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Resilience Evidence Forum (REF) 2023 Synthesis Report

September 18, 2023

The Resilience Evidence Forum (REF) 2023 Synthesis Report serves as a comprehensive guide to resilience-building methodologies and evidence.The report underscores the pivotal role of high-quality evidence both in mobilising the large-scale financing needed and informing and catalysing the policy changes essential for building resilience.The Report summarises key discussions held at the June 2023 Resilience Evidence Forum, co-hosted by USAID and the Global Resilience Partnership, which brought together more than 1,000 global stakeholders to evaluate the state of resilience evidence.

Invest in Governance and Management to Make Violence Reduction Efforts Successful

August 22, 2023

Violence reduction in the US is benefitting from excellent research (and ongoing research agendas) into specific interventions that can be evaluated and replicated. However, more is needed. The fact that so many cities continue to struggle with serious violence despite record investments in new programs indicates that the field needs a broader approach.There is a crucial gap holding back the field of violence reduction: an understanding of not just what programs or strategies to adopt, but how to manage and govern on the city level to reduce serious violence. This was the primary conclusion of a 2022 expert convening. Running a rigorous violence intervention program in a particular community is very challenging. Assembling, implementing, and sustaining an effective city-level strategy is an even more complex and difficult task. The challenge of developing successful citywide strategies is enormously important, often ignored, and a large part of why cities are failing to sustainably reduce violence. This document describes the group's conclusions and exploration of the current gap in research, implementation, governance, and ongoing management that challenges the violence reduction field, including suggestions of three areas where investment and effort could make a near-term impact.

Water and Disasters: Risk, Resilience, and Adaptation

April 13, 2023

Disasters, both natural and anthropogenic, have shaped water management and policy in the United States over the last 100 years. Federal, state, and local water-related policies, practices and infrastructure have often been designed and implemented in the wake of disasters. The response and recovery to disasters has consumed substantial spending at all levels of government, the private sector and individuals. In some areas, frequent flooding is outpacing the ability for communities to respond, while in other areas the wildfire season has expanded to create a "fire year" instead of a "fire season". As more individuals are exposed to hazards, how we respond to and recover from disasters has a significant impact on the well-being of the community.The 2022 Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum explored what must be done to ensure the water sector becomes more resilient to water-related disasters and how communities can navigate and prepare for the impacts of increasingly common water-related disasters. How do we reconcile different values as individuals, businesses and government negotiate who receives resources to mitigate, adapt, and recover?The annual Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum convenes thought leaders to address ongoing challenges to water sustainability in the United States. Participants come from the private sector, government, academia, and non-governmental organizations—representing expertise in industry, finance, philanthropy, government, academia, agriculture, food and organizations technology companies, investors and entrepreneurs. Topics discussed include big data, innovative financing, water quality, and water affordability. The common thread linking each forum is the fundamental question of what does good water governance look like for the United States?

Birth Equity Funders’ Summit: 2022 Report

April 1, 2023

Maternal morbidity and mortality, preterm birth, and infant mortality rates in the United States are among the worst in the developed world, with rates particularly high among Black and Indigenous people. To date, we've seen growing rates of disparities across the U.S., and these are expected to worsen with the reversal of Roe v. Wade. While significant public and private dollars have been committed to maternal and child health across the U.S., there have been limited gains and growing disparities. There is an urgent need for funders to examine the funding needs of clinical care systems, the community support continuum, and social drivers of poor outcomes – and the interaction of all three to provide culturally congruent experiences and improved outcomes for birthing people. It is critical to reconsider what is being funded, how it is being funded, and who is getting support.The Birth Equity Funders Summit was hosted in partnership with the Mom and Baby Action Network's (M-BAN) 2022 Summit. M-BAN's Summit aimed to amplify best practices from practitioners focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating maternal and infant health programs, policy, and advocacy. The Summit attracted practitioners from CBOs, birth workers, government actors, corporate partners, students, and more. The rich agenda provided fertile ground for funders to learn about the vast quantity of important work taking place across the country and was a critical foundation for the discussion at the Birth Equity Funders Summit.

Serving Native Youth: A Dialogue on Native Food Sovereignty and Native Food Security

March 1, 2023

In 2022, four Native American community-based organizations that serve Native youth gathered to give their perspectives on Native Food Security and Native Food Sovereignty. Each organization brought members of their team who support their food and cultural education endeavors and work intimately with Native youth. They learned about each other's programs and quickly realized that they share many similar values, challenges, and dreams.

Envisioning a Way Forward: Climate Displacement Legal Strategy Convening

January 26, 2023

This synthesis report presents key strategic points that were discussed in a convening on climate displacement that took place on October 25-26, 2022. It highlights how much work must be done to create an equitable legal framework that responds to the needs of the most marginalized people and potential future projects that may address these needs.

Reflections on the International Philanthropy Research Conference : 22 and 23 September 2022 : Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin

January 1, 2023

How collaborations, understanding, and knowledge exchanges among the academic research communities conducting research on philanthropy and those working in philanthropy can be fostered better? The International Philanthropy Research Conference hosted by Compagnia di San Paolo and co-organised by the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) and Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) aimed to facilitate this process. In this piece, by using the metaphor of a dance, ERNOP and Philea reflect on the relationship between the two partners. 

