Ariadne’s Thread – January 2016

Ariadne’s Thread – January 2016
January 13, 2016 Lori Stanciu

January 2016

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

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Ariadne News & Events

2016 Ariadne ForecastREGISTER NOW: 2016 ARIADNE FORECAST ROUNDTABLES: Ariadne is creating its next Forecast for Social Change and Human Rights Funders. We invite you to join some of the best brains in the field to help us create an overall Ariadne forecast for the year ahead. We will be holding meetings on January 18th in Brussels, January 20th in Paris, January 28th in London and on February 5th in The Hague, with appropriate refreshments, to help us all think about major trends, in both the issues and the field of philanthropy. To come to one of the 2016 Forecast locations, please click here.

REGISTER NOW: PREVENTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – A SUCCESS STORY FROM UGANDA: Ariadne and the Fund for Global Human Rights invite you to a lunchtime briefing with Tina Musuya, a leading advocate on gender-based violence in Uganda, and Executive Director of the Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP), to hear about her work and the remarkable SASA! model she has helped develop, that has seen levels of violence against women drop dramatically. Poonam Joshi, of the Fund for Global Human Rights will moderate the briefing. The event will take place on February 2nd, 12:00-14:00 at LankellyChase Foundation, London. To register, please e-mail

REGISTER NOW:  TELE-BRIEFING REFUGEE CRISIS IN EUROPE: NEW JOINT INITIATIVES FROM FUNDERS: The next refugee crisis tele-briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 16 at 16:00 CET, 15:00 GMT, 10:00 EST. During the call we will hear from Rien van Gendt, board member several foundations and who is now in charge of a new initiative called the “Maatschappelijke Alliantie” (Major Alliance), which will focus on the challenges of integrating refugees and immigrants into Dutch society. Ayesha Saran, Programme Manager on Migration at the Barrow Cadbury Trust, will speak about a new collaborative of Funders in the UK. Please confirm your participation by clicking here. Please note that this event is for funders only.

REGISTER NOW: ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: One-hour tuition session to increase your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Wednesday, February 17th, at 15:00 GMT (London time). This is an online webinar you can participate in from your desk. To join, you will need a computer or tablet (iPad/Android tablet) in order to watch the online demonstration. To register, please RSVP to Kenneth Hill –

REGISTER NOW: ANTI-SLAVERY LUNCHTIME BRIEFING: Ariadne UK invites you to a lunchtime briefing on 2nd March with Kevin Hyland, the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, in discussion with Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund. The briefing will run from 13:00 – 14:00, with a light lunch available from 12:30. To register, please email Lori Stanciu at  Please note that spaces are limited.

REGISTER NOW: 2016 ARIADNE POLICY BRIEFING, TALLINN: Ariadne will hold its annual Policy Briefing next year from April 20th-22nd in Tallinn, Estonia. All Ariadne participants are invited to the meeting, and can register for the event here. We will create the draft agenda in January. Once again this year we hope to offer free places to attend the Ariadne Policy Briefing. This is a good way for Southern or Eastern European grant-makers from smaller foundations to come to the Policy Briefing. If you would like to be considered for a free place this year, please e-mail Lori Stanciu at with your name, job title, organisation and 2 sentences on why the place would help your work as a grant-maker.

SAVE THE DATE: 2016 LEARNING VISIT – TURKEY: Ariadne, in collaboration with the International Human Rights Funders Group and the Peace & Security Funders Group, is organising a 4 day learning visit to Turkey in October 2016. Learning visits help funders improve their understanding of local human rights situations and philanthropy, while providing opportunities to meet peer grant-makers and human rights leaders from around the globe. More details will follow soon.

WATCH FOR: CHALLENGING THE CLOSING SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY – A PRACTICAL STARTING POINT FOR FUNDERS: Ariadne, the International Human Rights Funders Group and the European Foundation Centre will be publishing a new resource for donors and foundation staff later this month. At the same time we will also be issuing privately to grant-makers only, a digital graphic showing which funders work on this issue, where and using what approaches. More information on the Ariadne portal in the next week.


alert from wordRESPONSE NEEDED BY JANUARY 22nd! The Planning Committee has requested fresh ideas for break-out and plenary sessions for the next Ariadne Policy Briefing in Tallinn. We would be delighted to receive your session proposal. If you would like to send a proposal, please see here for more details.





The next Thread will go out on Thursday, February 18th. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Lori Stanciu by February 15th if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue. 


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Working Narratives

Credit: Working Narratives

Storytelling and social change: A strategy guide: This new guide from Working Narratives is aimed at organisers, organisations, activists, artists, storytellers, social entrepreneurs, and anyone else who wants to create positive social change. The guide has thirty-two short chapters divided into four color-coded sections.

