Civil Society Exchange Program is a cooperation between the Center for Civil Society Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University and MitOst e.V. and is funded by Stiftung Mercator.

Center for Civil Society Studies works on rights based issues with grassroots civil society organizations focusing on capacity building since 2003 at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Currently the Center has 4 Units and an MA Program, namely: NGO Research and Training Unit (STK Eğitim ve Araştırma Birimi), Youth Studies Unit (Gençlik Çalışmaları Birimi), Child Studies Unit (Çocuk Çalışmaları Birimi), Bilgi Social Incubation Center (Bilgi Sosyal Kuluçka Merkezi), MA Program on NGO Management and Social Projects (Sosyal Projeler ve STK Yönetimi Yüksek Lisans Programı). Each unit is specialised in thematic areas and works with civic partners all over Turkey and Europe.

MitOst is a non-profit organization based in Berlin. MitOst promotes cultural exchange and active citizenship in Europe and its neighbouring regions. With 1,400 members in 40 different countries, as well as various partners, MitOst is part of a dynamic network. MitOst encourages activities and implements programs which foster cultural exchange, active citizenship, social cohesion, and sustainable urban and rural development – beyond cultural, sectoral or linguistic borders.

Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work, it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity, and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany’s leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.