Ariadne’s Thread – February 2015

Ariadne’s Thread – February 2015
February 9, 2015 Sarah Pugh

February 2015

Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders. 


Ariadne News & Events

Ariadne Winter Film NightLAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: ARIADNE WINTER FILM NIGHT: HIDDEN HEART – A FILM CHRONICLING THE LIVES OF MUSLIM WOMEN IN INTER-CULTURAL/FAITH RELATIONSHIPS: Ariadne UK invites you to the Winter Film Night in the company of fellow grant-makers and a glass of wine, to explore how funders use film and documentary-making as a powerful means of accelerating change. The session will deal with the highly topical issue of tolerance and relationships between faiths in Britain. The film tells the story of four women from Muslim backgrounds who have fallen in love with and married men who are not of the same religion.  It challenges stereotypes both inside and outside the Muslim community in Britain and the Director Zara Afzal believes that the film will “be useful to many groups working for improved community relationships and for the rights of women.” This event is for grant-makers and funders.  To register, please email Lori Stancui at:  Tuesday the 10th of February, 18:30-20:30 GMT Screening Room, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

REGISTER NOW: ARIADNE POLICY BRIEFING 9th – 11th March 2015, BUDAPEST: All Ariadne participants are invited, and registration is now open (needs portal login). The Briefing takes place over two days and allows funders and grant-makers of all kinds to look at the cutting edge issues in the field, all sessions are proposed and planned by Ariadne members. This year we will focus on a global overview of the disabling environment for civil society, looking in particular at Hungary, Azerbaijan and Egypt.  There will be sessions on the Sustainable Development Goals with reference to children, the Ebola crisis and the response to it, modern slavery , street campaigning, funding in fragile settings, the gender ideology backlash and more.  This is a chance to improve your grant-skills and have an informative and enjoyable time in the company of fellow funders and grant-makers – here’s the draft agenda (needs portal login). Space is limited so please register soon to be sure of a place.

SAVE THE DATE: Workshop on The Shrinking Space for Civil Society And Networking Dinner: Ariadne, the International Human Rights Funders Group and the European Foundation Centre ask you to save the date for a Workshop on Shrinking Space for Civil Society on 11th – 12th June in Berlin. The workshop is aimed, not a describing this widespread problem but, instead, at developing specific remedies. It will provide insight for funders into strategies, solutions and ways of moving forward for funders, and useful areas for cooperation between funders and civil society.

WELCOME TO ARIADNE’S NEW WEBSITE AND THREAD! The new design of Ariadne’s Thread makes it simpler to access the information you want, navigating quickly to items of interest, without wasting time. But, for those of you who like to read the whole Thread, fear not! It is still accessible by clicking on any of the see more buttons. It can be printed off or saved as usual. The Thread remains a private resource for funders and we ask that it is not forwarded to those who are not grant-makers. 

The new website is a public resource for funders and wider civil society: it has freely available information on trends in social change and human rights funding, lists of the top funders in each field, blogs from grant-makers and civil society leaders, and information about what tools and support Ariadne offers grant-makers, in English, French and German. There is also content for Dutch speaking funders. In the coming weeks we will be uploading the 2015 Ariadne Forecast and the first of Ariadne’s new  Quick Resources, two to three page guidance from the experts in the field, the first ones will cover: How to Collaborate, Using a Gender Lens, Investing in Film for Change and more. We are always open to good ideas so please let us know if you have one. Ariadne is your community, run by funders for funders.            

FEATURED COMMUNITY: Dealing with the Disabling Environment:  As we know, grant-making across borders is increasingly hindered by measures and regulations that states, and international organisations, put in place, often under the pretext of national and international security. Transaction costs are increasing increasing for all grant-makers and, more problematically, work is ceasing to become possible and lives are in danger. This Ariadne Portal Community is open to grant-makers, NGO leaders, civil society representatives and more. It is a common point of exchange for participants to post news from their own areas, knowledge, discussion and background information. It is also focusing on the development of a collective approach. The community is moderated by Fulco van Deventer, Poonam Joshi and Jo Andrews  (links require portal login) . If you would like to join the community, or if you feel an NGO leader or civil society activist would benefit from being part of the conversation please e-mail the moderators to be added.

