January 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2019 issue of the Global Washington newsletter.


Letter from our Executive Director

Kristen Dailey

While incredible progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty and improving health and well-being worldwide, those who live in “fragile states” are increasingly being left behind. Fragile states are regions in the world that lack the capacity to manage political, economic, social and environmental risks – leaving their citizens more vulnerable to shocks and crises that arise.

At our conference this past December, Global Washington made a commitment to support our members who are working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In doing so, we need to pay particular attention to fragile states and acknowledge the problems where no single solution or intervention is sufficient. Often described as “wicked problems” these are challenges that can be difficult to define, have tangled root causes, and link various stakeholders with diverse values, interests, and positions.

Food security, water access, global warming, pandemics, and war. These all can be classified as wicked problems. Action itself in these contexts presents risks… but then, so does inaction. In collaboration with others, leaders must weigh the possibilities as best they can, consider unintended consequences, and find a way forward.

This month we are grappling with the immense challenge of improving the status quo in fragile states. Our January Changemaker is Rebecca Wolfe, Mercy Corps Director of Evidence and Influence. A leading expert on political violence, conflict and violent extremism, Wolfe contributed to the States of Fragility 2018 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Another contributor to the OECD report, Jonathan Papoulidis, World Vision Executive Advisor on Fragile States, walks us through how his organization empowers communities in fragile states. Also, you can join the conversation at our GlobalWA event at Microsoft on January 24, which will dive deeper into effective approaches to sustainable development in fragile contexts.

We will continue to break down siloes through our monthly issue campaigns. Next up, we will have a conversation with the CEO of Oxfam America, Abby Maxman, and others on February 7 to examine the intersection of economic empowerment and political freedoms for women. I hope you can join us.


Kristen Dailey
Executive Director

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Issue Brief

Resilience, Refugees, and Fragile States

By Jared Klassen

South Sudanese women

These South Sudanese women are supported by a World Vision program that helps boost food security and community empowerment, while targeting gender-based violence. © 2018 World Vision.

Fragility may prove to be the biggest barrier on the road to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Fragile states, loosely defined as countries that don’t have the capacity to manage the political, economic, social, and environmental risks they face, are already the furthest behind on achieving the SDGs. Contrary to the dramatic progress being made to reduce poverty in stable settings around the world, poverty is on the rise in fragile contexts. By 2030, more than 80% of people living in extreme poverty will be living in fragile states.

The impact of state fragility is also felt beyond borders. In 2017, the number of people forcibly displaced by conflict and violence hit a historic high of 68.5 million, with over 25 million of those individuals registered as refugees. Violent conflict has also spiked in the past 10 years, and more countries experienced violent conflict in 2016 than at any time in nearly 30 years.

With all the progress made towards achieving global development goals, it’s undeniable that there is still plenty of work to do. As the face of poverty changes, and with growing challenges like state fragility, the global refugee crisis, and climate change, our approaches may have to evolve to truly “leave no one behind” by 2030.

Understanding fragility

While each fragile context is different, all fragile states face a burden where the risks they face are greater than their ability to manage these risks.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) points to “social capital” as a key component of whether or not a state is fragile. These shared networks and norms for co-operation within a society build stability and trust. When social capital is missing, communities become divided, and people don’t see their governments as accountable, responsive, or able to provide basic services like health or education to meet their needs.

The OECD’s 2018 States of Fragility Framework uses five factors to illustrate different ways in which the loss of social capital and weak government institutions can make countries fragile. Political, societal, economic, environmental, or security factors can all contribute to instability in different ways.

These five factors also help nuance the term fragility. A country such as Malawi may have relatively stable political institutions, but face more serious environmental or economic risks. Certain regions or demographics within a country may also be confronted with higher risks, such as remote communities, drought-prone areas, or minority groups. Increasingly, the global community is drilling down to analyze fragile contexts rather than fragile states.

To further illustrate the complex nature of fragility, risk factors can be internal, external, or a combination of both. This may be self-evident with environmental factors like climate change, but can also apply to other factors. Conflicts in countries like Yemen and Syria are prolonged by political interests of external actors. Qatar, the richest country per-capita in the world, was recently ranked the most-worsened country on the Fragile State Index because of political and economic blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE.

As the OECD aptly puts it, “fragility is an intricate beast, sometimes exposed, often lurking underneath, but always holding progress back.”

