Three of the most prominent U.S. human-rights organizations are among the least open in the field about their sources of funding, according to a new report that grades 200 think tanks and advocacy nonprofits for transparency, the Thomson Reuters Foundation writes. Human Rights Watch, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Open Society Foundations ranked near the bottom in the study by watchdog group Transparify.
The Center for Global Development and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars scored best among 43 U.S. groups in the survey. Transparify argues that greater disclosure buttresses think tanks’ credibility, shielding them from accusations of slanted or donor-driven research. About half of the organizations assessed were deemed “opaque,” an improvement from 80 percent in Transparify’s inaugural report two years ago.
Open Society, the global grant maker headed by billionaire financier George Soros, funds Tbilisi, Georgia-based Transparify, which rates policy and advocacy groups on a scale from “highly transparent” to “highly opaque.” “Transparify applies the same criteria to all organizations, including our own donor,” said Dustin Gilbreath, a spokesman for the watchdog group.