Community development

The Power of Private-Public Partnerships: Deconstructing Gender Bias for Resilient Communities

images.png

Multiple events such as UNGA, Women’s Funding Network conference, Concordia Summit, Global Goals for Sustainable Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Goalkeepers, have mobilized determined leaders in dialogues about ideas and commitments to investing in the world’s poor.  

Despite the current administration, challenging global economy and unprecedented global disasters, voices are amplified about gender equality for all.   

However, the gap between making women and men equal partners in the economy and society remains significant. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, economic gender equality is predicated not be achieved for another 170 years. 

Equal access is fundamental to society stability, ensuring resilient communities for the long-term.

Yet, the world’s political, cultural, humanitarian and environmental issues continue to be disrupted by the complexities of non-equal access and discrimination.

A recap of the realities we face:

  • Wage Gap: Women generally earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn
  • Women of Color: Occupy only 11.9 percent of managerial and professional positions
  • Executive Positions: Women hold 29/5.8% of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies
  • Poverty: In the U.S. in 2016, more than one in eight women, more than 16.9 million, lived in poverty.  14.5 million poor children, more than half, live in families headed by women
  • Human Trafficking: At least 21 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor.  Around $32 billion profits are generated

Oxford Dictionary’s Definition of Gender Equality = The state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender’

Gender and racial inequality is not only a pressing moral issue, it is also a critical economic challenge.   

Women = 50 percent of the population: 

Improving the livelihoods of women and girls represents the single biggest opportunity for cultural, human and economic development.

According to a new McKinsey Global Institute report, $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. In addition, women are the world’s most powerful consumers controlling 65% of consumer spending.

Outdated norms and gender stereotypes are impeding achieving the systemic change required to better integrate women into society, holding back the global economic growth that will come from increased gender equality and women’s empowerment.

What is fundamental to success is deconstructing the roots of gender bias early.  Mitigating negative perceptions about both men and women in leadership and role in communities represents a powerful ripple effect, benefitting families, communities, workplaces and economies at large.

Now more than ever before, women around the world are poised to make significant progress but are faced with several issues which need to be addressed:

  • Lack of economic security
  • Domestic violence
  • Lack of access to education and healthcare

To be sure, if women do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will continue to suffer. Investing in women and girls, creates more stable families and communities.

A Powerful Solution - Private-public partnerships:

The U.S. devotes less than 1% of its annual budget to foreign aid with Trump recommending a 30% cut to the State Department’s budget including funding for USAID’s critical health programs.

 While U.S. foreign-aid programs have helped women and children fight disease and poverty, have access to basic needs, the public and private sectors are further poised to mobilize and action programs that close gender gaps in the workplace and communities at large.

Support of SDG goal 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Includes raising the bar on sector expertise and programs that enable economic security, mitigate domestic violence, ensure access to education and health. 

For example, an Intel analysis states that making the Internet accessible to 600 million women and girls (40 percent from developing countries) could generate an estimated $13-18 billion in annual GDP across 144 developing nations.

A diverse range of for-profit and nonprofit organizations from multiple sectors are on the front lines of scaling up programs, partners and stated impacts for women and girls. Organizations of note include Coca-Cola’s 5X20, GAP P.A.C.E, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, the Akola Project and The Women’s Funding Network.

The power of private-public partnerships can take these complex problems and distill them down into concrete concepts, implementable programs that have measurable impact and long-term sustainability.

Shared value add dialogues, co-creation and design of programs at the local and global level with businesses, academia, nonprofits will continue to be essential for systemic change and improving livelihoods of women and girls.

Stay the Course: Transformative Change:

When people are inflicted by disasters and trapped in the cycle of poverty, ‘We the People’ are all at risk both at a local and global level.

Investing in the world’s poor remains a priority along with ensuring economic security and mitigating violence among women and girls.  This requires a renewed focus on scalable economic development and capacity building, opportunities for job training and employment for underserved populations, consistent access to basic needs and investments in children’s education.

By Samantha Taylor, President of Reputation Dynamics.

