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The congressionally sponsored Open World program brings emerging leaders from participating countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise. The program allows American leaders and their counterparts from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan to engage constructively with one another in a manner that complements the U.S. Congress’s public diplomacy efforts on timely issues such as accountable governance, human–trafficking prevention, and rule of law. The principles of accountability, transparency, and citizen involvement in government are among the concepts emphasized by the Open World program. Today, Open World has more than 17,000 alumni and a network of 6,700 U.S. host families. The program is administered by the Open World Leadership Center (the Center), an independent entity established in the U.S. legislative branch in 2000. The program serves Members of Congress—and their constituents and staff—and demonstrates to delegates the role of the legislative branch in a mature democracy, with the goal of helping these delegates strengthen legislative bodies—and citizen involvement in the legislative process—in their own countries.
See Grant Guidelines, available below.