September 2008

New emperor, old clothes? International funding – who’s setting the agenda?

Volume 13 , Number 3

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September 2008

New emperor, old clothes? International funding – who’s setting the agenda?

Volume 13 , Number 3

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The guest editors for this Alliance special feature are:
Michael Edwards
Olivier Kayser, Ashoka

The special feature in the September issue of Alliance looks at international funding and ‘philanthrocapitalism’. How do the characteristics of philanthrocapitalists – in other words, philanthropists adopting business methods – play out in the international funding arena? In particular, what are the implications for donor control and agenda-setting? Who identifies needs and solutions?

The special feature includes a series of articles looking at some developing country organizations that are succeeding in negotiating with northern funders and determining their own agendas – TrustAfrica and the African Women’s Development Fund; the recently established Foundations for Peace network; and SPARC in India. It also has interviews with Wolfgang Hafenmayer of LGT Venture Philanthropy, Alain Merieux of Fondation Merieux, and Alex Pryor of Guayaki exploring relations between philanthropy and business.

This issue of Alliance also includes an interview with Luis Ubiñas, new President of the Ford Foundation.

Special feature

Philanthropy – whose canvas?

1 September 2008
Michael Edwards

Matthew Bishop defines ‘philanthrocapitalism’ as ‘some of the world’s most talented and successful people … turning their minds to problems like education, disease, climate change and terrorism’. In some ways that’s the problem. As David Hulme points out in his survey of international development assistance, the ‘world’s most talented and successful people’ have been ‘developing’ the rest of the world for a hundred years or more, through colonization, foreign aid, military intervention and now philanthropy, …


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