Sources:

  • McKinsey Report - http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/how-advancing-womens-equality-can-add-12-trillion-to-global-growth
  • Partner Spotlight: The Women’s Funding Network is the largest network of foundations devoted to women and girls. We empower over 100 foundations, spanning 6 continents, to incubate, lead programs, and take collective action to solve complex social and economic issues - www.womenfundingnetwork.org

About Reputation Dynamics: Since 2005, Reputation Dynamics (RD) has been committed to addressing social, environmental and human justice issues. RD mobilizes corporations, NGOs/civil society and academia to devise share-valued approaches for community development and improvement of livelihoods.

Please contact me for a dialogue about creating successful private-public partnerships - sam@reputation-dynamics.com

    Narrowing the Divide between the Rich and Poor: Field Trip Report with TCU in Panama

    DSCN2351.jpg

    Upon arrival into Panama City, one is struck by the new skyscrapers, architectural wonders and causeways in celebration of the prosperous trade traffic navigating the Canal, reporting fiscal revenues of $2.61 billion in 2015.

    Panama is booming, with an average economic growth of 9 percent in the past five years, the highest in Latin America. Financial services and projects like the subway and multibillion-dollar expansion of the canal have contributed to this growth with the canal accounting for 10% of the country’s GDP.

    However, Panama illustrates the starkest disparities of wealth in Latin America.  Poverty in Panama, according to the World Bank, is a rural and indigenous territories phenomenon, as can be seen in the once vibrant town of Colon, an hour’s drive from Panama City.

    Despite the nation’s great wealth, we are reminded of the divide between the rich and poor, inequality that keeps almost 40 percent of its population in poverty – threatening to turn ‘The Boom to Bust’.  Furthermore, half of the country’s children are poor with nearly a fifth suffering from malnutrition.

    I invite you to read more about my visit to Colon, Panama with staff/faculty members from TCU’s Discovering Global Citizenship Program and reflections about poverty. 

    We took a very scenic train ride to Colon via the Panama railway fringing the edge of the canal and diverse, lush biodiversity with the occasional crocodile popping its head around passing ships.   The city of Colon sits by the Caribbean, wedged between a port and a cruise ship terminal. 


    Our day began with breakfast at Hotel Washington, once a popular venue with its marble lobby and majestic pillars, commanding a view of the water and an abandoned ship.  The crumbling and neglected hotel with wires sticking out of walls in precarious places, is in desperate need of repair.

    Today, Colon is where potable water, electricity, structurally sound buildings, and employment are all in short supply for the city’s 220,000 residents.

    Yet in the early 1900s, during and after the construction of the canal, Colon blossomed with theaters, clubs, restaurants and finely manicured boulevards, hailing distinguished visitors like Albert Einstein.

    The Lost Colon:

    'The 98 cent tour’ with Sister Barbara who runs MUCEC, a non-profit charity supporting distressed women in Colon, provided a whole other perspective on poverty in a span of a mere 4/5 blocks.  We were told to leave our bags and not have any cameras exposed. Following closely on Sister Barbara’s earnest heels of conviction through the mess and stench of unsanitary conditions, she takes the hands of the children to ask if they had any food or water that day.  Sister Barbara, originally from Brooklyn, has committed her life to this community to help these families see hope of a future.

    The visuals entailed rotting buildings with weeds sprouting from the cracks, a steady stream of sewage in the alleyways, jury-rigged water services, abandoned yellow taxis resting on deflated tires, while malnutritioned locals hang out in the streets.

    As Panama City grew and modernized in the post-World War II era, Colon’s vibrance wore off. The ultimate closing of American military bases with the canal’s transfer to Panama in 1999 accelerated Colon’s deterioration. Crime and poverty grew, and the middle-class relocated to the suburbs, Panama City or out of the country.

    Colon is the city that Panama forgot, in spite of vigorous development meant to court Caribbean cruise ships. Prior to 1869, the railroad connecting Panama City and Colon was the main transit across the continental Western Hemisphere. A last whiff of prosperity was seen during the construction of the Panama Canal.

