Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ford Foundation Program Helped Advance Social Justice, Study Finds

Philanthropy News Digest
April 28, 2016

A $420 million Ford Foundation program that funded the advanced education of social justice leaders from marginalized groups led to significant positive change in communities and organizations around the world, a report from the Institute of International Education finds.

The report, Social Justice and Sustainable Change: The Impact of Higher Education (36 pages, PDF), evaluated the impact of the foundation's International Fellowships Program, which, with the goal of giving emerging leaders the tools to succeed in their studies and improve conditions in their communities upon returning home, supported graduate-level education for more than forty-three hundred emerging social justice leaders from twenty-two countries between 2001 and 2013. Based on responses from nearly two thousand IFP alumni, the report found that 87 percent indicated the program enhanced their leadership skills, while 79 percent now hold senior leadership roles, many as founders of grassroots organizations and  leaders in national governments and international NGOs. More than nine hundred alumni have created programs and organizations that have reached an estimated 9.5 million adults and children in their countries and 860,000 others globally. Of these initiatives, 97 percent address social issues or provide community services and 48 percent were created by women.