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Philanthropic organisations and NGOs can create lasting social impact

Participating in a plenary session on ‘Creating Lasting Social Impact’, on the second and final day of Global Women’s Forum Dubai, the panel was of the opinion that philanthropy and social entrepreneurship are yielding new approaches to social impact, and serving up new models for making change.

When moderator Khalid Al Ameri, Emirati writer and columnist, pointed out the comments by Michael Porter that billions of dollars are wasted in philanthropy, the panel unanimously differed with the view and said things started changing after the financial crisis.

Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Cares, said the organisation started learning from NGOs. “We started designing programs in consultation with the implementing partners.

“Philanthropists may be different, they were donors until the financial crisis struck, but things started changing,” he said adding: “At Dubai Cares, we have models and paradigms. Solution starts from schools, from the primary level. Starting from schools, is important for addressing gender equality.”

Tariq mentioned Dubai Cares’ experience in the Philippines, where the organisation observed cases of early marriage, early pregnancy and early entry into job market among girls. “We created accelerated learning centres to give high level of education to young girls,” he said.

Smarter Donors
Manal Omran Taryam, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Noor Foundation, who is a volunteer CEO, said donors are becoming smarter. “Philanthropy is going through a crisis and it is becoming more difficult to run philanthropic organisations, than running businesses.

“We have to check if they are fulfilling their objectives. It is more of a culture than humanitarian initiative. In our case, we could help more than a million people so far.”

The organisation adapted telemedicine system to manage the many primary centres so that it could give quality treatment to patients. 

Monique Villa, Chief Executive Officer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, said her organisation has been using its skills and offers its services, but no grants. It has structured four programs, including Trust Law by making law firms pay a part of their earnings for providing free consultation.

Following this session, the Global Women’s Forum Dubai – the first ever in the Arab World - was closed by Shamsa Saleh, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Women Establishment, UAE; and Jacqueline Franjou, Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Forum for Economy & Society, France.

The Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2016 took place at the Madinat Jumeirah from February 23-24, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE. The Forum was organized by Dubai Women Establishment in cooperation with the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society.

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