Ethiopia 2019

Advancing Human Rights Implementation

Lawyers for Human Rights


To build lawyers’ capacity to protect human rights and address gaps in domestic human rights implementation. The organization will train Ethiopian lawyers on human rights standards and strategic litigation, conduct independent research, and convene stakeholder consultations on key legal reforms. The organization will provide legal representation to address gross violations of human rights.

Challenges and Prospects of Ethnic Federalism

Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy


To address the challenges presented by Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism, stem ethnic conflict and promote the protection of minorities’ rights. The organization will hold state-level workshops and a national conference to discuss federal and state level responsibilities and to develop governmental and nongovernmental programs and policies to protect minority rights and prevent and respond to ethnic violence.

Clarifying the Uncharted Routes of Ethiopia’s Transition towards Democracy

Forum for Social Studies


To contribute to an inclusive discussion about current socio-political reforms in Ethiopia. The organization will hold forums with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders on legal, political, and constitutional reforms; economic reforms, including privatization and local development challenges; and Ethiopia’s foreign policy and relations in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. The organization will distribute the forum discussions through policy briefs, radio programs, and newspaper articles.

Conflict Mitigation among Ethiopian University Students

Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy


To contribute to the mitigation of violent conflicts in universities. The organization will map cases and causes of existing and potential violence and conflicts in universities and support university leaders and student bodies at five universities to hold peer conversation sessions on conflict-related issues and combat hate speech and fake news.

Disseminating Human and Democratic Rights Education

Peace and Development Center


To increase communication and cooperation among Ethiopian governmental, political, academic and nongovernmental leaders and international donors to advance and deepen democracy in Ethiopia. The organization will convene a national conference in Addis Ababa to address the opportunities and challenges to the development of a multi-party, democratic, and accountable Ethiopian state.

Disseminating Human Rights and Responsibilities Among Ethiopian Police

Peace and Development Center


To equip police forces in the Oromia Special Zone surrounding Addis Ababa with the appropriate knowledge of constitutionally protected human and democratic rights and the responsibilities of police during peaceful protests and local conflicts. The organization will use a mixture of presentations and group discussion to train federal and state police officers on Ethiopian and international human rights standards, policing and human rights, legal use of force, and public order policing.

Empowering Youth for Inclusive Democratic Change

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia


To empower Ethiopian youth to increase collaboration to advance peace, reconciliation, and an inclusive, democratic Ethiopia. The organization will convene youth from across Ethiopia to discuss the challenges for inclusion and democracy at federal and regional levels and strategize for local, regional, and national plans and responsibilities to promote peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness.

Enhancing the Role of Media in Deepening Democracy

Debebe Hailegebriel Law Office


To strengthen the capacity of the media to report accurately and independently on the news and serve as a platform for popular participation. The organization will develop manuals and train local radio journalists on independent journalism, media ethics, reporting on human rights violations and responsibly reporting on ethnic conflicts. The organization will map Ethiopia’s existing media sector and organize a national consultation on media reform efforts.

Expansion of Addis Standard Magazine

Jakenn Publishing PLC


To promote access to in-depth political and socio-economic analysis. The organization will expand reporting of Ethiopian political, social, and security developments on the free online news platform Addis Standard. It will expand its social media presence and organize university readers’ clubs to engage youth in fact-based civic dialogue to contribute to a culture that respects a diversity of views.

Opening Space For Economic Debate And Reform In The Run-Up To The Pivotal 2020 Elections

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To build the capacity of reform-oriented public, private and civic leaders to manage Ethiopia’s current political and economic transitions, and to promote broad-based social dialogue about Ethiopia’s future economic model in the run-up to the pivotal 2020 general elections. The center will collaborate with several local partners to organize a Leadership Academy for Development, support journalists working on economic reform issues, host a conference on ‘Democracy and the Developmental State,’ and facilitate discussions on economic policy with candidates in the 2020 election.

Promoting CSO Sustainability in Ethiopia

African Civic Leadership Program, Ltd


To support the rebuilding and sustainability of civil society in Ethiopia, The organization will establish the Civil Society Resource Center to serve as a shared workspace, information hub, and training location for emerging and low-capacity existing human rights organizations and their leaders to learn about and receive training on organizational capacity, project management, best practices, comparative experiences, and fundraising.

Promoting Democracy Through Strengthened Trade Union Engagement In National Dialogues

Solidarity Center (SC)


To assist the unions in strengthening democratic practices in Ethiopia. The center will organize regional and national consultations between unions and government officials on the government’s economic and workers’ rights reform efforts and efforts to increase their participation in dialogues in the country. The center will work with the union to build a strategy to serve as an example of positive multi-ethnic engagement to counter growing ethnic divisions.

