Yale Association for African Peace & Development: Sustainable Development in the Next Decade
to Apr 16

Yale Association for African Peace & Development: Sustainable Development in the Next Decade

Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development will hold its annual Sankofa54 conference, under the theme "Sustainable Development in the Next Decade". Semai Consulting will speak on the Economic Partnerships panel, exploring parnterships of public-private partnerships, attracting diaspora investments and working with new development partners for long-term growth. 


Economic Partnerships Panel:

Africa’s economic partners have been instrumental in the rapid growth that the continent has experienced. These partners have provided funds, logistics and human capital as well as served as important trade partners for raw materials and other exports. Inasmuch as these partners have provided tremendous benefits to many countries, it is naive to assume that these partnerships have been without their constraints and demerits.


These partners will continue to remain important in the quest to make Africa a significant economic power. Intra-African economic partnerships and dividends from such partnerships have however kept pace and do not account for much in the economic plans of various countries. This is especially interesting because of how much potential such partnerships have and how intricately the destinies of many African economies are tied to the foreign governments who may reduce capital flow especially in times of economic slowdown. The barriers to intra African trade are well documented; hence this panel will examine ways of promoting, developing and sustaining such partnerships.

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WomenWerk 2016 International Women's Day Forum
9:00 AM09:00

WomenWerk 2016 International Women's Day Forum

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join Women Werk to celebrate Women's Day at the 2016 WomenWerk Forum on March 12 in New York City!  The 2016 Forum is themed "Leaving a Legacy". The day includes two panels, a networking lunch and skillshare workshops on shaping and growing your areas of interest. Hear from a variety of speakers and and workshop presenters.  The full 2016 Agenda is set and Registration is now open! 

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9:00 AM09:00

Reaching Out to New Partners – LGBT, Diaspora, Youth, Minorities and Faith-Based | Partnerships Practitioners Forum

Global Partnerships Practitioners Forum



MONDAY, MARCH 7 2016 | 9:00AM TO 5:00PM

Agenda and Session Descriptions

 As part of Global Partnerships Week, the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Global Development Lab at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Concordia, and PeaceTech Lab will organize the second annual Global Partnerships Practitioners Forum to kick off the week on March 7, 2016.

This is an invite only event. For more information please contact partnerships@state.gov.

8:30AM - 9:00AM

9:00AM - 9:20AM




  • The Honorable John F. Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State


  • Andrew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, U.S. State Department

9:20AM - 9:40AM



  • Abigail Disney, CEO and President, Fork Films

9:40AM - 10:30AM


Governments, NGOs and civil society organizations are increasingly looking to partner with the fast-paced performance-driven technology sector to accelerate innovation in development. But, with vastly different cultures, timelines and agendas, this may be easier said than done. How can these diverse communities collaborate more and drive more innovative partnerships? What is the tech sector looking for in partners and opportunities (and what don’t they want to hear)? Come hear from industry experts on their experiences and advice for understanding and partnering with the tech industry.


  • Ann Mei Chang, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development 


  • Nicole Isaac, Head of U.S. Public Policy, LinkedIn 
  • Ross LaJeunesse, Global Head of International Relations, Google
  • Sean Milliken, Head of Global Social Innovation, PayPal
  • Lena Trudeau, Practice Manager, Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services


The GPW Marketplace, located in the atrium, is a place to convene, network, and display participating organizations and their work.

10:00AM – 4:30PM

10:30AM - 10:45AM


Endorsed by more than 50 development organizations, the Principles for Digital Development are a set of 9 best practices to inform the design and implementation of tech-driven development programs. Merrick Schaefer (TBC) will give an overview of the Principles and discuss the inclusive community-based approach that has been taken to turn these principles into actual best practice. (New Principles for Digital Development will be launching on Feb 29th)


  • Courtney Beale, Senior Director of the Global Engagement and Special Assistant to the President, National Security Council


  • Casey Dunning, Senior Policy Analyst for the Rethinking U.S. Development Policy initiative, Center for Global Development


  • Merrick Schaefer, Lead, Development Informatics, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development

10:45AM - 11:00AM


11:00AM - 12:00PM


Morning Breakout #1: The Art of Partnership: Creating Your Pitch, Design, Co-Creation, and Negotiation

No matter what line of work you’re in, we’re all trying to sell our ideas on a regular basis. Despite how often we have to pitch our partnerships, and despite how much the ability to do so successfully can move us forward in all areas of our lives, many of us don’t give very much thought to how to go about it. We rely too often on the thought that a good idea will simply sell itself. But if that was the case, luxury cars would be shaped like shoeboxes on wheels, food would come in plain brown packages bearing only the item’s name, and books would have no designs on their covers. Of course that’s not how partnerships or products are sold, because that’s not how people operate and make choices. Packaging and presentation matter. Come learn how successful partnership builders have created their pitch, how they have tailored their pitch to their audiences, and learn the tricks of the trade.


