Adapt and Change – Amandla’s Campaigns

One of our more recent grantees, Amandla.mobi, has been pretty busy over the summer, adapting its approach to problems and responding to the needs and wants of the community. While they had initially hoped to mobilise large numbers of young people to campaign for better public services for young people through the creation of Youth Desks in different municipalities. While their efforts did generate a response from the local mayor and the campaign attracted more than 200 people, Amandla found that it wasn’t the burning issue that would be capable of mobilising a mass campaign of 1,000 or more. So what to do? Continue reading

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Proposals to Indigo and Brazil’s World Cup

At funder gatherings or training courses, one of the top questions revolves around how many proposals foundations receive and how likely applicants are to be successful. It’s a huge concern – particularly for smaller trusts and foundations that may be managed on a part-time or even voluntary basis. It’s also one of the reasons that many trusts and foundations are wary of having a completely open application process or even of accepting any unsolicited proposals at all. But is the fear of being inundated by proposals and concept notes a valid one? Does being an open funder mean you will struggle to keep on top of a steady stream of applications from all manner of organisations? Continue reading

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2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance – launched a couple of weeks ago – highlights a largely upward trend in the state of governance in Africa between 2009 and 2013. Much of this trend is apparently down to gains in the overall state of participation and human rights – one of the categories used by the Index to measure the overall state of governance. Sustainable economic opportunity – another indicator used in the Index – however demonstrated a downward trend over the past four years, somewhat weakening the positive growth of economic opportunity registered between 2005 and 2009. The Index appears at a timely moment, as several countries across the continent scramble to deal with the Ebola outbreak currently affecting West Africa.

To read more about the Index and discover how it’s constructed and which countries have performed best, click here.

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My Article on Our Funding Model and Taking Risks in Inside:Out

This quarter’s edition of the Bertha Centre for Innovation (University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business)’s magazine Inside:Out explores Financing for social ventures and would make great reading for many of our followers.  On page 14-17, I explore our approach to funding, looking at why we take risks, with small grants, across a diverse portfolio and why it’s worth it.  Lots of our grantees and other partners and successful projects are mentioned, including Efiko, Co-Creation Hub, iWatch Live, BudgIT, Wecycler, Odekro, Lungisa, People’s Assembly, Omidyar Network and an interview with Su Kahumbu from iCow.  You can see the magazine as a slide show below or read a PDF version here.

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My Huffington Post Article: Where Did Our Money Go? Let Twitter Find Out!

Tweet by Sen. SarakiWhen poor mining practices resulted in lead poisoning in Northern Nigeria, children were dying.  The government pledged funds, but they weren’t reaching the communities which needed it the most.  Follow the Money went about developing an offline and online strategy to ensure the funds reached the affected community.  Find out more in this article which I wrote for the Huffington Post.

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Aid Transparency Index 2014 Launched

Publish What You Fund – an organisation campaigning for greater transparency in aid and international development – launched their Aid Transparency Index 2014 yesterday. The report’s overall message is that despite making several international transparency commitments, the vast majority of the world’s donors are still not sharing useful information about their aid spending. And here are some of the other key findings: Continue reading

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Farmerline Press Release on Ebola

The following is a press release prepared by Indigo grantee, Farmerline, regarding their work to tackle the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Ebola is Spreading 

The Ebola outbreak appears to be far from over. As of 29 September, 6,574 cases of the hemorrhagic fever caused by the Ebola virus have been reported in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. The fatal virus has ravaged parts of West Africa and this past week, the US Center for Disease control reported its first case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas. While the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other global health organizations have invested millions of dollars to combat the spread of the disease in West Africa, Farmerline has teamed up with local health professionals to send out Ebola prevention tips to over 2,000 small-scale farmers across Ghana. Continue reading

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