July 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to the July 2011 issue of the Global Washington newsletter. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us.


Note from our Executive Director

Bookda Gheisar


In this issue you will read an announcement about our new Career Center. By providing this critical resource, our goal is to continue to provide the tools you need to build your capacity. Global Washington continues to support the building of this sector by helping to mentor and build the skills of up to 20 interns during each quarter. We see a great deal of value in helping to support these future leaders of global development.

We will be working with academic institutions in Washington State to build our Career Center as a central clearing house for student interns. We will be getting consultant recommendations from member organizations to help you find highly capable professionals that you can work with. And we will also be offering a monthly discussion group for young people entering the field of international development.

The rest of this year will be very busy for the staff and interns of Global Washington as we prepare for the our upcoming third annual conference: Opportunities and Obstacles in Turbulent Times. Opportunities and Obstacles will build on the success of the previous years’ conferences. The first annual conference in 2009, A Blueprint for Action, convened over 300 people to build a strategy for collaborative work in the sector and discuss Global Washington’s role as a convening body. The 2010 Conference, Bridges To Breakthroughs: How Partnerships And Innovation Are Changing The World was attended by over 400 people and focused on new ideas and the role of cross-sector, cross-issue collaborative efforts in development work.

This year’s conference will explore the challenges and opportunities of development work in a world characterized by rapid innovation, political instability, and shifting priorities. Keynote speakers will include national experts on the role of development in the current geo-political climate and visionaries with innovative approaches to its most pressing challenges. Other conference sessions will focus on turbulent regions of the world, current trends in the field, and sector-specific innovations. The conference will also give select local organizations the opportunity to showcase their work and will provide all attendees with time to connect with each other and collectively brainstorm solutions to problems.

The annual conference is an important milestone in Global Washington’s work to convene, strengthen, and advocate on behalf of the global development sector in the state. Diverse players will find opportunities for collaboration and high-caliber speakers will provide valuable insight and the latest knowledge. All of this increases the impact of the work being done around the world, and enhances the reputation of Washington State as an international hub for innovative and effective development activity. Small and large organizations, businesses, government, academic institutions, and interested individuals are all encouraged to participate, joining our mission of working together to create a more equitable and prosperous world.

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming member meetings and look forward to your participation in our many programs and our annual conference.

In unity,

Bookda Gheisar, Executive Director

Featured Story

Global Washington Connects Members To Talented Professionals

Global Washington is thrilled to announce the launch of our new Careers in Development Center on our website. The Career Center is both an online job bank and comprehensive career resource center, which helps job seekers find work opportunities in the global development sector. It is also an important tool for our member organizations, connecting them to valuable candidates, volunteers, consultants and potential board members. Global Washington’s career center goes beyond the typical job bank by providing additional resources tailored for this sector, including salary ranges, educational information, and interviews with people working in the field. The Career Center is part of our larger focus this year on training young leaders to enter the global development field, thereby enriching our members and the sector as a whole by helping them find quality staff, volunteers, consultants, and board members.
As a statewide association for the global development sector, part of Global Washington’s vision is for our state to lead the way, both in institutional global development work and in the global and cultural competency of our workforce as a whole. We hope to see our state’s employees—in both the public and private sectors—set an example for how to successfully navigate the challenges of working in our globalized world. We also want to increase the impact of the important development work that Washington organizations are doing around the world, which will open up new jobs locally within these organizations, and will build stability abroad, thus creating new markets and better trade opportunities.

We feel that one of the best ways to accomplish this goal by helping the young people in our state develop into responsible global citizens and competent professionals in the international development field. Our new career center is just one of the ways that we hope to provide resources to these future leaders. Some additional projects we are working on include:

