2014 was a pivotal year for ASAP, full of growth and change. Major accomplishments included:
- Advocating for reform of global institutions and development practice, by canvassing experts on how to reform the global financial system, by petitioning UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to push for solutions to tax abuse, and by publishing a comprehensive proposal to strengthen the Sustainable Development Goals framework.
- Commissioning and disseminating impact-oriented reports on crucial poverty-related issues, including papers on intellectual property and access to medicines and illicit trade-related flows. We supported new research on illicit financial flows by launching the Amartya Sen Prize contest in partnership with Global Financial Integrity and the Yale Global Justice Program. In addition, we profiled academics who’ve had an extraordinary impact on poverty with their research through the Impact: Global Poverty project.
- Growing the network of ASAP Country and Regional Chapters. Development of new chapters in Romania, Greece, West Africa, and Cambodia began in 2014. This year we created a forum for chapters to collaborate, exchange ideas, and advise on the strategic direction of ASAP Global. A notable highlight among the chapters’ many accomplishments is the publication of the first ASAP book, The Social Exclusion Reader, by ASAP Austria.
- Adding key players to the core ASAP Global team and launching a dynamic three-year strategic plan. We wrote a new strategic plan that will guide our work through 2017; it is a living document that will evolve to meet new opportunities and challenges. We brought on talented academics and practitioners to serve as new ASAP Board Members and Officers: Web Director Miles Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University; Web Deputy Director Oskar Macgregor, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde; Fundraising Director Helen Yanacopulos, Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Development at the Open University; Communications Director Ellen Szarleta, Director for the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence at Indiana University Northwest; Projects and Membership Director Jason Hickel, Lecturer in Anthropology at the London School of Economics; and Director of Research on Financial Transparency Zorka Milin, Legal Adviser at Global Witness. And we enlarged our staff from one to two–we are excited to have Boston University graduate Chelsea Papa join Rachel Payne on the ASAP operations team.
These accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of members like you, who have donated money and time to help academics make a greater impact on poverty. Expert volunteers gave thousands of hours to ASAP in 2014. Their commitment allows us to advocate for big change on a small budget.
We are particularly grateful for the support of the Frederick Mulder Foundation, which has been essential to ASAP’s growth and success. Dr. Mulder is one of the world’s foremost dealers in the prints of Pablo Picasso, and it is profoundly moving and inspiring to know that Picasso’s productive genius is speeding us along.