TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Perspectives on Accountability Worldwide

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

People want governments to involve them in solving society’s biggest challenges, but how best to do it? Peter Baeck offers suggestions building on findings of a big survey on citizen engagement preferences in 6 EU countries.


What is the state of open knowledge on China? The Global China Lab has pulled together knowledge on both its domestic and global dimensions.


Former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt lays out challenges in the fight against online disinformation and argues that “Only by showing how decisions are made and holding people to account can we build trust.”


Melody Musoni reviews the state of AI governance and argues that “African participation in global AI governance should not be out of tokenism, but, rather, African voices should have an impact in ensuring that AI promotes socio-econoic development” in the region.


New research on how multilateral development banks measure their success reveals “basic weaknesses in transparency and accountability, when shareholders are confronting major decisions on whether to expand MDB financial capacity and how to boost their effectiveness.”


In infrastructure investment, how do you minimize corruption and mismanagement? A new report highlights the evolving challenges in infrastructure delivery, characterized by an expanding and diverse set of stakeholders, blurred lines of accountability, and increasing political contestation. Check out recommendations including empowering citizens, and supporting companies in maintaining integrity amid a changing landscape.


Elspeth Barry draws attention to the lack of transparency in revealing who truly controls British firms despite legal requirements for firms to disclose their 'People with Significant Control' (PSCs).


How much of a risk are shell companies for business integrity? A significant one based on Moody’s Shell Company Indicator, a recently launched subscription-based application that analyzes data of more than 472 million companies and millions of individuals designed to identify shell companies that are potentially being misused for illegal purposes.


The US Treasury has updated its risk assessment for money laundering that includes misuse of legal entities and lack of transparency in real estate transactions. Treasury flags complicit merchants and professionals as well as compliance weaknesses in some regulated financial institutions, emphasizing the ongoing battle against financial crimes and the global nature of the challenges. That’s a topic likely to come up in our conversation this week hosted with RUSI on the future of the Financial Action Task Force.

FROM OUR MEMBERS

HEWLETT FOUNDATION: Ousseynou Ngom offers fascinating insights into their findings, utilization, and outlining upcoming steps re implementation of the Inclusive Governance strategy, with similar insights for Kenya and Mexico to be published later this year.


USAID: is hosting its TAI Democracy, Rights and Governance Learning Forum with sessions starting on February 15th.


OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS: President Mark Malloch-Brown speaks at the Social Change Initiative conference on how donors can help counter violent conflict and polarization.


PACKARD FOUNDATION: is seeking a Congo Basin Advisor for its Global Climate Initiative Submit expression of interest (no longer than one page) to gci@packard.org by February 29.

FUTURE GAZING!

The UNDP has introduced a trend report and theme cards designed to assist its colleagues in understanding the evolving landscape of development in 2024. Interesting to see the prominence of governance-related issues from the trust deficit to need for accountability in finance to governance gaps for new tech like geoengineering. 

TOOLS AND TRENDS FOR FUNDERS

Are Donors Taking the Journalism Crisis Seriously? Read this recent analysis of official aid to media from 2010 to 2019 from the Center for International Media Assistance. At TAI we prepare to release a more comprehensive and complementary report on philanthropic funding for information ecosystems very soon. Stay tuned!


A mapping of Independent Grantmaking Organizations for Civil Society in the areas of socio-environmental justice and community development in Brazil is now available in English. It provides an overview of 31 organizations in different regions of the country.


How can philanthropy effectively support narratives of liberation? Mandy Van Deven and Jody Myrum offer their take - one key message is that any narrative process should be grounded in relational organizing (instead of being seen as a technical process).


Check out a new review of the state of US philanthropic funding for democracy. It’s growing but enough? Alongside this new funding overview, what do we know works for deomcracy support? A new paper finds that the goals of interventions and assumed theories of change remain underspecified, and highlights evidence gaps that need to be filled.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Apply for the Green Accountability Technology Accelerator – a new effort from our partners at the Global Partnership for Social Accountability to test and scale innovative tech solutions that bridge existing gaps in transparency, accountability, and participation in climate finance. The hope is to enable an efficient and trustworthy climate finance ecosystem.  Apply by March 21.

FOCUSED TOPIC OF THE WEEK

Global Perspectives on Government Accountability: Unveiling Challenges in Brazil, Kenya, Senegal, and the United States

Brazil's Supreme Court has recently come under scrutiny as it takes on Transparency International, raising concerns about the potential dismantling of responses to the Lava Jato scandal and the targeting of civil society monitors. The move has ignited a debate on the balance between government transparency and accountability, shedding light on the challenges faced in combating corruption.

Switching continents, the Fund for Global Rights has supported research exploring the Kenyan government's use of repressive national security and counterterrorism measures, highlighting a concerning erosion of fundamental freedoms and a threat to human rights defenders. This underscores the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between national security measures and safeguarding individual liberties.

Turning to West Africa, Senegal has drawn attention from the international community due to increasing threats to civic space and personal freedoms, only heightened now with protests at the official delay to scheduled elections. E. Gyimah-Boadi from neigboring Ghana reflects on the state of democracy in the region amid such moves but remains optimistic, noting, “Average Africans desire to live under a democratic, accountable government, but their leaders are failing to meet these expectations.”

How to build on those desires for democratic governance? Joseph Siegle urges efforts to assert a more positive vision in order to counter authoritarian narratives that currently serve as a vital tool to amplify autocrats’ influence.

 ESSENTIAL READING!

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article3.org, in collaboration with other partners, has curated and published a digital Collection of Essays on the future of the pursuit of freedom, justice, dignity, and equity for all.

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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 ymgarcia@taicollaborative.org or

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