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Loren Siegel Consulting;
Presents arguments and tools for integrating public opinion research into communications work. Includes case studies, research methods, consultant information, and a guide to help grantmakers evaluate grant proposals to conduct public opinion research.
The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House's annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil liberties.Particularly notable were developments in Egypt, which endured across-the-board reversals in its democratic institutions following a military coup. There were also serious setbacks to democratic rights in other large, politically influential countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia.Findings of the 41st edition of Freedom in the World, the oldest, most authoritative report of democracy and human rights, include: Fifty-four countries showed overall declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with 40 that showed gains.For the eighth consecutive year, Freedom in the World recorded more declines in democracy worldwide than gains.Some leaders effectively relied on "modern authoritarianism," crippling their political opposition without annihilating it, and flouting the rule of law while maintaining a veneer of order, legitimacy, and prosperity.Central to modern authoritarians is the capture of institutions that undergird political pluralism. They seek to dominate not only the executive and legislative branches, but also the media, judiciary, civil society, economy, and security forces.There were some positive signs for the year: Civil liberties improved in Tunisia, the most promising of the Arab Spring countries.Pakistan showed gains due to successful elections and an orderly rotation of power.In Africa, gains occurred in Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Madagascar, Rwanda, Togo, and Zimbabwe.The addition of Honduras, Kenya, Nepal, and Pakistan raised the number of electoral democracies to 122.
IIE Center for Academic Mobility Research & Impact;
In 2016, USAID's Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance launched its Learning Agenda—a set of research questions designed to address the issues that confront staff in USAID field offices working on the intersection of development and democracy, human rights, and governance. This literature review—produced by a team of political scientists, geographers, and an anthropologist—synthesizes scholarship from diverse research traditions on the following Learning Agenda question:How can citizens keep civic space from shrinking? What enables civic and political participation in countries where civil liberties have been lost? How do forms of civic and political engagement in such contexts differ from forms of engagement in contexts in which civil liberties are protected? Are some forms of civic and political engagement generally more tolerated in newly repressive contexts than others? How do civic actors adapt their engagement tactics to achieve their objectives?The authors identify five strategies that have worked in at least some instances to pry open civic space under backsliding regimes:Alliance-and coalition-building with other domestic civil society groups, since larger groups have greater resources and can reach a larger audience.Indirect resistance and actions, such as charity provision, artistic expression, and local-level political involvement, since strategies that do not overtly confront the regime are less threatened and can still provide a space for community involvement, expression, and problem-solving.Non-violent contentious action, especially protest, which is more likely to be successful and have domestic and international appeal than violent action.Creative and careful use of digital technologies, since much of digital communication is beyond the reach of the state.Maintaining organizational autonomy from the government and international actors, since co-optation by the regime and affiliation with international actors risk compromising a group's message and goals.
This guide captures the wisdom of philanthropic leaders who have participated in multi-party advocacy collaboratives. It synthesizes information to dig deeper and understand the pain points and levers of success tied to funding advocacy and donor collaboratives. Examples have been anonymized to ensure candor and clarity, as well as to broaden the appeal and applicability of wisdom derived from a specific collaborative example. Each bite-sized chapter is intended to make this work easy to reference and share, and to read as a full body of work or in pieces as is helpful and relevant to your work.
