Middle East and Northern Africa

Iraq 2016


Accountability in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

STOP Organization for Anti-Corruption


To promote accountability and rule of law in the Kurdish region of Iraq.  The program will monitor cases of corruption reported in the media, prepare and publish quarterly reports, organize press conferences and follow-up meetings, organize seminars, and convene a one-day conference.


Advocacy Campaign for Minority Rights in Iraq

Masarat for Cultural and Media Development


To advocate for legal protections for displaced minorities in Iraq.  An advisory group composed of major stakeholders from minority and displaced communities will convene meetings in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Duhok, Erbil, Sulaimaniyya, Karbala, Najaf, Samawa, Basra, and Nasiriyya to build support among government officials and parliamentarians to adopt the IDP Protection and Disaster Management draft law, first proposed in 2015.


Advocacy for Freedom of the Press in Iraq

Society to Defend Press Freedom in Iraq


To reinforce legal protection of freedom of the press and expression in Iraq. The project will propose amendments to existing laws and urge policymakers to repeal legislation that impedes freedom of expression and of the press.  The project will continue to host an online news website providing an independent source of information to Iraqi audiences.


Advocacy for Women’s Political Participation in Iraq

Iraqi Women Journalists Forum


To advance women’s political participation in national decision-making institutions in Iraq. The grantee will lead an advocacy campaign to call for women’s representation in the constitutionally mandated body relating to the media.  It will also prepare a working paper and propose draft articles for pending legislation, conduct consultative meetings, launch an advocacy campaign focused on MPs and government officials, and conduct an advocacy and leadership training. 


Building Future Leaders for a Democratic Iraq

Iraq Civic Action Network


To empower young leaders to play a role in the development of Iraqi institutions and strengthen youth involvement in the civic space.  The grantee will enhance and further develop its youth leadership and mentorship academy, with a particular focus on engaging young leaders in the political process, advocacy and government monitoring. The project will combine a series of intensive training workshops, with practice, networking and long-term mentorship and guidance to young civic leaders from ten Iraqi provinces. The grantee will also use its recently launched FM radio to educate a broader audience on democratic ideas and values.


Citizen Engagement and Local Accountability in Duhok

Alind Organization for Youth Democratizing


To promote local accountability and encourage citizen engagement in Duhok. The program will monitor government services on an ongoing basis, focusing on health and education. The program will finalize working relationships with relevant government offices, form a monitoring team, conduct field visits, publish four reports, coordinate discussions, and organize two working meetings.


Civic and Political Participation in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

Darfat Organization


To promote democratic values and processes among political parties in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.  The organization will conduct five four-day training workshops for 25 young participants drawn from five political parties with significant representation in the parliament and the government.  The group will also organize a seminar and lead consultations to propose a legislative framework to end political parties’ abuse of power, especially the unlawful use of instruments of violence.


Civic Monitoring of Parliamentary Performance

Madarik Foundation


To enhance the transparency and accountability of the Iraqi parliament. The project will continue monitoring the parliament and its 24 committees and will prepare monthly and quarterly reports, organize press conferences to publicize them, compile and publish a cumulative annual monitoring report, and organize roundtable discussions in four provinces.


Civic Skills for Youth in Babil and Najaf

Iraqi Institute for Civic Development


To promote youth leadership and citizen engagement in Babil and Najaf. The project will train and support youth volunteers in Babil and Najaf governorates to develop, launch, and manage volunteer campaigns addressing issues of concern to local communities. The trainings and campaigns will address a key human resource gap by introducing civically-engaged youth to the institutions and political dynamics of local governance, and enabling them to gain experience in devising advocacy strategies for effecting change on a local level.


Civil Society’s Role in Post-Conflict Rebuilding

Al Tahreer Association for Development


To build the capacity of civic and community leaders in preparing for the post-Islamic State period in the western provinces. The project will prepare and assist 60 highly motivated youth leaders to identify and prioritize community needs, effectively bring them to the attention of decision-makers, and mobilize citizen participation in implementing solutions. The project will provide ongoing guidance and support for participants to build on these experiences and take a leading role in the reconstruction of social, political, and civic life in the liberated towns and cities of western Iraq.


Civil Society’s Role in Post-Conflict Rebuilding

Al Tahreer Association for Development

Supplement: $50,000

To build the capacity of emerging youth groups in preparation for the post-Islamic State period.  The organization will extend its work beyond Ninewah by organizing an intensive five-day training workshop for 30 youth activists and community leaders drawn from Salah Eddine, Al-Anbar, and Diyala provinces. It will also mentor these youth groups and assist them as they conduct community initiatives and seek to form viable NGOs.


