Major Donors Outline Strategy on Transparency

20 April 2017

The Transparency & Accountability Initiative has unveiled a new strategy emphasizing the use of data for accountability, tax governance and civic space.

As a “donor collaborative” formed in 2010, TAI brings together major donors working in the transparency, accountability and participation area. TAI members were major backers of the Open Government Partnership. The new strategy is the result of a comprehensive evaluation begun in 2015. It states in part:

Following an in-depth joint reflection on these inputs, TAI is committed to an exciting evolution of our model. Recognizing the value of a platform to help deliver on their organizational priorities, TAI’s members are seeking two shifts in approach –

(1) a stronger orientation toward serving the donor members directly, thereby seeking results through improved grant making rather than direct field-building, and

(2) setting and pursuing ambitious goals relating to specific issue areas where the donor members collectively recognize the need for progress. By increasing donor collaboration and leveraging collective resources, we will test the ability to help “move the needle” on focus issues, while also taking practical steps to improve funder practice.

Four Broad Areas

They are “prioritizing issues that will yield insights as to the relevance of their overall theories of change.” These are:

– Data Use for Accountability: Assuring more and better use of data by citizens and governments in support of accountability, while addressing concerns around data privacy.

– Taxation and Tax Governance: Supporting development of more inclusive and equitable tax governance.

– Strengthening of Civic Space: Fostering a plurality of independent and legitimate civil society voices.

-Learning for Improved Grant Making: Building greater impact of TAP funding through thoughtful, evidence-based, adaptive donor and grantee practices.

The report goes into detail about plans in each of the four areas.

In May of 2016, TAI issued a summation of 18 commissioned articles about future directions. (See article.)

The TAI Steering Committee members are: Julie McCarthy, Director, Fiscal Governance Program, Open Society Foundations; Alfonsina Penaloza, Program Officer, Global Development Program, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Rakesh Rajani, Director, Democratic Participation and Governance Ford Foundation; and Martin Tisné, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network.

Collectively, the four donors have currently invested over $500 million in the transparency and accountability sphere.

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