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Creative Capitalism: Nelson Rockefeller’s Development Vision for Latin America and the World

May 30, 2023

This study of the American International Association for Economic and Social Development (AIA) and its associated corporations, including the commercial International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC), illuminates an understudied chapter in the history of the public-private aid regime that grew in the midtwentieth century to become the major industry it is today. As development aid became an American strategic priority in the decades after World War II, Nelson Rockefeller embarked on his own experiment for improving agricultural production and standards of living in poor areas of the world. His laboratory would be Latin America, the region he knew well from his wartime work at the Office of Inter-American Affairs (OIAA). Rockefeller's vision of "creative capitalism" meshed development work into a complex system of nonprofit and for-profit corporations engaged in trial-and-error projects to figure out how to develop perceived underdeveloped societies. With the announcement of President Truman's Point IV policy to deploy American development aid globally, Rockefeller advised the US government to make creative and robust use of American nonprofit and commercial expertise to implement this new strategic objective. This project illustrates just how overlapping and porous the boundaries of nonprofit and commercial development work were and the extent to which they intertwined with the state and other entities. It also shows the difficulties of agricultural and economic development abroad when conducted by small nonprofit corporations and commercial capital—even with the backing of Rockefeller wealth. These limitations meant that AIA increasingly turned to support from the burgeoning US and international public-private aid industry.

Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy 2023

April 13, 2023

n its second edition, the publication Perspectives for Brazilian Philanthropy by IDIS – Institute for Development of Social Investment presents the current scenario, identifies inspiring actions, and points out ways for a more strategic and transformative private social investment, bringing together elements that contribute to decision making. At the background, resonances of the preview's year, marked by polarized elections and the need for organizations and entities to come out publicly and demonstrate their commitment to democracy, in apparent check. Also, the worrying return of Brazil to the UN Hunger Map, the serious situation of indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, in addition to the record levels of deforestation.There are eight perspectives that has 'boldness' as a common element, reflecting and showing practical examples on how philanthropists and social investors can act in a strategic, effective, and agile way. 

Philanthropy and social investment in BRICS countries

March 1, 2023

Philanthropy and social investment in the BRICS countries is a study initiated by the Russian Donors Forum Association and the Ural Federal University Center for Research of Philanthropy and Social Programs. The International partners of the study are the Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support Association (WINGS) and the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose Association (CECP Global Exchange). In addition to the research there has been published a review Philanthropy in the BRICS countries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.The aim of the study was to conduct a comparative analysis of the donor communities of the BRICS countries and to assess the COVID-19 impact on the sector of philanthropy and social investment.The study represents a portrait of the donor communities of the BRICS countries, the external conditions of their activities, including the regulatory environment; highlights the urgency of the donor organizations' work. In addition, the authors of the study tried to identify the challenges that arose before the donor community of the BRICS countries in connection with the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as analyze the activities and approaches of the donor community aimed at combating the pandemic and its social consequences.

Philanthropy in BRICS countries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

March 1, 2023

Philanthropy in the BRICS countries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a review prepared by Russian Donors Forum alongside with the research Philanthropy and social investment in the BRICS countries. The review analyses how philanthropy in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is aligning its activity with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), what progress has already been made and what challenges the sector faces.The review studies the common features of philanthropy of the BRICS countries, as well as the role of Agenda 2030 in the sector of philanthropy and social investment in each of the countries.

Mapping Highlights of the Independent Grantmaking Organizations for Social Justice and Community Development in Brazil

February 1, 2023

Comuá Network and ponteAponte partnered to conduct the mapping. It is a study developed from qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (questionnaires) approaches to understand, characterize, and highlight the independent organizations that have donated funds to social justice and community development organizations, groups, and civil society movements in Brazil. The research was conducted from January to August 2022.

