United Palestinian Appeal: Example of a Solidarity Donor?

This article was first published in Arabic by Al-Adab. I met Saleem Zaru, Executive Director of United Palestinian Appeal (UPA), under the strangest of circumstances. UPA had published an appeal to raise money for my friend Nureddin Amro, whose home was partially demolished by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem on March 31, 2015. As a frequent…

Strategy Testing: An Innovative Approach to Monitoring Highly Flexible Aid Programs

The attached new Asia Foundation paper describes an exciting new monitoring system developed by The Asia Foundation called Strategy Testing (ST). “ST was developed to track programs that are addressing complex development problems through a highly iterative, adaptive ‘searching’ approach. Traditional monitoring methods are designed to track progress in linear, largely pre-planned projects where the…

Actually, it was my capacity that needed to be built

“Capacity building” has been in every job description or programmatic strategy of every international aid and philanthropic organization with which I’ve worked over the past 15 years. In some form or another, I’ve led, funded, or facilitated workshops, exchange visits, trainings intended to enhance the knowledge and skills of people who live in poor countries.…

What can an artist-in-residence program do for your foundation?

I’ll admit it. I’m scared. I joined IDEX less than two months ago, and now, I’m being asked to “take on the mantel of being an artist.” What?! I’m the Director of Communications. I think up strategy to reach our audiences. I update the website. I manage our brand. I post blogs. I run our social…

Six Steps to “Dignified Interdependence”

Not infrequently, people ask me how community organizations can become independent of international funding. Part of the answer, I believe, lies in reformulating the question. “Independence,” is a smokescreen. First world countries that claim to be independent are often dependent on the natural and human resources of the global south. Even donors who claim to…

Weaving Philanthropy Into Relief Work

After the 7.8 Earthquake of 25th April, 2015 and a few significant others which followed, all of us had to go into relief work.  Although this was a new on the job learning for many of us, we used our common sense and a sense of urgency recognizing how most the affected people had suffered…

Putting Social Justice at the Centre of Brazilian Philanthropy

A new phenomenon is unfolding in Brazilain civil society – a new breed of indegenous grassroots grant makers is emerging that supports the movemnet for human rights and social justice in the country. Ten of these foundations are united in the Network of Independent Funds for Social Justice (NIFSJ)- Brazil or Rede de Fundos Independentes…