Clear all

75 results found

reorder grid_view

A Missed Rebirth: The Rockefeller Foundation's Involvement in the Economic and Social Development of Sardinia after the Second World War

October 2, 2023

The stipend from the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) under the Research Stipend Program has provided me with an opportunity to clarify one of the most forgotten pages of the late phase of the "Sardinian Project" i.e., the involvement of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) in the studies for the economic and social rehabilitation and development of the Italian Island of Sardinia in the early 1950s. The issue has been particularly debated in the contemporary history of Sardinia, as well as in the political debate at that time because, despite the initial great interest, the involvement of the American institution (and other international players) did not take place. On the contrary, the economic "re-birth" of Sardinia was possible mainly through the so-called "Rebirth Plan," approved by the local and national governments in June 1962, twelve years after the "missed rebirth."Over the past seventy years, two main positions have emerged in this regard. One agrees that the RF was never involved "for a lira or a dollar" in the planning of Sardinia's socio-economic development. The second one states that the American foundation was, to some extent, directly involved, at least in the preliminary phase. However, to date, both theories have failed to look directly and deeply into the historical record for a more precise and objective reconstruction. This report summarizes the first results of my research conducted at the RAC in September 2022, which aims to gain a better knowledge of this page of local history, that possesses underrated - and largely unknown - national and international implications.

Reviving News Media in an Embattled Europe

June 21, 2023

For over a decade, a series of crises have undermined the media's ability to support democracy. Traditional business models have collapsed with the rise of the internet and social media platforms. Hyperpartisan news sites and disinformation have damaged readers' trust in online content. At the same time, illiberal leaders in several democracies have developed sophisticated methods for silencing and co-opting the media.Freedom House conducted in-depth research and interviews with nearly 40 media professionals and experts in six countries: Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. The countries vary by market size and by the health of their democracy, but all are part of the European Union (EU), where members are debating important regulatory measures to protect media independence and pluralism under a proposed European Media Freedom Act. Freedom House examined four conditions affecting the playing field for independent news media and their role in democracy: their ability to sustain themselves financially, reach and engage diverse audiences, earn public trust, and play a watchdog role.

“This Is Why We Became Activists”: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

February 14, 2023

According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.

Social Media Seen as Mostly Good for Democracy Across Many Nations, But U.S. is a Major Outlier

December 6, 2022

As people across the globe have increasingly turned to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms to get their news and express their opinions, the sphere of social media has become a new public space for discussing – and often arguing bitterly – about political and social issues. And in the mind of many analysts, social media is one of the major reasons for the declining health of democracy in nations around the world.However, as a new Pew Research Center survey of 19 advanced economies shows, ordinary citizens see social media as both a constructive and destructive component of political life, and overall most believe it has actually had a positive impact on democracy. Across the countries polled, a median of 57% say social media has been more of a good thing for their democracy, with 35% saying it has been a bad thing.There are substantial cross-national differences on this question, however, and the United States is a clear outlier: Just 34% of U.S. adults think social media has been good for democracy, while 64% say it has had a bad impact. In fact, the U.S. is an outlier on a number of measures, with larger shares of Americans seeing social media as divisive.

Navigating Climate Change in Europe: The Choices Ahead

July 1, 2022

This report draws on polling from 26,000 people and over 50 focus groups across France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK in 2021 and 2022 and explores how best to build on the wide public consensus for climate action to advance much-needed climate solutions.We make observations and recommendations that we hope will aid civil society organisations, the Green movement, and those in policymaking roles to elevate the prioritisation of climate change in Europe and successfully advance climate solutions. In addition to using standard demographic analyses, we also draw on our segmentation studies in Germany, France, and the UK to examine the relevance of the psychology and values of key subgroups as they relate to climate change. Our recommendations draw on points of broad agreement that we hope will work not only to advance climate change policies, but also diffuse political division and deepen a sense of common cause.

Business as Usual: How major weapons exporters arm the world’s conflicts

March 3, 2022

This research provides the first global analysis of how conflict in, or involving, a recipient state, impacts exporters' willingness supply arms. It analyses the top eleven global arms suppliers over the ten-year period 2009-2018 Listed in order by the volume of major conventional weapons transfers, these global sales leaders are: the United States, Russia, Germany, France, China, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. These countries assert widely varying formal policies regarding arms exports, but the empirical record is, for the most part, remarkably similar.

Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent

February 8, 2022

Finding, retaining, and developing talent is a top priority for business leaders today. Refugees represent an incredible pool of talent that can fill worker shortages and enhance diversity. Yet, many employers overlook refugee candidates due to perceptions that workers cannot succeed in a role if they have limited proficiency in the local language. Bridging Language and Work: Solutions to Invest in Immigrant and Refugee Talent outlines how companies can implement solutions to overcome language barriers to help local language learners – including refugees – get into jobs faster as they work towards proficiency. The guide provides key information for employers, including:A framework for companies on the ways in which they can invest in local language learners beyond expanding access to language trainingSpecific solutions that can be implemented across the talent management cycle to help local language learners succeedThe business benefits of hiring refugees and other local language learnersA list of resources that companies can tap into to support local language learnersThis guide is a collaboration between the Tent Partnership for Refugees and JFF (Jobs for the Future), a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the U.S. workforce and education systems. This guide was developed as part of JFF's Corporate Action Platform, which helps uncover and share talent solutions that enable companies to address both business and social needs.

