Too few foundations support human rights in the Global South, and many of those northern funders who do support rights continue to make old mistakes. There are new players in unexpected places, however, who offer promising examples.
The next generation of foundations in the Global South will likely be the vanguard of experimentation and learning. A look across the current funding landscape for human rights and justice in the Global South suggests reason for both disappointment and for optimism. For the sake of this review, I put aside official government aid—there is plenty there to discuss—and only look at the smaller world of private philanthropic giving.
Most past criticisms of foundation support for human rights and justice are still relevant. These critiques—apart from the very real problem of simply not enough money—include concern over weak funder strategies, timidity, short attention span, evaluation fetish, poor or no accountability and the absence of centres of research and learning committed to funding rights and justice.
By Rita Thapa
During heightened civil war in Nepal, I went to visit an abandoned village burned to ashes by the Maoists (for the government had armed local civilians to retaliate with the Maoists). The lurking smell of death was strong enough to keep neighbours at bay even on the 13th day I arrived there. The remaining grief stricken and fearful villagers ate early and went off to sleep with nearby communities in fear of another attack. We arrived at dusk and needed to eat and sleep for the night. A family preparing to leave that evening chose to stay back and cook for us. They fed us with great hospitality and gave us shelter. Today how many of us can overcome personal trauma and grief, and risk our own lives to ensure the wellbeing and comfort of strangers who knock on our doors? I have witnessed and seen more philanthropic acts closer to the grounds than those, which are thus labeled.
Draft Law of Georgia on Philanthropy, Charity and Social Partnership Focuses on Peace and Social JusticeSubmitted by Taso Foundation on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 08:30
In 2011 the Taso Foundation, as part of the partnership grant from Global Fund for Women started work with the aim to develop a draft law on philanthropy and promote the culture of philanthropy in Georgia. This program is still underway, having been continued with the support of Open Society – Georgia Foundation.
Besides devastating people and bringing about humanitarian disaster and loss of territories, the 2008 war also attracted support from the West a small portion of which was allocated to civil society organizations to work with internally displaced citizens. At the end of 2008, Taso Foundation joined the Foundations for Peace (FFP) Network and became familiar with the concept of ‘Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace’.
Por Chandrika Sahai y Ana Criquillion
Read this post in English here.
Courtesy of www.alliancemagazine.org
The September 2013 issue of Alliance Magazine focuses on philanthropy and power. In his article, ‘The power of money’ guest editor Stephen Pittam explores how philanthropy can best use the power brought by increased resources, as it enters its “second golden age”, to increase its impact on social justice and promoting a more equal society.
Contributions include Linda Guinee and Barry Knight on how to define power in philanthropy in their article ‘‘Whats power got do with it?’
In her article, ‘From grantee to grantmaker’, Ana Criquillion talks about the grantmaking processes of the Central American Women’s Fund (FCAM) that are grantee led and help level the playing field between donors and grantees.
By Stephen Pittam
Courtesy of www.alliancemagazine.org
Six months after I had started working for the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) a close friend said to me, ‘you have changed – you expect people to listen to you.’ It was a good reminder of the best piece of advice I received on getting the job. Eric Adams of the Barrow Cadbury Trust told me, ‘keep your feet on the ground and you will be alright.’
It is difficult to keep your feet on the ground when working in a foundation because you are inevitably placed in a position of power. When meeting grant applicants I was always conscious that for them the meeting could mean someone’s job was at stake. With money comes power. And, as the saying goes, power corrupts. As time went on, I grew more accustomed to living with that power but I also grew increasingly uncomfortable about some of the manifestations of the power relationships that philanthropy engenders. There are many sides to this topic. It is great to be able to explore some of them, both positive and negative, in this issue of Alliance.