GFI Annual Statement September

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1 GFI Annual Statement September The Global Fairness Initiative 1225 Eye St. NW Suite 307 Washington, DC 20005, USA P: F: local solutions for a global economy

2 Table of Contents 1. Letter of Introduction from Caleb Shreve, GFI Executive Director 2. Executive Summary 3. Who we are- GFI Mission and Vision Statement 4. Board Development and Expansion 5. GFI Program Areas 6. Program Review and Project Development Strategic Program Partnerships 8. Strategic Branding & Communications Development 9. The Synapse Market Access Fund 10. GFI Staff 2

3 Dear GFI Friends and Family: Recently, the Washington Post reported that the global recession is expected to push 89 million additional people into extreme poverty by the end of These projections add to the millions already impacted throughout the globe, and the resulting downward spiral could devastate the many development gains that have been made over the past decade. In the face of these challenging conditions we as an organization must take a forceful step forward to expand the reach and impact of our livelihood development programs and to help mitigate the circumstances facing working poor communities around the world. The past year has been an important first step in this process as we have brought new leadership, partnerships and a renewed focus to build on the solid foundation that GFI has established. Internally we have created a strong framework for growth while externally we have benefitted from a new environment of engagement in Washington and throughout the globe. The place for small and effective change agents and multi-stakeholder models that connect government, private industry and civil society is clearly needed and is far more widely recognized today. GFI, is uniquely positioned to be that little engine that could in this development environment and our team is committed to deliver on that promise. We will rely on the support, commitment and invaluable leadership of our network of friends and supporters to help us realize this goal and we welcome your input and insights as we develop strategies and implement programs that advance livelihoods for the working poor. I look forward to working hearing from all of you over the next year and on behalf of the staff and our program partners I offer my gratitude and respect for all that each of you have done and continue to do for GFI. Most Sincerely, Caleb Shreve Executive Director The Global Fairness Initiative 3

4 Annual Report Executive Summary The past year at the Global Fairness Initiative has been an exciting time as we work to advance our mission of improving livelihoods for the worlds working poor. We have brought new leadership, partnerships and a renewed focus to build on the solid foundation that GFI has established and feel well positioned to be a positive agent of change, bringing economic opportunities to developing communities around the world. In addition to our new Executive Director Caleb Shreve, GFI has welcomed four new members to our exceptional Board of Directors, developed a new mission and vision statement, refined our core programmatic areas and worked hard to expand our outreach and communications to friends, supporters, partner organizations, and the development community through an enhanced website, newsletter, and social media tools. Programmatically, GFI has opened a regional office to support programs for informal sector workers in Central America, been part of an innovative funding consortium of partners empowering women farmers in India, and successfully finished our work on responsible competitiveness in El Salvador and Guatemala s garment sector. In addition to our on the ground programs targeting the worlds working poor, we have also established a partnership with a leading university and have grown our already successful internship program. With many projects under design and established local partners in three global regions, GFI is excited to build on our success and expand programming in

5 GFI: Mission and Vision Statement WHO WE ARE The Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) promotes a more equitable, sustainable approach to globalization to ensure its benefits reach all people, including the working poor. GFI is unique in three ways: We engage multiple players workers, employers, and government to find economic solutions and increase economic growth. We partner with locally established organizations to have the greatest impact and lasting results. We have an unparalleled international network of leading experts, including former Presidents, high-level trade and commerce officials, and prominent labor leaders. OUR WORK Since 2002, GFI has improved hundreds of thousands of lives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We have developed innovative programs to preserve and create jobs, empowered women by removing barriers to economic success, implemented fair wages and increased revenues and attracted domestic and foreign direct investment. Building on six years of success in improving labor conditions and economic growth, today GFI has expanded its scope to help increase market access for poor producers. We have accomplished this through four key tools: delivering technical assistance, eliminating policy barriers, forming partnerships that expand market access, and bringing together multiple stakeholders. WHY GFI NOW Today both poverty and the income gap are worsening for millions of the world s working poor. Fifty percent of the global population lives on less than $2 a day. In light of this, the demand is growing for GFI s innovative programs to reach further into Africa, Asia and Latin America. The time is now for GFI to build on its successes and fulfill its vision of reaching more of the world s working poor and using its singular access to high-level global decision-makers. 5

