About the Institute

About the Institute

Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation–Tajikistan

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, we build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
The Foundation in Tajikistan is a part of an international network of the Open Society Foundations, which work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.
To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. The Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
At the same time, the Open Society Foundations build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
Foundation’s mission:
Promotion, popularization, and protection of the principles of open and civil society in the Republic of Tajikistan through humanitarian assistance and charity. Principles of open and civil society:
The Foundation prioritizes the following open society and civil society principles in its activities:
Promotion and protection of rights and freedom, including freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and belief, protection of rights to freedom of opinion and expression.
Protection of equality, including protection from all forms of discrimination as well as ensuring gender equity.
Building solidarity, including access to social welfare, ensuring dignified standard of living, health, and affordable education.
Transparency and accountability of the public and private sectors to civil society.
Types of humanitarian assistance and charity:

  • Financial assistance in the form of grants to individuals and legal entities for implementing social projects, activities as well as participation in international conferences;
  • Awarding scholarships to the citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan to enable them to continue their education at foreign universities;
  • Technical assistance in the form of trainings, conferences, round-table discussions by engaging local and international experts;

Advisory support in the form of research, monitoring and evaluation by internal and external consultants.

Challenges:

1)  Civil society, including traditional non-governmental organizations, civic activitists and mass media, becomes more vulnerable that narrows down the dynamics of the «civic space» — ability to self-expression and independently contolling the activities of public and private sectors;
2)    Social and economic difficulties due to the return of Tajikistani migrants;
3) Delays in the implementation of reforms for progressive changes in society due to shrinking of the state budget.

Strategic goals:
A) Focusing economic advancement on those most in need, particularly returning migrants:
Piloting a government-civil society partnership to assist returning migrants. Demonstrating the viability of a “pro-poor” loan guarantee program.
B) Strengthening social resilience in critical dimensions of education and public health, primarily by laying the groundwork so that existing pilots are more likely to be adopted and funded by the state, and introducing critical new concepts:

  • Strengthening the field of inclusive education.
  • Developing a culture of assessment.
  • Strengthening the field of health and rights.
  • Fostering a human rights approach to health.

C) Defending fundamental rights and the civic space in which they are expressed, continuing the progress made in combating torture and continuing to strengthen human rights defenders and moving away from supporting primarily traditional institutions in favor of supporting more varied initiatives which strengthen civic space:

  • Supporting human rights movements and institutions.
  • Safeguarding independent expression.

D) Enhancing independent oversight over public and private sectors. The Foundation has received a four-year £1.5 million grant from DFID (UK) in support of a wide-ranging initiative:
Enhancing civil society capacity for oversight, and inclusive participation in democratic governance.

Target group:
Women, people with disabilities, returning migrants, youth, civic activists and nongovernmental organizations.

The executive director of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation–Tajikistan.

Ilhom Abdulloev is the executive director of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation–Tajikistan.
Abdulloev is also an academic researcher focusing on migration. He is currently a research fellow at the European Institute for the Study of labor and the corresponding member of Engineering Academy of Tajikistan.
He has consulted for the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency conducting research on jobs, migration, remittances, and household finances in Tajikistan.
He chairs the supervisory board of Humo, a Tajik microcredit and deposit organization.
Abdulloev joined the Open Society Foundations in November 2002, as a coordinator for the Economic and Business Development Program.
He later worked as a grants manager and program director for business development, migration, and arts and culture.
Prior to joining Open Society, Abdulloev was an economist at the State Statistical Agency and was deputy head of the Dushanbe Executive Committee’s Department of International Relations.
Abdulloev graduated from the Tajik National University, and earned a PhD in the philosophy of economics from Rutgers University and an MLitt from the University of Saint Andrews.
His graduate studies were supported by Open Society scholarships and his PhD dissertation won Rutgers University’s Alfred S. Eichner Prize in Economics and the Monroe Berkowitz Memorial Award.

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