Tales from Hungary – A Roma view point: In December of 2015, Julie Broome, Ariadne member and Director of Programmes at the Sigrid  Rausing Trust visited a village in Hungary where a number of Roma families live. Tales from Hungary – A Roma view point is her account of what she found.

Stop the Killings – Front Line Defenders Annual Report 2016: In its new annual report, Front Line Defenders says that 156 human rights defenders (HRDs) were killed or died in detention in 25 countries in the first eleven months of 2015. More than half of those killings, 87, took place in Latin America, with Colombia alone accounting for 54 killings. Outside the Americas one of the starkest figures was the total of 31 targeted killings of HRDs in the Philippines.

Letting the Movement Decide – New report from Frida: Frida, the Young Feminist Fund released its first report looking at its grant-making model “Letting the Movement Decide”. This report was researched and authored by The Lafayette Practice. FRIDA’s grant-making model was inspired by the Central America Women’s Fund, and is the first global model of its kind, currently functioning in 7 languages: Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, English & Arabic. The model puts decision-making in the hands of applicants, young feminists themselves, and it aims to shift power in philanthropy and ensure more engagement of young women, trans youth and girls in funding decisions.

Tackling freedom of movement without treaty change: The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has set out alternative options for the UK Prime Minister to achieve reform in Europe. This new briefing ‘Unlocking the EU Free Movement Debate’ explains how freedom of movement can be restricted while avoiding punitive or discriminatory benefit restrictions, and without fundamentally changing the founding principles of the EU. It would also assuage public concerns and be more palatable to EU partners.

Why People Move: A new report from the Overseas Development Institute shows that the significant rise in the number of people attempting to enter Europe via irregular means in recent years is driven by a combination of conflict, political instability and economic insecurity. The report concludes that policies which do not recognise the complex and changing nature of irregular migration are unlikely to effectively address the difficulties which both migrants and governments are experiencing in the current crisis.

EU new mechanisms on human rights defenders: The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, announced the first ever EU comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Mechanism. The initiative is set to become one of Europe’s key tools to assist human rights defenders at high risk, including in remote areas, running until 2018. Through the new mechanism, the EU will provide human rights supporters at risk with short-term support, including physical protection, legal and medical support, trial and prison monitoring, and urgent advocacy and relocation, among other actions.

“Just head-banging won’t work” – How state donors can further human rights of LGBTI in development cooperation and what LGBTI think about it: This study by Andrea Kämpf from the German Institute for Human Rights and supported by Dreilinden, tackles the question of how state development cooperation can work on issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in countries where these issues are criminalised and where LGBTI persons are socially stigmatised. The study then explores how different aspects of state development cooperation, such as aid cuts, programme design, modes of aid delivery and internal staff policies, may promote or endanger work on sexual orientation and gender identity.

European Fundamental Rights Agency report on Violence against children with disabilities: Children with disabilities face significant barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights, being denied access to basic services, such as health care and education, and endure stigma and discrimination, as well as sexual, physical and psychological violence. The FRA scrutinised the issue of violence against children with disabilities, carrying out desk research and conducting interviews with appropriate stakeholders. This report presents the results of that research.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

closing space for civil societyWATCH: Why the Space for Civic Engagement Is Shrinking: All around the world, active citizenship is under attack and the space for civic engagement is closing, not just in countries that have struggled under repressive or autocratic governments, but also in democracies with longstanding traditions of supporting freedom of expression. This video from the Open Society Foundation on the closing space for civil society explains the various reasons behind this worldwide trend (lack of experiences of those in power and fear of terrorism) and call for new solidarity within civil society.

Vladimir Putin signs law allowing Russia to ignore international human rights rulings: According to Alexandra Sims from the Independent, Vladimir Putin has signed a law allowing the Constitutional Court of Russia to decide whether or not to comply with judgements made by international human rights courts. The law enables Russia’s high court to overthrow decisions made by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Poland’s President Approves Controls on State Media, Alarming E.U. Leaders: Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, signed a law on Thursday that gives the government greater control over state broadcasters, despite the objections of European Union officials who fear that the measure will weaken freedom of the press. The legislation will allow Poland’s new conservative government to appoint and dismiss the executives in charge of public television and radio broadcasters. Until now, politically independent bodies made those decisions.

Attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve: The events at Cologne and Hamburg Railway stations on New Years eve about the mass assault of women by young men, is adding to a combustible and difficult political atmosphere in Germany. The voices of the women themselves are in danger if disappearing as left and right argue over who is to blame. Here is an excellent blog from Musa Okwonga a British/Ugandan poet who lives in Berlin.