NEW PORTAL MEMBERS: Ariadne welcomes Jan Riemersma from Fondsenvraagbaak (NL), Ivan Juric from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation (GR), Britta Holmberg from World Childhood Foundation (SE), and Mary Healy from the Human Dignity Foundation (IE). If you are an Ariadne member and would like to join the Portal too, please contact Community Host Kenneth Hill.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Human Rights Watch ReportHuman Rights Watch World Report 2015: Human Rights Watch’s annual review of human rights practices around the globe is just out. Chapters on the EU observe that the success in May of populist and Euro-sceptic parties in the European Parliament elections, amid continued economic and political fragility, underscore the need for a stronger European Union commitment to human rights protection inside its own borders. In March, the European Commission agreed a rule of law mechanism for crises, and in June, the Council of the European Union endorsed the idea of an EU internal human rights strategy. But the EU, particularly the council, remained reluctant to press member states on abusive practices, says HRW. Read the report here.

Migrant voters in the UK General Election: The Migrants’ Rights Network has released a briefing on the likely impact of migrant voters in England and Wales in the upcoming UK General Election. According to the report, almost 4 million voters – about one in 10 of the entire electorate in England and Wales – are predicted to have been born overseas come May and, for the first time, it is predicted that more than 50% of voters of the eligible electorate will have been born abroad in two seats. You can read the full report here, and an analysis by The Guardian newspaper here. Relating to this, the British Future State of the Nation report has recently been published, and looks ahead to the events and issues which will be dominating British conversations on integration and immigration, identity and opportunity.

Access to Justice Even When Roads Are Bumpy: This is from Netherlands-based organisation Cordaid, and is a two page fact sheet looking at access to justice in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The report describes their 4X4Justice initiative, which focuses on communities disconnected from formal judicial systems. Read more here.

The (UK) Coalition’s Social Policy Record: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015: This report from the UK based Social Policy in Cold Climate project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London gives the first detailed analysis of the impact of the UK Government’s social policy agenda,  analysing questions such as ‘What did the Coalition set out to achieve?’, ‘How much was spent and saved?’ and ‘What policies were enacted and with what effect?’. Read the report here.

Where mono-culturalism leads: Liz Fekete, Executive Director of the UK-based think-tank the Institute of Race Relations, argues that although it may seem counter-intuitive, far from suffering from an excess of multiculturalism, European thought and culture are suffering from too much mono-culturalism. Commenting on the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks, she argues that “If Europe is to come out of its darkness, we need to name the problem for what it is. It is a problem of deprivation and alienation, and it affects many of our poor youngsters, whether neo-Nazis or jihadists.” Read more here. Rokhaya Diallo, co-founder of the anti-racist organization Les Indivisibles, in France, and board member of the European Network Against Racism, has also written on this for the Open Society Foundations website, saying “France has to admit that it has failed to take bold actions against social injustice or integrate citizens of migrant background.”

Front Line Defenders Annual Report 2015 – Human Rights Defenders Lives in the Balance: Front Line Defenders (the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) based in Ireland, has launched its 2015 Annual Report which looks at the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders (HRDs) from January – December 2014. It suggests that international human rights institutions as well as governments traditionally supportive of human rights defenders appear to be incapable of forcefully and effectively opposing the shutting down of civil society space. Front Line Defenders Executive Director, Mary Lawlor, says “This is a crucial political moment. If we are to challenge the systematic erosion of human rights standards there needs to be a more consistent and credible political response, which must give the same priority and resources to creating a safe space for HRDs as authoritarian governments give to closing it down”. Read the report here.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

GuantanamoVideo: Guantánamo Diary: rendition, torture and detention without charge: UK newspaper, The Guardian, has released an animated documentary about Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s declassified memoir, Guantánamo Diary, and its extraordinary eight-year journey from inside the US detention facility to worldwide publication. Mohamedou’s brother, attorney and book editor, tells how the book was released, with extracts read by Dominic West. Watch here.

