AU Watch

Who We Are

DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE

The Open Society Foundations support efforts to engage citizens not just in voting, but in ensuring that governments respond to the challenges of the day and the needs of all their people.

$140.5M

2020 BUDGET FOR DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE

11.16%

2020 BUDGET FOR DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE

$140.5M

2020 BUDGET FOR DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE

OUR WORK

The simple act of voting has often been contested—in some countries, now more than ever amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to protecting voter rights and addressing issues of campaign finance and electoral reform, we support groups that monitor government action and promote transparency and accountability as a check on corruption and abuse in the democratic process.

Election Support

Monitoring work by NGOs and civil society groups can play an important role in preventing electoral fraud and manipulation in countries where democratic institutions remain weak. The Open Society Initiative for West Africa has developed an internet-based election observation platform called the Election Situation Room. It pools independent reporting by monitors during voting, helping electoral officials to respond to emerging issues before they become critical. The model has been successfully piloted during elections in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Nigeria.

Explainer

Why the European Parliament Elections Matter

Voting Rights

Access to information reinforces the ability of citizens to hold their governments to account, and to combat corruption. The Open Society Foundations have supported the passage of right to information laws in over 50 countries since the 1990s by providing technical and legal advice. We have also actively supported efforts to establish the institutional machinery that is needed to deliver an effective response to freedom of information requests from the public—developing resources for judges, information commissioners, and civil society groups to help ensure that the public’s questions are answered.

Community Engagement

From Kazakhstan to the Balkans, our foundations support local groups that engage people in local decision-making that affects their quality of life—on issues such as promoting education, planning new bus routes, and protecting local parks and green spaces.

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After the wall came down

From Kazakhstan to the Balkans, our foundations support local groups that engage people in local decision-making that affects their quality of life

After the wall came down

From Kazakhstan to the Balkans, our foundations support local groups that engage people in local decision-making that affects their quality of life