  • Our Global Education Initiative: Washington State is already recognized as a world leader in many global arenas, including health, technology, and aerospace. To maintain and strengthen this position, we must prepare our K-20 students to be global citizens. Our vision is for Washington’s students to build critical skills and prepare for success as competent, knowledgeable global professionals and leaders in Washington State, nationally and internationally. We are achieving this vision by creating a comprehensive global education initiative for our state’s education system—from primary education through university— that will ensure that Washington students enter the workforce with the international and cultural skills that they need to thrive in a global community.
    • As part of the Initiative, a Global Education Summit on November 18 at Seattle University will convene 200 policy and education leaders and global education practitioners to provide insight into the barriers and strengths of the state’s current global education offerings, gather feedback on draft policy recommendations, and create an advocacy plan.
  • Global Washington Internships: Formal education is only the first step towards a successful career in the global development field. Global Washington is focusing special attention on young emerging leaders by providing up to 20 intern/volunteer positions each quarter to help students with a passion for global development gain real-world experience and exposure to the sector. Interns will have the opportunity to work in cross-discipline teams on exciting Global Washington projects and to develop relationships with each other and with our member organizations. For the bios of Global Washington’s current volunteers and interns, visit: Current Volunteers.
  • Young Professional Networking: We are also launching a series of networking events for young professionals working in or hoping to work in the development sector. These “happy hour” style events will be led by Global Washington interns and will provide a peer-learning environment for participants to connect to each other. There will also be opportunities get advice from more experienced global development professionals on how to advance one’s career in this field. The first event will be held on July 27th at Earth and Ocean in downtown Seattle.

With this targeted programming, we hope to see the capacity of our member organizations increase through better access to interns and expertise. Our Career Center will increase the visibility and reputation of Washington State’s innovative and influential global development sector as we demonstrate the depth of the work being accomplished here. Finally, the collective power and knowledge of Washington’s global development sector will increase as we support the career development of young professionals and draw more talent and funding to our state. As our members and constituents, we encourage you to take advantage of some of these new resources we are offering!

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Featured Organization:

Give2Cuba: A New Model For Engagement And Philanthropy

By Sandrine Espie

Cuba FlagCuba’s economic and political systems have severely limited its development and greatly worsened the quality of life for average Cubans. U.S. donors and nonprofit organizations concerned about poverty in Cuba have faced a difficult path for engagement, given the complexity of U.S. laws and regulations governing relations with Cuba. This situation is further complicated by the fact Cuba has no real civil sector, since Cuban law limits freedom of expression and association. Because of these legal, operational and political barriers, philanthropy and giving for Cuba have been severely limited. One group, based in Seattle, is changing that and helping donors reach and support the people of Cuba.

Give2Cuba was started by a small group of Seattle residents, including Cuban-American Mauricio Vivero. His day job in philanthropy, and his love of country, inspired him to create Give2Cuba to create a new model for development work in Cuba. ”By definition, almost anything involving Cuba is legally and politically complicated. But, our contribution here is to give donors a simple, legal way to help meet the basic needs of people in Cuba,” said Mauricio.

Recently, there has been more direct contact between civil society in the U.S. and citizens in Cuba, but progress is slow. The Obama administration has been increasing the number of U.S. charities allowed to work in Cuba, and has removed certain barriers for travel and remittances.  But U.S. groups still must receive special clearance from the Treasury Department to transfer funds or conduct work in Cuba.

For many donors, including many Cuban-Americans, this is just too much complexity. When considering philanthropy in Cuba, donors must carefully select a nonprofit with legal permission to work in Cuba, and also understand the limits inherent in working in Cuba, such as the barriers to travel to conduct a site visit. As a result, some donors may become discouraged and decide to focus their philanthropy in other countries. “I would suggest this complexity and need is a special opportunity for philanthropy. What could be more exciting than to help build civil society in Cuba from the ground up?” said Mauricio.

Mauricio was also inspired to think more about his homeland by a special gift from one of his board members.  “One day I received this great painting of Cuba. I was so proud to hang it in my office, but after months of looking at it I said to myself: How can I work in philanthropy and not do something for Cuba. ”

Give2Cuba was launched in 2010, and has already received more than $20,000 in donations. After doing lots of research and talking to their donors, advisors, and development experts, the group decided to focus on the basic needs of Cuban citizens, such as hunger and freedom of expression. Give2Cuba is currently supporting a meals program for seniors, which provides a hot meal for 40,000 residents in Cuba. The group is also supporting a program to give young people in Cuba cell phones, to both encourage more direct communication with U.S. young people, as well as among youth in Cuba.  ”It wasn’t too long ago cell phones were illegal in Cuba. The ability of people to communicate is very important,” added Mauricio. Most Cubans cannot afford the cost of a cell phone (about $40) since the average salary is $20 dollars a month.

Next year the group plans to support a shipment of medical supplies to Cuba, among other projects. To accomplish these goals, Give2Cuba needs to expand the numbers of donors, and work with larger foundations to scale up. “Our goal,” says Mauricio is to “broaden our network and increase interest and awareness about the need and opportunity for aid to Cuba.”

