What is OSF
The Open Society Foundations, a private operating and
grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic
governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a
local level, OSF implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of
law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSF
works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as
combating corruption and rights abuses.
OSF 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. OSF 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
The Open Society Foundations
– Armenia was established in 1997 to assist democratic
transformations and promote the values of an open society, the
one characterized by rule of law, democratically elected government,
respect for minorities and their rights, vigorous civil society.
Towards this end, the OSF - Armenia has been supporting numerous projects
and activities in the field of civil society, law, education,
mass media, information, including publishing, electronic communication,
support for libraries, public health, women’s rights, arts and
culture. Like all other Soros foundation throughout the world,
the OSF - Armenia seeks to collaborate and partner with other international
organizations, local NGOs and governmental structures in implementation
of its projects in order to ensure the efficiency and consistence
of its operations.
In consistence with its mandate for long-term and sustainable impact, the OSF - Armenia strives to build up institutional capacities of local organizations. The mechanism of institutional grants introduced by the Foundation in 1999 helped a number of carefully selected Armenian NGOs to become long-term implementing partners of the Foundation and assume leadership roles in promoting democratic idea? and practices.
In general, the concept of strong institutions, grassroot organizations, communities and individuals capable of taking charge of continuity and sustainability of projects and initiatives runs through all aspects of grantmaking by the Foundation. Open society consisting of numerous such organizations and communities that are able to initiate public dialogue, exchange ideas and find solutions to burning issues thus perpetuating democratic progress is the ultimate goal of the Foundation.
Over the years of functioning in the country
the OSF - Armenia has been collaborating with various international
organizations and donor agencies in those program areas that welcome
diversity of experience, exchange of ideas and alternate efforts,
as well as enlisted support of governmental structures that has
added scalability and sustainability to its endeavors. With the
accession of Armenia to the Council of Europe and all the implications
proceeding from that in terms of legal, economic and social reforms
in the country, the OSF - Armenia has got ever great role to play in
helping the society and the government in the process of building
a truly open society and strong democratic state that is capable
of facing the challenges and meeting the standards of contemporary
global community of states.