    Meanwhile, just around the corner from Colon is a $5 billion canal upgrade, a so you would think hub for economic development, skills development, creation of jobs and opportunity to improve livelihoods, including the 27,000 people that continue to live in condemned housing.

    Colon’s duty-free trade zone, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, has done little to improve the town’s fortunes. Recent developments, including a hotel, an airport upgrade, a cruise ship dock enabling visitors to shop without entering the city’s squalor, have benefited mostly the businesses in the zone, a source of friction. Home to the zone’s 30,000 employees, Colon got lost in the middle of the free zone, and has become a challenge for the government, residents, businesses to revive what was once a thriving town.  Yet, it has been argued that projects like a new highway connecting Panama and Colon, the expansion of the canal, construction of a new hospital and other public works have reduced unemployment and poverty, yet these families continue to live in this squalor with no immediate way out.

    Plans are now in place for the revitalization of Colon but with a lot of skeptism about how to realistically save and restore some of the crumbling buildings and historical assets, recently attracting preservation experts to write a plan with the help of organizations like the World Monuments Fund.  This will entail moving families out and securing the provision of basic human needs.  But how and to where?

    In 2015 UN-Habitat reported signing two cooperation agreements with the cities of Colon and Panama to promote urban renewal and revitalization. These agreements, directly related to the issue of urban land use, planning and revitalization, seek to encourage public and private investment.

    To be sure, such disparities are growing starker in rising economies like Peru, Brazil and Ecuador where communities are excluded in urban development and renovation plans, keeping the divide firmly intact between the rich and the poor. Fundamental to any progress will be addressing the racial discrimination that has stagnated Colon, getting people out of poverty, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

    This cannot be solved by government alone and will require other leaders from civil society, academia and international development partners to step in.  This is an opportunity to develop new models and approaches for mitigating poverty in the midst of social, cultural and political circumstances – scale and replication for ‘Boom to Bust’ scenarios such as Colon.

    In conclusion, I share Sister Barbara’s powerful perspective, hope for Colon and communities trapped in poverty around the world:  Change does, however, occur. We have witnessed repeatedly violated, humiliated and oppressed women find shreds of human dignity from which to build new lives and to grow. We have seen the malnourished children of these women learn to read or just to say “thank you”. Once launched, the empowering search for self-respect and human dignity is not easily lost.  Hence, after years of slow, painful struggle, and almost constant evaluation, our prospects are stronger than ever, and our motto remains “Si podemos” – “Yes we can”.

    By Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

    IMG_0358.JPG

    Sam Taylor is Senior Advisor to TCU’s Discovering Global Citizenship Program and accompanied Dr. Jane Kucko and John Singleton to learn more about the Universities work and community development partners.  TCU’s mission is to “educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.”  The University transforms life and learning by infusing international perspectives and skills throughout the teaching, research and service missions with a focus on developing markets.

    ***

    About MUCEC: MUCEC began in 1985 with efforts to help some of the poorest of Colon’s impoverished inhabitants -- the abused women and their children with little or no income.  Unlike other programs, MUCEC seeks a permanent solution rather than a temporary fix of the problem via a handout. For more information: http://mucec.org/english/nosotros.html

     

     

     

    Trends for 2015: Joining Forces is Vital for Resilient Communities

    In 2014, the UN Climate Summit, the first ever U.S.-Africa Summit, dwindling natural resources, gaps between the rich and poor has propelled awareness of advancing solutions for our complex challenges.

    To be sure, the influence of climate change is fueling global economic volatility, posing threats to natural resources and wildlife habitats. What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

    A recap of the top realities we face includes:

    • Harsh climate: This burden cost $2.1 billion between 2000-2013 due to weather-related disasters.
    • Destruction of forests: Half of the earth's forest cover is gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today. Every year, an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples. The conversion of forests for the production of commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper-accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. 
    • Threatened wildlife species: The London Zoological Society has reported that world wildlife populations have been cut in half from 1970 to 2010:
      •  In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 419,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market.
      • The South African government recently reported a record 1,020 rhinos have been poached in the country since the beginning of 2014, surpassing the 1,004 rhinos killed in all of 2013.
    • Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent according to the Council on Foreign Relations and are rising fast in low and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries.
    • Lack of education in Africa: Today, there are 30 million children who are not receiving education and according to the 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, the shortage of quality teachers is the key problem.  Children are not receiving quality education and skills training for potential jobs.

