The Foundation for the Future (FFF) was launched in November 2005 at the Second Forum for the Future, and began operating in 2007. It has its headquarters in Jordan. FFF is an independent and multilateral, non-profit organisation committed to supporting initiatives by civil society organisations (CSOs), which aim to promote human rights, democratic governance, and reform in the broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) region, while respecting the cultures and traditions of individual countries.
The Foundation is a response to calls by civil-society organizations (CSOs) across the region to create a mechanism for channelling technical and financial assistance for their initiatives, and its creation reflects a recognition that democracy is essential for the region and that civic participation is a prerequisite for democracy. It makes a unique and sustainable contribution to political transformations within BMENA, at the same time remaining culturally sensitive. It is committed to promoting BMENA initiatives to foster democracy and human rights. The Foundation has had special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2011.
CSR in action Jordan
The Foundation funds a number of projects throughout the region. In Egypt it funds the Abanos Association, which works to promote non-violence among the youth of Kilo Arbaa w Nus, one of the poorest and most neglected neighbourhoods in Cairo. Here predominantly Sudanese refugees suffer from violence and a lack of social services. The Abanos Association uses youth projects to build bridges between communities, and to set up arts and sports activities to stimulate mutual respect. These include drama, festivals, and summer camps.
The Foundation is also active in Bahrain. It funds the Bahrain Human Rights Society, which monitors and documents human rights violations and works towards increasing capacity and expertise in this field. It aims to equip participating organisations and activists in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with the skills necessary to lobby governments and pressurise them to end violations of human rights. In addition, the Foundation funds the Bahrain Transparency Society, a non-governmental, non-profit organisation working to promote transparency and counter corruption. This society has developed a national report on corruption in Bahrain and provides recommendations for combating and eliminating corruption at all levels.
In Kuwait, the Foundation funds the Kuwait Transparency Society, which provides free legal advice and consultation to citizens to support their efforts in pursuing corruption. The goal is to create a system which actualises public accountability; this includes enabling complaints to be submitted regarding financial and administrative corruption, using the databases of the Integrity and Legal Advice Centre.
The research department of the Foundation for the Future undertakes research activities and commissions studies on topics relevant to its mandate. It seeks to understand the role of research in the range of CSO activities in order to advance this work. In this way the Foundation can analyse the strengths and weaknesses of ongoing studies and projects and ascertain how to improve links between research and the provision of grants in the region.
Since the wave of protests across BMENA in 2011, the Foundation has spearheaded knowledge generation and analysis regarding a deeper understanding of the role civil society is playing in the post-Arab Spring environment, and how it can best be assisted in this context. The Foundation now serves as a hub for critical analysis on regional developments and trends.
The Foundation supports emerging CSOs, offering extensive training, organising debates and discussion groups, and providing financial and operational support. In addition, relevant training and capacity-building workshops are provided for grantees and other stakeholders. Institutional and technical support is provided for CSOs to strengthen their institutional accountability, transparency, and internal governance, and their external capacity is further supported by developing advocacy and lobbying skills, resulting in a more sustainable impact on government policies.
CSR in action Jordan