Community Cross-Sectarian Peace Building in Iraq

Arab Human Rights Academy


To promote civic engagement, tolerance, and appreciation for pluralism among Iraqi citizens.  The online TV station, Soutna, as well as the Baghdad-based Moderation Council will engage moderate voices, especially among youth, to produce video programs and lead community peace-building initiatives. The project will also build support to launch a similar council in Tikrit.


Community Radio and Human Rights Journalism in Iraq

Radio Deng


To encourage independent media reporting through community radio in Sulaimaniyya. The grantee will continue to mentor special human rights journalism units within its radio stations in Kalar and Kefry, launch a women’s issues unit, publish a monthly report, continue to use its website to reach a wide audience, and launch an awards showcase for human rights reporting.


Constitutional Reform Campaign in Northern Iraq

Brave Youth Organization


To stimulate citizen participation in discussions of revisions to the Iraqi Kurdish regional constitution.  The grantee will organize 14 roundtable discussions, air 10 radio shows, launch and print a magazine, and coordinate meetings with members of parliament and government officials to garner their support for constitutional reform.


Creating Democratic Youth Groups with Institutional Character

Abnaa Al-Nazeheen Organization in Missan


To encourage and prepare youth in Missan Province to serve as vocal and effective advocates for their local communities. The grantee will host capacity-building workshops on team building, advocacy, and volunteerism for 80 youth leaders from four districts in Missan.  These workshops will enable youth to become effective leaders and advocates in their communities.


Empowering Women for Political Party Leadership

Tamkien Center for Participation and Equality

Supplement: $22,100

To enhance strategic plans and coordination among civil society groups and activists in Iraq. The grantee will convene a strategic planning meeting for civil society leaders to develop a joint vision for civil society work and distribute a report with recommendations to civil society organizations and activists for future work.


Enforcement of Workers’ Legal Rights

Solidarity Center (SC)


To improve enforcement mechanisms in legislation relevant to workers in Iraq. The center will work toward this objective by developing the capacity of unions to monitor and report on labor law compliance in workplaces, and facilitating cooperation between unions and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) locally to address possible violations. The center will also strengthen the skills of labor lawyers to address violations through legal channels to promote enforcement and compliance.


Engagement with the Kurdish Regional Parliament of Iraq

Pay Institute for Education & Development


To increase transparency and public engagement with the Kurdish regional parliament of northern Iraq.  The grantee will continue its parliamentary information program providing the public with basic information on the legislative calendar, attendance, plenary sessions, and committee work.  The material will be published in semi-annual reports and distributed to the parliament, government entities, NGOs, and media.


Engaging Young Women as Community Advocates

Women and Children’s Affairs Organization (WCAO)


To mobilize young women in Qadisiyya Province to advocate for community needs and priorities. Leadership and advocacy training for 21 young women volunteers will pave the way for creating a youth forum for young women. Participating women will gain experience in providing training to students in leadership skills, assessing community needs, and devising community-supported responses as they plan and carry out initiatives such as bringing students to observe the Provincial Council, promoting volunteerism in universities and high schools, and conducting humanitarian-relief drives.


Engaging Youth to Strengthen Local Governance

Ther Development Center


To engage young civic leaders in Muthanna province in strengthening local governance and advocating solutions to citizen needs. The grantee will engage 25 youth to advocate for citizen needs, share their experiences across the province, and visit activists in nearby provinces to explore areas of future coordination. The project will also support an emerging civic group in Al-Qadisiyya to equip youth to serve as dynamic and effective community leaders.


Enhancing Government Response to Citizen Needs in Maysan Province

Tabanni Foundation for Active Youth


To empower young leaders to advocate for community needs and enhance local government responsiveness in Maysan province. The grantee will hold trainings for youth on field and electronic surveys, followed by two advanced workshops on skills in communication, negotiation, online media, and digital security. Each month, the grantee will gauge citizen views toward government services and democratic institutions and processes. The youth will produce and distribute survey findings with recommendations to solve community needs.


Fostering Responsive Local Governance

Al-Noor Universal Foundation


To strengthen community participation in local decision making and increase the responsiveness of the provincial council in Diyala.  Seven one-day public forums will bring together elected officials, civil society organizations, academics, students, and other segments of the general public to conduct solutions-oriented dialogue on local governance issues.  The project will continue to create a comprehensive record of the proceedings of the provincial council and publish the record via semi-annual reports.


