Peer Learning, Exchange and Cooperation for Think Tanks

The Think Tank Fund and the East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program of the Open Society Foundations support bilateral partnerships between think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union and Southeast Asia, and between think tanks in Central and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union and Latin America. The objective of this competition is to connect policy analysts and experts to promote global peer cooperation in analysis, debate, and comparative policy solutions.

Globalization processes have changed practices of applied social science and policy-relevant research. While the developed Western world retains its leadership role in policy-relevant research, other regions/continents are increasingly becoming laboratories not only for policy experimentation, but also for policy innovation.

The purpose of this grant is to stimulate innovation and impact through direct bilateral peer cooperation, and to bring new thinking and innovative dialogue and debate to issues relevant to the Open Society Foundations, including but not limited to:

  • Government Policies and Citizen Involvement in Decision-Making
  • Responsibilities of Expert/Civic Communities in Good Governance
  • Mechanisms for Improving Policy-Making
  • Patterns of Regional Cooperation and Integration: The Role of Think Tanks and Civil Society
  • Citizen Diplomacy: Harnessing the Potential of Civil Society in International Cooperation
  • New Media: New Opportunities and/or Limitations for Citizen Involvement and Activism
  • The Post-Crisis “New World Order” and Engaging with New Global Players
  • Constructing Social Policies in the post-Crisis World
  • Balancing Economic Recovery/Growth and Social Equality
  • Sustainable Livelihood Development in Communities of Significant Out Migration
  • Inclusion, Exclusion, Citizenship, Statelessness: Policy Perspectives and Comparative Analysis
  • Discourse(s) on Conflict/post-Conflict: Policies, Approaches and Responses from Civil Society Actors
  • Democracy Promotion: Perspectives from Recipients
  • Geo)Political Implications of Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment
  • “Ideology-less” Societies: Social Contracts, Rise of Populist Politics, and State Structures in the 21st Century
  • Engagement with the (post-Authoritarian/post-Colonial) State
  • Use and Abuse of Historical/Absent Memory in the Construction of the Nation State
  • Use of Transparency and Accountability Tools to Address Citizen Security
  • Evaluation of Community Programs to Reduce Violence
  • Constructive Engagement between the Human Rights Community and the Citizen Security Community

These issues are not exhaustive or exclusive, but rather reflect issues relevant in countries where these two programs and entities within the Open Society Foundations are active. Successful applicants will contextualize a problem well and argue the validity and impact of global peer cooperation in addressing the particular issue.

Prospective applicants are invited to contact us with questions concerning whether an issue is of merit and/or for assistance in identifying a partner before submitting an application. In all cases, issues proposed to be addressed should be significant in the policy contexts of the applicants’ countries, contribute to the creation of new knowledge, and be designed to have impact in promoting a discourse relevant to open society principles.


Applications will originate in Central and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, and/or Latin America.

We are seeking joint applications of two or more think tanks, including a partnership memorandum, agreement, and/or supporting letter from the official signatory of the respective organizations.

Please, download the full request for proposal document for further information regarding the application process.