The impact of fragility

The inability to weather the storms of natural or human-made disasters, economic crises, or social unrest has a profound impact on whether or not the world can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Fragility continues to displace people around the world. On average, one person is displaced every two seconds because of conflict and persecution. People are being displaced longer than before, with protracted refugee situations now lasting 26 years on average.

Conflict, violence, and climate change are the leading causes of global hunger. Recent research draws attention to this vicious circle of vulnerability and fragility, estimating that a 5 per cent change in rainfall in Sub-Saharan Africa increased the likelihood of conflict in the following year by 50 per cent. Climate change could push the total number of permanently displaced people as high as 250 million people between now and 2050.

Fragility also hurts economic productivity, with violence costing 12.4% in lost global gross domestic product. Conflict can reverse global progress on reducing poverty and intensify other dimensions of fragility.

Solutions being explored

In contrast to fragility, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Resilience is already a concept promoted in international development efforts, particularly in sectors like food security, climate adaptation, and disaster preparedness. And while it may have been the development buzzword of 2012, resilience focuses on analyzing risks and developing strategies to avoid or manage major crises. We see parallels in today’s efforts to address fragility.

So what’s new? Just as the OECD’s Fragility Framework helps connect the dots on the range of factors that drive instability, it can also be used to guide efforts that build resilience.

A “fragility-to-resilience” perspective is multidimensional, paying closer attention to the social bonds within communities, the strength and inclusivity of political and economic systems, and exposure to climate-related shocks. These factors allow development efforts to not only be risk-aware, but also proactively address root causes of fragility in the first place.

There are many ways that organizations are already putting this awareness into action. Women’s meaningful participation in the workforce, decision-making, and peace processes dramatically reduces the risk of instability. Countries where women make up 40 percent of the workforce compared to 10 percent are 30 times less likely to experience internal conflict.

Conflict-sensitive programming helps organizations understand the social fabric of communities, identifying the issues they face, local strengths for conflict management, and integrating strategies to minimize unintended harm.

Others are focusing on creating opportunities for youth through education and nonviolent civic engagement in contexts like Somalia, effectively reducing youth participation in and support for violence. Encouraging governments to be more inclusive, especially for youth, can prevent experiences of discrimination, abuse, and corruption that drive youth to take up arms.

The willingness to embrace the “fragility-to-resilience” paradigm is gaining traction among development, political, and security actors. Last year, the U.S. Government released a new, multiagency framework that provided a shared definition of “stabilization,” embracing key principles for more effective action.  While global spending efforts on conflict prevention currently represents only a fraction of the amount spent on crisis response and reconstruction, development actors are showing a willingness to change this trend. Last year the World Bank doubled its investments in fragile states. The OECD’s 2018 State of Fragility report also calls for donor countries to provide more and smarter aid in fragile contexts.

At its heart, building resilience acknowledges the goal of healthy relationships between government, civil society, and business. As the UN-World Bank joint report Pathways for Peace acknowledges, “For all countries, addressing inequalities and exclusion, making institutions more inclusive, and ensuring that development strategies are risk-informed” will be critical to building resilience and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


The following Global Washington members are working to increase resilience in fragile states:

American Red Cross

Armed conflict, international disasters and migration leave millions of people around the globe in urgent need of humanitarian assistance every year. As a truly worldwide network, the volunteers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent are able to help families reconnect when they have been separated internationally as a result of conflict, disaster, migration or other humanitarian emergency.  http://www.redcross.org


Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty and disasters so they can reach their full potential. Americares responds to an average of 30 disasters each year, shipping medicine and medical supplies and restoring health services to survivors. Using an app called the ‘Fit Tool’ Americares manages and tracks large shipments of medicine and supplies in the field and shares that information with its partners in real time. Collaborating with its partner organizations in this way improves the efficiency and effectiveness of Americares’ approach, allowing it to reach more vulnerable families with critical health programs, medicine and supplies. https://www.americares.org

Crista/World Concern

World Concern works to build resilience in fragile states, such as South Sudan and Somalia, by training and equipping communities to prevent and recover more quickly from disasters. The organization teaches drought-resistant farming methods, livelihood diversification, and provides livestock restocking, seeds, tools, and training to vulnerable families. World Concern also helps establish self-help and savings groups and income-generating activities in drought- and disaster-prone areas. http://www.worldconcern.org


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) works in over 40 countries and 27 U.S. cities to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future. In Seattle, the IRC is tailoring programs to ensure resettled refugees have access to necessary services and are able to connect with others in their new community.https://www.rescue.org/united-states/seattle-wa

