TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Warning signs for Civic Space?

By TAI (Role at TAI)


From building more reliable and comprehensive institutional environments to promoting trust among stakeholders, Fredy Martinez explains how CoSTBogota is enhancing infrastructure transparency.

International AI governance enshrines assumptions from the more well-resourced Global North. Aubra Anthony, Lakshmee Sharma, and Elina Noor argue that these efforts must adapt to better account for the range of harms AI incurs globally.

The growing movement for direct budgeting in Mexico offers Indigenous organizations a model for financial autonomy, details Angel Gabriel Cabrera Silva.

Using recently leaked property records from Dubai, the Dubai Unlocked investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and a host of media partners offer fresh insights into how the city's real estate market enables illicit networks involved in activities ranging from drug trafficking to fueling the war in Ukraine. Dig into the C4ADS Dubai property database.

Sol Picciotto lays out what he thinks should guide the emerging UN tax convention, learning from past debates.

Yeun Yeun Ang argues crony capitalism seen in China is not so different from that in the US during the Gilded Age, and advocates for a more objective assessment of corruption in development.

Transparency International has analyzed nearly 80 cases of climate corruption globally, revealing corrupt behaviors, enabling factors, and the adverse impacts of these cases while providing recommendations to stakeholders responsible for managing climate funds.

We are intrigued by the concept of “accountability sinks” (where decision-making is delegated to a rule book rather than a person) as outlined by Dan Davies in his new book The Unaccountability Machine. As reviewer Felix Martin details, the author extends this to market mechanisms, for example, the accountability sink that is limited liability.

The 2024 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing outlines the U.S. government's efforts to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, setting priorities for the next two years to improve laws, regulations, and tools necessary to combat illicit finance effectively.


With People Powered and the Open Government Partnership, we held our Learning Webinar on Digital Democracy Innovations. We are excited to have created a space for discussion between civil society, funders, and government officials working at the frontiers of digital democracy. Stay tuned for more products, but here is everything you need to catch up on the discussions:


USAID: is launching a first-of-its-kind initiative for the agency — Powered by the People (PxP) — supporting non-violent organizing and social movement work with unprecedented flexible and core support. Implemented by PartnersGlobal, the project has obligated close to $4.3 million in unrestricted funds to local and regional civil society organizations in its first six months of implementation. 

LUMINATE:  Why is it important to have more diverse women in spaces of power for democracy in Latin America? How is AI beginning to play a role in the political participation efforts by women and underrepresented groups? Explore these questions and more at the Luminate forum with EL PAÍS América, 'Mujeres al poder, representación política y tecnología en elecciones'.

TAI: We are excited to welcome Leah Eryenyu as our new Gender Just Economy Learning Community Lead! Leah brings amazing expertise and a real passion for Economic Justice. We're thrilled to have her join our team and can't wait to see all the great work we'll do together. 


Civitates’ 2023 annual report gives voice to the people the fund has supported over the past year to protect and promote democracy and civic space across the EU, but also flags the huge challenges facing democracy, the rule of law and civic space in Europe. 

Melinda French Gates, following her departure from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, could establish one of the top 10 grant-making organizations in the U.S. with her $12.5 billion. She will likely continue her focus on gender equality via Pivotal Ventures. 

Lakshmi Sundaram, reflects on participating in Co-Impact’s design workshop with partners from Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, and Nigeria, focusing on creating change at scale. Discussions highlighted the need for building solidarity, working at scale (vs scaling up) and applying feminist perspectives.

Lucia Nader writes about regenerative activism. To revitalize human rights organizations in the face of external threats, she makes the case for internal work to transform power relations and support activist strength and creativity. 


Elections in Mexico are fast approaching - the last episode of "Who is Voting in 2024?" looks into how ongoing violence affects Mexico's democracy and the election. With Sandra Ley and Javier Aparicio. 


Civic Space concerns, weaponized transparency and the case for collective protection

Despite continued protests, Georgia’s parliament passed a highly controversial foreign agent law that forces NGOs to disclose funding sources. The President has now vetoed the law. While we wait to see what happens next, the debates are certainly a stark reminder of a trend that TAI noted some years ago in our Distract, Divide and Detach report detailing how governments had started using transparency and accountability arguments to constrain CSOs. The trend continues to this day, and the TAI report author, Hans Gutbrod, based in Tbilisi, is seeing it play out first hand. In this interview, he argues that passage of the law can be “seen as a coup.” 

Given such legal battles to constrain civil society, it is good to see PILNET’s Global Nonprofits Guide team has released new comprehensive guides on nonprofit laws in the following countries: India, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Singapore, The Netherlands, and Mexico.

We may well need a similar guide for the United States before too long, given how threats to civic space are growing. The International Center For Non For Profit Law details ten concerns for U.S. civil society

Protecting human rights defenders should be a collective practice. However, existing protection mechanisms often focus on individuals, potentially overlooking contextual factors and relationships in which defenders are immersed. To spark more effective responses, Protection International delves into the key elements of collective protection, both as a concept and as a practical approach.




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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