As a continued part of PCDN’s interview series with leading practitioners and scholars, we are pleased to announce that the Network will be doing an interview in March with Ms. Seema Jalan, Global Development Policy Director at World Thrive Worldwide.
Founded in 1998, Women Thrive Worldwide (formerly the Women's Edge Coalition) is the leading non-profit organization shaping U.S. policy to help women in developing countries lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Women Thrive Worldwide works to create a world in which women and men work together as equals so that they, their families and their communities can thrive. The organization advocates for change at the U.S. and global levels so that women and men can share equally in the enjoyment of opportunities, economic prosperity, voice, and freedom from fear and violence. By partnering with locally based organizations, Women Thrive Worldwide creates powerful coalitions to advance the interests of the women and girls that they serve.
As with all our interviews, we would love for you to post questions that you would like us to ask Seema. We can't promise that all of them will be asked, but we will strive to integrate the most relevant ones. Once the interview is complete, we will post the entire interview on PCDN. Please post your questions directly in this discussion as a response.
Below, please find Seema’s bio and some links to her amazing work!
Seema Jalan joined Women Thrive Worldwide in 2005. As the Global Development Policy Director, Seema leads work on aid reform at Women Thrive, ensuring U.S. assistance reaches both women and men in developing countries, addressing violence against women internationally and increasing access to women's economic opportunity. For Seema, Thrive fills a missing link in the women’s movement, shining a light on the important contributions of women around the world to their economies and pushing the U.S. government to do better in supporting their work.
After graduating from New York University with B.A. in Mathematics, Seema completed her Master of International Affairs in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University. Prior to joining Thrive, she has worked with Women for Afghan Women and the United Nations, consulted for International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in Ethiopia, and was previously the Investment Banking Analyst with Lehman Brothers. Seema was also a legislative aide to New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Thanks. I greatly admire the work of Women Thrive Worldwide and the significant impact they have had on advancing economic and political opportunities for women around the globe. A few questions I would suggest for Seema include:
1) How does Women Thrive measure the impact of their work?
2) What is the key to conducting successful advocacy work?
3) What are her recommendations for younger professionals who may want to pursue a career focused on gender? What skills and experience are needed?
4) What inspires her most in the position?
Thank you. While I am only marginally familiar with gender issues, I am curious as to what Seema considers the primary necessary condition(s) for achieving the goal of Women Thrive Worldwide - which, if I understand correctly, is ensuring that gender concerns are better addressed in US-funded international development work. I am asking in the context of my experience working in the USAID contracting world, where numerous policy statements on the matter have been issued and projects/proposals are required to explicitly address gender-related questions but, at the same time, the sense I am getting from colleagues is that much work remains to be done.
In other words, what kind and extent of change in awareness, regulation, individual commitment, etc. at what level does Seema consider crucial to WTW's mission? By levels I mean Congress/funding, Agency/strategic, Agency/programmatic, implementing partners, etc.
Such initiatives are always good, we can not leave with out helping the mothers of the world to pertain a better living, well I have gotten experience in working with women based projects ever since I joined social work. There are quite number of challenges deterring progress when it comes to helping women oust out of poverty, I have directly researched through the issue concerning funds extended to women developmental projects, there are some how a total failure due to inadequate Monitoring and Evaluation. Women have instead used the funds to cater for their basic needs rather than finding ways of building ventures which would make returns. Here is my Question;