  • Chris Jurgens, Director, Partnerships, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Sean Carroll, Senior Director, Creative Development Lab, Creative Associates International 
  • Gretchen Ehle, Vice President, GlobalConnect, Meridian International Center 
  • Tonia Wellons, Associate Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships, Peace Corps

Morning Breakout #2: Using Prizes, Hackathons, and Grand Challenges to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Challenge and prize competitions are one path that federal agencies take to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems — whether technical, scientific, or creative. More than 460 challenges have been run in the Federal government since 2010 and competitions have been around since colonization of the Americas, including the 1927 Orteig Prize, the transatlantic flight that made Charles Lindbergh famous. How can partnerships and prizes work together? Get some insights from people making these two concepts coexist.


  • Jim Thompson, Director of Innovation, Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, U.S. State Department


  • Ben Bartlett, Manager, Global Policy Development, Facebook
  • Neeta Bhandari, Public-Private Partnerships Specialist, Private Sector Engagement, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, U.S. State Department
  • Quintan Wiktorowicz, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Affinis Labs
  • Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Solutions, 100 Resilient Cities 

Morning Breakout #3: Innovative Tools for Partnership Financing

Map the impact investment economy and discover what innovative funding tools are available to finance your project. Learn more about the frameworks behind several popular funding mechanisms and determine which are most appropriate to your objectives. Hear insight from different financial institutions on funding trends and criteria, from their perspective.


  • Adva Saldinger, Associate Editor, Devex Impact


  • Leigh Moran, Senior Officer, Strategic Initiatives, Calvert Foundation
  • G. Nagesh Rao, Chief Technologist, Office of Investment and Innovation, Small Business Administration
  • Mitchell Strauss, Special Advisor for Socially Responsible Investment Finance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • Amy Wang, Assistant Vice President, Global Social Finance Group, Deutsche Bank

Morning Breakout #4: Tech-ify Your Partnerships: When, How, and Why to Use Technology

They say necessity is the mother of invention. How has the changing tech landscape engaged in partnerships to prevent or mitigate violent conflict? And how can tech be thought of as an integral part of a partnership rather than an afterthought? This panel will convene experts from the public and private sector around how technology has been involved in projects overseas, both successfully and unsuccessfully.


  • Nancy Payne, Vice President, PeaceTech Lab, U.S. Institute of Peace


  • Matt McNabb, Co-Founder and CEO, First Mile Geo
  • Dina Najem, Iraqi Social Media Activist
  • Keith Porcaro, Head of Technology and Development & General Counsel, SIMLab

Morning Breakout #5: Measuring The Impact – New Tools and Approaches to Data Mining for Development

Data. The word is on everyone’s lips yet effective data collection in development remains challenging at best. How do we successfully measure the impacts of our development efforts? What tools exist to extract accurate data that tells the story of how programs directly impact beneficiaries in the field? As the demand for data increases, the need for tools to analyze and collaborate in data sharing also increases. This session will highlight innovative approaches to data collection and new software that is helping to ensure efforts remain aligned and partners can learn from each other’s successes and failures.


  • Avery Ouellette, Senior Partnerships Advisor, Center for Transformational Partnerships, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Nanette Barkey, Global Director of Results and Measurement, Pact
  • Trevor Davies, Global Head International Development Assistance Services Institute, KPMG 
  • Joel Meyer, Senior Vice President, Dataminr, Inc.

12:00PM - 1:30PM

1:30PM - 2:00PM


During lunch, informal roundtable discussions will offer an additional opportunity to share experiences and network with other practitioners.


2:00PM - 3:00PM     


Afternoon Breakout #1: Creating More Inclusive Partnerships through LGBT, Diaspora, Youth, Minorities, Faith-Based Outreach

Working through partnerships offer opportunities to engage new partners for governmental efforts. Unlike contracts and grants, partnerships can draw in communities that have traditionally not been at the forefront of governments outreach efforts. This discussion will highlight new partner opportunities and get input from these communities on best outreach techniques to their constituencies.


