The activities of Next Page Foundation are based on the premise that access to knowledge and information is crucial for people’s participation in shaping the societies they live in, and for promoting intercultural understanding. The Foundation thus aims at helping the empowerment of underprivileged groups, languages and countries for an equal participation in the global dialogue of ideas. To achieve its aims, Next Page develops cultural programs and projects in the field of books, reading and translations.
Next Page works in 3 main areas: Arab speaking world (primarily Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Morocco), Roma in the world and Eastern Europe/the Balkans. Pilot projects with potential global applicability are also being developed in few other geographical places. It actively cooperates with organizations and individuals in other parts of the world who share its aims.
The Next Page Foundation’s main office is based in Sofia, Bulgaria. It works in close partnership with international organizations and local partners in 25 countries. The Foundation is governed by a Governing Board, an executive director and a number of advisory committees. It also cooperates with a vast network of international experts.
Background and achievements
The Next Page Foundation was founded in early 2001 as the first spin-off organization of the OSI Information Program. Over the first 3 years the Foundation was implementing a strategy largely based on the twofold strategic approach taken by the former OSI publishing programs, that is, to support content provision (e.g. translations) and to create the conditions under which quality content can be published and distributed (e.g. infrastructural projects). In this period the Foundation successfully completed the largest translation support program in Central and Eastern Europe – the Translation Project.
Since late 2004, Next Page has began positioning itself and operating more independently, developing its own programs and projects, establishing new partnerships and alliances, and securing other sources of funding. This coincided with the enlargement of its geographical area of activities most notably in 2005 when Next Page entered a new and challenging area – the Arab speaking region.
The impact of the Foundation’s work is multifaceted and the full list of projects’ outcomes is too lengthy but some examples of the role of Next Page from the period 2002-2010 would include:
In content provision – contributed towards 271 publications on key political topics or in underrepresented languages;
As a convener and network builder – initiated consortia and informal syndicates on different issues such as internationalization of Romani language, Roma reading skills, contemporary book production from CEE, etc;
In research area – completed and distributed the first ever studies on readership and on translation policies in the Arab world, on the current state of Kurdish-language publishing, on application of new technologies in publishing on the Balkans and many others;
As a promoter of neglected issues - introduced the very notion of cross-border distribution of Romani publications; piloted innovative methods for promoting East-East translations (incl. 10 countries, 19 authors, 20 events);
In the policy area – helped including the “Roma reading” issue on the agenda of key international organizations working on reading development (IRA, IBBY, CTI); campaigned for best practices in promotion of translations from CEE languages and became an informal adviser of 2 governments in determining their policy in that area;
In capacity building - created a pool of experienced Roma publishers; increased the level of professional knowledge and skills of Serbian and Croatian publishers by providing 9 trainings seminars for a total of 216 participants, and 48 individual consultations; expanded capacity of local NGOs, libraries and authors to improve the book offering for Arab teens;
In providing new solutions to lasting problems - enlarged the regional book market in former Yugoslavia by forging regional cooperation (1 fully functioning distribution center with a regional outreach; 40 mobility grants); initiated a project for digitalization of the Romani literature heritage and copyrighted materials by the 24 libraries participating in The European Library (TEL) project; increased awareness of the value of the e-access and PoD amongst the Roma publishers and authors with whom the project collaborated;
A detailed list of achievements to date can be accessed here.
Summary of achievements 2002-2010