Economic Equity and Justice
The Open Society Foundations work to promote fiscal and economic development that advances social justice through openness, accountability, and equity.
2020 Economic Equity and Justice Budget by Region
The Open Society Foundations’ early work on economic issues included support for affordable housing finance in South Africa; and work on revenue transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industries.
Today, we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with support for low-income and undocumented workers, and with advocacy and impact investments aimed at ensuring equal access to any COVID-19-related therapies and medicine.
We also support broad efforts to combat corruption at all levels through our support of investigative reporting and through strategic litigation.
In addition to giving grants to civil society organizations, we also fund technical assistance to governments and policymakers. Our impact investment arm, the Soros Economic Development Fund, invests in ventures that deliver positive social change, with a focus on benefiting, amongst others, refugees and host communities, Roma, women in the informal economy, and smallholder farmers.
Open Society also supports the growth of shared business ownership models and the emergence of innovations in social protections and insurance.
Our Economic Justice Program has been an active supporter of the Open Government Partnership, an initiative launched in 2011 that brings together governments and civil society groups to promote inclusive, responsive, and accountable government—including in tax and budget spending.
In Kenya, South Africa, and elsewhere, our local foundations have funded local community groups that use freedom-of-information requests and on-the-ground reporting to audit the delivery of local services and infrastructure projects.
The Economic Justice Program’s impact investments include participating in the Nomou Jordan Fund, a development fund that supports small and medium-sized businesses in Jordan, to create jobs for refugees and Jordanians. It has also invested in Humanity United’s Working Capital Fund, which backs early stage companies with innovations to boost transparency and protect workers, including migrants and refugees, in global supply chains.
The World Can’t Wait
Q&A: A New Social Contract for Workers and Business
After the financial crisis of 2008, many advocates were disappointed by the unwillingness of many governments to shake up a discredited status quo. More than 10 years later, amidst another crisis, there is reason for hope.
A Global Movement
Q&A: Organizing for Climate Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa
Too often, media depictions of the climate movement ignore activists from outside the West. Here’s how a group of Senegalese activists is raising awareness, providing training, and envisioning a brighter future.
Housing Is a Right
How One Community Defended Their Homes and Defeated Private Equity
In New Hampshire, the Open Society Foundations, a community development finance group, and a mix of local investors and residents joined together to keep 874 family homes out of private equity’s hands. It worked.