Podcast: Europe’s Asylum and Migration Crisis: According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 3,000 migrants bound for Europe died crossing the Mediterranean in 2014. Rights organisations have warned that the situation could deteriorate further following the end of the Italian naval operation Mare Nostrum and the UK’s withdrawal of support for search and rescue operations. At this  event, the panel looked at EU border and migration management policies and considered what actions could be taken to prevent further fatalities and to safeguard the rights of asylum seekers. Panel members included John Dalhuisen from Amnesty International, Professor Elspeth Guild from Queen Mary University of London, Sue Le Mesurier from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and was chaired by Matthew Price from the Today Programme, BBC Radio 4. Listen here.

Video: Philanthropy in transitions – a defining moment: Philanthropy in Transitions was discussed at an Alliance Breakfast Club, in January with Barbara Ibrahim, founding director of the Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, Jo Andrews, of Ariadne, Chloe de Preneuf, Programme Coordinator for the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, and Walter Veirs, Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Russia at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Video: Happy British Muslims! #HAPPYDAY:  This brought a smile to all our our faces! A group of young British Muslims called the Honesty Policy have put together a video homage to Happy by Pharrell Williams. The aim is to spread positivity and empowerment. The video’s participants include politicians, journalists, students, families and community leaders. Even one of the most respected Muslim scholars in the UK, Timothy Winter of Cambridge University, also known as Abdul Hakim Murad, makes an appearance. Winter has released a statement of support, saying “I’m delighted to see the outcome of the Happy British Muslims video, which has unlocked a remarkable tide of goodwill around the world, and significantly tilted the image of Muslims among many sceptics. Islamophobes must be grinding their teeth to see Muslims of different races and age-groups united by happiness. No one will produce a Sharia argument against jumping for joy!”.


Philanthropy: A gift or investment? How young, socially-conscious investors are balancing approaches to philanthropy: The UK-based Charities Aid Foundation has released a report, looking at whether socially-conscious investment is a threat to traditional giving, and how it will transform what we know as philanthropy today. The report reveals striking differences in approaches to giving between generations. Two-thirds of the people surveyed described themselves as active, socially-conscious investors, rising to four out of five among those under 40 years old, and the findings suggest that this younger generation especially are widely engaged in ‘values-based’ investment approaches, which fit their ethical outlook or aim to balance social and financial returns. Access the report here.

Accountability for Economic Actors: An Introductory Field Guide For Funders: At the recent International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) conference in San Francisco, the newly formed SAGE Fund launched ‘Advancing Human Rights Accountability for Economic Actors’, an introductory field guide for donors examining human rights violations amid economic globalization. The guide is the result of dozens of interviews and conversations with key civil society, social movement and funding leaders engaged in advancing work at the intersection of trade, development, human rights, and the environment to highlight how human rights can be brought to bear on economic actors. The target audience is funders who make decisions about where to invest resources of foundations, governments or private donors to support human rights. Read more here.

Structuring Your Collective Impact Initiative Backbone for Success: Grant-makers entering into a collective impact collaboration can find themselves in a confusing world of committees and other trappings of collaboration without knowing what they really need in place to make it all work. Grant Craft have published a post which takes a look at the spectrum of management structures typically utilized in collective impact. They will also provide a tool that will help a funder assess which management structure best suits their working style and collaborative needs. Read more here.


Jobs and Tenders

Joseph Rowntree Foundation logoTrustees Vacancies – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: The Trust is seeking to recruit three trustees to its Board during the course of this year. Prospective trustees must be members, or active and committed attenders, of the Society of Friends (Quakers), and must be able to attend at least eight meetings per year and to spend some time each week on Trust business. This is a demanding but very rewarding voluntary role. To assist with the balance of the Board, JRCT expect that at least one, and ideally two, of the new trustees will be men, at least one new trustee will be from a minority ethnic background and at least one new trustee will be based in Wales or Scotland. Closing date for applications: Monday 9th February. More details here.

Programme Director – Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF): The mission of the Programme Director is to implement and develop the strategy of the EMHRF, as defined by the Board, and to coordinate and supervise a team consisting of 6 persons. Candidates must possess in-depth knowledge of local civil society dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa, and the ability to travel regularly within Europe and the MENA region. This position is for 8 months maternity cover. Location: Montreuil, France. Closing date for applications: February 16th. More details here.

