TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly |Learn From The Bad Guys!

By TAI (Role at TAI)
bad guys.jpg

January 31, 2023

P.S. Remember, TAI doesn't own the photos. All photos used in this weekly have a link to their source.



We start today with the suggestion to learn from those we are seeking to stop. Don Griswold states that tax justice activists should manage judicial precedents as tax avoiders do.

Going big picture, Jayati Ghosh reiterates calls for governments to overhaul their outdated and regressive tax systems, while Alex Cobham lays outwhat a global body to clamp down on tax dodging might look like. Hopefully those shaping the new UN tax mandate are reading up!

What happens when you mix cryptocurrency and tax haven? The results are predictably not always pretty. Adam Tooze describes how the Bahamas representshow global capitalism can go very right, and very wrong, at the same time.

Julia Wallace and Ilya Lozovsky outline how the recent European Court of Justice ruling on beneficial ownership favoring privacy/secrecy reopens the floodgates to dark money. “Denying the public the right to know who is buying up the most expensive real estate in their countries, or taking their politicians on yacht cruises, isn’t wise or moral.”

Though often treated as a niche policy concern, rather than a strategic national security interest, Matthew Page and Jodi Vittori argue that kleptocracy must figure more prominently in democracies’ foreign and domestic policymaking calculus.

Having read the new book that we recently featured on a decade of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Toby McIntosh summarizes and digs into the research emphasis on OGP’s “indirect pathways of change“.

Staying with open government, Victoria Gallo Llorente, Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity of Argentina, asks how can we mainstream gender and diversity perspectives into open government action plans?


In the latest episode of Power, People & Planet, Global Greengrants Fund CEO Laura García, together with Naomi Klein and Georgia Hirsty, dives into the connections between intersectionality and climate movements.



Read how Luminate’s narrative change work is about shifting power. It’s about challenging the stereotypes that hold society back and supporting underrepresented groups to own the narratives about themselves and the conditions that shape their lives.


Kathy Im, Director of Journalism and Media, discusses the work to counter dis- and misinformation and support inclusive news and narratives for a well-informed public.


For over six decades, the Ford Foundation has been supporting the aspirations of Brazilians. They remain committed to bolstering the strength and resilience of the people, including grantees, who have worked tirelessly to protect the rights and values enshrined in the nation’s 1988 constitution.


Photo by CJ Plansponsor

Do we still need institutional foundations? Philip Roje considers the case for them.

Last week we featured reflections on the evolving role of the program officer from the BUILD team at Ford. This week, David Sasaki (of member Hewlett Foundation) offers his take. Watch and listen.

Jeffrey Cain argues that it is time to end the charitable tax exemption in the United States that underpins US institutional funders and with it the conflict of interest “baked into big philanthropy.“

Resonant with the TAI learning days, new research on enabling civic space in the Arab region notes the inconsistent growth of civil society is correlated to the shrinking civic space, lack of sustainable funding and the incidence of crises. The challenges of power dynamics in funding and excessive donor reporting requirements also sadly remain a barrier to civil society resilience.


Qatargate, Corruption And A ‘Culture Of Impunity’. Nicholas Aiossa, Deputy Director of Transparency International EU discusses the bribery and money laundering scandal that’s shaken the European Parliament and how to clean up its ‘culture of impunity’.



Just like movie awards season, we are at that time of year in the governance space when there is a flood of new indices and rankings. In fact, the annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index should be released just as this Weeklygoes to press.
However, the 2022 Ibrahim Index of African Governance is already out. Dig into the findings and hear the take of Mo Ibrahim on what the latest data tells us.

The results of the 2023 DFI Transparency Index were also released last week. They form the first ranking of the world’s leading Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).  What did they find? Overall, DFIs are not transparent enough. This is especially the case for non-sovereign (private sector) operations. Plus, DFIs are not providing evidence of impact, data regarding mobilisation, or proof of accountability to communities.

However, progress is being made – many of the DFIs included in the Index have committed time and resources to improve the transparency of their operations.


Getting Someone Else to Do the Task: When Accountability Initiatives Create Shadow States Instead of Building Bureaucratic Capacity. Syeda ShahBano Ijaz points to lessons from new research by Jessica Rich that raises interesting questions on the implications of anti-corruption and governance controls.


Ranked first (again) among European nations when it comes to resilience against misinformation, Finland is testing new ways to teach its studentsabout propaganda.

The Global Network Initiatives shares its commentson UNESCO‘s draft "Guidance for regulating digital platforms: a multistakeholder approach" which will be featured at the upcoming conference on Internet for Trust: Regulating Digital Platforms for Information as a Public Good in Paris, 2023.

Packard foundation has a new US democracy, rights and governance initiative. Read what head Kelly Born is hoping to achieve.

The new SIRGE coalition (securing Indigenous Peoples' rights in the green economy) met in person for the first time and shaped bold plans to support a just energy transition where Free Prior Informed Consent is at the center for Indigenous Peoples'.

Chile rejects a $2.5 billion iron ore mining project due to environmental risks. This builds on Serbia’s recent rejection of a lithium mining investment for similar reasons. It will be interesting to track the tension between the demand for minerals, especially for the energy transition, and the need to protect communities and the local environment.



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


Transparency and Accountability Senior Specialist- Civil Society Support, El Salvador, Counterpart International

Strategic Partnership Manager- SCOPEinsight 

Director, Strategic Communications- CRDF Global

Safeguarding Administrative Coordinator- World Vision

U.S. Personal Services Contractor (U.S. PSC) Stabilization Advisor – Somalia, GS-13- USAID SOMALIA

Movement Operations Manager (Protection)- Yemen



The Open Society Foundations' Justice Initiative is currently recruiting summer interns in London, Washington DC/ New York, Brussels, and Berlin.

Call for proposals for mini-grants to support research on ideas/data on governance, inclusion or the impact of data in the Global South, Global Data Barometer.


Internet for Trust: Regulating Digital Platforms for Information as a Public Good, UNESCO Global Conference, February 21-23

Skoll World Forum, 12-14 April, 2023

Rights Con 2023, June 5-8, 2023

EITI Global Conference, Dakar, June 2023

Michael Jarvis,

TAI's Executive Director

We’d love to hear from you on how we can further improve TAI Weekly to better serve your needs in program management on the transparency, accountability, improved grantmaking and civic space. Please direct your feedback to  [email protected] or


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