TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Strengthening Trust & Accountability in 2024

By TAI (Role at TAI)
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What’s new?

Widespread citizen anger continues to drive protests in close to half the countries in the world, with political overreach, economic pain, and violent conflicts serving as common triggers. In this year-in-review commentary, Tom Carothers and Brendan Hartnett analyze the key trends that drove global protests in 2023.


Dan Paget analyzes the public messages of two democracy movements: Chadema (Tanzania) and the Citizens Coalition for Change (Zimbabwe), and argues that they each articulate a homegrown vision of what he terms “anti-authoritarian (and democratic) populisms.”


On 15 December 2023, Zambia signed its Access to Information Act into law, following years of public debate about the importance of such legislation. The Centre for Law and Democracy offer their analysis.


President Biden signed the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) as part of the annual defense spending bill. FEPA now makes it a crime for any foreign official to demand or accept a bribe from an American or American company, or any person while in the territory of the United States, in connection with obtaining or retaining business.


In late November 2023, hundreds of proponents of democracy from across Asia convened at the inaugural Democracy Action Partnership (DAP) event to identify a way forward for ending violence against women in politics. Westminster Foundation for Democracy launched the DAP with support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) as an official side event to the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum.


Audrey Gaughran reflects on big oil’s exit from Nigeria, selling up to local companies, and highlights how civil society groups in the Niger Delta have agreed a set of ‘National Principles for Responsible Petroleum Industry Divestment’ that demand robust action by the government to prevent international companies from leaving behind substantial social, economic, and environmental costs.


Global Fishing Watch sheds new insight on the scale of hidden illegal fishing. According to the report, roughly 75% of industrial fishing is currently undisclosed. Governments must require public vessel tracking to sustainably manage wild ocean fisheries.


Carme Artigas, James Manyika, Ian Bremmer, and Mrietje Schaake reflect on what global AI governance must do in 2024.

ESSENTIAL LISTENING!

Listen to this thought-provoking interview with anarchist Sophie Scott-Brown, who takes anarchist ideas and practice (like no perm

FROM OUR MEMBERS 

TAI SECRETARIAT: With support from TAI, RUSI has been considering the governance of the Financial Action Task Force and options to improve transparency, legitimacy and effectiveness - read the brand new report


HEWLETT FOUNDATION: COP28 resulted in milestone agreements; their impact will depend on implementation. Read the statement from Jonathan Pershing, Environment Program Director and former U.S. Climate Envoy, on the historic agreements coming out of COP28.


USAID: Released their new draft USAID Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Policy for review and comments by no later than 5:00 p.m. EST, January 15, 2024. The goal of this policy is to optimize USAID’s support to partners to bolster governance that advances the public interest and delivers inclusive development. 


LUMINATE: In 2023, Luminate commissioned its second Grantee Perception Report. This blog offers additional lessons to the “10 Lessons Learned” published in 2020.  To survey its grantee partners, Luminate commissioned CEP through the Grantee Perception Report (GPR).

TOOLS AND TRENDS FOR FUNDERS

Rhize offers learnings from over a decade of supporting social movements - while written for NGOs, it has insights for funders of movements, too.


Lynn Murphy and Alnoor Ladha present a compelling argument, emphasizing that the time has come for a significant shift in taxation policies.


Philanthropy should remain non-partisan, as the sector is not democratically legitimized, but foundations should never be impartial or hide behind the pretext of neutrality, argue Henry Alt-Haaker and Susanne Zels. On the contrary, it is important to actively advocate for the values and principles that guide their vision of society.


Recent analysis of Google Trends by two political scientists shows that as human rights are attacked within countries, especially in the Global South, public interest in rights issues only grows. The CEO of the Fund for Global Human Rights, Gabriella Bucher, argues grassroots activists are filling the gaps and delivering change in their communities.

TOOLS FOR FUNDERS DATABASE

ESSENTIAL WATCHING!

Navigating the Just Transition in Europe - a series of webinars with lessons from Spain, Ukraine, and the Western Balkans region. 

FOCUSED TOPIC OF THE WEEK

2024 promises to be a significant one for tax (and maybe justice)

The much-anticipated global minimum tax rule took effect on January 1st. This rule, designed to discourage the use of tax havens, represents a significant step towards tax justice. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that the implementation of this rule could generate an additional $220 billion in revenue, providing a substantial financial boost to governments worldwide.

However, while the global minimum tax rule marks a milestone in international tax cooperation, it is intriguing to note that a relevant European Union commissioner celebrated the move without mentioning the upcoming United Nations tax convention. This convention, set to be negotiated in the current year, could introduce additional measures to address global tax issues. The omission raises questions about the potential impact of the UN tax convention on the global tax landscape.

If you want a reminder of what we know and what should we do about tax justice, Alex Cobham explains everything in this new book. You can also watch the video launch.

Of course, it is domestic taxes that most impact the social contract and so interesting to read new research on Ghana's tax system. For those comfortable navigating the technical intricacies of tax structures, the study underscores the progressive nature of Ghana's income tax and indirect tax system. This progressivity plays a crucial role in reducing societal inequality, a significant concern in many developing economies.

Finally, if you are in the mood for a little tax-related fund, Tax Justice Network offer the 'Tax Dodgers Rules' for Monopoly aiming to educate players on the methods employed by the rich and powerful to abuse tax systems and conceal their wealth. However, the game comes with a cautionary note – accumulating extreme wealth may lead to societal collapse, emphasizing the potential consequences of unchecked greed.


JOBS

CALLS

  • The International Advisory Panel on Biodiversity Credits brings together expertise to increase investment through high integrity nature markets and is running a Call for Views as basis for guidance development. Deadline January 12th

  • Reporting Democracy offers reporting grants  for journalists from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Deadline: Jan 30, 2024.

  • The 2024 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting is open and accepting submissions - deadline January 31, 2024.

  • The DAC’s Network on Governance has launched a process to develop a set of “Principles for Relevant and Effective Support to Media and the Information Environment”. Read the principles in English and French and send comments on this draft no later than 9 February 2024 by email to DCD.GovNet@oecd.org.

  • Applications are now open for the second cohort of the Data Values Advocates program, an initiative that empowers grassroots and community activists to shape a fairer data future. 

  • AFP offers free training in digital investigation and electoral disinformation through a self-directed course designed to combat the challenges of misinformation.

  • The World Justice Project launches the World Justice Challenge 2024. This year's theme is "The Rule of Law Foundation of Democracy," with cash awards of $20,000 USD each for five promising projects.

CALENDAR 

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  contact@transparency-initiative.org or

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