Research maps philanthropic response to virus - GulfToday

Research maps philanthropic response to virus

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Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, has launched a research project to examine responses to the Covid-19 pandemic by philanthropists and foundations in the UAE.

The Centre is dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy within and from the world’s highest-growth markets, including the Middle East, Developing Asia, and Africa, at a time when philanthropy’s role in building social and environmental resilience is seen as increasingly essential.

One of the first research projects, expected to be completed in Autumn 2020, is examining responses to the Covid-19 pandemic by philanthropists and foundations in the UAE and other high-growth markets.

Specifically, the study will consider whether there has been a measurable shift in focus and investment towards specific geographies, like towards low-income countries, and towards specific sectors like healthcare, in response to the pandemic.

It will also consider the extent to which donors have increased or decreased the size of their donations, or made changes to the typical length and conditionality of their grants - including moving to unrestricted funding - over the same period. Ultimately, it will seek to determine the extent to which changes precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on how philanthropy is practiced in and from these markets in the future.

According to a 2018 report by the Harvard Kennedy School, over the past 15 years, there has been a marked growth in institutional, organised philanthropy in the UAE And the historic period of new wealth creation and intergenerational wealth transfer is expected to lead to a significant increase in philanthropic activity both within and from the UAE and other fast-growing economies.

Emirati businessman and Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Badr Jafar, said that well over a trillion dollars of private philanthropic capital, more than triple the annual global development and humanitarian aid budgets combined, is deployed every single year.

“The world’s emerging economies are becoming an increasingly powerful source of philanthropic capital and social innovation With the impending generational transition taking place around the world, it is crucial to properly understand the diverse approaches to philanthropy that exist in these markets, and the local and regional factors that have shaped them, he said.

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