CARE: Spotlight on Education

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Students at desk

CARE Somalia photo by Toby Madden.

Founded in 1945, CARE International is a globally present NGO working to alleviate poverty in over 102 countries around the world.  With a special focus on women’s empowerment, CARE has  a broad range of development programming which includes education and adolescent empowerment, health and nutrition, food security and climate justice, economic opportunity, and humanitarian response. Continue Reading

ChildFund: Addressing Education and Learning Poverty Challenges

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Chege Ngugi

Chege Ngugi, Africa Regional Director for ChildFund International. Photo: ChildFund.

ChildFund International is a global nonprofit organization with a mission to connect children in low-income communities with the people, resources and institutions they need to live at their potential throughout their lives. Founded in 1938 and funded primarily through child sponsorships, ChildFund now partners with dozens of local organizations in 23 countries to address conditions that prevent children from achieving their potential. Continue Reading

October 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the October 2022 issue of the Global Washington newsletter.

IN THIS ISSUE

Letter from our Executive Director

Kristen Dailey

Global Washington is a network of over 150 NGOs, companies, foundations, and universities who are working on one or more targets that will advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, we know that during a crisis and to provide sustained well-being in communities, a comprehensive plan that includes multiple SDGs is the best approach. This is most evident right now to address food security and prevent a famine in the Horn of Africa, Haiti, and several other regions of the world. SDG 2 is Zero Hunger and seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

However, we know that food security and solutions needed to prevent hunger include Climate Action (SDG 13), No Poverty (SDG 1), Peace and Strong Institutions (SDG 16), and Sustainable Cities (SDG 11), to name just a few. This is most evident by the impact of the war in Ukraine that has exacerbated a food production crisis in Africa where farmers can no longer afford fertilizer, and imports of wheat have been cut off. Several countries in Africa were already experiencing a drought and internal political instability, which is breaking down community’s ability to respond.

Fortunately, several Global Washington members understand the complexity and root causes of food insecurity and are creating multi-tiered, and multi-stakeholder solutions. You can read more about these movements below. I also hope you can join me at an event with the World Food Programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Microsoft on November 9. More information and to register can be found here.

Food security and other global development topics will be center stage at the 2022 Goalmakers Conference on December 7 and 8. Do you have your tickets yet? Check out new speakers and get registered here.

I hope to see you at one of our up-coming events.

KristenSignature

Kristen Dailey
Executive Director

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Issue Brief

Resilience and Responsibility in Addressing Food Insecurity

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Child Muno carrying on her back her 2 year old baby brother

Muno is 5 years old. She is carrying on her back her 2 year old baby brother. Recently, she and her family were displaced from the Bay region of Somalia after the drought killed all their livestock. Muno is not old enough to take responsibilities, but seems like the circumstances forced her to help her mother and take care of the younger child. Photo: Ismail Salad Osman Hajji/Unsplash.

Global chains of supply and distribution are not unfamiliar with disruptions and upheavals, the likes of which caused by the tumultuous invasion of Ukraine being particularly pertinent to the discussion of food security. The July 2022 Briefing Notes on the matter of food shortages in Ukraine, issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), predicts 60% of the country’s population to be plunged in poverty by 2023 as a result of the war. The presence of conflict, forcing farmers to reduce their operation sizes, abandon harvesting sown crops and lose access to vital seeds and fertilizer, will not only exacerbate current food shortages, but spiral the crisis into a greater dearth of resources, driving up food prices in the process.

Muno is 5 years old. She is carrying on her back her 2 year old baby brother. Recently, she and her family were displaced from the Bay region of Somalia after the drought killed all their livestock. Muno is not old enough to take responsibilities, but seems like the circumstances forced her to help her mother and take care of the younger child. Photo: Ismail Salad Osman Hajji/Unsplash.

A crisis in one nation is not contained in a world as connected as it is today, and the war’s impact is felt directly on existing food security crises in Africa. Wheat exports to Somalia, for instance, are primarily supplied by Russia and Ukraine, the shipping of which has stopped since the outbreak of war. Rising prices and shortages caused by the war exacerbates the existing drought in the Horn of Africa, with up to 13 million people suffering from severe hunger. In the case of Somalia, drought and famine have internally displaced over a million people in 2022, with over 513,000 children predicted to suffer from acute malnutrition, and more children dying of hunger every day.

Food availability in Africa is impacted by the war to the degree that food production is predicted to drop by 20% across the continent, as farmers now face a 300% hike in fertilizer prices. As demonstrated by Somalia’s current crisis, made worse by the constraining of global food supplies, food security is in dire need of greater attention from the most influential global actors.

The following GlobalWA members are working to address the food security crisis through versatile, innovative and impactful projects.

Exhaustive endeavors for crisis management

For a matter as widespread as food security, some organizations employ multiple approaches, spanning several sectors of focus, to achieve effective results.

In the context of a multi-sector approach to addressing the hunger crisis, one example is Resonance Global. Specializing in a broad-spectrum approach to such complex challenges, Resonance leads initiatives in finance, systemic innovation and collaborative partnerships, developing case-specific models to address issues faced by agricultural economies and niches.

Four methods are promoted by Resonance as core processes to improving the global system of food production and consumption: generating cross-sector partnerships between private, non-profit and governmental entities; intra-sector partnerships where private entities transcend competitive production to collaborate toward the same goals; open-source innovation, where opportunities to develop solutions to problems are granted not only to key players in the sector, but outside parties as well, and blended finance – including grants, investments and equity – such that active parties can transition their economic practices to an ecosystem-focused model, rather than one that prioritizes commodities.

The 2020 partnership between PepsiCo and USAID, coordinated by Resonance, exemplifies the value of cross-sector partnerships. By working to dissolve barriers to entry for women in the workforce, this partnership sought to empower women in driving forward economic prosperity, agricultural resilience and food security. Intra-sector partnerships are exemplified by One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), a platform for private entities to collaborate on matters of agricultural development, food security and biodiversity. Through the system of non-competitive collaboration, Danone and Mars worked with the Livelihood Funds to facilitate a sustainable supply chain for coconut farming in the Philippines, empowering over 5000 farmers through training in sustainable practices, advanced agriculture and ecological awareness. The 100+ Accelerator Program demonstrates the impact of outsourcing innovation. By allowing outside entities – private startups from over 20 countries – to pitch solutions to complex issues, the program invests in and develops chosen companies to work with current partners in implementing their solutions. Finally, the aforementioned Livelihood Funds is an essential system of blended finance, building opportunities for financial collaboration between businesses,  governmental actors, non-profit entities and other investing parties.

Resonance demonstrates the vital importance of multi-sector engagement when addressing the global food security issue, building a four-pronged approach and generating widespread opportunities for worldwide collaboration.

Oxfam International logo

Corporations are also acknowledged as high-impact players in the real of global food supply and distribution. The importance of corporations is acknowledged by Oxfam America in their efforts to address global food insecurity. Their Behind the Brands initiative (2013-2016), a component of the GROW Campaign, aimed to encourage more sustainable and ethical operational policies for the biggest food sector companies in the world like Nestle, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s. By pushing for transparent accountability and evaluating company policies on a proprietary scorecard, the initiative pushed high-impact corporations to adopt policies that ensure sustainable access to food, promotes agricultural success, include more women in the agriculture workforce, acknowledge and legitimize land rights for farmers, prioritize water access and be wary of climate impact. A sister campaign, Behind the Barcode (2018-present) employs similar accountability practices for large supermarket chains. Corporation-centric initiatives at Oxfam aim to shift priorities away from the traditional nexus of short-term profit maximization goals, and toward more socially and environmentally conscious, ethical practices that empower and grant resource access to the populations directly impacted by corporations and their policies.

Through a more grassroots approach, Oxfam empowers farmers to tackle rapid weather changes and climate disasters by teaching resilient agriculture techniques. By disseminating knowledge on processes such as agro-forestry and rice intensification, Oxfam grants access to training, knowledge resources and financing opportunities for farmers. With special consideration for women, who comprise around half of the agricultural workforce, these training initiatives aim to equalize the disproportionate prioritization of male workers when it comes to the provision of farming resources.

By addressing the matter of food security at both a broader systemic level, as well as through hands-on agricultural training at the individual scale, Oxfam demonstrates the value of multi-sector considerations.

Focused projects for high-impact development

While multi-sector initiatives make groundbreaking advances, sector-focused projects also demonstrate the importance and benefits of specialization.

In the fishing industry, for example, Future of Fish is working through partnerships to tackle the impacts of overfishing and unregulated exploitation. With an ascertained 1 in 10 people suffering from malnutrition due to fish scarcity in regions dependent on seafood, nutrition deficiencies impact over 2 million people across the world due to overfishing, poorly-managed supply chains and drastic impacts of climate change. Through partnering with communities dependent on seafood, Future of Fish helps build resilient, adaptive and innovative solutions to counter the negative impact on local fish populations.

Future of Fish logo

In Peru, for example, Future of Fish operates multiple programs to stimulate local fisheries in the Piura region. By granting access to financing resources, formalizing fishing operations and providing leadership training, Future of Fish advocates for formal, efficient operations and sustainable fishing practices in the region. The Pnipa-Sia project aims to improve the quality of mahi mahi yields by implementing a refrigeration system within vessels and observing the quality of captured fish – a significant effort to improve the quality of a vital food resource. In Chile, similar practices have been employed to address unregulated overfishing through formalized partnerships between local communities, training farmers in marketing, financing, sustainability and managerial practices. Relationships between communities and enterprises are built to improve the efficacy and quality of supply chain management, and capital coordination has yielded up to $150,000 for the Chilean fishing industry. Future of Fish partners with the Mi Caleta Foundation to stimulate the market value of local fish, and SERNAPESCA to implement electronic monitoring systems that prevent bycatching during large-scale fishing operations.

Future of Fish demonstrates through these examples the necessity for specialized inquiry into high-impact sectors across the global food industry. In the fishing industry alone, improper regulation and climate change are leading causes for resource scarcity and malnutrition for millions – a problem addressed through rigorous formalization, resource access, cooperation, financing and leadership training for farmers.

Heifer International

Heifer International is tackling food insecurity in multiple regions through sector-focused projects. Hatching Hope, operating in Mexico, Kenya and India, provides farmers with scalable poultry farms – both to generate revenue and alleviate food insecurity. The project is based on the ease of entry into the poultry business, as chickens and eggs are both easy to cultivate and provide reasonably fast returns on investment. By ensuring that farmers have access to vets who can vaccinate chickens to prevent disease, and equipping farmers with the agricultural knowledge, tools and sanitation resources required to operate effectively and scale their businesses, Hatching Hope aims to provide hunger relief and improve nutrition levels for up to 100,000,000 people by 2030.

Another Heifer initiative is the NIKA Milk project, operating across Nicaragua. With dairy products in high demand, NIKA aims to equip 3,600 dairy farming families with the resources they need to effectively increase and diversify their range of dairy products, stimulating the dairy market in Matagalpa. The project establishes cooperatives for farmers, allowing them to sell their products in bulk, remove middlemen in sales and engage with high-paying buyers. Access to resources like variations of feed for cattle and effective vaccinations also grows the yield of dairy farms, enables farmers to diversify their products, enforces sanitation standards and allows for scalability.