  • Steve Schmida, Managing Director and Founder, SSG Advisors


  • Semhar Araia, Executive Director, Diaspora African Women’s Network
  • Anthony Cotton, Senior Advisor, LGBTI Office, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Andreas Hipple, Senior Program Advisor, GHR Foundation

Afternoon Breakout #2: New Approaches to Legal Issues - Authorities, Due Diligence, Partner Selection

Partnerships have few legal parameters and yet are proliferating across government. Legal experts in government share their insights on the development of policy guidelines, best practices, and what’s new on the forefront of partnering today.


  • Valerie Wenderoth, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State


  • Alissa Ardito, Attorney Advisor, Administrative Conference of the United States
  • Lauren Marks, Director, Private Sector Engagement for PEPFAR, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State

Afternoon Breakout #3: More Than the Sum of Its Parts: Making Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives Work

To solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, the global development community has launched an ever-growing number of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) in recent decades – including the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, and the Alliance for Affordable Internet. But what makes MSIs succeed or fail, and how do we know if an MSI was the best choice to address the problem in the first place? This interactive discussion will use concrete examples of past, present, and potential future MSIs to help participants understand whether an MSI is the best-suited mechanism to address a problem and if so, how they can set it up for success.


  • Andrew Stern, Founder and Executive Director, Global Development Incubator (GDI)


  • Monica Ellis, CEO, Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)
  • Katie Fry Hester, Senior Associate, The Partnering Initiative
  • Priya Jaisinghani, Director, Center for Global Solutions, U.S. Agency for International Development

Afternoon Breakout #4: Making the Business Case with Social Metrics (presented by USCIB’s Business for 2030)

The global sustainability movement has come a long way in just the last decade, with a growing number of companies and governments actively pursuing partnership and shared value strategies. However, despite this, lingering misperceptions regarding financial returns remain. The private sector has a crucial role to play by deploying innovative technologies and developing new business models to meet changing social and economic circumstances. Making the business case with social metrics requires evidence-based links between social impact and strong business. This session will reflect companies that are meeting these challenges, positioning themselves for both long-term growth and positive societal impact.


  • Ariel Meyerstein, Vice President, Labor Affairs, Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Governance, United States Council for International Business


  • Paul Bakus, President, Nestlé Corporate Affairs, Nestlé
  • Paul Garnett, Director, Affordable Access Initiatives, Microsoft
  • Davida Heller, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Citi

Afternoon Breakout #5: Partnerships to Confront Online Extremist Narratives

Extremist organizations closely coordinate the creation and distribution of their propaganda. The ISIS digital team alone boasts more than 50 professionals. Our success in countering these radical ideologies depends in large part on our ability to coordinate our efforts. Intelligent partners are attacking different strategies in countering violent extremism. Our panel explores the strengths and gaps in mounting a proportional response, and ways in which partners in the public and private sectors can come together to gain a clearer understanding of how to make a difference.


  • David Lawrence, Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer, RANE


  • Curtis Hougland, CEO, Attention
  • George Selim, Director, Office of Community Partnerships, Department of Homeland Security
  • Rhea D. Siers, Scholar in Residence, Center for Cyber and Homeland Secuirty, George Washington University

Afternoon Breakout #6: Partnerships to Support Entrepreneurs

Move beyond the traditional public-private partnership with innovative ways to build partnerships that support entrepreneurs. Discuss how to bring the right partners and resources together to effectively support funding, investing, and scaling entrepreneurs and SGBs and to overcome ecosystem barriers. Hear from banks, capacity-building organizations, impact investors and USAID on the lessons learned around building partnerships to strength entrepreneurs and SGBs.