Director of AGENDA – the Alliance for Women and Girls: This is an opportunity to lead and develop a new cross- sector alliance that has come together to reform policy-making and services affecting woman and girls in the UK. Candidates must be committed to and able to work in partnership to achieve the Alliance’s vision, to think and work strategically and creatively, to bring a diverse range of partners on board and create a powerful platform for women and girls to re-frame debate, and be able to manage people and resources effectively and generate additional funds. Location: London. Closing date for applications: Thursday 19th February 12:00 GMT. More details here and here.

Stars Foundation – Senior Global Awards Programme Officer: Stars Foundation is seeking a dynamic Programme Officer to take responsibility for two new initiatives – ‘Global Girls Award’ and ‘Global Rising Stars’. The successful candidate will contribute to the designing of the ‘Global Girls Award’ in its pilot year, and will monitor and evaluate with a view to permanent implementation. This will include coordinating all communication across the partners and facilitating meetings, overseeing First Round Panel shortlisting, and planning and implementing a series of awards related events. Supporting the Global Rising Stars programme, the post holder will assist with rebranding and redesigning the programme for 2015, and will build and maintain relationships with partners to better facilitate the initiative. Location: London. Closing date for applications: until filled. More details here.


Public Meetings


March 16th – March 20th
EFC European Environmental Funders Group Spring Meeting: Hosted by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation, this learning and networking event will give funders the opportunity to understand the philanthropic and NGO landscape in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) with a focus on capacity and work in the environmental field; meet guest speakers and learn more about environmental policy priorities of CEE countries, the European Union and economic approaches towards better environmental sustainability; reflect on opportunities for future interventions; and learn from the experiences of peers and identify opportunities for collaboration. 18th – 19th March 2015. Location: Open Gardens Education Centre, Brno, Czech Republic. Read more here.


March 2nd – March 6th
Facing Facts Forward!: This is a European conference on the subject of recording and reporting hate crimes. It is organised by CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe in cooperation with the Facing Facts! Network of Civil Society Organisations, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency(FRA) , the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the CoE European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). The conference aims to identify practical steps and infrastructures that such organisations can implement to foster and stimulate long lasting partnerships towards establishing good quality national monitoring systems according to international standards and to encourage victims to report. 3rd – 4th March. Location: Brussels. Read more here.


September 28th – October 2nd
Save the date: Grantmakers East Forum 2015: This year is the 20th anniversary of the Grantmakers East Forum, which is sure to be a key part of the event in Istanbul which is due to take place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October.


January 26th – March 16th
Unorthodocs: Curated in partnership with Dartmouth Films, Somerset House presents Unorthodocs: a programme of documentaries that have won awards, been screened at international festivals, but fall outside the remit of British television. Films include How To Survive a Plague, an Oscar-nominated documentary which tells the story of the activists who, in the 1980s, struggled against political indifference and religious hostility in order to force the US government and drugs companies to combat the AIDS crisis, and which the New York Times described as “A model for the here and now of how social change occurs”. Each screening will be followed by the chance to hear from a member of the filmmaking team. Films will be shown between January 26th and March 16th. Location: Somerset House, London. See more here.

February 23rd – February 27th
Building Peace in Permanent War: Terrorist Listing & Conflict Transformation: The International State Crime Initiative and the Transnational Institute invites you to the launch of the report Building Peace in Permanent War: Terrorist Listing & Conflict Transformation. The report combines legal and political analysis with in-depth case studies drawing on the testimony of diverse actors engaged in conflict transformation. The study focuses on the use of laws banning ‘terrorist organisations’ in the management of conflict with Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Hamas in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey. It documents the diverse risk management strategies that peace-builders are developing in response to growing legal uncertainties, as well as how terrorist listing is excluding civil society from peace processes. Tuesday 24th February 17:45 GMT. Location: Queen Mary University of London. See more here.

