2011 has been a year of unprecedented change for the citizens of the Arab region. Following the series of spontaneous revolutions now known as the Arab Spring, many countries are full of hope but facing an uncertain immediate future. How can philanthropy help support the transition to more just and democratic societies? Guest editor Atallah Kuttab looks at some key factors that funders, local and foreign, should take into account. Above all, he says, western funders should ensure that what they offer fits local needs rather than their own agenda.
Human rights must now be central to all philanthropic practice, argues Fateh Azzam, while Barbara Ibrahim stresses the need to foster spontaneous local initiatives. Other articles look at the importance of involving women and young people, the role of the private sector, the opportunities and challenges facing foreign donors, and the role to be played by global civil society. Some lessons can be learned from other societies that have gone through similar transitions, write Thomas Carothers and Malusi Mpumlwana in their articles on Central and Eastern Europe and South Africa respectively.
Also included in the December issue of Alliance: interview with Deborah Hargreaves, chair of the UK’s High Pay Commission; Jacob Harold’s new vision for foundation accountability, and readers’ responses to the September special feature ‘Living with the Gates Foundation’; plus more articles, reviews, opinion and global updates.