6 Board Development and Expansion This past year GFI has welcomed four new members to our exceptional Board of Directors. In keeping with the GFI model, these individuals bring experience and innovative leadership from the public and private sector and represent the international character of GFI s work. We look forward to their participation in the GFI family and to their insights and initiative in advancing GFI s essential work. Please join us in welcoming: Dr. Andrew A. Arkutu Dr. Andrew A. Arkutu worked for Pathfinder International from 2001 through August 2006 and joined the Pathfinder Board of Directors in November He was Pathfinder's country representative in Ghana for five years and its medical director for Africa for three years. Before joining Pathfinder, Dr. Arkutu held numerous positions for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Nigeria. His last position with UNFPA was director of their Country Support Team for Southern Africa. Between his service with UNFPA and Pathfinder International, Dr. Arkutu served as special representative of the executive director of UNFPA in Eritrea and Sierra Leone. His special skills and areas of interest are sexual and reproductive health/rights and family planning, including adolescent reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, with a focus on policy formulation, review, and analysis; program design, development, and management support; training of service providers and management personnel; and program evaluation. Dr. Arkutu has been chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre for African Family Studies, a leading African and international nongovernmental organization in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. He has been the invited guest speaker, or delivered the keynote address, at many international conferences and is the author of many books, case reports, and clinical studies. Arne Cartridge Mr. Cartridge has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communication Officer with Yara International ASA, the world s leading fertilizer company, since January Previously, he held the positions of Head of Public Relations and Public Affairs with Telenor, Norway, ; as Managing Director of the communication company Gazette, Norway, ; as marketing manager and director of communications of Digital Equipment Corp, ; public relations consultant; and journalist at Publicity AS and Informativ AS, Mr. Cartridge is the initiator and the executive producer of the African Green Revolution Conference, now continued in cooperation with AGRA. Mr. Cartridge is currently the Secretary General of the Yara Foundation and the driver behind the Yara Prize. He is the chairman of the board for the humanitarian organization CARE Norway and sits on the board of CARE International. Mr. Cartridge holds a B.Sc. degree in International Politics and Middle Eastern history from the University of Bergen. 6

7 Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs from Her focus areas included foreign policy issues ranging from democracy, human rights, labor, refugee and humanitarian relief matters to environmental/science issues. In 2007, she was appointed the President's Special Envoy on Northern Ireland, service for which she received the Secretary of State's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal for her work on global issues and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Other government appointments include Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House. Ambassador Dobriansky also served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the Council's first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow on Russian and Eurasian Studies. Richard Nordstrom Richard is the Global Chief Executive of McCann Healthcare Worldwide. Prior to joining McCann Nordstrom served for six years with the Chicago-based Corbett Healthcare Group, started there as director of client services. Corbett merged with Accel in 2004, also part of Omnicom, to form Corbett Accel. Accounts under Nordstrom's supervision there were Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Shire Pharmaceuticals. Before Corbett, Nordstrom was in charge of customer planning at Hamilton Communications Group in Chicago. He has also worked at Klemtner Advertising in New York and Lewis Gace Bozell in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Nordstrom started his ad career in sales and brand management at Marion Merrell Dow. 7

8 GFI Program Areas Throughout the past year GFI has worked to define our work not only by our multi-stakeholder process but also across strategic programmatic areas. After consultations with a broad range of staff, board members, and GFI supporters, we present the following five areas we believe to be representative of our work to improve livelihoods for the world s working poor. Engaging Governments GFI is a leading innovator in the development of public policy interventions that support small producers and create economic opportunity for the working poor. Leveraging the GFI Women s Trade and Finance Council and our partnership with the Brookings Institution, we engage governments on strategic initiatives that incentivize participation and create lasting links between our constituent worker groups and the governments that serve them. Investing in Women Producers Seventy percent of the world s poor are women. Women and adolescent girls provide over 60% of all subsistence agricultural labor worldwide and make up more than 50% of the informal sector workforce. At GFI we believe that women represent the greatest potential for putting an end to the cycle of poverty that undermines development around the globe. GFI programs work with women agricultural and textile producers to remove the economic, technical and public policy barriers that prevent women from bringing their goods to sustainable markets at a fair price. Building Workforce Capacity Sustainable economic development with a genuine and large scale impact requires the engagement of a well-trained and productive workforce. Organized labor and engaged workforce communities have always been a cornerstone of civil society and leaders in social equity and human rights movements. By engaging unions and other organized formal and informal worker groups, GFI seeks to expand the reach of our economic development initiatives and broaden the impact of social services in the countries where we work. Whether in postconflict Guatemala, or in the challenging political environment of Nicaragua, GFI creates the common linkages that bring Government, Private Sector and Workforce communities together to solve economic challenges and broadly impact poverty reduction goals. Improving Access to Markets Access to stable, high-value markets for the working poor is one of the most important poverty alleviation priorities in the developing world today. Building on our unique multi-stakeholder process, GFI is working with private sector leaders to identify market opportunities and remove the obstacles that prevent quality products from reaching markets and producers from earning a fair price. With partnerships built around innovative market data technology, efficient storage and transportation processes and proven agricultural input technologies, GFI offers an efficient and highly strategic model for eliminating market access barriers for the working poor. Bringing Fairness to Free Trade In the modern global economy the greatest challenge developing countries face is to create fair opportunities for their people to access the benefits that globalization brings. As nations 8

