Financial Statements for the Year Ending 31 December 2020

Financial Statements for the Year Ending 31 December 2020

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Posted on: 5th October 2021
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    Summary of Our 2020 Strategic Report

    Equipping Leaders Worldwide to Respond to the Pandemic

    The Tony Blair Institute has submitted its financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2020 to Companies House and is publishing them today, 5 October, on this website. The full strategic report can be read in our financial statements.

    TBI’s founding purpose is to support leaders and governments – both with practical policy ideas and with embedded support in countries around the world – to help governments deliver progressive reforms to improve the lives of their people.

    In March 2020, when the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic became clear, TBI pivoted all of the Institute’s resources to supporting governments around the world to respond to the crisis. Our entire staff – from the Middle East to Europe, the USA to countries across the African continent – united around this shared purpose.

    Our teams engaged with a huge range of experts from the corporate, medical, scientific, industrial and academic sectors as well as political leaders and policymakers to catalyse effective responses to the pandemic. The Institute influenced the debate, offered practical policy solutions and supported governments in deploying effective crisis management, rapid problem-solving and innovation – both in the UK and worldwide. This work has ranged from helping advocate for, and then put in place, mass testing, to adapting vaccine rollout to maximise the protection each dose can provide.

    Public-Health Response to Covid-19

    Public-Health Response to Covid-19

    One key area where the Institute led the debate early and changed policy – not only in the UK but around the world – was on the importance of Covid-19 testing. From the outset of the pandemic, the Institute advocated for the importance of mass population-level testing, particularly drawing on rapid-testing capability

    In December 2020, as the highly transmissible Alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 was surging in England, Mr Blair, informed by conversations with our network of experts, recommended that the government consider changing its vaccine policy to use all available vaccine supply to administer first doses to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, rather than hold back stocks for second doses – the objective being to provide immunity more widely across the population and to do so more rapidly. This, and our blueprint for vaccine implementation which raised the ambition for the number of vaccines administered per day, were reflected in subsequent government policy.

    Our Government Advisory teams and Covid-19 task force tracked the spread of the virus across the countries we supported in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. This accurate data was crucial in providing evidence-based policy recommendations. We produced 19 practical guides for governments in sub-Saharan Africa on key elements of the public-health response to Covid-19, including scaling up mass-testing programmes; implementing social distancing; setting up makeshift isolation and treatment centres; and guidance on the use of masks.

    As part of a philanthropic partnership with the Larry Ellison Foundation, we helped roll out a pro bono Oracle Health Management System (OHMS) in Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal to create electronic health records for their vaccination programmes for yellow fever, HPV and Covid-19. Participating countries will receive access and support free of charge for the next ten years. In Ghana, 70,000 people were vaccinated against yellow fever and registered in the country’s OHMS in just one week after the programme was launched in late 2020; Rwanda used the OHMS to administer and record nearly 200,000 Covid-19 vaccinations in three days in March 2021; and Senegal is using OHMS at the national level, helping to provide real-time Covid-19 vaccination data (more than 1,700 health centres have registered so far). This work launched our broader Tech for Development global programme.

    Exit Strategies and Economic Response

    Exit Strategies and Economic Response

    Our UK Policy unit set out a comprehensive strategy for managing the pandemic from the start, and led the national debate on how lockdown measures could be lifted safely, responsibly and in a way that would protect the economy. SAGE described our report "Smart Exit: A Covid-19 Early-Warning Model" as “the best assessment of the evidence at the time”.

    Work on exit strategies and economic response had specific relevance to the UK but with clear read across and applicability to governments around the world. In Sierra Leone, for example, our Government Advisory team presented to the president an evidence-based case for a lockdown strategy, subsequently implemented by the government, that mitigated health concerns while keeping critical parts of the economy open for the country’s most vulnerable people.

    Across sub-Saharan Africa, our Advisory teams supported governments on their economic and fiscal responses to help them protect people’s livelihoods and keep key industries afloat. Our work included preparing guidance on how to continue operations during lockdown, detailing economic-stimulus measures to sustain small businesses, advising on social-protection measures, and proposing strategies for resolving legal and contractual issues.

    TBI also actively supported governments with preventing food insecurity, including helping to ensure access to food and markets for both producers and consumers and ensuring that relief reaches local farmers and vulnerable populations.

    The Critical Role of Technology in Confronting Covid-19

    The Critical Role of Technology in Confronting Covid-19

    In 2020, our Technology and Public Policy team worked to answer a central question: How can the world use technology to respond to the virus and the crisis it has caused? Grounded in a framework set out at the beginning of the crisis for how tech can be harnessed to both fight the virus and cushion its impact on society, our technology policy analysts focused on the key topics relating to tech innovation and proposed actionable policy solutions that could improve the global response to the crisis. From addressing the benefits of tools such as contact tracing and data sharing for virus tracking, through to reimagining a tech-enabled state and revealing attitudes to tech and Covid-19 from around the globe, we have brought the latest analysis and thinking to the ongoing debate during the pandemic.

