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The next wave of disruption: Emerging market media use of artificial intelligence and machine learning

July 19, 2021

In frontier and emerging media markets across the globe, there are many new opportunities in newsrooms to innovate through artificial intelligence, machine learning and data processing. In this report, IMS, The Fix and the Latin American Centre for Investigative Journalism (The CLIP) have drawn the lens to fast-rising developmental changes capable of driving digital transformation in business and journalism by understanding how those newsrooms can use technology to develop a data and user-led approach to newsgathering, content, distribution, marketing and sales, and post-sale services.

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Hidden Hardship: 1 Year Living in Forced Displacement for Refugees from Ukraine

February 21, 2023

One year after the escalation of the international armed conflict in Ukraine, more than 8 million refugees from Ukraine reside in Europe, the largest single displacement in the region since the Second World War. The majority of people who fled Ukraine and were able to cross into the EU and other parts of Europe are women, children and older persons, largely due to Ukrainian legislation restricting men eligible for military conscription from leaving the country. For many people it has been nearly 12 months since they left behind their homes, lives, family and friends, although people have been leaving Ukraine throughout the last year and continue to do so. The three neighbouring countries Poland, Romania and Republic of Moldova, have been at the forefront of receiving refugees fleeing Ukraine. Forced displacement is likely to continue as the war shows no sign of waning. This raises the question of how people are coping and what kind of support is required.In order to answer these questions, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Upinion conducted an online survey in January 2023 with refugees from Ukraine living in Poland, Romania and the Republic of Moldova to hear what experiences they have had, what challenges they have faced and what their return intentions are.

IRC assessment of humanitarian needs of refugees fleeing Ukraine in Poland

April 1, 2022

Months of escalating hostility towards Ukraine have culminated in an estimated 4 million refugees having fled the country. As of March 26, 2022, 2.2M people have fled to neighbouring Poland.Many have been welcomed by the Ukrainian diaspora in Poland, many more are being hosted by Polish families, and the rest reside in recently established shelters and reception centers. While the Polish government, Polish NGOs, UN agencies, and local civil society actors have provided multisectoral relief across the country, this rapid needs assessment aims to better understand the priority needs, vulnerabilities, and barriers to accessing information, services, and humanitarian support that people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine face in Poland, including those experienced by groups with heightened vulnerability. This assessment will be used to inform the IRC's strategic response to these displaced populations in Poland and will be widely shared with the overall humanitarian community, including with Polish civil society and governmental bodies who have provided rapid and much needed relief to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. 

