On how to be irreverent and other wisdom from Peter da Costa on shifting power in international development

Sarah Lucas, Program Officer for Evidence-Informed Policymaking at the Hewlett Foundation, and Al Kags, Executive Director of Open Institute in Kenya, remember their friend and colleague Peter da Costa, whose tenacity in celebrating and centering African intellectual power inspires them every day. We join in honoring Peter’s legacy and brilliance on this second anniversary of…

How non-governmental organizations can help institutionalize government use of evidence: Four possible paths

This is the third in a series from the Hewlett Foundation Evidence-Informed Policymaking (EIP) team on institutionalizing evidence use. We first described how we expected African policy research organizations could help make government use of evidence more routine. We then recommended focusing on government agencies’ routine decisions and the tools and practices that inform them.…

Greater understanding of wildfires leads to better solutions

As a lifelong Californian, I’m no stranger to wildfire season. But these days, the season begins earlier in the summer, stretches later into winter, and contains record-breaking wildfire events year after year. This season, the Dixie Fire has already grown to be the second-largest wildfire in California’s history, and the Caldor Fire is threatening South…

Pressure testing our ideas: A challenge to funders

This is the fifth in a series on shifting power in international giving and what INGOs, NGOs, and funders can do differently to support and sustain more equitable partnerships. In the introductory piece, Pat Scheid frames the issue of shifting power, and in the second, Joe Asunka shares strategies for funders to foster equitable partnerships.…

Ensuring US elections are accessible, secure, and trustworthy

When I joined the Hewlett Foundation in early March 2020, I inherited our strategies to combat digital disinformation and to support campaigns and elections. One of my first tasks was to make sense of how to integrate and refresh these lines of work. But the wave of events that followed—the emergence of the pandemic, the…

Toward a New Common Sense for the Economy

The Hewlett Foundation’s Economy and Society Initiative launched in December 2020 with an initial five-year, $50 million commitment to replace the dominant economic paradigm of the last half-century: neoliberalism. Our aim is to help create a new “common sense” about how the economy works, the aims it should serve, and how it should be structured…

Introducing our new program name: Gender Equity and Governance

Today we are launching a new program name, “Gender Equity and Governance,” to replace “Global Development and Population.” The new name does not signal any dramatic shifts in what fields we support. However, it is more than just an aesthetic change. For several years, we have increasingly focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in our…

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