TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly | October 9, 2018
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  • To the right, to the right…
  • The dirty money tour
  • Data consent – a meaningful concept?
  • A glimpse of next generation philanthropy
  • Scraping for news
  • Tips for better storytelling by donors
  • TAI spotlight: Hewlett Foundation on strengthening non-profit organizations

In case you missed it…

To the right, to the right…

Photo: Juhasz Imre at Pexels

The Brazilian election results are yet another prompt to consider the rise and effectiveness of conservative activism in the past decade. The team at Carnegie Europe help us do just that with new analysis based on case studies from Brazil, Georgia, India, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, and the US. While careful not to conflate conservatism with populism or nativism, the authors do not shy from recognizing the challenge posed to liberal democracy, and to models of international support – not least for transparency and participation efforts. If local groups increasingly eschew associations to external actors, what are channels for meaningful donor support?
For more learning, more local cases on social accountability – good reading ahead of the Global Partnerships for Social Accountability Forum end of the month. Mohammad Awal uses a health campaign in Ghana to illustrate how social accountability campaigns can hit a dead end when the government champion is not well identified. Sticking with health, exciting discussions in Liverpool on the role of power in global health and boosting accountability. 
All food for thought for those leading INGOs, whom we hope are also reading Penny Lawrence’s new paper on their future. Time to get out of the business of responding to government aid contract calls? Time to be more ruthless in focus? Could be.

The dirty money tour

Oliver Bullough worries that little is being done in to halt the flow of Russian dirty money into London and asks if an explicit government policy would be a good idea.  CSCE layout the need for incorporation transparency in the US and the C.D. Howe Institute worries about Canada as a pawn in money laundering.

Meanwhile, on the tax front, none will be surprised that Ireland’s very highest earners pay relatively small amounts in income tax, while new World Bank research in Malawi finds small firms happily countenance business registration but are more wary of tax registration.  Looking worldwide, the U.S. Department of State has released the 2018 Fiscal Transparency Report. Check out those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.
Meanwhile, ever wondered where the wealthiest live within Africa? See the concentration by city and the Africa Wealth Report 2018.

Data consent – a meaningful concept?

Helen Nissenbaum argues that we should stop talking about data consent that “isn’t possible and isn’t right,” and instead consider frameworks for understanding digital privacy. Yet, the application may be getting ahead of concerns. Take digitization. Last week we asked how to reconcile digital id and good governance. Now the Indian Supreme Court has upheld the Indian state’s right to collect and store the biometric data of its citizens albeit with new limits on storage and use. In Singapore, the Government has implemented the use of face recognition as part of its national digital identity system. USAID’s new report on digital id and global development details more examples. Perhaps all the designers of such systems should consider Alix Dunn’s push for “agile ethics” in their application.

A glimpse of next generation philanthropy 

Returning to Penny Lawrence’s paper on INGOs, you’d expect us to agree with her take on trusts and foundations increasingly leveraging their bird’s eye view and collaborating more for impact, but also echo her point re foundations not wanting INGOs to pander to funder strategies but foster debate on their own NGO priorities and theories of change.  Want more on that funder-grantee dynamic? Exponent Philanthropy has a new toolkit on just that, while Aaron Dorfman emphasizes the importance of listening and sharing more to understand grantee’s needs.
Worried about donor-grantee power dynamics? GrantCraft offers a new guide on participatory grantmaking while Kathleen Enright urges power-sharing with communities and nonprofits to ensure no conflicts with the social purpose that underlies philanthropic work.
Interested in the currents of European philanthropy? Charles Keidan anticipates increased demands for transparency and accountability in the foundation and philanthropic sector in the UK, Felix Oldenburg notes the major expansion into journalism, political activism, and problems of the digital age by German foundations and we have a special European edition of the 2018 Global Philanthropy Environment Index.
Intrigued by the potential of donor data? Check out the winners of the 360Giving Data Visualization Challenge.  

Scraping for news

What about journalists’ use of data? Razzan Nakhlawi talks about web scraping in building new stories. Here is a tutorial on how to use it.
Still, on Journalism, TAI partnered with the Ariadne Network of European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights in developing a new guide to help you boost your understanding of the key issues, debates and approaches in funding journalism and media. Let us know what you think.

Tips for better storytelling by donors

Sarah Jane Staats, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (TAI member) in her blog, explains why it is essential for donors in Transparency and Accountability space to build the habit of storytelling in their work. This blog is in reference to TAI’s Story behind the story report.

Long read of the week

The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces by Brian Levy, Robert Cameron, Ursula Hoadley, and Vinothan Naidoo

TAI spotlight

The latest from our members 

Strengthening Non-profit Organizations | William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Jennifer Wei explores different ways that Foundations can support their grantees to help them function effectively.
Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice | Ford Foundation
Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation introduces their newly-named Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice and serve as an exclusive asset for champions of social justice across sectors and geographies.

An Impact Analysis of the First 10 Years | Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network in their report share estimates of their impact during the first ten years and hopes to inspire conversation among other funders on better ways to measure impact and to engage grantees.

Calls: Proposals, papers, speakers and course invites

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