Background

Open Society Institute OSI was created in 1993 by investor and philanthropist George Soros to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Those foundations were established, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. OSI has expanded the activities of the Soros foundations network to other areas of the world where the transition to democracy is of particular concern. The Soros foundations network encompasses more than 60 countries, including the United States. In August 2010, it started using the name of Open Society Foundations (OSF) to better reflect its role as a funder for civil society groups around the world.


Mission

To build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people; to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check; to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights; to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media; to protect and improve the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Geographic focus

Africa; Asia; Central, South and Eastern Europe; Central Eurasia; Latin America and the Caribbean; the Middle East; US

Programme areas

The Open Society Foundations’ 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. Key areas of intervention include:


• Children & Youth

• Education

• Socio-economic development

• Democratic governance and transparency

• Public Health

• Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Citizens Security

• Law & Justice

• Media’s freedom

• Women’s Rights