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This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's scholarshipsforchange.org portal, explores Al Ghurair Foundation for Education's STEM Scholars Program. The scholarship aims to increase access for underserved populations to high-quality education throughout the Middle East & North Africa region. Two years into its journey, the Scholars program strategy has made measurable progress on three student outcomes: expanding underserved youth's access to education, improving their college and career readiness, and increasing skills development; as well as three community outcomes: cultivating a new cadre of young leaders, empowering youth to rewrite the Arab story, and encouraging scholars to take part in regional philanthropy.
Funding for adolescent girls has been gaining traction in recent years. While feminist funders have traditionally focused on women and young people, there has been a drive to put more flexible funding in the hands of girl-led and girl-centered organisations.
This evaluation reviews and assesses the With and For Girls Collective, the With and For Girls Award and the awards journey with a view to drawing out lessons from the Collective's experience to help encourage funders to increase flexible funding and other resources to girl-led and girl-centered organisations globally.
Ford Foundation Middle East and North Africa Regional Office;
The Ford Foundation's International Fellowship Program (IFP), launched in 2001, enabled hundreds of bright and ambitious young people around the globe to complete their graduate studies and become enterprising leaders of civil society organizations in their home countries. After the program came to an end in 2013, there was a growing gap between the number of Egyptian students who wished to complete their graduate studies abroad and the supply of fellowships that would make it possible for them to do so. Government-sponsored study abroad opportunities sought to address some of the disparities between supply and demand, but their impact was modest. Meanwhile, the burgeoning Egyptian philanthropy sector and private foundations sought to make a substantial difference, driven by their strong interest in developing the leadership capacity of young Egyptians. As a philanthropy with a long track record in Egypt, including many years of engaging with higher education there, the Ford Foundation saw this changing landscape as an opportune moment for reflection and analysis. This report, Mapping the Landscape: Scholarships and Fellowships in Egypt, is an effort to understand the main players and trends of funding programs for Egyptians today—with an eye to the future.
From the 1970s to the present, the Ford Foundation's investment in fellowship and research grant programs in the Middle East and North Africa has expanded access to high-level academic and professional opportunities, particularly for marginalized groups. How effective have these efforts been in advancing progress toward broader goals, such as network building, expanding the pool of social justice leaders, leveling the playing field for disadvantaged populations, and laying the groundwork for more equitable public policies? In this report, program officer Moushira Elgeziri reviews four major programs, outlines their successes and shortfalls, and distills a set of lessons that can inform the design of current and future awards programs. The report underscores the importance of defining target populations and disciplinary scope, while remaining receptive—and responsive—to constituency needs as they arise. It points to potential missteps for programs attempting to become less dependent on primary funders. And it stresses the need to develop ways to gauge the more intangible and less immediate impacts these programs have on individuals and their communities.
This study examines the impact of fragility and conflict on gender justice and women's rights in the MENA, as a part of an Oxfam project entitled 'Promoting the Needs of Women in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa' funded through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It specifically aims to understand how conflict and fragility in four different contexts - Egypt, Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Yemen - have impacted the realization of gender equality and gender justice in the past several years of political and social upheaval.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
Plastic has penetrated everyday life, and the disadvantages of plastics are becoming more and more visible: large quantities of plastics leak into rivers and oceans, with adverse effects to marine ecosystems and related economic activities. This report is one of the first of its kind to quantify primary microplastics leakage and to demonstrate that these primary microplastics are globally responsible for a major source of plastics in the oceans.
Political upheaval, instability and conflict have been on the rise in the Middle East and North Africa following the uprisings that swept the region in 2011. Women and girls face particular challenges to their basic human rights.
This factsheet gives an overview of the status of women in the region, focusing on two key themes: violence against women and girls in conflict, and women's political participation and leadership. It highlights the different manifestations of gender-based threats and risks that women face, including increased sexual violence, forced and early marriage, and rape in the context of conflict. The factsheet also discusses the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) and the extent of progress towards its goals in the Middle East and North Africa, looking at the limited number of women in decision making and peace processes.
This chapter offers a thorough analysis of the internal conditions in the MENA countries on the eve of the Arab Spring, as well as causes and consequences of the Arab Revolutions. The chapter also offers ananalysis of similar historical World System reconfigurations starting with the 16th century Reformation.The analysis is based on the theory (developed by the authors) of the periodical catch-ups experienced by the political component of the World System that tends to lag behind the World System economic component. Thus, we show that the asynchrony of development of various functional subsystems of the World System is a cause of the synchrony of major political changes. In other words, within the globalization process, political transformations tend to lag far behind economic transformations. And such lags cannot constantly increase, the gaps are eventually bridged, but in not quite a smooth way. The chapter also suggests an explanation why the current catch-up of the World System political component started in the MENA region.
