‘Philanthropy for Health and the Impact of Covid-19’ Panel Features Leaders from United Nations Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tanoto Foundation
Innovation and collaboration with government will play an increasingly crucial role in human capital development in a post COVID-19 world, according to Tanoto Foundation’s Board of Trustees member Belinda Tanoto.
Ms. Belinda Tanoto spoke at the “Talking Philanthropy” forum, held virtually by the international network of strategic philanthropy consultants Global Philanthropic on Friday, May 14, 2021.
Themed “Asia Pacific: Supporting a Philanthropic Ecosystem,” the 2021 conference focused on the roles of organizations, NGOs, governments, philanthropists and the charities in nurturing the philanthropic ecosystem.
The forum had education, environment and health panels. In the ‘Philanthropy for Health and the Impact of Covid-19’ panel, Ms. Tanoto was joined by Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys Ltd and board member of the United Nations Foundation; Kate Dodson, Vice President for Global Health at the United Nations Foundation; and Kayla Laserson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation India Office, among others. Ms. Tanoto represented Tanoto Foundation, an independent philanthropy organization founded by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Binge Tanoto in 1981.
In the ‘Health’ panel, speakers shared the challenges and opportunities they faced adapting philanthropic efforts to the global pandemic. Belinda Tanoto commented that amidst the chaos and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it was encouraging to note that Tanoto Foundation’s partners continued innovating and embracing change.
“The teachers and the frontline workers are adopting technology at record speed. I believe it gives us a golden opportunity to build back better, whether using digital technology or digitalizing our process and system. We are enabling how we can help shift the government’s role from administering to managing and leading, and how we simultaneously empower local leaders and strengthen local systems,” Ms. Tanoto said.
Based on the belief of Tanoto Foundation’s founders that quality education accelerates equal opportunity, the Foundation is focused on early childhood development through partnerships with teachers and schools across Indonesia. Its early childhood development (ECD) program SIGAP aims to contribute comprehensive data to drive the ECD sector. Additionally, the Foundation believes a close working relationship with the Ministry of Social Affairs will go a long way to reducing stunting, while further developing Indonesia’s human capital.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Belinda Tanoto explained how Tanoto Foundation mapped out short-term needs such as providing protective gear for health workers as well as rapid testing, and the medium-to-long term needs that involve collaboration with the local governments.
For the medium-to-long term needs, the Foundation provided data to the local government to support policy-making and the creation of the app eHDW (Human Development Worker) which collects critical data on the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. Among others insights, the data also reveal the extents to which access to clean water and proper antenatal iron supplementation play a critically important part in a child’s development.
Ms. Belinda Tanoto recognized that partnerships with the government are the only way to go the distance in developing quality human resources. Kate Dodson of the United Nations Foundation shared the same sentiment while emphasizing that philanthropy can play an important role in policy innovation and policy changes through research and innovation.
“In addition to increased funding for healthcare, how do we enable and showcase innovation? That’s an important priority we need to pursue,” said Ms. Tanoto. “Foundations are well positioned to move quickly and are more nimble in innovating. These are traits we aim to share with governments to move toward quicker and more effective solutions in adapting to today’s challenges. Foundations really need to step up in innovation and thinking about the future and build back in a new way.”
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About Tanoto Foundation
Tanoto Foundation is a philanthropy organization founded by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto on the belief that everyone must have the opportunity to realize his/her full potentials. Tanoto Foundation began operation in 1981, when Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto built a kindergarten and an elementary school in Besitang, North Sumatra.
Tanoto Foundation believes that quality education accelerates equal opportunity. We develop individual’s potentials and improve the quality of life through quality education from early childhood to active age.
The three commitments of Tanoto Foundation is improving study environment, developing future leaders and facilitating medical research. In improving study environment, Tanoto Foundation supports the early childhood development and education as well as basic education, and improving the education ecosystem through improving the management capacity and school leadership, improving teachers’ capabilities and the participation of parents and the society. In developing future leaders, Tanoto Foundation cultivates future leaders to create positive effects in society. In facilitating medical research, Tanoto Foundation partners with health institutions to develop the knowledge and understanding on prevalent health conditions in Asia, alongside applying sciences to overcome health problems that hinder people’s potential in improving their quality of lives.