From the Field Blog

  • On July 23, Program Officer Luke Bostian went to an all-day symposium at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC titled “Pakistan’s Interminable Energy Crisis: Is There Any Way Out?” The symposium drew some pretty big guns, including Pakistan’s Secretary for Water and Power, Nargis Sethi, and the former Director of Operations for the World Bank, Ziad Alahdad. He was interested to hear what the symposium speakers would say about the causes for Pakistan’s difficulties with energy access and their suggested solutions and what opportunities there might be for the Aga Khan Development Network to take the great successes we’ve had with power projects elsewhere and apply them to Pakistan. Read on to learn more.

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  • The drought in California is a leading news story this summer. However, another story of water scarcity from drought-prone Kenya illustrates a possible path for finding solutions to water shortages. The story from Kenya offers a prime example of the practice known as community philanthropy, in which communities come together to solve problems. A report on National Public Radio describes the remote rural community of Makutano’s success managing a water crisis with local assets. The program is part of a series supported by the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. to highlight the Aga Khan Development Network's approach to foster innovation and build local self-reliance.

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  • When communities pull together to solve problems, it rarely makes headlines (especially in developing countries) but this month such an example did draw media attention, along with an international event spotlighting the practice known as community philanthropy. Earlier in July a story of a Kenyan community’s success managing a water crisis with local assets was featured on America Abroad. The program heard on National Public Radio (NPR) captures how local ownership created a long-term solution; that in turn bloomed into other improvements, with road access and education. That type of exponential spread is what the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy, established last year, is working to achieve. Read on to learn more.

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  • A little over one year ago to the day, Program Fellow Fayzan Gowani had her final interview with Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. CEO, Dr. Mirza Jahani. It was a nerve-racking 45-minutes, but two months later she joined the Programs and Investments department as their 2014 fellow. With a diverse background, Fayzan joined the team with many interests and strong drive to learn. During her time here, Fayzan assisted in moderating a dialogue on our new Social Cohesion program, ensuring we could both celebrate the victories and collect the necessary feedback to improve the project. Be sure to read on for her reflections on that experience!

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  • Last September Farnaz Gulamhussein joined the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) as the Impact Investing Fellow. Upon receiving confirmation of her acceptance into the first cohort of AKF USA’s Fellowship program, she felt overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to join an organization as distinguished as AKF USA. Having grown up in Tanzania, Farnaz was familiar with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). She attributes many of her altruistic values and achievements her long-time involvement, both personal and professional, with the AKDN. Read on for her reflections on the past year at AKF USA and her hopes for the future. 

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