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Open Society Scholarship Programs Evaluation Report

  • Date
  • August 2023

The leadership of Open Society’s Scholarship Programs commissioned an external evaluation examining the impact of over 30 years of grant making. The report explores how access to higher education through individual grantmaking has, or has not, contributed to the building of open societies.  

Using a mixed method approach of survey, document analysis, focus groups, and interviews, the evaluation found how the Scholarship Programs’ co-funding model operationalized the Open Society Foundations’ core commitments—building civil society, promoting democracy, fostering critical thinking, and advancing human rights—as it sustained a dedicated investment in individual grant making for more than three decades.  

Through applying a socio-ecological model to examine awardee’s engagement and impact at various levels, the evaluation team found that the lived experiences of the evaluation participants illustrate a compelling case of the Open Society Scholarship Programs’ theory of change: providing people greater access to educational opportunities exposes them to different ideas and will contribute to building liberal civil societies globally in the long run.  

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