Our Program Directors Reflect on Challenges

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In 2018, MacArthur’s program directors reflected on challenges, and opportunities, in our grantmaking. Check out these excerpts from our directors’ reflections, and read them all in full on our website:

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“We tend to think of grantmaking as our most prominent opportunity to support leaders. Yet, we increasingly hear of organizations’ desire to interact with, network with, and learn from one another. Colleagues seek public events that provide a platform for less traditionally recognized leaders — such as artists and community organizers — to demonstrate how their work enriches the city. People want events to be held in neighborhoods where they work and live, rather than solely downtown, and in facilities that are accessible to all. We held two events on inclusive economic growth in 2017 and on violence prevention in 2018 that incorporated many of these lessons. And we will continue to support opportunities to hold conversations in communities.”–MacArthur’s Tara Magner

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“The Foundation is focusing its efforts on China, the United States, and India — the world’s top three greenhouse gas emitters. Going forward, the climate community must also engage with Australia, Brazil, and Russia to prevent a mutiny from the Paris Agreement led by the unfortunate example of the announced U.S. pullout. While the Paris Agreement can neither dictate nor demand action, it will continue to be invaluable in coalescing global commitment to slowing climate change.”–MacArthur’s Jorgen Thomsen

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“We are encouraged by the diversity of the network’s membership, by the commitment and determination its elected leaders show, and, above all, by the enthusiasm in the air at our network convenings. Judges, prosecutors, defenders, police, probation and pretrial officers, data analysts, community advocates, behavioral health specialists, and other stakeholders are devoting themselves to the day-to-day task of reform across the country. In many instances, we have also been gratified by the results achieved by our partners. Jail populations have fallen significantly in some network sites, and these reductions appear to be linked to initiative-supported changes in local policy and practice.”–MacArthur’s Laurie Garduque

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“For our part, MacArthur will help advance that agenda through impact investing grants and investments. In the coming year, we will build on our $517 million track record in ways that we expect to be transformative — collaborating with new investors and testing new vehicles to unlock financing for sectors not well-served by traditional approaches.”–MacArthur’s Debra Schwartz

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“Early next year, MacArthur and Field Foundation will jointly unveil a program that has many elements from the initial conception of the initiative, where representation, authorship, agency, and leadership were core principles and goals. But with added insights and perspectives from a broader range of people and communities, we are envisioning a program that is larger and more comprehensive than what we had originally planned. It is the product of an iterative, community and funder co-design process, and it is the result of MacArthur recognizing that our “careful, professional, and deliberative” processes can still lead to exclusion and the preservation of an often-unjust status quo. It was important for us to see this and adjust accordingly. We are grateful to all who participated in shaping this program and look forward to continuous discourse and debate to make it even better.”–MacArthur’s Kathy Im

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“The success of the caucus contributes to a key goal of MacArthur’s Nuclear Challenges work: to strengthen capacity in Congress so that Members understand the dangers and liabilities of nuclear weapons and materials and are primed to lead. Our funding is helping to rebuild a bipartisan community of experienced professionals who work across party lines and have learned how to translate complex (often considered arcane) nuclear issues in an accessible way to ever broader audiences.”–MacArthur’s Emma Belcher

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“Since the beginning of On Nigeria, we have been wrestling with the question of what must happen for Nigeria to become a more transparent, accountable society where corruption is the exception rather than a part of everyday interactions. With the windows of opportunity, there was a moment that called for investment, but we knew it would be just that — a moment — and that long-term success and sustainability would be based on widening those windows and, eventually, institutionalizing anti-corruption efforts. For people to have access to the goods and services to which they are entitled, accountability must become an everyday occurrence and a responsibility that is shared by government, civil society, the media, citizens, and the private sector — all holding each other to mutual account.”–MacArthur’s Kole Shettima and Erin Sines

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