Local philanthropy and civil society are important drivers of healthy democracies and economic prosperity across the globe. While many nations have long-established philanthropic traditions, the sector is often limited by legal and logistical barriers.
In Pakistan, the impulse to give and help others is deeply rooted in the national ethos. Despite current economic challenges, corporate and individual philanthropy continues to rise. Corporate giving alone has experienced a nearly 20-fold increase since 2002. Still, the latest Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index found that most Pakistani organizations possess little financial diversity and instead depend primarily on local contributions or foreign donor funding. With the aim of promoting giving and addressing poverty, the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy has performed extensive research on the nation’s philanthropy and its impacts on civil society.
On April 17th, the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. and Hudson Institute welcomed Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, Founding President of the Aga Khan University, and Former Minister of Education of Pakistan. He discussed the opportunities and challenges facing civil society organizations in Pakistan and how local philanthropy can sustain civil society in a changing landscape of development aid.
Dr. Carol Adelman, Director of the Center for Global Prosperity at Hudson Institute, and Dr. Mirza Jahani, C.E.O. of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A., discussed the vital role of philanthropy in development, both in Pakistan and around the world.