TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Wake Up Call

By TAI (Role at TAI)
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Municipal governments in Chihuahua and Guanajuato saw the recent elections in Mexico as a chance to show that democracy can work well. They aimed to make their policy design processes more transparent, participatory, and inclusive.

Amanda Clarke and Sean Boots take advantage of disclosed procurement data to make the case for reform of federal IT procurement, without which “any attempts to drive forward meaningful digital reform in the Government of Canada are bound to fail.”

A new study finds that public participation in food assistance programs boosts perceptions of efficiency, equity, and effectiveness. Some welcome evidence that involving the public leads to higher approval and comfort with program implementation.

Howard French discusses the empty promise of Africa’s oil and gas boom - yes, governance weaknesses are part of the issue, but far from all.

Useful recommendations on strengthening access to information regarding climate change and human rights - a submission to the UN from Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Daniel Calingaert argues that it is past time to dismantle the global system that lets the rich hide their wealth.

Open Ownership launched a new version of the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard that helps anyone generate adequate, accurate, and up-to-date data about who owns, controls, or benefits from corporate vehicles.

The CEO of the Science Based Targets Initiative, backed by philanthropy and many major civil society organizations, has resigned amid a backlash of the Initiative’s approval of carbon offsets in meeting net zero climate pledges. The boundaries of what counts as “greenwashing” remain far from set.previous year. 

Despite the ongoing war, Ukraine is making great progress on its anti-corruption agenda. However, the U4 team suggest the need to go deeper, introducing the idea of "constructive prevention," and offering recommendations to strengthen the social foundations supporting these efforts.

This report by Médecins Sans Frontières examines how the biomedical industry hides crucial information about lifesaving medicines, diagnostic tests, and vaccines. They recommend improving transparency and accountability to ensure equitable access to medical products and services.

Panama’s new president, José Raúl Mulino, has sparked controversy by calling the Panama Papers investigation a "hoax" after a judge acquitted 28 defendants of related money laundering charges. Legal experts are raising alarms over the decision.


Dan Honig’s new book Mission Driven Bureaucrats: Empowering People To Help Governments Do Better, challenges conventional wisdom and sparks a vital conversation about the power of purpose in public service. “Imagine a world where government workers are not just faceless cogs in a vast bureaucratic machine but passionate individuals dedicated to making a real difference”.


MacArthur Foundation: had a wonderful learning session for partners of the On Nigeria program reflecting on case studies of building local accountability and how those mesh with the insights gathered by Jonathan Gaventa and his colleagues at learning Partner, IDS. Stay tuned for many learning outputs from the program in the year ahead.

Open Society Foundation: President Binaifer Nowrojee analyzes how Kenyan President William Ruto, amid economic crisis and protests, resorted to brutal repression, damaging his reputation and Kenya’s democracy.

Ford Foundation: convened international leaders around the risks of polarization to democracy and the importance of collaboration. Learn more about the Global Initiative on Polarization, a joint project with the Institute for Integrated Transitions, and the partnership platform with Economist Impact: The Path to Depolarization

Packard Foundation:highlights this conversation with Kelly Born, Democracy, Rights, and Governance Director, to learn more about the vision, strategy, and approaches behind this new initiative 


Looking for new ideas and concepts on political innovation for depolarization? This course featuring renowned experts like María López, Juan Martínez, and Yanina Welp, will delve into understanding affective polarization and explore strategies for political leadership, the role of civil society and media, and institutional approaches to depolarization.


Kate Lord and Janae Philips makes the case for yielding power to youth, arguing that making the leap into youth-led advocacy campaigns is a powerful way to walk the talk. 

Sarah Durieux and Professor Nicolas Duvoux argued that philanthropy exercises power and influences political decisions, making it inherently political. To their minds, neutrality in philanthropy is impossible as actions and inactions are political stances. What do you think?

Intermediaries and fiscal sponsors are vital in philanthropy, connecting donor resources to marginalized communities by pooling funds, providing support, and absorbing risks. However, to be truly empowering, Phoebe So, argues they must address power dynamics and administrative burdens that can exploit grassroots groups. (TAI’s recent Learning Days revealed similar concerns - stay tuned for our report!)

This has to be a wake-up call.’ Hanna Surmatz, Head of Policy at Philea, warns about theconsequences of the recent EU elections: ‘The anti-democratic and anti-EU forces are gaining influence and this creates risks to our European core values such as democracy, rule of law, and fundamental rights and with that also to civil society and philanthropy space.’


Catch up on all the recordings and summaries of conference sessions at the On Think Tanks conference where there was much discussion of bottom-up accountability, trust building and identifying shared values. TAI attended these conversations. See our thoughts here.


