The Trust Gap: The Troubling Lack of Direct, Flexible Funding for Human Rights in the Global South and East

  • Description

For more than a decade, Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) and our partners have mapped the landscape of global funding for human rights. Year after year, we have documented marked regional differences in the funding that human rights activists and institutions can access. In this report, we dive deeper into the data to explore what we call the "trust gap"–significant disparities in funding directed to groups in the Global South and East as compared to groups in the Global North.

In this report, we ask questions that echo concerns raised by funders and movements alike: Do these differences signify a gap in trust underlying global funding for human rights? While a trust gap in philanthropy can manifest in a variety of ways, here we focus on what we can measure through the grant data we collect. This includes which organizations receive grants to lead change in their own contexts and how much flexibility they have in determining how to use the funding.