Ariadne’s Thread – March 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – March 2020
März 20, 2020 Hannah Stevens

March 2020

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

IT’S HERE! 2020 ARIADNE FORECAST: Ariadne is pleased to announce the release of the 2020 Ariadne Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders! This year’s Forecast feels particularly momentous as we enter not only a new year, but a new decade. What are the challenges that philanthropy will face in the 2020s? What are the opportunities that this new decade will bring? And most importantly, is philanthropy prepared to seize those opportunities in order to meet the coming challenges (many of which are already on our doorstep) head on? From the interviews, surveys, and roundtables conducted emerges a picture of philanthropy in flux. A recognition that ‘business as usual’ is no longer fit for purpose alongside fears that real change is too difficult. There is a call for foundations to be bolder, to show more leadership and engage more with popular movements for change. But as one of the respondents said, ‘The real risk is that foundations do nothing.’ The next year could be a significant turning point as foundations grapple with what their response to this call will be. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #2020AriadneForecast.

WEBINAR: GDPR AND CIVIL SOCIETY: HOW ARE PUBLIC INTEREST ORGANISATIONS BEING AFFECTED? When the world’s most comprehensive digital privacy law – the EU General Data Protection Regulation – took effect in May 2018, media and tech experts focused much of their attention on how corporations, who hold massive amounts of data, would be affected by the law. This focus was understandable, but it left some important questions under-examined–specifically about non-profit organisations that operate in the public’s interest. How would NGOs be impacted? What does GDPR compliance mean in very practical terms for NGOs? What are the challenges they are facing? Could the GDPR be ‘weaponized’ against NGOs and if so, how? What good compliance practices can be shared among non-profits? On Thursday 26th March at 14:00 GMT/15:00 CEST/10:00 ET, Ben Hayes and Lucy Hannah from Data Protection Support & Management and Vera Franz from OSF’s Information Program will discuss these questions on this webinar based on their recent report. To register, please click here.

WEBINAR: LOCAL GRANT-MAKING: LASTING CHANGE: Please join Ariadne on Tuesday 14th April at 15:00 BST / 16:00 CEST / 10:00 ET for a webinar on developing collaborative grant-making practices at a local level and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With a growing interest in place-based funding and participatory grant-making, Claire MacGillivray, Community Development and Human Rights Specialist; Matthew Bolton, Executive Director of Citizens UK; and Dan Paskins, Senior Head of Development of The National Lottery Community Fund will reflect on the need for more investment in grassroots initiatives and how to structure successful grants programmes. To register, please click here.

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 21st April at 15:00 BST. This is an online webinar you can participate in from your desk. To join, you will need a computer or tablet (iPad/Android) to watch the online demonstration. To register, please click here. For additional portal tuition dates, please click here.

*To register for Ariadne events, your institution must be a member organisation of Ariadne. For questions regarding your membership status, please contact Hannah Stevens.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

ILGA-Europe’s Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People: The Annual Review is ILGA-Europe’s annual report documenting legal, political and social developments in 54 countries and 4 European institutions over the past calendar year. It is a unique report tracking key positive and negative trends in relation to LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia. This year’s review paints a complex picture that diverges from the widespread narrative that all is well for LGBTI people in large parts of Europe.

Freedom in the World 2020: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy: Freedom House has released its Freedom in the World report, its annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties. Despite mass protests in every region, the world suffered the 14th consecutive year of deterioration in democracy.

Reforming Audit in the Public Interest: This article outlines Luminate’s response to recent Auditing with Accountability report; a collaborative research project led by researchers at the University of Sheffield and Copenhagen Business School and funded by Luminate, investigating the systemic issue of audit failure. The article outlines why Luminate sees reform as a critical need for financial integrity and robust institutions.

Supporting Rights-Respecting AI: In this report, Element AI provides recommendations for how to design a human rights-based approach to AI governance.

CIVIC SPACE 2040: International Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL) has launched Civic Space 2040, a new initiative that aims to craft a positive vision for civic space and map strategies to make it a reality. ICNL has recently published four reports and gathered key resources geared toward civil society. See also, article, ‘Coronavirus and Civic Space: Preserving Human Rights During a Pandemic.’

Protect digital rights, promote public health: toward a better coronavirus response: The outbreak of COVID-19 is a moment to assess how we can protect public health in the digital age, and where our digital rights fit into the global humanitarian response. We often speak about digital security using terms from public health; “digital hygiene“ refers to small habits, like changing your password or remembering not to click on suspicious links, that not only help protect yourself, but also those around you. The analogy has come full circle; strong digital rights help improve public health. The internet allows us to alert the public to health threats faster than any previous communications platform or tool. We have learned how to track and prevent disease transmission, purchase medical supplies, and build community online in the midst of deprivation, fear, and isolation. We know that use of the internet will be critical in the race to save lives during the COVID-19 outbreak. The internet is also increasingly integrated into our social and governance systems, and as such its use figures importantly in the outbreak, in ways both positive and negative. By attending to the key digital rights issues outlined in this post, responders from the front lines to governments and international institutions can better understand the risks and find a more successful pathway to respond. See also, article, ‘Pho noodles and pandas: How China’s social media users created a new language to beat government censorship on COVID-19.’

