CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

15 September 2021 – 28 September 2021

Hong Kong-based Yidan Prize Foundation unveils 2021 award winners. Regarded as one of the world’s highest education accolades, the Yidan Prize recognizes individuals and teams with significant contributions to education research and education development. This year’s Yidan Prize for Education Research laureate is Stanford University’s Professor Eric Hanushek, and the Yidan Prize for Education Development laureate is Dr. Rukmini Banerji of the Pratham Education Foundation. Each laureate will be awarded HK$30 million (approximately US$3.9 million). Continue reading on Yidan Prize’s website →

Pakistan’s local startups see record investment. Maqsad raised the nation’s largest edtech funding to date of US$2.1 million, marking the latest milestone among the nation’s startup industry, reports Bloomberg. In total, the country’s startups have raised over US$244 million in 2021—more than the previous six years combined, according to venture capital fund, Invest2Innovate. There is even more room for growth; according to CAPS’ study Business for Good, only 26% of social enterprises in Pakistan receive private investment. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

Tencent’s “99 Giving Day” 2021 raises ¥4.2 billion (approximately US$649.5 million). This year’s event spanned 10 days and saw over 68.7 million donors contribute ¥3.6 billion (approximately US$557 million), while Tencent Charity Foundation pledged to give ¥600 million (approximately US$92.5 million). Continue reading on Tencent’s website →

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs pledge US$25 million to advancing clean energy solutions in South and Southeast Asia. The new Climate Innovation Fund, to be managed by the Asian Development Bank, will focus on clean energy solutions in India and Vietnam to begin with. This initial philanthropic funding has the potential to unlock up to US$500 million in private and government investments. Continue reading on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ website →

Corporates, governments and foundations continue contributing to Covid-19 relief and aid efforts in the region. BRAC Bank and SME Foundation signed an agreement to provide loans to help small businesses in Bangladesh recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Philippines’ SM Group intensifies vaccination of employees and stakeholders. The Macquarie Group Foundation allocated AU$20 million (approximately US$14.5 million) to 40 community organizations around the world working to combat Covid-19. This included helping seed two Gender Lens Funds in the Philippines. In Vietnam, the American Chamber of Commerce donated over VND5.2 billion (US$227,000) for the purchase of essential medical equipment. Intel Malaysia earmarked a second round of funding amounting to RM2 million (approximately US$477,000) towards relief efforts.

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

01 September 2021 - 14 September 2021

Alibaba commits ¥100 billion (US$15.5 billion) to “common prosperity” vision. China Daily reports that the funding will go towards supporting technological innovation, economic development, developing a high-quality workforce, caring for vulnerable groups, and setting up a ¥20 billion (approximately US$3.1 billion) common prosperity development fund. Continue reading in China Daily →

The family of CAPS’ Chairman Ronnie Chan has been active on both sides of the Pacific. In Hong Kong and mainland China, their Hang Lung Properties group hosted a sustainability-themed volunteer day where 800 corporate volunteers in 10 cities dedicated their time to promoting low carbon living and delivering care to over 5,000 people in need. And in the US, the Chans’ Morningside Foundation has donated US$175 million from their philanthropic organization to the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Hyundai Motor Group’s honorary chairman Chung Mong-koo pledges ₩10 billion (US$8.63 million) for vaccine research. The funds will be donated to the Korea University Medical Center for establishing a vaccine research center to expand the infrastructure needed to develop homegrown vaccines for infectious diseases. Continue reading in The Korea Herald →

WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launch the India Plastics Pact. India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Almost half (43%) of all plastics produced are used for packaging, with the majority being single-use. The Pact brings together businesses, government, and NGOs to resolve these issues by promoting a circular system for plastics. India is the first Asian economy to launch a Plastics Pact. Continue reading in Business Line →

Cambodia’s Prince Holding Group signs MoU with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to launch the Chen Zhi Scholarship. The company has pledged US$2 million over seven years to support 400 students attending top Cambodian universities. Prince Group will work with MoEYS to ensure the students receive financial support, training, mentoring and employment opportunities. Continue reading in the Khmer Times →

India’s water quality and scarcity issues require solutions that offer speed, scale, and sustainability. Arghyam’s Jayamala Subramaniam and Amrtha Kasturi Rangan share how a people-centric, participatory and digital driven approach can help India manage its water more effectively. CAPS’ report, Public-Private Partnerships for Social Good, highlights the strategies successful PPPs such as Arghyam use to achieve sustainable social impact. Continue reading in India Development Review →

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Asia Development Outlook (ADO) 2021: Green and Inclusive Recovery

Asia Development Bank

This report, published annually, reflects on the fallout of Covid-19 and its impact on growth trajectories in Asian economies. It pinpoints new virus outbreaks and vaccine delays as key short-term risks to the region’s economic outlook, with long-term risks being consequences of prolonged unemployment and disrupted education. A thematic chapter explores the drivers and impacts of green and social finance. The infusion of private capital will be critical in boosting the funding necessary for a resilient and inclusive recovery in Asia. Read it here.