This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2014/15, selected for review under the women's empowerment thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental impact evaluation carried out in December 2014 that sought to assess the impact of project activities, implemented at individual and community level, on women's empowerment. This project was carried out in three countries: Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; the evaluation focuses on the project component in Lebanon only. While there is no unique set of women's empowerment characteristics that are applicable to all contexts, this evaluation identified a set of empowerment characteristics which are considered to be important in this particular context, even if not all are necessarily directly linked to the project activities.The main objective of this project was to contribute to improving the status and lives of women and girls in the Middle East and North Africa region by improving the quality of legal services for poor and vulnerable women. Key activities included providing awareness raising sessions for women and community leaders such as political parties, religious leaders and municipal employers; training and engaging women and men for raising awareness; offering free legal consultations to women; and raising awareness around women's rights among lawyers and judges.
For more information, the data for this effectiveness review is available through the UK Data Service. Read more about the Oxfam Effectiveness Reviews.
Use our interactive data tool to compare the press freedoms of regions and countries over time.
Freedom on the Net 2013 is the fourth report in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe and covers developments in 60 countries that occurred between May 2012 and April 2013. Over 60 researchers, nearly all based in the countries they analyzed, contributed to the project by researching laws and practices relevant to the digital media, testing the accessibility of select websites, and interviewing a wide range of sources, among other research activities. This edition's findings indicate that internet freedom worldwide is in decline, with 34 out of 60 countries assessed in the report experiencing a negative trajectory during the coverage period. Broad surveillance, new laws controlling web content, and growing arrests of social-media users drove this overall decline in internet freedom in the past year. Nonetheless, Freedom on the Net 2013 also found that activists are becoming more effective at raising awareness of emerging threats and, in several cases, have helped forestall new repressive measures.
The U.S. Congress should fully fund the administration's $47.8 billion request for base international affairs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. This request represents a 6% reduction from FY 12 funding levels and a 14% reduction from the FY 13 request, reflecting the difficult budget environment that lawmakers currently face. The foreign affairs budget, which represents less than 1% of the annual U.S. budget, provides an invaluable set of tools for advancing U.S. foreign policy interests. The relatively modest investments that fall under the international affairs budget bear great returns, as the American government helps develop stable, democratic partners that cooperate on trade, security, immigration, and economic issues. Amid weariness among the American people with military engagement overseas, diplomacy is an inherently less costly means of advancing interests.
In repressive countries, the smallest amount of U.S. assistance can bring hope and provide a lifeline to those who face imprisonment, torture, or even death for speaking out in support of freedom, while helping to engender the next generation of potential leaders. Recent developments in the Middle East, Russia, Burma and elsewhere show the importance of robust, strategic, and flexible funding for the United States to respond effectively to quickly changing situations on the ground and continue to play a leadership role in the international community.
The budget plans produced by the House and Senate for FY 14 differ greatly from one another and from the President's request. The House Republican budget resolution would fund international affairs at $38.7 billion for FY 14, 20% less than the President's request, and a staggering 29% less than the FY 12 actual numbers. Cuts of that magnitude would have a devastating effect on the ability of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to carry out their diplomatic work and assistance programs. While it is important at present for every federal agency to eliminate redundancies, streamline operations, and reevaluate priorities, such sweeping cuts to an already miniscule budget would do great and needless harm. The Senate budget resolution proposes $45.6 billion in base international affairs funding.
Funding for Democracy and Human Rights represents 9% of the total request for foreign assistance for FY 14, less than 1/10th of 1% of the total U.S. budget. The administration's proposal will support important initiatives that protect and promote democracy, rule of law, and human rights, including:
Flexible funding to support democratic change in the Middle East through a Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund.
Increased funding for priority regions, including Asia and Africa.
Robust funding for priority countries and territories including Afghanistan, Mexico, South Sudan, the West Bank and Gaza, and Burma.
Increases in some areas are balanced by decreases in others, including:
The elimination of the Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia Account (AEECA) and decreases in the Europe and Eurasia region overall.
Large decreases in democracy funding for Iraq and Pakistan.
Regional and country-level decreases in the Western Hemisphere and in South and Central Asia.
While the administration understandably has had to make difficult tradeoffs to reach budget goals, there are some areas where decreased funding would be harmful to achieving U.S. strategic policy goals and Congress can provide additional support:
Congress should fund the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) and USAID's Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) at the FY 12 levels. These two bureaus provide leadership within their agencies on democracy and human rights policy and require adequate resources to continue doing so.
Congress should allow the administration to meet the United States' assessed obligations to the United Nations for FY14. Moreover, Congress should reinstate funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which supports many cultural, social, and educational programs in line with the U.S.'s own values.
The administration must work with Congress to identify innovative ways to support civil society in countries with difficult operating environments, including Russia, Bolivia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
Robust funding for international affairs in FY 14 will give America's diplomats the tools they need to advance U.S. interests abroad and maintain the United States' role as a global leader. Such funding alone is not enough, however. The administration must match a strong budget with clear policy decisions and a consistently forceful message, communicated both publicly and privately, that democracy and human rights are of the utmost importance to the United States.
This report summarizes the most notable requests, changes, and new developments within the administration's democracy and human rights budget for FY14. It also offers policy recommendations and suggestions for budget adjustments to better align funding allocations with U.S. interests.