Improving domestic compliance with UN treaty body decisions: This article by Irina Criveț for OpenGlobalRights, looks at how many victims are denied access to international justice because states do not act in a timely manner, and argues that reforming the treaty body follow-up process could help. 

A manufactured refugee crisis at the Greek-Turkish border: This article argues that the EU-Turkey deal turned people in need of safety and dignity into political bargaining chips. Turkey’s Erdoğan is being criticised for encouraging asylum seekers to flock to Europe, but will his move force the EU to change course? See also, article,’ How the coronavirus outbreak could hit refugees and migrants.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

AWARD: 2020 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity – Climate Change: The Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, awarded annually, in the amount of 1 million euros, aims to recognise people, groups of people and/or organisations from all over the world whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for its novelty, innovation and impact. Nominations for the award are now open.

RESOURCE: Remote Resources during the Coronavirus: Many people are finding themselves working remotely unexpectedly because of COVID19. If you and your team are suddenly remote, take a look at this list of resources. See also, article, ‘Digital Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus.’

PHOTO SERIES: Smile-ing Boys Project: Kay Rufai’s portraits of smiling black boys from south London came out of an initiative that investigated the lack of mental health provisions for black teenagers.

ARTICLE: These are the young Indian artists fighting fascism on Instagram: Rising Hindu nationalism in India has anti-fascism protests breaking out across the country. But, as Meera Navlakha finds, in this article for gal-dem, young artists are making social media spaces powerful sites of resistance too.

VIDEO: The Orwell Lecture: How to Predict an Election: In this  video, Daniel Finkelstein – who has been on the intimate inside of politics, working in Number 10 as well as the House of Lords, but also on the outside as a thoughtful commentator – speaks about the ways in which elections are predicted and strategized.

PODCAST SERIES: Conversations with Data: has launched its own podcast series. The first episode features Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed’s media editor and expert in online misinformation and content verification.

CALL FOR EVIDENCE: Joint Committee on Human Rights (UK): The Joint Committee on Human Rights (UK) has issued a call for evidence on a number of forthcoming Bills. See also, COVID-19 response scrutinised to ensure human rights are upheld, which also includes a call for evidence.

ARTICLE: Coronavirus Fears are Decimating the Sex Industry: This HuffPost article writes how, as COVID-19 spreads in Seattle, sex workers are losing clients and taking more risks.

Do you have a great blog post, case study or podcast you’d like to contribute? We would love to feature it. Email Hannah Stevens at


Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

Funder statement on Covid-19: London Funders has launched a joint funder statement on support for civil society groups who are doing vital work supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities during the Covid-19 outbreak. Click to read the statement and sign up.

How should philanthropists respond to the coronavirus? Covid-19 creates unprecedented challenges for all of us, and it is likely that everyone in the UK will be touched by it in some way before we reach a new normal. Our instinctive response to a crisis of this kind is apparently to hunker down, stockpile loo roll and hand-wash, and keep ourselves to ourselves. In this article, Claire Wilkins of New Philanthropy Capital writes that this is a luxury that the social sector can ill-afford to do, and argues we must work proactively and collectively to ensure that beloved and necessary charities survive the challenges ahead.

Embracing complexity: Together we can! In this article for DAFNE, Carola Carazzone argues that today the challenge is to prevent silos and mono-stakeholder bubbles and move from individual organisations to vision, cross-sector collaboration and multi-stakeholder strategic partnerships. We have to take the lead in re-imagining our role, improving our capacity to plan, assess and communicate our impact.

PEXforum 2020: This video reports on the first Europe-wide PEXforum 2020 that gathered 125 participants from 41 networks and 24 countries at Impact Hub in Madrid to discuss challenges and opportunities around philanthropy in Europe and how to take common action.

5 Hiring Pitfalls to Avoid—If You Want Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Leadership: No matter how much we talk about making philanthropy more equitable, our efforts to recruit and train new leaders continue to reinforce a hegemony that is inconsistent with the values and backgrounds of a majority of our population. In this blog for Non-Profit Quarterly, Vincent Robinson flags up established practices that are likely holding back your organisation’s recruitment and leadership development practices.

On their own ground: In this article for Alliance Magazine, Mónica Alemán from Ford Foundation reminds us that if you want to build strong partnerships with Indigenous people, you have to approach them as equals and on their terms.

BLOG: Bezos’ $10bn donation should not pitch philanthropy and taxation against each other – that would be a zero-sum game: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ recent major foray into philanthropy came with the announcement that he is going to commit $10 billion to combat the global climate crisis. The world’s richest man has previously been criticised for his lacklustre efforts when it comes to charitable giving, so can we assume this news was universally welcomed? Well no, not exactly, explains Rhodri Davies from Charities Aid Foundation in this blog for Alliance Magazine.

