TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|How do we champion digital rights?

By TAI (Role at TAI)
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WHAT'S NEW?

The 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index has been released, prompting the usual debates over how it is used. 34 countries saw a decline, with Turkey experiencing the most substantial drop at -11.


Surely no one wants to be subject to rule by thieves? Perhaps fewer will as the National Democratic Institute and Open Government Partnership release the Committing to Combat Kleptocracy: A Guide for OGP Members


Will Dunn explores the City of London's role in sustaining Russian oil flow despite sanctions, not least the role of insurers - for example, one solitary UK insurer has underwritten over €20 billion in Russian oil since the onset of the Ukraine war.


A former global tax head at Freshfields law firm received a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence for his involvement in a German tax fraud case. Will it shift professional behavior? As Saila Stausholm details in this thread, tax advisors in the OECD are a big part of the problem of tax avoidance.


The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly calls on member states to unite against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). Based on a report by Stefan Schennach, the Parliament urges European governments to dismiss unfounded litigation, require proof that actions are not SLAPPs, streamline proceedings against a single publication, and impose fines for abusive lawsuits.  


Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, advocates for inclusive governance in navigating the energy transition.


Anjan Sundaram explains the importance of supporting Indigenous communities in Mexico as they protect vital ecosystems, and calls on a range of actors to do more, including stock exchanges that can help communities “protect their lands from exploitative corporate interests.”


Discover insights in the recent publication, "¿Necesitamos un plan de acción de género para el Acuerdo Escazú?" (In Spanish). The document addresses barriers and inequalities faced by women in environmental matters, providing valuable insights for initiating strategic work in this direction.


Despite being sanctioned in 2019, Try Pheap, a notorious figure in illegal logging in Cambodia, is benefiting from a loophole in the freeze on new mining operations in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. 


Researchers provide a framework to assist accountability advocates and practitioners in gauging the traction of their work. The framework aids in interpreting government responses to accountability efforts, offering guidance on how to proceed effectively.

FROM OUR MEMBERS 

FORD FOUNDATION: Luc Athayde-Rizzaro and Bess Rothenberg from the Ford Foundation share insights into three impactful shifts made to positively influence their relationships with grantees. 


LUMINATE: This assessment suggests that executive coaching proves to be an effective tool for supporting leaders and their teams. However, it emphasizes the importance of considering individual factors before investing in coaching.


OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION: Invite applications for a two-day scenario planning workshop on the implications of AI on the information ecosystem. 40 participants will be selected through an open process. Individuals can apply by submitting a 300-word scenario envisioning the future of AI-mediated journalism. Apply by February 23, 2024.


MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: On Nigeria's Co-Directors, Kole Shettima and Erin Sines discuss the conclusion of the On Nigeria strategy and express their aspirations for the enduring impact on the anti-corruption legacy as the locally-driven movement in Nigeria continues to flourish. Also, Connected Development reveals #ProjectTrustNG, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, addressing the broken trust between Nigerian citizens and the government. 


PACKARD FOUNDATION: Is seeking a part-time, remote Congo Basin Advisor for its Global Climate Initiative (GCI). Responsibilities include establishing networks, strategy, and grantmaking in the region, ensuring alignment with GCI and FPC goals. The role involves relationship-building with grantees, strategy implementation, and engagement in monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Reporting to the GCI Director, the Advisor represents the Foundation in the Congo Basin, coordinates with headquarters, and collaborates with GCI Program Officers and regional advisors. Interested candidates can apply by February 29, 2024, by submitting an expression of interest, resume, and daily consultant rate to gci@packard.org.


ESSENTIAL WATCHING

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk's addresses the integration of human rights into the international financial system at the Sixth Intersessional Meeting on Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda.

TOOLS AND TRENDS FOR FUNDERS

Mark Suzman, CEO of the Gates Foundation, calls on the wealthy to boost their philanthropic contributions, stressing the importance of "greater urgency, increased resources, and innovative ideas from across the globe" in light of current circumstances.


Vu Le emphasizes the significance of addressing "crappy funding practices" (CFP). Le encourages the identification of foundations engaged in practices that unnecessarily drain nonprofits' time and energy, diverting focus from pressing societal issues.


The #ShiftThePower Global Summit Report has been released, capturing the outcomes of the summit held in December 2023. During this event, changemakers from across the globe convened to establish innovative connections among those actively shaping and testing people-centered practices. 


Are you a systems change funder? How do you measure the impact of such efforts in complex contexts? Søren Vester Haldrup offers insights on how to do just that, drawing on two years of running the M&E Sandbox

ESSENTIAL READING

Fadhel Kaboub argues that Africa must reject the Mattei Plan developed at the recent Italy-Africa Summit, and not risk being caught up in a model of greenwashed colonial extraction for Europe's growth and security


FOCUSED TOPIC OF THE WEEK
What’s cutting edge in the fight to advance digital rights?

This week we explore the intersection of digital freedom, disinformation countermeasures, and data protection. Want to know what’s cutting edge in the fight to advance digital rights? The applications to the  Digital Freedom Fund's recent round of funding offer some useful insight on where new ideas are centering.

While the Digital Freedom Fund round focuses on Europe, needs are just as acute in other regions. For example, Access Now’s new report makes the case for Strengthening Data Protection in Africa. Authors Bridget Andere and Megan Kathure, delve into critical aspects necessary for the effective implementation of data protection laws in the region, emphasizing the need to protect individuals' rights in the face of advancing technology. 

Turning more to the media landscape and the threat of mis and disinformation, Jon Bateman and Dean Jackson have assembled a comprehensive and evidence-based guide to major proposals geared towards countering disinformation. Jon and Dean draw on empirical research and real-world data on ten diverse kinds of policy interventions, including fact-checking, foreign sanctions, algorithmic adjustments, and counter-messaging campaigns. Their message on considering the full range of possible responses ties well with TAI’s call for a holistic approach to building healthy information ecosystems (stay tuned for our interactive systems tool).

HAVE YOUR SAY!

Your input is needed in this survey by the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law Stichting (ECNL). The instrument aims to map the challenges and experiences of civil society organizations and their activists in accessing financial services during exile or relocation.

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