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Message from our Chair

Delivering Sustainable Development Expertise to the Region

2015 has been a truly remarkable year for Kenan Institute Asia. Looking over our annual report, it’s incredible to see the number of transformational projects we’ve worked on during the past year, as well as the number of people whose lives we have directly impacted. Entering our 20th year, Kenan is quickly becoming one of the leading providers of sustainable development services in Southeast Asia. Working on major new initiatives with our key government and corporate partners, including the Royal Thai Government, the US Government, Chevron, Citi, and ThaiBev, we have significantly expanded Kenan’s regional impact and service. Together, we directly impacted over 20,000 beneficiaries in 2015, training science and math teachers, building CSO capacities, guiding entrepreneurs and SMES, and improving community public health practices throughout Southeast Asia.

Message from Our Chair - Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham - Picture

This year, in particular, I am very pleased to announce Kenan's role as the lead implementer of the Chevron Enjoy Science project. This brand new initiative is a US $30 million, 5-year, public-private partnership that will strengthen Thailand's competitiveness and innovation by improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and technical vocational education and training (TVET) across the country. Kenan's largest ever project, Enjoy Science will help upgrade Thailand's education system, and will directly benefit over 500,000 students, teachers, principals, government education officials, community members, and workers, providing increased career opportunities and higher wages.

Kenan also worked to strengthen the level of stakeholder engagement that we offer to our corporate clients in 2015. With new projects like Pfizer Healthy Aging Society and IBM Thai Teacher TryScience, we are leveraging years of dynamic CSR experience to impact new locations and beneficiaries. Additionally, Kenan is increasingly working with corporations to implement regional projects, like Microsoft Techsperts, which simultaneously builds the capacity of young salespeople in Hanoi and Bangkok, while remaining sensitive to local contexts.

I've also been very happy this year to see Kenan's expanding work on building the capacity of regional civil society organizations (CSOs). 2015 marked the end of the UNDEF-funded, Lao Encouraging and Applying Democracy (LEAD) project, which improved the ability of Laotian CSOs to advocate for policy changes to address their needs. Building off this success, Kenan launched the US Department of State-funded Vietnam Women Improving Lives and Leadership (WILL) project this year, which is an innovative and integrated approach to building the capacity of Vietnamese CSOs and public agencies that serve the needs of women.

Our work with the Royal Thai Government in 2015 has focused on the essential task of preparing Thai small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for the approaching formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Partnering with the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP), Kenan has worked with local SMEs to upgrade their productivity, resiliency, and integration within ASEAN.

Heading into 2016, Kenan is also celebrating 20 years since we were founded by a group of leading Thai and American visionaries with extensive experience in the private sector, the public sector, and academia. While Kenan has evolved considerably since 1996, the heart our mission remains the same, providing critical capacity building services to those who need them the most. This past year has shown that we are committed to furthering that mission and expanding our services to positively impact beneficiaries throughout Southeast Asia.

2016 promises to be another groundbreaking and innovative year for Kenan and our partners. We look forward to expanding our presence within Southeast Asia and bringing our development expertise to an even greater number of beneficiaries. I hope you will join us in working for a brighter and more unified Southeast Asia.

Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham

Chairperson, Kenan Institute Asia