    Major initiatives in 2014:

    First Ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in D.C: The White House convened African heads of state and government, U.S./African corporations, civil society to strengthen alignment between the United States and opportunities for trade and economic investment in the continent. Africa is finally being recognized as the next major emerging market, access to new consumers and resources with a combined GDP upwards of $2 trillion.

    UN Climate Summit: President Obama unveiled a series of actions to urge the international community to cut emissions and help developing countries better prepare for climate change.  While the EPA proposed a new plan designed to cut carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030:

    •  New York Declaration on Forests: More than 150 governments, companies and NGO world leaders endorsed a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030. 
    • The U.S. and China signed the first major deal on climate change to cut emissions.

    Predictions for 2015: Value of nature:

    While nature is deemed priceless, various studies have tried to estimate the value of ecosystem services (provision of timber, minerals, food and medicines) in financial terms.  The total value of ‘nature’ is estimated to be about $33 trillion per year of which the global economy is consuming about $7 trillion dollars annually.

    This is raising the bar on developing more inclusive partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the provision of basic needs (such as food and water) and solutions to ensure more resilient economies.

    Environmental awareness and education: With consumers and millennials more informed about the increasing role of crowd funding, digital and mobile network applications, for and nonprofit companies must improve how they share, advocate and demonstrate their commitments. Also, enlist participation from the public at large with authenticity and transparency.

    Forest and wildlife protection: Continued action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating food security, protecting wildlife species and habitats.

    Investment in Africa: Africa’s economic growth and prosperity will be driven by primarily investing in youth education and creating jobs. 

    Market access: More correlation and alignment between trade, new and existing markets is the focus of economic growth.  The co-creation of programs at the community-level with businesses, government and nonprofits is essential for long term sustainability, protection of resources and livelihoods.

    Conclusions: In a disruptive global economy, companies and individuals have significant opportunities to promote economic growth, develop new products and access new customers, while saving trees and protecting wildlife species. However, what is fundamental to this success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce greater knowledge exchange and a more united front to address the complex challenges associated with climate change.

    By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics.

    Conscious Commerce: Business and Social Innovation Trends for 2013: 'Raising the Bar on Private-Public Partnerships'

    Earth boy - AfricaWhile corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR) continues to fuel radical change in business and philanthropic models, reputation management and employee engagement, CR alone is not enough to mitigate pressing social issues and consequences of climate change. Despite contributions from the private and public sector, the social, cultural and environmental circumstances of populations in under-developed markets remain complex and unsustainable.   A recap of the daunting realities we face include:

    • Water: Nearly 800 million people lack dependable access to clean water and about 2.5 billion people lack access to modern sanitation, putting them at risk of disease;
    • Hunger: About 1 billion people across the globe go to bed hungry every night, 200 million of them are children;
    • Education: 60 million children are deprived of access to education;
    • Blindness: 45 million blind and 135 million visually impaired people live around the world, of which 90 percent live in under-developed countries; 
    • Poverty: 61 percent of Africa’s one billion people live on less than $2 a day;  
    • Climate Change: Driven by fossil fuel use and deforestation, is undermining the livelihoods of millions of people.

    Meanwhile, corporations are continuing to explore growth, investment and social impact opportunities overseas including China, Asia and now Africa is the new spotlight. These markets represent the four billion people who live in poverty and potential customers for new products and services.

    Africa is Rising: Africa is the world’s fastest growing region after emerging Asia with Africans expected to number 2 billion by 2050.  By 2020, more than half of African households are projected to have discretionary income: 85m-130m. This economic expansion is fostering new approaches for development challenges while providing the opportunity to lift millions out of poverty. The Obama administration recently launched a ‘Doing Business in Africa’ initiative to promote economic growth, trade and investment in Africa.

