AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


System Change in Philanthropy for Development: Lessons from Southeast Asia

By The University of Cambridge – Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) and AVPN



Date & time

(GMT +8)

18 January 2023



18 January 2023


About this event

The University of Cambridge – Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) partners with AVPN for the second installment of their ‘System Change’ series — a continued conversation that looks to further expand existing dialogues on philanthropic best practices and key findings from Southeast Asia.

This 90 minute webinar is open to all interested in global philanthropy and international development, and those working to support high impact philanthropy in global growth markets, specifically in the Southeast Asia region.

What you can expect:

This panel will have a focus on the key trends, challenges and research areas in the Southeast Asia philanthropy space: featuring discussions and insights drawn from recent landmark studies and programmes from the University of Cambridge Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) and AVPN. Topics include diversifying philanthropy through new philanthropic instruments,as well as localisation and collaborative efforts in philanthropy.

For your reference, you may download the report ‘System Change in Philanthropy for Development: A Research Framework for Global Growth Markets through this link.

Dr. Shonali Banerjee
Senior Research Associate
Centre for Strategic Philanthropy


Dr Shonali Banerjee is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy. She joined the Centre as Research Associate in February 2021. She leads the Centre’s research agenda on philanthropy in global growth markets, specifically Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Shonali is an expert in global philanthropy for development, and her previous work focused on the implications of new financial instruments in philanthropy and giving.

Prior to academia, Shonali began her career as a development practitioner by spending five years working for international organisations in the United States, Morocco, Thailand, and Cambodia. During this time, she specialised in impact measurement, fundraising, and strategic communications. Most recently, Shonali served as Research Development Officer at Queen Mary University of London, where she worked with faculty across all disciplines to develop proposals for the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

Shonali’s work has been published in top academic journals including Third World Quarterly and Development in Practice, and her forthcoming book with Bristol University Press is entitled Horizontal Development: Shifting Power and Privilege in Aid. She currently sits on the Advisory Committee for the L’Oréal Fund for Women. Shonali holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Sussex, a MSc in Development Studies from SOAS University of London, and a BA in International Affairs and Political Science from The George Washington University.

Roshini Prakesh
Chief Knowledge Officer


Roshini is Chief Knowledge Officer at AVPN. In this role she leads research and capacity-building for the AVPN community. This includes landscape research on the needs, gaps and opportunities for investment across various impact areas, monitoring & evaluation and the AVPN Academy, which is the only practitioner-focused platform for cross-cutting social investment learning in the region.

With close to 20 years’ experience in research, strategy and advocacy across the non-profit and international development sectors she is a strong believer in multi-stakeholder and cross-sector collaboration.

Roshini has a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. She also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Singapore Red Cross Home for the Disabled.

Ma. Esther Santos
PLDT-Smart Foundation Philippines


Ma. Esther O. Santos, President of PLDT-Smart Foundation since 2011, started her career in the Investments sector, but had shifted to development work in search of impact for people, and finding solutions to the inequalities of the

She completed the Advanced Management Program of the UA&P and IESE Business School and the Impact Investing Fellowship under AVPN. She was also the only Filipino Delegate of Fundación CODESPA, a Spanish NGO led by its
Honorary Chairman, King Felipe of Spain.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Master degree in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines. She is also a Trustee of ASA
Microfinance Philippines and Radio Veritas, a member of the Filipina CEO Circle and the NextGen Organization of Women Directors Phils. Inc.

Michael Susanto
Head of Strategic Planning and Partnership
Tanoto Foundation


Michael spends the last 20 years in the Life Science and Healthcare technology sector. He specialised in Strategic Planning, Risk Mitigation, Business Development, Stakeholders Engagement, and Partnership.

As Head of Strategic Planning and Partnership at Tanoto Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation with a global mindset that believes the transformative power of quality education accelerates opportunities, he is responsible in creating an impact-driven, and effective philanthropy, as well as nurturing strategic partnerships, and building talents, through which the organisation is able to position itself in thought leadership.

Before the Foundation, his work was focused in the establishment of new business ventures in Indonesia, including identifying matches between local market needs and exploring the potential of bringing technologies and solutions for life science, personalised healthcare, point-of-care solutions, and digital health to Indonesia. During this tenure, he managed multiple new business developments in the complex Health and Life Science industries aiming to create an ecosystem that enables constantly evolving technologies to be implemented country-wide faster and more scalable.

On the side, he had worked on key development projects to promote the economy through waste management and turnkey social projects. He is a Faculty Member at Bina Nusantara University, alumnae of Cambridge Center for Strategic Philanthropy, and executive student in Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Claire Wong
DBS Foundation


Claire is responsible for driving DBS Foundation’s commitment to champion social entrepreneurship for a better world. Prior to this role, she spent more than 15 years in the energy industry and in government policy. She started out in the Singapore Economic Development Board and moved into consulting for the energy sector. Most recently, she was an energy industry corporate banker at DBS bank before taking on her current role in the foundation.

Claire is excited to be on this journey of supporting businesses that have long lasting and life changing social and environmental impact for the world we live, and we look forward to having her on the panel to share her perspectives.

Registration is now open.
If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected] .

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