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March 2015

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On Feb. 18, Winrock co-organized the Bilateral Dialogue on Human Trafficking: Bangladesh and the United States. A Whole Village Approach. The U.S. Department of Justice-sponsored conference united police, prosecutors, and members of the judiciary and civil society in Dhaka to discuss how to jointly combat human trafficking and implement Bangladesh’s recently passed comprehensive counter-trafficking legislation.

USAID’s Clean Energy Investment Project — with the Association of renewable energy, and International Finance Corporation — hosted the 5th quarterly Renewable Energy Stakeholders’ Forum March 24 in Skopje. The forums promote public-private dialogue on renewable energy (RE) issues and previous discussions have launched a number of initiatives to improve the legal and regulatory framework, and helped resolve challenges that RE investors face in Macedonia. USAID Mission Director, James Stein; the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Vladimir Pesevski; and the President of the Association of Renewable Energy, Koco Angushev, were keynote speakers.

USAID released this month their Partnering for Impact Report: USAID and the Private Sector. In the report, USAID highlights “some of our most innovative and impactful partnerships.” Winrock is proud to be an implementing partner on the Cold Chain Bangladesh Alliance project, featured on page 13.

Wallace Center Director John Fisk will be speaking about sustainable food practices at the City of Little Rock's Sixth Annual Sustainability Summit on April 9. Register now for the summit.

Earlier this month, the USAID LEAF project posted the Gender Analysis of Lam Dong’s Provincial REDD+ Action Plan report to its website. The report captures findings from a gender analysis to identify shortcomings in empowering women and integrating gender into the Action Plan in Vietnam, and provides specific recommendations to promote greater gender integration. The Lam Dong Provincial government officially launched its Provincial REDD+ Action Plan in Dalat on March 22.

Congratulations to the City of Fayetteville, Ark., which was recognized March 9 for a City of Distinction award from Arkansas Business for its efforts in supporting The ARK Challenge startup accelerator. The ARK is made possible through a partnership of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock.

In the Siem Reap province of Cambodia, thanks to the work of 60 students (Community Youth Network members, trained by the Counter Trafficking in Persons program), three villages were informed about human trafficking and safe migration. See more.

What's it like to sell through a food hub? U.S. farmers will discuss their experiences (good and bad) of selling through their local food hub. Register for this free National Good Food Network webinar, April 16.

CORRECTION: In the February issue of Innovations e-mailed to subscribers, we mistakenly listed the wrong funder for the Rural Enterprise for Alleviating Poverty project in Bangladesh. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We regret this error and any confusion it may have caused.

Interested in working at Winrock? Search current openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Learn more about new opportunities.

New water system brings safe, clean water to 30,000 villagers in Rwanda
official inauguration of water systemA new water system in Mwiri and Rwinkwavu sectors of the Kayonza district, Rwanda, was officially inaugurated this month and will supply clean, safe water for 36 villages – including approximately 30,000 people, in addition to several schools, health centers and a major District hospital.

The system is expected to decrease water prices – in some villages from 250 to 30 Rwandan Francs per Jerry can – and villagers will now be able to access clean drinking water instead of the pond which they had previously shared with their cattle.

The water system, which integrates four sub-systems, uses water from nearby captured springs. It was designed and constructed as part of Winrock International’s Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) activities within the Rwanda Integrated Water Security Program (RIWSP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The system, which has a total length of 85 kilometers, has more than 90 taps – each equipped with a water meter. It will be managed under a public-private partnership: the District will own the system and a private operator will sell the water through local vendors to villagers.

On average, each water point serves around 300 people living within a distance of approximately 500 meters. Schools, churches, health centers and the hospital will each have their own tap and each village has established a water user committee to maintain service and water quality issues.

As one villager told the national radio station on the day the system was officially inaugurated: “It is the first time in 27 years I can drink clean water!”

Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Biruta, Eastern Province Governor Odette Uwamariya, and USAID Mission Director for Rwanda Peter Malnak attended the inauguration. 

Green architecture TV series helps spread word about green building in Georgia
recording green architecture TV showDuring the months of January and February, Georgian television station Ertsulovneba aired a series of programs on Green Architecture every Thursday evening. The programs, approximately 30 minutes each, focused on green building and its impact on the environment, energy efficiency, green materials, climate change, and green building certification systems.

The primary goal of the program was to reach and educate youth about green building in Georgia and initial feedback suggests that the Green Architecture series helped spread the word about green building among broader audiences of all ages and social groups.

The program was supported by the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) Clean Energy Program as part of its Green Building public awareness campaign. The author of the Program, Professor Tina Khimshiashvili, who is also president of the Georgian Association of Landscape Architects (GALA), hosted guests from academia, Tbilisi municipality, independent experts and organizations involved in architecture and the building sector. Students from Georgian Technical University, Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and Ilia State University were able to ask questions of guest speakers and express their opinions during the program.

The EC-LEDS Clean Energy Program is funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International. Through this program, USAID supports Georgia’s efforts to increase climate change mitigation through energy efficiency and clean energy activities. The program was produced in cooperation with the Green Building Council Georgia (GBC Georgia) and the Georgian Association of Landscape Architects, with the support of TV Channel Ertsulovneba.

Farmer-to-Farmer, VC-RD team up for inclusive agricultural growth in Myanmar
U.S. Ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell visits an avocado orchard.Winrock’s Asia Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program has been active in Myanmar (Burma) since November 2012, providing “people-to-people” volunteer technical support for more than 3,000 farmers and others involved in agricultural pursuits in the newly opened nation, which is now undergoing massive socio-economic transition.

To help smallholder farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs sustainably and inclusively benefit from broader growth, the F2F program in Myanmar was complemented in November 2014 by Winrock’s new, USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development project, which employs aspects of F2F’s volunteer-driven model to target specific agriculture value chains (such as coffee, soy and ground nuts) in Myanmar for assistance.

Highlighting the work of this sister project, U.S. Ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell visited an avocado orchard in Pakhone Village earlier this month, where a pair of Winrock Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers previously provided farm management, plant propagation and disease control training.

During the visit, Mitchell – along with USAID/Burma Mission Director Chris Milligan and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Scot Marciel – had an informal discussion with nearly 40 smallholder farmers from the Pa’O and other ethnic groups on topics that included transportation infrastructure, market fluctuations, and opportunities for continued technical assistance.

Led by host farmer U Khun Maung Myint and Winrock staff, the guests then toured an orchard full of apple-peach and avocado trees to observe some of the adopted strategies recommended by the F2F volunteers – including grafting, pruning, spacing and mulching techniques.

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