The Philea Virtual Library

The Philea Virtual Library includes over 1,000 free-to-download publications from a range of organisations and publishers on the topics of philanthropy, the management of foundations and the areas they are involved in and support. As a Philea member you can send us your publications for inclusion in the library which will also be added to the global IssueLab network where they will be made available to an extended audience, including users of Worldcat, the global catalogue used by tens of thousands of libraries. For questions or assistance, please contact the Philea Virtual Library.
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Learning Through Play: Increasing impact, Reducing inequality

January 1, 2021

What is the potential of children's play to promote equality in outcomes and address learning gaps between children from more advantaged and less advantaged backgrounds? Drawing evidence from early childhood learning programmes across 18 countries, as well as from interviews with the authors of various contributing studies, this report aims to understand whether and how the evidence about play and learning relates to tackling the learning crisis, especially in terms of inequality in learning outcomes around the globe.This report published by the LEGO Foundation shows that play not only helps children learn, it also supports inclusion, and reduces inequality, therefore demonstrating that policymakers and international organisations need to pay close attention to play. Building on their findings, the authors suggest four areas for future investment, innovation and investigation.

Education; Evaluation and Learning; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

The Rationale for Sponsoring Students to Undertake International Study: An Assessment of National Student Mobility Scholarship Programmes

May 1, 2019

This research, driven in partnership by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), looks at the reasons why some national governments invest in supporting outward mobility scholarship programmes. The study aims to improve our understanding of why governments sponsor these programmes; how they are designed, administered, and funded; who participates and where they study; and what impact the programmes are having.The report contains detailed case studies of 11 countries and their approaches to national outward mobility scholarship programmes, with comparative case study analysis and recommendations for countries looking to establish or develop outward mobility scholarship programmes.


Promoting Gender Equity Lessons from the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program

January 7, 2019

Despite the growing focus on gender parity in higher education and the fact that in many wealthy nations women outpace men in tertiary enrollments, statistics show that in parts of the developing world, women are still underrepresented. In South and West Asia, for example, only 74 women are enrolled in higher education for every 100 men, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa, there are only 62 women enrolled for every 100 men (UNESCO, 2010).Even in countries where they have achieved parity, women face other issues of inequity and marginalization, from domestic violence to a lack of female leadership in government. While there are no simple solutions for these complex and wide-ranging problems, promoting advanced education for women—particularly those that are devoted to ameliorating such issues at the grassroots level—is a crucial step. Not only does it build the skills and capacities of those working to promote gender equity, it increases their chances of advancing to positions of power from which they can affect change.As part of its mission to provide higher education access to marginalized communities, the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) sought to address gender inequality by providing graduate fellowships to nearly 2,150 women—50% of the IFP fellow population—from 22 countries in the developing world. This brief explores how international fellowship programs like IFP can advance educational, social, and economic equity for women. In addition to discussing the approach the program took in providing educational access and opportunity to women, the brief looks at two stories of alumnae who have not only benefitted from the fellowship themselves, but who are working to advance gender equity in their home communities and countries.Activists, advocates, and practitioners can draw upon the strategies and stories that follow to better understand the meaning of gender equity and advance their own efforts to achieve social justice for women and girls worldwide.

Gender and Women


April 1, 2018

This online story, published by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, is part of the 'Historical Cases' series. It intends to collect lessons from the past experience of the foundation in Nicaragua from 1981 to 2008.Learning questions raised by this story include:How can we best take advantage of historical moments in a country to accelerate progress towards scale? How does this factor into our own decision making?How to diversify our partnerships and our approaches (for example, advocacy versus field projects) to ensure continuity throughout inevitable political changes in government?When making plans for scale, is it always desirable to aim for universalisation? Or is it better – from a quality standpoint – to advocate for a more targeted approach to specific populations of children and families?

Children and Youth; Education; Evaluation and Learning; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

The Role of Networks in Advancing Personalized Learning

January 1, 2018

From building national movements to developing practical tools, networks of organizations are already playing essential roles in seeding and scaling personalized learning across the United States. Networks provide the support and knowledge of a collective whole while allowing for context in a way that complements and amplifies the work of individual organizations and schools. A more intentional focus on networks can accelerate the personalized learning field as a whole.The Role of Networks in Advancing Personalized Learning demonstrates why networks matter for the personalized learning sector and explores the roles that networks already play today. The brief then poses strategic questions for network leaders, funders, and policy makers on how to strengthen networks going forward.