Medical Teams International

In partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, national ministries of health and other NGOs, Medical Teams International provides life-saving health care to refugees around the world. In Uganda, Lebanon, Turkey, Bangladesh and soon Tanzania, Medical Teams International is the health provider for more than 1 million people in critical need. Flashes of intense violence and persecution have sparked a resurgence in the number of refugees from Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Meanwhile, refugees from South Sudan continue to cross the border into cramped settlements in northern Uganda, where Medical Teams has more than 700 Ugandan health staff. http://www.medicalteams.org

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps works in places characterized by fragility and instability, where people are vulnerable to big and persistent challenges that threaten to derail their progress toward a brighter future. In the face of these complex social, economic and environmental challenges, Mercy Corps sees the possibility for lasting change. Mercy Corps believes that when people are connected to the right opportunities, they can learn, adapt and recover in the face of crises, building better lives for themselves and strengthening their communities. Through Mercy Corps’ resilience approach, the organization is helping people around the world transform their communities for good. https://www.mercycorps.org

Microsoft Philanthropies

Following natural disasters, Microsoft Philanthropies provides technical support as well as technology and cash grants to its non-profit partners. In addition, the initiative resources long-term recovery and building up greater resilience in high-risk communities through long-term engagement programs such as digital skills. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/philanthropies


For more than a decade, NetHope has collaborated with its nonprofit members and innovative technology partners to meet the demands of vulnerable communities around the world. This cross-sector collaboration allows for better programs, mitigation of risks, and scaling benefits for greater impact in the communities in which NetHope works. By delivering information technology solutions to the developing world, NetHope helps nonprofits become more effective to achieve great strides for the underserved, and provides tech companies the opportunity to leverage their tools and ideas at scale across the entire sector of development to create successful outcomes, promoting the health and wellbeing for at-risk communities. https://nethope.org


Oxfam is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and social injustice. Globally, Oxfam works with 22.1 million people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty and hunger. Oxfam believes that building mechanisms for resilience within communities is critical to addressing poverty and defines resilience as “the ability of women and men to realize their rights and improve their well-being despite shocks, stresses and uncertainty.” Oxfam’s governance-based approach to enhancing resilient development addresses the impacts of shocks, stresses and uncertainty on people living in poverty, as well as the causes of vulnerability and risks. https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica.org/work/rural-resilience/

World Relief Seattle

World Relief International helps to build resilience in fragile states through community development (health screenings, microfinance, and agricultural extension) conducted in partnership with entities that have historic authority, relationship and capacity. In Washington State, World Relief Seattle has worked for 40 years to build the confidence of newly arriving refugees – helping them to translate their innate resilience and assets, into the U.S. context. World Relief Seattle provides assistance in housing, job placement, food access, English language training, youth programming, legal services and opportunities for integration with the host community. The organization focuses on social and economic integration, which is crucial to combat fragility and isolation once refugees arrive in the U.S. https://worldreliefseattle.org

World Vision

Because the risks that communities in developing countries face are numerous, World Vision takes a comprehensive approach to risk management. In its resilience programming World Vision takes into account the root causes of vulnerability (i.e. no access to land); changing pressures (i.e. increased urbanization); unsafe conditions (i.e. living on a flood plain), as well as the hazards that people face – be it natural (i.e. cyclone) or human made (i.e. violent conflict). https://www.worldvision.org

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Organization Profile

World Vision sees work in ‘fragile contexts’ as necessary to
accelerate SDGs

By Joanne Lu

Child in South Sudan field

World Vision works with children like Adol and communities to support greater food security and livelihoods in South Sudan. © 2017 World Vision by Stefanie Glinksi.

Since 1950, when World Vision launched its operations by helping orphans and children in North Korea, many of the Federal Way-based organization’s key moments have been shaped by refugees and fragile states. Now, nearly 70 years later, the organization is honing in on that need with a new global strategy. It’s called Our Promise 2030, and it brings together World Vision’s many decades of experience, resources and programs to better help children and communities in the hardest places in order to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

“In practice our core mission is around serving the most vulnerable children and the poorest,” says Jonathan Papoulidis, World Vision Executive Advisor on Fragile States. “We’re seeing that fragility is really the center of the global development crisis right now.”

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that by 2030, about 80 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile states. Currently, the OECD lists 58 countries as “fragile contexts.” World Vision works in 38 of them and has long-term development programs in 24. In total, the organization, which is one of the world’s largest non-governmental aid agencies, works in nearly 100 countries.

