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Participatory Grant Making: A Success Story from Southern Africa

Resource type: Research Report

The Other Foundation |

The Other Foundation, an organisation working to advance the rights and well‐being of LGBTI people in Southern Africa, wanted their first grantmaking initiative to be a truly transparent and participatory process.

They came up with an innovative solution. Rather than consider grant proposals entirely on their own, the foundation’s Board asked the public to nominate a panel of “peer reviewers” to help review and judge grant applications. The 12 peer reviewers included academics and activists from six different countries in southern Africa. They worked in four teams, each team facilitated by a board member, to come to a consensus about which projects to recommend for funding.

Participants in the two-day peer review workshop.

This report outlines the development and implementation of this unique participatory grantmaking process. The sample documents, assessment materials and conclusions in the report should have wide application for foundations and philanthropists interested in more accountable and transparent ways of making grants.

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> The Other Foundation website

The Other Foundation is an Atlantic grantee.