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The Asia Foundation
Save the Children
Natural disasters affect hundreds of millions of people around the globe every year. With each new disaster, development gains are threatened as infrastructure is destroyed and economic opportunities and livelihoods are interrupted or lost, leading to increased poverty. Building resilience and reducing disaster risks in hazard-prone areas are critical, and engaging the local private sector is an integral component of effective, sustainable action.
In this seminar, panelists shared lessons learned from three different programs in involving local private actors in disaster risk reduction. Grounded in their experiences, the presenters discussed what it means to achieve success at the intersection of disaster risk reduction in context and private sector partnerships.
The presentations were followed by a moderated discussion on key considerations to improve effectiveness in reducing disaster risks through private sector engagement.
Toral Patel is a Program Officer at The Asia Foundation. She works closely with the Foundation’s field offices in 18 countries to support the development of urban and environment programs across a range of issue areas – including climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, green growth, and natural resources management. She previously worked in Bangkok to conduct research on climate change mitigation schemes and community-based forest management in southeast Asia. She holds a Master in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Science from Middlebury College.
Thea Anderson is Director for Financial Inclusion at Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps works in 42 countries with fragile and complex environments. She is a strategic designer of innovative financial inclusion business models with lasting impact among some of the world's most marginalized populations. She designs and supports market-driven initiatives and spearheads the agency strategy and implementation of market-driven financial services with a focus on private-sector partnerships and non-traditional applications. She provides technical assistance to financial institutions and companies including commercial banks and mobile operators.
Henry Flores is an expert in disaster risk management, capacity-building for regional and local governments, and democratic governance and market systems. He holds extensive knowledge of support mechanisms (Nations Systems in Peru), humanitarian aid processes, inter-institutional coordination (agencies of the United Nations Organization, donors and NGOs), and early recovery and reconstruction. He holds a degree in Economics, has completed postgraduate studies in Public and Cultural Project Investment, and is currently completing a master’s degree in Social Management with a focus on management, disaster risk reduction, and public procurement law.