SRI LANKA 2020

Citizen Participation in Monitoring Economic Development

Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Limited

$36,000

To promote good governance, adherence to regulations for transparency and accountability, and the rule of law in the development sector and strengthen legal protection for communities adversely affected by severe environmental degradation as a result of infrastructure and other economic development. The center will raise awareness about decision-making in the development sector and equip civil society and relevant government actors with the appropriate tools to engage in the development process.

Civic Engagement for Sustained Collective Action

Janawaboda Kendraya

$41,500

To build knowledge and create opportunities for citizens to become more engaged in the political process at the local level. The organization will strengthen and sustain the work of its volunteer structures in 10 districts through programming that incorporates leadership development and community training on democracy, good governance, and religious tolerance, as well as moderated discussions and street theater that encourages engagement between citizens and government officials on the political life of their communities.

Community Mobilization and Political Participation

Human Rights

$68,000

To build the capacity of human rights defenders to support victims in the pursuit of justice, accountability, and the truth. The organization will train human rights defenders in the concepts of democracy, civic engagement, and international human rights mechanisms and support their efforts to mobilize victims around prevailing concerns and violations and the ongoing reform process. 

Creating a Community of Practitioners for Social Accountability to Strengthen Democratic Process

The Social Architects

Supplement$50,000

To deepen understanding of transitional justice mechanisms and the right to information (RTI) in conflict-affected areas as well as to work with multiple communities to reflect on their war experiences. The organization will work to bridge the gap between ethnic communities, which have been weakened by deep-rooted suspicion and competing political narratives. The organization will work with government officers to assess the qualitative and quantitative impact of RTI and transitional justice mechanisms at the local level.

Gathering and Archiving Women’s Experiences

Human Rights

$60,000

To gather and archive the experiences and social issues of women during the war and post-war periods. The organization will systematically gather data and stories about women’s experiences in the north and east, catalog and analyze the information, and distribute it to interested entities. It will provide feedback to individuals and bodies that solicit ideas on the development of an environment friendly to gender equality and women’s rights.

Human Rights Advocacy

Human Rights

Supplement$2,198

To gather and archive the experiences and social issues of women during the war and post-war periods. The organization will systematically gather data and stories about women’s experiences in the north and east, catalog and analyze the information, and distribute it to interested entities. It will provide feedback to individuals and bodies that solicit ideas on the development of an environment friendly to gender equality and women’s rights.

Human Rights Archiving and Analysis

Human Rights

$105,000

To archive, collate, and analyze data on disappearances and deaths during the ethnic conflict and southern uprisings. The organization will archive hard copy documentation, as well as match records and collate information across over 50 sources of data from inside and outside Sri Lanka. It will use statistical tools to estimate the likely toll of disappeared and dead and further analyze the data to develop papers, oral presentations, articles, and website publications.

Improving Legal Literacy on Land Rights

Law and Society Trust

$50,000

To facilitate coordination between civil society and government authorities for the implementation and reform of existing laws and ordinances on land rights. The organization will manage a nationwide network of organizations focused on land rights, convene government officials and citizens on land laws and policies, document land disputes, offer legal aid, and advocate for new, equitable laws.

Improving Legal Literacy on Land Rights

Law and Society Trust

Supplement$17,670

To facilitate coordination between civil society and government authorities for the implementation and reform of existing laws and ordinances on land rights. The organization will manage a nation-wide network of organizations focused on land rights, convene government officials and citizens on land laws and policies, document land disputes, offer legal aid, and advocate for new, equitable laws.

Leadership Development for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Centre for Justice and Change

Supplement$4,200

To support the development of community leaders and advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights in eastern Sri Lanka. The organization will undertake a multi-faceted program in Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts aimed at strengthening the capacity of village leaders, including its staff and youth, to raise awareness about the needs of their communities and advocate on their behalf. It will also facilitate the engagement of its network members, many of whom are victims of human rights abuses, in the transitional justice process. 

Mobilize Families of the Disappeared in Support of Reconciliation and Justice

Families of the Disappeared

$40,000

To mobilize families of the “disappeared” and the general public in support of reconciliation and transitional justice. The organization will raise awareness about the systematic nature of disappearances, impunity in past cases, and efforts by victims’ families to seek redress. It will highlight human rights violations experienced in the context of the ethnic conflict and leftist insurrections and commemorate the lives of disappeared citizens. It will also build support for transitional justice mechanisms and broader democratic values and reform efforts.

Parliamentary Tracking Tool for Accountability and Good Governance

Verite Research Pvt. Ltd.

$75,000

To promote accountability and good governance through the application of a web-based parliamentary tracking tool. The organization will operate an online platform that documents the biographical information and political activities of members of parliament and conduct outreach to promote its usage by the media and civil society. Using the data, it will contribute, through articles and other media, to the political debate around the development and implementation of governmental policies and legislation.