Crisis in Ukraine: Humanitarian and Human Rights Imperatives

March 21, 2022

The Refugees International Investigation:From March 2 through March 9, 2022, a Refugees International (RI) team traveled to Poland in the wake of the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine. The team traveled some 600 miles in eastern Poland, visiting border crossings and reception areas in cities hosting people who had fled Ukraine. They met with refugees; members of Polish civil society; and United Nations, U.S. government, and Polish officials.The Ukraine Crisis:As a result of the Russian invasion, Ukraine is in a human rights and humanitarian crisis. About 6.48 million people are estimated to be displaced within the borders of Ukraine, and more than 3.3 million people have fled Ukraine, becoming refugees. The vast majority of refugees are women and children, who are at particular risk of trafficking, sexual exploitation, and gender-based violence. More than 2 million of the refugees are in Poland.The Global Response:The speed and breadth of the international response to the crisis has been unprecedented and generous, with the European Union, the United States, and other donor governments contributing generously to aid efforts. The EU is providing legal status and protections to people who have sought or are seeking refuge from the war in EU countries. A very welcome development, it stands in sharp contrast to European responses to refugee flight from outside the continent—but should be the norm.Refugees in Poland (And Elsewhere in the Region):In Poland and other receiving countries, the UN, EU, and other donors must support governments and civil society to meet refugees' reception and integration needs in the immediate and longer term. These include safe accommodation, medical and mental healthcare, and access to education and employment. An effective response will be grounded in local civil society organizations, investing in their capacity to scale existing services. Swiftly developing government initiatives to responsibly collect and share information about aid efforts within and across borders is necessary to strengthen protections and avoid trafficking, exploitation, and other rights abuses in the region.Unfortunately, non-Ukrainians—in particular Black and brown individuals—who have fled Ukraine have faced greater obstacles in reception and integration, with problems emerging on both sides of borders. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the EU, and other leaders have publicly urged that everyone fleeing Ukraine be allowed into the EU, regardless of race or nationality.The Humanitarian Crisis within Ukraine's Borders:Even as States take on the responsibility of welcoming refugees fleeing Ukraine—a challenge Europe can manage—they must give urgent attention to what is emerging as a far more formidable challenge: the humanitarian emergency within Ukraine. Conflict, and especially the Russian bombardment of civilian institutions and inability of civilians to flee in safety, has created an overwhelming internal crisis, exacerbating an already dire situation. Moreover, several factors suggest that the situation will become even more desperate. In particular, as the Russian military's offensive has become frustrated, it is laying siege to population centers and creating enormous suffering.War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Ukraine:Refugees International is persuaded that the Russian military and the Russian government are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. They must end such abuses and must be held accountable for a broad range of widespread, indiscriminate, and what clearly appear to be cruel, deliberate, and unprovoked attacks against civilians in Ukraine and against civilian institutions.

Feasible US steps to strengthen NATO deterrence in the Baltics and Poland

March 10, 2022

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a renewed assessment of efforts by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to deter Russia from taking military action on NATO's eastern flank has become particularly salient. In the coming weeks, NATO leadership will meet to discuss what longer term force posture adjustments are required to create such a deterrent. This paper proposes several modest policy recommendations which will help inform the discussion and ultimately strengthen NATO's conventional deterrence posture

Information and Resources for People Fleeing the Conflict in Ukraine

March 8, 2022

This guide is for people of all nationalities who have fled the war in Ukraine. If you are a citizen of Ukraine, you can enter countries in the Schengen area, or Romania or Moldova, without a visa. You can stay in these countries for up to 90 days. Information about entering these countries is below. If you are in a country in the European Union, you will be able to apply for temporary protection status, which will allow you to stay longer in that country. More information about this status is below.If you are not a Ukrainian citizen but are fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, you can also enter the below countries that neighbor Ukraine. This admission may be temporary (for example, to allow you to arrange to return to your home country). You may also be able to apply for a longer-term status, like temporary protection or asylum, if you had residency in Ukraine or are unable to return to your home country. This depends on what your legal status was in Ukraine and whether you are able to return to your home country. More information about temporary protection status is below. If you do not want to return to your home country, you may want to seek legal advice from one of the organizations below.

Community Foundations vs Coronavirus

March 1, 2020

In the current situation of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is an extraordinary test for all of humanity, community foundations have a huge role to play. As they are close to people on a local level, they can serve as both a source of information and a refuge of peace in these difficult days for us all. This ongoing pandemic is a model example of a global challenge to which we should try to find local answers.The Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland decided to take this opportunity to find out how the organizations across Europe are coping with all the obstacles in this difficult time.We prepared a questionnaire asking several questions regarding the organizations' functioning which was then sent out to the CFs, you will find their answers on the following pages.