Shifting Power to Shift Systems: Insights and Tools for Funders

December 8, 2022

This report summarizes insights relating to power dynamics from leaders and experts on driving systems change.Over the course of three months in early 2022, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors' Shifting Systems Initiative hosted a series of eight workshops focused on power and equity in philanthropy. During these workshops, an invited group of funders and other partners discussed the role of power dynamics in effectuating the systems change needed to address increasingly complex global challenges.The honest and rich conversations during those workshops surfaced several important themes and insights on how to balance power in a way that drives rather than inhibits change. This report distills some of the practical actions that funders can take in order to reduce that power imbalance, including:Shifting internal vision and practices to embrace a vision of society based on global solidarity and distributed leadership.Fostering a culture of learning, growing, and experimenting through exploring new tools and resources, sourcing fresh and emergent perspectives, and funding grantees without restrictions.Embracing equitable evaluation and impact assessment practices by recruiting evaluation teams and consultants who are culturally competent and possess lived experience, and by working with grantees to create relevant metrics of success that define impact on their terms.The report also contains conceptual frameworks and actionable resources that can enable funders to create equitable processes and practices, and to embed equity as a core principle and building block of systems change. We hope this publication will be a meaningful contribution towards moving the practice of philanthropy away from its inequitable origins and practices, and towards more equitable practices that will ultimately enable it to shift power and systems.

Advancing Foundation Archives: Advocacy, Strategies, and Solutions - Proceedings from the June 12, 2019 Meeting

October 12, 2022

Organized in collaboration with our partners the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the Advancing Foundation Archives Conference held on June 12, 2019m at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City was the first convening in nearly three decades to address the importance of managing, preserving, and providing access to foundation records and archives.The meeting brought together archivists, grants managers, foundation leaders, information specialists, historians, legal experts, and many others to share ideas, practices, and resources. Most importantly, its goal was to build a community of archives advocates confronting a new and daunting challenge – how to collect, preserve, and provide access to the rising tide of born-digital records created by foundations.The information professionals and foundation staff who gathered in New York in June 2019 shared the belief that creating, preserving, and providing access to foundation records are critical activities, whether they are done to provide access only to staff or to external researchers as well.Though more than one hundred people attended the 2019 Advancing Foundation Archives Conference, the organizers realized that many more could benefit from a resource that captures key learnings. To present the meeting in text form, the editors of the new Proceedings publication have condensed one hundred pages of transcripts, fleshed out concepts where needed, and gathered additional resources  into the following sections:Perspectives of Foundation Stakeholders describes how stakeholders in foundations engage (or do not engage) with the archives. This includes board members and foundation executive leaders, but also staff across the foundation who often are the most prolific record creators. Motivating Issues and Events examines some of the scenarios that often give rise to the idea of building an archive – a major anniversary, a retiring board chair, a litigation threat – how attendees wrestled with those ideas, and where they turned for help. Records Management and Archives discusses information management, from documents, to email, to audio and video files, to data sets, and how information managers are building infrastructure to handle the tidal wave of digital files.Internal Access and Storytelling explores how describing and applying metadata to records can help staff more easily find and use the archives to inform their work.Public Access and Storytelling describes how foundations make their history accessible to the public, from exhibits, to published histories, to transitioning archives to an external repository.  

How to Think Legitimacy: Considerations in the Growing Field of European Philanthropy : Paper prepared for the International Philanthropy Research Conference 22 and 23 September, Turin, IT

September 22, 2022

This paper, by Elizabeth McKeon, takes stock of three areas where philanthropy's "license to operate" is questioned: 1) its authority as a non-state actor to influence norms and outcomes in society; 2) matters related to its financial capital; and3) the composition of its governance and staffing. It is suggested that academic research might probe themes of competitive performance, useful scope and unique contribution to help shape a clearer understanding of philanthropy's value in Europe, in relation to government and the private sector.The paper concludes with a caution that research studies will be especially meaningful when developed with careful consideration of the complex taxonomy of philanthropic institutions, whose variations in size, style and mandate defy easy comparisons or one-size-fits-all prescriptions.

Listening to Beneficiaries and Ultimate Clients : Paper prepared for the International Philanthropy Research Conference 22 and 23 September, Turin, IT

September 22, 2022

This conference paper, by Volker Then, intends to shed light on the perceptions of foundation partners based on the results of empirical research which has been conducted over many years in the context of the "Learning from Partners" project in Germany. The project has been conducted in a longitudinal perspective from 2011 to 2021 in a total of four waves surveying all the partners of cohorts of major German foundations.

Imagining the Future of Philanthropy Research in Europe : Paper prepared for the International Philanthropy Research Conference 22 and 23 September, Turin, IT

September 22, 2022

A conference paper by Rien Van Gendt, who argues for funding academic research in the field of philanthropy.