Thursday, October 04, 2007

Can We Make Poverty History?

Featured Speakers: Adele Simmons, Ph.D. President, Global Philanthropy Partnership

This event focused on the role and importance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations in reducing poverty. Dr. Simmons stated that philanthropy cannot save the world, but it can do a lot. However, these foundations need to be supported by new ideas in order to be effective. In many cases, foundations can do what corporations can or will not do. She highlighted the case of Africa, where foundations spearheaded the internet connectivity needed to facilitate scholarly research.

Beyond commending large international foundations bearing names such as Gates and Rockefeller, Simmons also discussed the importance of small organizations and projects. In cases where it is hard for the government to focus on one specific area, these small organizations play a lead role in the matter. These small projects make a big difference in countries where large projects are unfeasible.

In this way, foundations and NGOs complement the work of the government. In Thailand, for example, one civil organization set the stage for the government to begin to truly combad AIDS.

Simmons also expressed the need to find newer and bolder ways to address issues; otherwise it may not be possible to deplete poverty. She concluded that with successful projects implemented effectively, poverty may not be reduced by tomorrow, but it will make an enormous difference.

Sponsor: SID-Washington’s Corporate Responsibility Workgroup, Georgetown University’s Mortara Center for International Studies, USAID’s Global Development Alliance and DAI

Location: Georgetown University Copley Hall Formal Lounge

Date: September 10th

Time: 4:00-5:30PM

Approximate Number of Attendees: 40 Attendees

Intern Attending: Yaheiry Galan

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