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Multi-Sector Collaboration’s Role in Catalysing Social Innovation

By

Patricia Chu

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Paul Carttar, former Director of President Obama’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) started a road trip designed and organized by AVPN this past September.  Taiwan was the first stop in this roadshow, followed by Tokyo, Malaysia and Singapore.

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At the seminar in Taiwan he focused particularly in sharing his personal experience setting up the SIF, the outcomes of the fund and the opportunities and challenges in setting up a similar structure in other countries. The SIF can be considered a new approach from the government in recognizing and partnering with grass roots organizations who are best positioned to make social impact in their respective areas. Historically government and private organizations could be found at odds, even if not intentionally. The SIF is an example of government helping to scale grass roots initiatives through public and private funding, ultimately increasing impact.

The audience in Taiwan was pleasantly surprised to hear that the idea of starting the U.S. social innovation fund was incubated by a group of venture philanthropy leaders in the U.S.  This group approached a number of high potential candidates for the U.S. Presidency back in 2008 including the now President Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, expressing the need for government funding to scale the innovations that were already being developed every day at the grass root level.

The SIF which was set up in 2009 has inspired the creation of the Social Innovation Fund in Ireland as well as the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund in Hong Kong. These structures are not an exact copy of the US SIF but have their own respective differences and unique elements. The seminar has definitely sparked interest in starting a Social Innovation Fund in Taiwan and the audience, which comprised of philanthropists, government related organizations and non-profit organizations asked various questions around the key elements to implement and replicate this model.

The key elements to make this happen are:

  1. Reliance on existing non-profits working on social issues
  2. Transparency- Open Competition
  3. Matching of government funding from the private sector
  4. Program evaluation
  5. Knowledge Dissemination

AVPN member B-current Impact Investment Inc. (BCI2), the first venture philanthropy and impact investment firm in Taiwan is very interested to spearhead a movement to start a social innovation fund in Taiwan and AVPN looks forward to be engaged in this journey to facilitate and provide the connections with the relevant parties that can make this happen.

Multi-sector collaboration among the government, private sector and the non-profit sector is key in solving social issues.  Collaborating with the right partners can lead to great results but the challenge is also in finding the right partnerships.

The seminar in Taiwan was very much a successful example of a multi-sector collaboration effort since the event was brought to Taiwan via the sponsorship of the National Development Fund of Taiwan, PwC Taiwan, the Association of Digital Culture and BCI2.

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Patricia Chu

Patti is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Mana Impact. She is responsible for strategy, deal sourcing and evaluation, project design and management. An experienced cross-disciplinary professional with a background rooted in economics and finance, her sectors of expertise include access to finance, education and clean energy. Patti’s prior experience spans across various types of organizations, including financial institutions, foundations, corporations and non-profits, which have provided her with a unique ability to understand and navigate multiple stakeholder partnerships successfully. Her past employers include the World Bank, Citigroup and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network. ​ Patti is a native of Argentina and has working experience in Latin America, the United States, Asia and Europe – and is a Permanent resident of Singapore. She has a B.Sc. in Business Administration from the University of Richmond, and a M.A. in International Development and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She speaks Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and Danish.

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