Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation, OECD netFWD and The Pearl Initiative partner on first strategic event in region to boost collaboration and impact within the philanthropic community

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  • Inaugural event will facilitate greater corporation between philanthropic organisations, donors, policymakers and development community to drive exponential collective impact
  • New OECD report to be unveiled demonstrating the impact of philanthropy efforts across the region and the opportunity for improved effectiveness

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: In partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and the Pearl Initiative, the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation has announced that it will host the first regional event post COVID focused on bolstering collaboration, increasing transparency, leveraging innovation, and boosting impact within the private philanthropic community.

Geared towards fostering greater understanding and co-operation between humanitarian institutions, regional policymakers, business and individual donors and the development community, the two day invitation-only event entitled ‘Private Philanthropy for Development Communities in the Middle East and North Africa’, will take place on 6 and 7 October 2022 at the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah.

Beginning with cutting-edge keynote address on how Artificial Intelligence and Philanthropy can amplify impact by Dr. Giuseppe Ugazio, the Rothchild Assistant Professor in Behavioural Philanthropy at the University of Geneva Finance Research Institute, the conference seeks to bring together invited foundations and sector leaders to discuss opportunities to build upon existing partnerships and form new collaborations to boost effectiveness and efficiency.

In addition, compelling research from the ‘Private Philanthropy for Development’ report from OECD showcasing the power of philanthropy within the MENA region will be unveiled, alongside data demonstrating the role organisations and policymakers need to play to accelerate humanitarian outcomes within the MENA region and ensure regional development goals are achieved.

Dr. Natasha Ridge, Executive Director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Foundation, commented: “Ras Al Khaimah has a deep history of philanthropic work that stems from the caring and considerate nature of our people and our collective desire to improve the lives of others. That is why we are pleased to bring together the foremost academics and thought leaders within the philanthropic sector and key foundations and private businesses across the region to discuss and reimagine ways of working that will transform humanitarian endeavours, improve their collective impact and help support development goals.

Dr. Ridge continued: “We are committed to ensuring that foundations, organisations, partners and leaders across the region benefit from the knowledge gained during the forum through access to the resources needed to help achieve tangible progress and equitable prosperity for all. This event builds upon collective efforts within the regional philanthropic sector and supports the Foundation’s dedication to playing an active role in enhancing Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a home for innovation and excellence, and in establishing its presence as a centre for stimulating conversations about philanthropic and humanitarian practices”.

Making the first major gathering of regional donors to place in the region to explore collaboration, transparency, and the overall contribution of strategic gifting to overall development objectives, the event will raise the profile of private philanthropy, place a spotlight on the role businesses have to play, and showcase best practice in humanitarian endeavours, whilst inspiring a new generation of philanthropic leaders.

Ms. Bathylle Missika, Head – Networks, Partnerships and Gender Division, OECD Development Centre, commented: “The inaugural event ‘Private Philanthropy for Development Communities in the Middle East and North Africa’ is focused on providing foundations, private businesses and donors a space to share lessons on how to sustain impact at scale and help achieve development objectives.  We hope that the conference marks a turning point for foundations to collaborate more closely and embrace new ways of working which will contribute to delivering collective impact”.

The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research    

Established in 2009, The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research vision is to aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah, a northern emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Established through Emiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the Foundation is considered a non-profit, quasi-governmental organization. The Al Qasimi Foundation seeks to generate a world-class body of research on Ras Al Khaimah and the broader UAE, develop local capacity in the public sector, and engage the community in its work. Initially focused on education, the Foundation has expanded its priority areas to include health and wellness, urban and community development, and arts and culture. Signature initiatives include competitive international research grants, teacher and student professional development programs, and the annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD)

Founded in 1961, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, working across more than 100 countries to stimulate economic progress and world trade. The Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) convenes leaders in philanthropy and connects them with policy makers and OECD experts to address the world’s most pressing development challenges.

The Pearl Initiative

The Pearl Initiative is the Gulf region’s leading independent, non-profit organisation working to promote the business case for a corporate culture of accountability and transparency. The organisation was established in 2010 by regional business leaders in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships. The Pearl Initiative is the only private, non-profit Gulf business network to receive special consultative status from the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The Pearl Initiative runs a series of corporate governance-related programmes, including AntiCorruption Best Practices, Diversity in Business Leadership, Governance in MSMEs, Governance in Family Firms, Governance in Tech, and Governance in Philanthropy. The organisation also conducts locally-relevant research, hosts workshops and executive education training sessions, and convenes business leaders, policy makers, students, and non-profit executives to encourage a proactive approach to implementing best practices in the workplace across the Gulf Region. With a growing network of over 40 regional and international partners, the Pearl Initiative continues to strive to be the leading business-led action-oriented platform to advance corporate governance as a key driver of competitiveness, job creation, and sustainable economic growth across the Gulf region.