ASSIST launches community health improvement project in Ho Chi Minh

7 12 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) Mekong officially kicked off the DEG-supported HEALTHY (Training Professionals to Improve Community Health) project through a launching ceremony held in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam last November 1, 2012.

Mr. Ante Franicevic, Project Director from METRO, officially introduced the project to all participants. Then Mr. Sreeni Narayanan, ASSIST Managing Director, discussed the project background and the benefits it will bring.

For his part, Mr. Dominik Goerts, Project Manager from METRO, presented the project details, including objectives, timeline for activities, methodology, and target groups. Finally, local expert, Dr. Tran Van Ky, explained the importance of food safety and hygiene management which is the main focus of HEALTHY project

The event provided participants a picture of the food safety and hygiene management situation in Vietnam.

For the next phase of the project, groups will be educated and enabled to practice proper hygiene initiatives to promote quality and efficiency, improve waste management, and propagate sustainable practices. #


ASSIST team gathers for annual planning, tackles roadmap to 2015

29 10 2012

The entire team of Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) convened last October 3 to 5, 2012 at the ASSIST headquarters in Manila for the Annual Planning Meeting.

Highlights of the three-day event include the discussion of regional updates, workshops on ASSIST’s generic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and talks from special guests Dr. Juergen Bischoff, Senior Advisor to GIZ, Dr. Stephan Kunz of AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation, and PUMA Sustainability Project Manager Adam Brennan.

Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan welcomed all participants who came from ASSIST offices in India, Vietnam and the Philippines. They are: India-based Projects and Grants Management Director Sathappan and South Asia Director Platosen Samarasam, Philippines-based Finance Director Suganya Sreenivas, Partners and Network Management Director Kamesh Ganeson, Services Manager Matthias Wichmann, Social Enterprise Manager Olga Babina, Project Manager Sunil Narayanan, Communications and Visibility Associate Margaret Yarcia, and Vietnam staff Le Nguyen Hoang Long, Quynh Tran and Vy Truong.

Platosen was especially happy to report on the takeoff of EU projects in Nepal and Bhutan, while Mekong Director Aru David proudly announced the successes in forging Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deals.

Executive Director Murali, for his part, discussed the status of Blueprint 2012, while Project Manager Yatheender P.M. presented on  portal/magazine. Kamesh and Matthias also reported on their achievements: new contacts established and service contracts approved.

The team also tackled the roadmap to 2015, focusing on their vision of ASSIST as a more established NGO in Asia in terms of reach, funding, visibility, size, competency of people and partnerships. #

SHARE Project gathers stakeholders in Cambodia

18 07 2012

SHARE (Sustainable, Hygenic, and Resource Efficiency for Cambodians) held its first Multi-stakeholder Discussion in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodiana Hotel and Somadevi Angkor, respectively last June 28 and 29, 2012.

Through the activity, project partners Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) Mekong and BAYER Material Science (Thailand, Cambodia), aimed to comprehensively review the current scenarios in agro- and seafood drying industries.

Bayer presented an overview of the advanced solar greenhouse dryer concept. From these initial discussions, gaps, needs, challenges and opportunities were brought forward to guide project implementation.

SHARE is an 18-month initiative that seeks to promote a dramatic improvement on the practice of drying agricultural produce and seafood by installing pilot solar dryers. This project will also increase the local technical know-how and attract and motivate other relevant stakeholders to engage in the venture.

Bayer Thai Company Ltd Managing Director Celina Chew welcomed the participants, while Dr. Meas Pyseth from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries presented the importance of solar dryer in Cambodia. Bayer Thai General Manager Veeralakshmanan Bagavathi then introduced the project mechanics. Finally, Silpakorn University Associate Professor presented the history of solar dryer technology and how it reduced the post-harvest loss in Thailand.

Following the activity, the project implementers will select four  interest cooperatives and communities to install the solar dryers. One will be installed in Royal University of Agriculture. #

ASSIST joins the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2012

27 06 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is pleased to have joined the seventh Asia Clean Energy Forum, held last June 4 to 8 at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, Philippines, along with more than 800 stakeholders from 55 countries.

The event was hosted with the overarching theme “Accelerating Low-Carbon Energy for All”. It served as a unique platform for dialogue between private, public and government stakeholders on the implementation and development of Clean Energy programs in Asia. Furthermore, it provided the attendees with updates on existing clean energy initiatives and on the state and availability of clean energy funding facilities.

The weeklong program was highlighted by sessions led by distinguished panelists, such as Haruhiko Kuroda of the ADB, Cliff Polycarp of the World Resources Institute, and Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, who discussed such pressing topics as “Financing Sustainability and Enabling Profitability”, “Clean Energy Access in South Asia” or “Clean Cooking Solutions for the Poor”.

