Bam and Beyond: Building Alliances Between Iranian and Iranian Diaspora NGOs, Universities, and Private Sectors

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Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), presented Bam and Beyond: Building Alliances Between Iranian and Iranian Diaspora NGOs, Universities, and Private Sectors, on November 12, 2005 at Columbia University. This one-day seminar, hosted by Columbia University’s Iranian Students’ Association (CISA), brought together for the first time NGO leaders in Iran and the diaspora, scholars in the field of development, and business leaders from across the United States, Canada, Europe and Iran. The participants discussed the positive role that Iranians abroad played in providing aid after the Bam earthquake and explored ways that Iranians abroad can become better involved in Bam and other projects in Iran.

The New York seminar was followed by a different, parallel seminar in Tehran, Iran on January 26th, 2006. This sister seminar brought together representatives from thirty national NGOs, private businesses, and scholars to discuss the role of collaboration between civil societies in Iran and the diaspora. The discussion focused upon the response to the earthquake in Bam and as well as brainstorming how to build upon collaboration opportunities between Iran and the diaspora in projects beyond Bam. The summary report of the Tehran seminar will be available shortly.

These seminars allowed the participants to discuss development and aid in Bam and to create a forum for open discussion regarding cooperation and partnership between NGOs in Iran and Iranian NGOs abroad.

The seminar at Columbia University provided a review of the reconstruction efforts in Bam from leading NGOs working on the ground as well as addressed questions such as:

  • Can we identify and/or create mechanisms and structures of cooperation and coordination among Iranian and Iranian diaspora NGOs, the private sector and universities?
  • Was the money that Iranians abroad raised after the Bam earthquake distributed through the most effective and efficient channels?
  • How was this financial assistance used, and was it successful?
  • Is there room for more and better partnerships between NGOs in Iran and Iranian NGOs abroad?
  • How can Iranians abroad become better involved in development efforts in Iran?
New York Seminar Audience

Several NGOs were present at the New York seminar to share their experiences and lessons. Among them:

Tehran Seminar Audience

Several NGOs were present at the Tehran seminar to share their experiences and lessons. Among them:

  • Iran Child Foundation www.childfoundation.org
  • Iran Children of Persia www.childrenofpersia.org
  • United Nations
  • United Nations Development Program
  • Association of Industrial Leaders
  • Mashiz
  • Women of Esfand
  • Association of Economic Students
  • SIB (Setad-y Yari-e Bam)
  • Bagh-e Honar
  • University of Shahid Beheshti
  • University of Public Health
  • Search for Common Ground
  • Kerman NGO House
  • Association for the Protection of Child Laborers
  • Organization for Planned Parenthood
  • Society for the Protection of the Child