“Thirty years ago or so, there were lots of different countries struggling with extreme poverty and disaster and conflict,” says Papoulidis. “We’ve seen global progress across the board in many of these places, except in these really fragile ones.”

Even the global refugee crisis, Papoulidis points out, is a symptom of fragility. “We tend to put them in different buckets, but the vast majority of refugees come from fragile states. And the vast majority of them seek refuge in neighboring countries that are dealing with higher levels of fragility, as well.”

As World Vision has remained focused on a broad mission to help vulnerable children and communities at home or on the move, their experience and data has led them to work in fragile states for more than three decades.

“Now we’re saying we’ve got to get a lot more focused in these spaces where ‘business as usual’ development is just not working,” says Papoulidis. “We need a whole different approach to being more impactful and being able to support and empower more communities in these fragile places.”

Through its vast humanitarian and development operations, as well as its advocacy and policy work, World Vision is trying to promote a paradigm shift that considers the larger picture from the get-go. It includes recognizing that conflict is only one piece of the fragility puzzle, along with poverty, grievances and high vulnerability to natural disasters, pandemics and global price shocks.

“What we see now are some very promising thinking and trends in the development space, but we don’t see them fully fleshed out yet, and we don’t see them combined into a paradigm or a package where they’re working together,” says Papoulidis.

For example, development agencies are working hard to build resilience in food security, disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. But Papoulidis says that resilience efforts are being “stove-piped” into these sectors instead of being applied to the complex interacting risks and crises in fragile states.

“There’s a great need to de-silo this thing and get it into a much broader systems approach that considers political, economic, environmental, social and security factors,” he says.

For example, World Vision is part of a consortium of seven aid agencies called the Somalia Resilience Programme. It provides families across the country with multiple livelihood options to increase their food security and ability to withstand natural shocks. But through local associations and savings groups, it also helps build social capital, which World Vision has identified as a key driver to strengthening resilience to multiple risks in fragile contexts.

“Social capital – the networks, values and norms for cooperating across different boundaries – is really the deficit of fragile states,” says Papoulidis. “If the social contract is broken, that’s when you get low resilience and societal dysfunction.”

It’s important, according to Papoulidis, to build social capital along three tracks: bonding, bridging, and linking. Bonding is strengthening cooperation within communities that already share common ties like worldview, ethnicity, and boundaries. Bridging is building reciprocity – even trust – between communities that are disconnected or even divided with tensions. This could include mediating between ethnic groups that are at odds with each other or supporting regional hospitals that bring together different communities. Linking is connecting communities to formal institutions like governments and formal banking. Building social capital along just one or two of these tracks could actually deepen division, inequality, or exclusion.

In the context of refugees, for example, this includes building cooperation within refugee camps or connecting them with host communities, connecting them with the broader community surrounding refugees, as well as working with the government to provide solutions that are not only for refugees but also for others who are disenfranchised.

“Having the lens of knowing you’re trying to do all three things at once – bonding, bridging, linking – helps figure out where you’re trying to go as opposed to just doing limited work in one dimension,” says Papoulidis.

That larger perspective doesn’t just guide World Vision’s efforts to build social capital. It’s helping to inform their emerging approach to scaling and adapting programs for new contexts as well.

“If you’re going to do social capital strengthening, you can only do it at scale, because you’ve got to do bonding with a large group of communities, but also bridging across wide geographic areas, and linking to cross-vertical levels of government,” says Papoulidis.

Instead of starting with projects – which may seem less risky – Papoulidis says the development industry needs to start with a scaling model. Instead of only building wells, the question is how can we transform a water system?

“Scaling in fragile states is actually less risky than small projects,” he says, because it makes you think through all the systems that enable something to work in a specific context. Do you have political support for this? Is social empowerment and support a core feature? What does your financing look like over the next 10 to 15 years? The foresight it provides, he says, allows you to pull together and adapt different resources, partners, projects, and capacities to reach your goal.

“You can also get to some of the root causes of fragility, because you’re able to help change patterns of cooperation and inclusion at a really large level,” he argues.

That’s how World Vision arrived at Our Promise 2030. Their goal to lift up the world’s most vulnerable children and communities led them to pull all their resources and capacities together with a key focus on fragile contexts. This means continuing some existing initiatives, re-scoping some programs, while determining which others are no longer essential. It also means launching pilot initiatives in the coming year in several fragile contexts.

“Can it be done adaptively to contexts? Can it be done at scale? Can it be done in a coordinated and cooperative way with multiple stakeholders at different levels?” asks Papoulidis. “If we can do that – even though getting out of fragility is a long-term, multigenerational, extremely difficult, often contested and violent process – this approach can do so much to accelerate it.”

