Where is TAI´s money going?

By Mehdi Bousnina (TAI´s Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Fellow)

In our opening Grant database Blog, we provided you with a glimpse of some of the information we are easily able to extract from our member Transparency, Participation, and Accountability (TPA) funding database. In this blog, we aim to provide you with a more in-depth analysis that we hope will help you think about this type of data more critically and draw more nuanced conclusions. The grants covered in this second blog are those that started in 2021, unlike the first blog, which included all active grants in 2021.


  • As mentioned in the first blog: “Funding for transparency, participation, and accountability – the latest data!”, the information below is not exhaustive and does not include the entirety of TPA related funding of our members.

  • The information below is related to 6 TAI members only (out of 8 TAI members).

  1. TPA granting is prolific

$184 M have been granted by 6 TAI’s members to worldwide organizations working on TPA in 2021.

Hewlett, Luminate and OSF are at the top, with an average year total of $36M per funder (trimmed mean).

The Fund for Global Human Rights, International Budget Partnership, Oxfam America, Open Government Partnership and Natural Resource Governance Institute are the top 5 grantees in terms of amount received.

A small group of grantees have a large proportion of TPA-related grants

Based on the global program grants data available for 2021, 20% of grantees received 90% of 2021’s total funding.

  1. Most TPA grants are relatively “small”

Last year, 96% of grantees received total (all members included) grants of less than 1M$ each, and 4% of grantees received 1M$ or more, each.

  1. Does “Small” grant mean “short duration”?

With an average duration of 2.5 years, MacArthur provides grantees with the longest grant duration among the 6 TAI’s members. All the remaining members have an average grant duration of less than 2 years.

  1. Co-funding is rare

Last but not least, 96% of grantees have just one grant among TAI members, while only 4% of grantees received at least 2 grants from our TAI members in 2021.

Oxfam America received 10 grants from 3 members, Transparency International received 5 grants from OSF and Accountability Counsel and International senior Lawyers Project received 4 grants each.

Worth considering questions:

  • Based on the information that 96% of TAI’s members grantees are receiving grants that are less than to 1M$, and that the overall average duration is less than 2 years, can we conclude that funders are shifting towards more local (grassroot) level? Does this way of granting impact grantees’ sustainability?

  • and that most of these grantees have received more than one grant in 2021 (and prior), is it a way to minimize risk management by working with grantees with a certain level (and traction)? How would this granting approach impact global grantees?

  • Is covering many grantees ensure members’ complementarity and thematic alignment?

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