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Centers for Pluralism

         The Centers for Pluralism (CfP) program was begun in 1992 by the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe to support the development of a regional network of pro-democratic non-governmental organizations attempting to rebuild civic life on the rubble of communism. Initiated in six Central and Eastern European countries, it expanded to more than twenty-five countries and regions. Currently, there are twenty Centers for Pluralism and an additional eighteen CfP partner organizations, as well as many dozens of cooperating individuals and organizations throughout the region.

        Centers for Pluralism was the first regional response — copied afterwards by several others — to address the common challenges being faced by democratic activists in all postcommunist countries. The CfP program has brought together hundrds of civic and pro-democracy forces across the broadest geographic, national, ethnic, and religious borders in an effort to share experiences, build common programs, and foster a regional community dedicated to democratic values.

        The Centers for Pluralism program identified key pro-democracy non-governmental organizations in post-communist countries that could serve as vehicles for helping develop other civic groups and networks within their own countries as well as for promoting contacts and working relationships with counterparts in other countries. In this way, Centers for Pluralism strengthened the foundation of civil society as well as built networks of democrats for the region. The educational premise was that it is easier to learn from each other and together; the political premise was that in times of transition to democracy, it is necessary to fill the social vacuum with authentic, honest civic organizations that can create the necessary environment for liberal democratic politics to emerge and function.

        For ten years, until 2003, Centers for Pluralism and partner organization held regular full meetings organized by IDEE (at least once annually) as well as regional meetings to exchange information and experiences, develop common programs, and network to strengthen civil society in the region. As a result of these meetings, CfPs developed common programs addressing similar problems faced in postcommunist countries, such as decommunization, corruption, the weakness of political elites, lack of knowledge of ethical principles governing free media and democratic politics, the need for development of the NGO sector, teaching young political leaders in democratic theory and practice, fostering inter-ethnic tolerance, promoting independent and cross-border monitoring of elections, civic education and NGO skills training initiatives, among others. 

        In addition, IDEE has organized a variety of initiatives to strengthen these efforts, including a small grants program that has awarded more than 500 organizational and program grants to the CfP Network; a regional internship and exchange program involving more than 100 NGO and democratic activists gaining knowledge from more experienced CfPs; and, as part of its other regional programs, special internships, exchanges, and observation monitoring teams in which dozens of leaders of successful civic and political movements have gone to Cuba, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and other dictatorships and semi-authoritarian regimes. As a result of all these Centers for Pluralism initiatives, participating NGOs have expanded their programs, capabilities, contacts, and funding, allowing them to reach a broader community of thousands of NGOs and activists throughout the region. The Centers for Pluralism themselves, as well as partner organizations, became strong, self-sustaining, and central members of their countries NGO communities, often taking leading roles in civic and democracy  movements.

        The Centers for Pluralism Newsletter and its Russian, Azeri, Belarusan, and Ukrainian editions broadened the reach of the CfP program to more than 2,500 people throughout the region. The English-language Newsletter publishes articles on civic and political developments in the region, opens discussions on controvelsial issues, provides useful information for NGOs, and the activities and contact information of more than 800 NGOs.In addition, to fostering contacts among NGOs across borders, the Newsletter serves as a key resource for Western donors and other organizations providing assistance in the region. The 28th issue, in 2004, was its last (until new funding). An anniversary publication, Centers for Pluralism - Networking for Democracy, celebrate the achievements of the CfP Network in its first 10 years. It is downloadable in PDF format in full and in sections.

        The full program of the Centers for Pluralism was financed for ten years by the National Endowment for Democracy, until 2003 when it discontinued funding. Since then, IDEE and the Centers for Pluralism have continued to maintain this unique and vital network through a variety of different programs and initiatives. For one, the Centers for Pluralism have often involved other organizations in the network in their individual programs. As well, over the last five years IDEE has involved experienced democracy activists from more than twenty countries in a variety of innovative programs, including the Armenian Building Community Connections Program, the Azerbaijan Presidential Election Monitoring Program, a Belarus Election Monitoring Project in 2004, the Civic Bridges–Central Asia program (2003-05), as well as IDEE's more recent programs, like Democracy for Cuba (2005-11),  Raising Consciousness for Freedom in Belarus (2007-10), and the Georgia Election Monitoring Mission in 2012 programs, among others. Through its programs, IDEE has been able to draw upon the the experience, skills, knowledge, and solidarity of more than 250 civic and democracy activists who have wished to help their colleagues in repressive conditions.