  • Rob Schneider, Senior Partnerships Advisor, Center for Transformational Partnerships, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Lisa MacDougall, Vice President, Office of Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs
  • Kate McElligott, ‎Director, Strategic Development, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)    
  • Roland Pearson, Managing Director, Capacity Solutions, Enclude
  • Ben Powell, CEO and Founder, Agora Partnerships

3:00PM – 3:15PM




  • John Mennel, Director, Social Impact, Monitor Deloitte 


  • John Buckley, former Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, BNY Mellon 
  • Richard Crespin, CEO, CollaborateUp 
  • Gawain Kripke, Director, Policy and Research, Oxfam America
  • Gina Tesla, Director, Corporate Citizenship, IBM

3:15PM – 4:00PM


In El Salvador, where urban crime and violence are prevalent, USAID partnered with Grupo Agrisal and FUNDEMAS to form Sustainable Communities, a partnership designed to promote job training and entrepreneurship opportunities. Engaging the local private sector provided USAID the necessary insight into the challenges facing the local private sector in El Salvador and a partner that was deeply committed to improving local conditions and combating crime in its own neighborhood.


  • Paloma Adams-Allen, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Carlos Arce, Economic Growth Bilateral Team Leader, U.S. Agency for International Development/El Salvador
  • Ricardo Augspurg, Director, Grupo AGRISAL; Founder of La Asociación La Escalón
  • Rebeca Parker, Executive Director, La Asociación La Escalón
  • Gerardo Tablas, Regional Public Private Alliance Builder, U.S. Agency for International Development/El Salvador


4:00PM - 4:30PM


  • Daniella Ballou-Aares, Senior Advisor for Development, U.S. Department of State


  • Chris Bessenecker, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Project Concern International


  • Alexis Bonnell, Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration, U.S. Global Development Lab, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Daniel Hsu, Director of Partnerships, Village Capital


4:30PM - 5:00PM


Sponsored by USCIB’s Business for 2030

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9:00 AM09:00

Sustaining Ethiopia's Progress in Health | Center for Strategic and International Studies

  • 1616 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20036 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


Panel 1: Democracy, Governance, and the U.S. – Ethiopian Bilateral Relationship


Sarah Margon
Washington Director, Human Rights Watch

Terrence Lyons
Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

Semhar Araia
CEO, Semai Consulting; Founder, Diaspora African Women's Network

Moderated by:

Richard Downie
Deputy Director and Fellow, Africa Program, CSIS

Panel 2: Infectious Diseases in Ethiopia


Nellie Bristol
Senior Fellow, Global Health Policy Center, CSIS

Randall Reves
Chair, Stop TB USA

Shannon Hader
Director of Global HIV & TB, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bernard Nahlen
Deputy Coordinator, President’s Malaria Initiative

Moderated by:

Audrey Jackson
Senior Fellow, CSIS Global Health Policy Center

Panel 3: Ethiopia's Regional Leadership


Tom Kenyon
President and CEO, Project HOPE

E.J. Hogendoorn
Deputy Program Director, Africa, International Crisis Group

Deborah Brautigam
Bernard L. Schwartz Professor in International Political Economy & Director, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies

Moderated by:

Jennifer Cooke
Director, CSIS Africa Program

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Film Screening & Discussion: The Promised Land
7:00 PM19:00

Film Screening & Discussion: The Promised Land

The youth ensemble of Habimah, Israel's national theater, created this documentary-infused kaleidoscope chronicling the waves of Sudanese refugees who crossed the desert to enter Israel legally and illegally, finding themselves stranded in a drama of relocation and displacement.

Adapted for an American troupe and staged by the former artistic director of the Cleveland Play House, Michael Bloom (Off-Broadway’s Sight Unseen), this story personalizes a history of immigration and asks pointed questions about race and the limits of empathy in a welcoming society. Part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, this production will take place in Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's 100-seat Rehearsal Hall.

Get your tickets here!



Following the 8:00PM performance join us for a Post Show Discussion moderated by John Feffer (Institute for Policy Studies, Epicenter) featuring Safia Elhillo (Sudanese American Poet), and Semhar Araia (George Washington University).


John Feffer is the director of Epicenter at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. He is also the director of the Institute's Foreign Policy In Focus project. He is the author of several books, including Splinterlands (Haymarket, forthcoming), the writer and performer of several one-man shows, and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and other publications.


Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly: a journal of black expression, she received an MFA in poetry at the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-winner of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Her work appears in several journals and in the anthologies “The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop” and “Again I Wait for This to Pull Apart.”

Safia has performed at venues such as TEDxNewYork, the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and TV1’s Verses & Flow. She has shared the stage with ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Immortal Technique, Faith Evans, and Sonia Sanchez. Safia is a founding member of Slam NYU, the 2012 and 2013 national collegiate championship team, and was a three-time member and former coach of the DC Youth Slam Poetry team. She is currently a teaching artist with Split This Rock.


