SUMMARY OF ANNUAL REPORT 2003

The Next Page Foundation undertakes three major types of activities:
  • management of existing Open Society Institute (OSI) translation support projects;
  • development of new initiatives in the field of publishing and translations
  • advisory and consulting services for National Foundations and Open Society Institute – Budapest programs and their publishing projects

Since the beginning of 2002 the network Translation Project and East Translates East Project are being developed under the auspices of Next Page Foundation by the national Soros/Open Society Foundations in each country.
 

Major developments in 2003 include:
  • support provided for a total of 230 translations, several regional publishing cooperation projects and one large publishing initiative in Cambodia;
  • constitution of a new Governing Board of the foundation which took over the overall governing of the organization;
  • Translation Project’s sunsetting announced by Open Society Institute – Budapest’s decision as of 2004

I. Translation Project

Translation project is a major program of the Soros Foundations Network, coordinated locally by each of the Soros Foundations in 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union ( http://www.osi.hu/cpd/translationproject.html). Since 2002 Next Page Foundation is providing assistance in local translations’ support and is consulting OSI-Budapest on the overall project development. Over the last 8 years the project had supported translation and publication of more than 2,000 titles.
 

project developments in 2003

Translation Project’s competitions for publishers took place in 12 countries and in Central Asia, and a total of 194 titles were supported – /see a full list/.
In 2003 the tendency of increase of issue-focused multidisciplinary books continued. While books in philosophy – along with ones on information society – still hold the first place in popularity, they are immediately followed by translations dealing with rule of law, public policy, political issues and globalization.
 
Issue / discipline Number of titles approved % of all
Philosophy 15 9.38
Information Society 15 9.38
Sociology and social theory 14 8.75
Rule of Law 12 7.50
Pubic policy, administration and the state 14 8.75
Political Science and Political Theory 11 6.88
Globalization 11 6.88
Economics 10 6.25
Cultural Studies/ Cultural policy 8 5.00
Nationalism 7 4.38
East/East translations 6 3.75
History 6 3.75
Art/cultural policy 5 3.13
Multiculturalism 4 2.50
European Union and the idea of Europe 4 2.50
Area Studies 17 5.2
Islam 4 2.50
Literary Studies 3 1.88
Gender Studies 2 1.25
Criminal Justice 2 1.25
Media 2 1.25
Civil Society 2 1.25
Gay and Lesbian Issues 1 0.63
New International Relations 1 0.63
Psychology 1 0.63
Total 160  

Note: Some national competitions will be finalized in 2004 so the table presents the disciplinary/topics division of approximately 85% of the titles approved at 2003 competitions
 
 

funding and grant levels

While the average amount per copy supported remains the same as in the previous year. Budgetwise, OSI- Budapest’s funding has decreased with 20% in comparison with 2002 while there is an increase of funding provided at a national level by Soros foundations programs. It is likely that occasional support for individual translations on a smaller scale will continue at some National foundation beyond 2004.

In absolute figures, funding raised by third parties is smaller than in 2002 but as a percentage of the funds provided by different Soros-realted bodies, it has actually increased.


 

II. Romani Publications Project

The project is a continuation of an initiative which started in 2002 and which is fastly growing in speed and achievements. A total of 7 projects from 5 countries received grants this year.
In 2003 its major developments can be summarized as following:
  • significantly bigger popularity of Romani Publications Project competition and better communication with the grantees;
  • increased flow of new ideas from the project’s consultants and partners which were operationalized to two new projects;
  • participation in national and international events on Roma issues and development of partnerships;
  • starting the creation of an on-line library of all the publications supported by Romani Publications Project at www.npage.org
The first projects supported in the beginning of the year are already giving results. Examples include the publication of “Ilona neni. The biography of Illeana Lacatus” in Romania, the bi-lingual poetry book “Suno” in Ukraine, the Dzeno Association news server which started covering a wide audience and is currently publishing the on-line news and articles in Romani, and the book “The Life of Shakir Pashov” in Bulgaria. Further, the audio version of Romani fairytales produced in Bulgaria was recognized by the Ministry of Education of Bulgaria as educational material for primary schools and the cassettes were disseminated in schools all over Bulgaria by the Ministry of education’s regional offices. Copies of the tales were also disseminated in Macedonia and Serbia. The publication of the audio cassettes provoked significant public interest - the promotion event was attended by many organizations and individuals, and was widely reported in media.

