Members of World Learning’s board, staff, and worldwide network of alumni and partners gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 9 and 10 to reconnect and discuss the importance of partnerships in international development. On Tuesday, alumni strolled through the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum on a guided tour of the thirty-ninth president’s life and administration, afterward catching up at a reception held in the non-profit Carter Center, housed in the same building. Carter Center CEO Ambassador Mary Ann Peters spoke of the Center’s mission to eradicate Guinea worm, which in 1986 affected 3.5 million people. Today, thanks to the Carter Center and its partners, that number has been reduced by more than 99.99 percent.
A panel discussion the next day at the High Museum of Art focused on the importance of partnerships in international development. Representatives from World Learning, the Carter Center, Morehouse College’s Andrew Young Center for International Affairs, and the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation spoke of their work in international development, the crucial role that partners play in these projects, and how development partnerships may evolve in coming years. Carol Jenkins, President of World Learning, Global Development & Exchange, emphasized that while partnerships are often the key to success, they require work to establish and maintain. “Partnerships are critical for success in the work we all do and the work World Learning has done for nearly nine decades,” Jenkins said.
“Partnerships are also challenging and complicated,” she added. “They require trust and transparency. And they require resources.”