Starbucks Foundation

Philanthropy through partnerships is another impactful way food security is being addressed. The Starbucks Foundation, through partnerships with Gawad Kalinga, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Grab, has worked to address food insecurity in the Philippines through a $50,000 grant in April of 2022. Focused on raising child nutrition to healthy levels, the grant supports the Kusina ng Kalinga initiative, reaching up to 600 children in the Batasan Hills and Laguna regions.

Beyond the Philippines, the Foundation has awarded over $25 million in grants for developmental and humanitarian projects across the world. Their 2018 announcement of a seven-year strategy, in partnership with the Malala Fund, aims to empower up to 250,000 women across India and Latin America. With a sector focus on regions where coffee, cocoa and tea production is concentrated, the initiative aims to provide essential education and leadership training for young women, equip farmers with knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices, provide access to clean water and sanitation, open doorways to financing for small-scale farming ventures and stimulate local economies by upscaling coffee and tea production.

Set models for diverse challenges

GlobalWA members also implement flexible, scalable and exhaustive models that help guide their operations in various regions with differing factors at play. The value of having an established model to follow is demonstrated by the following examples.

Earthworm logo

The Earthworm Foundation employs a 3-tier process to improve the lives of farmers, reduce food insecurity and generate financial and nutritional stability for farming communities in multiple regions.

The first step, Rural Dynamic Diagnostics (RDD), is the preliminary set of operations when Earthworm engages with any community project. RDD involves a multi-tiered process of data collection, from individual farmers, local authorities and industry experts, to understand the state of affairs in terms of regional economy and public health and nutrition. The data collection process not only helps construct the unique approaches required for any given case, but develops trust with farmers, whose voluntary participation is cited as essential for the program to succeed. The second step, Holistic Farm Management (HFM), involves training workshops for small-scale farmers to consider ecological factors when engaging the market. When priorities are expanded beyond profits alone, and the needs of the ecosystem are taken into consideration, agricultural operations can develop better resilience, absorb unprecedented shocks, and provide long-term reliability for farmers. The final step, Livelihood Diversification Strategy (LDS), engages directly with farming families and provides them with finance management tools, bookkeeping skills, opportunities for income diversification and the knowledge required to scale and expand revenue streams. Enabling farmers to diversify their income portfolio relieves the pressure of success from any given farming operation and generates increased financial stability for small communities.

The Foundation’s model has been implemented in 15 countries, directly engaging 21,456 farmers and their families since 2015.

The Hunger Project logo

In Ghana, The Hunger Project is making significant impacts on the region’s severe food security crisis. According to 2020 evaluations by the World Food Programme, 12% of Ghana’s population were reportedly suffering from food insecurity; 24% of all child mortality cases due to malnutrition were observed in Ghana, and 24.2% of the country’s population lived in poverty, suffering from severe hunger. To address these issues, the Project has implemented their Epicenter Strategy to mobilize communities and build resilience, self-reliance and innovative adaptability to address the hunger crisis. Through collaborative initiatives, communities are trained and educated on nutrition, prevention of STDs, improved farming techniques to promote greater food security, best practices for sanitation, adult literacy programs and financing resources.

The Epicenter Strategy, much like the model employed by the Earthworm Foundation, has 3 branches of consideration: holistic integration, economic resilience and environmental sustainability. Integration promotes a cohesive collaboration between sub-programs that specialize in different fields, ranging from education to sanitation, farming techniques, financial training and nutrition. Economic resilience highlights the priority of building communities to become self-reliant, even after the project withdraws from the region. By bringing together groups of communities and distributing the knowledge, training and resources required for self-reliant and sustainable operations, the Project builds community models that can generate their own revenue, have low environmental impact, and continue successful operations after the program withdraws from the region. Finally, sustainable practices such as drip irrigation are implemented at low-scale farming operations and designed for scaling, such that the environment is prioritized at every level of the agricultural process.

Ghana is one example of the Project’s Epicenter Strategy being implemented in numerous projects across Africa, including Zambia, Senegal, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Benin. Beyond Africa, the Project also operates projects in India, Bangladesh, Peru and Mexico. With over 11 million people reached, the Project’s initiatives have brought about a 42% decrease in rates of severe hunger, a 30% reduction in household poverty, a 29% decrease in child marriage cases and a 31% increase in female entrepreneurship in their target regions between 2015-2021.

Through region-focused implementation of a flexible operational strategy model, the Hunger Project demonstrates the value of ground-level training and self-reliance through a scalable and flexible operations model.

From the ground up

The efforts undertaken by these organizations demonstrate that no matter the scale of the operation, the scope of its focus or the number of actors involved, exhaustive collaboration is vital at every stage of the process in order to address a crisis as widespread and destructive as food insecurity. From training individual farmers in their homes to holding multinational corporations accountable for global food supply chains, the hunger crisis is controlled and quelled only through intensive networks of collaboration, effective coordination of funds, sector specialization and heightened ecological and economical responsibilities for high-impact actors.

In addition to the above organizations, the following GlobalWA members are working towards Food Security in communities where they work through their programs, addressing SDG 2 – Zero Hunger.

Agros International

Founded in 1984, and inspired by the teachings of Jesus, Agros International’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty and create paths to prosperity for farming families in rural Latin America.

Climate change, agriculture, and poverty are deeply intertwined. Current farming methods do not meet the world’s growing demand for food, do not generate enough income for those growing the food, and contribute a third of all greenhouse emissions worldwide. We are investing in modern production systems that significantly increase the number of harvests and increase the yield of each harvest—meaning more income and more food is generated on less land with fewer emissions. We are especially excited that a special partnership with Rick Steves will facilitate the continued growth of our Climate Smart Agribusiness Center in San José, Nicaragua.

CARE

Hunger and malnutrition remain the leading threats to public health worldwide. Our 2030 Goal: 75 million people, the majority of them women and girls, increase their fulfillment of their right to adequate food, water, and nutrition.

CARE promotes changes in value chains that generate positive, sustained impacts for large numbers of marginalized households in terms of income, employment, power relations, and access to products and services that empower the poor to better their lives.

Our [agriculture] programs build on and are inspired by the vital roles that women play in smallholder agriculture around the world: meeting the food needs of their households, contributing to the development and growth of livelihoods, and working toward sustainable futures for their households and communities.

CARE focuses on reducing stunting because this reflects success on many fronts: food systems, health systems, education, WASH infrastructure, and safety nets, to name a few.

Read more: Tackling Food and Water Insecurity – Fight World Hunger – CARE

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide is a global community of over 4,700 humanitarians working to end extreme poverty with sustainable, community-driven programs – whatever it takes. To achieve this mission, we partner with the most vulnerable communities across 25 countries to address the root causes of extreme poverty fueled by inequality, vulnerability, and risk.

Ending extreme poverty requires us to focus on two of its root issues: health & nutrition. Zero poverty is only achievable if we also reach zero hunger. We work towards this by addressing malnutrition, along with the overall health and wellbeing, in the communities we serve. Specifically, we focus on those most vulnerable to malnutrition, including children and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of age for pregnancy. We balance rapid response with long-term solutions that address many of the root causes of hunger.

For over 54 years, Concern has led the way with standard-setting programs that strengthen local health systems and provide quality nutrition support and education to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Last year, we reached 11.4 million individuals with health and nutrition programs, ensuring they gained increased control over their natural resources, skills, and knowledge to break free from living on less than $1.90 a day.

Earthworm Foundation

Smallholders in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa harvest 53% of the world’s crop calories consumed by humans. Farmers often work in challenging field conditions, have limited training opportunities, and don’t produce optimum yields, all of which affects their livelihoods. This – along with the impacts of globalization, disease, pest outbreaks, and climate change – threatens the future of our farms, crops, and global food supply. At Earthworm Foundation, we see farmers as entrepreneurs who, with a little targeted support, have the power to elevate their farm businesses to their full ecological, economic and social potential. We are proud to benefit from the wisdom of farmers to support tens of thousands of farming families across the globe, including nearly 3,000 farmers who have increased their household income by 20% through diversification.

Future of Fish

Seafood is an excellent food source that contributes to a healthy, nutritious diet with a 150g portion providing about 50-60% of the daily protein requirement for an adult. The fatty acids in fish are optimal for supporting brain development in young children. Beyond the fats and proteins, the nutrients in fish provide additional public health benefits, such as fighting micronutrient deficiencies, a problem affecting approximately 2 million people globally in resource-poor communities. Managed sustainably, wild fisheries are uniquely poised as a resource to help improve nutrition in countries that need it most, helping to meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger, as well as support SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption. Overfishing, inefficient and inequitable supply chains and markets, and climate change are human-caused problems which require human-focused solutions.

We believe new models and approaches are desperately needed in order to deliver coordinated fishery transformation at scale. That’s why we work to generate systemic change in fisheries through a progression of coordinated activities developed in collaboration with stakeholders whereby stocks are managed more sustainably, fishery communities maintain resilient economies, and fishers and seafood workers benefit from improved social equity and livelihoods.

Landesa

Landesa champions and works to strengthen land rights for millions of those living in poverty worldwide, primarily rural women and men, to promote social justice and provide opportunity. With severe food insecurity on the rise, enhancing smallholder farmers’ ability to use their land is critical. When smallholder farmers have secure legal rights to land, they have the incentives to invest in their land and produce food for their families, communities, and our world.

In Kenya and Rwanda, Landesa is laying the foundation for millions of smallholder farmers — women and men — to break free from the cycle of poverty and hunger. Through the Agricultural Systems Change Initiative, a partnership with One Acre Fund and Co-Impact, we seek to strengthen rural women and men’s land rights and transform the agricultural sector so smallholder farmers can increase their productivity and income. The initiative simultaneously works to shift gender norms and ensure equitable access to agricultural markets for women, who produce a significant portion of the world’s food yet often lack the same resources as men.

Mercy Corps

Driven by climate change and the war in Ukraine, extreme poverty and malnutrition are on the rise around the globe. Mercy Corps works through programs, local partnerships, and advocacy to meet urgent needs while building more inclusive and resilient food systems to ensure lasting food security. In 2021, Mercy Corps reached 1.1 million people with direct nutrition assistance.

Mercy Corps is currently responding to the prolonged drought and hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. Team members are providing immediate assistance to alleviate hunger and meet basic needs while also providing water and dietary supplements to prevent malnutrition.

Opportunity International

Opportunity International launched its Agriculture Finance (AgFinance) program in 2008 to help end the cycle of low-productivity farming in rural African communities. Opportunity delivers targeted, finance-based solutions, like access to seeds and fertilizer, connections to buyers, and training on agricultural best practices. These programs are designed to help rural families transform their small farms into more productive, lucrative, and effective enterprises.

To date, Opportunity International has helped more than 540,000 farmers in sub-Saharan Africa build resilient livelihoods for themselves through small-scale farming. Read more about the Agriculture Finance program.

Oxfam America

Responding to the Hunger Crisis and tackling root causes

The world is experiencing an unprecedented spike in hunger driven by a confluence of factors that is having deadly consequences for millions of people around the world. Conflict, poverty and inequality fueled by Covid-19 lockdowns, and severe weather super-charged by climate change have all coalesced t create a hunger crisis. People are particularly hard hit in East and West Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti and Central America. Nearly 124 million people ar suffering “acute” levels of hunger or above, with 550,000 facing famine-like conditions.

