AVPN 2020 | Funding Systems Change in Asia: What Can Donors & Doers Learn from Each Other?


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Session Highlights:

  • This panel explored how philanthropists and implementing organisations can address root causes of complex, multi-faceted challenges such as poverty and inequality which are often intractable and embedded in networks of cause and effect.
  • Panelists discussed the risk aversion amongst donors when it comes to driving systems change, in part due to the complexity and scale of the challenges as well as the difficulties in measuring and attributing impact. To overcome this, donors and doers must embrace risk in the same way a for profit venture would, be open to learning, partnership and being accountable to key stakeholders.
  • As it relates to the current pandemic, panelists warned of the risk of over-allocating resources to COVID at the potential expense of addressing poverty and climate change. Investing now in systems change was seen as an imperative to protect against future, likely larger threats.

Session Description:

    The challenges that need to be solved across the global south to reduce inequality and poverty are complex and multi-faceted. For transformative change to take place, solutions need to adopt a systems change approach and address the issues that lie at the root of the problem. However, it is challenging for organisations seeking to implement a systems change approach to attract the type of funding that is required to implement long-term solutions. In this session, we will explore what is systems change, examples of success and why it is important to adopt this mindset in seeking to bring lasting and effective impact. We will also examine barriers to funding systems change and how grantmakers and social organisations can work closely together to catalyse system change solutions to scale impact.

Key Takeaways:

  • What is system change and how can we adopt a system change approach to solve social problems? What are some examples of success
  • Challenges and opportunities in funding system change in Asia
  • How can grantmakers collaborate with social organisations more effectively to catalyse system change solutions


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

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