In 2022, Academics Stand Against Poverty inaugurated the Ambedkar Grants for Advancing Poverty Eradication (AGAPE), providing competitive funding and mentoring for innovative pilot projects in severe poverty eradication with strong prospects of cost-effective scale-up. The first four grants have been made, and a new round of AGAPE grant funding for 2023 was announced.
In partnership with Global Financial Integrity, ASAP also selected and honored the winners of the Ninth Annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize Competition on illicit financial outflows from poor countries – while announcing the Tenth Competition and publishing the winning essays of the Eighth in Journal ASAP.
ASAP continues to work closely with Yale’s Global Justice Program on various fronts. One key idea is to incentivize the development and deployment of innovations through publicly funded impact rewards rather than patent-based monopoly rents. This option is needed especially in the domains of green and health technologies. Impact rewards would take account of the third-party effects of innovations, make beneficial innovations much more affordable, and draw R&D efforts to the specific needs of the poor. In partnership with JENA and AHETI in Africa, and RIS in India, we have been pushing this idea at the T7 and T20 as well as at COP27.
Another joint effort is focused on the 42% of humanity who cannot afford a healthy diet – a horrendous silent catastrophe that is widely ignored, with a large percentage of global food production wasted or converted to biofuels.
2022 saw the retirement of Helen Lang as ASAP’s Global Coordinator and Helen Yanacopulos as Secretary of the ASAP Board with our gratitude for their great contributions over many years. We welcome Zeke Ngcobo as our new Global Coordinator and plan to add one or two Board Members soon.
Academics Stand Against Poverty is still more wish than reality. But if even just one in a thousand scholars and educators were actively to join us, we would stand a real chance to achieve at least that small shift in the global distribution needed to end the more severe forms of poverty.