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Rebecca Wolfe, Mercy Corps Director of Evidence and Influence

By Joanne Lu

Rebecca Wolfe

Rebecca Wolfe, Director of Evidence and Influence for Mercy Corps

Rebecca Wolfe was on her way to getting a degree in sports psychology when a first-year seminar at Bates College derailed her plans entirely.

Now the director of Evidence and Influence for Mercy Corps, Wolfe is a leading expert on political violence, conflict and violent extremism.

“I never thought this is what I would be doing,” she says.

The seminar was called “Psychology of Peace,” and Wolfe recalls that she never once missed the 8 a.m. class. “I just fell in love with this course,” she says – so much so that she ended up designing her entire major in political psychology around it.

It was during an internship at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) that she first began to dig into a dialogue process methodology developed by Harvard professor Herbert Kelman. The next year, Wolfe became Kelman’s last Ph.D. student before he retired.

Wolfe says she always intended to be a practitioner. But because she didn’t think she could get into graduate school without saying she wanted to be an academic, she convinced herself that she wanted to be one.

“I then got on the academic treadmill and didn’t quite know how to get off,” she says. “I didn’t know what else I was qualified to do.”

In a prestigious post-doctoral position at Princeton University, Wolfe researched collective punishment: Why do people who are generally good believe that it’s okay to punish a group for the act of one individual? One of her advisors was Daniel Khaneman, an Israeli-American psychologist who, one month after Wolfe arrived at Princeton, won a Nobel prize in economics.

But it was actually a connection Wolfe made while working on her Ph.D. in social psychology at Harvard that helped her eventually jump off the “academic treadmill.” As a student she did a fellowship in the Program on Negotiation started by Roger Fisher. During her fellowship, she also helped Fisher write his last book, called Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate.

Fisher was the founder of a group called Conflict Management Group, which merged with Mercy Corps in 2004. Two years later, Fisher helped Wolfe join Mercy Corps.

Wolfe says that even before merging with Conflict Management Group, Mercy Corps had already been doing peacebuilding work.

“I think we were really one of the first that got it as an issue,” Wolfe says. “Mercy Corps understood that in order to deal with issues of poverty and a lack of development, we had to address conflict, as well. In today’s world, it’s troubling how right we were that most humanitarian crises – and the whole refugee crises – are due to conflict.”

The first big program Wolfe worked on was in Sri Lanka, then Kenya around electoral violence. After that, she went to Tajikistan and Yemen, where violent extremism began to take center stage in her work.

She first dove into issues of violent extremism in 2008, and by 2010, when she opened Mercy Corp’s Yemen program, she was already recognized as an expert in the subject.

“It was a much different place than it is now,” she recalls.

After Houthi rebels captured the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, Yemen has been embroiled in what the U.N. has described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” But in 2010, when Wolfe was researching which conflict in Yemen to work on, she says the conflict in the north was widely considered all but settled. Where there seemed to be increasing instability at the time was in the South, where grievances were growing stronger.

“The north and south had unified in the early ‘90s, and the south felt that they were getting fewer resources than the north,” Wolfe says. “I didn’t know it to the extent at the time, but violent extremist groups often recruit based on grievances, and that type of fragility is where they emerge.”

So, she designed a program to try to reduce those vulnerabilities toward recruitment into any type of political violence, including violent extremist groups. And on the community-level, she saw a lot of success.

“I actually had a lot of hope for Yemen then,” she says. “Then, Yemen became this bad case of foreign interference. Without external influence, the Houthis would not be able to do what they’re doing today. This is such an external conflict at this point; it’s not about Yemenis whatsoever. And that’s what breaks my heart.”

That kind of frustration is something Wolfe has had to deal with often in her work.

“You can do a beautiful peacebuilding program and really help people at a community level, but if the government continues to do things that don’t help or potentially hurt people, there’s only so much the program can do,” she says.

In Nigeria, for example, Wolfe designed a peacebuilding program to address a conflict between pastoralists and farmers. Then, the government instituted laws that significantly harmed the pastoralists. Despite this, many people that Mercy Corps worked with continued to help each other in the crisis. On a community level, she says, they were able to withstand the “negative externalities.”

Rebecca Wolfe (left) stands beside community members in Nasarawa state, Nigeria

Rebecca Wolfe (left) stands beside community members in Nasarawa state, Nigeria. Photo: Mercy Corps

“But you can’t scale that in an overall negative environment,” she says. “You’re basically just treading water. The most we can do is tread water with these communities until the overall politics gets worked out.”

