Roma Education Initiative

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Country/partner countries

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Lead partner:
Open Society Institute

Soros foundations
Roma and non-Roma NGOs

Project information – start and end date (if available)
2002 to 2005

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
The Roma Education Initiative (REI) was an ambitious project that was funded and implemented by the Open Society
Institute in partnership with Soros Foundations and Roma and non-Roma NGOs spanning from 2002 to 2005 and was
based on the concept of the comprehensive approach. Recognizing that a complex set of issues required complex solutions,
each national project offered a continuum of services – in school and out of school, educational and other sectors – in
response to an array of needs and across various age groups (ages 3 to 18 years and beyond). Complementary services
contributed to improving access and educational outcomes in the name of integration.

Results of the project
The goals of the REI Documentation Project were to:
• explore and document qualitatively the challenges, opportunities, and experiences in implementing REI.
• give “voice” to the practitioners of REI as experts in their field.
• advance knowledge on implementation-policy dynamics.
• strengthen advocacy around what “works” and provide an evidence base to support in-country challenges.
• share the lessons learned and give practical advice to donors, NGO implementers, and governments who will be
funding Roma education projects in the future.
• disseminate and develop peer discussion to improve practice within an extended professional network; to further a
living, ongoing and vibrant process in which both research and documentation are the means to an end

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
Over 20,000 students of whom 5,000 were Roma.
1,000 teachers including 120 Roma teacher assistants in 7 countries and approximately 75 schools, including preschools,
also participated.

Sources of funding
Open Society Institute


Document - materials that incurred in the project
Experiences of Roma education initiative