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In 2015, familiar threats to human rights and human rights philanthropy continued. As conflicts persisted in countries like Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, the number of refugees fleeing violence and hunger soared. Extremist groups perpetrated mass violence from Nigeria and Egypt, to Kenya and France, including the targeted killing of staff from the French magazine Charlie Hedbo. Threats to closing civic space intensified as more countries adopted laws targeting and restricting organizations that work to hold governments accountable, including the funders that back them, often under the pretext of counterterrorism.
Despite these many concerns, we saw inspiring advances for human rights around the world across a range of issues. Women in Saudi Arabia voted and stood for election for the very first time, and the governments of the Gambia and Nigeria outlawed female genital mutilation. The Supreme Court in the United States legalized same sex marriage, while the Irish people did so through a historic popular vote. Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties after more than five decades, and Iran signed a deal to curb its nuclear program. At the end of the year, nearly 200 countries reached the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change to mitigate global warming.
Against this backdrop, in 2015 foundations allocated a total of $2.4 billion in support of human rights.
Uchitel Publishing House;
Although there occurred numerous revolutions in the ancient world and in the Middle Ages, their historical role was relatively small. Starting from the Modern period, the role of revolutions as historical engines increased dramatically, which was connected with the started industrial era and emerging technologies, with development of capitalist relations, to which the revolutions opened the way in the struggle against absolutism and obsolete social relations. The article considers the role of revolutions in the long-term historical process and the World-System's development as well as analyzes the changing importance of revolutions from ancient times to the present day. The author shows why the nature of revolutions has changed and their significance has sharply increased since the beginning of the sixteenth century, that is with the started Early Modern period and the Industrial revolution. The author also explains how and why the role of revolutions as the most important driving force of historical process and progress started to decline against the background of the increasing role of more legitimate and less expensive forms of societal transformations. The contemporary role of revolutions and their usage as a geopolitical weapon are also examined. The author also defines the correlation between developing technologies, globalization, and the role of revolution in historical process. While considering these aspects he also addresses some points related to the theory of revolution and makes some predictions regarding the future role of revolutions for the development of societies and the World-System in general.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
This report studies the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) Housing Corporation (IHC) and its attempts to build prefabricated housing in Baghdad, Iraq during the 1950s. Architect Wallace K. Harrison experimented with cast-in-place concrete to create "a house built like a sidewalk." This process came to be known as the "IBEC System," leading to IHC mass-produced housing projects in Virginia, Florida, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Iraq, and Iran. In 1955, the Development Board of Iraq hired Greek architect Constantinos Doxiadis to develop a comprehensive five-year plan for the nation's housing shortages. With Doxiadis urging experimentation in construction technique and with IHC's desire to secure access to the Middle East, IHC applied for contracts to build mass-produced housing in Iraq under this program. In 1950s Iraq, Pan-Arabism was taking hold. IHC imported expensive equipment into Baghdad and built demonstration housing, with the ambition to build hundreds of houses; however, on July 14, 1958, the reigning monarchy was overthrown and IHC, along with other western firms, left Iraq, abandoning their projects and equipment. This short report summarizes this story.
Oxfam GB's Global Performance Framework is part of the organization's effort to better understand and communicate its effectiveness, as well as to enhance learning for staff and partners. Under this Framework, a small number of completed or mature projects are selected at random each year for an evaluation of their impact; this exercise is known as an 'Effectiveness Review'. One key focus is on the extent to which the projects have promoted change in relation to relevant Oxfam GB global outcome indicators. The global outcome indicator for the livelihoods thematic area is defined as 'total household consumption per adult equivalent per day'. This indicator is explained in more detail in section 5 of this report.
Niger's 'Community-Based Integrated Water Resource Management' project was one of those selected for an Effectiveness Review in the 2016/17 financial year. The project activities were implemented by Oxfam GB in conjunction with the partner organization Karkara and the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of Niger. The project was started in April 2013 and was completed in March 2015. It was evaluated one year after closure.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
Since 2015, the MacArthur Foundation's Big Bet On Nigeria is investing in efforts to reduce corruption in Nigeria by supporting Nigerian-led endeavors that strengthen transparency, accountability, and participation. Corruption, impunity, and lack of accountability in Nigeria have far-reaching impacts on access to and quality of public services, the well-being of Nigerians, and overall development. The On Nigeria strategy builds on Jonathan Fox's "sandwich" theory,1 which recognizes the importance of the combination of a push from below and a squeeze from above to effect change and sustain momentum. The push from below is the "voice"— representing citizens' actions to demand change and develop local solutions to corruption, while the squeeze from above is the "teeth"—representing the efforts of government and other high-level actors to develop and enforce laws and regulations, using incentives to discourage corruption and sanctions to punish it. The On Nigeria theory of change harnesses the "voice" of Nigerian citizens and the "teeth" of Nigerian public and private institutions, and combined with capacity building and collaboration, intends to address the problem of corruption in Nigeria.
