Over the last several years, we have steadily increased the number and size of our support to ensure our partners and the affected communities they represent have the broad range of expertise necessary to advance human and environmental rights. We have also deepened our commitment to supporting Indigenous and other traditionally marginalized communities. In the process, we formed a hypothesis that the definition of “technical expertise” in the NGO and donor communities is often too narrow—too scientifically focused, and too Global North in its orientation. We surmised that this narrow definition could lead to underfunding as well as an underappreciation of other critically necessary and complementary forms of expertise. To explore these observations and concerns, over the past six months we worked with an independent consultant Gillian Caldwell who directly engaged with a number of our grantee partners with three specific goals: 1) to share our findings on technical expertise and how best to deploy it; 2) to hear directly from our partners, especially the underrepresented voices in this space and amplify their voices; and 3) to motivate other funders to rethink what constitutes “technical expertise” and fund, support, and value an expanded range of insights and experience.
We invite you to read the full report below.