The international community is mobilizing international support, but the scale of the crisis is daunting. Oxfam is mobilizing resources to reach 2.4 million people in East and West Africa alone with critical support including clean water and improved sanitation services, cash and food aid to meet food needs and protection for vulnerable households that have been internally displaced. We are also working to identify needs for communities who have lost their assets, including farming tools, seeds and livestock so that we can help them get back on their feet.

We are also working with donors and technical agencies to raise the alarm and bring greater attention and awareness to this crisis. In June, Oxfam America joined the chorus of organizations calling for the US to do more to meet urgent humanitarian need. Thanks to our collective push, we secured $5 billion in funding from the US government to respond to hunger emergencies around the world. This was a 230 percent increase over what the President originally requested in the emergency supplemental he sent to Congress.

The work is still not done. We are now pushing for the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act, legislation that provides the strategy and direction for US government assistance to tackle the drivers of food insecurity, including the urgent need to support smallscale food producers who are at the heart of food security at the local and national levels but too often are neglected. The GFSA passed the House and we anticipate it could pass the Senate before the term ends at the end of the year.

Resonance

We help players across sectors collaborate, co-invest, and innovate to build and support productive, regenerative, resilient, and nutritious food systems

We deploy collaborative, market-led solutions for sustainable and productive agricultural systems. Together with companies and the global development community, we advance regenerative agriculture, combat food insecurity and waste, and boost the resilience of agricultural value chains.

Save the Children

Hunger and malnutrition are devastating for children. Save the Children works in the hardest-to-reach places to address the root causes of hunger to ensure the most vulnerable grow up heathy and nourished.

Starbucks

According to the USDA, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States are food insecure. Starbucks is committed to helping fight hunger and support thriving communities. Learn more about our commitments.

As the company marks its 25th year in the Philippines, Starbucks strengthened its commitment to positively impact the well-being of all who connect with Starbucks by supporting hunger relief in the market by expanding the reach of its partnerships with Grab, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Gawad Kalinga to help local communities and children facing hunger. Read more.

Sukarya

Celebrating their 25th year, Meera Satpathy, Founder of Sukarya, wrote this wonderful guest blog for us that discusses all the myriad of ways they are addressing food and nutrition in India’s slums where they work: Nutrition & Food Security: Sukarya’s Ongoing Endeavor Since 1998.

The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project is committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. We facilitate individual and collective action to transform the systems of inequity that keep hunger in place. Through holistic and integrated programs, Hunger Project participants lead change in their communities and our world.

Investments in the resiliency of communities are key to addressing food security. Climate change, conflict, economic shocks and growing inequalities are putting pressure on our food system’s capacity to produce and distribute nutritious and affordable food. We work with smallholder farmers to strengthen their production capacity, decreasing reliance on external inputs, and diversifying livelihoods. We are working with farmers to reintroduce indigenous crop varieties and foods into their businesses. The inputs for these crops are often more accessible and they tend to be resistant to local diseases and pests.

We are also working with local leaders to educate communities about nutrition, particularly for maternal and childhood health. Through advocacy through our Right2Grow program and a partnership with Latter-day Saints Charities, we facilitate training workshops about nutrition for both children and mothers and the importance of pre- and postnatal care, as well as facilitate opportunities for on-going child health and weight monitoring.

World Concern

World Concern is about extremes. We go to the end of the road to serve people in extreme need because we have an extreme calling—to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken world. We follow Him to the thirsty. The hungry. Exploited. Traumatized. Forgotten. We Listen. Walk alongside. Equip and train.

Food is a basic human need and an essential part of bringing the whole gospel to a village. A mother cannot hear the gospel over the cries of her hungry child. Having enough to eat moves families beyond the struggle to survive and allows them to focus on the future for their children. Providing food for today and offering sustainable ways for families to produce nutritious food long-term opens the way for transformation.

World Concern provides emergency nutrition, emergency food, improved farming methods, and livestock to combat hunger and food security.

World Vision

One in eight people in the developing world do not have enough to eat. Many poor farmers are unable to grow enough food to feed their own families, much less sell for additional income. That’s why we partner with communities to address immediate food needs — but also to grow sustainable food for the future.

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Organization Profile

Heifer Helps Smallholder Farmers Bring Food to the Table, and to the Market

By Amber Cortes

Livestock farmer Edith Nankunda

Livestock farmer Edith Nankunda sends milk to her farmer’s cooperative in Kiboga, Uganda to be quality tested and sold. Photo by Zahara Abdul/Heifer International.

The cycle of poverty can sometimes mean you have what you need right in front of you, but the complications—of global market forces, of information and access, of food security—keep it out of reach.

Adesuwa Ifedi, Heifer International’s Senior Vice President of Africa Programs, should know. She is an economist by training and works across the nine countries in Africa where Heifer operates. A global development organization, Heifer has been on a mission to end poverty and hunger through agriculture in a sustainable way for the last 78 years.

One example, Ifedi says, is cassava, a nutritious staple crop grown across countries in Africa, particularly West Africa and Nigeria. But right now, most farmers are being motivated by subsidies to grow a strain that can’t be consumed as food and is used to produce biofuel instead.

“So imagine what happens when a farmer makes a choice to grow cassava for biofuel, and then opts out of cassava for food,” says Ifedi. “And in a continent where we are exporting a cash crop we can’t eat, we’re also importing food in the billions of dollars.”

While Africa is large exporter of cash crops like cocoa, cassava, and coffee, they are also importing a large amount of food grown outside the continent. The average imports for food in Africa total $43 billion every year. Ifedi sees a major gap between the production of local food and the demands of a global market. This dependency on global food chains, she says, keeps farmers from providing local food that will feed their own communities.

Edith Nankunda

Edith Nankunda, a livestock farmer and member of a Heifer-supported farmer’s cooperative, with her herd in Kiboga, Uganda. Photo by Zahara Abdul/Heifer International.

On a large scale, food security is an assurance that a country or region has access to food through an effective flow of supply, even in cases of emergencies like droughts. At an individual level, food security means both physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets not just their dietary needs, but also their personal preferences, and helps them be more active and healthy.

But over 300 million Africans are facing food insecurity every day. The challenge is immense. According to an IMF study, $50 billion is needed in the next 12 months to be able to address the high food insecurity on a global level. And the effects of COVID, which drove over 70 million people further into poverty, compounds this.

Recent spikes in inflation that have sent food prices soaring across the continent have also been exacerbating the situation. Smallholder farmers end up at the low end of the food value chain—faced with the challenge of selling perishable produce for low prices, and the difficult choice of growing food for nutrition or for money.

At the same time, Ifedi says, “there is a huge potential to transform Africa with the work of smallholder farmers.”

Working with farmers in Africa, Heifer has introduced farmer’s cooperatives to ensure they have strong bargaining power and the skills they need to document information and engage financial institutions on behalf of their members.

Holding phone

A cooperative member uses Emata, a tech-finance software that enables farmers to track their quantity and consistency of output and, based on these parameters, access microloans to grow their agribusinesses. Photo by Zahara Abdul/Heifer International.

Heifer has also worked towards bringing more steps of the supply chain, like processing plants, into the hands and ownership of farmers themselves.

“And what we’ve done is ensure that this investment is converted into equity for the farmer cooperatives and whomever they work with,” says Ifedi. “So that at the end of the day, the farmer cooperatives are not just selling to you, but they’re now in partnership with you.”

A worker checks a cooler at a milk collection center

A worker checks a cooler at a milk collection center owned by a farmer’s cooperative in Kiboga, Uganda. Loan capital and a purchase-and-supply agreement with a local dairy processing company facilitated by Heifer have enabled the cooperative’s members to expand their collection facilities and participate more equitably in the local dairy value chain. Photo by Zahara Abdul/Heifer International.

By bringing semi or even fully processed goods into the market, farmers reap the benefits of both production and profit, as finished goods can be sold at a higher premium than just raw products. For example, in East Africa, Heifer is working with farmer’s cooperatives and local entrepreneurs to bring farm to market dairy products like branded yogurt and pasteurized milk.

This helps them strengthen their capacity and get more access to the market across the entire supply chain. In other words, they can scale up.

Another way Heifer is changing how smallholder farmers get access to the market is to mitigate the risk inherent in farming. Agriculture is risky business, and very little investment goes into it, due to the risk profile, exposure to climate change and unpredictable weather.

“These are farmers who do not have a savings as you know. And so imagine putting everything you have for the year and focusing on rain-fed agriculture, and then you lose everything at once.”

The last couple of years, farmers in East Saharan Africa and West Africa have been facing losses that prevent both their access to insurance and financing to grow their business. For smallholder farmers, Ifedi says, it’s a vicious cycle.

Fatuma Auma

Fatuma Auma has increased her farm’s acreage and production with equipment and extension services facilitated by her cooperative. The co-op’s agro-insurance program also helped mitigate losses after an unseasonably hot dry season damaged her harvest. Photo by Joseph Muhumuza/Heifer International.

“So now they have no insurance. But they also can’t attract funding, because they are a risky business.”

So Heifer partnered with other organizations such as Pula and launched a crop insurance plan in 2021 that takes into account the specific needs of the smallholder farmer. Before planting season, a farmer’s budget is tight while accounting for fertilizer, and other costs of preparation.

But at harvest, the farmer has a cash flow.

“Unfortunately, you don’t buy insurance after the fact. So we designed a product with Pula called the “pay at harvest” insurance scheme that involves innovative financing to unlock opportunities for farmers to access insurance and pay to harvest,” says Ifedi.

“This way, we are able to jumpstart the culture of paying for insurance.”

When the farmers have insurance, it increases their capacity to access finance. And it protects them from the effects of catastrophic weather and climate change, for example, the recent floods in Nigeria that have disrupted the rice supply chain.

Heifer is meeting the challenges of weather, and the larger picture of climate change, with information and technology. They’re creating SMS weather warning systems and tractor ride sharing apps for farmers, and drawing in young entrepreneurs who would otherwise not be working in agriculture.

It’s important to draw young people in, Ifedi says, because food security is an issue that affects everybody’s future.

“We want to make the plight of the smallholder farmer more visible in everybody’s everyday life. Because what happens on the farm will eventually impact what happens everywhere else.”

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Organization Profile

S M Sehgal Foundation: Improving the Quality of Life in Rural India

By Tyler LePard

“Rural people deserve the same kind of dignity” as people in urban areas –Anjali Makhija, Trustee and CEO, S M Sehgal Foundation

Anjali Makhija taking a session with village women

Anjali Makhija taking a session with village women. Photo: S M Sehgal Foundation.

S M Sehgal Foundation has been working since 1999 to improve the quality of life of rural communities in India. With a focus on community-led programs, the foundation team creates sustainable programs to address rural India’s most pressing needs.

S M Sehgal Foundation focuses on empowering communities, especially women, at the grassroots level. The foundation works with three million people in rural villages in eleven states across India. The foundation has a decentralized model, with a total team of about 300 people: forty-five staff in the head office serve as specialists and resource people, and the rest in the field areas work on direct implementation of programs. A Program Lead in each state coordinates the work to match the expertise of each team.

S M Sehgal Foundation vision: Every person deserves to lead a more secure, prosperous, and dignified life.

S M Sehgal Foundation works on six sustainable development goals (SDGs). The first three—No Poverty (SDG 1), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), and Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) —are interrelated and addressed through S M Sehgal Foundation work on food security and water security. Gender Equity (SDG 5) is addressed by the team across all programs. They also work on the Quality of Education (SDG 4) and Partnerships (SDG 7) to achieve their goals.

