2023 Gates Foundation Annual Letter

2023 Gates Foundation Annual Letter文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14079.html



Mark Suzman, Chief Executive Officer文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14079.html



Does our foundation have too much influence?文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14079.html



Here’s how I see it.文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14079.html



During the COVID-19 pandemic, the remarkable, unprecedented progress made over the previous two decades in global health and development has stalled, and in many cases even reversed. Sadly, instead of accelerating efforts to fight infectious diseases, help reduce extreme poverty, advance gender equality, and address the effects of climate change, the world has so far failed to step up with the necessary political will and resources.




In that context, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we are proud to be doubling down on our commitment to our core mission: helping to ensure that every person has the chance to lead a healthy, productive life.




Last year, we created a new, expanded board of trustees, co-chaired by Bill and Melinda, to hold the foundation accountable and ensure that our decisions incorporate diverse, outside perspectives. On January 11, the board approved our 2023 budget of US$8.3 billion, an estimated increase of 15 percent over the 2022 forecasted payout – keeping us on track to meet our commitment of increasing our annual payout to US$9 billion by 2026.




This puts us in the privileged position of being able to give away more money than any other philanthropy. It also raises an important question we hear often: Does our spending, along with the doors that it opens, give us too much power and influence?




One line of critique is that our focus on certain problems and solutions draws attention and resources away from other important issues. Another is that we have disproportionate sway in setting national and global agendas, without any formal accountability to voters or international bodies.




These are fair questions – and we have an obligation to be clear about how we try to use our influence and why.




Since Bill and Melinda created the foundation 22 years ago, every choice we’ve made has been in service of our mission. Warren Buffett, who has generously contributed nearly half the foundation’s total resources, has always urged us to “swing for the fences” and take big bets – all to benefit the health and welfare of people whose opportunities are limited because of where they happened to be born. (You can read Bill’s Year Ahead 2023 for his take on some of those bets.)


自比尔和梅琳达22年前创立基金会以来,我们所做的每个选择都服务于我们的使命。沃伦·巴菲特慷慨地贡献了基金会近一半的资源,他一直敦促我们“放手一搏”、下大赌注——所有这些都是为了帮助那些因出生地不同而机会有限的人改善他们的健康和福祉。 (你可以从比尔·盖茨的2023年度展望了解他对其中一些赌注的看法。)


It’s true that between our dollars, voice, and convening power, we have access and influence that many others do not. It’s also true that we are able to act in ways that others cannot. Because of this, we can call attention to and help find solutions for problems that otherwise might be neglected.


的确,凭借我们的资金、话语权和号召力,我们拥有其他许多人没有的机会和影响力。 我们也确实能够以别人做不到的方式采取行动。因此,我们可以引起关注,并为那些本来会被忽视的问题找到解决方案。


People listen to Bill and Melinda because of who they are, and to others at the foundation because of where we work. We try to use that privilege to elevate the voices of those who don’t have a global platform and push relentlessly for world leaders to spend their funds to lift up vulnerable populations. We push, too, to ensure that innovations and solutions center the needs of women and girls, who are so often overlooked. Our staff use their access to learn from partners about what’s needed in the field and to direct resources to make the impact we all want to see.




And because our foundation doesn’t need to make a profit like corporations do or provide immediate results like governments do or raise funds like many NGOs do, we can make high-risk bets on novel solutions that may take a decade or more to pay off.




With this influence comes an enormous responsibility: to act where we can do the most good, play a role that’s appropriate for a philanthropic organization, follow the evidence, be transparent, and work in partnership with those we aim to help.




Big bets to meet global goals



One critique we hear a lot: “Why are a couple of unelected billionaires setting the agenda for global health and development?”




Yes, our founders are billionaires. But neither they, I, nor the rest of our board of trustees set the world’s agenda; as a foundation, we respond to it. We are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of concrete, measurable commitments made by every country in the United Nations to their own citizens.




From those shared priorities, we identify a subset of areas – from improving vaccination rates to advancing women’s economic power – where we have the funds, expertise, and relationships to be part of the solution and where transformational progress is unlikely without our involvement. Geographically, we seek to help those who live in places with a high burden of disease and poverty.




