Case Study Sector
As dramatic changes swept across Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation became convinced a strong need and opportunity existed to nurture these newly emerging, struggling societies. One of the few Western foundations to take an early interest in the region, the Foundation recognized a critical role that funders might perform in support of the transformation to democracy.
In 1989 the Foundation launched a program to build civil society. In response to the spread of political conflicts with strong ethnic overtones throughout the region, the Foundation, beginning in 1991, embraced conflict resolution as part of this program. The Foundation has created a special niche as an advocate of an important aspect of civil society development—the critical interface between creating vibrant civil societies, building democracies, and assisting citizens to resolve their conflicts in nonviolent ways.
The Foundation has supported a rich mosaic of projects, which have operated on local, regional, national and international levels. These projects have provided conflict resolution training, community development activities, creative initiatives in citizen diplomacy, mediation of disputes, systematic support for NGO development, and collaborations among citizens from a variety of war-torn societies. They have ranged from modest, short-term efforts to ambitious multiyear, multinational programs