Jay Sehgal Interacting with the farmers

Jay Sehgal Interacting with the farmers. Photo: S M Sehgal Foundation.

Work on Zero Hunger (SDG 2)

S M Sehgal Foundation’s Agriculture Development Program addresses SDG 2 in rural India, empowering rural farmers with the latest technology and agronomic knowledge to thrive in agriculture. The main areas within this program:

  • Best practices in farming: The S M Sehgal Foundation team demonstrates best practices for farmers, such as soil health management, balanced crop nutrition, and crop protection. In rural areas, the foundation team has seen that farmers don’t have adequate knowledge to apply fertilizers to balance the soil. Based on a soil test of the field, S M Sehgal Foundation advises farmers on how to balance the soil. This helps farmers save money on fertilizers. It also helps to improve soil health, which ultimately increases crop productivity.
  • Water-efficient practices: S M Sehgal Foundation promotes drip irrigation systems and other water-efficient practices that help reduce water requirements by 40–80 percent. This also improves crop productivity and helps farmers save money.
  • Farm mechanization: The foundation team builds capacities of farmers to own and operate machines for small agriculture. Farmers can also rent out the machines to neighboring farmers at a subsidized rate. This helps reduce their dependency on agricultural laborers, which makes it more cost-effective. It also helps increase crop productivity and increases farmers’ income.
  • Agriculture-allied activities: S M Sehgal Foundation promotes crop diversification–vegetable cultivation, orchard development, animal husbandry, and kitchen gardening. Not only does this diversification improve the diet of farmers and their families, they can also earn additional income by selling additional produce.
Women farmer in her ginger field

Women farmer in her ginger field. Photo: S M Sehgal Foundation.

Ensuring women’s participation

“Women’s empowerment is an overlapping theme across all S M Sehgal Foundation programs, which is especially important in agriculture because women are responsible for 60-80 percent of food production in India. Women are not usually recognized as farmers and are not paid or appreciated for their labor in agriculture. In addition, we emphasize climate-smart agriculture practices that ensure sustainability in the long term.” – Jay Sehgal, Trustee, S M Sehgal Foundation. Through the Agriculture Development Program, S M Sehgal Foundation builds the capacities of women farmers with training in agriculture and allied activities to achieve better crop productivity and fulfill their nutritional requirements. They also support women farmers in drudgery-reduction activities so that they can use their saved time for productive activities.

Climate-smart agriculture

“We all know that climate change is here. We can feel its impact everywhere across the globe.” –Neema Joshi, Manager, Partnerships, S M Sehgal Foundation

As a populous nation, India faces an enormous challenge in coping with the consequences of climate change. A majority of the country’s population resides in villages and depends largely on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, and forestry for their livelihood. This vulnerability puts Indian farmers in great need of adaptation strategies in the face of climate variability and change.

Sprinklers in field

Being climate smart- use of sprinklers for irrigation. Photo: S M Sehgal Foundation.

The Agriculture Development Program supports climate-smart agriculture focusing on adapting and building resilience to climate change, using an approach to transform agriculture systems to effectively respond to the challenges posed by climate change and to ensure food security. The Agriculture Development team works with farmers to promote water-use efficiency in agriculture, soil health, and nutrient management, the use of renewable energy and appropriate machines, protected cultivation, and the adoption of salt-tolerant varieties of cereal and vegetable crops.

Sustainability is extremely important

S M Sehgal Foundation works with each village council and village development committees to make sure they have the skills and knowledge to access government funding to keep projects going and not let them fall apart after the foundation projects are completed. Women’s leadership schools are established in some locations to build capacity and support the sustainability of the projects.

Jay Sehgal with villagers

Jay Sehgal taking feedback from villagers at the checkdam site. Photo: S M Sehgal Foundation.

Tight on principles but loose on operations

S M Sehgal Foundation’s operating philosophy is based on the principle of “loose and tight,” meaning flexible in operations and firm on core values. S M Sehgal Foundation embraces core values of integrity, excellence, professionalism, and optimism, along with the belief that, with appropriate support from civil society organizations and the government, rural communities will be mobilized to develop their vision for development and transform their awareness into action.

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Starbucks

As we focus on Food Security and SDG2 – Zero Hunger this month for our Issue Campaign, we look to our members to see what amazing work they have been doing.

Starbucks Strengthens Commitment to Hunger Relief in The Philippines

Partnerships with Grab, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Gawad Kalinga will expand as part of its commitment to fight hunger

As the company marks its 25th year in the Philippines, Starbucks strengthened its commitment to positively impact the well-being of all who connect with Starbucks by supporting hunger relief in the market by expanding the reach of its partnerships with Grab, the Philippine FoodBank Foundation and Gawad Kalinga to help local communities and children facing hunger.

https://stories.starbucks.com/asia/stories/2022/starbucks-strengthens-commitment-to-hunger-relief-in-the-philippines/

Opportunity International

This month’s Issue Campaign focuses on Food Security and #SDG2 – Zero Hunger and our members are doing some amazing work

Opportunity International launched their Agriculture Finance (AgFinance) program in 2008 to help end the cycle of low-productivity farming in rural African communities. To date they have helped over 540,000 farmers build resilient livelihoods for themselves through small-scale farming!

Read more about this amazing AgFinance program: https://opportunity.org/what-we-do/agriculture-finance

CARE

Our October Issue Campaign focuses on Food Security and #SDG2 – Zero Hunger and our members are doing some amazing work:

CARE has been tackling food insecurity and hunger for many years and helping on multiple fronts.

In order to make sure they are being effective they have to study the data. Here is a great #report that should prove to be useful to many:

Food Insecurity: Impact on Education Outcomes

This brief report attempts to shed a light in the current global food insecurity status, its impact on children’s cognitive development, and some of CARE’s promising practices which are showing results on reducing the impact of food insecurity on education outcomes.

https://www.care.org/news-and-stories/resources/food-insecurity-impact-on-education-outcomes/

Heifer International

For our October Issue Campaign, we are focusing on Food Security and #SDG2 – Zero Hunger, and our members are doing some amazing work:

Heifer International works on helping curb #foodinsecurity and #hunger on multiple fronts. They are also focusing on a huge problem with our #foodsystems – FOOD WASTE.

Check out these facts:

  • One-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year.
  • Food loss and waste happens in every region and at every stage of the food system, from field to landfill.
  • Food loss and waste is a heavy burden on the environment.
  • While over a billion tons of food go uneaten every year, as many as 828 million people go hungry. (that’s about 1 in every 10 people!)

Read the full post:

Quick Facts About Food Waste

https://www.heifer.org/blog/quick-facts-about-food-waste.html

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide – New report: Global Hunger Index

44 Nations Suffering with Serious or Alarming Hunger Levels

https://www.concernusa.org/press/44-nations-suffering-with-serious-or-alarming-hunger-levels-new-global-hunger-index-reveals/

Conflict in Ukraine, climate change and food price shocks among reasons why progress in tackling hunger has halted, report claims.

“The shocking new study – which uses data from 136 countries – cites the crisis in Ukraine as one of the reasons why 9 nations – including Yemen and Somalia, where famine is imminent, have alarming levels of hunger. An additional 35 countries, including Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, were found to have serious levels of hunger in the report, which is jointly published by Concern Worldwide and German charity Welthungerhilfe.”

Landesa

Our member, Landesa, has joined One Acre Fund in investing in rural Africa’s farmers through the Agricultural Systems Change initiative, in partnership with the Co-Impact Systems Change Grant program.

“The Agricultural Systems Change initiative advances smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Kenya, and Ethiopia along the pathway to prosperity by way of gender-transformative financing and training. Using a market-based framework, the initiative strives to transform agricultural systems nationwide to be pro-poor and pro-women. Landesa’s deep expertise in land rights and strong gender focus will help ensure that the initiative is responsive to land tenure issues across contexts and provide foundational support for millions of African smallholders.”

https://www.landesa.org/press-and-media/announcing-a-new-investment-in-africas-women-farmers/

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps | Resilient Food Systems: Making Food Systems Work in The World’s Most Fragile Places

https://www.mercycorps.org/research-resources/making-food-systems-work

Mercy Corps’ new policy brief sets out four key ways that governments, donors, private sector partners, and aid organizations can build strong food systems that deliver healthy food for everyone—including those living in the world’s most fragile places. Mercy Corps calls on UN Food Systems Summit stakeholders to:

  • Put conflict prevention and good governance at the heart of food systems transformation.
  • Invest in climate resilience to tackle food insecurity and the climate drivers of conflict.
  • Champion digital innovations that serve food-insecure communities affected by climate change and conflict.
  • Promote inclusive markets for nutritious food access and availability.

Resonance

Our member, Resonance, is an amazing global consulting firm that helps clients solve social, economic, and environmental challenges to achieve sustainability goals and drive opportunity.

One of their focus areas is Agriculture and Food Security.

“We help players across sectors collaborate, co-invest, and innovate to build and support productive, regenerative, resilient, and nutritious food systems.”

They work on:

  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Food Security
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Circular Economy for Food
  • Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture

Read how they do it:

https://www.resonanceglobal.com/solutions/agriculture-food-security

Save the Children

49 Million People Across 46 Countries Are at Risk of Famine

What Is Causing the World Hunger Crisis? Our member, Save the Children International, explains where hunger and malnutrition are most rampant, and the ongoing causes we should be aware of and can act on:

https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do/emergency-response/hunger-and-famine-crisis

The Hunger Project

Our member, The Hunger Project, has made incredible strides in breaking the poverty cycle and ending #hunger.

Case and point:

Food Security and Improved Nutrition in Ghana

https://thp.org/news/food-security-in-ghana/

“This project is enhancing the communities’ knowledge in nutrition to strengthen local food systems and to support communities to reach self reliance. Guided by the community-led Vision, Commitment and Action (VCA) process, the communities design a path for their own development and self-reliant action through our Epicenter Strategy. This holistic strategy builds a path to sustainable self-reliance through synergistic programs in health (including HIV/AIDS prevention), education, adult literacy, nutrition, improved farming and food security, microfinance, water and sanitation, and building community spirit.”

World Vision

One in eight people in the developing world do not have enough to eat.

Many poor farmers are unable to grow enough food to feed their own families, much less sell for additional income. That’s why our member, World Vision, partners with communities to address immediate food needs — but also to grow sustainable food for the future.

Their multi-prong approach has helped millions of people! How? Through the following:

  • Increasing agricultural productivity through improved seeds and farming practices
  • Improving access to markets so farming families can profitably sell their surplus food
  • Teaching families and communities how to improve nutrition and dietary diversity
  • Managing resources in a sustainable way to prevent soil erosion, maintain soil fertility, use water more efficiently, and protect the environment

Read more about how they do it, and the data:

https://www.worldvision.org/our-work/hunger-food-security

Sattva

Our member, Sattva Consulting, is all about delivering high impact, sustainable growth, and opportunities not only in India, but for all. They do research, gather the data, and their experts analyze and report to determine scalable solutions for sustainable impact.

