July 1, 2010, REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and LONDON — Omidyar Network today announced $2.275M in grants to three nonprofit organizations that strive to create more transparent and accountable governments. Global Voices, mySociety and The XYZ Show are the latest grantees to gain support from Omidyar Network for their use of technology in furthering government transparency.
Global Voices, the online citizen-media platform, will receive $1.2M for strategic expansion, including a program to support citizen voices from underrepresented regions around the world. In the U.K., mySociety will receive $575,000 to help transparency-focused organizations in Africa develop digital tools and websites to help hold their governments to account. mySociety will also use the grant to build organizational capacity. The XYZ Show, a Kenyan political satire TV program, will receive $500,000. The grant will be used to expand reach and engagement via web and mobile channels, create strategies that increase and diversity funding, and support an upcoming season of the show.
“Omidyar Network is proud to support the important work of these innovative organizations. Each in their own way utilizes technology to promote transparency, accountability and trust,” said Stephen King, senior director, investments at Omidyar Network. “In addition to Global Voices’ and mySociety’s technology platforms, we are particularly supportive of all three grantees’ focus and program applicability in sub-Saharan Africa, an Omidyar Network geographic focus area.” King made the announcement and offered his remarks at the Guardian Activate Summit in London.
In addition to funding, Omidyar Network will offer all three grantees its considerable human capital expertise, specifically in helping develop strategy, scale organizations and strengthen leadership teams. The philanthropic investment firm will also contribute its decades of collective for-profit technology experience and its understanding of the catalytic role that technology-driven companies can play in enabling government transparency. Omidyar Network funds more technology organizations than any other philanthropist.
Global Voices serves as an online newsroom for citizen voices from the developing world. An international team of volunteer authors and editors reports on important local issues that are often under-reported by the mainstream international media. The online community translates citizen journalists’ blogs into more than 20 languages, helps people speak out online in places where their voices may be censored, and helps marginalized communities use citizen media. For more information, visit www.globalvoicesonline.org.
mySociety runs many of the best-known democracy and transparency websites in the United Kingdom as part of its parent charity’s mission to carry out and disseminate research in the edemocracy field. It builds websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives and promotes the learning gleaned from the process. For more information, visit www.mysociety.org.
The XYZ Show is a satirical television program that comments on current political and social affairs through the use of latex puppets resembling prominent figures in Kenya. These national leaders are lampooned with the purpose of using humor to address difficult and controversial national issues while promoting transparency in government. The XYZ Show is modeled after the U.K.’s “Spitting Image” and France’s “Les Guignols de L’Info” television programs. For more information, visit www.xyzshow.com.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $353 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.