Around the world, institutions are maximizing their impact by becoming increasingly transparent. This follows a fundamental truth: that access to information and data fosters effective collaboration. At the foundation, we are embracing this reality through a continued commitment to search for opportunities that will help others understand our priorities better and what supports our decision making. The foundation is also committed to helping the philanthropic sector develop the tools that will increase confidence in our collective ability to address tough challenges around the world.
By sharing high quality data, we and our partners can better understand the problems we are trying to solve while developing more efficient and effective strategies to overcome them. With an open exchange of information and ideas, we can better assess evidence, identify opportunities, build trust and learn for each other’s experiences.
We will continually refine our approach to information sharing by regularly exploring how we increase access to important information within the foundation, while studying other institutional efforts at transparency to learn lessons from our partners and peers.
The foundation’s approach to transparency is grounded in our commitment to helping our partners understand what we do and why we do it. Visibility and access to the following information about the investments we make and how we approach our work is intended to improve that understanding.
- Strategy. A shared understanding of our strategies will provide interested parties the information to assess alignment with our goals and objectives. This will strengthen our partnerships and create greater opportunities for collaboration.
- Outcomes. Information generated during the course of our investment activities – in the form of research studies, data sets, evaluation results, investment results and strategy-related analytics - is significant public good. Access to this information is important for accountability, provides valuable learning to the sectors that we support, will facilitate faster and more well-informed decision making, and contributes to achieving the impact we seek.
- Investments and Operations. Our business processes – such as those for making investments - are better to the extent they are clearly understood and open to feedback.
- Financials. Consistent sets of financial data are valuable for clarity, analysis, and accountability. We aim to publish our information in ways consistent with open data standards so it has greater value and context.
- People. Sharing who we are along with our responsibilities will personalize the foundation by helping interested parties get to know the people behind our work, facilitate access to information and provide greater opportunities for collaboration.
We have a presumption in favor of disclosure with respect to information concerning our activities subject to operational and practical considerations and absent the following circumstances:
- Security and safety: disclosure poses a risk of physical harm to persons or property.
- Personal information: disclosure intrudes on personal privacy or breaches confidentiality.
- Legally privileged and commercially sensitive information: disclosure violates legal commitments, such as non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements, or would result in substantial harm to our grantees, partners or suppliers.
- Timing of publication: disclosure upsets a dynamic process in ways that pose substantial risk to achieving the outcomes sought by our grantees and partners.
- Premature documents: document is too early in development to publish.
- Deliberations: Information related to our own internal deliberations and communications and deliberations and/or negotiations with third parties.
Our Commitment Demonstrated
Beyond our engagement with traditional media and use of social media platforms, our commitment to transparency is currently demonstrated by accessibility to the following data, information and knowledge but also in our support of and participation in transparency related efforts by the third parties described below.
- Open datasets
- Curated resource collections
- Online data analysis & visualization tools
- Survey participation
- External reporting to trusted third parties
- Endorsement of (and engagement with) information standardization and open data efforts
The foundation will share how we are demonstrating transparency with continued updates to this list of commitments.