WATCH: How Could the Paris Attacks Alter European Politics? Dr. Sara Silvestri, Senior Lecturer, International Politics, City University London, Dr. Matthew Goodwin, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House and Professor John Gaffney, Professor of Politics & Co-Director, Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University look at how the response to the attacks will shape the priorities of governments and political parties across the continent and at the implications for Muslim and immigrant communities across the continent.

CODA Story – re-inventing crisis reporting: Coda Story is a new journalist driven reporting agency with the model of staying with a crisis for at least a year. It has been given funding from one foundation and is raising the rest via crowd-funding. Coda Story’s first ‘pilot’ crisis, which they will stay with for at least a year, is to look at how and why Russia is targeting gay people.

Human rights defenders & security – Shelter City Initiative: The Shelter City Initiative is a national initiative of Justice and Peace in collaboration with Dutch cities, focusing specifically on the protection of Human Rights Defenders. When Human Rights Defenders are severely being threatened because of their work, they can apply for a three-month temporary shelter in one of the six Dutch Shelter Cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Middelburg, Maastricht, Nijmegen and Utrecht.

Marriage equality law knocked down in Slovenia: In March 2015, Slovenia’s 90-seat parliament voted 51-28 in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, making Slovenia the only country in Central and Eastern Europe to legalise marriage equality. Just nine months later, the conservative group called Children Are At Stake managed to gathered the 40,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage. The group argued that the marriage equality law does not recognise the importance of motherhood and fatherhood for the development of a child. The Slovenian parliament decided to reverse the law.


The Freedom Fund

Credit: The Freedom Fund

Ending Impunity, Securing Justice: Using Strategic Litigation to Combat Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking: In May 2015, The Freedom Fund and the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center brought together leading human rights lawyers, advocates, and litigators from around the world for a meeting in London. The conversation centred on how best to bring strategic litigation against states and private actors in order to combat trafficking and modern-day slavery. This document shares many of the key issues discussed at the meeting, including important lessons learned from successful litigation. It also highlights a number of persistent gaps that must be bridged in order to identify, prepare, and successfully prosecute cases that can lead to systemic change.

In Our Bones: Stories of Women Defending Land, Community, Human Rights, and The Environment in Indonesia and the Philippines: This new report from the Urgent Action Fund features case studies of nine grassroots women human rights defenders that have taken a stand for the environment and for the survival of their communities, often at great personal risk.

Why philanthropy should care about the SDGs: Alliance’s December issue looks at why the SDGs matter for philanthropy, mechanisms for donor collaboration on the Goals, and the work foundations already do as well as the challenges in implementation.

New Hub for Human Rights Defenders at York University: The Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York in the UK is establishing a new Hub on Human Rights Defenders. The purpose of the Hub is to facilitate dialogue, collaboration, and reflection amongst scholars, practitioners, and defenders. The Hub also produces a Working Paper Series on Human Rights Defenders, facilitates the formation of an international research network on HRDs and organises workshops and seminars.

A New Funding Ecology – A Blueprint for Change: This is a new piece of work by Henry Kippin at the social business Collaborate, with case studies looking at how and why funders collaborate. It is UK focused but many of the conclusions work across borders as well. It was commissioned by a number of UK funders, such as Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the Big Lottery Fund.

New Beginnings Fund: A number of trusts and foundations, including Comic Relief, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Barrow Cadbury Trust have come together to develop the New Beginnings Fund. The fund will support small groups in the UK that are working to welcome refugees and asylum seekers into their local communities. This might be through existing or new services, or by encouraging local communities to volunteer. The fund will support groups to respond to an increase in local public support, and maintain this in the long term.

Brave Philanthropy – nominate your HERO before January 24th: Civicus is adding a Brave Philanthropy award to its annual Youth Activist, Individual Activist and Civil Society Organisation awards that it will make this year in Bogota at the end of April, during its International Civil Society Week. More details can be found on the Ariadne portal, applying is simple, and the deadline has been extended to January 24th.


Jobs and Tenders

MazeDirector – Ariadne: The Founding Director, Jo Andrews, is now moving on and the Trustees of Global Dialogue and the Advisory Board of Ariadne are looking for a new Director who has the vision and leadership skills to take Ariadne into the next phase of its development and expansion. This is a leadership role on one of Global Dialogue’s most prominent projects. As such it requires someone with leadership, vision and practical skills and who is willing to work collaboratively within the Global Dialogue structure. The new Director will deepen and broaden the Ariadne network, drawing in a wider section of European based grant-makers in relevant fields and deepening the support offered to existing members. Location: London. Deadline for applications is 17:00 GMT on 11th of February. Please share this with your networks. 