The On Nigeria evaluation and learning framework seeks to answer three overarching evaluation questions: (1) How is the MacArthur Foundation's strategy contributing to changing transparency and accountability of government and private-sector actors? (2) How is the MacArthur Foundation's strategy contributing to changing social norms and citizens' behaviors related to corruption? and (3) What kinds of adaptation or changes are needed in the theory of change and/or strategy to achieve better results? The framework is designed to provide specific information related to On Nigeria's landscape, outcomes, impacts, and feedback on the strategy to assess progress and adapt the strategy as needed.
CLTS Knowledge Hub;
Achievement of adequate and equitable access to sanitation for all, and an end to open defecation, requires that special attention is given toward disadvantaged groups. It has become apparent that the benefits of conventional rural sanitation programming and service delivery are often not spread equally, and risk leaving disadvantaged groups behind. This issue of Frontiers of CLTS (the second in a two-part series) examines the potential of support mechanisms designed to help disadvantaged groups access and use hygienic toilets in driving more equitable rural sanitation outcomes. It covers the latest thinking on the opportunities and challenges of support mechanisms, and explores what works remains to be done.
In this issue, we use a broad definition of 'support' for creating equitable outcomes. Although financial and physical subsidies often quickly come to mind, a broader practical understanding of support needs to encompass both 'hardware' mechanisms and 'software' approaches, as well as various combinations of the two (Myers et al. 2017; ISF-UTS and SNV 2018).
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
There is growing recognition that youth need more than formal or vocational education to thrive in school, work, and life. They also need life skills - a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal strengths that position them for success in their lives and livelihoods. To leverage the growing momentum and give youth access to these vital tools for success, the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) supports grantee partners testing diverse approaches to strengthening life skills. The PSIPSE commissioned an in-depth study of 18 projects in 7 countries, uncovering actionable lessons on how to design, implement, assess, and scale youth life skills programming in low- and middle-income countries. The study is intended for practitioners and government officials interested in building, improving, and expanding work around life skills, as well as donors looking to advance this field and provide useful guidance to their grantees.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
There is growing recognition that youth need more than academic knowledge to transition successfully into employment and adulthood (Dupuy et al. 2018). They also need "life skills," a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal strengths that position them for success in their lives and livelihoods. Life skills can enhance young people's agency and resilience, improve their psychosocial well-being, and predict a range of long-term outcomes, including health, job performance, and wages (Kwauk et al. 2018; OECD 2018, Kautz et al. 2014). The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a donor collaborative, has invested in 18 projects to strengthen life skills in young people. This brief offers eight lessons based on the experiences of these projects—on the design, delivery, measurement, and scale-up of youth life skills programming in lowand middle-income countries (LMICs).
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
There is growing recognition that youth need more than academic knowledge and technical expertise to transition successfully into employment and adulthood (Dupuy et al. 2018). They also need "life skills," a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal strengths that position them for success in their lives and livelihoods. Life skills can enhance young people's agency and resilience, improve their psychosocial well-being, and predict a range of long-term outcomes, including health, job performance, and wages (Kwauk et al. 2018; OECD 2018; Kautz et al. 2014). The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a donor collaborative, has invested in 18 projects that focus on developing life skills among youth (see left). Mathematica, the PSIPSE's learning partner, recently conducted an in-depth study of these projects. The study used interviews with implementing organizations, an extensive review of project documents and evaluation reports, and high-level literature and landscape scans to examine project experiences, set them in context, and draw out lessons for a range of stakeholders. This brief summarizes the lessons for government officials—on how to successfully devise, roll out, scale, and strengthen life skills policies for youth in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).
la Caixa Foundation;
The 2030 Agenda calls for transformational change and a new approach to supporting development. Open Innovation Platforms represent a departure from traditional, projectbased, "business-as-usual" efforts, recognizing that new approaches to address deep systemic development issues are necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Around the globe, a wave of financial innovation that seeks to create social and environmental benefits while producing attractive returns is shaping the field of sustainable finance.
From investments in publicly listed corporations based on environmental, social, and governance factors, to bonds issued to fund climate and environmental improvements; from micro-credit to small retailers through innovative credit assessments, to parametric insurance products improving the disaster resilience of countries, the world of sustainable finance is growing and becoming increasingly diverse.
In this report, we take a closer look at these innovations and more, highlighting how they are working to mobilize private-sector capital at scale to address social and environmental challenges. We also explore recent developments and potential opportunities in Asia's four largest economies: China, India, Japan, and Indonesia.
Cotton 2040, implemented by Forum for the Future, is designed as a convening initiative for integrating and accelerating action on critical issues to mainstream sustainably grown cotton through a systems-change approach. C&A Foundation has provided the primary source for programmatic support to the implementing partner, Forum for the Future, for Cotton 2040 activities from 2014- 2018. The independent external evaluation of Cotton 2040 is intended to: 1) assess the extent to which the initiative and its two major workstreams have achieved intended objectives; and 2) document significant learning from the initiative.