Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy New Year from ASAP

Click here to enjoy ASAP's New Year Video.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude. Thanks to all of you who generously donated your time, made an in-kind donation or supported ASAP with a cash contribution. Because of you, 2014 has been an amazing year.

Thank you again and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2015!

To make your year-end donation Click here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hatch has Hatched

The Rockefeller Foundation has launched Hatch, an innovative platform to help organizations craft, curate and share powerful stories. Click here to start improving your storytelling so others will better grasp the true impact of your work. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Savings Groups for Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Growing Resilience: Financial Services for OVC Populations is a webinar series that reviews and explores the approaches of Savings-led micro finance initiatives as a means of building the economic circumstances of orphans and vulnerable children and their caregiver. Click here to learn more and to register for a webinar. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Malawian Mixon Fauweki to Attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit

This Bicycle Will Charge Your Cell Phone!
It's Global Entrepreneurship Week-the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. The 5th annual three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which begins tomorrow in Morocco, will feature Malawian Mixon Fauweki as one of the fifteen GIST - The Global Innovation through Science and Technology - finalists. Click here to learn more about Mixon's brilliant bicycle cell phone charger.

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's Compassion Week - Embrace the Revolution

Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other.
Click here to learn more about activities this week.

Click here to sign The Charter for Compassion; a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems.
We believe a compassionate world is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they would wish to be treated - with dignity, equity and respect. We believe all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.We believe a compassionate world is possible when every man, woman and child treats others as they would wish to be treated - with dignity, equity and respect. We believe all human beings are born with the capacity for compassion, and it must be cultivated for human beings to survive and thrive.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Food For Thought

The Rockefeller Foundation's beautiful new annual publication,  Insights,   explores "emerging issues of consequence". Click here to download Issue #1 now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From NGO To Social Enterprise

ASAP Works to Exemplify Self-Relaince
Cordaid, ASAP's initial Savings Group project partner in Malawi, has taken a bold step. Today, Cordaid is operating as a Social Enterprise instead of a Non-Governmental Organization. To learn more about this shift toward a more sustainable, diversified funding base and better results, click here.

To exemplify self-reliance, ASAP has always operated a Social Enterprise.  At "Tinovaka" -  carpentry-with-production training center in Zimbabwe , ASAP provided vocational training, school furniture for rural schools, created employment, and generated our own operating support. For Social Entrepreneurs looking for investment, Rudolf Steiner Foundation Social Finance is offering an introductory Fall webinar on Nov. 5th.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Vote For The World You Want

The current Millennium Development Goals expire next year. The UN wants to know what you think. Where shall humanity focus resources and energy in the next fifteen years to make the world a better place?
Click here to vote now.
To learn more about our progress on the existing goals, click here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tools You Can Use

From planning to scaling, DIY has tools you can use.
Development, Impact & You is an incredibly useful web site. DIY contains tools to help trigger and support social innovation. Click here to learn more.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Educating Girls - FREE Course

With an additional year of education, a girl can earn up to 20 percent more as an adult.
From October 6 - November 23, Teachers Without Borders is offering a free course on Educating Girls. 
The course will examine (a) research: the data around the education of girls, as well as analyses, images, and stories; (b) relationship: how new learning about girls’ education relates to our practice; and (c) results: the capacity to make a measurable difference in and for our classrooms, our communities, and the world. 

Click here to register.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Now Available

Jeffery Ashe's new book is a "must read" for everyone interested in Savings Groups.
Click here to order on Amazon or peruse a few chapters.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

What Works

The Skoll World Forum features  a special series on evaluation.  
+Annie Duflo from Innovations for Poverty Action on the power of randomized evaluation.
+Using the Moneyball approach to measuring impact is dangerous because it can lead donors to seek out only the most easily provable results, write Caroline Fiennes of Giving Evidence and the Skoll Foundation's Ehren Reed.
+How Grand Challenges Canada uses their theory of change to drive bigger impact in global health.
+Tanya Beer and Julia Coffman from the Center for Evaluation Innovation rethink accountability for adaptive initiatives.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Smile of Empowerment?