Programme Assistant – Ariadne: Ariadne is looking for a highly organised, web literate, Programme Assistant to support the Communications and Events Manager and the Programme Director in running the Ariadne network. Some tasks will include administrative support to the Ariadne Communications and Events Manager and the wider team and events support, including with registration, identifying venues, helping to prepare event material, acting as backstop and note-taker during events. Location: London. Deadline for applications is 17:00 GMT on 25th of January.  Please share this with your networks.

 Programme Officer Money – Environmental Justice – Mama Cash: The ideal candidate will have expertise in a broad range of issues related to gender and environmental justice, knowledge of social movements in the global south and east, have strong skills in multi-actor collaborations, and be a highly competent project manager with budget and ideally grantmaking experience. This position is 36 hours/week. Location: Amsterdam. Deadline for applications is 24th January 2016.

Programme Specialist – Open Society Foundation: Open Society Foundation – Budapest office is looking for a Programme Specialist to conduct a wide range of activities related to the grant making process, including analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations and integrative activities and shepherd projects through all stages of the grant process. Location: Budapest. Deadline for applications is 30th January 2016.

Investment Engagement Manager – Friends Provident Foundation: This role will lead on the development and implementation of new cross-cutting programmes including investment analysis, working with fund managers, building networks, working creatively to bring about change – large and small – through effective stewardship of the foundation’s resources. Location: London. The deadline for applications is 28th January 2016.

Programme and Evaluation Manager – GDSSIL: Private trust which supports work on international development and disasters is seeking to recruit a part-time Programme and Evaluation Manager (3 days/week) to assist with managing the portfolio of existing and new awards to charities, and to work on strategy and impact evaluation. Location: Farnham, Surrey, UK. Deadline for applications: 17 January 2016

Deputy Director and Membership and Communications Associate – IHRFG: The International Human Rights Funders Group is looking for a Deputy Director who will work closely with the Executive Director to shape IHRFG’s vision, build relationships with key stakeholders, and ensure the sustainability and success of the network’s work. The Membership and Communications Associate will support a diverse group of funders trough member engagement, communications, and broader network-building. Location: New York. The deadline for applications is January 23rd.


Public Meetings


February 8th -12th
European women shareholders demand gender equality: While 40 per cent of women hold first-line management positions, at mid-management, female representation dramatically declines. The decision-making bodies of European listed companies are still dominated by men and men only. The conference will look at the next steps for action and whether there is a need for the implementation of European legislation with regard to women in decision making positions. The event will take place on February 11th, 2016, in Brussels, Belgium.

February 22nd – 26th
Training Reporting & Management: How to successfully manage an EU funded project? This one day training  will look at the reporting rules and obligations related to the management of an EU-funded project. Some of the objectives of the training are: to discover the allowed flexibility between the original project and its implementation, to understand the European Commission’s payment procedure and to master the subcontracting rules, etc. The event will take place on February 26th, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.

March 14th-18th
The European Union-Civil Society Organisations Forum: This large-scale event will bring together diverse Civil Society Organisations from both the development and human rights fields worldwide. The meeting will focus on three interlinked trails: the issue of enabling environment for Civil Society, and threats thereto, the EU’s donor support to CSOs based in developing countries and the EU’s various pro-Human Rights and pro-CSOs tools, as well as innovative support models. The event will also be an opportunity to discuss the use of these tools and mechanisms both at global and at country-level and to offer practical and operational information for CSOs to benefit more strategically from a variety of EU instruments and funding. Please contact Emilie Dromzée at for more information and if you would like to attend.


March 4th-13th
Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains: The FIFDH brings together filmmakers, human rights defenders, policymakers, media and citizens around leading violations of human dignity to promote and amplify strong voices and build public support for human rights. The event will showcase international cinema, documentary and fiction films on human rights and it aims to amplify the voices and work of human rights defenders, connect change-makers from all kind of horizons and strengthen international protection networks. The event will take place between March 4th-13th, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.


January 11th-15th
Developing Disability Rights in China: From Paper to Practice?: This conference, organised by the University of Leeds, builds on the presence within the student body of four activists and legal scholars, two in Galway and two in Leeds. It also draws on established connections with the UK-based NGO China Vision and grass-roots disability organisations in China. The event will be of interest to anyone interested in disability law and policy reform in China. Topics for discussion include mental health law, legal capacity and guardianship and inclusive education. No prior knowledge of the Chinese legal system is presumed. The event seeks to raise awareness of current initiatives and challenges experienced by disabled people and their organisations and advocates in China and to generate opportunities for on-going collaboration and exchange, e.g. in relation to research, learning and teaching, and advocacy and activism. The event will take place on January 15th, in Leeds, UK.


