TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly |The Elephant in the Room: Corruption

By TAI (Role at TAI)

January 24, 2023



As usual the Davos gathering prompted release of inequality stats designed to shock. Oxfam's report for Latin America and the Caribbean does just that: for every new Latin American super-rich, there are 400,000 more people in extreme poverty; for every dollar collected in global tax revenue, only four cents comes from taxing wealth.

Perhaps progressive governments in the region will set positive precedents. Colombia’s Finance Minister announced a forthcoming tax summit in Cartagena and new Latin America initiative for a fairer tax system

Intriguingly the “patriotic millionaires” showed up in Davos in some numbers, calling for governments to tax them. Marlene Engelhorn, a multimillionaire heiress, said, we can see “the solution that is staring us all right in the face: we have to tax the ultra rich. If we care about the safety of democracy, about our communities, and our planet we have to get this done.”  

How can local activists counter conservative attacks on rights? Katie Redford worries fossil fuel companies are weaponizing the law, using litigation against local activists to silence them.

Finally, looking to a more positive future, read up on the Accountability Incubator - a creative peer learning program for young civic activists and change-makers who want to build accountability around the globe. The Accountability Incubator provides tailored, long-term and hands-on support to 100+ “accountapreneurs” from Belize to Zimbabwe.


USAID has a draft anti-corruption policy and there is still time to have a say - send written comments to the USAID Anti-Corruption Task Force inbox at [email protected]




As democracy comes under increasing pressure, what can leaders do today to strengthen democratic systems? Open Society President Mark Malloch-Brown speaks at Davos.


Highlights the power of the ”system orchestrator” in problem solving – drawing on the experiences of EYElliance.


Jorgen Thomsen, Director of Climate Solutions, discusses the awareness, consultation, and planning needed to ensure the transition to a clean energy economy and how it benefits individuals and communities who are most harmed by climate change.


Luminate welcomes the decision by the Philippines’ Court of Tax Appeals to acquit Maria Ressa of four politically motivated tax charges. A win for independent media.



A new “Power3.0” podcast episode  with Angolan journalist and anti-corruption activist, Rafael Marques, covering topics ranging from Portugal's role in Angola's kleptocracy to hope for reform in the post-dos Santos era.


How can funders support pro-democracy movements? Julie Roig offers some pointers - we particularly like her urging us to strengthen our “collective action muscles.”

In philanthropy, much has been written about the need to move to more trust-based grantmaking. Chris Cardona and Shireen Zaman from Ford’s BUILD program writethat before foundations change how they fund, they need to understand the evolving role of the program officer.

What about opening up funding practice? Dennis Arends discusses the importance of meaningful participation in philanthropy and how Porticus has been working to implement it in grant making, governance, communication, strategy and learning. (A good reminder of TAI’s library of resources on participatory strategy.)

How can foundations and philanthropic organizations apply a systems change lens to their work, and what is the unique role of philanthropy in bringing about systemic change? Hear from Indy Johar from Dark Matter Labs, Karin Häselbock from Ashoka, and Delphine Moralis form Philea.




“There is no place in development for corruption.” So notes Mouhamadou Diagne, the World Bank’s Vice President of Integrity, as he reflects on last month’s International Anti-Corruption Conference. He walks the reader through the various mechanisms the Bank deploys to counter corruption.
Meanwhile, a new European Parliament think tank report estimates that the continent could generate up to €58.5 billion per year through more effective efforts to tackle corruption. Other gains could also be expected in terms of reinforcing democracy and promoting international credibility and long-term growth.
Of course, it will help if the Parliament itself can restore its credibility on the issue after Qatargate. Parliament speaker, Roberta Metsola, wants to push through a tougher ethics package within a month and has published a list of all gifts she has received from dried sausage to a sheep statue. Meantime, ex-MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri has struck a plea deal which might lead to more revelations regarding the cash-for-influence scheme.
Corruption is also a recipe for disaster, as in the case of the recent plane crash in Nepal. Narayan Adhikari and Blair Glencorse explain why corruption was a key factor and what can be done about it.
Finally, Peter Evans likens anti-corruption to porridge – wholesome but uninspiring. He goes on to lay out his anti-corruption „priors“ and how they continue to evolve. He challenges us to lay out cards on the table similarly – what are your priors?



A new version of the Open Ownership Principles - a framework for considering the elements that influence whether the implementation of beneficial ownership transparency reforms will lead to effective ownership disclosure.


Dig into the voluminous findings from an independent evaluation on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The four main recommendations all resonate, especially that of making EITI „real“ at local level.

Have your say on the future of the Open Government Partnership? The OGP Secretariat invites you to review the draft strategy for 2023-2028, which is open for input until February 15.

Jonathan Cushing advises on ways to make the World Bank hosted Pandemic Fund more impactful with attention to transparency, participation and accountability dimensions (many points resonate with TAI’s Pandemic Governance review last year)

Kate Jones outlines the principal importance of human rights for AI governance, and recommend actions that governments, organizations, companies and individuals can take to ensure that rights are the foundation for AI governance in the future.

Read how STROIKA is working to reverse the tide of rising authoritarianism by building, resourcing, and connecting resistance movements around the globe. (We hope to have more insights ourselves after this week’s Learning Days.)



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


Analyst, Partner Support – Luminate
Senior Advisor on Illicit Financial Flows, U4

Africa Senior Manager, Open Contracting Partnership

Climate Finance Consultancy, Construction Sector Transparency Initiative

Procurement and Corruption Consultancy, Construction Sector Transparency Initiative
Policy Analyst Positions - Kenya and Ghana, Global Financial Integrity


How transparent are development finance institutions? 9.30am EST, 25 January 2023, Washington DC

Conference on AI & Human Rights - Conference on AI and Human Rights, 26 January, 2023

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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