Still, Wolfe believes that changing behavior is the “most sustainable change” Mercy Corps can have. That means looking deeper than macro factors – like country-level unemployment statistics – to understand why people make decisions to participate in violence.

Wolfe says that’s actually how Mercy Corps became more well-known in the peace and conflict space, because they published a number of studies that showed that policymakers and practitioners were giving economic factors, like unemployment, too much weight over other factors, like grievances.

“People have taken that to think we don’t think economics matters at all,” she says, “and that’s not the case! It’s just that it had been over-weighted in the response compared to other things.”

Wolfe says that even with economically-based programs – like vocational training and unconditional cash transfers – it’s less about the economics per se and more about how better economic situations shift perceptions of local governments.

Wolfe is also exploring how economic programs can help reduce perceptions among host communities that refugees will hurt them financially and harm their job prospects. Despite a lot of data that shows that refugees and migrants are often an economic boost, that kind of fear is perpetuating many of the social and political challenges of refugees and migrants.

In the coming months, Wolfe will also publish two studies based in Nigeria – “inshallah,” or God willing, she says with a laugh. One will be on peacebuilding between farmers and pastoralists, while the other will be on how to help former members of Boko Haram – many of whom were kidnapped and didn’t have a choice – reintegrate into their communities.

Although Wolfe never would have predicted that this is where her career would take her – that she’d be known as an expert on violent extremism and brief the Pentagon on stabilization strategies – it’s a mantle she’s assumed with grace.

“Especially given that certain policies have made us worse off,” she says, “if there are things I can do to use this money in a more productive way, I do believe I have something to contribute.”

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Welcome New Members

Please welcome our newest Global Washington members. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with their work and consider opportunities for support and collaboration!


Amazon is a multinational technology company focusing on e-commerce, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence in Seattle, Washington. amazon.com

Coopersmith Law+Strategy

As a premier Northwest law and strategic firm, Coopersmith Law + Strategy has deep roots locally, but have leveraged that knowledge into a powerful team of global experts. Their extensive expertise in both government and business allow them to offer strategic guidance with global development, including work with multi-lateral organizations, global investment initiatives and business and strategic partnership opportunities. coopersmithlaw.com

InformEd International

InformEd International works to significantly improve children’s educational outcomes in developing countries. Through monitoring and evaluation consulting services, InformEd assists international NGOs to carry out comprehensive evaluations, design robust M&E systems, and embed data-driven decision-making in to their development programs. Additionally, InformEd has designed social enterprises benefiting the education sector in southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, creating sustainable and scalable solutions to the toughest education challenges of today. informedinternational.org

Kati Collective

Kati Collective is dedicated to improving systems across global development by providing experienced, strategic and pragmatic action focused on three of the most important drivers of change: women, digital and partnerships. Kati Collective is compelling and impactful, aligning resources from across its network with global and local expertise in order to provide clients with targeted, cost-effective project resources. katicollective.com


RoundGlass is a socially-conscious global firm spurring innovation and disruption in digital health and wellness. The company believes that change at scale must start with motivating and transforming individuals to live a life of wellbeing and meaningfulness. round.glass

Tondo Foundation

Tondo Foundation supports effective solutions for communities in South and Southeast Asia. The Foundation works with NGOs and social enterprises by building relationships based on mutual trust and respect, spending time and energy to understand problems, providing funding and strategic support, and collaborating to achieve joint goals. tondofoundation.org

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Member Events

January 31: World Affairs Council & the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center // Choice, Voice, & Power: Increasing Gender Equality through Design

February 2: Stolen Youth // Evening of Hope Gala & Auction

February 7: Outright Action International // Outrising: An Evening for Global LGBTIQ Equality

February 12: The Max Foundation // The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Global Access to Cancer Treatment

February 13: University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies // Reinventing globalization with Dani Rodrik

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Career Center

Director of People & Operations Splash

Chief Engagement Officer World Justice Project

Program Manager/Programme Support for Global Development Technologies (GDT) Portfolio Intellectual Ventures

Graphic Designer Malaria No More

Check out the GlobalWA Job Board for the latest openings.

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GlobalWA Events

January 24: Escaping the Fragility Trap: Effective Approaches to Sustainable Development in Fragile Contexts

January 24: Networking Happy Hour with Friends of GlobalWA, WGHA and World Affairs Council

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