Azerbaijan

Alliance of Women for Civil Society
$56,017
To conduct mock trials and mock public hearings. The Alliance will organize seven public hearings and two mock trials that will explore current political controversies through structured debate. The Alliance will produce a television and a radio debate based on these events and will publish a book containing transcripts. The Alliance will work with a Georgian counterpart to organize two public hearings in Tbilisi.

Azerbaijan Foundation for the Development of Democracy (AFDD)
$46,140
To provide training and networking opportunities for regional NGOs. AFDD will select NGOs representatives from 15 regions of Azerbaijan for participation in a training seminar in registration of NGOs, the formation of NGO coalitions, and their role in the electoral process. The participants will then organize roundtable discussions in their regions. AFDD will publish a handbook about regulations governing NGOs.

Azerbaijan Lawyers Association
$27,403
To defend the political rights of the citizens of Azerbaijan. The Association will focus on the rights to assembly, association, speech, and information. The Association will provide legal assistance to politically active citizens, produce two monitoring reports and a book on freedom of assembly and other basic rights, and conduct six training seminars in the regions on the electoral law.

Dalga Youth Movement
$18,835
To conduct trainings that expose young activists to the values and ideals of activism, democracy, and universal standards of human rights. The organization will conduct three seminars about democracy for young people in Baku, two seminars for youth leaders, a debate competition, and a survey of youth attitudes. Dalga will maintain a web site on the program (www.democracyschool.org).

Election Monitoring Center (EMC)
$45,021
To promote public participation in Azerbaijan’s 2008 presidential election. EMC will organize citizen’s forums in electoral districts to stimulate a discussion about current events. It will conduct a survey to identify important electoral issues. On the basis of the forums and survey, EMC will publish a report about the priorities and concerns of Azerbaijani citizens.

FAR Center for Economic and Political Research of Azerbaijan
$55,087
To develop the political and civic consciousness of youth and help them to formulate a policy agenda. The FAR Center will create a youth resource center to facilitate the development of youth groups in Azerbaijan. It will hold civic education seminars for groups of young activists and conduct a national opinion poll about political attitudes among youth.

Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan
$70,000
To promote human rights in Azerbaijan. The Center will defend the rights of ethnic minorities, refugees, homeless people, and prisoners. It will provide legal advice to these groups and select cases for litigation in Azerbaijan and in international courts. The Center will publish monthly reports about human rights violations, conduct trainings in human rights standards, and administer a sub-grant for the Chechen Educational Center.

Institute for Reporter Freedom and Safety
$35,294
To conduct monitoring and advocac y on issues of press freedom in Azerbaijan. The Institute will publish a weekl y monitoring report, circulate alerts and appeals as needed, provide legal assistance to reporters, and hold biweekl y meetings and seminars. It will conduct independent investigations into unsolved attacks against journalists and will post the materials of these investigations on its web page.

Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD)
$22,840
To support IPD’s think tank, which will examine five topics: deficiencies in the judicial branch, obstacles to freedom of speech, the role of labor unions, social services and infrastructure, and the role of the police. IPD staff will research each topic and determine advocacy efforts. IPD expert group will prepare newspaper articles and television spots and will hold a conference on each topic.

Internews Azerbaijan
$65,980
To maintain and expand its Azerbaijan Media Forum website. The site is an important independent source of news and analysis for media professionals and the public. The Media Forum will monitor abuses against the media and provide analytical articles, news reporting, and text of relevant legislation. The site will also host bimonthly forums with parliamentarians, prominent journalists, political party representatives, and civil society leaders.

Janub Khabarlari
$37,817
To publish and distribute the independent newspaper Janub Khabarlari throughout the southern region of Azerbaijan. The newspaper expects to pay particular attention to the presidential election and the organization of the campaigns and voting in the southern region in 2008.

