Middle East and Northern Africa

Afghanistan 2016


Advocacy and Civic Engagement in Ghor Province

Afghanistan Organization Women Arise


To raise awareness of and consolidate support for women’s increased role in community conflict resolution. The grantee will organize three training sessions explaining and advocating for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP); hold 10 townhall meetings in as many districts to generate support for NAP among community leaders, culminating in a provincial conference with government representatives; and publish three issues of its magazine Solh (Peace) in Ghor province’s central highlands.


Civic Engagement in Balkh Province

Services Organization for Unity and Development (SOUND)


To raise public awareness of civic and political rights and obligations, and to strengthen dialogue between local leaders and government. The grantee will hold civic education seminars on elections, responsible citizenship, good governance and political processes for young leaders, students and teachers; and provide continued technical support for seven youth civic groups in Balkh province.


Civic Engagement through Women’s Arts

Afghan Youth in New Era Organization


To develop women’s capacity for civic activism through arts and culture and raise awareness of and support for women’s rights as citizens of Afghanistan. The grantee will produce and perform 20 plays on five women’s rights subjects in public and academic forums in Kabul province. After the performances, the actors will solicit responses and feedback from the audience.


Combating Corruption in Herat

Supporting Organization for Afghanistan Civil Society


To enhance local governance through increased accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of Herat local governmental institutions. The organization will work with its three advocacy committees to enhance good governance and produce monthly and quarterly monitoring reports on corruption, quarterly press briefings, and monthly radio talk-shows.


Combating Violence Against Women

Development and Support of Afghan Women and Children Organization


To advocate for the elimination of violence against women under the Afghan law. The grantee will continue its nationwide advocacy campaign to combat violence against women, which will include collecting up to one million signatures; organizing three photo exhibits; installing public awareness billboards consisting of women’s rights messages, photos and signatures of key leaders; and strengthening its three provincial offices.


Empowering Community Leaders

Women and Youths for Peace and Development Organization


To empower local religious leaders with dispute mediation skills and to enhance cooperation between community leaders and local decision makers. The project will train 20 religious scholars on responsible leadership, rule of law, and conflict resolution. Graduates will then lead awareness-raising seminars for 390 local leaders in four provinces in the North East. The organization will also produce TV and radio programs to educate a wider audience on public responsibilities, civic values, and the rule of law.


Empowering Community Leaders in Eastern Afghanistan

Organization for Social, Cultural Awareness and Rehabilitation


To engender a culture of civic responsibility and engagement among community leaders in eastern Afghanistan. The organization will hold five civic education seminars for male and female community leaders in the capitals of three eastern Afghan provinces – Khost, Kunar, and Paktia. It will also organize five public-private dialogues and help participants present their concerns to the relevant government officials.


Empowering Women in Journalism

Afghan Institute for Research and Media Studies


To ensure the participation of women journalists in local media and to strengthen independent media in Herat province. The grantee will maintain a media resource center for women; conduct 12 four-day seminars for 180 women journalists on online journalism, photojournalism, investigative reporting, and media advocacy; and organize a two-day conference to assess local media gains and challenges in western Afghanistan.


Engaging Youth in Public Debate

Afghans for Progressive Thinking


To promote debate forums among Afghan youth and strengthen university students’ debating skills. The grantee will organize Dari-language introductory debate trainings at 18 public and private universities, hold English language debate trainings for existing clubs, organize seven debate tournaments, and develop a comprehensive debate manual in Dari and English.


Engendering Entrepreneurship in Afghan Youth

Tashabos Educational Organization


To instill in Afghan youth an awareness of the values of entrepreneurship, market economics, and democracy. The grantee will guide the implementation of a proven entrepreneurship curriculum in 43 high schools in several Afghan provinces. The grantee will train 45 new teachers in the delivery of course curriculum; organize 40 business proposal-writing competitions with accompanying product exhibitions; and hold two business start-up courses for top students.


Fortifying Public Policy Debate

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies

Supplement: $60,000

To promote public policy forums in Afghanistan that can inform and educate decision-makers on policy perspectives and options. The institute will further establish itself as a public policy center, conduct two empirical polling projects on peace talks with the Taliban and constitutional reform in Afghanistan, host two one day conferences on its findings, and hold briefing sessions with senior policymakers. It will also host a two-day conference in Kabul where 25 NED grantees will discuss civil society challenges and priorities in Afghanistan in the years ahead.