Global Repression 2.0 in Myanmar and Latin America

In both Myanmar and Latin America, authoritarian regimes are intensifying their efforts to suppress dissent and maintain control through digital surveillance and censorship. In Myanmar, following the February 2021 coup, the military junta has leveraged Chinese technology to severely restricting access to information and free expression. This includes blocking social media, monitoring communications, and using advanced systems like Tiangou Secure Gateway (TSG) and Cyber Narrator to decrypt web traffic and track VPN usage, resulting in arbitrary arrests and further repression.

Similarly, in Latin America and the Caribbean, authoritarian regimes have a long history of using political imprisonment to silence opposition and dissent. Countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela continue to employ arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and torture to stifle any opposition. Despite the commitments made by the Inter-American Democratic Charter, political violence and human rights abuses remain rampant. These regimes often target human rights defenders and civil society leaders, especially during periods of social unrest, using internet shutdowns, imprisonment and intimidation to maintain their grip on power.

The patterns of repression in both regions highlight the urgent need for a coordinated international response to demand accountability and reinforce local efforts for democratic governance.


Executive Director - Basel Institute of Governance- July 12, 2024

Senior Policy Office - Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)- July 28, 2024

Philanthropic Partnerships Lead (UK) - Global Greengrants Fund- July 19, 2024

Programme Director- Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust- July 14, 2024

Senior Project Assistant- OSCE

Citizen Lab - Informatics Security Analyst and Network Administrator

CEO - Patchwork Foundation

Associate - Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Human Rights Lead - Open AI

Administrators (AD) in the field of Economics - European Commission - Deadline: 9th July 

Programme Assistant Coordinator (Eastern Europe) - European Endowment for Democracy (EED): Deadline: 20th June


CIVITATES call for proposals for CSOs working in France and Ireland on the national implementation of the DSA and other EU regulations. To help applicants, an info session will be held on July 9, 2024 from 2 PM. Deadline is September 9, 2024, 11 PM CET

AFP launches master certificates for online courses on tackling misinformation 

WINGS call for proposals #LiftUpPhilanthropy Fund (LUP Fund). Deadline is July 31st, 2024, 

The Digital Freedom Fund - open call for grant applications for 2024, deadline is July 23.

​​WINGS is offering two fellowships: The Latin America & the Caribbean fellow will support our network in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Network & Membership fellow will support the Networks team in daily work and efforts to expand the WINGS network. Apply by 19 July 2024.

Learn to investigate environmental crimes in the Amazon. Free course for journalists, communicators, and those interested in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru (Spanish). (July 23-25)

Apply now for the 2024-2025 Penn Kemble Forum on Democracy. For rising foreign policy professionals in Washington, DC. Ideal for candidates from government, think tanks, media, private, and non-profit sectors. Deadline is July 24.

Grants available to investigate fossil fuel industry activities - Cross-border teams of at least two journalists and/or news outlets in Europe, deadline is July 25.

Applications Open for Targeted Universalism Community of Practice - Seed Collaborative and the Belonging Lab, in partnership with the Othering and Belonging Institute- Application deadline is July 30. 

The Safeguarding Carbon Markets Challenge is live! Apply with a 4-page concept note and budget to enhance transparency in carbon markets. Deadline is August 15.

The Changemaker Authors Cohort supports full-time movement activists and social justice practitioners to complete books that create deep, durable narrative change that restructures the way people feel, think, and respond to the world. Submission deadline: August 15, 2024

MacArthur announced the launch of a new round of its 100&Change competition deadline of August 15, 2024.

Call for Proposals for the World Bank Annual Meetings 2024 Civil Society Policy Forum is now open! Deadline is August 19.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting proposals for regular grants (up to $10,000) and seed grants (up to $2,500). Deadlines: Sept. 9 for regular grants and Sept. 20 for seed grants, both at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.


The 2024 Grantmakers Summit: Strategic Philanthropy in a Dynamic Era, 8-9 July, Nairobi 

Virtual launch of "Global Funding Trend Analysis on Indigenous Peoples Philanthropy” - 9 July, 2024

Virtual launch of “Leaders and Stewards: Global Analysis of Funding to Indigenous Women, 10 July, 2024 

CS Fund Seminar #3: Feminist Praxis, Jul 16, 2024 6:00 PM CEST 

Aid data, impact, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Launch of the 2024 Aid Transparency Index- July 16, 2024

Political Economy Analysis for Climate Action course starting October 2024 - The Policy Practice - Participants can register here by 20 September, 2024

América Abierta (opengovpartnership.org), 3 December 2024

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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