By Jenny Brotchie
There is an opportunity for philanthropic organisations to work with governments and the influential OECD to explore fresh ideas to some of the big social justice issues of our times. Jenny Brotchie, Policy Officer at the Carnegie UK Trust argues that it is critical that progressive foundations are at the table.
What is the role of foundations in nurturing positive change and tackling some of the complex social, economic and environmental challenges? Last month the Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace Network met in Brussels to discuss how foundations could Promote Solidarity in Europe at a time of Austerity. The big challenges: widening inequalities, dwindling opportunities for young people and growing disengagement with politics were discussed and network members shared their approaches ranging from community grant making, to commissioned programmes. A small number of us were are also working to influence policy and practice at the strategic level.
On October 12, 2014, a bunch of donors met in Cairo with the Palestinian Authority to discuss and pledge support for Gaza. I can’t find any official statement press release from the conference, so it’s hard to know exactly who came and pledged, but media coverage after the event suggested that Qatar pledged $1 billion, while Kuwait and the UAE pledged $200 million each, as did Turkey, and the United States pledged 212 million dollars.
Over twenty years of working in this field of social justice philanthropy in Nepal, I continue to be struck by the resilience of the local communities, their home-grown leaderships, and the way they innovate and improvise to sustain and nurture each other as far as it is possible! During a recent visit to several districts of the far-west Nepal, visiting with Tewa grantees and women activists, I was blown away when this was reaffirmed for me yet one more time!
5 Questions for...Moukhtar Kocache, author, ‘Framing the Discourse, Advancing the Work: Philanthropy at the Nexus of Peace & SJ'Submitted by Chandrika Sahai on Mon, 11/03/2014 - 23:34
Earlier this year, the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace issued a report, Framing the Discourse, Advancing the Work: Philanthropy at the Nexus of Peace and Social Justice and Arts and Culture, that highlighted the synergy between the arts and social movements around the globe — and the general reluctance among funders to fund arts initiatives with a social justice component, and vice versa.
US peacebuilding theorist John Paul Lederach talks about achieving “critical yeast” in difficult circumstances, with this arguably being of greater importance than “critical mass.” If the recently circulated report on philanthropy for social justice and peace in Latin America and the Caribbean is to be believed that is exactly what exists: critical yeast. The 32 foundations located and working in the region that participated in this study are mainly public or community foundations.
It is 3am and my left index finger taps involuntarily on the laminate desk because I’ve been told by someone I respect that I am wrong or just crazy (but oh so politely) to find it very strange that the distinction between what is “humanitarian” and what is “developmental” in terms of aid is so arbitrary and from my point of view illogical because (stay with me here) there is a “Humanitarian Imperative” that obliges international actors to provide tents for Palestinians in Gaza and food so they don’t starve, at least not quickly, but there is no “imperative” for those same actors to demand – I’m talking about actions not words – that Israel allow building supplies and equipment in through the checkpoint which they control or that they allow yummy, beautiful, quality Gaza products into the world market so that Palestinians in Gaza can support themselves rather than be 80% dependent on aid (that was a pre-war figure) and please don’t start now about Egypt because OF COURSE Egypt has control over t