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships; Education

Funding Futures: Scholarships as Agents of Social Change - Donor Resource Guide

September 8, 2016

At the Ford Foundation, we know that young people are a formidable force for positive social change in the world. Yet we have also seen how unequal access to economic and social resources limits many talented young people, and keeps them from reaching their full potential.This resource guide is intended to illustrate how scholarship programs can make higher education more open and inclusive to all—and how they can fuel social change. The impact of well-designed scholarships can extend far beyond individual scholars. These scholarships help recognize and cultivate untapped talent, and address the inequality that too often thrives both in higher education institutions and in communities around the world.This donor resource guide will be helpful to anyone who wants to start or improve a scholarship or fellowship program and we hope the guide—with its resources and examples from past programs like the foundation's International Fellowships Program—inspires donors and institutions alike to take risks and initiate transformational programs.

Children and Youth; Education

Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for All

September 6, 2016

The Incheon Declaration affirmed the mandate of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report as the mechanism for monitoring and reporting on the fourth global goal on education as well as on education targets in the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2016 GEM Report is the first of a new 15-year series. It shows that education will not deliver its full potential to catapult the world forward unless participation rates dramatically improve, learning becomes a lifelong pursuit and education systems fully embrace sustainable development. The thematic part of the GEM Report discusses the complex links between SDG 4 on education and the other 16 SDGs. It presents compelling arguments as to the types of education and learning that are vital for achieving other SDGs.

Education; International Affairs, Global Challenges

Social Justice and Sustainable Change : The Impacts of Higher Education

May 1, 2016

The report shares the results of the 2015 Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) Global Alumni Survey, the first round of global data collection to occur during the course of tracking study. The findings reflect the responses of 1,861 IFP alumni from 22 different countries, capturing 43% of the program population. Findings from the report can be used to drive programmatic and policy decisions and shed light on research that supports the need for widening access to higher education in an effort to combat social inequality. Social Justice and Sustainable Change shows that funding the post-graduate academic pursuits of emerging social justice leaders from marginalized groups leads to significant, measurable benefits for communities and organizations in their countries and throughout the world.

Education; Evaluation and Learning; Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy

Pushing the Boundaries: Understanding Women's Participation and Empowerment

November 1, 2015

Trócaire undertook three year multi-country research on women's participation within decision making spaces at the grassroots level. 'Empowerment' was defined in the research as the process of pushing against the boundaries to shape new fields of possible action, by increasing the capacity of those with less power to engage with those with more power. The research was undertaken in three countries, Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Nicaragua, implementing governance and gender equality programmes through local partner organisations. It set out to better understand how participation contributes to processes of empowerment and the reduction of oppressive power relations between men and women, as well as citizens and the state. A bibliography is included. More information is available on:

Education; Gender and Women; Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

Giving to Excellence: Generating Philanthropic Support for UK Higher Education

April 30, 2015

This report shows trends in philanthropic giving to UK Universities, based on analysis done on data provided by nearly 100 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for each of the three years (i.e. 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14):Total new funds secured rose significantly by 21 percent since 2012-13 to £795.2 million (among these institutions). Cash income received changed marginally by only 1 percent since 2012-13 which reflects that cash receipts tend to lag the pledges that are included in the study's definition of new funds secured. There was also a sizeable increase in the number of donors - a 25 percent rise since 2011-12 - and in alumni donors, which rose by 14 percent since 2011-12. The number of alumni in contact with their university continued to rise in 2013-14, increasing by 15 percent between 2011-12 and 2013-14. Universities spent 12 percent more on fundraising in 2013-14 than they did in 2012-13.

Education; Giving and Volunteering; Science and Technology

Philanthropy Education in the UK and Continental Europe: Current Provision, Perceptions and Opportunities

September 1, 2014

This research aims to capture the current state of teaching about philanthropy at European universities. It sets out to identify the countries, institutions and disciplines in which philanthropy education currently takes place, and the levels at which the subject is taught. In addition to mapping and surveying the teaching terrain, the research seeks to capture the perspectives of informed stakeholders, and to discuss some implications for the development of philanthropy education in Europe. The paper addresses the following questions: What is the scale and scope of teaching about philanthropy at European universities today?What are some of the perceptions of the rationale for philanthropy education and the barriers and opportunities for its growth and development?What are some of the implications of the data for a) the future development of philanthropy education in Europe b) further research in this area

Education; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

Advancing Evaluation Practices in Philanthropy

May 1, 2012

In recent years, the philanthropic sector has neared consensus on the need to improve measurement and evaluation of its work. Although the philanthropies they lead use different methods, members of the Aspen Philanthropy Group (APG) have agreed that basic principles and practices can inform efforts to monitor performance, track progress, and assess the impact of foundation strategies, initiatives, and grants. They hope to build a culture of learning in the process.

Evaluation and Learning

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