9 struggle to define fairness, GFI has led the way to broaden inclusion in the free trade process by bringing traditionally-excluded workforce stakeholders to the bargaining table. Engaging governments and large private interest holders, GFI has successfully created opportunities for worker communities to represent the interests of the working poor who have the most to gain and lose in a free trade environment. GFI Program Review and Project Development 2009 Over the past year GFI has opened a regional office to support programs for informal sector workers in Central America, been part of an innovative funding consortium of partners empowering women farmers in India, and successfully finished our work on responsible competitiveness in El Salvador and Guatemala s garment sector. In addition to our on the ground programs targeting the worlds working poor, we have established a partnership with a leading university, expanded our communications and publication efforts, and enhanced our already successful internship program. With many projects under design and established local partners in three global regions, GFI is excited to build on our success and expand programming in Promoting Informal Labor Rights (PILAR) Last fall, GFI received a $1M grant from the U.S. Department of State for a project focused on policies and actions that encourage formalization and extend labor rights to informal sector workers in Nicaragua and Guatemala. The Promoting Informal Labor Rights Program (PILAR) officially launched in October of 2008 with the opening of GFI s regional office in Guatemala City and official partnerships with Poliarquía Consultants, the Guatemalan Ministry of Labor and Nicaraguan Institute for Humanistic Studies INEH. During the first phase of PILAR, GFI worked with Argentine based partner Poliarquía Consultants to assess the data collection capacities of each government. Through engaging a broad range of local stakeholders, international experts, and public officials GFI and Poliarquía order developed recommendations and training modules for improving the design and effectiveness of employment based national data collection systems. In addition to the data assessment, GFI also conducted a national public opinion survey in each country to gain further sophistication on the current situation in the informal sector. Focus groups and formalized surveys were used to gain perspectives on obstacles and barriers to formalization and extension of labor rights from informal and formal sector workers, employers, civil society organizations, public officials, elites and leaders. Both the technical and stakeholder assessments conducted during phase I provide the foundation for the second phase of the project focused on stakeholder engagement, training, and capacity building which began in September of Women Farmers with Global Potential India (WFGP) With generous funding from the Tecovas Family Foundation, GFI officially launched the Women Farmer s with Global Potential (WFGP) project in January of The WFGP project is working with 27,000 women farmers in Gujarat, India and through the project GFI, in partnership with the Brookings Institution, the Self-Employed Women s Association (SEWA) and the Synapse Market Access Fund is working to improve agricultural production and remove market barriers 9

