Procurement for Good: Government Procurement from the Social Sector in Asia

Government procurement of goods and services from the social sector is mutually beneficial. It helps the government leverage the social sector’s subject expertise and community links to deliver more efficient and cost-effective social services while also providing legitimacy and a sustainable source of income to social delivery organizations. However, the potential benefits are contingent on the ease and accessibility of government procurement and broader factors contributing to an SDO’s capacity to fulfill needs.

This policy brief provides an assessment of the policy landscape of government procurement from the social sector in Asia and highlights four key findings:

  1. Preferential government procurement policies in the social sector favor social enterprises over nonprofits.
  2. Nonprofits are contracted mostly as knowledge partners and welfare service providers, whereas social enterprises are more likely to be suppliers.
  3. Capacity issues are the biggest inhibitor of SDO participation in government procurement; these constraints range from production reliability to staffing to financial viability.
  4. Large and older SDOs with existing government relationships crowd out smaller and newer SDOs.

Based on these findings, the policy brief identifies bottlenecks that limit the potential benefits of government procurement from the social sector and introduces recommendations for governments and SDOs to address specific issues.

Trust in Chinese social sector takes more than regulations

Alliance Magazine

Ke Li from the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), discussed how the lack of knowledge about the social sector and the missing connection felt by the public has contributed to the sector’s vulnerability. She believes the social sector needs a resilient trust environment to reduce its vulnerability, which can be achieved by building robust relationships with the public.

Read more here.

Hong Kong as a Philanthropy Hub

This report was produced in collaboration with the Better Hong Kong Foundation (BHKF). Highlighting how Hong Kong can enhance its attractiveness, for both individual and corporate private wealth owners, the report discusses how the city can develop its role as Asia’s pre-eminent philanthropy hub.

Future of Asian Philanthropy

Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC)

While Asia has experienced strong economic growth, gaps in development and social progress persist. In this context, The Future of Asian Philanthropy is a future-oriented report that imagines what philanthropy could look like in the year 2050, and its role in bringing about positive social change. CAPS provided insights for this study.

Volume 1: Scenarios for Asia in 2050 examines key driving forces in society and lays out a set of four imagined scenarios that illustrate different outcomes from these forces.

Volume 2: Scenarios for Asia in 2050 identifies strategies and recommendations for philanthropy to address specific scenario outcomes laid out in Volume 1, and how philanthropy can play a role in societal development and cohesion.

Read the report here.

Giving Korea 2022

The Beautiful Foundation

Giving Korea is an annual report produced by CAPS’ partner, The Beautiful Foundation, measuring the scope and size of giving across the economy. The 2022 edition includes an overview of domestic data accumulated over 20 years, tracking changes in the scale of donations in Korea, as well as an analysis of giving behaviors by gender, generation, and donation type. The report also considers perceptions of and trust in nonprofit organizations, and attitudes toward social giving and participation.

Key findings include:

  • Motives for giving are generally in the order of compassion, social responsibility, personal happiness and religious belief, followed by tax benefits.
  • Individual and corporate giving were both impacted by the economic slowdown during the pandemic.
  • Public-interest corporations that engage in fundraising attract, on average, 39% of funds from corporations, 35% from individuals, 9% from foundations, and the rest from other sources.

Read the report here.

Building trust in the social sector

India Development Review

Lack of trust impedes the flow of much-needed funding to organisations working on the front lines to help communities. What can be done to mitigate the trust deficit and enable a more supportive ecosystem for the social sector? Read this piece by CAPS Chief Executive Dr. Ruth Shapiro here.

Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar: A Citizen-First Approach

Rohini Nilekani

Indian philanthropist Rohini Nilekani highlights an urgent need to shift the thinking of our role in cultivating an equitable and resilient society in her new book, Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar: A Citizen-First Approach. The book compiles 15 years of her writings on the three sectors: society, state and markets. Nilekani invites “thinkers, researchers, writers, civic leaders, and all citizens to join the important public discourse” and argues for the restoration of society as the foundational sector. Read it here.

Indonesia should strengthen accountability and transparency in social sector

The Jakarta Post

Public scandals relating to the social sector tarnish its reputation and see donations to organizations dry up, regardless of their involvement in the scandal. One bad apple can really spoil the whole barrel. CAPS’ Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Ruth Shapiro writes about the how trust in the social sector can be strengthened in this opinion piece. Read it here.

Unlocking Cross-Border Philanthropy in Asia


“While Asia has seen enormous economic growth and development in recent decades, income disparity remains and with millions across the continent continuing to live in poverty. As the number of high-net-worth individuals in Asia increases, so is cross-border giving, as wealthier Asians communities look beyond the needs of their own economy.

Give2Asia’s new report identifies some of the impediments to cross-border giving, such as donor preference, regulatory hurdles and lack of institutional readiness. The report describes an “overall stringent regulatory environment” with “varying levels of enabling policies regarding cross-border giving.” Much of this comes down to restrictions placed by individual economies on the sending and receiving of donations across borders.”

English version available here.

日本語: Japanese translation (abridged) available here.


Blended Finance: Narrowing the Development Finance Gap in Asia

Philanthropy Impact

India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam are among the top 10 global economies by deal count within the blended finance space. This kind of innovative financing scheme is gaining serious traction in Asia, accounting for 36% of global blended finance transactions in 2020. This article from our Deputy Director of Research, Annelotte Walsh, outlines the potential for blended finance to close the development funding gap in Asia. Read it here.