At first it sounds like a phrase from The Wall Street Journal, an estate planning objective, or a corporate growth strategy. But what does "developing assets" have to do with World Education and its work with poor populations in developing countries or with people in the United States who have low literacy skills and lack basic education?
If we step beyond our customary notion of assets as economic holdings and think of assets as the things everyone needs in order to be secure and self-reliant, then 'developing assets' characterizes World Education's work very aptly.
For individuals, the fundamental assets are good health; knowledge of sound health practices, reproductive options, and sustainable agricultural practices; literacy, numeracy, and business and civic participation skills; income; and access to credit. World Education has helped tens of thousands of people to develop and sustain these assets.
To the extent that communities learn how to grow their crops in more profitable, environmentally sustainable ways, how to administer their local school system, or how to advocate for their shared interests, they create valuable assets. World Education has had great success in helping communities develop and sustain these assets.
In-country nongovernmental organizations and other local institutions increase their effectiveness and impact by developing their assets: program staff capacities, managerial competence, sound financial systems, and effective boards. By training their staff members, coaching their managers, and helping these organizations build management and accountability systems, World Education helps local organizations develop their assets.
In fragile young democracies, a citizenry that participates actively in public affairs is an asset that will stabilize and sustain the society. When a country increases the percentage of its girls who attend school, improves the status of women, and expands their economic options through nonformal educational opportunities, it makes investments that benefit not just the girls and women, but all of us. World Education is fostering the development of those assets.
As you learn about our work, you will see World Education at work-in a variety of settings-helping to develop the assets of individuals, communities, local institutions, and societies. And just as these individuals, communities, and societies are using their assets to improve their lives and the prospects for their children, we hope you will be inspired to be our partner in helping them to succeed.