What challenges do we face in conducting this research?

We are committed to providing information to human rights grantmakers and advocates about the state of human rights funding, while ensuring that this information does not put grantees at risk. As we’ve developed tools for sharing data about human rights funding, we’ve grappled with exactly how much detail to make available. One step we’ve taken for sensitive grants is that we ask funders to list those grantees as “anonymous” and only provide information about the grant that would not compromise the safety of those grantees. There are also several funders who choose to submit their grants data anonymously. In addition, we do not provide any country-level information on this website and all sample grants are approved prior to posting. For more information on our approach to data security, please visit our guidelines on data sharing.

A second challenge is the varying levels of detail funders provide about their grants. Grant records that have only minimal information about the grantee, purpose of the grant, population served, and region of benefit can make it difficult to accurately capture the nuances of human rights funding.

Re-granting poses another challenge in accurately capturing human rights grantmaking. In some cases, private foundations make grants to support the work of public foundations, which operate their own grant programs. To avoid double-counting, grants from private foundations to public foundations are excluded in our analysis.

Another challenge has been capturing the full global landscape of human rights funding. Grants for North America account for a large proportion of the funding we track, due to the relative accessibility of data from the U.S., where funders are legally required to make this information publicly available. Collecting data from more funders outside the U.S. is a priority for this initiative. Since we began this research, the number of funders based outside North America who are sharing their grants with us has continued to grow.