East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program

 

East East Beyond Borders supports collaborative initiatives of nongovernmental and civil society organizations in two or more countries. 

The program was created in 1991 for the Soros foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and offered civil society actors opportunities for international cooperation in the context of post-socialist transition. "People should travel, meet each other, and exchange opinions and experiences," George Soros noted at the time. "There is so much that people in Central and Eastern Europe can offer to each other; so many ways in which they can help each other.  They should engage in processes of transition together.  This region should be alive." 

Since then, East East Beyond Borders has expanded across the globe with resources available to nongovernmental and civil society organizations in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. 

The program promotes the movement of ideas by convening people to create communities of interest and to engage in practical collaborative actions.  In addition to local human resources and locally determined content, initiatives that receive program support are based on: 


- information: using knowledge, experiences, expertise, best practices, and lessons learned 
- innovation: prompting new thinking and ways of communicating, and devising alternative approaches and perspectives 
- collaboration: developing and sustaining mutually beneficial partnerships for social impact

East East Beyond Borders supports long-term initiatives within themes encompassing good governance and public policy, rights protection and social inclusion, and global perspectives and international dialogue.

 

The main objectives of the  Program for 2012-2013:


- Strengthening civil society in Ukraine and the region through partnerships and sharing best practices (monitoring, advocacy, self-organization, volunteerism, charity);
- pursuit of reforms in Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership by analyzing the experience of countries in the EU, Western Balkans, Georgia and Moldova, applying instruments of the Eastern Partnership Program and building a regional “Bridge of Reforms”;
- promoting European integration of Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries by engaging the people in European integration processes and initiatives;
- promoting greater inter-ethnic and gender tolerance  through better practices of integration, social mediation, conflict resolution.



The main thematic priorities are coordinated through the IRF activity and reflect significant regional and cross-regional problems:


- self-organization and influence of civil society (public monitoring, advocacy, policy development, inter-sectoral dialogue);
- good governance (including e-governance);
- European integration (public demand for European integration; Eastern Partnership);
- partnerships in public health advocacy;
- education (reforming regulations, school finance and management systems; monitoring of quality of education, analysis of education policy, and inclusive education);
- youth activism (critical thinking, student self-government, youth policy);
- inter-ethnic tolerance (social mediation, conflict prevention, intercultural dialogue), Roma integration;
- gender equality.


The strategic directions are shaped to include shared interests of Ukraine and the region:


- EU member states  and Western Balkans: liberalization of the EU visa policy towards eastern neighbors, migration, implementation of EU initiatives and regional development programs, good governance, experience in Euro-integration and related reforms.
- Eastern Partnership and the Black Sea Region: reforms experience, democratization and European integration, civil society forum, dialogue between institutional experts and society in Belarus and Russia, joint monitoring of relations between Russia and its neighbors, public influence on shaping the regional cooperation policy, overcoming interethnic intolerance. 
- Central Asia and Mongolia: public monitoring of transparency and accountability and access to public information (energy sector, tenders, budget management), development of healthcare systems, vulnerable social groups, local democratic processes.

 

Contacts:

 

Tetiana Kukharenko

East-East Program Manager

tel. +380 (44) 461 95 00, fax. +38 (044) 486 01 66,
e-mail: kukharenko@irf.kiev.ua
office: Kyiv, Bekhterevsky Lane, 13-a, room 5

 

Olga Kvashuk

East-East Program Assistant
tel. +380 (44) 461 95 00, fax. +38 (044) 486 01 66,
e-mail: kvashuk@irf.kiev.ua
office: Kyiv, Bekhterevsky Lane, 13-a, room 5