Human Rights Monitoring in Iraq

Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights


To strengthen the culture of human rights monitoring in Iraq.  The organization will form and train four teams of regional monitors in Baghdad, Sulaimaniyyah, Erbil, and Karbala to document and report on human rights violations.  The organization will conduct four extensive three-day training workshops and will publish monitoring findings in semi-annual and annual reports.


Human Rights Monitoring in Sulaimaniyyah

National Center for Human Rights


To promote protection of human rights in government custodial institutions in the city of Sulaimaniyyah.  The grantee will form a team of monitors to document and report on human rights violations in detention and transfer centers, police stations, adolescents’ detention facilities, and women’s shelters.  The grantee will also publish its findings in two biannual reports and will follow up with the appropriate government offices on the documented cases.


Legislative Advocacy for Freedom of Information in Iraq

Civil Center for Studies and Legal Reform


To promote legislative reform that strengthens freedom of information in Iraq.  The grantee will form a legal team to draft amendments to existing legislation and draft laws, organize consultation meetings to seek feedback and mobilize support for the proposed changes, and organize working meetings with members of Parliament and government officials.  A booklet that lists all pending ordinary and organic laws that need to be drafted or amended will also be printed and distributed.


Local Accountability in Erbil

Reform Institute for Development

Supplement: $20,000

To enhance strategic plans and coordination among leading civil society groups and leaders in the Kurdish region of Iraq.  The organization will conduct eight focus groups with civil society NGOs and activists in the four provinces and will convene 100 civil society representatives for a two-day strategy meeting in Erbil. 


Local Accountability in Sulaimaniyya

Kurdistan for Everyone for Developing Democracy (KEODD)


To build the capacity of the provincial councils in Sulaimaniyya and Halabja and encourage public engagement in citizen oversight.  The organization will lead monitoring activities and publish quarterly reports on the findings; organize six training workshops for council members in Sulaimaniyya and Halabja; air 10 radio talk-shows; convene 10 civic forums; and continue to utilize its website to increase outreach.


Local Accountability in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

Aran for Developing Civic Culture


To encourage public engagement in citizen oversight of local governance.  The group will continue its local accountability program in Sulaimaniyya and will extend its outreach to Kirkuk and Koye to monitor the implementation of public works projects contracted to private companies.  Project activities include forming community groups in each city to engage with the local government and other relevant institutions, conducting a survey among residents, issuing reports, and organizing follow-up visits.


Monitoring Sectarian Discourse and Hate Speech in Iraq

Iraqi Media House


To call attention to sectarian discourse and hate speech in the media in Iraq and mobilize support for eliminating it.  The grantee will continue an initiative to provide systematic tracking and analysis of media practices.  A monitoring team composed of qualified journalists will observe media practices and incidents on an ongoing basis, analyze trends, and disseminate the findings publicly through quarterly reports.  A series of roundtables will provide recommendations for reducing the prevalence of divisive sectarian discourse.


Policy Advocacy for Academic Freedom and Curriculum Reform

Governance Center for Public Policies


To promote academia’s involvement in policy debate in Iraq.  The organization will launch a pilot platform and collaborate with education experts to prepare working documents proposing reforms designed to protect academic freedom and an open process for curriculum review. The organization will lead a mobilization campaign by conducting consultation meetings, organizing workshops for university professors, and coordinating meetings with relevant elected and government officials.


Preparing Returning Trade Unions to Enforce Workers’ Rights in Liberated Governorates

Solidarity Center (SC)


To prepare labor leaders and union activists from liberated governorates of Iraq to reestablish unions and advocate for the protection of worker rights during reconstruction. The center will conduct trainings for union leaders and activists from districts that had been under Islamic State control on occupational safety and health, organizing, workers’ legal rights, and monitoring and raising awareness of violations of worker rights, such as unpaid wages and hazardous working conditions. The center’s partners will also advocate for policies to ensure protection of workers’ rights throughout reconstruction.


Promoting Youth Political Participation in Wasit Province

Salaam Media Center


To empower youth leaders in Wasit Province with knowledge about local government institutions and avenues for political participation. The grantee will identify and train 30 youth activists, conduct 12 monthly leadership trainings, and mentor the trainees to launch community initiatives to engage policymakers and encourage civic debates about relevant local and national issues.


