Central and Eastern Europe

Belarus 2016

 

Better Understanding Public Attitudes and Opinions

Democratic Ideas and Values

$43,270

To monitor and better understand public views on key social, political, and economic developments. Citizens’ opinions will be tracked, documented, and studied ahead of and after the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections. The results and accompanying analysis will be disseminated through print and electronic publications, a website, and independent media.

 

Better Understanding Public Attitudes and Opinions

Freedom of Information

$25,845

To monitor, better understand, and highlight citizens’ views on key social, political, and economic topics. A series of national public opinion polls will be conducted around the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections. The findings and related analysis will be disseminated widely through a bulletin, independent media, and series of public presentations.

 

Defending Human Rights and Civic Activism

Human Rights

$55,582

To monitor and defend human rights. The grantee will continue to document human rights abuses and provide assistance to individuals whose rights have been violated. It will continue to operate local branches, collect and disseminate information about abuses, and publish its annual report.

 

Developing Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$14,940

To strengthen the capacity and impact of civil society. Citizens will be assisted in resolving pressing local problems with the help of local independent organizations. Local populations will be surveyed to identify the challenges, citizens will be engaged to address them, and advocacy campaigns will be carried out. Local civic efforts will be consolidated by training and assisting civic activists.

 

Developing Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$44,100

To increase the capacity, outreach, and impact of local civic initiatives. A series of meetings, trainings, and seminars designed to increase the effectiveness of regional nongovernmental organizations, mobilize new activists, and support civic campaigns targeting local issues will be convened. Two independent bulletins also will be produced and disseminated monthly.

 

Disseminating Independent Political News

Freedom of Information

$35,610

To foster freedom of information and independent media. An independent website will be maintained and expanded. It will inform the public about pressing political issues facing the country by producing daily news and information, and expand its audience, particularly among youth, through social media pages and a mobile phone app.

 

Engaging and Educating Citizens and New Civic Activists

Political Processes

$54,470

To inform, educate, and engage citizens. Young activists will be identified and engaged in regional civic initiatives ahead of the September 2016 parliamentary elections. Promising youth will be selected to attend an activists’ school. A package of draft reforms targeting key sectors also will be prepared and disseminated through publications and a website to inform citizens about pressing political, economic, and social issues.

 

Expanding Access to Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$60,200

To support independent media and freedom of information. A series of pocket books will be published and calendars with information on international broadcasting into Belarus will be produced. The materials will be distributed during a series of events throughout the country. A Russian-language translation of a book on the Belarusian winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature will be published.

 

Expanding Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

$33,150

To increase access to independent publications. An online library of Belarusian works on politics, human rights, civil society, history and culture, will be maintained and expanded. Electronic versions of new books and other independent publications will be added. The archive will be advertised via social media. Seminars for Belarusian authors on intellectual property rights will also be held.

 

Expanding New Media News and Information Sources

Freedom of Information

$15,720

To foster independent media and freedom of information. Objective news and information focusing on a local, regional, and national level will be provided by an online media resource. A leading regional website will be maintained, upgraded, and promoted to inform citizens on political and economic developments during an important election year.

 

Fostering Civic and Democratic Education

Civic Education

$35,160

To promote civic and democratic education. Belarusian youth will be educated through western-style curricula and teaching methods. Young people will study courses focusing on civics, history, economics, law, politics, and human rights. Workshops bringing together young people and teachers to exchange experiences and best practices in learning.

 

Fostering Free and Fair Elections

Political Processes

$45,500

To foster free, fair, and transparent elections. Short-term observers will be recruited, trained, and deployed throughout the country to monitor the five-day early voting period ahead of the September 2016 parliamentary election, as well as on Election Day. Cases of election fraud will be documented, relevant complaints filed, and the public informed of electoral violations via independent media and social networks.

 

Fostering Freedom of the Media

Freedom of Information

$72,220

To protect freedom of information and support independent media. Media freedom across the country will be tracked, media rights violations will be documented and information about them disseminated widely, and local journalists and media outlets will be supported. The media’s coverage of the September 2016 parliamentary elections will be monitored and assessed.

