opening Remarks

 

This year marked Aaron Oxley’s last National Conference with us as Executive Director of RESULTS UK. Aaron, who has been involved with RESULTS for decades and has done incredible work as Executive Director over the last 13 years, kicked off the conference and shared his personal journey with us.

Keynote Speaker: Irũngũ Houghton, Executive Director of Amnesty International Kenya

 

Irũngũ joined us virtually from Kenya to speak about his experiences of working on issues of inequality and injustice. He shared us with a very powerful message on how to stay hopeful in an age of political discontent. 

The Art and Techniques of Storytelling


Conference attendees take part in the Workshop on the Art and Techniques of Storytelling.

In this workshop, Gioel Gioacchino and Carolina Neu from Recrear International (Colombia) shared their experiences of using storytelling to do advocacy work. Our attendees had the chance to practise using stories to connect people with the issues they care about, share vivid images, and motivate others to act. One of our attendees was so inspired, they're hoping to attend Magnify 2022!

The ‘Global’ in Global Fund

 

RESULTS believes that the Global Fund’s work to eradicate AIDS, Malaria and TB has been, and will continue to be, a major part of the global response to TB. 2022 is a crucial year for the Global Fund with its upcoming 7th replenishment. In this session we heard from Handaa Enkh-Amgalan, a TB survivor and advocate for the Global Fund. Handaa shared her experiences of being diagnosed and treated for TB in her home country of Mongolia, with the support of facilities funded by the Global Fund. Handaa’s key message was about the importance of tackling stigma, and factoring in social aspects to efforts to eradicate TB.   

Creating a Manifesto for Optimism

 

In this workshop, we collectively created manifestos of optimism to help keep us positive and remind us why we do the advocacy we do. Advocating for an end to global poverty can be extremely challenging, especially in the current environment of reduced political will for international development, political instability, fewer resources due to the cut to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget, and increasing poverty levels in the UK. It can be hard to stay positive and optimistic, and it can be easy to forget why we got involved in the first place, but we must remain critically hopeful that we can campaign for change.

Excluded Voices: Climate Justice Activists and COP26

 

There were many people and voices excluded from the climate change conference ‘COP26’ in Glasgow in 2021. In this talk, we heard from climate justice activists Sumaiya Harunany (Blue Earth Organisation), Mustafa Gerima (Save the Shea Tree) and Yusuf Baluch (Fridays for Future, Balochistan) who shared with us their stories and the challenges of attending, and being heard, at COP26.  

Development Stereotypes and How to Break Them

 

Ideas about poverty and conceptions of who ‘deserves’ international aid have been entrenched in colonialism, racism, and sexism for generations through the language and images that the international development sector uses. In this session, we analysed some images which prompted discussion about how people in different countries and circumstances are portrayed by the sector and whether the imagery used perpetuates harmful stereotypes. Then we heard from Joan Okitoi, who talked about the history of the international development sector, origins of some of these harmful narratives, and challenged us to think about why and how we could work towards breaking harmful stereotypes in our campaigning. 

Advocacy Day

 

Each year, following the National Conference, RESULTS UK holds a series of advocacy meetings. This year, the advocacy meetings took place on the day following the Conference and were held in our office, Whitehall and Westminster. These meetings provided an opportunity for some of our campaigners to build rapport and mutual understanding with key advocacy targets, hear from decision-makers and gain an insight into their work. We discussed a range of topics including nutrition, global health and education, and had a chance to chat with each other over a sunny lunch in the park!

Tanya Begum

Campaigns Coordinator

Tanya is our Camapigns Coordinator. Originally from Sheffield, Tanya moved to London to complete her BA in History, Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway and went on to study her MSc in Human Rights and Politics after gaining a scholarship at LSE. She has previously worked for...

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