Published January 18, 2022
A look back at 2021 trends (not good for civic space), anticipation of the year ahead, offshore oil to offshore banks, morality in international development and some new funding data. Plus, we’re very excited that Skoll have joined TAI!
Hope you enjoy!
TAI’s Executive Director
- Crystal ball gazing – TPA aspirations for 2022
- Transparency trends – tech, ownership and debt burdens
- Street dynamics – protests and clampdowns in 2021
- Offshore oil using offshore banks and climate litigation heating up
- Data of the week – the funding picture
- Funding corner – whiteness, burn out and USAID prospects
- More to read this week:
- TAI spotlight
Welcoming Skoll to TAI
First, exciting TAI news to start the year as we welcome Skoll Foundation as our newest Associate Member of TAI. Given their priorities ranging from pandemic preparedness to effective governance to mobilizing climate action (and their history of supporting amazing entrepreneurial civil society organizations), we anticipate no shortage of transparency, accountability and civic participation linkages and learnings to explore together with other members.
|Crystal ball gazing-TPA aspirations for 2022
|Last week we asked TAI members, grantee partners and field experts to share reflections on what the year ahead has in store. We kick things off with Yanina Welp and Helen Darbishire.
- What is one advance (TPA-related) you hope to see happen in 2022?
|Transparency trends-tech, ownership and debt burdens
|Three themes prominent in 2021 show signs of continued attention this year: i) Gov tech – Fok Wai Leng suggests technology can strengthen transparency of government expenses and help usher in an age of stronger accountability in Southeast Asia; ii) Beneficial ownership disclosure – see a briefing laying out the use of ownership data for national security purposes, iii) Debt transparency – the Zambia-IMF agreement may increase pressure on China to boost transparency about its loans to the country.
Image Credit: SP
Staying on the theme of Asian lending, don’t miss this fascinating review of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank including potential shortcomings in its disclosures and as yet untested Project-affected People’s Mechanism that is meant to strengthen accountability.
Did you know there is a Chinese Responsible Investment Overseas Newsletter? Take a look at emerging thematic topics, new cases, good practices, tools and guidelines in past issues here.
|Street dynamics-protests and clampdowns in 2021
Image Credit: CIVICUS
Did you know that in 2021, protesters were detained in over 90 countries? The latest CIVICUS global report lays out violations to civic rights during the past year, many using pandemics as a pretext. The Human Rights Watch equivalent doesn’t make for any prettier reading.
Center for Values in International Development (with support of TAI member Hewlett Foundation) have officially released all five episodes of their initial Ethical Development Series of podcasts and videos that explore critical moral and ethical concerns in international relief and development. Check them out.
|Offshore oil using offshore banks and climate litigation heating up
Ghanaian think tank ACEP rightly asking questions as to why the state-owned oil company’s boosted stake in the Jubilee oil field is housed in the Cayman Islands. Why the secrecy?
Photo Credit: Iberdrola
Meanwhile, public relations firms are starting to feel the ire of activists for their role in greenwashing fossil fuels, and in a sign of more strategic litigation for climate action, ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth are suing the UK government for failing to include the appropriate policies in its net zero climate strategy. Here are four other lawsuits to watch in 2022.
|Effective oversight is going to be more important than ever if we are to boost sustainability. Sadly, 2021 saw a further spike in illegal mining fueling corruption and deforestation in the Amazon region.
Last year we spoke to Saliem Fakir of African Climate Foundation as part of our exploration of transparency and accountability elements to effective climate action. Now he makes a strong case for rapidly increasing the less than 3% of global philanthropy for climate change mitigation. He may be reassured that a group of Global South funders have joined together in a new initiative to direct resources to local grassroots organisations working on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Find more about the Alianza Socioambiental Fondos del Sur.
|Data of the week- the funding picture
|The OECD has released 2020 aid data. The Development Initiatives team see what they can parse out, but the headline to us is that full reporting from bilateral donors has been delayed, undermining transparency and accountability.
This reminds us of our analysis with On Think Tanks on the state of transparency, participation, accountability funding in light of the pandemic. During January we will be resharing some of the insights. Today we start with the visual on the distribution of international funding across regions in 2019.
|Funding corner- whiteness, burn out and USAID prospects
|Is philanthropy a white space? Marga Morales and Fiona Montagud from the Calala Women’s Fund reflect on power relations and integrating a decolonial perspective into how philanthropy works.
How to help grantee partners? Perhaps share these six things to do STOP doing this year to reduce the chance of burnout and build your resilience in fighting for social change.
End by listening to this discussion of the history of USAID and where it is going next as new prominence under the Biden Administration. (If you think the history might not matter, refer back to the coverage of Simone Dietrich’s book featured in last week’s Weekly)
|MacArthur Foundation´s fellows Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera were featured on PBS News Hour for their filmmaking that explores migration, immigration policy and identity.
Open Society Foundation invites applications for “The Soros Equality Fellowship” seeking to support individual leaders influencing and transforming the racial justice field.
Chandler Foundation launched a piece on how a robust national health system in Liberia was leveraged to respond to de COVID-19 pandemic.
MacArthur Foundation announced $21.3 million in grants to 28 organizations as part of our Nuclear Challenges capstone project to foster a stronger and more diverse nuclear field.