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. #

ASSIST, DBP, ECCP, EMB-DENR and ADFIAP sign partnership agreement

24 04 2012

Green Financing aims to support environment-friendly processes and systems such as cleaner production, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.

Affirming their commitment to promote sustainable development in the Philippines, ASSIST, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) signed a memorandum of agreement for the Green Financing project last April 12, 2012 at the DBP Executive Lounge.

Green Financing aims to support environment-friendly processes and systems such as cleaner production, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency. For this project, DBP earmarked 20.6B for industries and local government units to use on green initiatives.

DBP Program Development Head Vice President Paul Lazaro welcomed the attendees, after which ASSIST Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan, EMB-DENR Director Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna ECCP President Hubert D’ Aboville and ADFIAP Secretary General Octavio Peralta signed the partnership agreement.

In his closing remarks, DBP President and CEO Francisco F. Del Rosario Jr. commended the partners for their collaborative effort especially in this effort for sustainable development.

ASSIST Executive Director Murali, Group Executive Matthias Wichmann, Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh and Projects and Grants Management Associate Melba Tutor were also present..

See related article on Manila Bulletin.

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 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.#

Warm holiday greetings from ASSIST!

27 12 2011

International NGO Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) sends warm holiday greetings!

ASSIST and TUV Rheinland conduct Food Safety Training in Vietnam

6 09 2011

To promote awareness on the international food standards (HACCP/ISO22000) and international food safety regulations in Vietnam, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) partnered with TUV Rheinland in holding a Training Series for Food Safety Professionals and Managers under the SAFE Vietnam Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project last July 14-15, 28-29 and August 2-3 for professionals and August 8-9, 11-12 and 15-16, 2011 for managers.

SAFE Vietnam (Structured program to Achieve Food Safety Excellence in Vietnam) is DEG-funded initiative that seeks to create a broad impact on the food safety and hygiene awareness in the entire country’s supply chain for the agricultural and dairy sector. The PPP recognizes Vietnam’s growth as a major food processor and exporter in the global market.

SAFE Vietnam seeks to create a broad impact on the food safety and hygiene awareness in the entire country's supply chain for the agricultural and dairy sector.

Leading private as well as state-owned companies in food industry joined the training such as Vinamilk, Metro, Golden Hope NhaBe, VinaCafe, CanTho Plant Protection Sub-Department, Can ThoQuality/Assurance Sub-Department,National Argo-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Sub-Department Daklak, and 2/9 Import-Export Company.

Attended by 77 professionals and 44 managers, the training was led by Nguyen Huu Dung, who has acquired a wide range of experience in food safety following his education at the Hanoi University of Technology Faculty of Chemical Technology.

Dung rose from the ranks to become Chief of Science and Standards Section, and the Integration and Development Division of Vietnam Food Administration. He also served as Inspector at the National Fisheries Inspection and Quality Assurance Centre. In addition, Dung is a Lead Auditor for ISO 14000, OHSAS 18000, ISO 22000 and ISO 9001.

Leading private as well as state-owned companies in food industry joined the training.

Other activities lined up for SAFE Vietnam include mass awareness campaigns, CEO Forums, Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Sessions, Technical Training and Certification programs, Training of Trainers, and development of e-learning tools and self-auditing guide for beneficiaries.

ASSIST is an international non-government organization focused on capacity building. It seeks to promote sustainable practices to address social problems in the developing world, with focus on Asia and Africa. It takes pride in its process-oriented approach to capacity building towards social improvement and sustainable transformation. Its goal is to empower its target groups to make them resilient to the social, economic and environmental challenges.

It is presently based in Makati City, but also has operations in India and Vietnam and manages projects in over 10 countries. Through its Partner to Progress philosophy, it has successfully implemented such projects in collaboration with the European Union, United Nation Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), USAID, International Finance Corporation (IFC), GIZ, and DEG/ KFW amongst other organizations. #

The SAFE Vietnam initiative recognizes the country's growth as a major food processor and exporter in the global market.

Meanwhile, the TÜV Rheinland Group is a leading provider of technical services worldwide. Since its foundation in 1872, TÜV Rheinland has been developing safe and sustainable solutions for the challenges arising from the interaction between man, the environment and technology. As an independent, neutral and professional organization, TÜV Rheinland is committed to working towards a future that can fulfill the needs of mankind and the environment in the long-term.

Finally, DEG is a member of the KfW Bankengruppe (KfW banking group), which finances investments of private companies in developing and transition countries. As one of Europe’s largest development finance institutions, it promotes private business structures to contribute to sustainable economic growth and improved living conditions.#