    The Power of NGOs: NGOs have become increasingly influential in world affairs, and the World Bank estimates that more than 15 percent of total overseas development aid is channeled through NGOs.  They are the new leaders for the conscious movement representing broad public interest, expertise in the field, tackling complex social and environmental issues.  NGOs are developing new standards for community change and impact, have the connections with local governments and businesses to change policies.  Non-profits are diversifying funding sources, becoming less reliant on government funding, and seeking long-term partnerships with corporations.

    The Role of Public-Private Partnerships: Corporations continue to be challenged by developing solutions for sustainable, long term change to scale.  Further dedication of resources toward more inclusive private and public partnerships is critical for improving livelihoods and represents considerable benefits for both parties including co-designing community-driven and owned models, building quality programs, skills training and job creation.

    The collective power of partnerships’ are fundamental to properly understanding and navigating the economic, social and political circumstances of our most vulnerable communities in need.

    Corporations, supported by NGOs and governments, have profound shared values and our society cannot progress, break new ground, or mitigate our pressing world issues without greater collaboration.

    By Samantha Taylor

    Reputation Dynamics Charity: Give The Gift of Water: Samburu Trust

    A community of up to 2,000 can benefit from a single waterhole, built by local labor for $25,000. Help us reach our $25,000 fund raising goal to construct one reservoir. We have raised $10,000 so far.

    Please Give Now:

    donate

    Key Issues In Northwestern Kenya: 70% of children will remain illiterate without access to school 51% of the population suffer from blinding trachoma 82% of women walk over 30 minutes for drinking and household water  In Kenya only 38% of the rural population has easy access to safe water
    The Water Challenge
    The Water Challenge Video
    Ol Malo Lodge www.olmalo.com

    Samburu trust

    www.samburutrust.org

    On January 16, 2012 our group climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak on the continent of Africa, and the tallest free standing mountain on earth to fundraise for a water reservoir for the Samburu people and wildlife in Northern Kenya. We then visited the Ol Malo project and founding director of the Samburu Trust, Julia Francombe, to learn more about her incredible work for the Samburu people who have been severely impacted by Kenya's drought. I invite you to read more about a nonprofit dedicated to working with the Samburu people to secure their land, its wildlife and shared future.

    I was extremely fortunate to spend an impressionable part of my childhood growing up in Kenya, East Africa which continues to have a profound impact on my life, work and spiritual journey. At the age of 10, I remember staring at the magnificent ice cap of Kilimanjaro while on regular family safaris in the Amboselli Game Reserve and longing to climb it. It had a lot more snow then and, due to climate change, today its ice cap is forecast to disappear entirely within 20 years.

    With the increasing spotlight on Africa for business and community development, I longed to return to Kenya despite fear and trepidation that my treasured memories would be shattered. I decided that it was important to go back with a social purpose which is how "Climb Kilimanjaro for Water" was created.

    Along with fellow trip organizer Christine Barker, it was important to select a cause that was tangible and could have impact among a plethora of initiatives addressing social and humanitarian issues in Africa. We selected water as a priority concern.

    My associate Dominique Callimanopulos at Elevate Destinations introduced us to Julia Francombe, daughter of Colin and Rocky Francombe, who own a private ranch called Ol Malo in the North Western region of Kenya. Julia created the Samburu Trust in 2000, in response to Kenya experiencing the worst drought in living memory which has impacted the health and livelihoods of the Samburu people.

    The Samburu, quite distinct from the Masai, are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd mainly cattle but also keep sheep, goats and camels. The name they use for themselves is Lokop or Loikop, a term that implies to them as "owners of the land" ("lo" refers to ownership, "nkop" is land). The Samburu move with their herds of cattle, sheep and goats in search of pasture and water.

    After a fairly smooth flight from Nairobi to Liosaba we embarked on an extremely rocky and bumpy hour and a half road trip to Ol Malo.  We were greeted by Rocky Francombe and an absolutely breath taking view of Kenya's Northern Frontier District from the edge of a rugged escarpment where Ol Malo sits on the end of the Laipikia Plateau.

