Lots of mentions of the need for accountability to secure development this past week - both around the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and at the Skoll World Forum, where TAI particularly enjoyed sessions on transparency and accountability for climate action and on information integrity. Plus, we were encouraged by engagement in fighting corruption and promoting ethical leadership at our donor dinner cohosted with Apolitical Foundation and Chandler Foundation.
Enjoy reading the Weekly!
Fighting for open, tax transparency and financing amid shrinking space
International Budget Partnership launched the largest-ever Open Budget Survey round with local partners coming together to assess 125 countries on their levels of transparency, oversight, and public participation in national budgets.
In a week when a security leak dominated news, Ukraine shows continued commitment to open government even in wartime. The Transparent Cities program presents the results of a study of the transparency of 70 Ukrainian cities under martial law utilizing a new methodology.
A procurement scandal in Malta prompts calls for transparency and accountability to be upheld “without fail” around the use of public funds.
The Financial Times picks up on the FACT Coalition’s campaign to require greater tax transparency from multinational companies. “Investors need to know how close to the line corporate tax strategies are, so they can assess how much risk they are willing to take," says Ian Gary.
“No news is bad news” explores how financial institutions can strengthen human rights risk assessments in places where civic space is restricted. The authors hope “to advance the conversations across the financial sector about the critical importance of open and unrestricted space.”
Liz David-Barrett and Ken Okamura discuss why and how we should measure illicit financial flows connected to grand corruption.
FROM OUR MEMBERS
Is co-hosting a conversation highlighting, “Ethical Leaders, Better Democracies: Good Governance for People and Planet” on May 1st, together with ourselves and Apolitical Foundation. It’s part of Catalysing Change Week. Register here!
The Hewlett Foundation has, for well over a decade, supported organizations around the globe that advance ambitious solutions to the climate crisis - and here features the work done by the Climate Leadership Initiative.
commissioned a report studying the barriers to collaboration between strategic communications firms and change agents such as nonprofits, activists, and community groups in Kenya. We’re excited to see practical recommendations for funders.
released their 2022-2023 Spring Letter ahead of their World Forum that outlines Skoll’s three accelerators to support the community of social entrepreneurs and innovators
CONGRATS FROM TAI!
Gloria Guerrero is becoming ILDA’s (La Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos) new executive director. Gloria has been working for more than 10 years at the intersection of democracy, technology, and civics. From her role at Fundación Avina, Gloria has supported civic initiatives to promote the inclusion and representation of traditionally excluded voices.
TOOLS & TRENDS FOR FUNDERS
There’s an emerging consensus that funding that promotes movement building is one of the best ways funders can advance social and environmental justice. The recognition for this kind of funding has however not always translated to grant systems that are fit for purpose worries Mendi Njonjo.
Gideon Ahenkorah underscores the potential of the RINGO Project to transform global civil society in the next few years - an initiative now hosted by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).
A new Aspen Institute report offers tools for climate funders beyond grantmaking, such as external outreach and impact investment (see chapter two).
The pandemic brought with it many changes in the sector, including increased funder commitments to unrestricted and flexible funding. Matt Sinclair asks how much of the change is permanent, and how much will revert to the way things were before COVID-19.
FOCUSED TOPIC OF THE WEEK
Last Wednesday, TAI moderated and co-sponsored a session at the World Bank’s Spring Meetings, on Getting to Green Accountability - the important role of civil society. Saliem Fakir, Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation (ACF) emphasized the need to embed the ‘JUST’ part in climate financing; Sandra Guzmán Luna, Executive Director, of Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted the need for mechanisms of transparency, accountability and active participation - critical in the process of reform of financial mechanisms, while Aly Zulficar Rahim, Program Manager of the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability warned that climate finance alone will not be enough to solve the climate crisis effectively: it will take civil society and local communities participation.
Saliem has also been celebrating ACF’s third birthday - emphasizing the importance of shaping a new narrative that spotlights how addressing climate risks can go hand in hand with meeting African countries’ development priorities, such as eradicating energy poverty and more resilient economies.
Dailes Judge and Veronica Fadzai Zano highlight risks to African communities in the rush for green minerals, while the political battles over what to prioritize amid energy transitions are heating up - whether that is the Texas state legislature forcing renewable firms to help pay for new fossil fuel plants or Bulgaria’s loss of EUR 98 million in EU funds– a direct result of the country’s failure to submit its Territorial Just Transition Plans on time. Those funds could have unlocked the local renewable energy market. Ventzeslava Kojouharova and Todor Todorov call on the government to consult civil society in redrafting the plans.
You can now watch the recording of the “Harnessing Innovation and Partnership to Counter Transnational Corruption in Green Minerals Supply Chains” Summit for Democracy side event and read a transcript of USAID Administrator Samantha Power’s remarks.
NEWS ROUNDUP: AI FRIEND OR FOE?
Slavoj Žižek and Daron Acemoglu consider how – and whether – the risks raised by generative AI can be mitigated.
The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration is requesting comments on AI system accountability measures and policies, so have your say.
AI Now Institute has published a report analyzing the power dynamics at play in the development of artificial intelligence. It proposes a number of concrete strategies to ensure it is "the public, not industry, that this technology serves." Read more in this article.
The use of AI remains niche for most civil society organizations and activists. Yet, several initiatives that use emerging technologies and artificial intelligence to “decolonise” language are appearing – especially in the development sector.
JOBS AT TAI MEMBERS
Job postings at Hewlett Foundation - ONGOING
Job postings at MacArthur Foundation - ONGOING
Job postings at Open Society Foundations - ONGOING
Job postings at Luminate - ONGOING
Job postings at Ford Foundation - ONGOING
Job postings at FCDO - ONGOING
Job postings at Skoll - ONGOING
Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships, Thousand Currents
Director of Partnerships, Urgent Action Fund
U.S. Racial Justice Director, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Program Assistant, Global Anti-Corruption Consortium,OCCRP
Senior Program Officers, Tax Equity in Ghana and Tanzania, International Budget Partnership
CALLS / OPPORTUNITIES
Consultancy opportunity with Open Society Foundations to understand the corporate influence on global tax policy, tax avoidance practices, especially in global south countries, and potential interventions to combat the trend.
The Global Integrity Anti-Corruption and Evidence (GI-ACE) Programme, is entering a second phase with an open call for Expressions of Interest (EoI).
People Powered is evaluating its first three years of work and developing a new strategic plan for the next several years. Have your say via this short survey.
Laudes Foundation is seeking proposals for a Climate and the built environment: perception study.
Making Budgets Credible: Country Lessons & Approaches, April 20th, 8am EDT
Building Trust Equity: Understanding the Trust Building Process at the Community Level, Thursday April 20, 11am EST
Global launch of the 2023 Chandler Good Government Index, 26 April 2023, 9:30am UTC | 5:30pm SGT
Gender, Deliberation, and Natural Resource Governance: Experimental Evidence from Malawi.
The Evidence and Learning (E&L) Talk Series, April 27, 10AM-AM EST.
Ibrahim Governance Weekend from Nairobi, April 28-30, follow live at: https://mif.live/igw/
Open Gov Week 2023 - May 8-12
Rights Con 2023, June 5-8, 2023
EITI Global Conference, Dakar, June 2023
2023 #ShiftThePower Summit, Bogota, Colombia, December 2023
TAI's Executive Director