Serving the Rohingya Community at Home and Abroad

Omar has spent almost 29 years of his life in search of a real home that he could call his own. As a Rohingya Muslim from western Myanmar, he had to leave his home country, where he was neither recognized as a citizen nor given basic civil rights. After three difficult, precarious decades in several countries he arrived in Chicago, where he was finally able to settle down in safety. Here, he joins the steadily growing number of fellow Rohingya refugees and hopes to enjoy, at last, the comforts of a safe and welcoming community.

The Clock Is Ticking in the Horn of Africa

The scorched husks of withered plants lie scattered across a sprawling plane of dried mud. The vast basin was once covered with a glimmering lake fed by the rushing currents of a local river; now a choking wind blows over the cracked earth.

Why Our Brilliant Ideas Don't Work

Recently, I have been privileged to attend a workshop on women empowerment in Washington, D.C.  Three speakers presented their organizations’ works and efforts to help vulnerable women around the world.  Shiny presentations were shown on big screens, followed by vibrant discussions and rounds of applause.  There was clearly no lack of good intentions and an honest willingness to help less privileged communities.

Reflecting on Gayle Smith’s Message of Hope

One of the things I enjoy the most as CEO of InterAction is the chance to bring together the NGO community and its partners each year at our annual Forum. It's always a tough task in deciding how to allocate the limited amount of time we have available, though each year we are thrilled and grateful for the insightful dialogues that ensue over the three days.

This year we had a special honor and treat – a keynote address by recently appointed USAID Administrator Gayle Smith. Her remarks were not only poignant and captivating, but timely.

Fears of Famine as East Africa Drought Leaves Thousands of Animals Dead

As dead animals line the road, the Muslim Charities Forum is calling for urgent action before East Africa’s severe drought becomes a famine.

The goats were first to die, followed by the cows. Now even the bodies of drought-resistant camels lie by the side of the road.

The fear in Somaliland is that people will be next. Two years of below-average rainfall has pushed this self-declared independent state to the brink of famine and, after walking hundreds of miles and finding no water, nomadic pastoralists have watched their livestock die in droves.

InterAction Announces Patricia McIlreavy as New Vice President of Humanitarian Policy and Practice

WASHINGTON – On April 18, 2016, InterAction officially announced the selection of Patricia McIlreavy as the vice president of humanitarian policy and practice. McIlreavy was chosen to head InterAction's humanitarian team after an extensive international leadership search.

Open Learning for Inclusive Development

Submitted by Abha Joshi-Ghani, the director of leadership, learning and innovation at the World Bank Group.

In his landmark book The Learning Society, the eminent economist Joseph Stiglitz made an important observation: that what truly separates developed from less developed countries is advances in technology and not the accumulation of capital. What separates developed from developing countries is the gap in knowledge and how quickly this gap is closed through learning.

InterAction Community Honors Leaders

WASHINGTON – Today, InterAction formally announced the list of individuals and groups to be honored at InterAction's April Forum for outstanding leadership in the efforts to help the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities.

Become a Better Problem Framer through Design Thinking

Submitted by Dominique Narciso, founder and president of AidWell.

Design thinking is making its entry into the international development mainstream, with big design companies such as IDEO and Acumen Fund promoting human-centered design to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. However, the actual process of doing design is sometimes hard to grasp.

Supporting Refugees’ Right to, Access to, and Conditions of Work

Submitted by Christina Tobias-Nahi, the director of public affairs at Islamic Relief USA.

Today, around 60 million people are displaced as a result of changing climate conditions, slow or onset natural disasters, and conflict around the globe. This is an unprecedented, historical number not seen since World War II.  About 20 million of these displaced individuals have been forced out of their home countries and are now classified as refugees. What is more, half of all refugees today are in “protracted refugee situations,” lasting for at least 25 years. 

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