Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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This grant to Instituto Centro de Vida will support the secretariat of the Amazon Regional Network to build understanding and capacity on the impacts of Brazilian Development Bank investments in energy and infrastructure in the Greater Amazon Rainforest, and particularly, to work with and support the network's infrastructure working group. An additional component of the project will work with local communities in the Tapajos and Teles Pires watersheds of the Amazon Rainforest to monitor and seek to mitigate impacts of a large hydroelectric complex planned in this, as yet undeveloped, region of the forest.
Nearly one in five people globally lack access to electricity and this is a major development challenge facing the world's poor, particularly in Africa. Electricity is a key driver of business growth and economic development. If the right policies, financing, and incentives are in place, small and medium enterprises, based in Africa could create energy solutions that will yield economic benefits for African communities while not exacerbating climate change impacts. There is an opportunity to influence U.S. investment in Africa's energy sector to ensure that off-grid and mini-grid renewable electricity are prioritized in order to provide access to millions in poor rural communities. With this short-term grant, Oxfam America will develop the research and communications strategy that helps to frame the debate on such energy access issues in Africa.
The Compliance, Advisor, Ombudsman office was established in 1999 as the independent accountability mechanism for the World Bank Group's private-sector agencies. The Compliance, Advisor, Ombudsman office receives and responds to complaints from communities affected by projects funded or guaranteed by these World Bank Group agencies. Despite the importance of this office, relatively little outside analysis has been done regarding the implications of its activities and the lessons it provides for further accountability. Through this grant, the American University's Washington College of Law will manage the preparation, editing, and distribution of a book, documenting the lessons learned from the Compliance, Advisor, Ombudsman's first 15 years. In addition, the university will convene workshops to discuss the book's findings and implications for other accountability mechanisms.
The ways in which the world’s natural resources are used to meet human needs ultimately impacts the economic, environmental and social conditions — indeed, the sustainability — of people, communities and entire countries. Ensuring that resources are used in ways that help to strengthen sustainability for all people is a vital thread in the Mott Foundation’s Environment Program.
Internationally, our grantmaking seeks to improve the social and environmental accountability of those investing in large-scale infrastructure and energy projects in developing countries. This work includes a focus on the investment patterns of emerging economies, particularly of Brazil and China, whose financial institutions are becoming major lenders for developing countries.
Billion dollar hydroelectric dams. Miles of highways. Oil and gas exploration. Such large-scale energy and infrastructure projects in the developing world and in sensitive eco-regions such as the Amazon rainforest often are promoted as bringing modern development to people in need. However, they also frequently present significant environmental risks and social and economic challenges for those living in the projects’ immense shadows.
For nearly three decades, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has supported efforts to ensure that the institutions financing these projects:
One of the areas the Mott Foundation’s Environment program focuses on is on international finance for sustainability. The Foundation’s grants in this area have totaled more than $105 million since 1988.
In a Q&A, Mott Program Officers Traci Romine and Sandra Smithey reflect on that grantmaking and the important changes — and challenges — in the field.
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