A new phase and home for “Armed Conflict” research

Dr. Angana Chatterji

Dr. Angana Chatterji

The Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project (ACRes) is moving to the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. The project has been with the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL) at Berkeley-Haas since it was instituted in April 2012. Along with the move, the project will also take on a new name and focus; it will be called the “Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project.”

The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is the new home for the project effective January, 2016, with the full and enthusiastic support of CSSL and CRG. The move will further enable the interdisciplinary commitments of the project in the next phase of its work. A pioneering, interdisciplinary research center, CRG houses research initiatives and working groups concerned with race and gender (as well as coloniality and other relations of power), allowing them to develop freely and flourish.

Conflicted DemocraciesThe first and successful phase of ACRes, led by founding co-chairs Professor Angana P. Chatterji and Professor Shashi Buluswar, and director of programs, Mallika Kaur, included project partnerships with civil society organizations in the areas of focus in South Asia, and with the International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) at Berkeley Law, and both the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) and the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR) at Columbia University. The project produced a collaboratively authored monograph entitled, Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal, with a statement/preface by Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008-2014) and a foreword by Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. The project co-produced a co-authored a report with IHRLC entitled, Access to Justice for Women: India’s Response to Sexual Violence in Conflict and Social Upheaval [PDF]. The project also initiated an archive on the legacy of conflict.

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Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal

Armed_Conflicts_Side Image

October 27, 2015 (Berkeley, California): Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal, a research monograph has released at the University of California, Berkeley. This pioneering publication is authored by an interdisciplinary and global collective of experts, and draws on work with women victim-survivors of conflict and mass violence in defining redress.

Gendered and sexualized violence in internal conflict and social upheaval repeatedly mark the reality of several countries that otherwise function as political democracies. Applying the novel conception of the “right to heal,” this publication focuses on the world’s most populous democracy: India. 

The publication carries a statement from Navanethem Pillay, ​United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2008-2014, and a foreword by Veena Das, ​Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, ​Johns Hopkins University.​ The 432-page monograph is edited by Angana P. Chatterji, Shashi Buluswar, and Mallika Kaur of the Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project at UC Berkeley.  The contributors to the monograph are Angana P. Chatterji, Mallika Kaur, Roxanna Altholz, Paola Bacchetta, Rajvinder Singh Bains, Mihir Desai, Laurel E. Fletcher, Parvez Imroz, Jeremy J. Sarkin, and Pei Wu. Continue reading

Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom

Measuring 3 eggsThose of us working with businesses aiming to have a social impact have long promoted the idea that purpose and profit are not mutually exclusive. More recently, a companion idea has emerged. Like so many things at Berkeley-Haas, it was driven by students. This is the idea that you don’t have to wait until you graduate to apply your learning in meaningful ways. At the Center for Social Sector Leadership, we work hard to keep up with the student drive to have an impact, even before receiving their MBA degrees.

Enter Social Impact Metrics, a new MBA course that is offered in partnership with Amgen. The course is designed to advance nonprofit organizations’ ability to measure their programs’ effectiveness. The four participating organizations won a competition out of 16 applicants. Throughout the semester, teams of students will work with each organization to figure out a meaningful way to define and quantify hard-to-measure impact. Continue reading

Zach Friedman, Director of Vaccination and Immunization at LIGTT

Photo_ZachFriedmanWhen Zach Friedman was hired on as Director of Vaccination and Immunization at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies, his first project was not a small one. He immediately jumped in to developing the “50 Breakthroughs” report. As he described, it the report was “a study that identified high-impact scientific and technological breakthroughs required for global sustainable development.”

“We took a problem-oriented approach,” Zach said, “starting with high level issues like global health and digital inclusion, and unpacked those issues to identify the major underlying drivers and then identify where new breakthroughs were or were not a critical part of the solution.” With the belief that the number of truly transformative technologies is much more than just a handful, the report set about discovering what those were – not just the big, buzzworthy, of-the-moment ideas, but the ones that are game-changing, scalable, and can make a substantial and long-lasting impact in developing countries. Completed in 2014, the full study took over two years to conduct and has since been used by major funding entities like USAID and the Lemelson Foundation to help guide their strategy. Continue reading

Practicing What I Preach

Prof. Jane Wei-Skillern

Jane Wei-Skillern listens to understand effective leaders.

Practicing What I Preach:
Creating a network to study and advance networks for impact
By Jane Wei-Skillern

I have been doing research and teaching in the social impact field for fifteen years and have met countless social sector leaders over the course of my career. While I am always impressed by the good intentions and the drive of these leaders, only on rare occasions will I find a ‘needle in a haystack’. A leader that works tirelessly with a single-minded focus on advancing the mission rather than their organization, a leader who is better at being humble than at self promotion, works well with trusted peers and routinely advances the field ahead of their own interests. These are some of the most accomplished leaders that you likely have never heard of. They have helped to generate social impact efficiently, effectively, and sustainably in fields as wide ranging as environmental conservation/climate change, housing, education, international development, economic development, animal welfare, and health, among others. These leaders have achieved tremendous leverage on their own resources by catalyzing networks directly with the communities that they serve and supporting the development of local capacity to serve these needs on an ongoing basis.

Although I am often referred to as an expert on nonprofit networks, I emphasize that everything that I know about networks I have learned and continue to learn from the practitioners who are doing the work in the field. My role has simply been to listen, learn, and distill the patterns and lessons to be drawn from their collective experience and to package these ideas into publications or presentations so that others may learn from these leaders’ wisdom.   It is fascinating to see that while these leaders and organizations played vastly different roles in their networks, some providing funding through philanthropic foundations, others running programs directly on the ground, in different types of institutions some well-established and others fledgling, across different issue areas, they are incredibly similar in their approach. These leaders and their networks routinely demonstrate through their actions,

  • a commitment to an ambitious vision,
  • dedication to the mission before their own organizations,
  • reliance upon long term, trust based relationships to govern the network,
  • humility rather than brand building in their work, and
  • a heightened awareness that they are merely one among countless others that must work in concert to ultimately achieve the mission.

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Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project publishes photo essay in The Diplomat

Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project, a project within the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, published in The Diplomat a photo essay titled “Punjab: Civil Society and Conflict Transformation,” which depicts the lives of the survivors of the 1984-1995 conflict in Punjab. Focusing on internal armed conflict and mass social violence, the Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project examines the cultural, economic, and legal factors that cause violence, the long-term consequences for the victims, and how the effects are addressed. The presentation, which includes additional photos that were not included in The Diplomat article, can be viewed below.

50 Breakthrough Technologies for Combating Global Poverty


Dr. Shashi Buluswar holds up a kernel of corn.

Event: 50 Breakthrough Technologies for Combating Global Poverty
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Speaker: Dr. Shashi Buluswar, Executive Director, LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies & Lecturer at Berkeley-Haas

Shashi Buluswar held up a kernel of corn between his fingers for his audience to see.

The growth of staple crops like corn, he explained, could not have been possible without the chemical products of fertilizer factories – one of the many essential technologies that impoverished countries need to tackle their economic challenges, but currently lack. In his lecture, Buluswar spoke about how these technologies could dramatically transform the lives of the people in countries like Kenya, Congo, India, and Pakistan. Here were some of the highlights:

Storage of vaccines: The widespread existence of preventable diseases in impoverished countries is not because the countries don’t have access to vaccines – they have no means to correctly store the vaccines. To maintain their potency, vaccines must be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius, but many countries do not have the technology for proper refrigeration. Furthermore, the condition of the roads and other infrastructures in those countries do not allow for speedy delivery of the vials. By the time the vaccines are given, they have lost their effect. Thus, having portable refrigerators would enable the vials to be kept at the appropriate temperature range while transporting them to and from medical facilities.