In their recently launched Sattva Knowledge Institute, they have a whole section that focuses on #agriculture. Here you will find knowledge primers, podcasts, and perspective papers on the subject.

https://www.sattva.co.in/knowledge-institute/agriculture/

For example, this primer: Sustainable Sourcing in Agricultural Value Chains https://www.sattva.co.in/ski/sustainable-sourcing-in-agricultural-value-chains/

Mercy Corps

Dispatches from CEO Tjada D’Oyen McKenna: In Somalia with Mercy Corps

“As famine looms in Somalia, urgent humanitarian response is critical, and we know that the time to act is now. By providing lifesaving assistance to Somalis in the worst-affected areas, mass starvation can be prevented. Our drought response efforts help communities with immediate aid while also preparing them to withstand future droughts and other shocks. Having seen it firsthand, the magnitude of the crisis in Somalia is devastating but swift action can help to save millions of lives.”

Read more: https://www.mercycorps.org/blog/ceo-tjada-doyen-mckenna-somalia

Agros International

Our member, Agros International’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty and create paths to prosperity for farming families in rural Latin America. They have found a successful formula through their programs on:

  • Land ownership
  • Market-led Agriculture
  • Financial Empowerment
  • Health & Well-being

And other initiatives – read how they do it: https://agros.org/programs/

Earthworm Foundation

Our member, Earthworm Foundation, engaged 21’456 farmers across 15 countries and impacted indirectly 60’000 farmers and family members to increase resilience, generate #foodsecurity, learn about #sustainability and protecting habitats and forest, and increase family income.

How do they do it? What makes them unique? Can you learn from their examples?

Read on: https://www.earthworm.org/our-work/areas-of-work/resilient-farmers

Oxfam America

#foodinsecurity is a stark reality across the globe.

  • 1 in 3: The number of people globally without access to adequate food.
  • 21-37%: The percent of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the food system.
  • 10%: The rate by which women are more food-insecure than men.

What are the causes? What are some solutions? Our member, Oxfam America, knows:

FOOD SECURITY | Supporting the smallholder farmers, women, and Indigenous Peoples at the heart of our food systems.

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/issues/climate-action/food-security/

World Concern

Our member, World Concern, helps those facing extreme #poverty by transforming one village at a time. They work around the globe on Clean Water and Health, Child Protection, Spiritual Transformation, Economic Empowerment, Disaster response (e.g. the #hungercrisis in #somalia) and relative to our October focus: Food & Nutrition.

“Food is a basic human need and an essential part of bringing the whole gospel to a village. A mother cannot hear the gospel over the cries of her hungry child. Having enough to eat moves families beyond the struggle to survive and allows them to focus on the future for their children. Providing food for today and offering sustainable ways for families to produce nutritious food long-term opens the way for transformation.”

  • Emergency Nutrition
  • Emergency Food
  • Improving Farming Methods
  • Livestock

Read more about their amazing work: https://worldconcern.org/what-we-do/food-nutrition

October Blog Posts:

Sukarya – Guest blog

Our member, Sukarya, has been making great strides around hunger, nutrition, and food security in India, empowering women and children in the slums of Delhi and Gurgaon. Read about the problem, the challenges, and how they are achieving successes:

Nutrition & Food Security: Sukarya’s Ongoing Endeavor Since 1998 – Global Washington

SightLifeGuest Blog

Eye injuries and loss of vision are devastating for agricultural workers.

Our new member, SightLife, knows. They treat eye injuries and understand the consequences:

The Intersection of Agricultural Eye Injuries and Food Security – Global Washington

When left improperly diagnosed or untreated, eyesight can be lost – which not only compromises one’s own livelihood and ability to feed their own family, it also contributes to the broader issue of food insecurity if fewer farmworkers are available to work. Globally, it is estimated that the annual productivity losses associated with vision impairment are estimated to be US $411 billion.

Future of Fish – Guest Blog

Fish is Food: Feeding People, Nourishing Communities

In fact, globally, over 3 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein. In many of the world’s least developed countries, where fish is often the cheapest source of protein, it accounts for over 50%. Fish is an essential food.

Read all about this in our new guest blog from member, Future of Fish:

Fish is Food: Feeding People, Nourishing Communities – Global Washington

Landesa – Guest Blog

Land Rights: A Cross-Cutting Solution for Poverty, Food Security, and Women’s Empowerment

Our member, Landesa, is the expert at this and understands the situation succinctly.

“As an economic asset, land is the cornerstone of rural economies. As a place for growing food, it is indispensable. And as a means for promoting opportunity and gender equity for millions of rural women, it is a waypoint on our journey to save the planet. Moreover, secure land rights for women and girls are fundamental rights that guarantee their identity and heritage.

If we want to improve lives and alleviate poverty, achieve food security globally, and guarantee human rights and full dignity for all, we must invest in land rights for women.”

Land Rights: A Cross-Cutting Solution for Poverty, Food Security, and Women’s Empowerment – Global Washington

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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!

Rise Beyond the Reef

Rise Beyond the Reef’s mission is to help remote Pacific Island communities rise.

risebeyondthereef.org

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Member Events

November 4: Construction for Change End-of-Year Cocktail Party

November 4: Fireside Chat with Director Nicky Smith, IRC

November 9: Posner Center Annual Symposium | Decolonizing Development: Beyond the Buzz

November 15: UW Jackson School: Storm Clouds Over the Pacific? Impacts of the Invasion of Ukraine on China-Taiwan-US Relations

December 7-8: GlobalWA Goalmakers Conference

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Career Center

Administration Manager,  Adara Group

Relationship Manager, Forest Team,  Earthworm Foundation

Administrative Officer (Part-time), Earthworm Foundation

Manager of Communications & Special Events, Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)

Manager of Education Programs, Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)

Internship Opportunity at the Chandler Foundation, Chandler Foundation

HR Coordinator,VillageReach


Check out the GlobalWA Job Board for the latest openings.

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GlobalWA Events

November 9: Global Food Crisis: The Ripple Effects of the War in Ukraine for Africa and Beyond

December 7-8: 2022 Goalmakers Conference

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The Intersection of Agricultural Eye Injuries and Food Security

By Josie Noah, Chief Global Officer, SightLife, and Shaifali Sharma, Director of Prevention Program, SightLife India

ChandBee with Dr. Audrey Talley Rostov in office

ChandBee with Dr. Audrey Talley Rostov. Photo © Margot Duane.

ChandBee is an agricultural worker and mother living outside of Hyderabad, India. When she began to lose her sight at 25, it became increasingly difficult to work in the fields alongside her husband. Without her income, they could no longer provide for their family and her children were eventually forced to move into an orphanage. After four years of severe eye pain, ChandBee received a corneal transplant from SightLife partner, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute. With her sight restored, she returned to work and was reunited with her children. Continue Reading

Fish is Food: Feeding People, Nourishing Communities

By: Julie Budkowski, Director of Global operations, Future of Fish

Fishing boat

Photo: Future of Fish

Empowering sustainable fisheries is as much an effort to address food security and livelihoods as it is about environmental protection. Globally, over 3 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein. In many of the world’s least developed countries, where fish is often the cheapest source of protein, it accounts for over 50%. Fish is an essential food. Continue Reading

Land Rights: A Cross-Cutting Solution for Poverty, Food Security, and Women’s Empowerment

By Esther Mwaura-Muiru, Landesa

A Senegalese farmer holds a cluster of tomatoe

A Senegalese farmer holds a cluster of tomatoes that she grew on her farm. In sub-Saharan Africa, women farmers account for 57 percent of the workforce in agriculture. Photo by Landesa/Nicole Tomita

Women farmers feed their communities and the world. From the paddy terraces of Asia to the maize fields of sub-Saharan Africa, the woman farmer tills, plants, waters, and harvests crops that provide food security and nutrition for millions. Continue Reading

Nutrition & Food Security: Sukarya’s Ongoing Endeavor Since 1998

By Meera Satpathy, Founder and Chairperson, Sukarya

Celebration of Poshan Maah

Meera Satpathy, the founder of Sukarya with nutritionists and health care professionals are seen at the celebration of Poshan Maah – the Nutrition Month, event where Sukarya intervenes with its CSR partners in the local slum communities of Sector 24, Nathpur Gurugram, Haryana. The aim is to improve the nutritional outcomes for children under 6 years of age and pregnant and lactating mothers. Photo: Sukarya

If we go by the UN’s Definition, food security means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.

It is also a well-known fact that Gender Inequality leads to and results from food insecurity. According to estimates, girls and women make up 60% of the world’s chronically hungry, and the world has made little progress in ensuring the equal right to food for women. In fact, at the global level, the gender gap in the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity grew even more significant in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Continue Reading

September 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the September 2022 issue of the Global Washington newsletter.

IN THIS ISSUE

Letter from our Executive Director

Kristen Dailey

World leaders, diplomats, and global development practitioners from around the globe gathered last week at the UN General Assembly to address critical challenges and “transformative solutions.” While the topics of jobs and economic development were discussed, the opportunity of youth employment should be elevated as a priority. History has shown us that countries thrive when there are employment opportunities for youth entering the workforce. This untapped potential can form the basis of innovative economies, create cohesive societies, and provide stability for individual well-being.

The continent of Africa has the highest number of youth per population than anywhere in the world. By 2030, there will be 375 million young people entering the job market. The next few decades will be a moment in time for countries to catalyze inclusive growth or experience an incredible missed opportunity. Other regions in the world are facing similar circumstances with high youth unemployment and mass migration out of their economies.

However, there are several Global Washington members building the elements and infrastructure needed for future job growth, prosperity, and innovation. From large corporations like Microsoft to smaller NGOs such as Spreeha, each is building financial inclusion for future communities. Learn more in the article below.

We hope you can join us on October 27th at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce for Leading in Times of Transformation. Tim Hanstead, CEO of The Chandler Foundation, will facilitate a conversation with Elena Bonometti, CEO of Tostan, and Emily Bancroft, President of VillageReach, about how they are navigating, adapting, and innovating in an era of rapid, sector-wide change. 

Also, I hope you can join me at the 2022 Goalmakers Conference on December 7 and 8. Featured speakers include humanitarian leader Degan Ali, Enock Chikava from the Gates Foundation, Jay Sehgal from the Seghal Foundation, Birger Stamperdahl from Give2Asia, and Katie Young from Starbucks. Registration and more information can be found here.

If you are a Global Washington member in good standing, you still have time to apply for the GlobalWA Fast Pitch, which will take place in-person this year at our Goalmakers Conference on December 8. This is an excellent opportunity to promote your organization in front of an audience of potential partners. Read more about our Fast Pitch and apply here.  Application deadline is Monday, October 3rd.

KristenSignature

Kristen Dailey
Executive Director

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Issue Brief

Capitalizing on the World’s Underutilized Workforce

By Aneesh Chatterjee

Photo: aymanfakhry1999, Pixabay

A promising population of young, skilled workers might be what low and middle income countries (LMICs) need to stimulate their economies, but the lack of domestic opportunity or proper utilization of the workforce may compel workers to apply themselves abroad, leaving behind derelict economies with little hope of recovery. The Boost Africa program aims to prevent such a scenario. Providing training and resources to skilled workers in the realms of entrepreneurship, business funding, capital, and guidance in establishing thriving operations in African countries, the program hopes to stimulate vital sectors – healthcare, agriculture, renewable energy, education – and generate economic stability. The choice to prioritize the complete actualization of the domestic workforce is one of significant impact, and in adherence with the tenets of SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

Through direct engagement with workers and by implementing broader, systemic changes, the following GlobalWA members demonstrate the vitality of investing in the enrichment and education of the workforce.

