Carla Funk

Carla Funk
2015-2016 Former Visiting Research Fellow
Centre for Global Studies

BScAg (University of Manitoba), MScAg (University of Manitoba), Doctoral Candidate (Royal Roads University).

Carla’s doctoral research is based in Tanzania where she is investigating the role of privately funded development aid with a focus on the perspectives of the recipient. Funk has lived and worked in Ethiopia managing a program feeding refugees, in Zimbabwe on food security and education related projects, and in Switzerland for a private family foundation committed to supporting education in southern Africa and eastern Europe. Here in B.C. she has provided management and capacity building expertise to environmental, health research, arts, children and First Nations non-profit organizations.

Carla has spent the past two winters in the small Tanzanian town of Moshi, in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. She has been conducting data collection for an exploratory case study, and is currently settled in the Centre for Global Studies at UVic as she writes her dissertation on recipient perspectives of privately funded development aid.

Global development aid work is dependant on funding, and the funding model is changing. Until recently private support was a relatively small contributor to development efforts, but in the past decade private aid has become a growing source of funding. Private philanthropic funding from the world's developed economies to countries of developing economies is USD $59 billion. While still less than half of the $138 billion invested in “official” aid by governments this figure represents significant and rising investment by private citizens in development aid. Despite heightened expectations and discourse regarding its potential, understanding the nature, reach and influence of global private aid is limited.

This research scrutinizes the role of private funding as it is perceived and experienced by the recipient of private international development aid, and compares recipient and donor expectations. Are recipients involved in planning and implementation of privately funded projects? Are donors adhering to a theory of change or using guiding principles to make decisions about funding? If so, does following a particular guiding principle of granting makes a difference to recipients?

Carla acknowledges the generous support of her research by Mitacs, SSHRC, and IDRC. Access this link to view a 3-minute cartoon illustration of her research proposal which was awarded a SSHRC 2015 Top 25 prize: