TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly | Never Waste A Crisis

By TAI (Role at TAI)
Dear Readers, 

It is Tuesday again and it is also time for another packaged weekly with TPA-related content. Today we talk about democratic erosion in Europe, the need for accountable markets, public finances during COVID and how AI can be used to counter fake news.

Dig in!

TAI´s Communication fellow


  • A court win, democratic erosion in Europe, rethinking markets and another leak to fuel your anger
  • Call for climate accountability, climate funding breakdown, activist mobilization, and regulating for disclosure
  • Watch this #1
  • Managing finances in a pandemic, tax transparency, complex ownership and fossil fuels into the shadows
  • Watch this #2
  • What happened with information request in 2020, two engaging opportunities and AI vs fake news
  • Funders, February is a month to think and act on equity
  • More to read this week!
  • TAI Spotlight
A court win, democratic erosion in Europe, rethinking markets and another leak to fuel your anger 

Image Credit: African Democratic Institute 

Last week’s ruling by the European Court of Justice was good for those who care about the rule of law. The European Commission does have the power to withhold stimulus funds where there are clear violations of good governance – intriguing to see how some governments in eastern Europe will react.

One potential response might be to further weaken democracy. That would be in line with a trend among EU countries according to the Liberties Rule of Law Report 2022. It’s primarily a story of neglect (which is unlikely to prove benign.)

Staying big picture, read how TAI member Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network are supporting five institutions to challenge today’s notions about the role of markets and governments. They say more foundations are about to join them.

Further evidence of how the current systems aids corrupt elites from the latest leak – this time focused on Credit Suisse (the same bank we covered last week as facing its first criminal trial in its history). This data revealing hidden owners of some $80 billion held by the bank – not a pretty cast of characters – hints that more trials may be in the future. Call for climate accountability, climate funding breakdown, activist mobilization, and regulating for disclosure

Mary Robinson argues that we need climate accountability NOW. Last year’s COP26 summit failed to deliver results sufficient to address the climate crisis, so 2022 must be the year of accountability. Countries that are major emitters must deliver on financing for vulnerable countries.Photo Credit: Climate Account

Her message will likely resonate with the newly launched the African Activists for Climate Justice initiative. Read how they are planning to share coordinated efforts to counter climatic change.

Of course, big sums of money are being spent. For example, did you know that in in 2020 the G20 countries invested USD 120 billion in “Nature-based solutions? More desegregated and useful data is available in the State of Finance for Nature in the G20 report.

Turning to the role of financial markets, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, Gary Gensler, takes to Twitter to explain why regulators need to look at climate risk disclosure. A useful thread.

Investors shifting out of fossil fuels sounds good right? The Economist reminds us of a downside if dirty assets are bought up by private firms subject to far less disclosure and scrutiny. The trend is clear – private equity spent $60 billion on fossil fuel linked assets in the past 2 years alone. Not only do those firms operate in the shadows but it risks further exacerbating a race to the bottom in remaining coal/oil production.
Watch this #1
Listen to the heads of two TAI member foundations – Darren Walker and Mark Malloch-Brown – discuss the role of philanthropy in addressing inequalities and advancing social justice. Encouraging to hear the emphasis on holding governments to accounts and not being afraid of being a thorn in the side of authoritarians.
Managing finances in a pandemic, tax transparency, complex ownership and fossil fuels into the shadows
Never waste a crisis. That was the approach of leading public financial management (PFM) practitioners who gathered at the end of last year. Read this summary of ways COVID has created PFM challenges but also generated some innovative practices that should be mainstreamed by governments.
Image Credit: Gnofcu.com

Good to read of the first meeting of the Asia Initiative on tax transparency where participants emphasized the importance of both tax transparency standards and stronger regional and international tax co-operation for sustainable post-pandemic recovery. Perhaps the Indonesian G20 presidency can galvanize efforts?

Even with advances in beneficial ownership transparency, Andres Knobel worries that companies will still wriggle out of paying a fair share by manipulating complex ownership chains. Such chains can also help hide corrupt activity.

Zeroing in on the risks of partnership with state-owned entities where conflicts of interest can be rife, Natural Resources Governance Institute offers guidance on reducing corruption risks in enagements with joint venture partners, large suppliers & high-risk third parties (e.g., agents).