Stimulating a Workforce: Direct Engagement

Broad-spectrum systemic changes comprise the strategic cornerstones of global socio-economic development. Multinational corporations (MNCs) employ several noteworthy strategies to generate multi-sector transformation in how transnational commercial operations are conducted – and, in turn, how the workforces of LMICs involved with these entities are impacted. A Resonance Global article by Kristin Beyard highlights the framework for such strategies in a three-tier format: first, MNCs guide multiple cooperative parties and organizations to adopt sweeping changes through supply chains; secondly, MNCs actively form partnerships with specialized entities (such as NGOs) to help them engage with regional or sector-specific issues, delegating full engagement to these satellite organizations; finally, MNCs invest in market systems analysis to identify the nature of the market they wish to engage with, economic motivations for local entities and indicators for their return on investment for specific projects.

resonance logo

Beyard’s distillation of these practices, broadly designated market systems development (MSD), is exemplified by PepsiCo’s decision to invest in women through their agricultural supply chains. Through a joint initiative with USAID, their 2020 Global Development Alliance (GDA) adopted an exhaustive approach to make the case for empowering women in agricultural supply chains – thereby engaging an underutilized workforce through multiple actors. By training local farmers in sustainable practices, providing grants and business development resources to women, and collecting data to build a case for other actors involved in PepsiCo’s supply chains, the GDA effectively engaged with women in the workforce across India, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Columbia. Similarly, PepsiCo’s recruitment of Pioneer Foods demonstrates the second practice mentioned in the MSD structure: joining forces with specialized entities to oversee region-specific operations – in this case, the implementation of start-up services and commercialization training for farmers in South Africa.

SATTVA logo

Engaging with women in the workforce has also been the focus of the 2019-2020 SelectHER program by Sattva, focusing on Indian women marginalized through gender stereotypes and a lack of formal education or training, often relegated to low-income, unformalized work with little to no job security. By running training programs in customer service, computer basics, resumé building and interview seminars and personality-focused counseling sessions for mental health development, the SelectHER program observed noteworthy advancements in social skills, mental and emotional wellbeing, and career potential among 110 candidates. The program’s findings recommend that fostering digital and computer-based transferrable skills, alongside agency-focused personality development, are central to actualizing the employment potential of underutilized workers. These results are reflected in the operational goals of the Kusholi program by the Spreeha Foundation, focused on reducing the gap between the demand for skilled labor and the lack of technical expertise among the upcoming youth of Bangladesh. Underlining the high school dropout rates at 30%, the Kusholi program aims to foster a vast range of applicable skills, starting from soft skill training (e.g. graphic design, mobile services, photography and multimedia) to hands-on specialties such as appliances and electronics, cooking, auto mechanic training, and beyond. Through scholarships, Kusholi prioritizes skill development for school students while encouraging students to complete their education. Beyond the school demographic, the program also offers 6-month apprenticeships in specific high-demand sectors, complete with certification that can assist in the procurement of reliable jobs, domestic or abroad.

Spreeha logo

Another organization focusing on the untapped potential of the Indian market is Upaya. Exemplifying tenets of MSD, Upaya invests in partner organizations to oversee the development of secure, long-term and reliable jobs for the poorest populations in the country. Without access to education or resources, underprivileged workers are granted entrepreneurial training, guidance in business development, and active job generation. Their Accelerator Program provides key lessons in business management, financial acumen, strategy development, fundraising, and other aspects of entrepreneurship. Through seed funding and philanthropic networks, Upaya helps partner organizations grow while building reliable funding sources through donating parties. The Seattle-based organization has fostered 21,834 jobs across India, investing $1.3 million in 31 partner entities.

Upaya Social Ventures logo

Systemic Innovation

The digital space is a frontier that transcends many of the barriers faced in brick-and-mortar economies – but not without problems of its own. Across African nations, the usage of mobile phones has seen a noteworthy increase during the pandemic. Widespread connectivity in the digital space has enabled individuals of all financial standings to access mobile financial accounts, alleviating the need to visit tangible banks for many. Digital money access streamlines the journey to financial stability, cutting down on time and expenses required by individuals to access their own funds. However, a lack of cohesive policies between traditional banks and mobile money accounts introduces friction when individuals attempt to access financial resources, open savings accounts, or take out loans. Cooperation between the two realms of personal finance remains scarce, leading to substantial services fees imposed on individuals.

Dalberg logo

As a proposed solution, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, launched AfricaNenda in 2021. In addition to creating fast and reliable services for electronic payment systems, AfricaNenda aims to correct the discrepancies between mobile banking, traditional banks, Electronic Money Issuers (EMIs), and other financial institutions. In Ghana, this goal is successfully manifested: the GhIPPS Instant Pay system allows for a fully centralized electronic banking network with instantaneous transactions, working cohesively with traditional financial resources, increasing easy access to savings accounts, quick digital payments, and greatly eroding barriers to financial autonomy.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo

In the wake of the pandemic, Microsoft is leading the recovery of the workforce through systemic innovation in cross-sector digital enterprises. With over 25 million people disadvantaged from rapid changes to traditional work environments, Microsoft’s 2020 global skills initiative sought to acquaint people with in-demand digital skills, enabling workers to take full advantage of emerging opportunities. The program’s provision of free access to online courses on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and Github Learning Lab, for instance, reached over 30 million people over an 8-month period, empowering workers with skills in IT, project management, customer service, software development and many other fields. The focus on digitalization in the wake of global lockdowns is supported by a substantial shift toward a virtual employment market, with a predicted 149 million jobs in software development, cybersecurity and IT to eclipse traditional jobs in the US by 2025. In order to reach struggling communities across the world, the program’s philanthropic branch has invested $20 million in grants to NGOs, generating further educational initiatives and enabling access to the digital economy for nearly 6 million people in underdeveloped regions.

Through resilient advancements, Microsoft has transformed the post-COVID workforce into one with considerable potential for stable growth in coming years.

Microsoft logo

Climate Change: A Necessary Acknowledgement

Beyond digital innovation and infrastructure development, broader systemic changes impact the job market in different ways. Save the Children International spotlights climate change as a pivotal factor in determining the potential for workforces in LMICs across the world. In climate-sensitive sectors such as energy, transportation, water, and construction, climate-resilient infrastructure is identified as essential groundwork for a robust and adaptable workforce that can withstand the rapid impacts of accelerating climate change. Theoretical investments in the energy sectors of LMICs, while promising increased workforce productivity through reliable electricity, safe and consistent access to clean water, and refrigeration for food and medical supplies, come at the price of heavy environmental impacts. A shift toward renewable energy is deemed essential, encouraging with it a far-ranging implementation of sustainability practices – for both ecological and socio-economic development. To that end, the following GlobalWA members demonstrate hands-on approaches to address specialized issues in sectors across LMICs that have significant environmental and societal impact.

Save the Children logo

Land insecurity plagues up to 60% of Columbian citizens, with an inability to formally claim their own land leading to persistent land disputes, lack of access to funding and legal resources, and exacerbated poverty. To ameliorate the crisis of land recognition for Columbians, the Mercy Corps initiative titled Suyo utilizes efficient infrastructure, low-cost implementation, and proactive field work in local communities to engage with families and provide necessary solutions. By sending agents to meet families and ascertain the costs and scope of formalizing their land entitlement, Suyo matches data collected from citizens with existing government records to streamline the formalization process in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The provision of formal land ownership, accompanied by all necessary documentation to prevent disputes or legitimacy challenges, enables families to access credit, the freedom to assign ownership rights, and a relief from the numerous issues carried by land insecurity.

Mercy Corps logo

Agros International has conducted training programs in Nicaragua, teaching local farmers to produce and utilize bio-fertilizers. Cheaper and more conducive to the environment, bio-fertilizers recycled from manure reduce the emissions of methane and ammonia that accompany the production and deployment of traditional nitrogen-based fertilizers, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from the ground up.

Agros logo

In the face of Somalia’s drought crisis, World Concern launched a 2021 initiative to provide vital access to clean water and food vouchers to Somalian families in the Lower Juba region. The relief efforts include the implementation of water tanks, WASH packages for locals, and in some cases, drought-resistant seeds and livestock to stimulate agricultural development. The provision of emergency infrastructure development asks locals to donate their time and effort in helping with soil and water conservation, in addition to being trained in disaster reduction and sustainable practices.  By providing critical resources to sustain a population crippled by drought, along with training locals to sustain and proliferate climate-friendly practices, World Concern reinforces the importance of creating economic infrastructure that can operate independently and sustainably.

World Concern logo

A Call for Collaborative Specialization

Upheld by the core ideas of market system development (MSD) is the concept of collaborative delegation – the recruitment of multiple parties in order for each to specialize on target sectors, ensuring that every challenge encountered receives the full attention of those willing to act. Beyond that, such structure may be required at multiple tiers of operation, from direct engagement with workers to long-term changes in multi-sector .

As demonstrated by GlobalWA members, great potential exists in the world’s most underutilized workforces. Providing accessible and relevant resources, proper guidance, and the right tools can empower communities to revitalize the world’s leading economic frontiers. Such efforts are fruitful through systemic and sector-specific developments, reaching both the workers themselves and the socio-economic structures they comprise.

In addition to the above organizations, the following GlobalWA members are working towards Innovation for Inclusive Growth through their programs addressing SDG 1 – No Poverty, and SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.  

ACT for Congo

ACT for Congo exists to support lasting development in DR Congo. We believe that local leadership and ownership are key, so we identify and accompany Congolese humanitarian professionals who lead competent programs that improve lives in Congo.

Our partners support health, drive inclusive economic growth and affect poverty by working with the most vulnerable people in their communities. We help them build their capacity by providing resources and consultation. We require that they meet international standards in accounting and reporting.

Twenty-two years ago, we partnered with a small clinic that grew into a reference hospital (HEAL Africa). We then worked with a startup that became a nationally recognized vocational training facility (HOLD DRC). We now help our longtime partners build an NGO that aids other young organizations build capacity that leads to international credibility. They foster:

  • Advocacy, networking and skills for domestic workers
  • Improve opportunities for internally displaced people through referral to medical care, counseling and support groups, savings and loan circles, adult literacy, entrepreneurial accompaniment
  • Environmental education, reforestation, compost gardening, and alternative fuel production
  • Clean water and hygiene for Beni and Goma schools and organizations
  • Vocational Training: tailoring, culinary arts, esthetician, professional cleaning, drivers’ education, and masonry.

Capria Ventures

Capria invests in tech startups and funds in emerging markets that are profitably and sustainably improving the lives of millions of aspiring middle and lower-income families. Capria’s theory of impact goes beyond providing catalytic capital, aiming to impact populations or systems that lack access to resources, essential products and services, and quality employment opportunities. Consider Capria’s portfolio company BetterPlace, a workforce management platform in India solving the critical problem of unregulated wages and limited work opportunities for millions of job-seeking blue-collar workers. Or TeamApt, a fintech company targeting Nigeria’s underserved and unbanked which account for 50% of the country’s population.

Together with our thriving network of local investment partners in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, over $300M has been invested in companies like BetterPlace and TeamApt to democratize access to life improving services and quality employment. This has resulted in over 174,000 quality jobs created and 31 million low and middle-income lives impacted.

Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide is a global community of over 4,700 humanitarians working to end extreme poverty with sustainable, community-driven programs – whatever it takes. To achieve this mission, we partner with the most vulnerable communities across 25 countries to address the root causes of extreme poverty fueled by inequality, vulnerability, and risk.