10 for women farmers. The fundamental goals are to economically empower poor women producers and create lasting links to market structures so as to better livelihoods and break the current poverty cycle effecting small women producers in India. The WFGP project is already making exciting progress through initial interventions aimed at improving the supply chain for castor and cumin farmers. SEWA has also begun to coordinate farmer groups and procurement centers which will serve as central locations for farmer training, quality control and record keeping. Important opportunities have already been identified including the introduction of improved warehousing and risk management mechanisms. GFI is also coordinating outreach to private sector organizations to assess demand, sourcing, and investment challenges and to explore potential avenues for technical assistance. The Synapse Market Access Fund will serve as the long-term investment arm of the WFGP program, bringing mid-level financing services to the women farmers so that identified infrastructure and logistics investments can be made to further the market access opportunities created by the program. GFI Poverty Roundtable- Revising the U.S. Foreign Assistance Framework In April, GFI hosted a roundtable event focused on U.S. Foreign Assistance Reform with SEWA s Reema Nanavaty as the keynote speaker and roundtable facilitator. GFI chose to host the Forum in light of the recent consensus that our foreign assistance system is not equipped to meet today's global challenges and is greatly in need of updating. While many opinions have been expressed, GFI s roundtable sought to bring in the missing voices from the dialogue including foreign assistance program implementers, for-profit development organizations, NGOs and Foundations engaged in international development initiatives. Reema, as well as other representatives from SEWA, GFI, the Department of State, and other NGOs spoke about the importance of including local organizations in larger policy initiatives as well as the design phase of international development programs. GFI will continue to participate in larger forums and debates regarding the U.S. Foreign Assistance strategy by sharing our experiences linking field experience to larger policy changes. Salt Workers Economic Empowerment Program (SWEEP) Future Program The Salt Workers Economic Empowerment Program (SWEEP) is a collaborative project of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) and the Self Employed Women s Association (SEWA) designed to improve economic opportunity and empowerment for women salt farmers and introduce sustainable energy solutions to lower production costs so that the poor too can benefit from green technology. Capitalizing on sustainable technology and production methods, improved links to high-value markets and greater local control of energy costs, SWEEP gives women producers the tools, access and voice to better realize profits and achieve their personal and community livelihood goals. Indigenous Worker Rights Initiative (IWRI) Guatemala Future Program Through our leading work on informal sector development in Central America, GFI has identified a need for more specialized programming targeting women and indigenous informal workers. IWRI is a collaborative program between GFI and local community based organizations aimed at extending social insurance programs and government services to indigenous workers within the Informal Sector of the Guatemalan workforce. The program is designed to tie into 10

11 existing multi-stakeholder frameworks designed by GFI through the PILAR project and to create better engagement between indigenous workers and formal sector workforce organizations, private sector associations and the Guatemalan government. Recognizing the unique needs of indigenous populations, IWRI will provide specialized training and capacity building in areas such as production and access to credit and include programming on cultural awareness and sensitivity training. Other Activities GFI and Georgetown University develop Case Study on the GFI Multi-Stakeholder Process From March to April GFI staff in Partnership with Georgetown s Dr. John Kline and Graduate Student Verinda Fike worked to develop a case study on GFI s multi-stakeholder program process. The case study titled Finding Economic Solutions through Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in Central America: A Case Study of the Global Fairness Initiative Process is an analysis of GFI s work in the textile and apparel sector and looks at programming in Cambodia, Guatemala and El Salvador. Currently, GFI and Georgetown are in discussions with the Pew Center regarding formal publication of the case study. A copy of the case study can be found on our website. Strategic Program Partnerships Women Farmer s Livelihood Initiative - Prince of Wales Foundation & Duchy Originals In March, GFI began to work with the Prince of Wales Foundation in the U.K. on a new partnership that would build on the existing GFI/SEWA Women Farmers Program and expand the reach of the Prince s organic brand of agricultural products Duchy Originals in India. In June, GFI s Executive Director Caleb Shreve and President Karen Tramontano traveled to London to meet with representatives of the Prince of Wales Foundation and further discuss how a partnership with GFI and SEWA would help enhance Duchy Originals sourcing, product diversity and brand in India while simultaneously bringing to scale the livelihood advancements of the Women Farmers Program. A framework for the partnership has been designed and is built around the core standards embodied in the Duchy Originals brand to deliver high quality, sustainably produced commodity products. The partnership would enable Duchy to source from SEWA farmers and connect to the existing SEWA processing and transportation network. For biographies of Robert Higden, Leslie Farrar, and Hooper Brook please reference Appendix B Rose Town Livelihood Initiative The Prince s Foundation for the Built Environment In June of this year GFI began discussions with the Prince s Foundation for the Built to create a complimentary livelihood development initiative in Rose Town that supported the ongoing work of the Prince s Foundation in Jamaica. The Rose Town Livelihood Initiative (RTLI) is envisioned as a collaborative program of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) and the Prince s Foundation for the Built Environment aimed at creating sustainable livelihood opportunities in Rose Town, Jamaica. Leveraging the infrastructure and community development investments of the Prince s Foundation for the Built Environment, the RTLI program will integrate processing, distribution and market access capacity into the existing Rose Town initiatives. 11

