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Special features

Systems change and philanthropy

Julian Corner 5 March 2019

Philanthropy and systems approaches are an obvious coupling but the future of their relationship remains far from clear This special feature explores a growing aspiration in philanthropy to achieve system-level change. It looks at the …


Systems change in effect

Andrew Milner 5 March 2019

The work of funders is as varied as the systems they are hoping to change. Andrew Milner profiles a selection of donors and organisations taking a more systemic approach Bertha Foundation, UK Founded in 2009 …


Decolonising systems change

Edwin Huizing and Sjoerdsje van Ommen 5 March 2019

The intervention of development organisations in the global South has given rise to accusations of ‘neo-colonialism’. Netherlands-based Hivos is addressing this legitimacy issue by maximising the freedom of local partners North-South philanthropy is growing as …

Scaling deep

Alice Evans 5 March 2019

Lankelly Chase Foundation’s Alice Evans talks to Stephen Huddart and Darcy Riddell of the McConnell Foundation in Canada about how a systems change approach has led them to reconsider not only the way they think …

System transformation? It’s in the genes

Sandro Giuliani 5 March 2019

Systems change is more than just a popular catchphrase, but its effectiveness depends on aligning strategies with a foundation’s institutional DNA Is system transformation an end in itself, an effective means to achieve a strategic …

Complex rhythms in Latin America

Guayana Paez-Acosta 5 March 2019

Achieving systems change is a dynamic, continuous, and sometimes chaotic process in which co-creation is key to a successful outcome Systems change philanthropy demands from philanthropists different ways of thinking, of working and of assessing …

Moving with movements

Solomé Lemma 5 March 2019

How should funders understand and respond to the forces that create systems change? Amidst Guatemala’s civil war, a small group of women in Santiago Sacatepéquez came together in 1988 to address chronic malnutrition and the …

Wanted: a cure for colour-blindness

Jeff Raikes 5 March 2019

Turning a blind eye to the racism underlying our education system means that any solution will be partial at best When the US education system was created more than 150 years ago, fewer career paths …

Crowding out the gun violence

Gillian Darlow, Grace Hou and Mecole Jordan 5 March 2019

Funders and communities working together in Chicago show that collaborations can perform effectively and quickly if the need is urgent and trust is established Chicago is facing dual crises of increasing gun violence and eroding …

Let’s change the system, not the symptoms

Arianne Shaffer and Tobias Troll 5 March 2019

Our society is structured to put the profit and privilege of a few before the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants Philanthropy is constantly trying to reinvent and justify itself. ‘Systems change’ and ‘systemic …