Promoting Electoral and Political Reforms in Upcoming Elections

Freedom House


To enable civil society organizations and human rights activists to better coordinate their engagements in political and electoral reform processes. The organization will support Ethiopian civil society organizations to hold strategy sessions to assess the ongoing political reforms, identify the challenges and opportunities for engagement and agree on the role, objectives, and activities for civil society in electoral reform discussions and elections. The organization will support civil society-hosted forums with political parties.

Promoting Rule of Law and Democratic Values

Debebe Hailegebriel Law Office


To promote a culture of civic and informed public dialogue. The organization will facilitate a series of debates on election-related issues on university campuses and produce weekly radio programs for experts and citizens to discuss timely political, human rights, and legal developments at the regional and federal level.

Research and National Consultations for Human Rights

Ameha Mekonnen and Associates Law Office


To assess and strengthen the legal and institutional mechanisms available in Ethiopia to prevent ethnic conflicts and protect human rights in conflict settings. The organization will conduct research and hold national consultations to initiate policy dialogues on the scope and limits of federal intervention in regional states for the protection of human rights, post-conflict mechanisms to address conflict-related human rights violations, internal displacement and protection of human rights, and use of social media and hate speech.

Strengthening Capacity of Youth for Civic Engagement

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To support Ethiopian youth. The institute will work with local partners to enhance youth capacity for civic engagement through strengthening their knowledge, skills, and connections with other political stakeholders. It is imperative that the youth are not left out at this critical time and the Institute will work alongside other NED Core partners to strengthen the momentum for democratic reform in the country.

Strengthening ERCO’s Capacity for Better Human Rights Advocacy

Ethiopian Human Rights Council

Supplement: $22,145

To promote a democratic culture in the national elections. The organization will facilitate human rights-focused dialogue sessions among the ruling party coalition and main opposition parties to create a space for the parties to communicate to set a positive tone in the political arena and to press parties to state clear policies and plans rather than rely on ethnicity.

Strengthening HRCO’s Capacity for Better Human Rights Advocacy

Ethiopian Human Rights Council


To support the capacity and rebuilding of the organization to conduct human rights investigations and document human rights violations in ethnic conflicts, the organization will strengthen its core operations. The organization will hire and train new and existing human rights monitors to investigate, document, and issue reports of human rights violations and ethnic conflict countrywide. The organization will update its website to post reports. Finally, the organization will organize political party issue-based dialogues prior to the national elections.

Supporting Ethiopia’s Democratic Transition through Independent Reporting

Wazema Ethiopia


To promote civic dialogue and provide in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities for democracy in Ethiopia. The organization will produce credible, independent and in-depth daily news reports and analysis of events and issues pertinent to governance, democracy, human rights and political issues in Ethiopia. To strengthen the organization’s operational capacity to return to Ethiopia, it will open an office in Addis Ababa with a full-time representative and begin airing its podcasts on a local radio station.

Supporting the Reconstruction of Ethiopia’s Civil Society

African Civic Leadership Program, Ltd


To contribute to the re-building of existing and emerging rights-based civil society organizations in Ethiopia. The organization will hold trainings and develop a training manual on the country’s new civil society law’s objectives, regulations and directives, scope and application, and CSO registration and licensing framework and application process. The organization will provide pro-bono legal assistance and advice to organizations in their registration process.

Supporting Transition through Empowering Youth and Women HRDs in Ethiopia

Civil Rights Defenders


To create a new generation of youth and women activists and rights-based civil society leaders. The organization will organize Human Rights School sessions on human rights principles, human rights in the Ethiopian context, and human rights and democracy activism; support internship opportunities for selected youth and women activists; and provide small grants for outstanding and innovative ideas that will enhance the participation of women and youth in human rights work in the transition environment.

Supporting Voices for Democratic Change and Economic Inclusion

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To enhance the role of public-private dialogue in advancing economic reform, to strengthen Ethiopia’s business membership organizations, and to increase the capacity of local SMEs and young entrepreneurs to participate in economic development. The center will work with local partners to host public-private dialogue events and provide technical assistance to business associations, develop and conduct trainings on anti-corruption compliance and industrial linkage development, and launch a Young Entrepreneurs Forum.

Towards a More Informed and Inclusive Reform and Democratization Process

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To promote the inclusion of citizens’ views and priorities in Ethiopia’s democratic reform process. The institute will conduct focus group research in select regional states and present findings to key actors and stakeholders. By conducting rounds of focus group research in Amhara, Oromo, Southern and Tigray regional states, and disseminating research findings to key stakeholders, including political parties and government officials, the institute will ensure the systematic collection and analysis of citizens’ views and expectations for the reforms, and thereby encourage and promote a more responsive and informed reform process.

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