ASSIST was represented by Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan, Partnership and Network Management Director Kamesh Ganeson and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh.#

All systems go for ASSIST’s two new sustainability projects

24 04 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is proud to announce the start of two new sustainability initiatives in India, Nepal and Bhutan, funded under the European Union’s SWITCH Asia Program.

Dubbed ACID LOOP, the project in India promotes sustainable production through market penetration of closed loop technologies in the metal finishing industry (ACIDLOOP). It will be implemented in partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

More specifically, the four-year action aims to introduce technology innovation as well as resource efficiency in the metal finishing companies (SMEs) that would lead to improved environmental quality and combat pollution through advanced water treatment measures and energy efficient processes.

On the other hand, Sustainable and Efficient Industrial Development (SEID) seeks to contribute towards sustainable development of Nepal’s and Bhutan’s economy with clear focus on national industrial sectors that impact environment and which have huge potential for employment generation and poverty alleviation. Austria’s GrAT – Gruppe Angepasste Technologie (Center for Appropriate Technology) is the Project Lead.

Both initiatives tag ASSIST in developing learning materials, spearheading the awareness and visibility campaign, organizing trainings and forums and providing direct assistance. #

ASSIST goes to Bangkok for UNEP Expert Workshop on APELL and Responsible Production

19 03 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is among the participants of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) Expert Workshop on Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) and Responsible Production held in Bangkok, Thailand last February 29 to March 2, 2012.

Earthquakes, typhoons and other emergencies highlight the need for APELL.

The event served to raise awareness among public and private sectors in Thailand on the effectiveness of the APELL approach for improving local level preparedness to industrial and natural hazards and to build capacity of experts from both the government and the private sector in Thailand to carry out training activities that will adress capacity building needs of industrial SMEs.

Around 60 practitioners from government agencies, industry associations, chemical industries, including SMEs, academia, consultants and individual experts attended the event.

Through the event, UNEP hoped to (1) build participants understanding of the main concepts behind Responsible Production adn APELL (2) equip participants on the proper use of the UNEP RP Toolkit, Learners and Trainers Companion and (3) identify potentail trainers in the country to replicate trainigns on RP nationwide.

The APELL process is a methodological tool focusing on the identification of possible manmade and natural hazards, on awareness raising, and on the establishing and strengthening of local capacities for immediate, multi-party responses in the event that an emergency occurs. Since its development in the mid-1980s, APELL has been implemented in more than 30 countries and 80 communities worldwide.

Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh attended on behalf of ASSIST. In inviting ASSIST, UNEP recognizes the organization’s efforts at greening the industries.

Among these is the Systematic Engagement to Culture Responsible Enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat), a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Project funded by German Development Bank DEG, which aims to explore how Responsible Production (RP) Framework can be mainstreamed in India’s rapidly growing economy.

Further, under the PRE-SMEs (Promoting Resource Efficiency for Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries) project, ASSIST also developed a self-implementation resource efficiency toolkit for the UN Environmental Program (UNEP). Later, it also released a Responsible Production Learners and Trainers Companion, an interactive software-based training and communication package that can be used by presenters, trainers and trainees to raise awareness to the benefits of the approach and to guide RP users through some of the most important tools in the RP Toolkit.#

ASSIST PGM Director invited to be senior expert of IEEPA

28 02 2012

Sathappan Sathappan, the Projects and Grants Management Director of ASSIST, has been invited by the International Energy Conservation Environmental Protection Association (IEEPA) to serve as a Senior Expert in its Academic and Experts Committee.

IEEPA is an independent, professional and non-profit international organization specializing in sustainable development between economy and environment. Founded in 1997, it aims to encourage governments and enterprises in making diversified investment and construction, maintaining the harmony between the environment and industries and achieving sustainable development for human society.

In inviting Sathappan, IEEPA recognizes his significant contribution to environmental research and sustainable development, by managing projects relevant to environmental protection.

Among these are ConservePhil (Energy Efficiency for Retailers in the Philippines), Leapfrog towards Efficiency And Progress through Low Carbon Economy Indonesia (LEAP), Systematic Engagement to Culture Responsible Enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat).

Being a member of the committee mission will allow Sathappan to help carry out multidisciplinary and multi-angle and all-round researches on pressing issues and difficulties about industry or enterprise development,offer professional and policy-based research reports and proposals for relevant government agencies, enterprise decision-makers, high-level academic and expert plaform for all walks of life. He will also provide expert insights for the IEEPA Research Department.#