Semhar Araia is a consultant, social entrepreneur and faculty member at George Washington University. With a background in African affairs, humanitarian crises, diasporas and development, Semhar provides strategic guidance, analysis and training to various clients focused on international affairs, civic leadership and development.  She is the CEO of Semai Consulting and founder of the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN), an organization whose mission is to support and help develop the next generation of African diaspora professional women focused on African affairs.

More on Semhar Araia at: http://www.semaiconsulting.com/about-semai/


By Shachar Pinkas and Shay Pitovsky
Directed by Michael Bloom
At the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company / February 16-28, 2016

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12:00 PM12:00

African Ladies Who Brunch

Event Description

African Ladies who Brunch is originally a New York City based social society of diaspora women that has opened a chapter in DC. We curate intimate monthly brunches - to connect, support, and inspire over great food and company.

We are very excited to announce the next African Ladies Brunch is with Semhar Araia. Semhar Araia is an Eritrean-American social entrepreneur, professor and trained lawyer. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Diaspora African Women's Network (DAWN) and Founder/CEO of Semai Consulting. Register here

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Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative Consultation
to Jan 29

Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative Consultation

The MICIC initiative is a holding a dedicated consultation with civil society organizations, including diaspora members, on 28-29 January in Geneva, Switzerland.  MICIC is a multi-stakeholder, state-led consultative process to develop non-binding, voluntary principles, guidelines and effective practices for States and other stakeholders to better prepare for, respond to, and address the longer-term consequences of migrants caught in countries experiencing conflicts or natural disasters. Learn more at: http://micicinitiative.iom.int/

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International Forum for Migration and Development
9:00 AM09:00

International Forum for Migration and Development

  • Guadalajara International Book Fair (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join Semai Consulting for a discussion on Women and International Migration at the Guadalajara International Book Fair's International Forum for Migration and Development.

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is one of the largest Spanish-language publishing gatherings to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico from November 28 to December 6, 2015. Authors, literary agents, librarians, booksellers and more than 1,932 publishing houses from 43 countries will be in attendance. With them, over 750,987 visitors will enjoy the world of books and the very best of the literary and artistic production from United Kingdom, our 2015 Guest of Honor.

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Mosaic Institute Citizen Summit
to Nov 8

Mosaic Institute Citizen Summit

The UofMosaic Citizen Summit is a day-long conference featuring speakers, exhibits, workshops, and other opportunities for UofMosaic Fellows, as well as a wider community of interested students, to explore a particular aspect of global conflict in depth. 

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9:00 AM09:00

World Bank Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment & Trade Forum

This day-long conference will present the results of the Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment and Trade Study, which can inform the development of new investment models, technical assistance, and policy changes leading to deeper diaspora engagement, the restoration of investor confidence, and the building of strong public-private partnerships for Sierra Leone’s development post-Ebola.

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8:00 PM20:00

Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa: Why, Where and How

The University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and the George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research (GW-CIBER) are hosting a one-day conference focusing on 8 dynamic economies: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania. The U.S. Commercial Service is hosting the Trade Winds–Africa mission to these countries in September 2015. Learn more at: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/faculty-research/carlson-global-institute/events/doing-business-in-sub-saharan-africa-why-where-an-0


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2:00 PM14:00

Women and Diaspora: From Past to Post-2015

  • UN 59th Session, Commission on the Status of Women (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Permanent Missions of Armenia and Cyprus to the United Nations, University of the Highlands and Islands and Armenian Relief Society, present a side event panel on the role of Women in the Diaspora.  

While women have historically shown their continued resilience against economic and social hardships as well as their capacity to drive progress in many societies, women of their respective diasporas, with their exposure to different cultural, social and gender norms, are indeed agents who drive transformational development. Despite progress made towards empowering women to drive such development through the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly (2000), women continue to face challenges. As such, this panel provided a platform for diasporan women, academics, civil society members as well as UN member states to share their experiences and ideas, with the goal of encouraging new opportunities to strengthen genderequality and empower women and girls in the post-2015 development agenda. In general, the discussions maintained the ideas of mainstreaming the gender perspective and utilizing strong ties between ancestral homelands and their respective diasporan communities based on historical, local, global and modern perspectives to empower women as agents for profound change.

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