Watch this #2
Welcome to the Kleptolands is a compelling video series documenting the effects of kleptocracy on societies in Central Africa.
What happened with information requests in 2020, two engaging opportunities and AI vs fake news

98 countries participated in UNESCO survey on access to Information. The findings are now out. One that caught our eye – only 40 countries had data in 2020 on the number of requests for information received, less than half!

Looking to learn more about the right to information? Take this free online course that covers all the basics and suggests how to use the right for journalism and advocacy purposes. 

Also, check out this research on how to harnessing data for public benefit? This paper from the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and the Aapti Institute explores the global state of data trusts.

Finally, discover the latest tips on how AI can be used to fight fake news, courtesy of a team at the University of Queensland, Australia.Image Credit: Global News
Funders, February is a month to think and act on equity
Kudos to MAVA Foundation for taking the time and resources to document their evolution through three different models of decision making. Learning to Let Go, Decision-making for foundations details their relative pros and cons, and got us thinking about how to integrate more participatory approaches that we’ve been examining within TAI.   Lowell Weiss reminds funders to take this opportunity to examine your  own equity practices before asking grantees  and Janiece Evans-Page calls out funders responsibility to shift power in order to create change.
More to read this week: 
– Transparency watchdog seeks US help to tackle Pacific corruption
– Sovereign debt and human rights – brief
TAI spotlight
MacArthur Foundation invites to think about how have nonprofits changed their approach to digital communications during the pandemic. Join the conversation!
Ford Foundation: Shireen and Chris Cardona reflect on how philanthropy can do more to strengthen racial equity.Skoll Foundation invites to their 2022 World Forum for Social Entrepreneurs & Innovators, taking place online April 6-8. This FREE online event brings together a global community dedicated to addressing some of the world’s most pressing social problems. Open Society Foundations featured an interview with award-winning Syrian documentary filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia. Nyrabia explained how  “using cameras instead of guns,” can aid the pursuit of justice.
Chandler Foundation welcomed Maura Donlan as Director of Effective Philanthropy and Communications!  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

Job listings
Executive Director, Publish what you pay- March 20, 2022
Development Officer, Regional Philanthropy, World Wildlife Fund- Ongoing
Research ToR: The expected value to Kenyan authorities of citizen-generated data– March 13, 2022
Director, Donor Relations & Development, Rights and Resources Initiative-Ongoing
Business and Data Analyst Team Manager at The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) – Ongoing
Openings at I-APS – Ongoing           
Openings  at National Democratic Institute – Ongoing
Openings at The Sentry – Ongoing
Openings at Contracting Resources Group– Ongoing  
The Race Equity Culture Fellowship Ongoing
Call for Proposals!!- Development of a guide on voluntary cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and its integration into the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF)– February 22, 2022.
Program Launch Climate Policy Training Program– February 28, 2022
Soros Justice Fellowship– March 2, 2022
Se buscan periodistas para cubrir el Acuerdo de Escazú en América Latina y el Caribe– March 6, 2022
PhD Fellow, EU Tax Observatory– March 4, 2022
Pacific Islands Investigative Journalism Opportunities – Ongoing
Fellowship, The Project on Resources and Governance (PRG)– March 31, 2022
Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub & Energy and Environment
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) call for papers and articles – Open year-round
Free digital security training– Ongoing
Call for proposals: Informality, tax, and the state – Proposals accepted on a rolling basis              
Environmental Democracy- the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) 29 March 2022 – 31 March 2022
Spring 2022 Global Economic Governance Initiative Book Talk Series – February 17, 2022
2nd Cross-Border Digital Policies for Africa Knowledge Dialogue – February 22, 2022
RMI Report 2022 launch | Responsible mining: where is the industry at today? – February 23, 2022
Adopting a Movement Mindset course, Rhize– 3 Mar 2022 – 31 Mar 2022
SSRI Frontiers of Social Innovation Annual Conference –March 22-24, 2022
International Convention on  Anti-Corruption, Good Governance, and Human Rights –  April 21-22, 2022 (Boston, MA)
United Philanthropy Forum – July 18-20, 2022
SVRI Forum – September 19- 23,  2022Want to stay updated on happenings around the TPA sector, sign up for our newsletter here
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