 

Romani Publications Project & Romani Lexicon were presented at "Roma in an Expanding Europe: Challenges for the Future" (Budapest, 30 June – 1 July 2003), a conference co-organized by the World Bank and the Open Society Institute with support from the European Commission and other partners. The event, which attracted several prime ministers and leading politicians from the region, was hosted by the Government of Hungary. Romani Publications Project had its stand with leaflets, announcements for the competition, books published in the framework of Roma Translation Project and publications in Romani from the region. Romani Publications Project was presented also on several national events such as the presentation of the UNDP report on Roma in SEE, debate meetings on Roma art and culture, a round table of Access to Culture Program for minorities’ cultures, the national debate on regional cultural policies, etc. Contacts were established with local, regional and international organizations such as the International Center for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations for the SEE region, United Roma Union, European Roma Rights Center in Budapest, Ministry of Education – Bulgaria, Commission on Human Rights in Bulgarian Parliament, Institute for Romani Languages Studies – Vojvodina, Serbia and Montenegro, Center for education and culture of minority groups – Plovdiv, Bulgaria, etc.
The Romani Lexicon Project (RomLex) by University of Manchester and Graz University, supported in 2002 by OSI and overseen by Next Page entered into its third development stage.
The principal tasks during the past months have been to upgrade and update the translator on the web, and to continue with the lexical compilation in additional dialects, and additional target languages. The new webpage went live on 15 March 2003 - http://romani.kfunigraz.ac.at/romlex/index.xml. It is linked directly to the Romlex database, so that now additions to the database can be opened on the website as soon as they are completed, with no additional converting steps. The translator now offers translations for 10 varieties of Romani, covering the most widespread varieties of Southeastern and Central Europe, into 5 different target languages.
The project has now established links with another documentation project focusing on the Gurbet variety, which will allow exchange of materials. A Russian translation of the Kelderash lexicon – the largest of the lists, and a very widespread dialect – is now complete. Introducing the following varieties has been completed: Arli, Gurbet, Gurvari (April 2003), Dolenjski, East-Slovak Romani, Sinte (July 2003), Finnish Romani and North-Russian Romani (September 2003).
 

III. Pilot on Arabic content

In 2003 a pilot project on translations into Arabic was launched aiming at promoting thinking and discussion in the Arabic-speaking world on open society issues outside of an Occidental framework by supporting translations of books related to themes such as pluralism, secularism, human rights, governance, civil society, and democracy in the context of underdevelopment and globalization. The project started by commissioning an overview of the availability and access to open society content in the Arabic-speaking world. Results of the study were largely in accord with the UNDP Arab Human Development Report recommendations which point to the “knowledge deficit” as a major problem in the region.
In November 2003 a brainstorming meeting of prominent Arab intellectuals and policy-makers was conducted in Beirut to define the project’s focus and activities. In early January 2004 Next Page conducted meetings with publishers, publishers associations and other organizations during the Cairo International Book Fair.
Following those study visits, a tentative action plan was drafted:
  • Pilot grants to local organization(s) for translation and publication of up to 10 works by thinkers from contiguous countries and regions such as Turkey, Iran, the Indian subcontinent or Eastern Europe and raising awareness of contemporary works from those countries;
  • Overview of translation projects in Arabic – a research and evaluation of the existing translations support programs and an assessment of lessons learned from their work;
  • A database of translations in the social sciences and humanities, possibly in cooperation with Arabic BiP and/or the data-base under preparation by the Arab Publishers Union;
  • Assessment of quality of translations of up to 10 works supported within different other projects;
  • Books and Viewpoints (“Cairo review of books”) - series of survey articles on intellectual currents in Turkey, Iran and Indian sub-continent;
  • Co-sponsoring publishing industry surveys in Egypt, Morocco, possibly Tunisia and Syria with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • A panel discussion on the surveys at the International Centre of Frankfurt Book Fair and ensuring further distribution of the results (government agencies, donors, etc.)

IV. Books across Borders (BaB) for Croatia and Serbia

The BaB project is the largest project – in terms of scope and budget – that Next Page Foundation is involved in. Despite certain obstructions in the implementation in Croatia, the original project’s aim to revitalize the two publishing industries by opening-up the borders for publishing cooperation, has tangibly advanced.
  1. BaB in Croatia
  1. the first Croatian Books-in-Print catalogue was completed. Since an average of 15-30 new records are put in the database daily, it currently comprises of 13.293 books, 1.296 publishers, 11.917 authors, 400 bookshops, and 4.103 book sales records over the period of 31 weeks. The printed and on-line version of the catalogue at www.knjiga.biz were presented at the Frankfurt Bookfair on October. The online BiP has become the most popular book website in Croatia. It has more visits than any web bookshop, e-magazine, or library, including the National Library of Croatia. The catalogue was very successful in the sale of advertising space to publishers, which resulted in revenues amounting to € 5.580. The sale of advance BIP catalogue subscriptions was less successful. By the end of September, 59 catalogue subscriptions were sold, bringing gross revenue of € 4.435. In June and September, a new business plan for the online Book Information System was developed in cooperation with the Polish Book Market Research (BMR) experts. The company producing the catalogue is also maintaining a weekly e-newsletter which reached more than one thousand subscribers. Perhaps the most important achievement in the third implementation period was the establishment of cooperation with booksellers in delivering sales data which proved that booksellers do not consider BiP as a threat, but rather as a partner in development of the book market in Croatia. The database was developed to include sales data, enabling the company to make analysis of book sales in Croatia, and to introduce the only bestsellers list based on real sales. It also signed its first marketing consulting contract.
  2. a training seminar on distribution took place at the end of April, bringing together 20 people from 14 companies and followed by three days of individual consultations.
  1. BaB for Serbia and Montenegro

