Development Centre

DevTalks - Threats to democracy: can philanthropy sit on the sidelines?



 Friday, 25 September 2020, 15.00 – 16.30 CET - JOIN ONLINE

Join the new online DEV Talks series - Reshaping development

Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Development is pleased to invite you to an online discussion on:

Threats to democracy: can philanthropy sit on the sidelines?


Sabine Donner, Senior Expert, Transformation Index BTI, Bertelsmann Stiftung

Alessandro Bellantoni, Head of Open Government Unit, OECD

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Westminster Foundation for Democracy

Nathalie Delapalme, Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation

moderated by Federico Bonaglia, Deputy Director of the OECD Development Centre


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented stress test for the stability of political institutions and countries’ governance capacity. According to the 2020 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI), the pandemic will contribute to increase the concentration of power in the executive branch, accelerate an erosion of the rule of law and restrict political rights such as freedom of assembly and expression. It will increase severe fiscal and monetary instabilities and have a particularly severe impact on the weakest members of society, thereby increasing poverty and inequality.

As private foundations deploy their resources to speed up health and economic recovery, the growing threats to democracy demand urgent attention too. In 2017, philanthropic giving for governance amounted to USD 463 million, representing 8.1% of all philanthropic giving for development. With the pandemic on the brink of a second wave, will the global community and foundations start paying greater attention to governance in developing countries?




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