Centers for Pluralism (as of 2002-03)
See also List of CfP Partners


Armenian National Committee of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly 
19a Koryun st., IV floor
Yerevan 375009, ARMENIA
Tel: (374-1) 520 974, 521957
E-mail: [email protected]
Anahit Bayandour, Director

D. Aliyeva Society for the Protection of Womens' Rights
2y Mirza Mansur 4-6
370004 Baku, AZERBAIJAN
Tel: +994 12 97 2108
E-mail: [email protected]

INAM Center for Pluralism
Mehdi Huseyn Street

37000 Baku, AZERBAIJAN
Tel/Fax: (994-12) 92-03-56
E-mail: [email protected]
Vahid Gazi    , Director

Supolnasc - Civic Society Center
a/s Box 208
220040 Minsk, BELARUS
Tel/Fax: (375-17) 234-0797
E-mail: [email protected]
Siarhiej Mackievic, Director

Viasna Human Rights Center
78a pr. Skaryny apt. 48, 
Tel./fax: (375 17) 2310844
E-mail: [email protected]
Ales Bialacki, Director

Center for Pluralism
22 Venelin Street Ap. 79
10000 Sofia, BULGARIA
Tel/Fax: (359-2) 980-5446
E-mail: [email protected]
Mikhail Berov, President

STINA Press Agency
Setaliste Bacvice 10/1
21000 Split, CROATIA
Tel/Fax: (385-21) 488-945,  (385-21) 488-936
E-mail:  [email protected]
Stojan Obradovic, Editor in Chief

Tel: (7095) 746-3607
E-mail: [email protected]
Lecha Iliasov, Director

Jaan Tonisson Institute
Endla 4, EE 0001
Tallinn, ESTONIA
Tel: (372-6) 263-160
Fax: (372-6) 263-152
E-mail: [email protected]
Agu Laius, Executive Director

for Development and Cooperation
11 A.Chavchavadze Str. 
Tbilisi, 380008, GEORGIA
Tel/Fax: (995 32) 936115
E-mail: [email protected]
Ivlian Haindrava, Program Director

Civic Development International Center
7 Gudiashvili St. 
380007 Tbilisi, GEORGIA
Tel: (995-32)998-095
Fax: (995-32) 998-095
E-mail: [email protected]
Levan Berdzenishvili    , Chairman

IDP Womens' Association
16 Kikadze Str.
Tbilisi, GEORGIA 
Tel: (995 32) 98 35 60
Fax (995 32) 98 35 60
E-mail: [email protected]
Julia Kharashvili, Executive Director

Civil Society Against Corruption
Tynystanova 199, apt. 6
720040 Bishkek
Tel/Fax: (996 312) 66 55 38
E-mail: [email protected], <[email protected]>
Web Page:
Tolekan Ismailova, Chairperson

Center for Civic Initiative
St. Borka Taleski 228
97500 Prilep, MACEDONIA
Tel: 389 48 400 480
Tel/Fax: 389 48 25 125
E-mail: [email protected]
Goce Todorski

Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM)
George Washington Boulevard 51, 3/48
81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
phone: ++382 81 234 114, fax: ++382 81 234 368
e-mail: [email protected], www.
Nenad Koprivica, Director

Foundation for Pluralism
Str. Tincani nr 3n-
B1. 8231 SC2, Ap. 61, sector 6
Bucharest 1, ROMANIA
Tel/Fax: (402-1) 212-5143
E-mail: [email protected]
Luminita Petrescu, President
Alexa Babes, Program Director

Liga Pro Europa
Piata Trandafirilor nr. 5, P.O. Box 1-154
4300 Tirgu Mures, ROMANIA
Tel/Fax: (402-65) 250-183/250-182
E-mail: [email protected]
Smaranda Enache, Co-Director

PRIMA Human Rights News Agency
P.O Box 5
11399 Moscow, RUSSIA
Tel/Fax: (7 095) 455 1490
Email: [email protected]
Alexander Podrabinek    , Editor in Chief

Civic Initiatives
Simina 9a
11000 Belgrade, YUGOSLAVIA
Tel/Fax: (381-11) 24-24-800, 24-24-603, 24-23-545, 422-302
E-mail: [email protected]
Miljenko Dereta and Dubravka Velat, Co- Directors

Crimean Teachers' Council
 43 Ostrovskogo St.
 98400 Bakhchisaray, UKRAINE
 Tel:  380 6554 47 111
 Fax:  380 6554 47 859
 E-mail:  [email protected]
 Dilara Setveliyeva, Chairperson



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1718 M Street,  NW,  No. 147, Washington,  D.C.  20036
 Tel: (202) 361-9346  · E-mail: [email protected]
Eric Chenoweth and Irena Lasota, Directors