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New business models for human rights: What innovative structures and strategies?

The same globalization trends that have supported the rise of civil society around the world, now threaten its existence. International NGOs find themselves less appreciated by donors seeking cost-effective results on the ground with less intermediation. And at the national level, governments have begun to use counter-globalization strategies, rolling out new policy initiatives that restrict foreign charitable funding to local civil society. Meanwhile, as the world continues to change, trends in technology, philanthropy, business and society present opportunities to improve human rights in novel ways that may enhance the impact, sustainability and resilience of current efforts.

Given this reality, what alternatives should rights groups consider? The current business model for most human rights organizations in low and middle income countries is to set up as non-profit entity that is financed primarily through foreign charitable grants. This series will explore whether and how non-governmental human rights activity can be developed outside this prevailing framework and shed light on new strategies and structures for rights groups to consider.

Collaborating Editor: Edwin Rekosh

Related openGlobalRights debates: funding for human rights and closing space for civil society.

From funding projects to funding struggles: Reimagining the role of donors

While donors partner with civil society to counter shrinking civic space, their rigid funding systems can undermine progress. Español 


Social enterprises in India carve out new space for civil society

Is social entrepreneurship in India a way for civil society to break open closing spaces? A contribution to the openGlobalRights’ sub-debate on new business models for sustaining human rights.


State-owned enterprises in China could be an entry point for human rights

To make headway on human rights in China, advocates need to get creative by partnering with state-owned enterprises.  简体中文


How to pay for legal empowerment: alternative structures and sources

Taking a hybrid approach to legal funding recognizes that different issues require different types of funding. EspañolFrançais


The old world of civic participation is being replaced

Traditional politicians and traditional CSOs are part of an old world that is being replaced by very different forms of civic participation.  Español


To preserve human rights, organizational models must change

The current human rights business model is not keeping up with trends in technology, philanthropy, business and society that could improve global results. EspañolFrançais


All articles in date order:

Del financiamiento de proyectos al financiamiento de luchas: una nueva visión del papel de los donantes

Mientras los donantes se alían con la sociedad civil para contrarrestar la reducción del espacio cívico, sus rígidos sistemas de financiamiento pueden obstaculizar los avances. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre los nuevos modelos de negocio y los derechos humanos. English

From funding projects to funding struggles: Reimagining the role of donors

While donors partner with civil society to counter shrinking civic space, their rigid funding systems can undermine progress. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on new business models for human rights. Español 

Social enterprises in India carve out new space for civil society

Is social entrepreneurship in India a way for civil society to break open closing spaces? A contribution to the openGlobalRights’ sub-debate on new business models for sustaining human rights.

国有企业:促进中国人权事业的潜在伙伴

为了促进中国的人权事业,人权活动家需要创造性地与国有企业建立伙伴关系。本文是全球人权运动多语言网络论坛“反思人权商业模式”分论坛的约稿。English

State-owned enterprises in China could be an entry point for human rights

To make headway on human rights in China, advocates need to get creative by partnering with state-owned enterprises. A contribution to the openGlobalRights sub-debate on rethinking the human rights business model. 简体中文

How to pay for legal empowerment: alternative structures and sources

Taking a hybrid approach to legal funding recognizes that different issues require different types of funding. A contribution to openGlobalRights' new models for human rights series. EspañolFrançais

Cómo pagar el empoderamiento jurídico: estructuras y fuentes alternativas

Adoptar un enfoque híbrido sobre el financiamiento jurídico reconoce que los diferentes temas requieren diferentes tipos de financiamiento. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre nuevos modelos para los derechos humanos. EnglishFrançais

Comment financer la démarginalisation par le droit : les structures et sources de revenus alternatives

Adopter une approche hybride du financement juridique intègre le fait que les types de financements sont différents selon les problématiques. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRight sur les nouveaux modèles pour les droits humains. EnglishEspañol

El viejo mundo de la participación cívica está siendo reemplazado

Los políticos y las OSC tradicionales son parte de un viejo mundo que está siendo reemplazado por formas muy distintas de participación cívica. Parte de la serie de openGlobalRights sobre nuevos modelos de negocio para los derechos humanos. English

The old world of civic participation is being replaced

Traditional politicians and traditional CSOs are part of an old world that is being replaced by very different forms of civic participation. Part of openGlobalRights new business models for rights series. Español

To preserve human rights, organizational models must change

The current human rights business model is not keeping up with trends in technology, philanthropy, business and society. A contribution to openGlobalRights' new models for human rights series. EspañolFrançais

Pour préserver les droits humains, les modèles organisationnels doivent évoluer

Les droits humains pourraient tirer profit de l’évolution qui touche la technologie, le monde caritatif, le milieu des affaires et la société, mais son modèle économique tarde à s’adapter à ces changements. Une contribution au débat d’openGlobalRight sur les nouveaux modèles pour les droits humains. EnglishEspañol

Para preservar los derechos humanos, los modelos organizativos tienen que cambiar

El modelo de negocio actual de los derechos humanos no está al día con las tendencias de la tecnología, la filantropía, los negocios y la sociedad que podrían mejorar los resultados a nivel mundial. Una contribución al debate de openGlobalRights sobre nuevos modelos para los derechos humanos. EnglishFrançais

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