The project is Serbia/Montenegro started later but is fastly speeding up and the first tangible results were achieved:

  1. the first ever Serbian Books-in-Print catalogue was published in on-line and printed versions in October 2003. The catalogue at www.knjigainfo.com contains ca 27,000 book titles, ca 17.000 texts about books (e.g. reviews) and authors, ca 16.500 physical persons (authors, translators, editors); juridical bodies (1.264 publishing houses, 304 bookshops, 19 distribution firms, 379 libraries, 67 printing houses). Is its extremely user-friendly and offers various search possibilities. The catalogue was launched at a special meeting with publishers and a press-conference as well as at the Belgrade Book Fair in October.
  2. The selected candidate for support for a professional distribution center has started growing and is successfully implementing cash payments principle as opposed to commission sales.
  3. Four training workshops took place – two on distribution, one on marketing and one on promotion, all of them followed by individual consultations for publishers and distributors with BMR trainers. Each workshop was attended by app. 35 participants from 20 companies
  4. Only indirectly linked with the project, the following positive developments at the Serbian book sector took place, mostly initiated and/or adopted with the active participation of the project board member Sreten Ugricic: tax exemption for books and magazines was introduced; a new Law on Librarianship and a new Law on Legal Deposit were drafted and a more democratic model of state purchase of books for libraries was adopted.

V. Other activities and projects

  1. Advisory services
    In 2003, Next Page continued providing advisory and networking services for the National Soros Foundations and other OSI affiliated bodies and programs such as the South-East Asia Initiative and the Arts&Culture Program. Examples of some of the most intensive consultations to NFs include those on the Mongolian translations of policy-related works, a distribution project of the Azeri foundation and the plans for spinning-off the program in Ukraine. The listserv on translations continues being moderated by the foundation with some 20 new subscribers per year.
     
  2. Small translation/publishing grants A large number of translations supported earlier by OSI or Next Page were published during the year. A total of 54 projects were completed with 21 titles on women/gender issues, 15 on gay and lesbian issues, 6 on Islam, 5 on Roma, 4 on Balkan history and 3 on publishing business. Majority of them are notable for their translation- and publishing quality.
    With the globalization of the geographical scope of OSI’s activities, Next Page Foundation provided a start-up grant to the Center for Khmer Studies in Cambodia for drawing up a 3-years publishing business plan. The decision was a consequence of the recommendations following a large study of Cambodian publishing industry, conducted by the Center and Toyota Foundation. The grant will be supplemented by extensive consultations and bridging Cambodian publishing experts with Next Page’s publishing consultants and professionals in Eastern Europe.
     
    Three new publishing grants were provided within the framework of New Southeast European History Project and two by the Open Fund.
     
  3. Publishing coordinators meeting in Sofia
    The workshop aimed to facilitate exchange of practices related to long-term infrastructural projects across several countries of the Soros network. With view of the preparation of the project Enhancing Ukrainian book market development and the spinning-off of the publishing program in Ukraine, the workshop discussed various strategies and approaches to project design, fundraising, management and evaluation of similar projects completed or under way in several countries in Eastern Europe. The format of the workshop allowed for intensive (and often tempered) discussions with equally active involvement of all the participants. The possibility to reflect on participants’ own projects – both in a process of design and such which are already being implemented – was ranked as the major achievement of the meeting. The workshop also came up with large number of specific recommendation for the individual projects which were highly appreciated by the participants.

VI. Management & organizational issues

The new Board of Next Page Foundation was constituted in November 2003 with the following members:
Jerzy Celichowski, deputy director of OSI-Budapest Information Program
Odile Chenal, deputy director of European Cultural Foundation – Amsterdam
Sreten Ugricic, director of National Library of Serbia
Rayna Gavrilova, executive director of OSF – Sofia
Amanda Hopkinson, Literature Office at Arts Council of England - London

During the same month, an OSI-commissioned audit was conducted. It evaluated highly positively the foundation’s financial records and recommended some adjustments in the governing structure.
 

List of on-line resources supported/created by Next Page

Romani-related
RomLex - http://romani.kfunigraz.ac.at/romlex/index.xml
Rombiblio – www.rombiblio.ru
Dzeno Information Server – www.dzeno.cz

Book information and publishing co-operation
Croatian BiP - www.knjiga.biz
Serbian BiP - www.knjigainfo.com
Albanian books - www.babel.co.al
BaB for Serbia and Montenegro - http://bibliodyssey.nbs.bg.ac.yu/

OECD book in Croatian translation – www.oksimoron.hr



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