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Offer: Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative Grants

The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative focuses on open society issues throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Burma but also in other countries where essential freedoms are threatened.
Southeast Asia Initiative

The Southeast Initiative makes grants to organizations that promote human rights, independent media, and civil society development in Cambodia, East Timor/Timor Leste, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as regional projects in Southeast Asia. If you seek funding for Indonesia-specific projects, please visit the Yayasan TIFA website.

The following are the Southeast Asia Initiative's current grantmaking priorities:

  • Access to Justice;
  • Independent Media Development and Access to Information;
  • Civil Society Participation in Good Governance.

Burma Project

The Burma Project, established by the Open Society Foundations in 1994, is dedicated to increasing international awareness of conditions in Burma and helping the country make the transition from a closed to an open society. To this end, the Burma Project prioritizes projects targeting marginalized communities including ethnic minorities, women and youth.

The following are the Burma Project's current grantmaking priorities:

  • Advocacy efforts that promote change in Burma;
  • Documentation of rights abuses that complement advocacy efforts;
  • Community empowerment and skills training that aim to strengthen civil society inside Burma and along its borders;
  • Support for media and information dissemination to people inside Burma, the diaspora, and the international community.

Ineligibility Criteria

Ineligible projects include support for the following: governments or political parties, agriculture or rural development projects, social welfare projects (including schools, orphanages, and basic service provision) construction costs, microfinance loans, film production, individual education or research costs. The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative also does not support cultural or environmental projects, unless directly connected to the protection and promotion of civil and political rights.

Students from Burma, Cambodia and Laos seeking individual scholarships should contact the Open Society Scholarship Programs. Other Open Society programs that support individuals include the Open Society Fellowship Program and the Documentary Photography Project.

To apply, you must complete all fields in our online application system (OAS) at, and attach a narrative proposal and budget using our budget template.

The grant application form, which includes all the OAS required fields, is available for download at left. The form also includes an optional narrative proposal template. For more information about how to apply please see our grant application instructions, attached.

The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative has two proposal application deadlines each year: January 15 and July 15. The online application system begins accepting proposals one month prior to each deadline and closes at midnight (ET) the day of the deadline. Proposals submitted outside these deadlines will not be considered.
Funding Decisions

The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative announces its funding decisions three months after each deadline. Although we aim to release payments within a month or two after we have made our grant announcements, processing payments can take longer. Please be aware that you may be awarded a lesser amount than you requested. We encourage you to seek funding from multiple donors.

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