Propose a Session or Site Visit

Seattle International Foundation invites you to submit a session or site visit proposal for the 2023 Central America Donors Forum. Join this unique community of experts and changemakers on September 25-27 in San José, Costa Rica and take part in constructing a collaborative vision of hope in Central America.

Applications for session and site visits will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 23, 2023.

Propose a session

How to Submit


We are now accepting panel, workshop and strategic roundtable proposals via Google Forms. In short, we want participants to leave CADF 2023 with a deeper understanding of the key issues facing Central America, new insights into promising solutions and development models, and new contacts for future collaboration. Deadline: June 23, 2023.

Click here to submit a session proposal

Site Visits

In addition to sessions, we’re seeking off-site visits to leading local programs and organizations in San José, Costa Rica. We invite you to propose your organization as a site visit via a separate application. Deadline: June 23, 2023.

Click here to submit a site visit proposal

Key Dates

May 9

Open request for session and site visit proposals

June 23

Request for session and site visit proposal ends

July 8

Session acceptances sent

August 8

Agenda released

Additional Information

Session Recommendations

We want participants to leave CADF 2023 with a deeper understanding of the key issues facing Central America, new insights into promising solutions and development models, and new contacts for future collaboration. The selection committee will prioritize proposals that:

• Include diverse perspectives (e.g. regional, gender, cross-sector, approach etc.)
• Highlight successful, recent and innovative partnerships, or failures and strategies to improve upon setbacks
• Allow for audience engagement and discussion
• Provide reliable data and case studies
• Share useful tools and frameworks
• Highlight partner perspectives

Selection Criteria

The Central America Donors Forum is dedicated to showcasing panelists and speakers with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and expertise. Proposals will be evaluated using the following five criteria:

Compelling: The session, comprised of experts in their fields, informs on key issues and motivates participants to act
Cutting-Edge: The lens through which the session examines key issues gives credibility to original concepts, initiatives and solutions
Collaborative: The session encourages concrete collaboration and partnership between organizations or sectors
Inclusive: The session gives voice to marginalized perspectives through a diverse group of speakers
Focused: The subject matter of the session is relevant and fits within the outlined theme and tracks

Speaker Policies

Discounted speaker tickets (20% off) will cost $460. SIF provides a limited number of scholarships for speakers who are otherwise unable to attend. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Renewing a Vision of Hope

For the first time, the Central America Donors Forum (CADF) is headed to Costa Rica. CADF 2023 will bring together hundreds of cross-sector leaders in beautiful San José to chart a renewed vision of peace and justice in Central America.  

Through a dynamic, engaging and participatory agenda, CADF 2023 will seek shared solutions to priority issues facing Central America. Attendees will engage in dialogue centered on environmental protection and climate justice; discuss and address issues of prosperity and migration; seek pathways for equity by fostering expansive, inclusive and thriving communities; and explore philanthropic models that propel community-driven solutions.  

Join our unique community of experts and changemakers on September 25-27 and take part in constructing a collaborative vision of hope in Central America.

Environment & Sustainable Solutions

Climate change poses a harrowing threat to Central America, a region highly exposed and vulnerable to irreversible environmental degradation. Devastating droughts, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification have contributed dramatically to human and environmental insecurity, as well as to migration, food insecurity, and poor access to health and education. Despite contributing only a fraction of global carbon emissions, Central American countries shoulder a disproportionate environmental burden, ultimately exacerbating high levels of poverty, inequality and instability. Following Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the 2022 IPCC report claimed climate crisis is expected to deepen in the region.  

Amid environmental degradation and resource extraction, dialogues on climate justice have increased pressure to reconcile environmental sustainability and social equality with economic growth and public policy. In a country widely recognized as a global leader in environmental conservation and protection, hear directly from the experts documenting and the defenders protecting our environment and human rights.

More Equitable & Just Communities

Despite considerable economic investment and aid, inequity remains a pervasive and multidimensional issue in Central America. Unequal economic opportunity and access to justice, as well as racial and gender disparities are deeply entrenched and profoundly undermine the region’s future, and democratic backsliding and closing civic spaces are worsening the situation. Racial and indigenous minorities, youth, women and LGBTQ populations—to name a few—suffer as a consequence and social progress is stunted. These underlying challenges were exacerbated by the global pandemic.

In confronting these challenges, civil society throughout the region has risen up to demand greater equity and accountability in notable ways. Independent journalists risk their lives to hold governments accountable and provide the public with quality news and information. Social movements, often led by youth, fight for visibility and justice. Social-minded enterprises are contributing to a new social fabric that reduces inequalities and boosts economic growth. As a result of these promising cross-sector efforts, Central America is building towards more equitable, just and peaceful societies.

Migration & Pathways to Prosperity

Soaring numbers of migrants have fled northern Central America in recent years. Since 2018, over 600,000 Nicaraguans have left their homes, primarily emigrating to neighboring Costa Rica, where the influx has overwhelmed the asylum system and prompted new restrictions. Long-term structural challenges, natural disasters, ineffective or inadequate public and private investment, and systemic corruption have all contributed to under-performing economies, lack of opportunities, and a growing hopelessness that incentivizes irregular migration.  

In one of Latin America’s major migration hubs, the CADF audience will examine factors contributing to the region’s economic wellbeing and prospects for improving opportunities and prosperity for all. The private sector, civil society, governments and donors must unite to foster prosperity, greater equality and strategies to address the most pressing structural challenges in the region, including the expanding migration crisis.

Transformational Partnerships

The multifaceted and intersecting issues confronting Central America have demonstrated the necessity for agile, effective, and well-funded organizations capable of responding to shifting challenges. Driven to address the root causes of structural problems, a growing number of organizations are joining together to embrace the transformational power of partnerships. By embracing this sentiment, funders supporting Central America are revitalizing philanthropic models anchored in trust and community-driven solutions.  

Built upon a shared vision for Central America, a sustainable and equitable development agenda requires innovative partnerships between civil society, government, the private sector and donors. Achieving social progress is best accomplished through collaboration rather than competition, and alignment rather than alienation. Now is the moment to consider how partnerships and multi-stakeholder approaches can tackle complex issues. As a community, CADF will encourage authentic relationships based on mutual trust, transparency and dialogue and, ultimately, address a history rooted in racism, patriarchy and oppression with practical solutions.