Our Mission & ValuesWe promote democratic governance, justice and human rights, respect for the rule of law, and the protection of the rights of minorities. We also partner with minority communities on the fringes of society; those most subject to violence, discrimination and stigma.
We believe there is space for all of us.At OSIEA, we make it possible for the smallest bird to sing on top of a tree. Our organizational values are the lens through which we do our work on integrity, accountability (to each other and to others), celebration of diversity and collegiality. We seek possibility; the question is more important than the answer.
For the past decade (2005- 2016), OSIEA has supported what many saw as lost and unpopular causes. Over the years we have successfully nurtured and supported movements for persons living on the margins of society such as sex workers, people living with HIV, persons with disabilities, LGBTI persons, and injecting drug users. With our partners in settings such as Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, we have stood on the side of justice and accountability for serious human rights violations.
OSIEA now has a new strategy. The primary and over-arching goals in our new strategy (2017-2020)are protection of human rights, the rule of law and equal access to justice; protection of the rights of the marginalized communities particularly women, pastoralists, persons with disabilities, people who use drugs, and LGBTI persons; and advancing accountability, fair distribution, and sustainable use of resources.
OSIEA’s primary role is to amplify the voices seeking to promote justice and equality. OSIEA supports a variety of voices-individuals, organizations, coalitions, movements and government agencies-that promote rights-based change. When we identify opportunities, we do not hesitate to initiate engagement. The call for justice, human rights and rule of law are found in the expected and the unexpected of places. Sometimes they are lone voices of reason in society expressing outrage and indignation at violations. Other times, they emerge as national groundswell calling for change. In light of the environment we work in, we remain flexible and able to rapidly respond to the ever changing needs in our environment. Ultimately, we derive our legitimacy through the earned respect and trust of our partners and peers. We support initiatives with demonstrated capacity to positively transform society in innovative ways that embrace inclusiveness and diversity.
We work through grant making and advocacy:
OSIEA’s philosophy is that communities are best placed to speak for themselves. Accordingly, the bulk of OSIEA’s funds are given in form of grants to empower communities to speak in their own voices. OSIEA is a flexible grant maker that uses a wide range of grant making approaches and modalities. OSIEA prioritizes grants to local national or regional organizations. In exceptional cases, OSIEA funds international organizations when they have a unique contribution to make to the Eastern Africa region or they are actively transferring knowledge or skills to in-country actors.
We strive to be respectful grant maker that works and walks in solidarity with colleagues in the region. We aim to engage in long-term relationships and to provide institutional support to organizations when appropriate. We join processes that are consultative and participatory
OSIEA seeks to bring individuals and groups together to forge new agendas, to build networks and to identify collaborative opportunities. We support advocacy efforts such as policy research, publications, and enable access for partners to national and international platforms. In addition to building advocacy capacity of others, OSIEA acts as an advocate in its own right to address issues or approaches that would otherwise go unexplored.
We speak in our own voice, convene meetings in our own name and out our publications when we can add value to the debate.