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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.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
In an era when social sector leaders face uncertainty and significant change, resilience is critical to organizational survival. At their best, resilient nonprofits respond to disruptions as tipping points rather than tragedies, finding new opportunities to learn, grow, evolve, and, ultimately, better serve their communities. So, what does it take for nonprofits to survive and even thrive amid shocks? This research points to seven crucial characteristics, and surfaces principles and practices for funders who seek to boost grantee resilience.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
This study focuses primarily on the 'Final Report' of the OAS audit of the election results and shows how the authors of that report misrepresent the data and evidence found in the audit in an attempt to further bolster their claims of intentional manipulation on the part of Bolivia's former electoral authorities. The OAS Final Report identifies many real problems with the management of the elections that should be addressed. However, despite claims to the contrary, it does not provide any evidence that those irregularities altered the outcome of the election, or were part of an actual attempt to do so.
Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project;
The first-ever U.S.-DPRK summit meeting in Singapore yielded an agreement in principle that satisfied both sides' key demands, but the two overreached in Hanoi. Ever since then, North Korea has been demanding unilateral steps by the United States to demonstrate its commitment to end enmity before it will return to the negotiating table. After the failed summit, opponents of engagement in Pyongyang began pushing back against negotiations. Kim Jong Un responded with an April 12, 2019 policy speech to the Supreme People's Assembly imposing an end-of-the-year deadline for an offer he could accept and hinted he would end his self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons and the longer-range missiles to deliver them. Despite U.S. attempts to meet him part-way, he ramped up testing of other missiles and continued fissile material production. He also held relations with Seoul hostage to further advances in talks with Washington. Yet it seems unlikely he is giving up seeking the same goals sought by his grandfather and father to reconcile – end enmity - with Washington and Seoul in order to hedge against the rise of China. Unlike his forebears, he has willing partners in the U.S and South Korean presidents, but his increasing nuclear leverage may tempt him to overplay his hand in coercive diplomacy either by resuming tests to enhance that leverage or by asking for more than President Trump can give.
Peace and Security Funders Group;
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 peace and 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.
Funding for peace and security remains small relative to foundation funding overall. Peace and security grantmaking represented just 1.2 percent of the nearly $33 billion given by foundations in Candid's research set of grantmaking by 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations.
Fund for Global Human Rights;
In a new report from JustLabs and the Fund for Global Human Rights, Krizna Gomez and Thomas Coombes argue that human rights actors need more than just a better communications strategy to effect real change in today's hostile climate–they need to embody a bold new narrative of hope and peace and take it straight to the people.
Be the Narrative: How Changing the Narrative Could Revolutionize What It Means to Do Human Rights is a radical response to the global wave of populist and authoritarian leaders who are manipulating controversy, manufacturing crisis, and exploiting conflict to chip away at democratic values, push anti-pluralist and anti-elite beliefs, and entrench illiberal power.
Open Society Foundations;
The use of armed drones in the European Union has become a topic rife with controversy and misinformation. This report gives a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the approach to, and use of, armed drones in five European countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. Further, the report is intended to start a wider debate about armed drones in Europe and to serve as a guide on this topic for the European Parliament.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
My visit to the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) was motivated by two interrelated research projects. The first was to study materials related to the transnational construction of the academic field of Afro-Brazilian studies in the 1930s and 1940s. The second project was to focus on the impact of the making of Afro-American studies and African studies proper, in both North and South America, and on the life and trajectories of the independence leaders of African countries from the 1950s – especially the Mozambican, Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane. The week I spent at the Rockefeller Archive Center, thanks to a small research stipend which I obtained, has proven highly productive for both research projects.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
On February 29, 1968, readers of the New York Review of Books would encounter a stirring indictment of the United States of America: In an open letter, titled "On Leaving America," and addressed to Wesleyan University president Edwin D. Etherington, the German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger publicly renounced a fellowship that sponsored his stay at the school. America's activities in Vietnam made it so that Enzensberger could no longer accept the support from Wesleyan, while millions of Vietnamese suffered. Instead, the politically committed writer would take to Cuba to see if he could somehow contribute to its revolutionary transformation. "Verbal opposition is today in danger of becoming a harmless spectator sport, licensed, well-regulated and, up to a point, even encouraged by the powerful," Enzensberger writes in conclusion. Supported by a respectable American institution of higher learning, Enzensberger felt disarmed in his opposition, adding that "the mere fact of my being here on these terms would devalue whatever I might have to say."
Rockefeller Archive Center;
One of the primary goals of the founders of the National Committee on United States-China Relations was to encourage discussion of China policy. In 1966, when they formed the group, there was little debate on the topic, and much public ignorance concerning current and recent events on the Chinese mainland. While the NCUSCR as an organization took no political positions, its leaders all supported ending the U.S. isolation of the Chinese Communists and pursuing a new policy of outreach and rapprochement. This occasioned some opposition from conservatives who supported existing policies, and who saw the Committee as a de facto lobby, despite its leaders' protestations of non-partisanship and its tax-exempt status as a non-political organization. Within less than five years, the Committee appeared to become a victim of its own success. Discussion of the issue was uncontroversial, and President Nixon had begun the process of outreach to China. The organization gave serious consideration to closing up shop. Yet rapprochement, while threatening one primary mission, increased opportunities to pursue the other: public education, particularly in the form of cultural exchanges. This gave the group new relevance and renewed public prominence, allowing it to maintain its presence and persevere.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Historians have often overlooked a central component of the story of the Green Revolution: the construction of laboratories, research stations, universities, and other facilities that made crop research possible. My recent research at the Rockefeller Archive Center started with one pivotal research center—the CIAT (Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical) in southwestern Colombia—to try and understand it as an architectural project. When CIAT was finished in the early 1970s, it had already benefitted from years of Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and Ford Foundation (FF) support to that particular project, as well as decades of philanthropic funding at local universities in the nearby cites of Palmira and Cali. The Universidad del Valle (Uni Valle) in Cali had been a particular focus of U.S. philanthropic funding for university development. Among other disciplines, foundations promoted architecture there as a means for international development. From crop research labs to public health centers, Uni Valle architects were supposed to foment modernization by building the facilities that would make it possible. But architecture was more than a facilitator of development; it also became a central site of contestation. At CIAT, officials debated the proper aesthetic and spatial organization that modernizing facilities should take. At the Universidad del Valle, the very architecture students and faculty meant to serve as the champions of a particular kind of modernity, in fact, confounded an easy United States-led development project. Some faculty were radical leftists, and together with students, they led a movement to gain greater control over the university administration from both local and international administrators.
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.