Category Archives: Blog

Nobel Prize, Randomized Controlled Trials, and Poverty

Nobel Prize, Randomized Controlled Trials, and Poverty There are two great things about the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics that went to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer. The first is the focus on poverty, which for some reason is rare for the Prize. The second is that one of the winners is a […]

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How Do Social Movements Fund Themselves?

How Do Social Movements Fund Themselves? Social movements often struggle with finding the material resources needed to support themselves. Yet with seemingly little to work with, social movements grow, thrive, and succeed. How do they do it? We’re looking at this question right now in Mexico. Together with Scott DuPree of Civil Society Transitions, we […]

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Our new publication in the Stanford Social Innovation Review: Crackdown on Environmentalists

Our new publication in the Stanford Social Innovation Review: Crackdown on Environmentalists Stanford Social Innovation Review has just published our blog, Crackdown on Environmental Action: How Funders Can Respond. In the face of increasing restrictions from legal barriers to murder, environmental and conservation funders are finding new ways to support civil society organizations. The blog […]

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Tools for Taking Social Complexity Seriously

Tools for Taking Social Complexity Seriously When I first started hearing folks talking about complexity and social change 10-15 years ago, I figured that was fine for the ecologists and physicists, but not much use to me. Yet the more I heard, the more the ideas started making intuitive sense to me. When you’re working […]

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Funders and Closing Space

Funders and Closing Space By Chris Allan What’s going on here? Internets of funders. Consulting contracts for services. Telling the story of the value of citizen action. Networks with multiple, diverse connections. Foundations and civil society organizations are finding ways around the ballooning restrictions on what citizens can do. These are just a few of […]

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Resilient Funders

Resilient Funders By Chris Allan It’s no secret it’s getting harder and harder for civil society organizations around the world to function, and for funders to support them. Dozens of countries are increasing restrictions on what civil society organizations can do, and from where they can get money. Funders and NGOs are pushing back, usually […]

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Democratizing Grantmaking

Democratizing Grantmaking By Chris Allan It’s hard to think of a sector with less accountability built in than philanthropy. So it’s up to us in the field itself to make sure that grantmakers are open and responsive to the folks we’re trying to help. I’ve just come from the annual EDGE Funders Alliance meeting, which […]

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Resilience and the Shape of Your Body

Resilience and the Shape of Your Body By Chris Allan We’ve all been there – a discussion about gender issues in international development deteriorates in a defensive exchange, and people finally give up, convinced that the other is too narrow minded to work with. So one of the most important factors in what makes some […]

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Partnership and Grantmaking

Partnership and Grantmaking By Chris Allan The lines between “donors” and “grantees” in the NGO world have become blurred in recent years. Partnership often involves money, and money always affects relationships. For most international networks, Southern partners are limited in capacity by the lack of access to funding that Northern partners have. Many networks try […]

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National Adaptation Forum — It’s not just about Ferguson

National Adaptation Forum — It’s not just about Ferguson By Chris Allan I’ve just returned from the National Adaptation Forum in St. Louis, which brings together people from across the United States to share practices on how we can adapt to climate change. The big development this year? Greatly expanded inclusion of poor and minority […]

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