Reshaping grantmaking practice by EMpowering youths

BY JASMINE KHIN, ASSOCIATE Today’s complex issues require not only strategic and collaborative philanthropy, but also a strong, supportive ecosystem to unlock its full potential. In September 2023, APC hosted a sharing session with EMpower, an organisation dedicated to enabling youths, particularly girls, to exercise agency and have a greater say in decisions that shape their lives. This gathering brought together APC members from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam to learn more about what they do. Over the past two decades, EMpower has forged partnerships with 125 organisations across 15 emerging markets to centre youth protagonism—that is, putting youth at…

The 3Cs of venn2023: Community, Capital, and Collaboration

BY ANUSHIA KANDASAMY, APC MALAYSIA REPRESENTATIVE Today’s complex issues require not only strategic and collaborative philanthropy, but also a strong, supportive ecosystem to unlock its full potential. This year’s venn—APC’s annual member gathering—brought three themes to the forefront: community, capital, and collaboration in philanthropy amidst an ever-changing, complex, and volatile world. In a content-packed two days bringing together more than 100 members and guests, venn2023 presented the unique opportunity for participants to engage with a cross-section of organisations both in Singapore and the region, exchange ideas and experiences with one another, and learn from inspiring leaders with two stellar keynote…

Building Asia’s Philanthropy Ecosystem

BY SUE TOOMEY, HEAD OF COMMUNITY AND ENGAGEMENT Today’s complex issues require not only strategic and collaborative philanthropy, but also a strong, supportive ecosystem to unlock its full potential. At APC, we often discuss the power of philanthropy to bring about significant social impact, and to address some of Asia’s most pressing challenges. However, today’s complex issues require not only strategic and collaborative philanthropy, but also a strong, supportive ecosystem to unlock its full potential. Yet, philanthropy ecosystems in Asia remain fragmented and under-resourced, with limited regional or local investment in strengthening and sustaining them. In September, APC hosted a…

In Conversation with Landesa: Pathways to Progress in Asia

BY SARAH TAM, CLIMATE LEAD How does securing land rights accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals? Land rights are a foundation for better lives—they provide shelter, economic empowerment, upward mobility, and food security. When people and communities hold secure rights to land, efforts to tackle climate change are more successful.   This is all the more important in a region like Southeast Asia, home to an estimated 100 million smallholder farmers. Yet for many — particularly women and Indigenous Peoples — secure land rights are rarely accessible.    So, how are communities securing rights to their land in Asia?…

The Road Ahead: What next after COP28?

BY SARAH TAM, CLIMATE LEAD Following the UAE Consensus at the end of COP28, what are the key takeaways for the Global South, and what next for APC’s work in climate? This year, COP28 brought together a record-breaking 97,000 delegates: negotiators, politicians, business leaders, philanthropists, and civil society organisations—all converging in Dubai to deliver a new era of climate action.  After two weeks of negotiations, COP28 delivered the UAE Consensus, which lays out a response to the Global Stocktake and puts forward a plan to close gaps to 2030 targets laid out in The Paris Agreement: transition away from fossil fuels…

Creating Pathways of Hope for Rohingya Refugees

BY KOON PENG OOI, PROJECTS MANAGER AND IRIS TAYAG, UNHCR APC members, Kathleen Chew and Stanley Tan, and ACF donor, Janet Lim, recently supported a second cohort of Rohingya refugee students in Malaysia to pursue higher education in the Philippines through the UNHCR’s Complementary Pathways (CPath) programme. The CPath programme provides refugees with access to protection services and a safe, regulated entry and residence in the country. It also aims to enhance their skills and self-reliance, guiding them towards the cessation of their refugee status. What distinguishes this initiative from other scholarship programmes is its unique offering for refugee students…

Music is the space between the notes

BY CAROL TANDEPUTY CEO, ASIA PHILANTHROPY CIRCLE Amidst the fever-pitch excitement and breakneck schedules at COP28, I found myself reflecting on the emerging—and much needed—voice of Asia on the green development challenge before us. Across Asia, learning loss from the pandemic is stark reality. As is the hopelessness that refugees and migrants often face, or the calamitous effects of climate change that frontline communities face. Against the backdrop of on-going wars in Ukraine and Gaza, it is also clear that social and environmental well-being are necessary ingredients for peace and vice-versa. But I also find myself asking: what is Asia’s…