Philanthropic funding landscaping for Healthy Information Ecosystems

By Cristina Ordóñez (Program Coordinator-TAI)
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A healthy information environment is essential for addressing today’s global challenges. Access to reliable data empowers individuals, organizations, and governments to navigate crises, mobilize civil society, create more targeted public policies, and advance efforts against pressing issues such as pandemics and climate change.

Access to information is not only a “fundamental component of good governance” but also a linchpin to drive positive change on a local and global scale. Healthy information ecosystems provide the necessary infrastructure for holding governments and corporations accountable, supporting international cooperation, and maintaining public trust.

The role of healthy information ecosystems is also recognized by philanthropic donors, including the Trust, Accountability, and Inclusion collaborative (TAI) members. Philanthropy understands that healthy information ecosystems are fundamental to achieving trustworthy funding models and better support partners. By investing in information infrastructure, behavioral change, legal defense, freedom of expression, and media, they contribute to more effective, transparent, and evidence-based efforts.

Disinformation, privacy concerns, cybersecurity threats, and the spread of extremist ideologies are just a few of the challenges associated with information access, use, and impact. These challenges often feed into one another, making it imperative to address them comprehensively and systemically.

To understand the need to work towards healthy information environments that are also resilient, ethical, and responsive, TAI launched in 2023 an information ecosystem map, created in partnership with Dr. Courtney Radsch, fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and currently Director of the Center for Journalism and Liberty at the Open Markets Institute. This visual tool considers all stakeholders, from media organizations and technology platforms to governments, civil society, and individuals, recognizing their interdependencies and roles in shaping the ecosystem. It pinpoints infrastructural, societal, and technological factors impacting the system.

Our next question was where support is going within the information ecosystem. Where is philanthropic funding currently targeted? Where are the gaps? How do different streams of support reinforce each other (if at all)? These are some of the questions that motivated this funder mapping that we hope is useful for funders and field partners alike.


TAI is a collaborative of donors whose priorities include supporting evolution and sustainability of a healthy information ecosystem. Given our coordination role, it is important for TAI to understand the funding trends, determine the current distribution of grantmaking, and identify gaps that might merit more support.

This mapping complements the analysis performed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) DAC Governance Network (GovNet), who undertook a parallel review of Official Development Assistance (ODA) flows related to the information ecosystem as reported to (OECD). Therefore, the focus of our analysis is the philanthropic funding directed to aid recipient countries, which will allow us to compare it with the ODA flows to better understand the difference in scale between governmental and philanthropic funding to support information ecosystems.

Additionally, it will further inform our understanding of where the lion’s share of funds is going and where there are significant gaps.

Download the full report for more details.

You can also check out our Healthy Information Ecosystems Tool for more insights on this topic.

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