TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|The inexorable interconnection among environment, climate and governance

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

SOMO, the Balanced Economy Project, Global Justice Now, and LobbyControl expose how the world's largest companies are exploiting monopoly control, exerting influence to the detriment of consumers, workers, and citizens.


Oxfam is also worried about corporate power - their report timed, as always, for Davos underscores a concerning wealth gap: the five richest men have doubled their fortunes since 2020. They call for breaking monopolies and taxing excess wealth.


Looking ahead, Eric Posner fears that collusion among emerging AI tech giants will lead to a concentration of “corporate political power that dwarfs anything that came before.” 


The U.N. High-Level Advisory Body on AI issued its report on "Governing AI for Humanity," sparking questions about the UN's role. Secretary-General emphasizes they don't seek leadership but advocate for a networked, inclusive, and multilevel governance system for AI, aligning with the need for diverse perspectives.


The EU has struck an agreement on anti-money laundering rules, resolving uncertainties about beneficial ownership registers - investigating civil society and media will retain “generalized” access, limiting privacy claims over transparency.


Centro Contribuye's research scrutinized companies in Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico, evaluating their commitment to transparency, good governance, and responsible use of fiscal benefits (in Spanish).


Facing challenges like newsroom raids and journalist arrests, Hong Kong Free Press, journalist Tom Grundy shares insights on the evolving press freedom situation in Hong Kong.


Women journalists in sub-Saharan Africa now have access to a pro bono factsheet for addressing disinformation and online harassment threats.

ESSENTIAL READING!

Version 6 of the Democratic Erosion Event Database is now online for download. It includes 5979 events related to democratic erosion and autocratic consolidation across 136 countries since 2000. 

FROM OUR MEMBERS 

Open Society Foundations: President Mark Malloch Brown advocates for philanthropists to embrace heretical thinking and adopt a disruptive role. He emphasizes the importance of challenging traditional norms to drive meaningful change in philanthropy.


USAID: The Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid urges USAID to take strategic actions supporting free, credible, and inclusive global elections in 2024, aligning with a crucial period when over half the world's population has the opportunity to vote.


Luminate: collaborates with Vanina Berghella, Latin America director at the International Fund for Public Interest Media, reflecting on independent journalism, the impact of artificial intelligence, and societal polarization in Argentina.

TOOLS AND TRENDS FOR FUNDERS

Navigating the complexities of commissioning evaluations poses numerous challenges. Consider these five questions to guide the evaluator selection process.


The ultra-wealthy are experimenting with novel philanthropic strategies, aiming to expedite funds to those in need, notes Avantika Chilkoti - interesting to see The Economist deep dive on philanthropic trends.


Philea collects insights from European funders discussing the impact of unrestricted funding and the cost recovery approach.


Marcus Walton, President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and recipient of a grant from Mackenzie Scott, shares key thoughts on how these resources have influenced their work over the past two years

ESSENTIAL READING

Why aren’t young Africans disrupting authoritarian regimes? Lovise Aalen and Marjoke Oosterom examine the challenges faced by a bulging youth population, and youth-targeted strategies of rulers.

FOCUSED TOPIC OF THE WEEK

It’s all interconnected: environment, climate and governance 

Amid so many pressing resource governance issues, the problem of illegal sand mining is a neglected one, but its impacts are all too real. David Taylor details how  organized crime is mining sand from rivers and coasts, such as in Morocco, are ruining ecosystems and communities. New research suggests some good news in the Mekong Delta with levels of illegal mining declining, but if you dig deeper, that drop is attributed to increased permits, which still threaten sustainability of sand reserves (and hence climate protections.)

Turning to larger-scale mining, UNIDO announce launch of the Global Alliance and Partnership for Responsible and Green Minerals with global partners and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One aspect of responsibility is clamping down on corruption risks, and a new evaluation suggests that enhancing transparency in company ownership plays a pivotal role in that regard.

Talking of information disclosure, delve into the World Resources Institute's comprehensive analysis of the Escazu Agreement, the treaty for access to environmental information. Drawing insights from case studies contributed by partners in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Saint Lucia, the report offers a nuanced examination of the agreement's impact. 

Turning to information to assess climate responses. the head of the International Finance Corporation underscores the necessity of harmonizing green taxonomies worldwide for sustainable finance, advocating for unified principles and metrics to guide these efforts. 

ESSENTIAL LISTENING!

Tune in to Sulemana Braimah's impactful Open Letter addressing President Akufo-Addo on the state of Ghana's democracy.

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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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