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Espen Barth Eide – Jan Braathu – Kim Traavik

The Oslo Connection

By 2003, ESI had grown from a small informal group into an organisation with analysts permanently based in Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo.

Yet ESI retained its character as an independent network. This was also reflected in the structure of support for ESI. Although the budget quadrupled between 2000 and 2004, there was still little core funding and no lead donor. With research projects taking up to a year to complete despite secure funding for only a few months in advance, ESI's continued growth required a leap of faith.

The support of smaller European governments proved decisive. Project funding from Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland allowed ESI to persevere. Crucially, from 2003 onwards, the Norwegian foreign ministry also provided significant project funding for ESI research.

This was supplemented by funding from US private foundations: the German Marshall Fund, Mott Foundation, Open Society Institute and Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

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