Public Private Dialogue at the National Level

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To improve stakeholder analysis and promote reform-oriented dialogue among national government and private sector stakeholders on corruption, institutional failure and strategic planning in Iraq. The center will commission policy papers from a local think tank based on priorities identified for democratic and economic growth.  This will form the basis for public private dialogue forums and advocacy work initiated by a local business association.  Finally, the center will organize training programs in economic analysis and reporting skills for independent journalists to complement ongoing dialogue.


Returnees and Inclusion in Liberated Areas of Iraq

Partners for Democratic Change


To build the capacity of local groups and establish dialogue for developing a roadmap to address the needs of internally displaced people as they return to devastated post-Islamic State areas. The grantee will partner with a local NGO to identify a team of facilitators, organize an intensive training workshop, conduct a survey on returnees’ needs, and generate reports highlighting policy recommendations for addressing issues and challenges affecting returnees.


Strengthening Civil Society Role in the Legislative Process

Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE)


To enhance and strengthen the role of civil society in civic engagement and monitoring the legislative process of the Kurdish regional parliament.  The organization will prepare and publish three policy papers on decentralization, organize roundtable discussions to seek experts’ input, conduct a survey, print publications, publish a monthly newspaper supplement, and continue producing awareness programs for TV and radio. 


Strengthening Good Governance and Citizen Engagement in Karbala

National Foundation for Human Development


To strengthen responsible governance in Karbala province. The program will provide officials and the public with accessible information about provincial council proceedings, conduct public surveys on citizen attitudes toward provincial council effectiveness in oversight of public goods and service delivery, and organize forums with provincial council members and members of parliament to discuss potential solutions.


Supporting Judicial Accountability in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

Democracy and Human Rights Development Center


To promote judicial transparency and accountability in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. The grantee will continue its court monitoring efforts in the cities of Sulaimaniyya, Erbil, and Duhok, and extend its activities to Halabja and Kalar.  Activities will include a training for the monitoring team, publishing an annual report, and engaging various stakeholders to press for action on judicial reform.


Using Social Media for Effective Citizen Engagement

Iraqi Civilization Actives Association


To promote and encourage civic participation through social media. The project will lead citizen advocacy and awareness raising initiatives making use of alternative media tools, including documentaries, short programs, a cultural exhibition and a film festival. 


Women’s Rights Monitoring in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

Women’s Legal Assistance


To reinforce protection of women’s rights in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The grantee will continue to act as a watchdog over the progress made toward full implementation of the Combating Family Violence Law. The grantee will conduct court monitoring, publish bi-annual monitoring reports, conduct a study, and continue advocacy alongside its partners.


Youth and Democracy: Radio Najah

Al-Najah Center for Training and Development


To improve young activists’ ability to advocate on behalf of their communities to address important issues in cooperation with local authorities in Basra Province and to encourage youth civic participation in Iraq. The grantee will continue empowering youth and encouraging their involvement in local issues through leadership workshops. Youth participants will also create an online radio station to raise awareness of local issues among a wider community.


Youth Civic Engagement

Athar Center for Development


To promote youth civic engagement in local public issues in Dhi Qar. The grantee will organize a series of workshops on traditional and social media, civic initiative management, and public policy paper writing for youth activists. The grantee will establish a civic action team to advocate for effective government and community responses to citizen priorities.


Youth Civic Initiatives

Tawasoul Organization for Youth Empowerment


To encourage civic and political participation among youth and to build the capacity of a new generation of journalists to promote independent reporting and accountability on the part of institutions and political leaders. The organization will mentor 30 youth volunteers, launch and lead three advocacy initiatives, and continue to host the National Union for Iraqi Journalists to build the capacity of a new generation of journalists on the use of digital media and citizen journalism investigative reporting.


Youth Civic Participation in Erbil

Eye’s University Organization


To encourage youth civic participation in Erbil. A nine-month extensive workshop will provide training for 25 university students on the role of civil society, the importance of government accountability, and the roles of various government institutions. The program will also include five radio shows, a one-day conference, and the launch of a youth civic activists network.


Youth Participation in Civic Affairs in Najaf

Al-Moshkhab Is My Identity Association


To empower youth in Najaf to participate in civic life and seek solutions to local governance challenges. The project will train 80 young male and female participants who are college students or active in community groups to build the skills necessary to better serve their communities. Selected participants will organize meetings and facilitate forums for interaction between the local government and citizens and run advocacy campaigns on important issues affecting Najaf.

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