12 Through this integration of programs the RTLI will deliver long-term economic empowerment to the marginalized communities of Rose Town and create permanent, high-value regional and international market linkages that respond to market opportunities and meet production demand. GFI Launches partnership with Bryant University In May, GFI and the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University in Rhode Island announced a partnership to address poverty, globalization and economic opportunity issues for the working poor. The partnership was announced on at the Chafee Center s Annual World Trade day where Chafee Center Director Ray Fogarty and GFI president Karen Tramontano signed the formal agreement in front of international leaders from business, government, academia and civil society. The Chafee Center houses a comprehensive set of databases that provide up-to-date international trade information through the International Trade Data Network TM (ITDN), a webaccessible platform that will support GFI s mission by helping provide poor producers access to critical market information. Target focus areas for the GFI-Chafee Center partnership include market-access technology for India farmers, small enterprise development projects in Latin America, and credit access mechanisms for small-holder agricultural cooperatives. Strategic Branding and Communications Development While our core mission and vision have not changed, GFI has unveiled a new look and feel for our website, communications, and promotional materials. Communications and Outreach Over the past year GFI has worked hard to expand our outreach and communications to friends, supporters, partner organizations, and the development community. In addition to a greater online presence and communications tools, GFI is excited to announce that Richard Nordstrom of McCann Healthcare worldwide has made a team of leading communications professionals available to GFI in order to further develop and implement a strategic branding and outreach plan for the organization. Work with the McCann team began over this past summer and the ongoing results will be shared with the Board at key stages in the process. GFI McCann Healthcare worldwide Partnership GFI Board member Richard Nordstrom and his colleagues at Regan Campbell Ward McCann have graciously offered to support GFI by assisting with a new branding and communications campaign. The McCann team will help GFI build on the success of the past six years by launching a new communications initiative aimed at better articulating and promoting our place as a leader in developing equitable and sustainable solutions to the barriers of economic development faced by the world s poor. GFI launches a bi-monthly Newsletter 12

13 In February, GFI announced the launch of the inaugural GFI Newsletter, a bi-monthly publication that is shared with GFI friends and family six times per year via and our website. The newsletter is a way for people to learn more about GFI, our programs, current development issues, and how to get involved in the global struggle to end poverty. Back issues of all GFI newsletters are currently available on our website and we look forward to sharing our stories, insights and experiences in the months to come. Google AdWords Grant GFI was the recipient of a Google rant package valued at $125,000 per year and renewable for multiple years at the discretion of Google and based on usage of the grant. Google grants are delivered in the form of Google AdWords and usable for the outreach and promotion of a charitable organization through the Google search platform. The McCann team is currently working with GFI to maximize the impact of the grant opportunity and development potential of the AdWords tool. Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging Become part of the GFI cause! GFI now has its own Facebook, blog, and twitter account to help promote an online community of GFI supporters. Through Facebook and our blog, supporters can now donate to GFI, learn about our programs, follow relevant new stories and even post their own commentary. A special PILAR blog has also been developed to allow participants in our Central American programs a space for expressing opinions and asking questions Synapse Market Access Fund This past year GFI decided to bring Synapse back under the umbrella of GFI in order to best leverage overhead and administrative costs. While Synapse continues to remain its own separate 501 (3) (c), Caleb Shreve and Whitney Mayer are now assuming management and administrative responsibilities. Currently, Synapse continues its loan arrangement with KESFIC, a cooperative of ground-nut farmers in Kenya. Part-time consultant Richard Freudenheim is currently traveling to Ethiopia and Kenya to explore additional financing opportunities as well as potential to link GFI capacity building programs to Synapse loans. For more information please visit the Synapse website GFI Staff The GFI team is led by Executive Director Caleb Shreve and Program Manager Whitney Mayer along with local staff in GFI program countries. Michel Andrade serves as Project Director for Central America and local support for our India programs are provided by staff of the Self Employed Women s Association under the leadership of GFI Board Member Reema Nanavaty. Sue Cassidy supports GFI s accounting and administration, and finally, GFI has benefited from 13

