Future of Asian Philanthropy

Philanthropy in Asia is at an important crossroads. The region has enjoyed decades of strong economic growth, resulting in newly created wealth. At the same time, gaps in development and social progress continue to exist. As Asia emerges from a global pandemic and faces a looming climate crisis, it is time to rethink what society should look like and how it should operate. The Future of Asian Philanthropy is a future-oriented research project using scenario-planning what philanthropy could look like in 2050, and how it might fulfil its promise as a positive, impactful force in society. Volume 1:Scenarios for Asia…

What We’re Reading: Re-envisioning Early Childhood Policy and Practice

The Harvard Center’ on the Developing Child‘s most recent report introduces “ECD 2.0″, which adds three new concepts to the present understanding of Early Childhood Development.   BY VANESSA GOEH Many APC members are supporting Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives to improve outcomes in the region—such as the APC Regional ECD Research, which looks at different ECD policies and programmes across Indonesia, Philippines, and China, or the 1000 Days Fund, which looks at addressing stunting in Indonesia. Thus, it is necessary to keep abreast with the most recent developments in the ECD field. We recently came across the Harvard Center on the Developing’s…

Creating Impact Beyond Philanthropy

Members came together for a session focusing on impact investing and ESG, and how to utilise all the assets at their disposal beyond capital to drive positive social change. BY RUNCHEN HUANG Since 2020, APC has been hosting Calls for Collaboration to enable members extend the impact of their philanthropy—through opportunities to share projects they are supporting with fellow members in order to find common interests and new ways to collaborate with each other. In our first Call for Collaboration in 2022, members came together for a session focusing on impact investing and ESG, ending with a showcase of impact funds…

Philanthropy and Countering Future Pandemics

Where can philanthropy contribute in pandemic preparedness to prevent the devastating effects of another global pandemic? BY THERESA CUA APC had the interesting opportunity to invite “The Batman”, as well as two “Supermen” at a recent roundtable dialogue with APC members—that is to say, eminent guests Professor Wang Linfa (Duke-NUS School of Medicine), renowned for his research into bat-borne diseases; Professor Sir Peter Horby (Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford), credited for leading the biggest global clinical trials for the COVID-19 treatments we benefit from today; and Professor Gavin Screaton, who heads the School of Medicine at the University of…

Notes from the Region: APC visits Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia

As travel roars back to life in the first half of 2022, APC catches up with members from and working in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. BY NATALIE KENNEDY AND STACEY CHOE Travel has roared back to life in 2022—this means that APC was able to (finally!) catch up with our members around the region—meeting our members in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia in person after a long time, and catch up on what everyone is working on. Vietnam APC’s first stop, as travel restrictions began to ease, was Vietnam. We caught up with members, friends, and partners—and met with new stakeholders…

Carbon Markets: Challenges & Opportunities for Asia

As companies and companies turn to carbon offsets in order to achieve net-zero emissions, what role can philanthropy play in the carbon credit ecosystem?  BY SARAH TAM As companies and governments build out their net-zero roadmaps, many have turned to the promise of carbon offsets—measurable, verifiable emission reductions from certified climate action projects—to offset their emissions, while driving an economic model for conservation. If executed well, these projects can deliver benefits beyond reducing emissions, such as improving health, women’s empowerment, and conservation. Yet, while carbon markets appear to be a win-win for protecting public land and achieving net-zero. Critics argue that carbon…

Building a Stronger Philanthropic Ecosystem in Asia

How does the role of philanthropy in society need to evolve in these troubled times? BY JIA XIAN SEOW The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) recently announced its intention to spend US$9 billion annually by 2026—a 50% increase over pre-pandemic spending levels. With an endowment now totaling an estimated US$70 billion, one would not be faulted in wondering whether the world’s second largest philanthropic foundation may presume to be the global authority on effective giving for the world’s greatest needs. Instead, speaking to APC members a Fireside Chat in June 2022, BMGF CEO and Board Member Mark Suzman’s tone…

Unlocking Cross-Border Philanthropy in Asia

What are the motivations, challenges, and barriers donors face in giving across the region? BY THERESA CUA Asia is home to an estimated 36% of billionaires globally, and two-thirds of the world’s poor—presenting immense opportunities for regional giving. Philanthropy continues to hold enormous potential for addressing major challenges in the region as wealth continues to rise; harnessing even just 2% of GDP in Asia towards philanthropic giving would unleash some US$701 Billion—or 28% of the cost for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. However, philanthropists in Asia face significant barriers to giving. Complex taxation laws, regulatory policies, the limited…

Reopening borders, reopening minds

BY STACEY CHOECHIEF OPERATING OFFICER I hope things are going well for you as the world starts to open up. At APC, we are beginning to travel, too. In May, we will be visiting some of you in Vietnam, then Malaysia. We will also pop over to Thailand in June. It has been too long—yet none of you have felt very far away with the many online events that have brought us together.  Our in-person events are also increasing, with international leaders like Mark Suzman (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) traveling through Singapore and keen to meet with the APC community….

Regional Early Childhood Research kicks off

The study will map the current ECD landscape in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China towards providing recommendations to improve outcomes in the region.  BY THERESA CUA Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a challenge faced by many countries in Asia—with local priorities, challenges, and models varying across the region. Outcomes vary. APC is coordinating a Regional ECD Research, which recently kicked off in March. The research will map the current ECD landscape for children aged 0-6 in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China. In particular, the research will examine parenting and early learning programmes and policies, identify common measurement tools to…