With over 54 years of experience, we know that breaking the cycle of poverty means ensuring communities have access to livelihoods and financial empowerment options, from small-scale credit to invest in business development to training in vocational skills that create employment opportunities. Across our programs, whether it be women in Kenya collecting and selling desert salt to local farmers and herders or using technology for cash transfers in refugee communities, Concern works with individuals to generate livelihood opportunities that make the most sense for them and their families.

Last year, we reached 5.2 million individuals with livelihoods and financial empowerment programs, ensuring they gained increased control over their natural resources, skills, and knowledge to break free from living on less than $1.90 a day.

Global Partnerships

Global Partnerships (GP) is an impact-first investment fund manager dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. GP’s affiliated funds make loans and early-stage equity investments to social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The investments aim to deliver clear and compelling impact in four dimensions:

  • broadening opportunity across all facets of poverty (including health, housing, energy, education, and economic livelihoods);
  • deepening inclusion by supporting hard-to-reach, disadvantaged populations, especially woman and the rural poor;
  • serving millions by financing sustainable, scalable options with the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people; and
  • improving lives by focusing on solutions that help people living in poverty build economic resilience, stabilize and expand incomes, and improve the health and well-being of their families.

As part of GP’s approach, the GP team rigorously evaluates social enterprises on all four of these dimensions both before and throughout the lifetime of all investments.

Mifos

As the industry’s only open platform for financial inclusion, we provide affordable, adaptable and accessible solutions for any segment of the market, new and small financial institutions can easily start with our community app in a hosted environment, medium and large institutions that are evolving into full-service providers of financial inclusion can use our global network of IT partners to configure a Mifos X solution, and innovators can build and scale entirely new solutions on our API-driven platform.

The Mifos community collectively creates, supports, and sustains innovation worldwide. Our open distributed development model and collaborative support network enable Mifos X users to access and share the knowledge of our global community. local IT partners to provide technology services for financial inclusion, global volunteers to contribute to and extend the platform, and local chapters built around to educate on best practices for technology-enabled financial inclusion.

Resonance Global

Resonance embraces inclusive innovation because we recognize that inclusiveness holds tremendous potential to deliver sustainable impact for all stakeholders. In our global development work and facilitation of pre-competitive and cross-sector partnerships, this means actively bringing together traditional actors with unconventional stakeholders, particularly those most impacted by complex challenges. In addition to client work and support of annual open innovation challenges and prizes, we highlight two specific activities of emphasis.

Resonance launched the Inclusive Innovation Exchange (IIE), a webinar series that brings together cross-sector changemakers around discussions of innovation, bold solutions, and best practices that drive economic development in emerging markets. With a new focus each year, these exchanges emphasize approaches that promote equitable access to data, open innovation, creative and traditional finance instruments, capacity-building, as well as processes that safeguard equitable outcomes.

Resonance collaborated with USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment to co-design and implement the Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE) Challenge. RISE is an open innovation competition to support the innovative application of promising or proven solutions to address gender-based violence in environmental programming, Winning projects were from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fiji, Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Results

RESULTS Educational Fund (RESULTS) works to generate the political will to end poverty by empowering individuals to exercise their power to effect change. Since 1980, our nationwide network of advocates has helped secure hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. investment in programs and policies to alleviate poverty. We advocate for groundbreaking legislation that saves lives and protects the health of people in low-income countries, reduces barriers for children to go to school and learn, and helps families move out of extreme poverty.

For 20 years, RESULTS hosted the Microcredit Summit Campaign, which played an integral role in driving the massive scale-up of access to microfinance for people in poverty while identifying innovative pathways for financial and social inclusion. The campaign reached 150 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women, with access to credit for self-employment and other financial and business services.

We also successfully advocate for U.S. funding for tuberculosis, which is world’s biggest infectious killer and a cause and consequence of poverty, and for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund and its partners have now saved 50 million lives.

SG Foundation

The SG Foundation has always supported SDG #1 – elimination of poverty.  Over time since the establishment of the SG Foundation in 1984 we have come to focus on children and education as the best means of tackling poverty.  Education, of course, does not simply entail getting children into school. It means having access to clean water, nutrition, and healthcare.  It also connects with SDG #8 – decent work and economic growth.  Jobs and income are much needed components to not only get children to school but keep them in school.  In Central America (where SG works), many families depend on children to help in the fields or household or otherwise generate income.  Staying alive necessarily trumps school.  SG Foundation accordingly supports non-profits that help farmers, small businesses, etc., to generate family incomes.  We favor working with women who are inclined to be more enthusiastic about educating their children, but our work is not exclusively with women.

We are excited to be a part of the Global WA program where we can connect with like-minded organizations seeking Innovation for Inclusive Growth.

S M Sehgal Foundation

Livelihood enhancement in rural areas through Digital and Life Skills training

As Ravi Kumar, a resident of district Alwar, Rajasthan, started thinking about how to earn to help his family, the Digital and Life Skills training started by S M Sehgal Foundation came as a ray of hope. Ravi enrolled in the course and learned how to use digital devices and the internet. To use his newly acquired digital skills to start his own small enterprise, he discussed a disc jockey (DJ) business plan with a friend. They subsequently collaborated and purchased a DJ system along with a laptop to play music. Within a year of their small start, they began getting more business, including from nearby villages. After paying all expenses, Ravi now earns five to six thousand rupees a month, which he uses to contribute toward his family’s income and for his own education costs.

According to the United Nations, a social perspective on development emphasizes that the best route to socioeconomic development, poverty eradication, and personal well-being is through productive work.

S M Sehgal Foundation works together with communities to create productive employment opportunities for achieving poverty reduction and sustainable economic and social development. Working especially with women and younger people, the foundation team has been able to secure them with work in agriculture and enable them to set up micro-enterprises that lead to income generation and empowerment of the poor, thus contributing to SDG 1 and SDG 8.

Upaya Social Ventures

Upaya Social Ventures works at the forefront of fighting poverty by funding and supporting scalable businesses that create jobs for the extremely poor in India.

To meet the job creation demands of India’s growing population, we prioritize investment into the companies often called “the missing middle.” These businesses are too big for traditional microfinance but often unable to access seed or growth capital. They are also the companies with the greatest potential for job creation. Through our investments and accelerator program, we partner with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create jobs that lift families out of extreme poverty.

Our vision is for everyone to have the opportunity to earn a dignified living and pursue their dreams. We believe that creating dignified jobs by supporting small and growing businesses is the key to inclusive growth in India and globally.

To date, our investments have created 27,000 quality jobs for the poor in India – and we are determined to accelerate our reach over the next three years, to reach 50,000 dignified jobs in India’s poorest regions.

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Organization Profile

Sattva Aims to End Global Poverty

By Tyler LePard

Group of school children

Schoolchildren in India. Photo: Abigail J. Thompson, Pixabay.

Ending global poverty in our lifetime is an audacious mission. So many of Global Washington’s network works on pieces of this goal from different angles – increasing girls’ education or affordable housing, improving health and decreasing disease, or any of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Sattva works across many issue areas and partners, while focusing on scalable solutions for social impact. Given the complex nature of poverty, by design Sattva works across sectors, stakeholders, services and geographies.

In the beginning, Sattva’s focus was on nonprofits across both strategy development and execution support. It slowly began to work with more and more nonprofit clients. Through these clients, Sattva started engaging with the funding ecosystem, and now they work with anyone with impact related goals – non-profits, social enterprises, foundations, corporates, impact investors, multi/bi-laterals, government and philanthropists.

Today Sattva is India’s largest social impact consulting/implementation firm. Beyond advisory work, they continue to have a strong focus on outcomes and getting hands on to support execution. Given their unique positioning in the sector, Sattva has also launched and managed several collaboratives spanning various stakeholders, across sectors and reaching millions of people (such as the Bharat EdTech Initiative, which improves learning through digital means for millions of children in India).

Students typing at computers

Students in India working with computers. Photo: Anil Sharma,Pixabay.

Sattva works around four key segments: nonprofits, foundations, corporates, and impact funds and social enterprises. They have a few cross-cutting horizontals that are focused on functional areas: research, tech and data, assessments, and recruitment and executive search. They have also established practice areas to go deep into thematic areas such as agriculture, healthcare, education, climate, and digital platforms. The team is distributed across India, the United States, Copenhagen, London and Singapore.

Innovation for Inclusive Growth

Sattva does a significant amount of work across agriculture, entrepreneurship, and skilling/employability to help enable inclusive growth. Throughout everything, they try to integrate a gender lens as much as possible, as there is often a gender divide when it comes to market systems and the strong patriarchy that is prevalent across the ecosystem. In Sattva’s work with funders, they often aim to influence capital to go towards marginalized communities and underserved geographies. For example, a lot of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) income is generated in Mumbai and goes into the state of Maharashtra. Through their clients, Sattva influences about 30% of CSR in India and they often encourage clients to focus on underserved communities in other areas of India.

Diving in a bit deeper, Sattva has a few different levers towards inclusive growth when it comes to agriculture. One is increasing smallholder farmer incomes, by both improving farm productivity and market access. And also enabling the role of farmer producer organizations (FPOs) and cooperatives. They are working to help farmers adopt best practices and climate smart agricultural practices. Through that, they also improve food security and nutrition at the household level. Sattva aims to increase inclusiveness of market systems. There is a significant gender divide when it comes to landholding in India. They also aim to Increase stakeholder collaboration, such as pubic-private partnerships.

Farmer in field

Farmer in India. Photo: Nandhu Kumar, Pixabay.

Sattva has been seeing lots of types of innovations related to inclusive growth in India and beyond. There are product innovations–products catered to low-income, underserved, or marginalized communities. These could be physical, such as low-cost health diagnostic tools and solar lighting systems (especially where communities are not connected to the grid). These can also be non-physical, such as financial products catered to low-income individuals like micro-insurance. There are also a lot of innovations in service delivery. For example, in financial services there is the “JAM Trinity”–Jan Dhan Yojana (government program that enables zero balance bank accounts), Aadhaar (a biometric identity card to ensure the right services get to the right people) and Mobile (enabling people to access mobile financial services). Technology also allows access to knowledge (training farmers on best practices) and information (like current weather patterns).

Livelihoods are generated across these various innovations at every step of the value chain. Technology has a big role to play. This has enabled innovation and access to knowledge, information, products and services. Nonprofits are focused more on sustainability of solutions, and increasingly thinking about their exit criteria. Social enterprises are doing great work here, especially in enabling business model innovations with a market-based approach. Even the larger corporate ecosystem is now tapping into low-income, rural markets given the sheer volumes. Given this whole ecosystem, Sattva is seeing a significant convergence of both philanthropic and mainstream capital, which is creating new opportunities for blended finance.

Workers at outdoor market

Wholesale chili market in India. Photo: Bishnu Sarangi, Pixabay.

Looking Ahead

Sattva invites anyone with impact-driven goals that might require external support to work with them. This can include research, strategy development, implementation and assessments-related work. They’ve committed to adding value for their partners and crafting win-win relationships. They’re open to like-minded players who have a similar philosophy, focus, and mission on poverty alleviation.

Next, Sattva wants to continue deepening their presence globally. There is so much opportunity to bring change and many players that are doing amazing work. In parallel, they hope to continue to strengthen their domestic presence and influence. Sattva hopes to leverage their institutional knowledge developed on-the-ground to help influence global stakeholders.