Managed by a small group of committed volunteers, the organization sees a promising future in Washington State. “People in Seattle and Washington State are very globally minded, generous, and open to discovering and engaging with different cultures. Seattle is a great place to start this work,” said Mauricio.

Although philanthropy in embargoed nations such as Cuba is challenging, Give2Cuba is making real progress by focusing on basic needs and partnering with donors passionate about improving lives in Cuba.  For more information about Give2Cuba, email info@give2cuba.org

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Clean water, social justice, and sustainable business: Rick McKenney of Water for Humans

By Anamika Ved

Rick Mckenney Water For Humans A social entrepreneur, mechanical engineer, a physicist, material scientist and a keen advocate of social and economic justice are few words that describe Rick McKenney, the cofounder of Water for Humans. Having started his career as a budding entrepreneur during his high school days, Rick’s passion for implementing social change eventually gave birth to the non profit social venture enterprise that is called “Water for Humans”.

In 2006, while traveling in Mexico during the summer, Rick noticed the elderly struggling with water jugs, people getting drinking water out of five-gallon jugs and trucks carrying jugs of clean water. He realized that people understand the value of clean water; they recognize that drinking tap water can potentially lead to serious medical problems and even death. With multinational companies and other private enterprise mushrooming in the profitable business of potable water sales and distribution, Rick saw people spending 25% of their income on buying expensive bottled water. Those with less financial means were drinking water that was insufficiently treated and not safe for human consumption.

Water For HumansHe also saw raw sewage flowing directly into the sea and onto farmers’ fields polluting the ocean and human consumption crops. With fields getting flooded by raw sewage, farmers could only grow animal feed commodity, which has less financial value than human consumption crops. His exposure to this socioeconomic reality made him decide to work towards saving people from the deleterious effects of these unsafe water and sanitation practices.

Born in Southern California, Rick was imbued with both the business and engineering skills to start a private enterprise. While in high school he started and successfully operated his own business, a small manufacturing outfit, before he sold it to pursue his undergraduate degree in Solid State Physics and Mechanical Engineering.

After working in military industrial complex where he was “conflicted by the lure of science and the application of technology,” he joined Boeing as physicist and materials scientist. During his eighteen years at Boeing, he worked on many classified projects; however, he wanted to do something in line with his core values. He wanted to give back to the society. As a first step, he went to Vancouver, B.C. and for four years worked at Ballard Power Systems developing hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

Water For HumansRick was interested in social entrepreneurship from social justice perspective. He wanted to use his engineering and business skills for environmental, economic and social causes. He wanted to do, as he says, “Business for good.” With that thought in mind, he joined Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) in the fall of 2004 to get his MBA in Sustainable Business Practices in June 2007.

According to Rick, it was the sustainability aspect of the MBA that lured him to join Bainbridge Graduate Institute. At BGI he learned how business could be a powerful force for social change. In studying political economics he was fascinated by the way that political realities clash with economic theory–the co-relation between wages and benefits and the social safety net or the co-relation between inflation and unemployment. He also studied social justice and business and started looking for some ideas relating to it.

In his effort to start a social enterprise for safe drinking water and sewage, Rick was greatly supported and encouraged by Gifford Pinchot, the co-founder of Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Gifford connected him to Paul Hudnut, a social entrepreneur and founder of Envirofit, an enterprise-based model that represents a more sustainable approach to tackling the global IAP/cook stoves problem.

Rick also drew inspiration from Fabio Rosa, a Brazilian social entrepreneur whose initiatives focused on rural electrification and the use of sustainable energy resources. Similar to Rosa’s “The Sunshines for All,” which delivered low cost electricity to millions of rural Brazilians, Rick decided to come up with what he calls “a reliable, low cost, culturally acceptable technical solution that could provide sustainable sewage treatment systems, and access to clean water.” This, he thought, would reduce pollution for people of all economic classes. He also understood the importance of providing a financial mechanism via a social venture enterprise. A social venture enterprise, according to him, was important to ensure that infrastructure, such as sewage treatment systems, have adequate financial resources to provide continuous operations and maintenance for areas where local governments do not have the capacity to deliver such services. This led to the birth of Water for Humans, a social enterprise that strives to insure local public control of water resources and the deployment of low cost water purification systems to the 1.1 billion people in the world who lack safe drinking water.

According to Rick, “the strength and vitality of a community is based on its ability to provide food security and economic vitality to its citizens.” In order to accomplish his vision to bring about social and economic justice, Rick wants to ensure the safety and quality of the local food sources and help local economies thrive.