Roma Early Childhood Inclusion Overview Report

February 24, 2020

The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI) studies and reports aim to build a comprehensive and detailed picture of the extent of early childhood provision and services, available to Romani families. The studies have been carried out in five countries—Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia—and  endeavour to identify the major obstacles that Romani families face in accessing high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood care and education. More generally, the studies and reports deliver data and information about communities that are often ignored or misrepresented by official statistics, government policies, ministerial strategies and plans for spending.As previous studies carried out by Open Society Foundations have shown—No Data—No Progress, 2010—the lack of reliable data hampers any attempt to measure the impact of government or international NGO intervention. Planning services and allocating resources to Romani communities are the consequence of "guesswork" rather than knowledge and careful study. The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion reports present a distillation of the most recent and reliable data to be had, in these circumstances, drawn from the actual communities themselves, through interviews and focus groups. Government strategies, policies and action plans are all assessed in this context; what has been the effect of the initiatives aimed at improving the economic and social position for Romani families, in these countries?This Overview Report draws upon data from the five country studies, carried out by Romani and non-Romani researchers working together, to present what are the themes and topics of most relevance to families and young children in settlements and neighbourhoods across central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. A profound lack of equality of access and services, beset by numerous obstacles, characterizes the overall picture, for Roma. The numbers of Romani children that have access to good quality, early childhood education and care provision or who can participate in community and home-based learning programmes, remains minimal in comparison with the surrounding, majority populations.The desperate need for Romani children to be able to access, at least for two years, high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood education and care services and benefit from effective home visiting and community-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes, is a particular theme throughout the report. This is a minimum requirement that the partner organizations (UNICEF, Open Society Foundation's Early Childhood Program and Roma Education Fund) advocate for at national and international levels, if progress is to be made in improving education outcomes for Romani children.The scale of the changes that need to be undertaken in order to provide equal opportunity for Romani children and families requires that national governments and international institutions (such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Union's Parliament) act, following the recommendations that these reports deliver.

A Balancing Act: Policymaking on Illicit Drugs in the Czech Republic

February 1, 2020

In the early post-Soviet period, Czech authorities, unlike their counterparts in some former Eastern Bloc countries, turned away from repressive drug policies and developed approaches to illicit drugs that balanced new freedoms with state authority. The end of Soviet rule meant that drug markets and the use of a wide range of new drugs attained a magnitude and visibility not previously known to Czech society.From an early stage, some pioneering health professionals with expertise in drug addiction saw that the new drug situation would require greatly expanded services for drug users and collaboration between civil society and government to achieve this expansion. They were able to influence the new government and steer it toward drug policy that would define drug use as a multisectoral problem, not an issue for policing alone.The report A Balancing Act: Policymaking on Illicit Drugs in the Czech Republic traces the development of drug policy in the Czech Republic from the post-Soviet period to the present day. The report examines the impact of the Czech Republic's evidence based approach to drug policy, compares the country's path on drug policy to that of its neighbour Slovakia and discusses challenges to maintaining this approach in the future.Watch a video produced by the Rights Reporter Foundation based on the fin

States of Change: Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 1, 2019

Despite deep concerns about the future of democracy, people in Central and Eastern Europe retain a strong attachment to civil society and faith in the freedoms achieved with the collapse of Communism, according to States of Change: Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a report from the Open Society Foundations.Based on polling by YouGov conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, States of Change provides a snapshot of current opinion on democracy, freedom of speech, the market economy, and the media in the former Eastern Bloc and Germany. 

Sustaining Civil Society: Lessons from Five Pooled Funds in Eastern Europe

October 21, 2019

After 1990, US and European foundations and government agencies invested in a series of Partnerships and Trusts to support civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans and the Black Sea regions. Analyzing the long-term impact of these investments is crucial, especially as many politicians across these regions increase their anti-civil society rhetoric. Three long-time US foundation staff look back at the legacy and impact of this funding and derive a series of lessons for practitioners seeking to understand how best to sustain civil societies for the long term.

Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Monitoring 2019

August 1, 2019

Presently, the culture of open discussion seems to be threatened in an increasing number of countries. In Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE's) democracies, recent political developments appear to jeopardize progresses made in the past. Against this background, this study aims at shedding light on the dynamics of CEE'scivil society and gives a brief overview of the status quo and recent developments that directly affect civil society. The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts. The inclusion of expert assessments on civil society aims at giving a voice primarily to practitioners. Therefore, the study included an online survey in each participating country, addressing CSO representatives operating in various fields of activity.

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