14 the fantastic work by our student interns Natalia Sabarin, Naomi Logan, Chris Dell Amore, Brad Folta, Sophie Mondale, and Sharanya Rajan. Bios of Primary Staff Caleb Shreve, Executive Director Caleb was the former founder and lead partner of the Tidewater Group, a Washington, DC based organization serving Non-Profits and Foundations on the forefront of International Development. During his 7 years at Tidewater Caleb worked with clients around the globe to implement initiatives targeted at helping vulnerable communities gain access to essential services and information. Prior to his work with Tidewater, Caleb served on the White House staff of former President William Clinton and on the leadership team of New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. He has also held senior positions with the Corporation for National Service's Americorps program, the International Broadcasting Bureau and the Democratic Presidential Campaigns of Senator John Kerry and Barack Obama. Caleb's areas of interest and expertise include community based economic empowerment, multi-stakeholder engagement, donor development and advising and strategic communications. A native of Washington, DC, Caleb holds degrees in Political Science and English Literature from the College of Wooster. Whitney Mayer, Program Manager Whitney currently manages GFI s programs in Central America and South Asia and oversees new project development and D.C. based activities. Prior to GFI, Whitney spent time working in the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay and as a Graduate Fellow for an international consulting firm specializing in trade and business capacity building. Whitney also spent significant time in Cochabamba, Bolivia were she received a Foundation for Sustainable Development grant for her proposal to organize women in micro and small businesses and helped to establish the Women's Network of Micro-Entrepreneurs. Other international experience includes teaching English in Taizhou, China and studying labor relations at the University of Seville. Areas of research include international labor standards, corporate social responsibility, and intellectual property rights. Whitney holds a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Michel Andrade, GFI Central America Project Director Since October of 2008 Michel has been leading GFI s programming with informal sector workers in both Guatemala and Nicaragua. Prior to joining GFI, Míchel worked for the Soros Foundation Guatemala as the Deputy Director for the Access to Justice Program. Before this he served as a civilian observer for the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA). Míchel, a lawyer and native of Ecuador, graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and completed his postgraduate studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. Otto Navarro, GFI Country Representative Guatemala Prior joining GFI, Otto Navarro, Notary and Attorney at Law, served as Director for the Analysis and Opinion Department at the National Program of Reparations for Guatemala. Mr. Navarro 14

15 has also acted as Adviser for the Legal Action Center of Human Rights as well as a consultant for the Planning Secretary of Guatemala. Other international experience includes acting consultant for the UNDP, adviser for the creation of the initiative of law of Rural Development in Guatemala and legal adviser for the Investigation Coalition of Illegal Groups and Clandestine Security Organizations in Guatemala. Mr. Navarro received his LL.M. in Constitutional Law in Guatemala and also studied International Criminal Law at Harvard University and International Protection on Human Rights in Finland. Mr. Navarro serves as an adjunct Professor of Human Rights at the Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala. Yamileth Alguera Maradiaga, GFI Representative, Nicaragua Yamileth Alguera is the current Program Director for the Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Humanisticos in Managua and represents GFI in Nicaragua. An Industrial Engineer, Ms. Alguera also has a dual MS in Public Administration and Project Development. Ms. Alguera is a specialist in gender and development, SA8000 and has extensive experience working on development programs with national and international organizations such as USAID, The Department of State, MSF-Holland and the Peace Corps. Martha Altamirano Ramírez, GFI Representative, Nicaragua Since January, Ms. Ramírez has been leading stakeholder engagement for the PILAR program in Nicaragua. INEH s Director of Education, Martha has done post-graduate work in finance, human rights, and leadership building. She has extensive experience developing training materials and programming for development programs nationally and internationally. Previous professional experience includes Coordinator of operations for Nien Hsing in Nicaragua s Zona Franca Las Mercded, Technical Advisor to the UNDP, and Technical Coordinator for Comply and Win (U.S. Department of Labor/FUNDAPEM) and Continuous Improvement in the Central American Workplace. Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) Founded in 2002, the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) aims to change the global poverty cycle and enable market-based solutions in the agriculture and textiles sectors that directly benefit the world s poorest workers and producers. Committed to working on the ground in target regions such as Asia Africa, and Latin America, GFI s unique strength and value comes from managing strategic organizational partnerships both internationally and with local in-country representatives. GFI s drive is to ensure that critical issues around trade and labor are addresses and that the unheard voices representing the local, national, regional and global level are brought to a level that informs key decision makers and improves policy in a way that results in tangible benefits. Its work to positively affect the bottom line, namely increasing market access, boosting domestic and foreign direct investment, and improving livelihoods has yielded substantial results. To date, GFI has helped to improve the lives of thousands of workers and communities worldwide. 15

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