TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Special Edition: TAI Learning Days, Mexico City, 2024

By TAI (Role at TAI)

We have a special issue of the TAI Weekly today. You first have our usual news roundup, then a deep dive into the TAI Learning Days held last week in Mexico City.

A huge thank you to all the participants in the Learning Days, who made the discussions so rich. We wanted to give a flavor of what was discussed here – a more comprehensive summary will follow in the coming weeks.


 In time for Open Gov Week, the Accountability Research Center applied open government analysis to the ‘locally-led’ agenda through: an in-depth analysis of USAID’s Colombia portfolio; how-to guides to inform public access to subaward spending data and evaluations; a global overview of access to information about projects on land and indigenous peoples; a new tool for tracking country and project level localization trends; and eight brief country portfolio overviews.

 David Szakonyi explains how corrupt officials govern differently than less corrupt ones in an autocracy in a fascinating new article.

 Researchers have developed a new method for identifying wasted subsidies and provide evidence of misallocated carbon offsets in the Clean Development Mechanism – the world’s largest carbon offset program.

 International Budget Partnership Open Budget released the latest Open Budget Survey findings, finding that global budget transparency has increased by 24% since 2008, but is still well below what is considered sufficient (a score at or above 61 out of 100). Dig into find the details for your country or region.

 James Boafo, Eric Stemn, Jacob Obadai and Philip Nti Nkrumah examine the interest in critical minerals and make their case for how the continent should deal with the demand.

In a new briefing from key organizations in the tax justice movement unpicks the OECD’s stewardship of international tax as a “litany of failure,” including failures of accountability.

 The Financial Times editorial team argue that AI “should not be a black box” – rather more corporate transparency is needed.

 A new Swissaid report finds that over 30 billion USD worth of gold was smuggled out of Africa in 2022 with the United Arab Emirates as the leading recipient.

Essential Reading

Jesse Worker and Rocío Campos explain a new platform for green accountability – get in your proposals for finance, technical assistance and strategic support to civil society organizations in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico and Senegal by June 11!



TAI convened around fifty funders, intermediaries and practitioners for two days of discussion. Our theme this year was Trust, Accountability and Inclusion for Locally-Led Social Transformation. Here are a few initial takeaways and resources to give you a taste of what we covered.

There is no shortage of powerful examples of strengthening trust, accountability and inclusion locally as featured and referenced by participants (but also shared by TAI Weekly readers – see below!) However, replicability can be a challenge as successful work is so rooted in local context. Finding ways to get to accountability involves savviness in both the technical and the political. Work at local level can be reinforced by complementary efforts at national, regional and global levels (for example, influencing international financial institutions underwriting projects that have very local impacts.)



Participants noted how many groups are working in thematically interconnected ways on the ground, responding to local needs, but that it is harder to explain or fundraise such programming. There is a complexity to fostering collaborative efforts for intersectional programming, not least as lack of shared language can get in the way of shared understanding. Practitioners urged funders to be creative in interpreting the boundaries of their thematically structured portfolios.

The current context in Mexico – we were meeting just days before elections – prompted conversation on the difference between civil society organizations and broader civil society, the need for self-reflection of the former, and the importance of assuring local resonance of program work. Broadening to discussion of civic spaces concerns in Mexico and far beyond, we heard inspiring examples of supporting civic actors who are under attack, discussed the safety and support that can come through coalitions and network effects, and worried about the emerging gender divide among the young in terms of belief in democratic values.

We explored diverse models of intermediary funding and previewed two new mappings of intermediaries – one major survey supported by the Oak Foundation and one targeting those with a track record of trust, accountability and inclusion grantmaking by TAI. Stay tuned for details of both in coming days and weeks. We talked through how labels can be unhelpful, how most organizations playing a regranting role in the Global South are very much part of an ecosystem and that the should not be instrumentalized. At the same time, participants talked to the need to keep an eye on avoiding creating competition for funding between regranters and direct implementing organizations, and encouraged consideration of alternatives, such as provision of fiscal sponsorship, that might be more appropriate in certain contexts.

Local Initiatives Advancing Trust, Accountability and Inclusion mapping – check out our new resource!

To better understand the range of exciting actions to strengthen trust, accountability and inclusion being taken around the globe, we invited you to submit examples via a survey in April 2024. We have collated them in this new map. Please note that this list is just a sample to give a taste of rich variety of local initiatives aiming to advance participatory governance through trust, accountability and inclusion. While some featured projects may be funded by a TAI member that was not a requirement. We hope to make this a living resource. If you want to add more examples to this map, please contact [email protected]

 Want to learn more? See our spreadsheet of background resources that we compiled for Learning Day participants structured around our core themes.




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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