The Open Society Foundations announced Monday it has awarded the Center for a New Economy a $100,000 grant to lead a group of nonprofits to create an initiative geared toward strengthening the civic core in Puerto Rico.
The initiative would work to ensure government accountability and responsiveness by substantially enhancing residents’ ability to engage with state institutions, identify actionable solutions to social problems, and provoke change in policies or services, the New York-based Open Society Foundations said in a statement.
“The sites are all in their preliminary planning stages so there are not yet thorough descriptions of their projects as they are still in development,” Maria Archuleta, communications officer of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. “But we’re very excited about the work CNE and others are planning in Puerto Rico.”
Sergio Marxuach, public policy director for the CNE, said the think-tank will hold a news conference “soon” to explain the project and its reach. Questions about which local nonprofits will participate in the project went unanswered.
The chosen nonprofits in Puerto Rico, Albuquerque, Buffalo, Denver, Jackson, Louisville, Milwaukee, San Diego, and Puerto Rico will be eligible for additional funding after their projects get underway, said Kenneth Zimmerman, director of the Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs.
“In late 2013, the Foundations will award three to five of these sites long-term implementation grants with funding of up to $1 million per year for a minimum of three years, and potentially, a full decade,” he noted.
“We are very pleased with the geographic diversity of these sites as well as the diversity of communities represented,” Zimmerman said. “During the next few months, each site will select its specific areas of focus—responding to pressing local priorities— and, in each case, will incorporate multiple issues and identify an array of tools.”
“We are committed to supporting the Open Places sites as they develop and refine their approaches to making lasting and positive change,” Zimmerman said, adding that in addition to financial resources, the Foundations will be providing technical assistance, as well as facilitating connections between sites and introductions with leading national organizations and institutions.