Water For HumansRick also stresses on the importance of collaborative working model, which resonates with one of Global Washington’s four principles of aid effectiveness i.e, local ownership. According to Rick, collaboration or partnership with the local communities, NGOs, and government has been the mainstay of their organization’s success. “Strong and deep connections to key community partners have allowed us to grow and increase our impact,” he says. Their most recent project, aimed at designing and building a constructed wetland for sewage treatment in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla, is an example of such collaboration. In this endeavor, Water for Humans is partnering with a local internationally-recognized NGO, Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca (INSO). The goal is to develop this watershed project 20Km NNE of Oaxaca City, as a model that communities throughout the world can study and emulate. In addition, they are also working on a rainwater catchment and water treatment, and composting latrine program within Oaxaca City. There many sections of Oaxaca City that do not have adequate water and sanitation services, and they are working hard with the community to implement a cost effective solution to this chronic water shortage issue.

Rick emphasizes partnerships between small non-profit organizations and agencies like USAID and thinks that Global Washington can help make such connections. He appreciates the role played by Global Washington in increasing the “visibility of the member organizations.”

Excited about launching the first watershed project in the Oaxaca Valley, Rick continues to work towards implementing social change, using his scientific skills and strong belief in social and economic justice. Let’s wish him success in this laudable objective as he fulfills his dream to “affect people in the most positive way.”

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Welcome New Members

Global Washington welcomes the following new member organizations.  Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these organizations and consider opportunities for collaboration and support. Together we are creating a unified voice for the development sector in the state and are working to build an equitable and prosperous world.

One by One

One by One was founded in 2005 with the singular mission of contributing to the elimination of fistula worldwide. We work to increase awareness and understanding of this deeply troubling condition that affects so many women. Additionally, we partner with in-country organizations to create programs and mobilize the resources needed to support both life-transforming treatment programs and essential prevention work. www.fightfistula.org

Solar Nexus International

Solar Nexus International is an international supplier of solar, wind and micro-hydro electric systems based on Orcas Island in Washington State. We work with NGOs, aid organizations and humanitarian groups to provide reliable solar electric power solutions. One of our key missions is to help improve the quality of solar power installations in the developing world and to drive economic growth by strengthening the local solar industries in the areas we serve. http://solarnexusinternational.com/index.php

Washington Basoga Association

The WBA’s objective is to advance the cultural, social and economic development of the Busoga region, in eastern Uganda. They focus on developing and implementing strategic projects to address socio-economic stagnation in Busoga, as well as identifying strategies to health problems, including promotion of HIV/AIDS prevention and support. http://busoga.org

Washington Economic Development Commission

The Washington State Economic Development Commission was created by the Legislature in 2003.  Its mission and focus were updated by the Legislature in 2007, through SB 5995, to: “provide planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis and development for the state economic development system as a whole, and advice to the governor and legislature concerning the state economic development system.”  http://www.wedc.wa.gov/

Individual Members

Jill Satran

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Global Happy Hour Adds Some Fun to the Job Search

Global Washington hosts the first of its monthly Global Happy Hour for young professionals (ages 18-35) currently working in or aspiring to connect to the global development field in Washington State. At each happy hour, participants can engage in facilitated discussions about careers in the field.  Our first discussion will cover preparing for the job search and the job interview, and how to advance in your career once you have landed your job.

The happy hours will take place at various Seattle restaurants that cater to our target age range. Join us on Wednesday, July 27, from 4:30pm to 6:00pm at Earth & Ocean (1112 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA). No RSVP required.  For additional career resources, visit our online career center at www.globalwa.org.  For further information, contact megan@globalwa.org.

Make Aid Transparent Campaign Update

On July 7th, 2011, the Make Aid Transparent campaign, handed over its first petition during a meeting of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, in Paris, France.  The campaign “calls on aid donors to publish more and better information about the aid they give, in line with the international standard.”  Karin Christensen, Director of Publish What You Fund, and Tony Tujan, Chair of Better Aid, presented the petition, fashioned as an over-sized blue greeting card, to the working party’s co-chairs, Bert Koenders and Talaat Abdel Malek, along with Brian Atwood, Chair of the Development Assistance Committee.

The message on the front of the card exemplified the campaign’s message of transparency:  “76 organisations and 5012 signatures from 115 countries, say Make Aid Transparent.” Koenders acknowledged that such a petition is exactly what is needed to promote the issue of increased transparency. At a later plenary session, Abdel Malek emphasized the “special urgency” this issue now has.