    Built, owned and managed by Colin and Rocky Francombe, with the help of the Samburu people, Ol Malo is built out of natural local materials sculpted into a luxury lodge along the edge of a rocky hillside. Slated pathways wind down to four private rock and olive wood cottages. Every attention has been paid to detail, privacy and value of self reflection in the dreamy backdrop of the African plains. About 20 or so elephant were taking water from a reservoir in the distance while the adopted family pet Kudu strolled in to join us for our buffet lunch.

    While Julia was in transit from Nanyuki, Colin had arranged for us to visit a local Samburu settlement known as a manyatta. A manyatta may consist of only one family, a man and his wife/wives. Each woman has her own house, which she builds with the help of other women out of local materials, such as sticks, mud and cow dung. Large ritual settlements, known as lorora, may consist of 20 or more families. Settlements comprise housing two or three families, with 5-6 houses built in a circle with an open space in the middle. The circle is surrounded by an acacia thorn bush fence and the center of the village keeps animal pens safe from predators.

    They are people both proud and protective of their culture and the ancestral lands to which it binds them. Their settlements are positioned in areas of beauty, while they also give great attention to their physical appearance, color and adornment.The Samburu, wearing Shukkas wrapped around their waists, arrange their hair into elaborate plaits and wear hand crafted beaded jewelry which is produced by the women.

    We were in for a treat as the male Samburu warriors performed their traditional dance with considerable vertical leaps, encouraged by the cries of other warriors, while the young Samburu women watched from the side lines joining in with their rhythmic chanting as appropriate. The chants and dances signify the blessing of cattle, preparation for war and victory in a hunt.

    When I was living in Kenya, it was very difficult and oftentimes not allowed to take pictures or video of the Masai or Samburu. We were careful to ask permission and they were absolutely fascinated by the cameras often giggling at pictures of themselves and actually encouraging us to take more.

    We were invited inside into a dark and smoky manyatta and sat next to a fire, while our guide Luya explained the process for preparing a staple diet of milk and blood which was being mixed in a gourd by one of the Samburu wives.  Curious children would pop in bringing more sticks for the fire and reach out to hold our hands, accompanied by chickens.

    Sitting in the warmth of the fire of the Francombe's intimate living room, Julia arrived with her daughter and dogs, Cindy and Foxy right behind her.  A courageous, fearless leader and visionary, it is of course no co-incidence that Julia climbed Kilimanjaro at the age of 14 and spent the nights in caves.

    Julia and her family have developed a remarkable charity, the Samburu Trust, working in an area of approximately 1 million acres whose path follows the migratory people and wildlife within the Waso ecosystem, representing a troubled community of 26,400 people with considerable issues to address.

    The 2000 drought resulted in the Samburu people of Northern Kenya losing 80% of their livestock. As herds recovered, they were hit by successive droughts in 2006 and 2009. Changing weather patterns, over-saturation of livestock and land mismanagement have triggered repeated emergencies of food security, poverty and tribal conflict.

    Woken by a most dazzling sun rise and three rare Stone Partridge birds on the window sill, Julia took us on a tour to show us the priority project areas, reservoirs and school settlements. Little did we know that we would be put to a water challenge later on in the day.

    As we drove into the trust area, several Samburu women were sitting around the property making jewelry out of the beadwork - another business set up under the Samburu Trust. Ol Malo designs produces beadwork that supports the Samburu directly.

    Today, the trust runs several programs including educating children through a network of nomadic schools, eradicating trachoma, improving general health, protecting wildlife and providing sustainable water for the livestock, wildlife and people who are an integral part of the ecosystem.

    Julia took us to the first ever location for a reservoir - Matasia.

    "This was the first group of Samburu women I got to know, Cheeky Dermaris, Mama Biaso. I spent days with them at home and was shocked by the distance they had walked to get water. The women would walk 3-4 hours every two days to get unclean, polluted water," said Julia.

