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In the wake of recent events – a pandemic, worldwide protests, new elections – 2018 may feel like a world away. As we look at the 2018 data, it's important to understand that many of the human rights issues we currently face grew out of this context. Even responses to COVID-19 cannot be divorced from the foundational issues that shape how governments, social movements, and funders address – or compound – human rights abuses. Writing in a year of so much global unrest, we see this report as a baseline and an offering, a trajectory of the trends that helps identify places where philanthropy can better meet the needs of human rights movements around the world.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
While the world has made huge economic gains over the past 50 years, this progress has been highly uneven. This is particularly acute in the agriculture sector, with many of the 500 million smallholder farmers around the world living on meager incomes and facing high levels of economic insecurity.Despite some recent innovations and advances in including smallholders as market players, there have been few cases where truly widespread, market-level, transformative change towards inclusion has been achieved.In this report, we explore the role of different kinds of capital in bending the arc of agricultural market development towards inclusive growth. We pay particular attention to how impact-focused players deploying capital that is flexible in terms of risk-return expectations can best deploy it in order to catalyze large-scale transformations towards inclusion.
Through the Peace and Security Funding Index, Candid and the Peace and Security Funders Group aim to illuminate the field of peace and security grantmaking and provide a nuanced understanding of the issues and strategies peaceand security funders support.The Index tracks funding for work to prevent future conflict, resolve existing conflict, and support stability and peace across 24 issue areas (e.g., peacebuilding, nuclear issues). It includes grantmaking by institutional funders, including private foundations, public charities, and community foundations.In 2018, 335 foundations made 2,539 grants totaling $376.8M for peace and security.
SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative;
From modest beginnings in 1960, China has recently become a highly visible actor in Africa's lending landscape. The World Bank recently released data on official debt to China in 37 African countries. We at CARI use this debt data, and our own new data on over 1,100 loan commitments across all of China's African borrowers, to analyze Chinese lending to Africa's risky borrowers.
World Economic Forum;
Plastic pollution has become a pressing challenge with damaging effects on human health and environmental well-being. Many governments are seeking ways to decrease single-use plastics and firms are working towards developing more closed-loop plastics to build sustainable value chains. There remains, however, a pressing need to ramp up the "3Rs" – reduce, reuse, and recycle. There is an important cross-border component to doing so.
Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network;
Working together, foundations and evaluators can contribute to global transformation necessary to address the world's most pressing problems.Funders and evaluators based primarily in the US and Canada have been collaborating on shared priorities through the Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN) since 2017. The goal of FEAN is to change the relationship between funders and evaluators from a transactional one to a partnership, shifting the field of philanthropic evaluation to become fairer, more equitable, and more effective. In 2019, the conversation expanded to consider issues of interest to FEAN members working in the international arena.The vision inspiring this paper is one in which North American foundations and evaluators can make significant contributions to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as allies with people across the globe whose lives are most closely impacted by pressing challenges including climate change, migration, pandemics, growing authoritarianism, disparities and instabilities, and the depletion of critical resources.The recommendations outlined in this paper are a starting point, an invitation to both reflection and action. We explore how foundations and evaluators can nurture and grow a robust, inclusive ecosystem of what we are calling evaluation for global transformation (EGT). Such an ecosystem is necessary to co-create the paths by which funders and evaluators can catalyze innovative thinking and undertake coordinated action with others in support of global transformation.The working paper takes a critical look at the current state of EGT and what it will take to position evaluation to advance effective, equitable and sustainable global transformation efforts. It begins with defining global transformation and its importance, describing the ways in which global development is evolving, and the growing role that philanthropy is playing within this arena.Next, it lays out an analysis of the current state of evaluation and resulting recommendations, building from conversations that took place among members of the Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network during 2019.
The intended goal of this paper is to help guide policymakers, international financial institutions and development agencies in their design and implementation of public sector reform programmes in Iraq. It is worth emphasizing that Iraq's predicament is by no means exceptional, and this paper uses specific and relevant experiences from other countries to illustrate how to overcome obstacles to reform.
National Bureau of Asian Research;
Under Xi Jinping, China has become more vocal about its dissatisfaction with the existing international order. Whereas its posture used to be mostly defensive, it has recently engaged in a more forward-leaning, assertive effort to reshape the system. Xi is confident in China's growing material power but is aware that the country still lacks "discourse power"—the ability to exert influence over the formulations and ideas that underpin the international order. Although the Chinese leadership has mobilized intellectual resources to fill this gap, it has not explicitly laid out an alternative vision of what the world should look like. However, a close reading of ongoing internal discussions and debates suggests that China's vision for a future system under its helm draws inspiration from traditional Chinese thought and past historical experiences. The collective intellectual effort reflects a yearning for partial hegemony, loosely exercised over large portions of the "global South"—a space that would be free from Western influence and purged of liberal ideals. The contours of this new system would not be traced along precise geographic or ideological lines but be defined by the degree of deference that those within China's sphere of influence are willing to offer Beijing.
China Africa Research Initiative, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University;
The African continent's threat spectrum compasses all the risks, from criminal to political violence,that public and private Chinese companies are going toexperience throughout the Belt & Road Initiative. From Libya to South Sudan, China has witnessed how severely limitingthe sole reliance on economic development to promotesecurity and sustainable development can be. As such,security is an increasingly important priority, especially for Chinese companies operating in politically volatile areas. Compared to their American or Russian peers, Chinese private security companies (PSCs) are latecomers to the African security sector and their services are unrelated to the provision of military services or the delivery of military equipment. At present, China's PSCs are still evolving from local security enterprises operating in low risk environments in Mainland China into international companies able to maneuver abroad in high-risk areas. Africa is the litmus test for Chinese PSCs, with tasks including assets protection from riots, theft, or terrorism to maritime anti-piracy missions.Therefore, local best practices and lessons that Beijing cane xtract from Cape Town to Cairo are not only of paramount importance for the Chinese African cooperation mechanism but also for a broader collaboration with local and international stakeholders.
In 2019, Candid and Centris, with support from PeaceNexus Foundation, conducted a survey, Philanthropy for a Safe, Healthy, and Just World. The results, based on 823 civil society organization responses, reveal philanthropists can do better to support global peacebuilding efforts.The world today continues to be shaken by armed conflicts, yet, according to research by Candid, peace-related grantmaking comprises less than 1 percent of all grants. Further, the study found that only 18 percent of survey respondents indicated that conflict transformation and peacebuilding were "very important" to their work; in fact, it ranked at the very bottom of the list. Still, 57 percent of respondents said that supporting resilience and stable societies—a key component of peacebuilding— is either important or central to their work. Moreover, it was more common for organizations to see their work through the lens of social justice or human rights than through the lens of peace, suggesting a broader understanding and acceptance of these frameworks compared to peace.
With limited resources and immense challenges, now more than ever human rights grantmakers and advocates are asking critical questions about the human rights funding landscape: Where is the money going? What are the gaps? Who is funding what? The Advancing Human Rights research tracks the evolving state of human rights philanthropy by collecting and analyzing grants data to equip funders and advocates to make more informed and effective decisions. Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) and Candid lead the research, in partnership with Ariadne–European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights, and Prospera–International Network of Women's Funds.In 2017, the research found that 849 foundations awarded 25,229 human rights grants totaling $3.2B to 13,819 recipients around the world, 28% of which was reported as flexible general support.
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.