Prior to the handover, the campaign’s animation, which can be viewed at http://www.makeaidtransparent.org/  was screened before an audience of over 150 country delegates. A robust round of applause and requests for copies followed.  The Make Aid Transparent campaign is planning to have more petition handovers this fall, including one in Busan, South Korea.

“Careers in Global Development Center”: Smart and Easy Way to Link in.

Consultants, volunteers, students, and members, are already benefiting from our Careers in Global Development Center, launched in early July, 2011. This easy-to-navigate web-tool is quickly becoming a leading resource to link mission-driven organizations with talented and passionate individuals. What you’ll find:

  • For members:  post your open positions, board member positions, and volunteer, internship and consultant opportunities. Search our bank of vetted consultants.
  • For job seekers: search positions by subject and position, review volunteer opportunities, and learn more about your chosen field
  • For students: track university programs in development and current scholarship opportunities.

For all of us engaged in global development, CGDC enriches our vibrant community and helps promote Washington State as a hub for innovative and influential development work. Visit our website today and find the Center under Resources.  For questions please contact kate@globalwa.org or megan@globalwa.org

Humanitarian Innovation Fund opens 2nd call for proposals

The second call for proposals for the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) is now open!

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organizations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative solutions to the challenges facing operational agencies in the delivery of effective humanitarian aid. The ‘large grant facility’ provides funding to projects up to £150,000 and supports the development, implementation and testing of innovation. The ‘small grant facility’ offers project funding of up to £20,000and is open to proposals at any time.

The fund was created through a partnership between ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) and ALNAP (The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action) and represents a collective effort to enhance the contribution of innovation to improving operational humanitarian performance at the field level.

The selection criteria are the following:

  • Relevance / potential impact
  • Approach / methodology
  • Feasibility / effectiveness
  • Team composition / capacity to implement

Deadline for applications:

  • Small grant proposals can be submitted at any time until 15th February 2012.
  • Large grant applicants will be required to submit an expression of interest by 28th August 2011. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to complete a full application by 16th October 2011.

Click here for more information about the funding process. To learn more about last year’s funded projects, click here.

Prosthetics Outreach Foundation Walkathon
Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, a Global Washington member, seeks to improve the mobility and independence of physically disabled children and adults in developing countries.  POF invites you to their Make Strides Walkathon on September 24th. It will be held at Marymoor Park in Redmond and will feature games, yoga, contests, prizes, live music, and refreshments.  For more information visit: https://pofsea.ejoinme.org/2011Walk.  If you are interested in being a sponsor or volunteering for the event, Contact Development Associate, Melissa Winter, at 206-726-1636 or mwinter@pofsea.org.

Oxfam offers free training for Oxfam supporters in the Seattle area
Participants will learn about the GROW campaign, practice some important grassroots advocacy skills, and make plans to address global hunger through action with Oxfam Action Corps in Seattle. Feel free to bring a friend who is equally committed to fighting hunger and poverty.  The training is on Saturday, August 6thfrom 1:00-4:00pm.  At noon an optional lunch will be offered, with tasty food and a chance to chat informally.

Location: The Gallery, (2nd floor “Owner’s Lounge”), 2911 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Cost: Free. The training and lunch are both free of charge.  Bring yourself and come ready to participate!

RSVP: RSVP to brawson@oxfamamerica.org.  Specify whether you will attend the optional lunch and if you have any dietary restrictions.  Please be sure any interested friends do the same!

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Global Washington Events:

Wednesday, July 27

GW Event: Young Professionals Global Happy Hour

Tuesday, August 9

GW EVENT: The Dark Side of ICT

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Other Events:

Friday, July 22

THE POWER OF ART: Building Creative Capital through Community Mosaics

Vaccines: The Global Health Miracle

Saturday, July 23

The US-Japan Social Innovation Forum – Panel Discussion & Reception

Monday, July 25

 The US-Japan Social Innovation Forum – Social Enterprise Happy Hour

Tuesday, July 26

Doctors Without Borders: Recruitment Information Session Seattle

Thursday, July 28

“Mojitos Against Mosquitoes” – Uganda Village Project

Saturday, July 30

Annual Garden Party – Days for Girls International

Tuesday, August 23 & 24

VIP Forum with Merck Global Health Innovation

Contributors: Bookda Gheisar, Megan Boucher, Carolyn Hubbard, Anamika Ved, and Sandrine Espie

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