    Julia took action and built the first reservoir - Matasia Reservoir - which has been a great success, providing water for more than 10,000 head of cattle during the drought. The water lasts for up to 3 months.

    Julia's close association with the Samburu has enabled the Trust make a continuous and accurate assessment of theneeds of the people, its culture, wildlife and the environment through the creation of dedicated programs.  She has also been able to achieve this with the help of her Samburu Manager - Munytaki Liokitop.

    "I have made some mistakes and tried to push projects. My vision is that the projects are designed by the Samburu for the Samburu - we work hand in hand with them. Our plan for 100 years and beyond our lifetime" said Julia.

    We had the honor of being invited to have tea in her managers Manyatta, meet one of his wives, Kiliwas, who just had a baby girl and mingled with children who have trachoma. Julia is spending a lot of time providing education about trachoma and how to prevent it which continues to be a great challenge.

    We were then escorted to another dam next to a water troff surrounded by cattle, where Christine and I were tasked with our water challenge - carrying water from the reservoir to the car and over a brick wall.  Despite our mountain fitness, it was a challenge to say the least.  After about 10 minutes, we could not carry the potable container any further and were humbled by how heavy a container of water was - 20 litres. It is Julia's goal to reduce the time carrying water from 3 hours to half an hour.

    In addition to the reservoirs, Julia has created two schools, Ol Malo and Kalwalash, with two teachers per school where 50 children attend per school and plans to build more. These schools are very unique in that they are owned and run by the tribal elders - following the Kenyan curriculum - they also include song and dance, are earthy and organic.

    "Our vision was to have a Naitengen - translated means an area where knowledge is passed - knowledge to read, knowledge of the land and water, the cattle, culture and wildlife in which the Samburu people live," said Julia.

    On an early morning horseback ride, I got to see the children participate in a dance before start of school. These lucky children get to go to school and learn the value of water, including washing their hands and faces.

    Julia had a little surprise for us at the the end of the day, she showed us the exact location for the new reservoir that we are fund raising for - to be built to the left of the big rock.

    "New Site: Ol Donyo Lotim"

    Julia has a very aggressive 10 year plan and many compelling programs to support her dream and vision. The provision of water is essential for success. There are plans to build 120 open water reservoirs over a ten year period, thereby providing clean water within a 30 minute walk of every Samburu homestead. Open water reservoirs are a sustainable water supply, preventing erosion and providing people, their livestock and wildlife access to safe, clean water.

    Now that's an added incentive and satisfaction that my memories of Kenya were not shattered but sharpened by its beauty, cultural diversity and soul that has something to teach us all.

    By Sam Taylor

    sam@reputation-dynamics.com

    212 979 6092

    Navigating the New Frontier - Emerging Markets: Implications for Aligning Social Change with Business ROI

    Emergingmarkets As multinational companies continue to explore growth opportunities in an economic downturn, emerging economies are dominating the strategic agenda and boardroom discussions. 

    The economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are projected to account for over 55 percent of worldwide GDP by 2020.  The number of multinational companies that are based in BRIC countries more than doubled from 27 in 2005 to 58 in 2009.  Whether a corporation is targeting a BRIC, Africa, or other emerging market business growth opportunity, they are also being forced to re-consider their social investments.

    This is further fueling competition among organizations who are seeking the benefits of investing overseas, as well as the increasing evolvement of the relationship between business and social impact.

    Despite the naysayers and ongoing responses to the recent Wall Street Journal article (The Case Against CSR-8/23), Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability is continuing to evolve as a strategic imperative for safeguarding a company’s brand reputation, engaging employees, driving revenue and sparking innovation.  

    According to a study conducted by the UN Global Compact and Accenture,  93 percent of corporate CEOs say that sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies including the following business actions over the next five years:

    • Shaping consumer tastes to build a stronger market for sustainable products;
    • Training management, employees and the next generation of leaders to deal with sustainability issues;
    • Communicating with investors to create a better understanding of the impact of sustainability.

