Democracy Center

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The Democracy Center "was founded in 1992, in San Francisco. Originally established as the west coast office of the Washington-based Advocacy Institute, The Democracy Center became independent in 1997. Over the past fifteen years The Center has trained and supported thousands of social justice advocates across the US, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. It has published three books, five major reports, and hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and Internet articles dealing with democracy and social justice issues. It has also helped found a set of important citizen organizations, in both the US and abroad, and led successful citizen campaigns in the US and globally...

"Since 1998 much of The Democracy Center's work has been focused in Bolivia. The Center's founder and Executive Director, Jim Shultz, lived there with his family in 1991-1992 serving as a volunteer in an orphanage, and returned in 1998. In Bolivia, The Democracy Center has played an important role documenting and reporting on Bolivia's role as a test lab for conservative global economic policies, and the rise of popular resistance to those policies.

"In 2000, The Center was the only ongoing source of international reporting of the now famous Cochabamba Water Revolt...

"Since the water revolt The Democracy Center has become an important worldwide source of information for journalists, researchers and others on the effects of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic policies in Bolivia and Latin America, including its forthcoming new book, Dignity and Defiance: Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization (University of California Press, 2008)...

"We have been especially involved in the effort to engage citizens in the monitoring of public budgets and in advocating on how their governments raise and spend public funds. As a core partner of The International Budget Project (IBP) , The Democracy Center has written three major studies: on budgets and human rights; tracking gas and oil revenue; and the influence of global institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The Center carried out case studies of citizen budget work in Brazil and Croatia and also helped found the IBP's Civil Society Budget Initiative, which provides financial and technical assistance to civil society budget groups in Latin America, Africa, and Asia." [1]


Accessed September 2008: [2]

Current Foundation Support

  • Wallace Global Fund, Washington, DC: General operating support.
  • Open Society Institute, New York, NY: Support for The Center's investigation and publishing work related to Bolivia and Latin America.
  • Shadow Foundation, Portland, OR: Support for The Center's investigation into the Transredes (Shell/Enron) Bolivia oil spill and its aftermath.

Other Major Foundation Support over the Past Decade


Accessed September 2008: [3]

Democracy Center Associates

Advisory Committee

Accessed September 2008: [4]




Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. History, Democracy Center, accessed September 24, 2008.
  2. Our Funders, Democracy Center, accessed September 24, 2008.
  3. Staff, Democracy Center, accessed September 24, 2008.
  4. Staff, Democracy Center, accessed September 24, 2008.