14 August 2009
The IPF program has been closed as an active program, the following is for background reference on its history, and fellow projects.
The International Policy Fellowships (IPF) program identifies and supports individuals advancing innovative policy research in areas relevant to open society. The program also seeks to strengthen policy research communities in regions where the Soros network is active, and to integrate the work of the fellows into the activities both of the Soros foundations network http://www.soros.org/ and the Central European University in Budapest http://www.ceu.hu/.
The International Policy Fellowships (IPF) program was established in 1998 by the Open Society Institute, joining forces with the Center for Policy Studies http://www.ceu.hu/cps/ when the Center was established in late 1999. Given the level of policy research capacity in the transition contexts within which IPF operated, the fellowships initially focused on nurturing the next generation of open society leaders and strengthening their capacities to write evidence-based policy documents, identify appropriate policy instruments, and effectively advocate policies - skills that remain underdeveloped in countries where the Soros foundations work. From 2005, IPF has supported advocacy oriented teams of policy researchers with proven policymaking and advocacy experience working on themes of strategic importance to the Soros foundations network.
The International Policy Fellowships (IPF) program supports analytical policy research in pursuit of open society goals such as the rule of law, democratic elections, diverse and vigorous civil societies, and respect for minorities. IPF seeks to enhance the quality of policy research, advocacy, and analysis in countries where the Soros foundations network operates and supports fellows in promoting open, transparent, and responsive public policy processes that are critical to effective democratic governance. IPF is also committed to supporting its alumni network - an alliance of over 250 open society leaders in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Mongolia.
Fellowship projects and training
The International Policy Fellowships program supports the analytical policy research of open society leaders and connects these fellows with professional policy networks. While supporting high-level policy researchers selected through open competition, the program aims to improve the quality of analysis in countries where the Soros foundations work by ensuring that researchers are able to carry out projects in their home regions while maintaining local affiliations and a high degree of mobility and intellectual freedom. Each fellowship year fellows are selected to participate in thematic working groups focusing on topics of strategic importance to the Open Society Institute (OSI). Fellows participate in policy seminars over the course of the fellowship year with leading experts in their respective fields, and are offered various training opportunities tailored to meet specific research and advocacy needs. _IPF is committed to promoting the work of the fellows through publications, by supporting their individual websites and facilitating distribution of their policy studies through this Policy.hu website and the PDC http://pdc.ceu.hu/view/source/International_Policy_Fellowships.html, as well as providing funds for publications in English and local languages. These publications, conference participation and especially organized advocacy events help achieve positive policy results. As an integral part of their individual policy projects, fellows are expected to contribute to policy debates and help shape new ideas within networks affiliated with OSI and the Central European University.