67 results for author: VantagePoints Editor


Beyond Mobility: Wheelchairs Enable Engagement and Quality of Life in Developing Regions

When I started coming to Belize and Guatemala 1980, I saw people with disabilities that were crawling around on the ground or stuck in bed. That kind of tore my heart out. Just prior to returning to the States from Guatemala in the summer of 1988, I saw a woman, for the second time, crawling across the Pan-American Highway.

China’s Data-Driven Philanthropy

Since China instituted the Charity Law in 2016, charitable giving in the country has continued to grow as it opened more platforms for citizens and business leaders to participate in social responsibility. The Law also emphasizes transparency, requiring charities to report all the basic information related to their operations. An advocate of data disclosure and transparency, Tao Ze, founder and president of YISHAN, shared with VantagePoints his thoughts and experience on philanthropy in China. As a philanthropist, are there any philosophies that inform your philanthropy? Transparency, diversity, and inclusiveness are common values for human ...

Tools Against Corruption and Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons (TIP), is a multibillion-dollar criminal industry surpassed only by drug trafficking and arms sales. The 2017 data by the International Labor Organization (ILO) revealed that there are more than 40 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Under federal and international law, TIP is considered a crime, but there have been many challenges in enforcing this. Ambassador Luis C.deBaca (retired), a Robina Fellow of Modern Slavery at Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, shared with VantagePoints his thoughts about public policy mechanisms and the ...

Building and Bridging Central Asia

By Ambassador Natalia Gherman  I was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres to be the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, (UNRCCA) on September 15, 2017. UNRCCA is an interesting assignment. The mission is one of the smallest United Nations Special Political Missions but covers an absolutely enormous territory that bridges Europe and Asia. Together with my staff, I am charged with supporting the Governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in their efforts to jointly face a wide array of challenges that are at the top of the ...

Security Sector Reform as a Tool for Development

In its 2017 report, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) highlighted that security and justice institutions are often the main interface between states and the populations they are meant to serve. However, the states protracted ineffectiveness or poor governance can leave the door open for conflict to escalate. DCAF’s Dr. Hans Born spoke with VantagePoints to share his thoughts and experience on how an effective and robust security sector reform (SSR) process can be an important tool for peace and development. How did you get interested in the work of SSR? I was raised knowing that democracy is a good system to ...

Storytelling for Social Impact

In the digital era, the shape and delivery of stories have evolved dramatically. It has provided an opportunity to reach more people and get them engaged. Our Better World (OBW), the digital storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation, leverages the power of stories and digital media for social impact. Rebecca Lim, Head of OBW, shared with VantagePoints that their approach is to tell stories of people doing good in Asia to inspire their global online community to take action. In September 2018, OBW won the Best International Not-for-Profit Case Study Competition awarded by ESOMAR Foundation for its research on “Empowering ...

Honoring Humanity Through a Lifetime of Humanitarian Service

Bruce Muir recently retired as director of the Emergency Response Division in the Welfare Services Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His duties included supporting emergency response to natural disasters and refugee crises globally. Bruce has also held numerous positions in the Church including director for temporal affairs in the Philippines and Chile Areas, and the managing director of the Translation Department.

The Value of Peacekeeping

This year, the United Nations (UN) celebrates 70 years of peacekeeping. Since 1948, more than one million UN peacekeepers from over 100 countries have served to stabilize some of the world’s most volatile conflict zones. Studies have shown that peacekeeping makes a huge difference in terms of preventing the resurgence of conflict when sufficiently resourced and equipped. But with recent budget cuts to several UN Peacekeeping missions, there is a growing concern about the future of the institution.  VantagePoints recently spoke with Chandrima Das on this issue. Ms. Das serves as the Peacekeeping Policy Director at the United Nations Foundation. She ...

Propelling Empowerment in Barangay Communities

The Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In contrast, the Philippines also faces considerable challenges due to social and environmental issues. Education and health are persistent problems. 1 out of 4 Filipinos live in poverty, and 1 in 3 children are developmentally stunted due to malnutrition. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods frequently devastate the nation. Additionally, pollution and plastic waste are ongoing problems experienced throughout the country. Project Propel has been working in the Philippines since 2013. Project Propel has been successful in quickly developing sustainable and ...

Coding to Fight Gender Inequality

In the 2017/18 Women, Peace and Security Index launched by the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace, and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Afghanistan and Syria tied at the bottom as the worst countries to be a woman. In both countries, years of violence, discriminatory practices, and cultural barriers have denied women job opportunities and inadequate representation in the society.  In this feature, Fereshteh Forough drew upon her own experience of being born a refugee in Iran during the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan. She witnessed firsthand the lack of opportunities afforded to women. With the mission of educating ...