Fostering Independent Media in Balkh Province

Radio Azad FM 97.8


To ensure the availability of independent news and civic education programs for the citizens of Balkh via radio broadcast and to build the capacity of an independent media organization. The project will maintain an independent FM radio news channel, mentor male and female journalism students as interns, and produce and broadcast a wide range of civic programs, including investigative reports on political, economic, and social affairs in Balkh province.


Increasing Institutional Capacity and Access to Information 2016

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To develop the capacity of the Afghan private sector, elected officials, and policy makers to improve Afghanistan’s business climate and support the ongoing democratic transition. The center will strengthen and expand the Afghan business community’s advocacy programs to improve the business climate at the sub-national level, and will enhance the ability of policymakers to identify and analyze specific policy and regulatory impediments to a business enabling environment consistent with democratic and market principles. The center will also work with the business community and policymakers to craft and implement legal and regulatory remedies to relevant issues, and will support the continued growth of public-private policy dialogue at the sub-national level.


Marefat Community Radio

Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization


To raise public awareness of citizens’ rights and responsibilities and to strengthen public dialogue between local community leaders and government officials on local policies. A local radio station will produce and broadcast civic educational programs through its FM news channel and mentor eight journalism faculty students in Kabul.


Marefat Community Radio

Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization

Supplement: $26,000

To raise public awareness of citizens’ rights and responsibilities and to strengthen public dialogue between local community leaders and government officials on local policies. A local radio station will broadcast civic educational programs through a FM radio news channels in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir and Sar-e-Pul provinces. The project also includes a mentorship program for 16 journalism faculty students.


Online Youth Civic Debates

Faanoos Magazine


To promote democratic values and foster debate among university students. The magazine will retain its trained bloggers, train 350 additional university students on blogging, and support online debates on good governance, rule of law, youth in politics, economic development, education, human rights, and security. 14 training workshops and a minimum of one debate tournament will take place at seven universities in the provinces of Parwan, Baghlan, Nangarhar, Jawzjan, Kabul, Herat, and Balkh.


Parliamentary Watch

Women and Peace Studies Organization


To enhance the accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of the Afghan Parliament. Program activities will include work with 13 parliamentary committees, preparing monthly and quarterly reports, organizing quarterly press briefings, holding monthly half-hour radio talk-shows, and compiling and publishing a cumulative monitoring report.


People’s Radio Herat

People’s Radio


To raise civic awareness through radio broadcast of civic education programs and to build the capacity of an independent media organization. The grantee will maintain a website, develop its radio program, mentor 16 male and female student interns from Herat University journalism faculty, and produce and broadcast a wide range of civic education programs including talk-shows, debates, and investigative reportage on political, economic, and social affairs in Herat city and province.


Promoting Civic Engagement Through Media

Chekad Television


To support a pro-democracy TV station and to engender a culture of civic engagement through citizen journalism. Daily news, investigative reports, and civic education programs make up a 60-minute daily program designed to promote awareness of rights and obligations in Herat province. In addition, the station will provide internships for both male and female students from Herat University’s journalism faculty.


Promoting Democracy through Traditional Forums

PACT Communications


To enhance citizens’ knowledge of democratic opportunities and roles in civic life and foster a more inclusive media culture in eastern Afghanistan. This project will incorporate the teaching of democratic values into the curriculum of its Jalalabad and Kandahar learning centers; provide practical training in media for post-madrasah students; and produce news and drama radio programming addressing local social and political issues.


Raising Women’s Rights Awareness in Bamyan

Naway Solh Social, Educational Organization


To raise awareness of women’s rights under Afghan law and enforce laws combatting violence against women in Bamyan Province. This program will include a series of trainings and discussions for religious leaders, educators, and students that will promote participants’ understanding of women’s rights under the laws of Afghanistan and their compatibility with Islam. Participants will also develop action plans to promote women’s rights in their local communities.


Research and Leadership Development

Herat Professionals Shura


To promote youth and women’s participation in public life and to strengthen the capacity of a professional Shura in Herat province. The grantee will research economic development and the root causes of unemployment; publish a daily news bulletin and a bi-monthly magazine on local affairs; provide six leadership trainings for 180 university graduates; and conduct 12 workshops on advocacy skills, responsible citizenship, democracy, human rights, and good governance for 480 civil society activists.


