Happy holidays and end of year message from LASER PULSEgupta604
With the end of the year fast approaching we say goodbye to 2021 with bittersweet feelings. By any standard, 2021 was a difficult year. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, and many of us have experienced great loss. It showed us how fragile our development achievements can be and how swiftly decades of progress can be undone. But the pandemic has also highlighted the strength and resilience of systems built on community engagement and local leadership.
As we start a new year, I want to take a moment to recognize the amazing spirit of our partners working through the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil and the agility and commitment of the LASER PULSE team who never hesitate to go the extra mile. We are very proud of our project teams that are working on critical challenges in partnership with local researchers, practitioners, and government stakeholders.
Across the world, our project teams have taken on immensely critical and regionally relevant issues since the program’s launch in 2018. Whether it was re-establishing the agro-based cultural practices in Northern Iraq affected by ISIS, building data-driven decision support for improved water security in East Africa, or strengthening the capacity of South African institutions to understand the nature and magnitude of human trafficking. Whether it was working on malnutrition and child stunting in Laos or catalyzing change in education through social emotional learning curriculum in Uganda or creating evidence for effective approaches to armed conflict and violence prevention across countries, our projects are addressing timely and relevant issues. You can learn about all our projects here.
In 2021, we began new engagements with multiple research proposals in Vietnam, Colombia, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Rwanda to select and award 14 unique projects. These projects cover wide-ranging local issues including increasing mental health and psychosocial support for Venezuelan refugees in Colombia, traffic related air pollution impact on children in Vietnam, assessing the resilience of communities experiencing recurring violent conflict shocks in Ethiopia, technology tools for building resilience of dairy farms in Rwanda and Empowering women micro-entrepreneurs from marginalized communities using digital tools In Nepal — learn more here. We also launched a RFA to support the amazing research being conducted by Minority Serving Institutions and brought together private sector leaders to discuss how we can collaborate to achieve a common vision for development.
Even before I joined LASER PULSE in April, I was inspired by the vision of the program and its collaborative evidence-based approach to achieving impact. Each day since I’ve only added to my conviction, amazed by the incredible team with diverse talents and expertise who are always there for each other and for our partners. Our achievements serve as evidence of their hard work.