    Among the survey’s additional findings, Education and climate change were identified by respondents as the ‘big issues’ they face, with resource scarcity and health starting to appear on the horizon.  Education was identified by 72 percent of the respondents as the most important development issue for the future success of their business, followed by climate change at 66 percent. 

    The War for Talent Continues…

    Our economic situation is also impacting productivity and creating talent shortages both in the US and abroad. Despite lay-offs and cost cutting, attracting and retaining talent remains a top challenge for global leaders as our new generation of leaders’ are flexible enough to work in different cultures.  Education systems in some developed nations, including the US, are struggling to create the talent pool needed for productivity gains and companies are challenged filling technical positions.

    Corporations are poised to maximize their bottom-line growth by properly aligning business strategy with creating meaningful social impact. 

    77 percent of CEOs state that embedding social engagement into business strategy is the most important action to take to prepare for 2020. Source: Pathways to Sustainable Value Creation: McKinsey.

    The Wall Street Journal featured an analysis of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and found that those with a large portion of revenue abroad are expected to fare better than those dependent on the US economy. Global players such as 3M, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Hewlett Packard are cited among those poised to reap the benefits of investing overseas in fast-growing economies like China and Brazil. Source: WSJ: 9/8 -Divided by Two-Track Economy.

    In this ‘low trust’ marketplace, multinational corporations have the opportunity to take a greater leadership role  addressing and providing solutions to some of society’s most pressing social issues.  For example:

    The Impact of the Economy on Poverty: Despite the progress made with respect to the fight against extreme poverty between 1990-2005, (during that period, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased from 1.8 billion to 1.4 billion), in 2009 an around 55-90 million more people were estimated to be living in extreme poverty as a result of the economic crisis. Source: UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2009.

    The State of Water: Some 1.1 billion in people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

    Poverty in India: According to a new Oxford University study, 55 percent of India’s population of 1.1 billion, or 645 million people, are living in poverty. Using a newly-developed index, the study found that about one-third of the world’s poor live in India.

    Child Malnutrition in India: More than 1.5 million children in India are estimated to suffer from malnourishment and 43 percent of children under five years of age are underweight, according to the latest UNWFP report.

    Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in South Africa: A high number of babies, around 70,000, are born with HIV every year, reflecting poor prevention of mother to child transmission.  HIV and AIDS is one of the main contributors to South Africa’s infant mortality rate, which increased significantly between 1990 (44 deaths per 1000 infants) and 2008 (48 per 1000), when other regions of the world saw decreases.

    Local to Global..

    To prepare for, properly operate and invest in emerging markets it is critical for an organization to:

    -Understand the marketplace context, customs, culture and social issues

    -Properly identify and align with nonprofits/NGOs that specialize in key sectors such as healthcare, education, nutrition and economic development

    -Develop grass-roots programs that impact their local communities

    -Further retain and attract talent under the halo of our ‘War for Talent' via development of employee engagement programs

    -Engage and build relationships with critical stakeholders

    -Develop partnerships that mobilizes action among businesses, government, civil society and community

    -Report social progress and impact - integral to business performance and ROI

    It is critical to evaluate and focus on the social issues that are integral to their business, products and services.  Ensure that these social issues are embedded into the business strategy and throughout the supply chain.  Also, devise social engagement strategies that are aligned with corporate marketing activities, community development initiatives, foundation giving, employee giving/volunteering programs, product and resource donations.

    Corporations have the opportunity to ‘turn it up a notch’ by reworking their business strategy for future development and growth – capitalizing on creating solutions that truly benefit communities and corporate bottom lines. 

    Emerging-market leaders prevail.

    **

    By Sam Taylor, Founder of Reputation Dynamics and Senior Advisor to the nonprofit Synergos Institute. For more than 20 years, Synergos has created innovative solutions to address poverty and advance social equity in emerging markets around the world.

    Resources/Links:

    The Synergos Institute - www.synergos.org

    The Wall Street Journal - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704855104575470202726780746.html

    Accenture and UN Compact Study - http://www.unglobalcompact.org/news/42-06-22-2010