As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. The first-term "reset," a fresh American posture toward the Kremlin that was designed to build productive relations by offering compromises on a range of political and geostrategic issues, has clearly run its course. The Obama administration had partly based its hope for improved ties on the ability of Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia's president from 2008 to 2012, to achieve liberal reforms, especially on freedom of expression, the rule of law, and the ability of civil society to function without state intrusion. However, substantive reforms never materialized, former president and then prime minister Vladimir Putin remained the dominant force in government, and Russia moved abruptly in a more repressive direction following his return to the presidency in May 2012. Step by step, Putin has pushed through measures to deter public demonstrations, smear and limit funding for nongovernmental organizations, and place restrictions on the internet. He has also made anti-Americanism a central part of his political message. He has accused the United States of fomenting demonstrations against election fraud, shut down all U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in Russia, withdrawn from a series of cooperative agreements with the United States, and signed a vindictive law that prohibits the adoption of Russian children by citizens of the United States.There can be little doubt that a new American policy toward the Kremlin is needed. To help inform the discussion on a new approach, Freedom House is publishing this package of materials on the state of human rights and democracy in Russia since Putin took power in 2000. In the centerpiece essay, Freedom House president David J. Kramer and Eurasia program director Susan Corke assess the nature of the Putin regime and advance a series of proposals for American policy in the coming period. Katherin Machalek, the research analyst for Freedom House's "Nations in Transit" publication, is the author of a companion piece that lays out the progressive legal restrictions on civil society organizations during the Putin era. The package also includes a chronology of selected developments in Russia from 2000 through 2012 , with a focus on the suppression of the political opposition, independent media, and civil society. The chronology, prepared by Freedom House researcher Marissa Miller, serves as a reminder that the repressive measures enacted over the past eight months do not amount to a new direction for Russia, but rather a continuation, in severe form, of trends that have dominated Russian politics throughout the Putin era. Finally, a series of graphical representations prepared by senior research assistant Bret Nelson illustrate the decline of political rights and civil liberties in Russia as measured by Freedom House's annual reports.
According to Key Facts on Social Justice Grantmaking (2011 Edition), social justice giving accounted for more than 14 percent of grant dollars awarded by the largest U.S. foundations in 2009. The top 25 social justice funders gave 70 percent of the total in the latest Foundation Center's annual grants sample.
Social justice-related funding by U.S. foundations climbed to nearly 15 percent of overall grant dollars in 2008. During most of the past decade, social justice giving had represented a smaller 11 to 12 percent of grant dollars awarded by foundations included in the Foundation Center's annual grants sample.
Summarizes findings on trends in and strategies for social justice philanthropy, with quantitative benchmarks and perspectives of leading funders and practitioners. Updates the 2005 report "Social Justice Grantmaking: A Report on Foundation Trends."
U.S. foundations made grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion focused on Africa in 2012. This represented 25 percent of foundations' international giving, up from 14 percent in 2002. Produced by Foundation Center in cooperation with Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group, this first-ever report examines changes in funding for Africa over the past decade and provides detailed analyses of the distribution of funding in the latest year. The report also explores differences in funding priorities based on whether recipients are headquartered in Africa or outside of the African continent.
Open Society Foundations;
Terrorists, drug traffickers, corrupt politicians and criminals easily move money around the globe every single day. They use shell corporations, which have no assets or operations and exist simply to conduct business transactions. Shell corporations serve no legitimate business purpose other than to hide their true owners and officers. They enable brutal dictators in Equatorial Guinea and Uzbekistan; terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah; and drug lords to hide their profits from crime and corruption.The Open Society Foundations have had a long-standing commitment to ensuring that money flowing to, from, and within societies is governed in the best interests of all citizens—rather than simply the powerful.Toward that end, we commissioned this briefing paper on the problem of shell corporations and the current efforts to get beneficial ownership information into the public domain.
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation;
This speech by William S. White, President of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation was the opening keynote address delivered at Independent Sector's Annual Conference on November 4, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia. In this discourse, he laid out the fundamental needs for leadership, and the challenges facing the nonprofit community in meeting those needs.
Carsey School of Public Policy at The University of New Hampshire;
In summer of 2014, headlines throughout the hemisphere called attention to an unfolding tragedy: the plight of Central Americans fleeing north to escape the violence engulfing their communities. The staggering number of migrants seeking refuge sparked a great deal of debate within the United States, particularly due to the large numbers of children. In 2014, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors traveled from Central America to Mexico, continuing north to cross the U.S. border illegally. Once in the United States, most children turned themselves over to U.S. Border Control agents and faced swift deportation proceedings. Others have been temporarily reunited with family members throughout the United States, waiting for the courts to decide their fate. Thus far in 2015, the number of unaccompanied child apprehensions on the southwest border has declined compared to 2014.However, some border crossing zones (particularly the Big Bend and Yuma sectors) report sharp increases in apprehension rates, indicating that migrants and traffickers may be adjusting their tactics to try to elude U.S. border agents. In Mexico, apprehension and deportation rates of Central American migrants have almost doubled this year, as Mexican officials have ramped up enforcement efforts at the behest of U.S. officials. Central Americans are still fleeing, but many are detained in Mexico before they reach the U.S. border.