At the heart of advancing human rights

Debbie Pippard and Esther Hughes

A decade ago, Global Dialogue was formed to promote innovation in human rights funding and practice. What progress has it made?

Global Dialogue was formed in 2007 with a clear vision to promote innovation in the human rights movement and to incubate innovative rights-based initiatives. Ten years on, it is a thriving part of the human rights philanthropy infrastructure. We were also the first philanthropy support organization to develop ‘fiscal sponsorship’ and regranting services in the UK. Since our formation, a number of things have become clear to us: the importance of collaboration, the role that philanthropy infrastructure has to play in fostering it and the need to experiment with new approaches to increasingly complex problems.

Back in 2007, philanthropic infrastructure was at an early stage of development. With a handful of other organizations, Global Dialogue has developed both the market and the product.

Early programmes included the Strategic Fund for Turkey, a seven-year sub-granting initiative to support the emerging human rights movement in Turkey at a critical time of transition in the region. Another early project, in 2009, was Ariadne, to promote peer support across borders to strengthen human rights and social change philanthropy, to help funders to work more strategically, and to encourage new funders to enter the field.

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