Taking the Pulse of the European Foundation Sector : Moving from Proving Impact to Improving Impact

January 1, 2022

This report contains key insights, survey data and case studies from the first year of the European and Spanish Communities of Practice on Impact Measurement and Management (IMM), coordinated by the Esade Center for Social Impact with the support of BBK. These groups of foundation professionals from 15 countries have come together to increase the level of transparency, knowledge-sharing and exchange within the European foundation sector on this topic. Building on the transcribed discussions and surveys of approximately 40 European foundations, the authors have developed several learnings they hope will help the whole European foundation sector, as well as any other organizations that want to measure and manage their impact. In this perspective, the report also includes tables outlining what the different 'levels' of practice might be, so that the reader can understand what the impact management learning journey looks like at different stages (beginner, on the journey, and advanced).In addition to the present report, the following page provides links to the recording of the launch of the report as well as presentation slides: https://www.esade.edu/en/faculty-and-research/research/knowledge-units/center-social-impact/research/community-practice 

Global Public Opinion in an Era of Democratic Anxiety

December 7, 2021

As democratic nations have wrestled with economic, social and geopolitical upheaval in recent years, the future of liberal democracy has come into question. In countries across the globe, democratic norms and civil liberties have deteriorated, while populists have enjoyed surprising success at the ballot box. Newly democratic nations have struggled, while more-established, once self-assured democracies have stumbled, exposing long-simmering weaknesses in their social fabrics and institutional designs.These trends have been well-documented by organizations such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, International IDEA and the Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), which measure and track the quality of democracy around the world. Public opinion researchers have also focused on these issues by examining how citizens think about democracy and its alternatives. At Pew Research Center, we've applied a comparative, cross-national lens to explore global trends in attitudes toward political representation and individual rights.

Policies for Cooperative Ownership in the Digital Economy

December 6, 2021

The past decade gave rise to the so-called 'gig economy'—a cluster of service sector jobs contingent workers fulfill through digital platforms. Firms like Uber, TaskRabbit, and GrubHub established themselves as two-way intermediaries between workers and customers with the promise of revolutionizing work itself. While the gig economy has provided some convenience and savings to customers and flexibility to workers, the rise of the gig economy has also been disastrous. Using legal loopholes, well-funded lobbying efforts, and publicity campaigns, platform companies have eroded labor protections, worsened environmental conditions, and undermined public services. In contrast to the early, high-minded dreams of a 'sharing economy,' the gig economy is in effect defined by precarity and exploitation.On the one hand, these problems have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. Gig workers were on the frontline of the emergency, delivering groceries, cleaning supplies, and preparing food. They were, however, also the workers who were most exposed to the economic dislocation of the pandemic.On the other hand, effective government response has caused a tightening labor market that leaves some platforms without a sufficient supply of cheap labor. The promise of tech companies was that they would become hegemonic service providers, and thus their losses would be justified with long-term profits. Many of these already unprofitable firms face a real danger of failure just as their aggressive expansion has weakened public infrastructure, leaving vital gaps in essential services.Our report provides a path forward at this critical juncture: the active promotion of platform cooperatives. Platform cooperatives are democratically-governed organizations owned by workers, customers, and other stakeholders. These entities match workers and customers and return a greater share of income to workers, increase worker protections, and build communities. Though still early in their development, platform cooperatives build on the proven business models of cooperatives to establish alternatives to the gig economy and its supporting digital infrastructure.Platform cooperatives are critical to creating a fairer economy and building back better from the pandemic. However, they require active government intervention to be able to compete with well-funded and established private platforms.This report suggests that governments on every level, from national to municipal, can take measures to empower platform cooperatives.

Meeting The World’s Midcareer Challenge

July 1, 2021

Meeting The World's Midcareer Challenge is based on a survey of 3,800 employed and unemployed people, and 1,404 hiring managers to reveal global employment trends.The report sheds light on the reality of the jobs market for those aged 45-60 in seven countries — Brazil, India, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States — with a particular focus on those seeking or working in entry-level and intermediate roles with no formal post-secondary educational background and low income levels. The findings highlight the stark unemployment challenges faced by midcareer workers across the world, offering insight into why they struggle.These trends existed before the pandemic, but this research also demonstrates that COVID-19 has harmed employment opportunities and worsened employment conditions for midcareer workers. 37% of those switching jobs in their midcareer and over 50% of those seeking work, say that COVID-19 has had a major impact on their employment status.

2021 Ariadne Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders

March 1, 2021

To create the 2021 Ariadne Forecast, 275 Ariadne members and friends of the network filled in surveys, participated in interviews, and attended online forecast meetings to share their insights into trends in European social change and human rights philanthropy for 2021.The report looks at the challenges and opportunities this year might bring for grantees; how funder practice could change; which political events are likely to affect their work; what will become more important in the months ahead; and -- perhaps most importantly -- what to feel hopeful about. There are chapters on France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and the UK, plus a broader, global focus.The challenges ahead may be great, but philanthropy can play a role in helping us overcome them.