“Legal Help” Public Association
$24,471
To provide legal consultations and representation in Lenkoran. The organization will conduct eight seminars on the role of NGOs in defending the rights of citizens, offer legal expertise to combat police brutality, report human rights abuses, defend the labor rights of citizens, and help register NGOs. Legal Help will publish a book on registering NGOs and the methodology of human rights work.

Legal Education Society
$52,960
To monitor the courts in Azerbaijan. The Society will monitor trials in Baku and organize a coalition of NGOs to monitor courtroom proceedings throughout the country. The Society will train lawyers and activists and publish three reports and ten issues of an e-bulletin. It will conduct three roundtable discussions and a conference and lodge complaints against judges if monitors uncover serious violations.

Law and Development Public Association
$28,508
To create citizens’ oversight over parliamentarians in Aghjabedi, Ganja, Sabirabad, Imishli, and Sal yan . The Association will inform activists about the responsibilities of parliamentarians and methods of interacting with their offices. It will organize forums in each region for members of parliament to meet local citizens and visits by local activists to the parliament in Baku.

Media Rights Institute
$34,340
To conduct trainings on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law for activists throughout Azerbaijan. The activists will form a network to support common efforts to obtain access to information. Since presidential elections are scheduled for 2008, the trainings will focus on obtaining information from election commissions. The Institute will publish a manual and maintain a website.

National Democratic Institute for international Affairs
$300,000
To support seven existing Information Centers in Azerbaijan located in Ali-Bayramli, Ganja, Jalilabad, Khachmaz, Sheki, Tovuz, and Yevlakh. Each Information Center contains space for citizens to meet, read newspapers, and use the library. In addition, each Center is equipped with a computer, access to the Internet, printer; copy machine, fax, and scanner. They are staffed by community activists, whom NDI trains to build their skills as leaders and facilitators.

Social Union of Sumgait Youth
$47,384
To operate its NGO Resource Center in Sumgait, publish the Yukselish Namine newspaper, maintain a website, and produce six segments of a television program for a private television station, Space TV that broadcasts nationally. The independent newspaper will review current events and the social and political situation in the country, focusing on threats to freedom of the press and other concerns of civil society.

Society of Women of Azerbaijan for Peace & Democracy of Transcaucasus
$63,280
To assist human rights defenders from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The Society will organize seminars for human rights defenders in Baku, which will focus on information security. The Society will work with a national network of human rights defenders from the regions of Azerbaijan and organize seminars for them in Baku.

Turan News Agency
$49,900
To launch a web-based independent daily newspaper. Turan will make a portion of the materials produced by the news service available on the internet for free at the Agency’s website (www.turaninfo.com). The articles will appear in three languages—English, Russian, and Azerbaijani—and will be continuously updated throughout the day.

“Uluchay” Charity Society
$23,952
To create a resource center with a library, computers, access to the internet, and a conference room for young people in Sheki. The Society will organize trainings, roundtable discussions, and seminars for 50 local youth activists, who will be invited to participate in a series of 25 events. The students will publish an independent newsletter and participate in roundtable discussions and training seminars.

Vatan-Azerbaijan Development Society
$25,000
To conduct a campaign on behalf of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Vatan will work with local partners to identify six political prisoners and conduct research and advocacy on their behalf. The materials concerning these cases as well as other information about human rights in Azerbaijan will be publicized by means of a blog, a web site, and monthly reports.

Young Leaders Education-Training and Development Union
$41,692
To educate Azerbaijan’s youth and impart the values of activism, teamwork, and civic responsibility. The Union will organize a school which will include two five-month intensive courses and two final seminars. In addition to publishing a monthly school newsletter and a monthly NGO bulletin, the Union will oversee a Media Center which will maintain a website and host events for journalists.

Yeni Nesil MMC
$42,834
To publish the independent newspaper, Gyun. NED funding will enable Yeni Nesil to publish the 16-page newspaper daily. During the grant period, Gyun will carry out a wide-scale advertising campaign in order to publicize the newspaper and increase its subscription base.