Shahr-ba-Shahr FM Radio

Shahr-ba-Shahr Radio


To build the capacity of a pro-democracy radio station and to disseminate democratic ideas and civic values. The radio will produce and broadcast news coverage and a wide range of civic education programs through its news channel for citizens of Kabul and four nearby provinces. It will also mentor eight student interns from Kabul and Parwan universities in radio journalism.


Social Entrepreneurship

Shetab Afghanistan | Center for Social and Business Innovation


To build a thriving startup community through hands-on learning opportunities and to equip social entrepreneurs and innovators with leadership and management skills. The project will select and train 30 social entrepreneurs and pair them with 30 mentors. The entrepreneurs will be divided into cohorts of 10 and receive four months of hands-on mentorship, and training in leadership and management skills. Each group will receive a five-day accelerator business model validation lab training followed by extensive mentorship and skill development programs.


Strengthening Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism

Social Services for Afghan Women Organization

Supplement: $10,000

To raise awareness about the compatibility of women’s rights with Islam and mobilize local ulema to defend Afghan women’s rights. The program will strengthen a network of progressive ulema in Nangarhar province through district-level seminars, culminating with a final assembly; promote a media campaign to secure women’s rights during Afghanistan’s transitional phase; and assess the trajectory of women’s rights and formulate a three-year strategy for sustainability and progress.


Supporting the Engagement of Civil Society and Political Parties in the Political Reform Process

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To advance the political reform process in Afghanistan. The institute will support two local organizations in facilitating dialogues among political parties, government officials, and election authorities. These exchanges will focus on measures that the national unity government has undertaken and on steps to promote reform implementation. In addition, to amplify the efforts of Afghan civic groups, the institute will conduct an international assessment mission and examine constructive ways to enable political reforms and increase public confidence in the country’s democratic institutions.


Women in Media Supporting Human Rights

Equality Social and Cultural Organization


To increase awareness of women’s rights, strengthen the position of women in Afghan society and politics, and build the capacity of a core group of women reporters and rights advocates. The organization will develop its media resource center and conduct courses for journalists and activists committed to the advancement of women’s rights. Trainings will equip participants with an understanding of democratic principles and with journalism skills that will enable them to effectively advocate for those rights.


Women’s Participation in Public Policy

Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies


To bolster women’s engagement in public policy dialogue and promote women’s participation in research and political analysis. The organization will publish an annual public policy journal, train female students and professionals on policy research, and engage researchers and academics to contribute to public policy formation on democratic governance, security, economic, and social issues.


Women’s Rights and Empowerment

Afghan Women Unity Organization


To promote women’s rights in Herat and to strengthen the institutional capacity of a women’s organization. The program will raise awareness of women’s rights through a series of seminars in rural Herat province; provide free legal assistance and counsel to victims of gender-based violence; and conduct a public forum on the status of women and women’s rights in Afghanistan, engaging local officials, lawyers, ulema, and civic activists.


Women’s Rights and Islam in Accord

Afghan Women Coordination and Promotion Organization


To raise awareness of women’s rights under Afghan law in Laghman province and mobilize local mullahs and community leaders to actively advocate for women’s rights in their communities.  A series of informational seminars will utilize religious texts to promote women’s empowerment, address social issues, and illustrate that women’s rights protected under the laws of Afghanistan are compatible with Islam. Participants, including mullahs and community leaders, will bring these ideas to their local communities in Laghman province.


Youth Rights Advocacy and Leadership

Afghanistan Youth National and Social Organization


To educate young Afghan citizens in rural Farah, Badghis, and Herat communities about their political rights and obligations and strengthen dialogue between community leaders and local governments. The organization will hold 18 symposiums on good governance and political processes for 540 students and teachers in Farah province. It will also hold three town hall meetings and 15 radio roundtables to support dialogue between the community leaders and state officials.


Youth Volunteers Raising Civic and Legal Awareness

Bacha Khan Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution


To instill democratic and pluralistic values among youth and strengthen dialogue and cooperation between youth groups, religious leaders, and local government in eastern Afghanistan. The project will expand its curriculum for youth leaders and religious leaders to inform Afghans living in three eastern provinces of their rights and means to combat extremism. The project will facilitate joint presentations of course topics by youth and religious leaders and their cooperative dialogue with local government.

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