How Covid-19 is shifting the Global North-South Philanthropic Power Dynamic

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

This article argues that the locus of knowledge and power has shifted to grantees during Covid-19, who is most cognizant of the pressing needs of their communities. The immediacy and devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic is upending traditional grant-giving practices. It cites a recent study of 40 grantmakers and grantees that indicate a desire to continue recalibrating industry practices to allow efficient responses to locally-defined needs, such as less-restricted funding and less cumbersome reporting requirements. The authors offer recommendations on how to build off a new dynamic relationship between Global North and Global South philanthropic organizations—one that allows for more local capacity development and the effective use of local knowledge. Read it here.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

04 August 2021 – 17 August 2021

Huawei announces a US$100 million investment in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem over the next three years. The investment will go towards the company’s Spark Program, a startup accelerator which has been helping Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong build their startup hubs. The program will focus on developing additional hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Continue reading on Huawei’s website →

9 private banks partner with BRAC to strengthen its public awareness and emergency support campaigns as Covid-19 surges in Bangladesh. Donations amounting to TK15.95 crore (approximately US$1.88 million) will be used to deliver cash support, masks and preventative services in 20 high-risk districts across the country. Continue reading in the Dhaka Tribune →

Communities, nonprofits and social enterprises support pandemic relief in Asia. In Thailand, volunteers help the elderly and vulnerable who have become isolated as a result of the pandemic. In Vietnam, an estimated 90 community groups and organizations provide emergency donations, free counseling services and online learning courses for children. The World Economic Forum releases a list of the top 50 social enterprises providing critical support on the frontlines in India.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad—Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund—announces RM6 billion (US$1.4 billion) fund to increase its high-impact, commercially viable investments over the next 5 years. The funds are expected to focus on investments that create impactful economic and social benefits as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas. Continue reading in Reuters →

Founder and chairman of MBK Partners Michael ByungJu Kim pledges KRW30 billion (US$26.5 million) to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To be used for the construction of a public library opening in 2025. Continue reading in Business Korea →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

21 July 2021 - 3 August 2021

Philanthropists, corporates and the social sector donate to flood relief in Henan Province. China’s largest tech companies, including Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holdings, Meituan, ByteDance and others, announced donations amounting to nearly ¥1 billion (US$154 million). State owned enterprises donated ¥686 million (approximately US$106 million).

Foundations and nonprofits also stepped up, including the Chinese Red Cross FoundationChina Siyuan Foundation for Poverty AlleviationLi Ka Shing Foundation and AmCham ChinaReuters reported that donations nearing US$300 million flowed to the flood-hit region.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma tops the 2021 Forbes China Philanthropy List. Ma and Hangzhou-based Alibaba made combined cash donations of ¥3.2 billion (approximately US$493.4 million) in 2020. The top 100 philanthropists donated a total of ¥24.5 billion (approximately US$3.79 billion)—a 37% increase from the preceding year. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post 

Sasakawa Peace Foundation commits US$5 million to supporting female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. The capital will be invested in Beacon Fund, an investment firm working with women-owned and women-focused enterprises. It will add momentum and help build the gender lens investing ecosystem in the region. Continue reading on Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s website 

Google.org commits US$7.5 million in grants and other support to help alleviate the current pandemic crisis in six Asian economies. US$1.5 million will go to UNICEF and support urgent needs in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. US$1 million will go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to address needs in Indonesia. US$5 million worth of Ad Grants will go to local government agencies and organizations across Southeast Asia to run public health information campaigns for free. Continue reading on UNICEF’s website →

United In Diversity (UID) Foundation and Gajah Tunggal Group donate 2,000 tons of liquid oxygen to fight Indonesia’s surge in Covid-19 cases. The donation was made to the Ministry of Health and will be distributed to hospitals experiencing oxygen shortages. Continue reading in Antara News →