The role of major retailers and supermarkets in the transition from industrial animal agriculture to alternative proteins in low- and middle-income countries: The case of Brazil

December 15, 2022

This report analyzes how supermarkets in Brazil promote plant-based "meat" compared with animal-based products. It also compares plant-based products coming from companies that also offer meat (i.e. meat processing companies) with products from companies that only manufacture plant-based products (plant-based "exclusive" firms).The findings are as follows: 1. Plant-based meat is less widely available in supermarkets than animal meat. 2. Plant-based meat is significantly more expensive than animal meat. 3. Animal products are more often promoted through price reduction and multi-buy offers than their plant-based analogues. 4. Products from plant-based exclusive firms have higher prices, more fragmented availability, and lower discounts compared with plant-based products from meat processor companies. To discourage the production and consumption of meat in Brazil (a country that is the world's top producer and consumer of industrial meat), and encourage the transition to alternative protein products, one should:1. Increase the availability of plant-based products in supermarkets. 2. Lower plant-based meat prices. 3.Increase the presence of smaller and purely plant-based companies in retail outlets. 4. Reduce the promotion of animal meat products. To achieve the above outcomes, one should: 1. Reach out to retailers (e.g. to propose that they make alternative protein products more visible and available). 2. Invest in research (e.g. to find alternative protein sources that have cheaper ingredients). 3. Raise consumer awareness of the benefits of plant-based products and the importance of plant-based exclusive firms. 4. Empower smaller and plant-based exclusive firms. 5. Reach out to policymakers (e.g. for financial support for plant-based meat research, for transferring subsidies away from animal meat, for strengthening alternative protein sector's entrepreneurial ecosystem).

From pasture to compost barns: Smallholder family dairy farmers and the expansion of industrialized animal production in Santa Catarina, Brazil

October 17, 2022

Why are small-scale family dairy farms expanding to larger scale industrialized systems such as compost barns in Santa Catarina, one of the largest dairy production regions in Brazil?Compost barns are presented to small-scale farmers as a modern and efficient production model. Farmers perceive that by adopting these intensive confined systems, they will acquire the social status associated with modernity. To curb the further adoption of compost barns and encourage the use of pasture-based systems instead, one needs to take multiple steps and approaches.FARMERS AND EXTENSION AGENTS: 1) Engage with farmers individually, and identify extension agents with good relationships with farmers. 2) Explain that compost barns require massive investments and higher labor demands, reduce animal welfare, and increase vulnerability to external factors, while well-managed pasture-based systems can match many of the alleged benefits of compost barns. 3) Women and younger generations in family farms are key groups to target, given their growing influence in decision-making. 4) Promote sustainable, pasture-based dairy production systems as a new face of modernity and symbol of high status that brings a sense of pride. 5) Publicize successful pasture-based farms as model farms. 6) Provide concrete steps of managing pasture-based systems that farmers can easily understand and follow.CONSUMERS: Develop public interest in sustainable, pasture-based dairy production; generate consumer markets for animal welfare-friendly, climate-friendly or carbon-neutral milk.POLICY MAKERS: Lobby for policies that incentivize production using pasture-based systems, for example: Rural credit programs for smallholders, programs that give them a secure market, payment for ecosystem services, subsidizing photovoltaic energy.

Brazilian Endowments Outlook

August 9, 2022

The first registered endowment in Brazil dates from 1956. The model, however, was not adopted by many organizations, and only in the decade of 2010 it started becoming more popular. The first law that regulates endowments was created in 2019 and since then the debate around them has been rising.Little by little, there were news about new endowment, but there was no information about their number and sizes, or where they were located and causes they beneficiated. These are some of the questions that we at IDIS often hear. And the problem is that there was no data to answer them. Despite seeing the fruits of our efforts, we were not sure about the size of the endowment fund field in the country, nor its characteristics.It was the urge to answer these questions, and many others, that led IDIS to develop the BRAZILIAN ENDOWMENTS OUTLOOK. After more than ten years of advocating for the regulation of endowment funds in our country, providing technical support for the creation of more than ten funds, and launching six publications on the subject, we wanted to have a clear picture of how far we have come.The challenge was easy, as endowment fund managers are not used to disclosing numbers, let alone talking about their own difficulties. To our surprise, some traditional funds were willing to participate promptly, and this attitude spurred others to do the same. We gathered information on 58 endowment funds, six of which are still in the planning or structuring phase. In this publication, we have gathered the highlights we consider most important for the international public and those who are interested in learning more about this important aspect of philanthropy in Brazil.

Creating Better Health for People, Animals, and the Planet: Food Systems Insights for Health Professionals

July 6, 2022

The report Creating Better Health for People, Animals, and the Planet: Food Systems Insights for Health Professionals showcases 10 food-focused initiatives that have taken action to promote human, ecological, and animal health and well-being. From Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, and the United States, the case studies in this report demonstrate how the health sector can play a critical role in food systems transformation.

