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Initiatives:   Current Initiatives  |  Past Initiatives
The Open Society Institute's initiatives address specific issue areas on a regional or network-wide basis. Many of them are implemented in cooperation with Soros foundations in various countries. For a list of initiatives that have been closed down or are no longer affiliated with OSI, view the Past and Spin-Off Initiatives section.
The Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) was established in 2004 to monitor the compliance of member states of the African Union with selected standards of good governance, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. more
Arts & Culture Program
The Arts and Culture Program promotes cultural and artistic collaboration throughout the Soros foundations network; fosters structural changes in cultural policy; and helps develop an autonomous and innovative arts sector. more
Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative
The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative focuses on open society issues throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Burma but also in other countries where essential freedoms are threatened. more
Central Eurasia Project
The Central Eurasia Project strives to enhance policy debate on key issues affecting Central Asia and the South Caucasus as well as several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. more
Children & Youth Programs
The Children and Youth Programs bring innovative approaches to existing social and educational structures that have an impact on the welfare and development of children and adolescents in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. more
Documentary Photography Project
Through grantmaking, exhibitions, and training workshops, the Documentary Photography Project supports photographers whose work addresses social justice and human rights issues that coincide with OSI’s mission. more
East Africa Initiative (OSIEA)
The Open Society Initiative for East Africa supports and promotes public participation in democratic governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights in Kenya by awarding grants, developing programs, and bringing together diverse civil society leaders and groups. more
East East Program: Partnership Beyond Borders
The East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program supports international exchanges that bring together civil society actors to share ideas, information, knowledge, experiences, and expertise and to support practical actions that result from that networking. more
Economic & Business Development Program
The Economic and Business Development Program assists Soros foundations in promoting the restructuring of transitional economies, focusing on building viable market economies and creating new jobs. more
Education Support Program
The Education Support Program works to facilitate change in education and national policy development in Central and Eastern Europe, South East Europe, former Soviet Union and Mongolia. more
English Language Programs
English Language Programs worked at the national level, focusing on teaching English for effective international communication. more
EUMAP (the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program) monitors the development of selected human rights and rule of law issues in both the European Union and in its candidate and potential candidate countries. more
Human Rights & Governance Grants Program
The Human Rights and Governance Grants Program provides support to nongovernmental organizations operating in the fields of human rights and governance in Europe and Central Asia. more
Information Program
The Information Program promotes the equitable deployment of knowledge and communications resources for civic empowerment and effective democratic governance. more
International Higher Education Support Program
The International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) promotes the advancement of higher education within the humanities and social sciences in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. more
International Policy Fellowships
The International Policy Fellowships Program identifies and supports research by open society leaders in countries throughout the Soros foundations network. more
Latin America Program
The Latin America Program works throughout the region to create more open societies, enhance human rights protections, and encourage the implementation of economic and political policies firmly rooted in democracy. more
Local Government & Public Service Reform Initiative
The Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative promotes effective democratic government in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. more
Media Program
The Media Program assists in the development and establishment of media systems marked by freedom, pluralism, and the inclusion of minority voices and opinions. more
Middle East & North Africa Initiative
OSI’s Middle East & North Africa Initiative (MENA) acts as the primary contact point and clearing house for OSI activity in the region. MENA operates primarily as a grantmaking program in partnership with several other OSI network programs on issues ranging from knowledge and information to women’s rights. more
Open Society Justice Initiative
The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute, promotes rights-based law reform, builds knowledge and strengthens legal capacity worldwide. more
Open Society Mental Health Initiative
The Open Society Mental Health Initiative aims to ensure that people with mental disabilities (mental health problems and/or intellectual disabilities) are able to live as equal citizens in the community and to participate in society with full respect for their human rights. more
OSI-Baltimore seeks to foster debate, empower marginalized groups to help shape and monitor public policy, and strengthen communities and families in the Baltimore, Maryland area through the development of fair, rational, and responsive public systems. more
OSI-Washington, D.C.
OSI-Washington, D.C. focuses on civil liberties in the United States as well as other domestic and international policy issues, including globalization, criminal justice reform, human rights, and women's rights. more
Public Health Program
The Public Health Program supports initiatives throughout the Soros foundations network that encourage sustainable change in public health policy and practice. more
Roma Initiatives
Roma Initiatives focus primarily on improving the social, political, and economic situation of Romani populations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans region. more
Scholarship Programs
Scholarship Programs mobilize students and scholars by providing support for fellowships, scholarships, and related activities that empower individuals throughout the world to improve the social, political, and intellectual environments of their home communities. more
U.S. Justice Fund
The U.S. Justice Fund is the cornerstone of OSI's strong commitment to reducing the excessive reliance on punishment and incarceration in the United States, and to promoting fair and equal treatment in all aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system. more
Women's Program
The Network Women’s Program works to promote the advancement of women’s human rights, gender equality, and empowerment as an integral part of the process of democratization. more
Youth Initiatives
OSI's Youth Initiatives aim to develop the analytical, research, and self-expression skills that young people need to think critically about their world and to engage actively in U.S. society. more
Select a region or issue below for a list of relevant OSI initiatives:
Central & Eastern Europe
Central Eurasia
Latin America & the Carribbean
Russia, Ukraine & Belarus
South Eastern Europe
Turkey & the Middle East
United States
Children & Youth
Economic Development
Human Rights
Law & Justice
Media, Arts & Culture
Many Open Society Institute initiatives are established with pre-determined life cycles and funding levels. Over the years, several of them have been either closed down or spun off as independent entities. more
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