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In 2015, familiar threats to human rights and human rights philanthropy continued. As conflicts persisted in countries like Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, the number of refugees fleeing violence and hunger soared. Extremist groups perpetrated mass violence from Nigeria and Egypt, to Kenya and France, including the targeted killing of staff from the French magazine Charlie Hedbo. Threats to closing civic space intensified as more countries adopted laws targeting and restricting organizations that work to hold governments accountable, including the funders that back them, often under the pretext of counterterrorism.
Despite these many concerns, we saw inspiring advances for human rights around the world across a range of issues. Women in Saudi Arabia voted and stood for election for the very first time, and the governments of the Gambia and Nigeria outlawed female genital mutilation. The Supreme Court in the United States legalized same sex marriage, while the Irish people did so through a historic popular vote. Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties after more than five decades, and Iran signed a deal to curb its nuclear program. At the end of the year, nearly 200 countries reached the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change to mitigate global warming.
Against this backdrop, in 2015 foundations allocated a total of $2.4 billion in support of human rights.
The Advancing Human Rights initiative documents the landscape of foundation funding for human rights and track changes in its scale and priorities. This annual report uses grants data to map philanthropic support for specific human rights issues, funding strategies, and populations and regions served in 2016. In this year, 785 funders made over 23,000 grants totalling $2.8 billion for human rights.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
This report examines Ecuador's March 2019 agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and finds that Ecuador is likely to have lower GDP per capita, higher unemployment, and increased macroeconomic instability under the program. Even the program itself, the authors note, projects Ecuador to have a recession this year and increased unemployment for each of the first three years of the program. But these projections are optimistic, the report concludes.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
There is growing recognition that youth need more than academic knowledge to transition successfully into employment and adulthood (Dupuy et al. 2018). They also need "life skills," a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal strengths that position them for success in their lives and livelihoods. Life skills can enhance young people's agency and resilience, improve their psychosocial well-being, and predict a range of long-term outcomes, including health, job performance, and wages (Kwauk et al. 2018; OECD 2018, Kautz et al. 2014). The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a donor collaborative, has invested in 18 projects to strengthen life skills in young people. This brief offers eight lessons based on the experiences of these projects—on the design, delivery, measurement, and scale-up of youth life skills programming in lowand middle-income countries (LMICs).
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
There is growing recognition that youth need more than academic knowledge and technical expertise to transition successfully into employment and adulthood (Dupuy et al. 2018). They also need "life skills," a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal strengths that position them for success in their lives and livelihoods. Life skills can enhance young people's agency and resilience, improve their psychosocial well-being, and predict a range of long-term outcomes, including health, job performance, and wages (Kwauk et al. 2018; OECD 2018; Kautz et al. 2014). The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a donor collaborative, has invested in 18 projects that focus on developing life skills among youth (see left). Mathematica, the PSIPSE's learning partner, recently conducted an in-depth study of these projects. The study used interviews with implementing organizations, an extensive review of project documents and evaluation reports, and high-level literature and landscape scans to examine project experiences, set them in context, and draw out lessons for a range of stakeholders. This brief summarizes the lessons for government officials—on how to successfully devise, roll out, scale, and strengthen life skills policies for youth in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).
European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA);
A joint paper by the European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the NCD Alliance calls for the creation of an EU Strategic Framework for the Prevention of NCDs towards 2030.Indeed, with epidemic levels of NCDs undermining people's well-being, healthcare systems, and Europe's economic and social prosperity, they consider that preventing chronic diseases should be a main priority for the European Commission.Therefore, the paper proposes principles, priorities and actions for such an EU strategic framework, setting out a roadmap for policy-makers to make change happen.
More information and the summary: https://epha.org/joint-paper-i-towards-an-eu-strategic-framework-for-the-prevention-of-ncds/
La présente recherche a pour objectif d'analyser la compétitivité de l'industrie agroalimentaire au Cameroun. Au niveau sectoriel, l'évolution du commerce des produits alimentaires et de la valeur ajoutée est examinée, tandis qu'au niveau de l'entreprise, un modèle économétrique de la productivité du travail est évalué par type d'entreprise (très petite et petites entreprises – TPPE –, moyennes entreprises – ME – et grandes entreprises – GE). Les résultats indiquent un avantage comparatif limité se traduisant par la position d'importateur net et une orientation du commerce vers l'interbranche du Cameroun.
Urban Indian Health Institute;
This brief examines the health outcomes, structural barriers, and the action steps to break these barriers and achieve health equity for AI/AN.
Peace and Security Funders Group;
Each year, Candid and the Peace and Security Funders Group collects and analyzes data from thousands of grants awarded by hundreds of peace and security funders. We do this for two primary reasons: to illuminate the field of peace and security grantmaking, and to provide a nuanced understanding of the issues and strategies peace and security funders support. In 2016 -- the latest year complete data is available -- 326 foundations awarded 2,605 grants, totaling $328 million in support of a more peaceful world.
Social Science Research Council (SSRC);
This brief provides key policy messages based on a large-scale longitudinal study from 2008 to 2016 in twelve communes in three Vietnamese provinces by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
The project's objective was to understand household health practices and health-seeking behavior in Viet Nam, especially among economically and socially disadvantaged groups.
Key findings highlight the main areas where donors and the government will need to focus in the coming years in order to improve and reduce disparities in health outcomes.
These recommendations include:
Increasing the use and effectiveness of commune health centers (CHCs)
Improving antenatal care and utilization
Helping CHCs implement preventive health care and essential disease control programs
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population.
The sanctions reduced the public's caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela's economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans.
Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, which as shown below, created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are even more constricting than the executive orders themselves.
We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well.
Meaningful participation among students occurs when contributions to the school and classroom environment are facilitated, rather than directed, by adults; and when learning is connected to students' personal interests and applicable to their lives. Meaningful participation at school cultivates students' autonomy; decision-making and leadership skills; and personal talents and strengths.
This What Works Brief, cowritten by Meagan O'Malley, former Research Associate at WestEd, provides teachers and other school staff strategies for supporting students' meaningful participation in school, including:
Volunteering to be the advisor to a student-led initiative or interest group
Facilitating an after-school, extracurricular project in a particular content area
Having students collaborate to set class and school norms, as well as learning goals
Adding student-selected, project-based assignments to curricula
Note: Developed by the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Technical Assistance Center, What Works Briefs summarize state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate.
Based on the most current research, each of the ten briefs provides practical recommendations for school staff, parents, and community members and can be used separately to target specific issues (e.g., family engagement) or grouped together to address more complex, systemwide issues. What Works Briefs are organized into three sections:
Quick Wins: What Teachers and Adults Can Do Right Now
Universal Supports: Schoolwide Policies, Practices, and Programs
Targeted Supports: Intensive Supports for At-Risk Youth