How Philanthropy Can Create Public Systems Change: Philanthropic investment in the public system through the social sector can enable state-wide systems change. This article covers the story of how one initiative transformed access to public higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Californians.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 16th April. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 14th April if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Climate Programme Officer – Oak Foundation: Oak Foundation is seeking a Programme Officer to join the Climate Change sub-programme of its Environment programme. The sub-Programme’s strategy includes decarbonising the power sector, accelerating the shift to clean transportation and creating an enabling environment for political action to tackle climate change. This is a solutions-focused role to help empower communities to transition to a fairer, healthier and safer future. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 12th April.

Aryeh Neier Fellowship – Open Society Foundations: The Open Society Justice Initiative, a programme of the Open Society Foundations, is pleased to invite applications for its 2021-2022 Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program. This is a full-time, two-year program that offers lawyers and other advocates an opportunity to gain practical experience in international human rights advocacy and litigation across a broad range of thematic areas and geographies, embedding them as an integral part of the global Justice Initiative team. Location: Berlin, London and New York. Deadline for applications is 24th March.

Deputy Director, Regional Funding – National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is looking for a Deputy Director of Regional Funding to join the England Senior Management Team and lead its responsive funding across its 6 regions. The successful candidate will oversee the allocation of the Fund’s £200m commitment budget and will lead a team of c.150 largely remotely based, mobile team members across the regions. Location: Flexible, England. Deadline for applications is 24th March.         

Coordinator – Red Umbrella Fund: The Red Umbrella Fund is recruiting for a Coordinator. The Coordinator is the senior staff member responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s secretariat. This includes supervising a team of three Programme Associates and maintaining effective relations with the host organisation, Mama Cash. The successful candidate will lead the organisational planning and budgeting, fundraising, and funder influencing work, and monitors the Fund’s participatory grantmaking. They will be directly accountable to the Red Umbrella Fund’s International Steering Committee, which consists of sex worker activists and funders. Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Deadline for applications is 30th March.

Programme Officer/Senior Programme Officer – Sigrid Rausing Trust: Sigrid Rausing Trust is hiring a Programme Officer/Senior Programme Officer to advise its Trustees on their human rights grantmaking. The successful candidate will lead on the development of the Trust’s Xenophobia and Intolerance programme which currently has a grant-making budget of 2 million pounds per year. This programme focuses on refugee rights, combating discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or religion, and tackling xenophobic and intolerant attitudes. They may also support one of the other human rights programmes, depending on organisational need and individual experience. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 25th March.

Head of the Justice Together Initiative, UK – The Legal Education Foundation: The Justice Together Initiative will launch in summer 2020 aiming to ensure that people who use the UK immigration system can access justice and thrive. The Initiative will invest in quality, free legal advice and national policy advocacy to support the lawful and fair functioning of immigration, nationality and asylum processes. Over the next five years, more than £8 million of new funding has been committed by founding funders including Paul Hamlyn Foundation, AB Charitable Trust, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Comic Relief, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Unbound Philanthropy, Trust for London and Tudor Trust, with others likely to join. The Head of Justice Together is critical to the success of the work, and will lead the initiative, taking overall responsibility for the implementation of the strategy, which will be developed with the legal and migration sectors, with directly affected communities, and the contributing funders. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 24th March.

Policy Analyst Consultant, Out of the Shadows Index – Ignite Philanthropy: Ignite Philanthropy seeks a Policy Analyst Consultant to monitor and facilitate the use of the Out of the Shadows Index (OOSI), develop materials for advocacy and policy recommendations, and refine the metrics for future rounds of the Index. The Policy Analyst will collaborate closely with the Senior Program Advisor and a part-time Communications Consultant and be supported part-time by a Program Assistant. The Policy Analyst will also collaborate with other members of the Ignite Philanthropy team, Ignite Philanthropy donors, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and grantees and other partners. They will report to the Senior Program Advisor. Location: Flexible/remote, preferably based in or near ET or CET time zones. Deadline for applications is 22nd March.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal.


Reasons to be Cheerful!

It’s not all bad! Here, some of the Ariadne Team share the silver linings they have found in otherwise cloudy skies.


Julie Broome, Director: Working from home means I now spend more quality time with my cats, although I now know for sure how extremely lazy they really are. My goal for the coming weeks is to teach them how to clean the house.’

Hannah Stevens, Communications & Membership Engagement Coordinator: ‘It has been so heart-warming to see the groundswell of interest in and support for grassroots initiatives to support our neighbours duing this difficult time, such as Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK.’

Florent Gonthier, Programme & Events Assistant: ‘The coronavirus has had some surprisingly beneficial effects on affected areas. Maybe this tragedy can be a lesson to rethink the way we live and some good will come out of it!’

Ariadne is supported by the American Jewish World Service, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennström Philanthropies.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.

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