From the campaign against plastic to the leading lights of Asian philanthropy.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) concluded the African Investment Forum with the launch of the Africa Energy Portal (AEP). The AEP will provide a wide range of information on energy in Africa including statistics on investment flows and deals, as well as the socio-economic outcomes of power projects.

 

Forbes Asia has published their 12th annual philanthropy round-up. The 40 individuals on the list have been selected based on their personal donations, rather than donations made through companies. Fundraisers and heads of non-profits were also not considered for the list.

 

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been appointed chair of the NGO The Elders, an organisation founded by Nelson Mandela working in the areas of peace and human rights.

 

The UK Government has launched a new GBP £200 Million to increase the availability of contraceptives in 27 countries across Africa and Asia. The Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (Wish) programme from DFID will be implemented by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, with a target of supporting six million couples a year.

 

For the first time in the nine year history of the event, nuclear power has been included on the programme of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE’s) Ministerial Conference of the International Forum of Energy for Sustainable Development. Scott Foster, director of the Sustainable Energy Division of UNECE, told reporters ‘I’m not pro-nuclear, but I’m not anti-nuclear. I’m not pro-renewables, but I’m not anti-renewables… you’ve got to be very neutral and sterile in your arguments and put them out and say, ‘What’s the most rational approach for us, collectively, to take in terms of economic, environmental and societal needs?’ And that’s where you’ll get pragmatic and sensible outcomes’

 

The OECD is calling for an overhaul of the global development finance system following a significant decline in external funding to low-income countries over the past few years. The OECD says that if this trend is not reversed, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved.

 

The Rockefeller Foundation has named David B. Mitchell managing director of operations for the Foundation’s Health initiative. Mitchell joins the foundation from the AI start-up R4 Technologies where he was  vice president for corporate development.

 

World Vision International has announced the appointment of Andrew Morley as its new President and CEO. Morley joined the charity in 2016, and has an extensive background in business and technology having previously served as CEO of Clear Channel UK as well as holding senior executive roles in several organisations including Google Motorola, and SKY TV.

 

IFPRI Director General Director Shenggen Fan has informed staff and supporters he will return to China upon completion of his second term in December 2019. The IFPRI Board of Trustees has established a search committee and launched the process to find a successor. An announcement is expected next month.

 

An extract from the new book Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better by Rob Reich, professor of political science at Stanford University, co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and the director of the Center for Ethics in Society, in which he argues the tax policies and structures governing US philanthropy are fundamentally broken and undemocratic and must be reformed.

The public backlash against plastics over the past couple of years has caught everybody by surprise. The shift in public opinion and interest in the topic is so rapid that major environmental groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have only had dedicated plastic teams since 2015 and 2016 respectively. But this shift raises major questions; why has the issue of plastics drawn this response and not climate change? Will people be willing to change their behaviour to accomodate a shift away from single-use plastics? And how long will the public fight the use of plastics before they lose interest?

 

Stephanie Cappa, deputy director and senior policy advisor for the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, outlines four areas US Development officials should focus on as they setup the new United States Development Finance Corporation.