 

Fostering Government Accountability

Accountability

$26,330

To foster government accountability and transparency. A website monitoring public procurement practices will be expanded and promoted. Workshops will be held for civil society, media, and government representatives, a policy paper prepared and published, and official consultations on the issue facilitated. Materials to raise public awareness about public procurement will be produced and disseminated.

 

Fostering Independent Culture and Activism

Democratic Ideas and Values

$53,020

To strengthen independent culture, civic activism, and national identity. A series of events will be held across the country, including musical performances, public lectures, workshops, and discussions on socio-cultural topics. Other program activities include traveling exhibitions, a youth educational seminar, a competition for cultural initiatives, and the expansion of a website.

 

Fostering Local Activism

NGO Strengthening

$27,710

To foster civic activism at the local level. Communities will be assisted in increasing their influence over the decision-making processes of local governments through a series of information and advocacy campaigns. Local initiatives will be supported in defending and advancing their rights and interests through consultations, trainings, public meetings and appeals, a website, and a handbook.

 

Fostering Local Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$22,570

To foster civil society. Legal aid and education will be provided to the local population, and citizens engaged in identifying and addressing pressing local issues ahead of and after the September 2016 parliamentary elections. A conference, roundtables, and an educational seminar will be held. The public will be informed through a website, social networks, local independent media, leaflets, and booklets. 

 

Increasing Access to Independent Information

Freedom of Information

$40,145

To expand independent media and freedom of information. A new media portal and mobile applications to provide citizens with objective information on local and national developments will be launched in an important election year. The portal will publish original content, as well as electronic editions of local independent newspapers. A series of journalism trainings and roundtable discussions also will be held.

 

Increasing Citizen Outreach

Strengthening Political Institutions

$207,000

To help democratic political parties and movements attract new supporters and deepen their engagement with citizens between elections. Belarusian political parties will be advised on developing citizen outreach plans, including constituent relations, meetings with activists, and door-to-door campaigns. Party leaders and activists will be assisted in engaging more effectively with current and prospective supporters.

 

Increasing Skills of Independent Journalists

Freedom of Information

$44,930

To increase the skills of independent journalists and media managers. The project will organize a study visit program for regional journalists and media managers. The program will consist of workshops, visits to editorial offices, and tailored trainings. Participants will gain practical experience in editorial and media management, content development, production and distribution.

 

Increasing the Capacity of Independent Media and Civil Society

Freedom of Information

$36,460

To increase the skills of independent media and civil society representatives. A data school for independent journalists and civil society activists will focus on collecting, analyzing, verifying and visualizing open-source information. Additionally, experts will hold public lectures and workshops on researching and verifying information.

 

Increasing the Impact of the Belarusian Third Sector

NGO Strengthening

$50,050

To build the capacity and outreach of regional civil society organizations. A series of planning and assessment meetings, as well as targeted trainings, will be held to enhance the work of local and regional initiatives. The initiatives will foster local activism and engage the public around the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections.

 

Increasing the Skills of Independent Journalists

Freedom of Information

$32,908

To increase the skills of independent journalists. A school of analytical journalism will be convened for young reporters, who will be trained by well-known Belarusian and international media experts. A series of articles focusing on needed reforms will be published, and study sessions and study visits abroad will be organized.

 

Promoting Civic Activism

NGO Strengthening

$10,630

To strengthen civil society in the regions. A series of seminars will be held for local civic activists and journalists, study visits to other regions organized for local leaders, and consultation visits of legal advisors facilitated for regional NGOs and civic initiatives. An office serving as a resource center and a website will be maintained.

 

Promoting Civic Journalism

Freedom of Information

$39,760

To promote civic engagement and freedom of information. A series of civic journalism training courses will be organized. Young people will be provided with basic journalism skills, including both theoretical and practical components. A more advanced topic, such as data journalism, visualization, as well as video, photo and audio production, will be offered. A series of e-publications and a website will be maintained.