Livelihood transitions in low- and middle-income countries: From animal agriculture to alternative proteins

June 13, 2022

* This report provides insights into whether and how it is possible for commercial livestock producers and other people involved in the animal agriculture sector to transition to other livelihoods and sources of income, if and when there is a dietary and market shift away from animal-sourced foods and towards alternative proteins. Brazil is used as a case study. * Key lessons learned: (1) Relatively few examples of farmers and ranchers having actually transitioned out of animal agriculture into alternative protein production. (2) No examples of transition programs supporting farmer transitions away from animal agriculture in low- and middle-income countries. (3) Potential challenges and barriers for farmers include economic viability, lack of knowledge, skepticism or judgment from other farmers. (4) But some farmers recognize that growing crops can be less labor intensive and an integrated crop-livestock farming system can be beneficial.* The conclusion is that characterizing the opportunities and risks for livestock farmers is necessarily speculative. It is difficult to state with any certainty how likely any one outcome is, or on what timescale or magnitude. Nonetheless, being proactive rather than reactive, thinking through, and systematically generating awareness of possible outcomes (both positive and negative) is a necessary if insufficient step towards being able to guide actions that could secure the best-possible futures for farmers. 

Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving - Brazil

May 12, 2022

Current research on the philanthropic environment in Brazil shows improvement in the country's donation culture over time. Recent studies have shown both a more mature donation culture and that empathy, solidarity, and an openness toward donations are on the rise. Brazilians have a more positive perception of civil society organizations (CSOs) and a greater understanding of what they do. Their impact is increasingly communicated, and there is a greater acceptance that CSOs should help address social and environmental challenges. This improvement in donation culture was accompanied by the development of new technological tools for donating, including giving platforms, greater reliance on social media, and even a slight emergence of crypto giving.This report examines three nonprofits and social businesses representing three different donation models advancing the donation culture in Brazil: Arredondar, BSocial, and Editora MOL. These initiatives were chosen with their broader transformative power in mind; in addition to the direct financial impact, they influence donors' mindsets, therefore strengthening giving culture in Brazil. They emphasize accountability and transparency and believe that digitalization will unlock growth potential. Critically, they overcome three barriers to donating: lack of money, the belief that causes are irrelevant to potential donors, and uncertainty whether the donation will be well-spent.In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, all three initiatives found a change in the mentality of the public and companies and a more pro-donation attitude. Once the economic situation is improved, this may lead to a consistent recovery in donations. With knowledge and an understanding of new models for enabling donations that this report offers, it will be possible to go even further.

“I Became Scared, This Was Their Goal”: Efforts to Ban Gender and Sexuality Education in Brazil

May 12, 2022

Since around 2014, lawmakers at the federal, state, and municipal levels in Brazil have introduced over 200 legislative proposals to ban "indoctrination" or "gender ideology" in Brazilian schools. These proposals, which target gender and sexuality education, have been the subject of intense political and social debate in Brazilian society, with some bills ultimately passing, many still pending, and others withdrawn.This report is based on a review by Human Rights Watch of 217 of these bills and laws, and on 56 interviews with teachers and education experts, including representatives of state departments of education, unions, and civil society organizations.The report focuses on legislative and political attempts to suppress holistic and comprehensive approaches to education on gender and sexuality in primary and secondary public schools in Brazil. It contextualizes such attacks within the framework of the right to education, to information, and to health, as well as the related right to access comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), which they contravene.While Brazilian law and policy, both at the federal and state levels, require CSE instruction, most of the efforts by lawmakers and conservative groups described in this report aim to specifically ban the key concepts of "gender" and "sexual orientation" in all areas of school, including as they relate to the rights of girls, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The report illustrates a campaign—at times coordinated, at times diffuse—to discredit and ban gender and sexuality education, bolstered by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, which has fully embraced the alleged justification for these bills, amplifying it for political effect, including during his 2018 presidential campaign.Interviews with 32 teachers from 8 states in Brazil revealed hesitancy or fear among some teachers when it comes to addressing gender and sexuality in the classroom due to legislative and political efforts to discredit such material, and at times harassment by elected officials and community members.