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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.
This document reviews the Joyce Foundation's 25-year history of grant making to advance gun violence prevention research. Since 1993, the Joyce Foundation has provided support to researchers who have produced hundreds of scientific publications and innumerable insights about gun violence in the United States, and its solutions. This is necessarily an incomplete accounting, but provides an approximate measure of the unique impact of the Joyce Foundation's grant making during a critical time period when few other private or public funders supported the field.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores how Kuaffman Foundation implemented the Kauffman Scholars program to increase college completion for students in Kansas City, Missouri. It includes the perspective on how the foundation transitioned it's strategy and included an emphasis on career-readiness and family support to help students persist through challenges and reach their goals.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores the Bonner Foundation's Bonner program--a service-based scholarship program. The scholarship targets high financial need students and affords them the opportunity to serve their community during college and through internships. This case study explores how the Bonner program was designed and the impact it has created.
This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores Al Ghurair Foundation for Education's STEM Scholars Program. The scholarship aims to increase access for underserved populations to high-quality education throughout the Middle East & North Africa region. Two years into its journey, the Scholars program strategy has made measurable progress on three student outcomes: expanding underserved youth's access to education, improving their college and career readiness, and increasing skills development; as well as three community outcomes: cultivating a new cadre of young leaders, empowering youth to rewrite the Arab story, and encouraging scholars to take part in regional philanthropy.
As corporate leaders pledge their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, they need a way to fulfill their promises. Designed for CEOs and corporate executives, this primer offers practical tools and examples to help companies transform pledges into action.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
The 116th Congress is weighing potential policy mechanisms to reduce the impact of climate change and cap global warming to an internationally agreed upon target of no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). As a result, fossil fuel tax subsidies, as well as other mechanisms of support, have received additional scrutiny from lawmakers and the public regarding their current suitability, scale and effectiveness. Indeed, the subsidies undermine policy goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
The United States provides a number of tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as a means of encouraging domestic energy production. These include both direct subsidies to corporations, as well as other tax benefits to the fossil fuel industry. Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. European Union subsidies are estimated to total 55 billion euros annually.
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.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Many stories about green revolutions in South America and Asia revolve around the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation and their seed research. The materials of the Rockefeller Archive Center have proven to be a rich source for researchers studying the influence of foreign policy actors on agricultural development policy in the Global South. Yet, this research has not included multinational corporations as potential partners of U.S. foreign policy makers and philanthropic foundations in the dissemination of ideas and practices of 'modern agriculture'. This is linked to the understanding of the dissemination of Green Revolution seeds as the spread of a public good. My research has revealed that this was not always the case. It shows that ideas of seed accessibility as a public good competed with ideas and ideals of an effective market economy. Following the ideal of the superiority of a free market, some of the staff of the Rockefeller Foundation in India valued highly the participation of private corporations in their projected ability to effectively organize and market goods. In order to drive technological change in Indian agriculture, especially in maize cultivation, the Rockefeller Foundation relied on U.S. seed companies to increase hybrid seed production. In doing so, the Rockefeller Foundation acted similar to a chamber of commerce by establishing contacts for U.S. corporations with government officials in the US and India, and actively recruited and advised companies to enter the Indian market.
The Advancing Human Rights initiative documents the landscape of foundation funding for human rights and track changes in its scale and priorities. This annual report uses grants data to map philanthropic support for specific human rights issues, funding strategies, and populations and regions served in 2016. In this year, 785 funders made over 23,000 grants totalling $2.8 billion for human rights.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
This report examines Ecuador's March 2019 agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and finds that Ecuador is likely to have lower GDP per capita, higher unemployment, and increased macroeconomic instability under the program. Even the program itself, the authors note, projects Ecuador to have a recession this year and increased unemployment for each of the first three years of the program. But these projections are optimistic, the report concludes.
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights;
In Illinois, nearly 5 million adults, 50% of the population, are estimated to have an arrest or conviction record. Housing is foundational for employment success, family stability, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, criminal history checks are a typical part of the housing application processes, and many people with records are declined housing opportunities they would otherwise be a good fit for, but for the criminal record.
Our goal for Win-Win was to develop user-friendly guidance about the use of criminal records in screening and housing applicants, and to provide recommendations that housing providers can adopt and adapt, in whole or in part, to increase housing opportunities for people with criminal records.