Message from the Chairman, Nitya Pibulsonggram
In 2011, the Kenan Institute Asia celebrated its 15th year of work on sustainable development. Our efforts are made possible by strong and continuing support from our funders, and we are particularly proud that our founding donors, the Royal Thai Government, the US Government and the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, continue to be among our supporters more than a decade and a half after their initial contributions.
Another point of pride is that many of our projects have received additional funding for further phases – evidence of our work’s effectiveness and of our donors’ steadfast support for sustainable development. Let me mention a few of these projects. This year, we delivered the sixth consecutive cycle of entrepreneurship training under the Ministry of Commerce’s “New Entrepreneurship Creation” program. We began work on the third phase of the Citi At-Risk Women project, and won new funding for a follow-up phase of the Boeing One Computer Classroom project. We also won support for new projects from existing supporters including United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Microsoft, the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology, and the Office of SME Promotion.
However proud we were of earning this repeat business, K.I.Asia was not content with existing projects and supporters. We were delighted to win new projects from the UN Democracy Fund, Resource Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation, as these projects enabled us to strengthen civil society organizations, based in part on our experience improving our own internal management and performance. Broadening our services to the UN organizations included new work with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on private sector development in northern Thailand.
In 2011, K.I.Asia revised its strategy, placing even more emphasis on regional programming in the Greater Mekong Subregion and more broadly throughout ASEAN. Regional programming included extending the Lao Officer’s Training project for the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency, and updating and expanding a 2007 report on patent offices in ASEAN for the US Patent and Trademark Office. We were also honored to be part of USAID’s new GMS-Malaria project working on cross-border collaboration between Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. In Vietnam, we completed a UNDP-funded CSR curriculum development program with four Vietnamese universities.
This combination of new and repeat business enabled us to undertake 30 projects in 2011 that directly benefitted more than 4,300 people, including nearly 1,900 teachers, 1,100 government officials, 930 entrepreneurs and business people and more than 410 NGO staffers.
This extensive activity made 2011 a solid year financially for K.I.Asia. Although a non-profit, we understand the importance of strong finances, and we are pleased that, despite the market downturns of the past two years, we have been able to increase our activities while maintaining our endowment. This financial stability will allow us to invest in upgrading our systems and personnel in the years ahead, to meet new sustainability challenges such as those posed by the 2011 floods, and to provide even greater support to sustainable development throughout the region.