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Organization Profile

After 51 Years, Opportunity International Defines Their Own Innovation

By constantly shifting the ‘how,’ the organization stays true to its goals—and makes an impact

By Amber Cortes

Smiling farmer

Philomene, a farmer in the DRC. Photo: Opportunity International

Simona Haiduc, Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships, has been at Opportunity International for twenty years, and a few things have stayed the same: like the core of the organization’s mission to empower people living in poverty to transform their lives and build sustainable livelihoods.

But it’s the how, Haiduc says, that is always shifting.

“The innovations and the different approaches to how we get to that ultimate goal of helping our clients climb up the economic ladder, for sure those have changed.”

“And I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff,” Haiduc added.

For Haiduc, it’s the constant adaptability of this 51-year-old-organization that sets it apart—as well as their dynamic approach to finding inclusive and innovative market and business solutions to ending poverty.

Since its founding, Opportunity has helped deploy over $19 billion in capital to millions of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. They’re currently serving nearly 19 million clients in in 30 countries (focusing primarily on Africa, Latin America, and Asia).

Founded in 1971 by Al Whittaker, former president of Bristol Myers, and David Bussau, an Australian entrepreneur, Opportunity International was one of the first nonprofits to venture into microfinancing.

“But the work that we do actually differs from the traditional microfinance model where it’s just about the loan,” Haiduc explains.

Opportunity International goes beyond the loan to offer a wraparound set of services for their clients—who can be farmers, business owners, and small-scale entrepreneurs. (In fact, 95% of their clients globally are women.)

They provide access to financial services, combined with specialized training and information about markets, and even the digital financial tools to support these services.

Using human-centered design principles and technological innovations, Opportunity International will help their typical client, for example a farmer, open a bank account, find out what crops have the highest market prices and returns, and get connected to buyers for their produce.

“We come in and try to understand their needs holistically and put them at the center of our design, of our solution,” says Haiduc.

Investing in agriculture is risky—along with challenges of weather and fluctuating markets there’s now climate change to deal with.

“So, a lot of players, they’ve just stayed away, especially not looking at the smallholder farmer level. But for us that opportunity, that’s our mission. That’s who we’re called to serve.”

Responding to these risks, Opportunity International has implemented unique solutions, like introducing programs that encourage regenerative agricultural practices to address climate change issues.

Another avenue in their approach to ending poverty is supporting innovative education and employment programs.

Africa is home to the youngest population globally, a growing workforce that needs education and skills to find employment.

Students in classroom

Students in rural Uganda. Photo: Opportunity International.

“Millions of young people come into the job market every year,” Haiduc explains. “And there’s very limited supply of wage employment or formal employment.”

Not only that, but there’s a gap left by governments not prepared to offer public education solutions in hard-to-reach communities. So, Opportunity International finances affordable private education sector to fill that gap by funding the private schools started by local entrepreneurs.

The organization has also worked to provide a good education to students by releasing $500 million in funding to help families send their kids to school and help schools increase their capacity and quality of curriculum.

In fact, Opportunity’s EduFinance program was recently named one of six winners of this year’s WISE Awards for its success in helping to strengthen access to quality education for low-income students in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

With an eye on the latest employment trends, Opportunity is experimenting with investment in technical and vocational education, and self-employment training models within an expanding digital economy.

“Because we believe that education is a very important stepping stone into employment, and especially into meaningful employment,” says Haiduc.

Innovation isn’t inventing something new, says Haiduc. It’s taking what’s already there and improving it, or connecting the dots through information, delivery, or knowledge channels.

“We think of innovation in many different ways,” Haiduc says.

“A new product innovation, such as comprehensive agricultural finance loans, or going into sectors that nobody wants to go and doing things that might not have been tried before.”

But Opportunity knows that innovation needs to be inclusive, and programs need to adjust to new technologies to give as many people access as possible.

For example, years ago, their ‘60-Minute Strategy’ was intended to bring financial services to clients in remote communities within a 60-minute walk or ride from their home.

They were looking at technology delivery channels like mobile banks in trucks. But now, there is biometric identification and the ultimate innovation for digital financial services: mobile phone banking.

“So, the 60 Minute Strategy became the 1K Strategy, because now people can access services within one kilometer from their home with the use of the phone,” says Haiduc.

Mother and children posing

Leila, a farmer in rural Ghana, with her children in their home. Photo: Opportunity International.

As tech evolves and develops, mobile phones get cheaper and more available, and cloud technology and biometrics advance, Opportunity International sees nothing but, well, opportunity.

“We’re firm believers that the technology that’s capable of solving some of the largest development challenges is already available,” says Haiduc.

“We just need to find a way to put it together in a way that solves multiple issues and challenges at the same time. And we think it’s possible.”

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September Blogs Posts:

Small and Growing Businesses Are the Key to Creating Economic Growth That Matters in India – Upaya Social Ventures

Highlighted Social Posts:

Dalberg: Making Mobile Money More Inclusive
Dalberg, in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors supported the incubation and launch of AfricaNenda, an organization which advocates for, and provides technical assistance to, institutions building instant and more inclusive payment systems for mobile money.

Microsoft: Building a more inclusive skills-based economy: The next steps for our global skills initiative

Microsoft has a global skills initiative that has reached 30 million people.

Mifos: Mifos and MOSIP to collaborate on next evolution of OpenG2P

Do you know about OpenG2P? It’s a digital public good digitizing large scale cash transfers with open-source building blocks for global use. This is being created by our member Mifos Initiative along with partners to help empower the base of the pyramid.

Hands for Peacemaking: The value of a good education is priceless

The value of a good education is priceless. It is the bedrock and foundation for empowerment and opportunity. Read the wonderful story of Tomas Jose who was able to see his dream come true with the help of our member, Hands for Peacemaking Foundation.

Concern Worldwide: Livelihoods & Financial Empowerment

Per year, our member, Concern Worldwide, positively affects 4+ million people through their LIVELIHOODS & FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT programs. From social protection and support, to climate-smart agriculture, to village savings and loan programs – and more – read how they do it!

Capria Ventures: Bringing economic opportunity to the unbanked

Our member, Capria Ventures, is the leading venture network investing in extraordinary startups of the Global South collaborating to scale. One of the organizations in their portfolio is Destacame, who has built a free online platform that’s helped 2.5 million people monitor and improve their financial health in Mexico and Chile

Resonance: How to Build a Sustainable Agriculture System in Emerging Markets

Three lessons on how to tap partnerships as a powerful tool to advance sustainable agriculture in emerging markets

World Concern: Economic Empowerment

Our member, World Concern, has a great approach to economic development and providing opportunity: Savings Groups, Micro Loans, and Vocational Training.

Spreeha Foundation: Kusholi

Our member, Spreeha Foundation, has a great approach to economic development and providing opportunity: KUSHOLI. Kusholi or Skills for Decent Employment. Kusholi, or ‘the skillful’, aims to equip individuals with the skill sets necessary for the competitive job market.

Global Partnerships: Global Partnerships Launches the Impact-First Growth Fund

The fund is designed to support high-impact social enterprises that are well-positioned not only to manage through pandemic-related challenges, but also to come out on the other side with viable plans to grow, deepen inclusion, and expand impact.

Agros International: Making More With Less | What Climate-Smart Means When It Comes to Fertilizers

Our member, Agros International, is helping ensure long life and health for the soil and water supplies by implementing climate-smart bio-fertilizers. This will perpetuate opportunities and growth for communities in Nicaragua.

S M Sehgal Foundation: How Is Digital Awareness Propelling Rural Development In India?

Digital India was launched in 2015 as a dream project of the Indian government. The vision was to transform rural India into a knowledge and digitally empowered society through dissemination of information and digital access to government services. Our member, S M Sehgal Foundation, has been making huge strides towards this vision.

Opportunity International: Opportunity in Nigeria’s Schools

Our member, Opportunity International, is providing education and opportunity with their EduQuality and EduFinance programs. Check out this post to see how they are succeeding with these amazing programs in Nigeria.

Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps Ventures

Do you know about Mercy Corps Ventures? “Mercy Corps Ventures invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. Founded in 2015 as the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, we’ve supported 38 early-stage ventures to scale and raise over $355 million in follow-on capital.”

Resonance: Partnering with Multinational Companies to Unlock Market Systems Development

A great article on how multinational companies can engage more thoughtfully for environmental, social, and economic impact.

Sattva Consulting: Addressing the Low Female Labour Force Participation in India

Sattva Consulting, studied and analyzed Fossil Foundation’s SelectHER programme and gained some valuable insights which they share.

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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!

Global Rights Advocacy

Global Rights Advocacy’s mission is to provide victims access to international human rights mechanisms through high quality legal defense and advocacy strategies.

Globalrightsadvocacy.org

SightLife

SightLife is a global health organization dedicated to the elimination of corneal blindness.

Sightlife.org

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Member Events

October 8: Save the Date: Mission Africa’s 2022 Annual Fundraiser

October 8: The Rose International Fund for Children | ‘Lifting Those Left Behind’ Dinner Gala

October 3 – 9: The Max Foundation: Max Global Experience Cambodia

October 8: Save The Date: Mission Africa’s 2022 Annual Fundraiser

October 15: The Hunger Project 2022 Fall Event: The Future is Calling

October 19 – 21: NetHope Global Summit 2022

October 21: GlobalPDX: 2022 Conference

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Career Center

Manager of Communications & Special Events Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)

Manager of Education Programs Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)

Part-time Project Manager Remote Energy

Internship Opportunity at the Chandler Foundation Chandler Foundation

HR Coordinator VillageReach

Investor Relations Assistant – Seattle Global Partnerships

Coordinator, Community Programs and Communications World Affairs Council

Develpment & Marketing Associate Upaya Social Ventures

Director, Institutional Partnerships Upaya Social Ventures

Investor Relations Assistant Global Partnerships


Check out the GlobalWA Job Board for the latest openings.

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GlobalWA Events

September 29: Q3 Final Mile meeting: AI Applications for Global Health and Supply Chains – Drew Arenth from MACRO EYES

October 27: Leading in Times of Transformation

December 7-8: Goalmakers Conference

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Small and Growing Businesses Are the Key to Creating Economic Growth That Matters in India

Republished with permission from Upaya Social Ventures and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Women working

Photo credit: Upaya Social Ventures

The latest IMF growth projections have India pegged to be the fastest growing economy this year. However, if one looks closer, what you see is not what you get. India is a country of contrasts; it is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Even job holders belonging to middle-and upper middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet with rising food prices. Millions of Indian youth entering the workforce continue to struggle to find jobs. The unemployment rate in the country increased to 7.83% in April, with this statistic being even higher for urban India, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Continue Reading

Q+A: The Business Case for Investing in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Interview With WaterAid’s Sarah Dobsevage

by Sarah Kershaw

Moushumi at work in factory

Moushumi works at a garment factory in Bangladesh. She says: When we finally got a toilet in our community, running water and a handwashing station in our factory, it was a massive relief. Credit: WaterAid/ Fabeha Monir

August 23, 2022

WaterAid conducted research over two years in ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh and leather tanneries in India. Our groundbreaking new report shows the results: investing in water, sanitation and hygiene increases productivity, improves health, reduces absenteeism and more.

This project was carried out with support from our corporate partners including Diageo, ekaterra (Unilever), Twinings, HSBC and Gap Inc. Continue Reading