Database of Diaspora Philanthropy for Asia

Asian Philanthropy Forum started after a successful APPC conference in Hanoi in May 2008. In my first post, Continuing the conversation: APPC & beyond, I spoke about the need to take on Giving 2.0, that is, of using technology to transform philanthropy in our communities in Asia:

The circulation of ideas, knowledge and stories among donors and grantees must be increased, harnessed and shared with others. This virtuous circle of ideas, impact, lessons, and perspectives is how our community learns from itself and strengthens itself – ultimately empowering itself to influence the world, as we want it to be.

I was pleased then to see the announcement from APPC that it has made four grants to support various organizations in Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and the Philippines.

The four projects include different ways of organizing and collecting information to capture giving from the diaspora.  In addition to using this information for research purposes, I hope the “databases” will eventually lead to more transparency and accountability in the sector.  From a donor-advisor perspective though, I hope the databases are available and disseminated in such a way that it is easily accessible and utilized by donors and advisors to donors.  Perhaps, this is the beginning of a diaspora database version of Guidestar for each country?

Why is diaspora philanthropy important when working with Asian Americans?  My take on it is in this post: Diaspora philanthropy: An Asian American perspective

From the APPC site:

For the first time, Bangladeshi givers based in the U.S. and U.K. will be profiled and their giving documented. In China, an information gap in the existing charity giving system will be filled-in to include information about diaspora giving. In Pakistan, the database system development will include a linkage with the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy database of certified NGOs to encourage more giving. In the Philippines, hometown associations will be directly connected with givers wanting to support community development projects with the participation of local government bodies and business.

Below is a brief description of each grant and purpose:

“Bangladesh Diaspora Organizations Database and Case Studies”
Proponents: Bangladesh Freedom Foundation
Project: Database development and cases about US and UK diaspora groups and activities

“Improving China’s Information Collection System on Diaspora Giving”
Proponents: NPO Development Center ShanghaiChina Charity Donation Information Center
Project: Improving the existing central charity information data collection system; to include Diaspora donations

“Sustaining Diaspora Philanthropy Efforts for the Development of Communities of Origin in Asia”
Proponent: Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy
Project: Building an online resource of diaspora networks worldwide and a database of the projects implemented by NPOs in Pakistan

“PINOYLINK: Linking with Overseas Filipinos for Sustainable Social Development and Change”

Proponent: Philippine Consortium on Migration and Development 
Project: Linking Hometown Associations with Overseas Filipinos, in projects supported by the national and local governments, academe and the business sector.

You may wish to visit Asian Philanthropy Forum’s list of diaspora philanthropy resources here.

Our previous posts on diaspora philanthropy:

Asian diaspora in the U.S. responding in times of disaster

$3 million challenge grant from Vietnamese American philanthropist

Diasporic giving: An interview with Ivan Small