LGT Private Banking launches first impact fund. US$900 million worth of investments will be made in rapidly growing, innovative and sustainable businesses in India, Europe and Latin America. Most of the investments will be in sectors such as education, healthcare, sustainable food and agriculture, renewable energy, fintech and others. Continue reading on LGT’s website →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

23 June 2021 – 06 July 2021

With total donations valued at US$102.4 billion, India’s Jamsetji Tata—founder of the Tata Group—tops the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list. This is the first time EdelGive Foundation and Hurun Research Institute have spotlighted top philanthropists spanning a century. The 50 most generous individuals come from five economies, including three from China and two from India. Continue reading on the Hurun website →

Corporates and the social sector continue to support relief efforts as Asia experiences a resurgence of Covid-19. In India, Standard Chartered BankGoogle India and Vedanta Resources have pledged support towards relief efforts. Vinamilk, a Vietnamese dairy company, is supporting the domestic and regional fight against Covid-19. Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese companies operating in Vietnam are contributing to the government’s vaccine fund. In Taiwan, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation becomes the third organization to win approval to procure vaccines, following Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

CAPS explains how Asian business leaders are championing public-private partnerships for social good. As the world comes to grips with the social and economic repercussions of Covid-19, the need and potential for multi-stakeholder collaborations are becoming more evident. CAPS’ Senior Researchers Annelotte Walsh and Wilson Lau discuss how a deeply rooted desire to do good can drive business leaders to partner with government for social good. Continue reading on the WINGS website →

Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, gives ¥500 million (US$77.3 million) to education. Zhang’s donation will be transferred to an education fund in his hometown of Longyan city. The funds will be used for teacher training, ed-tech infrastructure and the construction of dormitories, reports Bloomberg. This donation is in line with the recent trend we have reported of Chinese tech billionaires giving big. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

HKEX Foundation launches HK$10 million (approximately US$1.3 million) HKEX Impact Funding Scheme to support community projects run by local NGOs. The scheme will be implemented in partnership with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and focus on four thematic areas: financial literacy, diversity and inclusion, poverty relief, and environmental sustainability. Applications close on 11 August. Continue reading on the HKEX website → 

Indian companies unveil ambitious plans to push clean energy. Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries pledges INR750 billion (US$10.1 billion) over three years to clean energy investment. Last year Reliance set itself the target of becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2035. Gautam Adani of Adani Group plans to turn his business carbon negative, aiding the government’s goal to expand the country’s renewable capacity nearly fivefold and meet its 2030 climate commitments.

Singapore-based EcoWorth Tech wins at the 2021 SAFE STEPS Disaster Tech (D-Tech) Awards. The winner in the for-profit category, Eco-Worth is the creator of the Carbon Fibre Aerogel (CFA) sponge. The sponge is made from low-cost natural materials and can be used to clean organic materials from wastewater. The awards, by Prudence Foundation and partners, recognize the essential role that technology plays in protecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disasters. Continue reading on the Safe Steps website  

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Engaging Civil Society Organizations to Enhance the Effectiveness of COVID-19 Response Programs in Asia and the Pacific

Asia Development Bank (ADB)

This brief advocates for civil society organizations (CSO) to take an active role in Covid-19 response programs to complement government efforts. It highlights the success of CSOs in delivering social programs in Asia Pacific, including immunization and social protection programs. A framework for governments to expand CSO engagement in Covid-19 response programs is offered, specifying six programmatic areas for CSO intervention. These are: vaccine distribution, community outreach and surveillance; verification of civil vaccine-related works; gaps in vaccine service delivery; inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable people in remote areas; and assisting audit and anti-corruption agencies. Read it here.

Beauty of the Human Spirit: Covid-19 in Thailand (Jan-Oct 2020)

Centre for Philanthropy and Civil Society, National Institute of Development Administration

This report examines the response of Thai society during the Covid-19 pandemic. It details the contributions of various sectors—government, private sector, the public and civil society—including how these different sectors united to meet rising needs. The role of village health volunteers and the impact of the pandemic on the NGO sector are spotlighted.

The report relies on data from an opinion survey of 1,315 Thai respondents to support its findings. Read it here.

The Pandemic and Public Administration: A Survey of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officers

Centre for Policy Research

This report presents the results of a representative survey of over 500 IAS officers, conducted between August and September 2020 (about 7 months into the Covid-19 pandemic). It offers insight into the critical challenges related to the government response to the pandemic. In doing so, it also reveals the government’s views on the role of the social sector, private sector, and others during the pandemic. This report is part of a larger body of work on understanding the norms and values underpinning different state institutions in India. Read it here.