 

Promoting Government Accountability through Civic Engagement

Accountability

$17,230

To increase civic awareness and engagement in improving government accountability. An online portal, which allows citizens to appeal to state bodies and voice public concerns on pressing issues, will be maintained, developed, and expanded. The website will be publicized through workshop presentations, press briefings, social media pages, and promotional leaflets.

 

Promoting Independent Analysis

Democratic Ideas and Values

$18,600

To promote democratic ideas and values. Regular analysis will be published on an independent website, which will also serve as an aggregator of analytical texts produced by think tanks. The analysis will focus on the fall 2016 parliamentary elections, the country’s deepening economic crisis, domestic reforms, and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

 

Promoting Independent Regional Media in Belarus

Freedom of Information

$50,923

To promote the quality and viability of independent media. A productive convergence of print and online production will be encouraged by the piloting of an innovative technical assistance strategy to increase the capacity of regional media. A model for promoting greater sustainability and development of independent regional media will be created.

 

Promoting Local Activism and Freedom of Speech

NGO Strengthening

$22,720

To promote civic activism and freedom of information. A regional resource center, independent newspaper, and website for civic activists and NGOs will be maintained and developed. Citizens will be informed about government hikes in housing and public utilities tariffs, articles will be published on the topic, and meetings on successful tenant initiatives convened.

 

Promoting Youth Activism through Independent Culture

Democratic Ideas and Values

$38,800

To promote youth activism and independent culture. A series of cultural events, meetings with prominent figures, lectures, readings, seminars, and other independent activities will be held for youth in Minsk and the country’s regions. Activities supporting youth activism and promoting Belarusian language and culture will be assisted, and a website maintained and expanded.

 

Protecting, Assisting and Strengthening Belarusian NGOs

NGO Strengthening

$18,390

To reduce the legal challenges facing Belarusian NGOs. Belarusian nongovernmental organizations seeking to register legally in and operate from a neighboring country will be assisted and provided with administrative and organizational assistance. A series of consultations and trainings also will be held. Workshops will be held to raise public awareness.

 

Providing More Effective Assistance to Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$52,710

To foster coordination and enhance the effectiveness of implementer and assistance programs working with Belarusian civil society organizations. An international group of supporters and implementers that meets regularly to improve assistance strategies for Belarus will be convened in a neighboring country following a series of in-depth preparatory and follow-up activities.

 

Strengthening and Defending Independent Online Media

Freedom of Information

$35,450

To foster freedom of information and the Internet. Independent news and information websites will be supported and safeguarded. Secure, reliable hosting and technical support will be provided. New websites will be developed and existing sites redesigned. A series of trainings and consultations for media professionals and outlets will be conducted.

 

Strengthening Civil Society and Citizen Engagement in Belarus

Accountability

$12,000

To strengthen civic engagement and promote government accountability. A successful electronic petition platform that assists civil society and citizens in conducting advocacy campaigns will be maintained and expanded. A series of roundtable discussions and events to identify priorities, formulate strategies, present results, and plan future advocacy campaigns will be held.

 

Strengthening Regional Youth Initiatives

NGO Strengthening

$29,400

To increase the capacity and civic activities of youth initiatives. Regional youth activists, initiatives, and organizations will be assisted. A website will be maintained, a regional network expanded, a training to strengthen engagement and volunteerism convened, regional development supported, and a civic networking event held.

 

Supporting a Leading Independent Media Outlet

Freedom of Information

$70,920

To foster independent media and freedom of information. A leading independent newspaper will continue to be produced and distributed on a weekly basis. An online edition of the print newspaper will be maintained and developed. Around the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections, the publications’ content and audiences will be expanded.

 

Supporting an Independent Journal

Freedom of Information

$15,000

To foster a free and an informed exchange of ideas and views on important social, political, economic, and cultural issues regarding Belarus and the Euro-Atlantic world. The print edition of an independent, Belarusian-language journal will continue to be published and distributed regularly during an important election year.

 

Supporting an Independent Newspaper

Freedom of Information

$40,020

To support independent media and freedom of information. The program will continue to produce its leading independent newspaper. The publication will play an important role in informing citizens about key social, political and economic issues.