March 2nd – March 6th
Early Action Funders Alliance – Quarterly Lunch: The Early Action Funders Alliance aims to create an active community of funders from across different sectors who use, or would like to use, early action approaches in their work. The Alliance meets quarterly for a presentation, discussion and networking. This meeting is open to funders and trustees. Its next meeting will hear from Julian Corner, CE of the Lankelly Chase Foundation. The Foundation has recently published a powerful report called Hard Edges which reveals the true extent of overlap between the homeless, offender and drug misusing populations. It covers the childhood antecedents of multiple disadvantage and points out the nonsense of the separate strategies that have been pursued by Government departments and agencies, who have thought and acted as if they weren’t dealing with the same people. The presentation is guaranteed to be thought provoking and to set up an excellent discussion. 12.30 – 14.30 GMT, Wednesday 4th March. Location: Barrow Cadbury, London. Register here.





May 18th – May 22nd
26th EFC Annual General Assembly and Conference: “Philanthropy: Visions and Energy for Change”: The European Foundation Centre will convene its 26th Annual General Assembly and Conference in one of Italy’s busiest cities, host of the World EXPO 2015 which will open on 1st of May, a few weeks before the EFC event. By choosing Milan with its coinciding EXPO, EFC plans to create synergies between its flagship conference and the numerous events, organisations and people that EXPO 2015 will attract to Milan. Closely paralleling the EXPO theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, the EFC conference in 2015, entitled “Philanthropy: Visions and Energy for Change”, will embrace the challenge of the sustainable development of the planet and also focus on youth, corporate engagement in social equality and community resilience. 20th – 22nd of May. Location: Milan. Read more here.


March 23rd – March 27th
Good Pitch Europe 2015: Good Pitch connects the world’s best social justice films with new allies and partners. At this event in Oslo, seven film-making teams will pitch their feature documentary and its associated audience engagement campaign in front of a live audience of funders and change-makers. The line up of film-makers will be travelling from the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Norway, and the projects feature take a look at the challenge of building the new rule of law in South Sudan and the experience of a trans-gender man in Turkey undergoing transition in the glare of public scrutiny, and more. Wednesday 25th March. Location: The Opera House in Oslo, Norway. Read more here.


February 16th – February 20th
Can We Criticize Philanthropy?: A Lunch and Learn Seminar is being hosted at ESSEC Business School, featuring a conversation between Béatrice de Durfort, Director of the French Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations and Alexandre Lambelet, Professor at the Haute école de travail social of Lausanne and author of the recent publication « La Philanthropie » (Presses de Sciences Po, 2014). The conversation will be moderated by Anne-Claire Pache and Arthur Gautier, Directors of the Philanthropy Chair at l’ESSEC. The event costs 10 € including lunch. February 19th 12:15 – 14:00 CET. Location: ESSEC Campus located at the CNIT, Paris-La Défense. This event will be in French. Read more here.

March 9th – March 13th
Cercle Education – Sharing experiences of foundations’ working groups on education in Europe: Initiated by its members, Association Pierre Bellon, Apprentis d’Auteuil and Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, the French Foundation Centre has founded a new working group for foundations that act in the field of education, called “Cercle Education”, which aims to make them visible, via a mapping of French foundations. The next event “Sharing experiences of Foundations’ Working groups on Education in Europe” will be held on Tuesday the 10th of March, from 9:30 12:00 CET at: Association Pierre Bellon, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris. For more information please contact Andrea Schaefer at, Tel : +33 1 83 79 98 87.


February 23rd – February 27th
Zero Project Conference on Independent Living and Political Participation: Innovative Policies and Practices for Persons with Disabilities: The Zero Project supports decision-makers and opinion leaders to implement the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) worldwide. The fourth Zero Project Conference will gather around 500 decision makers, opinion leaders and experts from more than 50 countries, and highlight 40 policies and and practices for independent living and political participation. The conference will take place on the 25th – 27th of February. Location: Vienna International Centre, Austria. More here.


February 9th – February 13th
Does the European Union need a new start with Russia?: The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) are pleased to invite you to a public debate: Does the European Union need a new start with Russia? This debate will be combined with the presentation of the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015. February 11th 15: 00-16.30 CET. Location: Sofitel Warsaw Victoria. More details here.

Ariadne is supported by Adessium Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennstrom Philanthropies.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants