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Securing the Livelihoods and Nutritional Needs of Fish-Dependent Communities

May 1, 2013

Starting in June 2012, the Rockefeller Foundation began investigating the pressing problem of the declining health of the oceans due to climate change, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction, and the effects of this decline on poor and vulnerable people who depend on marine ecosystems for food and livelihoods. The goal was to better understand the nature of the problem and the potential impact of interventions in the fields of fisheries, aquaculture, poverty, and food security.The Foundation assembled a portfolio of learning grants that examined this problem from multiple perspectives in order to inform and assess the viability of and potential impact for future engagement on this topic. We supported four scoping studies that sought to identify populations dependent on marine fisheries, as well as review past experience with integrated approaches to fisheries management within a livelihoods and food security context. In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, we also supported scoping work in four countries to assess opportunities for a coordinated strategy integrating national policy, local management, and innovative financing.We have learned a tremendous amount from the work our grantees have done, captured here by partner FSG in a summary and synthesis. We hope this information will contribute to the broader body of knowledge on this topic, as well as our own work.

Boosting the Immunization Workforce: Lessons from the Merck Vaccine Network - Africa

November 19, 2012

This report shares lessons learned from The Merck Company Foundation's decade of experience building immunization capacity in Africa. The Merck Vaccine Network -- Africa, a philanthropic initiative to train immunization managers in Kenya, Mali, Uganda, and Zambia, suggests seven key lessons that can help other funders, governments, and NGOs designing or implementing similar vaccine delivery training programs improve the effectiveness and sustainability of their work.Merck's experience designing and supporting the initiative can offer valuable lessons for other actors in the immunization and broader global health fields who are engaged in or planning similar work. Specifically, we identify seven forward-looking lessons that can increase the effectiveness and sustainability of programs to build the capacity of the vaccine workforce in developing countries:Conduct a rigorous needs assessment to anchor efforts in local needs and priorities;Perform ongoing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to enable programs to adapt, improve, and generate evidence of impact to attract new partners and funding;Create a sustainability plan at the outset to ensure that program impact is maintained beyond the conclusion of initial funding;Embed programs into local health systems to ensure that investments leverage existing infrastructure, relationships, and resources, and that impact can be sustained beyond the life of the program;Employ locally-adapted curricula and appropriate teaching techniques to maximize transfer and retention of relevant knowledge;Incorporate supportive supervision into programs to ensure that transferred knowledge is maintained and acted upon;Facilitate and support regular convening and communication, enabling continuous learning for improvement.In addition to describing the approach taken by MVN-A and the results achieved in the four focus countries, this paper provides additional detail on each lesson, supported by case studies from the MVNA experience.

Anti-Corruption as Strategic CSR: A Call to Action for Corporations

June 1, 2009

Corruption is not a peripheral social concern that corporations can ignore or passively address -- it is a bottom-line issue that directly affects companies' ability to compete. Widespread in emerging markets, corruption is becoming an increasingly important issue for business to address. Furthermore, it inflicts enduring harm on disadvantaged populations by diverting resources for critical services like education, clean water and health care into the pockets of dishonest public officials. This white paper presents a critical assessment of corporate anti-corruption efforts in the developing world and offers a guide for corporations to move beyond traditional ethics and compliance activities to strategic anti-corruption efforts. Sponsored by The Merck Company Foundation and developed in collaboration with the Ethics Resource Center, the paper reveals opportunities for corporations to engage in more comprehensive and effective anti-corruption reform as a business imperative.

From Insight to Action: New Directions in Foundation Evaluation

April 15, 2007

The field of philanthropy is undergoing a fundamental transition toward more performance-centered and forward-looking evaluation approaches that provide foundations and their grantees with timely information and actionable insights. Our report highlights emerging evaluation practices and identifies major trends in the field related to increasing effectiveness for both foundations and grantees. Based on nearly 100 interviews with foundation leaders and evaluators, this report represents the first step in a multi-year action initiative to develop pragmatic evaluation approaches that enable foundations, large or small, to achieve greater social impact.