 

Supporting an Independent Online Newspaper

Freedom of Information

$78,720

To support independent media and freedom of information. A popular online newspaper, which serves as a free source of objective political, economic, and social information for civil society and citizens, will continue to be produced. It will post new materials, including articles and multimedia pieces, each day, with a focus on the September 2016 parliamentary elections.

 

Supporting an Independent Online Newspaper

Freedom of Information

$25,300

To support independent media and freedom of information. A leading independent electronic newspaper will continue to be produced regularly. Articles for its popular news and information website also will be commissioned. An increase in the number of subscribers and website visitors will be accomplished by an improved social media presence.

 

Supporting an Information Website

Freedom of Information

$20,300

To foster independent media and freedom of information. One of the country’s most popular regional news and information outlets will continue to maintained and developed. The independent online publication’s content on regional and national developments will be expanded in order to better inform citizens ahead of the country’s September 2016 parliamentary elections.

 

Supporting Civil Society Development in Eastern Belarus

NGO Strengthening

$48,000

To assist independent civic initiatives outside of the country’s capital. A network of regional resource centers will be maintained and developed, and a regional NGO bulletin will be published regularly. Local activists will be trained through a series of seminars and civil society initiatives throughout the region will be supported.

 

Supporting Civil Society in the Regions

NGO Strengthening

$63,620

To strengthen civil society and independent media at the local and regional levels. A network of regional resource centers will be assisted, a regional bulletin will be published, and public meetings that bring citizens together with civic leaders will be convened. Civil society initiatives in the regions, as well as local independent media, will be supported.

 

Supporting Independent Culture and Civic Activism

Democratic Ideas and Values

$48,940

To foster independent culture, national identity, and civic activism. Language courses will be convened in regional cities that employ an innovative, informal education curriculum promoting civic activism, human rights, and democratic values. The courses also will feature guest lectures and performances by well-known experts, authors, and musicians. Finally, the group will conduct a series of trainings and seminars.

 

Supporting Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$118,265

To help insure the continued viability of independent print and online media. The project will continue to provide emergency support to independent media outlets whose ability to continue publishing is threatened. It will also assist in improving the sustainability of independent media.

 

Supporting Independent Online Media

Freedom of Information

$28,360

To foster independent media and freedom of information. An interactive blogging and discussion platform will be maintained and enhanced on a popular, youth-oriented website. Young, urban residents will be engaged in debates on the country’s dire social, political, and economic problems, and how to address them by reforming key sectors.

 

Supporting Independent Online Media

Freedom of Information

$54,540

To foster independent media and freedom of information. An independent, online newspaper will continue to be produced. The website, one of the country’s leading sources of objective news and information, will be expanded. The publication will provide political, economic, and cultural news, and analysis around the September 2016 parliamentary elections.

 

Supporting Independent Online Media and Strengthening Public Debate

Freedom of Information

$17,410

To foster freedom of information. Underrepresented young Belarusian intellectuals in public discussion forums will be provided with an online outlet that will increase their presence. Fact-checking and data-driven journalism, as well as multimedia tools and infographics, will be employed to inform citizens about, as well as elevate the level of public debate on, key developments during an election year. A series of public debates will also be held to engage new activists and generate new ideas.

 

Supporting Independent Regional Media

Freedom of Information

$29,040

To promote independent media and freedom of information in the country’s regions. The social network presence, regional reach, news content, and audience of a leading regional website will be increased. The independent outlet’s blogging platform also will be maintained and expanded to provide greater information during an important election year.

 

Supporting Local Media and Civic Initiatives

Freedom of Information

$27,010

To support civil society at the local and regional levels. Citizens will be provided with objective news and information, and civic initiatives will be fostered ahead of and after the September 2016 parliamentary elections. A series of independent bulletins will be produced and disseminated, and informational websites maintained, at the local level.

 

Supporting the Independent Press

Freedom of Information

$32,200

To promote independent media and freedom of information. An important independent newspaper’s print and web editions will continue to be produced and developed. The publication’s audience will be expanded and its coverage of political developments increased during an important election year. A competition for young journalists will also be held.

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