ImpactMBA 50 Tech tweetWe need more than just solar panels: When asked which household appliances they most wanted in their homes, people have consistently answered:

1. television

2. refrigerator

Appliances like these would drastically improve the people’s standard of living. However, not only are the appliances expensive to purchase, owning them would dramatically increase the electricity bill, as the appliances operate on high amounts of energy. “Without things like the fridge,” Buluswar said, “how can we celebrate the fact that people have a couple of lights and a cellphone?” He emphasized that either the cost of electricity must go down or appliances must become more energy efficient.

View the full presentation at http://bit.ly/1sr7Qne

DNA tests for tuberculosis: Many countries in Southeast Asia, the epicenter of the global tuberculosis problem, are still using microscope observations of tuberculosis strains in order to identify the bacteria – an outdated and unsanitary method of diagnosis, as the equipment can get easily contaminated. Additionally, in the face of growing drug resistance, microscopes fail to discriminate which strains of the tuberculosis bacteria are drug-sensitive and which are not. An alternative and superior method of diagnosis would be DNA tests conducted using a modified version of a pocket-sized device called the GeneChip. The device would recognize exactly which strain of tuberculosis so the patient could receive the accurate medical prescription.

Throughout his explanation of these essential technologies, however, Buluswar stressed that technology alone could not bring about the major change that the countries need to combat poverty. It is only one of the many components to the solution, which includes institutional measures as well as people who understand that the remedy is not about “being the hero,” but about recognizing the complexity of the global problem.

“Technology is necessary,” Buluswar said, “but never sufficient.”

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3 Steps for More Impact Investment-Ready Organizations

By Katherine Murtha

As impact investing comes into the mainstream, there are not enough investment-ready enterprises able to absorb the amount of capital that impact investing is poised to generate.” Dr. Judith Rodin, remarks at Aspen Ideas Festival, June 2014

“All levels of government are facing steeper costs on health care and pensions, where the relentless demographics are just grinding down on all other items in the budget.” – A former state government CFO quoted in Bridgespan’s report, January 2012

A dearth of impact investment-ready deals. Diminishing government funds for social sector organizations. These are big challenges. This week, Nonprofit Finance Fund’s CEO Antony Bugg-Levine and VP Bill Pinakiewicz shared solutions that might address both. They suggested three ways for funders to help social enterprises remain viable and create value for investors.

  1. Help social impact organizations understand the new paradigm. The possibility is very real that traditional public funding for nonprofits will not bounce back.
  2. Help social enterprises and nonprofits adapt to this new funding landscape. Enable them to focus on the measurable outputs that impact investors like to see and adjust their business models to take advantage of government incentives for achieving metrics.
  3. Strengthen social impact organizations. Invest in their adaptive capacity or organizational effectiveness – give organizations tools to understand their finances, improve their capital structure, and measure outputs.

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Ben Mangan to Lead the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership

Ben Mangan

By Nora Silver, Faculty Director

“We commit to take action.”
That’s the title on the certificate Ben Mangan is holding as he stands beside Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013 (pictured below).

Ben brings that promise of action to his new role as the 2nd executive director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.  He was chosen from among an exceptionally strong candidate pool. Exciting ideas Ben brings to the Center include:

  • democratizing social entrepreneurship by providing access to Center resources for budding, but still unknown, social entrepreneurs around the globe
  • becoming a regular destination for top talent – inviting visiting fellows from industry to teach and learn with students
  • applying lean launch principles to social start-ups
  • offering groundbreaking social impact convenings and executive education

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Artists as Social Entrepreneurs – 3 exemplary leaders

[This post was written by Laura Callanan, Haas Scholar in Residence at the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership. Among her initiatives at Haas, she is leading research into the trends in social sector leadership.]

As defined by Ashoka, social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

I gave a keynote at the SoCap13 conference titled The Surprise Social Entrepreneur.  My talk explores the 5 defining characteristics of the social entrepreneur as set out by the late Duke University professor Greg Dees:

  • Socially driven – Advancing a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private wealth)
  • Growth oriented – Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission
  • Innovative – Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning
  • Resourceful – Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand
  • Accountable – Exhibiting heightened accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created

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