    Extremism Policy

    Extremism Policy

    Our Extremism Policy Unit’s (EPU) expert analysts identified how extremist groups quickly found ways to exploit the pandemic to support their narratives and undermine government responses. To help governments and policymakers understand and confront these threats effectively, the EPU published evidence-based analysis of pandemic-related activities by extremist groups worldwide as well as detailed analyses and commentary pieces on trends, ideological movements and incidents. These included Iran’s approach to Covid-19 and conspiracy theories emanating from its response; global far-right responses to Covid-19; and Boko Haram’s exploitation of the crisis and escalation of violence in the Lake Chad Basin. In response to our briefing "How Is Boko Haram Responding to Covid-19?", our analyst briefed 18 embassies in Nigeria on the violence in the northwestern and northeastern parts of the country and made recommendations for the EU’s consideration; following one of our briefings, the EU Delegation sent a memo to the Nigerian government raising alarm over the escalation of violence and calling on the government to take further action.

    Additionally, the EPU produced a toolkit guide for governments on working with religious leaders to support public-health measures and counter some of the false narratives – drawing on TBI’s experience of working with community leaders in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Kenya.

    The EPU also published new research on the resonance of extremist narratives among young people in the UK with an accompanying policy paper on how to improve Prevent – the UK government’s counter-terror programme aimed at preventing radicalisation leading to violence – in the runup to the first-ever Independent Review of the programme.

    Technology and Public Policy

    Technology and Public Policy

    Technology has the ability to become a critical part of the solutions to many of our world’s biggest challenges, from climate change to sustainable development and reducing global inequalities.

    In 2020, our Technology and Public Policy unit (TPP) focused on Internet Policy, Digital Government, Science and Innovation and Tech for Development. The team engaged high-level tech-sector businesses and policymakers, and published reports including: The TBI Globalism Study in partnership with YouGov, which explores public perceptions around tech and society; Leveraging Tech in the Developing World – For Covid-19 and Beyond; A Price Worth Paying: Privacy, Tech and the Fight Against Covid-19; and Technology to Feed the World.

    In light of the 21st century’s technological revolution, we identified elements of a new progressive agenda (which we set out here in 2020).

    In the Middle East

    In the Middle East

    Our work in the Middle East, where we continued to focus on fostering Arab-Israeli ties, has witnessed significant progress, culminating in the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain in September 2020. This work was reported on by the news outlet Israel Hayom, and Mr Blair’s role was recognised by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This significant achievement represented more than a decade of continuous hard work to bring about a shift in the regional narratives about Israel, as highlighted by our ongoing analysis of Arab media representation of Israel.

    Mr Blair and our team in the Middle East continue to focus on identifying and further deepening opportunities for peace and stability in the region, advising and mediating between leaders and officials in Israel, the Gulf and on the international stage regarding the political landscape in Israel, the Palestinian territories and the region. The work has included identifying opportunities and providing practical steps and initiatives for promoting ties, as well as for stabilising the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. Our Middle East work also seeks to leverage improved Israeli-Arab relations in order to promote negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians towards a two-state solution, and creating a regional framework for the negotiations with the active involvement of the Arab states, to ensure the viability of a future Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. 

    Financial Review

    While the year to 31 December 2020 saw TBI continue to expand and deliver on a range of activities we were of course also affected by the pandemic. There has been a minor decrease in turnover in the year to 31 December 2020 ($0.8 million; 1.7 per cent) accompanied by an increase in expenditure ($1.3 million; 2.8 per cent), resulting in the Group reporting a deficit of $3.1 million.

    Owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, TBI utilised reserves built in previous years to support and commence projects around the world, which has allowed the Institute to operate at a deficit in the year to ensure it was possible to action time-sensitive projects.

    TBI’s ability to fulfil new projects and programmes of work relies on having the right people in place to deliver them, and staff costs were the biggest factor in the overall increase in expenditure from 2019 to 2020. There has been an increase in the average number of staff to 267 with most of the additional staff working in and on Africa.

    As of 31 December 2020, the Group’s reserves stood at $5.8 million and the Group can report healthy cash balances of $26.0 million. TBI is confident in its ability to deliver on the commitments into which it has entered, and to secure sufficient funding in the future to take on new commitments as its programme evolves to meet the ever-changing needs of global leaders. 

    Our Executive Chairman, Tony Blair, devotes the majority of his time to TBI for which he receives no remuneration.

    Past Years

    Past Years

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