Is this empowerment?
How do we know when a person becomes empowered?
How is it measured? How do you know it has been achieved? There is no definitive answer.
According to Nina Strandberg,  The Project Manager for the Foundation of Women’s Forum,"Empowerment is like obscenity, you don't know how to define it, but you know when you see it." 
Some contend the best way to measure empowerment is to ask those directly affected by the project. Can you walk into a rural village and ask 'do you feel empowered?’
Click here to learn more about approaches to measuring empowerment.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Millions Learning

Nominate your favorite education project by August 15 2014.
Millions Learning seeks to identify where and how learning has improved at a national or sub-national level and to understand the main factors and forces that contributed to this progress. Click here to learn more.

Live Webcast Today

The African Growth Initiative will host "The Game Has Changed: The New Landscape for Innovation and Business in Africa" today, beginning at 9:15 EDT. Click here to join the live webcast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Better Education?

All of us know we need "Better Education", but defining what that looks like is the challenge. Here's a link to spark some thought.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Compassion Week

Compassion fuels our work - "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it".  Without it, our efforts are meaningless.
The Charter for Compassion is holding a "Compassion Week" conference in San Fransisco, November 10-16. Click here to learn more or register.
Seven Pieces of Advice from Rumi
In generosity and helping others be like the river.
In compassion and grace be like the sun.
In concealing others' faults be like the night.
In anger and fury be like the dead.
In modesty and humility be like the soil.
In tolerance be like the ocean.
Either you appear as you are or be as you appear.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My World 2015

Faisal Azim's award-winning depiction of poverty in Bangladesh reminds us - this IS our world!

As the UN works to rethink the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals, please click here to vote for the world you want to see. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

What's Next For Girls' Education

Since 1990 the percentage of girls enrolled in primary school has increased dramatically. On June 17th The Brookings Center for Universal Education hosted
Celebrating Progress and Asking What's Next for Girls' Education.

The live webcast featured:
- Julia Gillard, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for Universal Education
- Catherine M. Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State
- Rebecca Winthrop, Director, Brookings Center for Universal Education

Click here for a recap of the event.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Education Reform & Teacher Tenure

I hear my teacher can now be sacked.
On Tuesday a monumental ruling in CA that teacher tenure deprives students of their constitutional right to a quality education, has now made education reform an urgent issue.

Click here to learn more.

Teachers in CA received tenure after less than two years on the job. But due to a stunning victory in a lawsuit brought by Students Matter, this may now change.

In the case, brought against five state laws governing the hiring and firing of teachers, education reformers used a new tactic: framing their case as a defense of children’s civil rights, not an attack on teachers.

Click here to learn more.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Understanding Poverty

Is this child destined to a life of poverty?

Research suggests that pivotal and permanent brain development occurs from birth to three-years, when signals from the environment add  “epigenetic marks” onto DNA during sensitive periods of early brain development. To learn more about the “Biological embedding of early childhood adversity: Toxic stress and the vicious cycle of poverty in South Africa”  Click here. .

Regardless of the causes, understanding the perceptions of those living in poverty and chronic hunger is essential to developing effective solutions. A new IDS/Oxfam report, " Help Yourself" examines how the poor understand their right to food.  Click here to learn more.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Africa Progress vs. Boko Haram

Yesterday the 2014 Africa Progress Report, released by The Africa Progress Panel, shed light on the promise of this wealthy continent. By outlining the cooperation required to overcome  her major challenges, the report makes the goals of sustained growth and improved life for all Africans, attainable.

But for many of us, the insights and hope of the report are negated by the recent dastardly deeds of Boko Haram in Nigeria.  Thanks to The Brookings Institute for helping shed light on this group and it's activities in this recent feature. As MLK warned : "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Free Global Entrepreneurship Program

Do you want to learn more about entrepreneurship and starting a business? GCASE has the world’s first online global entrepreneurship program. Click here to learn more.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Startup Visas for Immigrants

A recent Kauffman Foundation report estimates that a startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs could create between 500,000 and 1.5 million jobs or more. Click here to learn more, or here to read the report.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Click to help Aid for Africa win $10,000

Click For A Cause is giving away $30,000 in prize money. All you have to do is click here, and select the Aid for Africa "Like" button. Contest ends Friday, April 25th. ASAP has been an Aid for Africa member since 2003 - a group of grassroots charities working to improve life for women and children in Africa. All members have very low overhead costs and direct their donations where they benefit families in Africa.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

11th Annual Skoll World Forum

Beginning today, April 9 – 11, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions and information at the 11th annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. Click here to learn more. Click here to join the live stream.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Achieving Gender Equity

Gender equity is a goal whose time has come. Thrust into the global consciousness by "Half The Sky", today many, like Gary Barker of ICRW, believe gender equity will only be achieved when men and boys do 50% of the world’s unpaid care work. But the evolution from housewife the breadwinner is a struggle. Click here to learn how Women in Zambia are "Holding Up Half the Sky."

