MENLO PARK, Calif. – From the development of Web sites that help Mexican citizens track government spending to the creation of a pilot “musical Peace Corps” for public schools, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced $125,063,230 in new grants to 214 organizations.

Organizations receiving grants ranged across the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world in the Foundation’s six primary areas of grantmaking: global development, education, performing arts, philanthropy, the environment, and population. Among the highlights of the grants awarded are:

Global Development – Easing Poverty through Government Accountability

The Global Development Program, which is dedicated to reducing extreme poverty in the developing world, made $24,153,169 in grants to 27 organizations.

One way to combat poverty is to help citizens in developing nations receive the basic government services they deserve, from public education to public health. And one means to that end is government transparency and accountability. The Foundation’s $820,000 grant to Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación-an independent research center in Mexico City-will enable it to train other government watchdog organizations to analyze state government budgets in that country to help assure that expenditures are made for the intended purpose. The grant will also support a Fundar collaboration with the Environmental Working Group and the University of California, Santa Cruz, to launch a public Web site to track the Mexican government’s agricultural subsidies.

Similarly, a $4.2 million grant to the Dutch development agency Hivos will support the establishment of a new African-led initiative to promote government accountability in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.  The initiative, called Twaweza (Swahili for “We can do it!”), will be based in Tanzania, and in each of the three countries Twaweza will enlist various public and private partners to provide more government information to the public, strengthen media independence, and help citizens monitor government budgeting and spending for public services.

Education – Improving Learning at Home and around the World

The Education Program, which makes grants to improve education across California and around the world, awarded $24,037,500 in grants to 33 organizations.

Among those grants is $3 million to the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, California, to continue work begun in 2003 to improve the quality of education in the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto. This new grant will focus on building the leadership of administrators and teachers as the $10.6 million, 8-year project concludes. To date, work by the New Teacher Center has resulted in a significant increase in teacher retention and student performance in the district.

A $650,000 grant to Pacific News Service/New America Media will be used to expand its work to increase coverage of education policy in ethnic media.

The Education Program’s work in the field of Open Educational Resources, aimed at making high-quality educational materials freely available online to everyone, has prompted a $3 million grant to the Open University in the United Kingdom. Open University, working with Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, will use the grant to gather and conduct research to improve the emerging field.

Performing  Arts – Launching a New Art Center and “Musical Peace Corps”

The Performing Arts Program, the largest funder of performing arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, made $9,830,353 in grants to 45 organizations.

To nurture the arts more broadly, the Program joined with Hewlett’s Education Program to make a $500,000 grant to the San Francisco-based Music National Service Initiative, a new enterprise designed to be a “musical Peace Corps.” Launching a pilot program next August, the Initiative will recruit six performing musicians, train them at a two-week workshop, and place them for ten months as instructors working alongside regular teachers in at least five public schools in disadvantaged communities in Alameda County and San Francisco. The program also will advocate nationally for music education.

Cultural life demands not just gifted performers but a place to present their work. In support of that need, the Program gave $1.5 million to Intersection for the Arts to help underwrite the purchase and renovation of a building in San Francisco. As that city’s oldest and most successful alternative art space, Intersection supports a broad range of cultural events, from theater and dance, to visual and literary arts. The new home will drastically increase its theater, gallery, and office space, as well as provide new office, rehearsal, and performance space to other arts organizations.

Philanthropy – In Support of Wise Giving and Better Legal Advice

The Philanthropy Program, which awards grants to promote effective charitable giving, made $893,100 in grants to 6 organizations.

Among them is a $125,000 grant to a Better Business Bureau project called the Wise Giving Alliance. The Alliance, based in Arlington, Virginia, works to improve the transparency of nonprofit organizations by asking that they adhere to its standards for governance and finances in return for the Alliance’s seal of approval. The new grant will help the Alliance incorporate standards of effectiveness into its approval process.

The Program also made a $100,000 grant to the New York City-based National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, which was established at New York University School of Law in 1988 to explore legal issues that affect the nation’s nonprofit sector. The grant will support the Center’s work and help ensure that a new generation of attorneys is trained in issues relevant to the nonprofit sector. The Center also offers two competitive postgraduate fellowships.

Environment – Protecting Land while Promoting Renewable Resources

The Environment Program, which makes grants to slow global warming and protect western lands, announced $28,844,108 in grants to 53 organizations.

A $450,000 grant to the Natural Resources Defense Council will help the organization craft policy solutions to the problem of siting renewable energy power plants and transmission lines without degrading land and water in the Western United States.

A $900,000 grant to the Union of Concerned Scientists will support its broad-ranging work to reduce CO2 emissions to slow climate change. The grant will help the organization provide technical assistance on federal policies to improve fuel efficiency for heavy vehicles, renewable fuel standards, and fuel regulations to reduce emissions.

Population – Supporting Family Planning and AIDS Prevention Worldwide

The Population Program, which makes grants to improve family planning and reproductive health in the United States and around the world, gave $31,745,000 in grants to 38 organizations.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation, based in London, received a grant for $8.3 million to further its work to improve access to comprehensive family-planning and reproductive health services and HIV/AIDS prevention services, and to advocate for policies that support these goals. In particular, the grant will support advocacy work in the donor countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and New Zealand, and in countries receiving aid in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

A $1.4 million grant to Partners in Population and Development, an intergovernmental organization of twenty-three developing countries that is based in Kampala, Uganda, will support efforts to disseminate sound information about reproductive health in its member countries in Africa. It also promotes policies to improve reproductive health and rights.

A full list of Hewlett Foundation grantees, along with links to their Web sites, is available online.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, and population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.