March 7th-11th
International Meeting on the Enabling Environment for Philanthropy:
Worldwide, philanthropy is facing a concerning trend of increased controls and restrictions, both at the local and international levels. WINGS is convening its network members and partners to share knowledge on the current situation and discuss the role of philanthropy support organisations in promoting and enabling the environment for philanthropy. RSVP by January 31st to Sarah at The event will take place between March 10th-11 in Lisbon, Portugal.


January 18th-22nd
From the Holocaust to the Human Rights Act – an evening with Dominic Grieve QC MP:  The modern concept of human rights was the civilised world’s response to the horrors of the Holocaust. But now that legacy is under threat. Join René Cassin to hear of why Dominic Grieve, Attorney General until July 2014, opposes repeal of the Human Rights Act, and the unique role the Jewish community has in preserving these rights. The event will be chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger and brings together human rights and Jewish experience. The event will take place on January 21st, 2016 in London, UK.

February 8th-12th
Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union: This Westminster seminar will examine the work of a range of international institutions active in the former Soviet Union including the Council of Europe, OSCE, EU,CIS, UN, EITI, Interpol and the international financial institutions, looking at how they respond to the major human rights challenges in the region. It will act as the launch event for a new Foreign Policy Centre publication bringing together essays examining these issues from a range of experts. This seminar is the first component of a major new FPC project entitled Exporting Repression, supported by the Open Society Foundations. The event will take place on February 9th, in London, UK.

February 15th-19th
Film screening and discussion: Leave to Remain: Hosted by the Human Rights Collegium and Criminal Justice Centre, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) with support from the Centre for Public Engagement, ‘Leave to Remain’ tells the coming of age story about a young Afghan boy who’s arrival sets off a chain of events that jeopardises the future of those closest to him. Unwittingly he plays an unimaginable game of chance where winning and getting Leave to Remain to stay in the UK is not always what it seems, and all hope hinges on just how good a story he can tell. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director, Professor Elspeth Guild, QMUL. The event will take place on February 18th, in London, UK.

April 18th – 22nd
The Divide – What happens when the rich get richer: The Divide tells the story of 7 individuals striving for a better life in modern day US and UK, where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. By plotting these tales together, we uncover how every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor. The documentary will be released in the UK on April 22nd. If you would like to hold a screening of the film, please fill in a screening form.


January 18th-22nd
Counter-Terrorism and Security in Europe after the Paris attacks: The attacks in Paris in November 2015 have resulted in a wave of counter-terrorism law and policy reform proposals at EU level. In this webinar, organised by the Oxford Human Rights Hub and Bertha Foundation, Professor Fiona de Londras (University of Birmingham), will outline these reforms and critically engage with them from a human rights perspective. The webinar will cover some topics such as: what was the state of EU counter-terrorism law and policy before the Paris attacks and what are the particular perceived security vulnerabilities in Europe and how do these justify the involvement of the EU? The webinar will take place on January 22nd, at 2pm GMT.


March 7th-16th
One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival: One World will present more than 110 documentary films from around the globe, focusing on social, political, environmental, media and human rights issues. The event provides a platform for exchange of views and experiences and offers the audience an opportunity to discuss subjects of films during Q&As and debates with filmmakers, producers, distributors, protagonists as well as with experts, policy makers, media and NGO representatives. The event will take place between March 7th-16th, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.


March 18th-26th
Movies that Matter Festival: Movies that Matter screens and promotes films that draw attention to human rights and situations in which these are at stake. The Movies that Matter Festival is a platform for engaged cinema, with over seventy documentaries and feature films from filmmakers being screened every year. Movies that Matter promote human rights film screenings worldwide, offers advice and assistance and stimulates the exchange of knowledge and experience. The event will take place between March 18th-26th, 2016 in The Hague, The Netherlands.


February 29th – March 4th
Internet Freedom Festival Funder Delegation: Digital surveillance and censorship threaten freedom of expression, access to information and human rights, world-wide. The Internet Freedom Festival is the largest and most diverse gathering of technologists, developers, policy experts and activists working to address these threats. IFF 2016 is centered around eight tracks, representing the leading topics of interest to the community. Media Democracy Fund and Open Technology Fund will provide funder-only gathering opportunities to learn about the Internet Freedom community and explore conference themes, including policy, design, diversity, journalism, best practices and technology tools. Please contact Kristin Thomson with questions about the event and for travel recommendations. The event will take place between March 3rd-4th, in Valencia, Spain.

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

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