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Year of Family Farming

Home-grown solutions are cheap and effective: Children in Namibia eat a meal made from products sourced from their field
The UN declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. The goal of the campaign is to place family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas worldwide.
Click here to learn more.
Click here to see the various activities The FAO (Farm and Agriculture Organization) has planned.
This new approach may have been influenced by the impressive results achieved by Rwanda using "home-grown solutions". Click here to learn more.
As both obesity and starvation plague our planet, FoodTank is working to develop new strategies to address these issues in todays changing world. Click here to watch the video.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Learning Opportunity for Teachers. Safe Schools

A new six week online course will be begin April 1st - Safe Schools: Building a Climate of Achievement. Through a partnership with Teachers Without Borders and the Organization of American States, the course will support teaching and learning throughout Latin America. Applications for scholarships will be accepted until March 15th. Click here to learn more.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Randomized Control Trials

Randomized Control Trials are coming of age. It's been 10 years since Abdul Latif Jameel launched Poverty Action Lab; introducing an evidence-based approach, changing thinking about measuring impact. Now The Kauffman Foundation and Nesta have teamed up to offer funding for innovation, entrepreneurship and growth experiments using RCTs. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 24th. Click here to learn more. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

‘Schooling Ain’t Learning’

Thanks to the world's focus on MDG #2, achieving universal primary education, school enrollment is up. But there is a crisis in education - evidence shows that children are not learning nearly enough. For example, only 1 in 20 fifth graders were able to perform basic arithmetic and less than 1 in 4 could read a simple sentence in rural India.
With technology and access to web-based platforms such as Khan Academy,  more of the same is not the best option. In fact, the Online Learning Institute currently is calling for proposals to lead roundtable discussions during the 10th annual conference to be held July 1st in Atlanta.
Worldwide, our approach to education is in need of an overhaul. A new book by Lant Prichett "The Rebirth of Education"  advocates for education systems to evolve locally.  Mr. Prichett gives us plenty of food for thought, as we rethink our education system to prepare children for today's world and to be tomorrow's leaders.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Women Empowerment

On 14 Feb World Citizens will dance to end violence against women and girls.  
Women's empowerment a the driving force behind ASAP's work; created as a result of my personal experience as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in rural Africa. Here I witnessed the local acceptance of my roommate being raped. As a result, we're proud that over 85,000 women are now actively involved in ASAP Savings Groups in Zimbabwe and Malawi -  and now have their own power and voice in the home.

But global change takes generations. Today the statics are staggering. One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her life time. That's one billion women.

ASAP in Zimbabwe and Malawi are proud to participate in  One Billion Rising. On Feb. 14th, together  we will harness the power and imagination, coming together to tell stories, dance and speak out to stop violence against women.

This is a start, but some say the deck is stacked against true equality for women.  Here are some resources.

Click here view "50 years of Women's Legal Rights"
Click here to view the 2014 key findings from the World Bank report "Women, Business and the Law"

There is so much work to be done!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Africa - Looking Ahead

The beginning of the new year is a time for reflection and planning. The Brookings Institute has released their report outlining some of the major challenges and opportunities Africa will face in the coming year.Click here to read the Foresight Africa report.
Join the conversation on twitter using #ForesightAfrica. 
Don't miss the exciting opportunity to attend the live webcast on January 7th from 10-11:30 am EST

Top Priorities for Africa in 2014 

Leading Africa experts will discuss the most important challenges the continent will face in 2014. The panel will include: Robin Renee Sanders, former U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria; Bright Simons, Ghanaian social entrepreneur and founder and president of the mPedigree Network; and Amadou Sy, senior fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative. Helene Cooper, New York Times White House correspondent, will moderate the discussion.