We make all our investments public and strive to be fully transparent about our priorities and strategies. Finally, we find ways to join others who are tackling these challenges and carefully assess the landscape to determine our role. After all, while our payout is large, it’s typically only a small portion of the money the world spends on these issues. So we work with partners to amplify all of our contributions.




To illuminate how we think about our role, let me address our influence through the examples of three of the important priorities reflected in our new budget and our long-term goals: helping smallholder farmers thrive despite the effects of climate change; ending malaria; and helping U.S. schools make math instruction more effective.


为了说明我们如何看待自己的角色,请允许我以我们的新年度预算和长期目标所反映的三个工作重点为例,来说明我们的影响力:帮助小农户在气候变化的影响下获得发展、 消灭疟疾,以及帮助美国学校提高数学教学水平。


Agricultural adaptation: Going all in where the need is the greatest



Our work in response to climate change is a great example of how we seek to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable – and do all we can to get others to, as well.




It’s a harsh reality that the communities that have contributed least to the climate crisis are already facing its most severe consequences. Nobody knows that more than smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, who are experiencing devastating floods and drought, shrinking growing seasons, and in some places even famine.




We’ve focused on agricultural development for 16 years, because it’s one of the most effective ways to help large numbers of people lift themselves out of poverty. I recently announced at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference that we are accelerating that work with a $1.4 billion commitment over four years to help provide farmers with innovative tools and build more resilient food systems.




For years, leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and other affected regions have been calling for dramatic funding increases for adaptation – that is, ways to adjust to changes in the climate, as opposed to preventing or mitigating climate change. These calls have been largely ignored. While US$632 billion was spent globally to combat climate change in 2020, just 7% of that went toward climate adaptation.




It’s not that the world hasn’t invested in agricultural innovation. It certainly has, with incredible advances in crop productivity over the last half-century. But shockingly little money has been spent to meet the needs of farmers in low-income countries – even by donor nations that have made public commitments to do so.




For instance, the vast majority of research and development has targeted the major crops common in wealthy nations rather than crops that millions of African families depend on. Rich countries will invest in better approaches to producing the crops that their populations rely on whether or not the Gates Foundation gets involved. But that’s not true for cowpeas, millet, cassava, or direct-seeded rice.




We fund a huge volume of research – in particular through CGIAR, a network of research centers around the world – on how these crops can be produced and livestock reared more reliably, prolifically, and sustainably. We also make investments to make sure that innovations meet the needs of smallholder farmers – for example by answering low-income countries’ call for better data and modeling to predict climate events.




One important component of our agricultural adaptation strategy is to prioritize the needs of women. Gender equality is a Sustainable Development Goal of its own – but it’s also a vital path to meeting all of the other goals. Diseases can’t be eradicated if researchers don’t understand the unique ways they impact women and girls; innovative sanitation technologies won’t effectively serve a community unless people of all genders are comfortable using them; anti-poverty measures won’t make a dent unless they capture the millions of women earning a living outside the formal economy.


我们农业适应战略的一个重要组成部分就是优先考虑女性的需求。性别平等本身就是一项可持续发展目标,但它也是实现所有其他目标的重要途径。如果研究人员不了解疾病给妇女和女童带来的独特影响,疾病就无法根除;如果不是所有性别的人都愿意使用, 那么创新的环境卫生设施也无法有效地为社区服务;如果减贫措施不能覆盖数以百万计的在正规经济部门之外谋生的女性,这些措施就无法取得成效。


With this in mind, several years ago we made a commitment to design strategies and investments to effectively serve women and girls. Nowhere is this more relevant than in agriculture, since women comprise half of smallholder farmers worldwide. We are using our influence to put women farmers at the heart of solutions – whether that means equal access to credit and markets, farming implements tailored to them, or training to equip them to be mentors and leaders in their communities.




Perhaps most importantly, we’re doing our agriculture work in partnership with regional and local institutions. While we’re sometimes accused of advancing corporate interests or pushing technologies that countries don’t want, in fact we work at the request of national governments and regional bodies like the African Union (which has developed a continent-wide climate strategy) and the African Adaptation Initiative (which helps governments get climate financing and coordinates advocacy efforts). We invest a lot to build up institutions, so that they can lead the work altogether. And we’ll use our influence to press others to step up too.