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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.
Annual report highlights stories of eight standout leaders; emphasizes leadership development as integral to Kresge's mission.
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.
Past evaluations of Shared Insight's Listen4Good grantees have reported that through L4G they increased their technical ability to perform high-quality feedback loops, gained insights that informed data-driven changes to programming and internal operations, and improved both their programs' effectiveness and their overall ability to serve clients. Evaluations have also found that L4G helped foster a culture of openness and listening in participating organizations and advanced their equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.
Until now, however, these studies have examined L4G participants only during their grant periods. In this report, ORS Impact takes on a central learning question for the sustainability of Shared Insight's feedback work: To what extent do grantees continue collecting high-quality perceptual feedback from clients after the L4G grant ends?
Here, ORS looks at 46 nonprofits that were the first to receive L4G grants in 2016, conducting interviews with 35 of them about a year after their grant ended.
Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges that seek to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising's emphasis on a student's entire college experience, enabling advisers to more easily (1) intervene when students show early warning signs of academic and nonacademic challenges, (2) regularly follow up as students progress through college, (3) refer students to tutoring and other support services when needed, and (4) provide personalized guidance that reflects students' unique needs.
To study how technology can support advising redesign, MDRC and the Community College Research Center partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS: California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The three institutions increased the emphasis on providing timely support, boosted their use of advising technologies, and used administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisers. The enhancements at all three institutions are being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial research design.
This report shows that the enhancements generally produced only a modestly different experience for students in the program group compared with students in the control group, although at one college, the enhancements did substantially increase the number of students who had contact with an adviser. Consequently, it is not surprising that the enhancements have so far had no discernible positive effects on students' academic performance. The findings also highlight the potential for unintended consequences. Before the study, each of the institutions had required that certain groups of students see an adviser before registering for classes in the next semester. Each institution expanded this preregistration requirement to include all students in the study's program groups, but at one institution, the requirement appears to have contributed to a small reduction in earned credits.
This report summarizes findings from a decade of surveys conducted after the Millennial Impact Project was launched in 2009 to explore how Americans born between 1980 and 2000 engage with causes. This research – which created the largest body of data and analysis on how U.S. millennials interact with causes – demonstrates why and how the nation's youngest generation of adults has engaged in doing good, how they have changed philanthropy, what they expect of the public, private, nonprofit and government sectors in addressing societal challenges and the consequences of ignoring their powerful influence.
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.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
In the early twentieth century, approximately eighty-five percent of the Chinese population relied on agriculture for its livelihood. Aiming to improve the well-being of China's vast rural population, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) streamed philanthropic efforts and resources to rural China. The North China Council for Rural Reconstruction (NCCRR), an RF-funded rural philanthropic program composed of six Chinese institutions, was established in Peiping (Beijing) on April 2, 1936. As a nontraditional and experimental program, the NCCRR brought together the leading professors from various disciplines at different universities into intimate contact with philanthropic and educational activities in rural China. Although the program perhaps pointed to the modest ways in which institutions conducted rural philanthropy, the task of reviving China's countryside was ultimately too heavy for the RF as a foreign private foundation. Due to complicated geopolitical circumstances far beyond its control, the RF had to terminate its rural reconstruction work in China in 1944.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
This report examines the activities carried out by the Regional Office of Río de la Plata and Andean Region of the Rockefeller Foundation to upgrade the training of public health professionals and staff from 1941 to 1949. According to the Rockefeller Foundation, special skills and training were essential to address the challenges posed by the eradication of epidemics and pandemics, necessary public works to enhance public health. The regional office was based in Argentina, Chile, Perú, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Can the market be trusted to provide the bundle of goods and services that society deems a basic entitlement of citizenship? The retreat from state-centered welfare institutions and the rise of policy movements emphasizing market-based alternatives over the past thirty years is said to mark a breaking point from the progressivism of the early twentieth century. Evidence from the Russell Sage Foundation Records, housed at the Rockefeller Archive Center, suggests that the trajectory from state to market or public to private is less representative than is commonly thought. Among the Foundation's most successful campaigns was its battle to reform small-sum lending between 1909 and 1946. Inspired by journalistic tales of working families held in virtual slavery by nefarious loan sharks, the Russell Sage Foundation devoted considerable resources to freeing small borrowers from the high rates of interest and criminal intimidation thought to engender poverty, crime, class agitation, and political radicalism. The Foundation's gradual pivot from promoting philanthropic solutions meant to circumvent the market in money to embracing profit and competition as a market-oriented means of achieving progressive ends stands as a key moment in the rise of the personal finance industry. It also serves as an early case study in the privatization of American social policy and an object lesson in the challenges reformers have faced when forging partnerships with the competitive marketplace.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
This essay charts the career of the entomologist and popular author Marston Bates (1906-1974) within the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) between 1935 and 1952. Today, Bates is best remembered as a science communicator. Publishing over a dozen books on natural history and the environment, he helped bring ecological ideas to broader public audiences during the 1950s and 1960s. Not simply a popularizer of contemporary scientific concepts, Bates stood out for his critical commentary on the environmental problems of economic development, conservation, and global population growth, as well as the need for more integrative, cross-disciplinary approaches to understanding humans in nature. Long before becoming a public intellectual, however, he worked for the RF as a mosquito specialist, serving as director of International Health Division malaria and yellow fever laboratories in Albania, Egypt, and Colombia during the 1930s and 1940s. Bates' mid-career shift from researching mosquito ecology to writing about human ecology may seem to be a sudden left turn. A closer look at the archival record reveals the pivotal role played by the Rockefeller Foundation in shaping Bates' career trajectory and ideas about the environment. Furthermore, placing Bates' work in the context of his time with the RF reveals connections between twentieth-century U.S. environmental thought and international health projects.