Participatory Democracy through Artistic Expression

Vattrapalai International Institute of Art and Film

$30,000

To develop the capacity of youth and civil society activists to use artistic mediums for the promotion of democratic values, reconciliation, and good governance. The organization will operate an art and film institute designed to empower and train youth to hone their artistic skills, critical thinking abilities, and spur debate about social, political, and economic problems affecting them and their communities.  

Promoting Citizen Participation and Enhancing Capacity in Estate Tamil Communities

Uva Shakthi Foundation

$20,000

To promote citizen participation, inter-ethnic solidarity, and local government accountability in estate Tamil communities. The organization will conduct trainings on governance and democracy to raise awareness among Indian Origin Tamils working in the estate sector of their roles and responsibilities as citizens and encourage their full participation in Sri Lankan society. 

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Access to Independent Journalism

Freedom of Information

$75,000

To establish an independent media platform focused on human rights and transitional justice. The organization will develop an independent and non-partisan media platform that will initiate a positive dialogue for truth, justice, and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Promoting Freedom of Expression Through Citizen Journalism

Centre for Policy Alternatives, (Guarantee) Ltd.

$77,000

To generate content and spur debate around democratic governance, human rights, and other critical political issues. The organization will operate Groundviews, one of Sri Lanka’s leading alternative media platforms, which serves as an outlet for activists, bloggers, and journalists to disseminate and discuss issues of democracy and human rights.

Promoting Political Participation and National Reconciliation

AFRIEL

$130,000

To increase youth participation in the political process and national reconciliation. Through political and civic education as well as skills development trainings, the organization’s youth network members will deepen their involvement in the civic life of their communities. The organization will also harness the power of young professionals to counter fake news and hate speech, and promote democracy, and inter-ethnic solidarity on national reconciliation and lasting peace. 

Promoting Political Participation and National Reconciliation

AFRIEL

Supplement$4,512

To increase youth participation in the political process and national reconciliation. Through political and civic education as well as skills development trainings, the organization’s youth network members will deepen their involvement in the civic life of their communities. The organization will also harness the power of young professionals to counter fake news and hate speech, and promote democracy, and inter-ethnic solidarity on national reconciliation and lasting peace.

Protecting Democracy and Human Rights through Journalism

Right to Life Human Rights Center

$38,000

To strengthen the capacity of journalists who stand for democracy and human rights. The organization will raise awareness and spur debate around democratic governance, human rights, and other critical political issues with journalists. It will coordinate a journalists’ collective that creates opportunities to discuss current events, receive skills training, and build solidarity. The organization will facilitate a series of discussion forums and training workshops and develop short video interviews with prominent human rights and democracy professionals. 

Protecting Democratic Space through Dialogue on Economic Policy

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$669,607

To strengthen access to information and transparency on public expenditure, and to enhance demand for open and accountable governance among civil society and private sector. The Center will support a range of activities including strengthening public finance accountability and reporting, strengthening parliamentary oversight, assessment of gender-inclusive economic reforms, awareness raising for open data, and fact-checking to combat economic disinformation to meaningfully protect democratic space for critical public engagement on economic policy.

Raising Awareness on Human Rights and Democracy

Rights Now – Collective for Democracy

$45,000

To increase the public’s understanding of constitutional democracy, good governance, and rule of law in order to foster greater civic participation and encourage discussions about Sri Lankan democracy. The organization will facilitate grassroots level discourse, launch innovative advocacy initiatives, build grassroots capacity, and promote greater collaboration among stakeholders, all focused on democracy issues in the country. 

Raising Public Awareness on Politics and Governance

Centre for Policy Alternatives, (Guarantee) Ltd.

$80,000

To raise public awareness on politics and governance from a pro-democracy and human rights perspective. The organization will devise a social media and communications strategy that conveys fact-based news and information about the current political context, including as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic. Its approach to analyzing key issues of government decision making, rule of law, and policy reform will be designed to reach apolitical or less engaged citizens.

Revisiting Democracy in Sri Lanka

Social Scientists’ Association

$51,000

To build knowledge and advance dialogue around issues of democracy, governance, and reconciliation among high school teachers, students, and the general public. The organization will develop student-friendly material to supplement existing high school civics education textbooks on the topics of democracy and human rights, justice, conflict resolution, and local government, and train teachers how to integrate the supplemental material into the existing curriculum. The organization will also convene democracy discussion groups for select members of the public. 

Seeking Human Rights Protections, Justice, Reform, and Reconciliation

The International Working Group on Sri Lanka Ltd.

$75,000

To support human rights, justice, reform, and reconciliation. The organization will coordinate a series of capacity building, strategy, and advocacy related activities in conjunction with Sri Lankan civil society activists to mobilize domestic and international support for the protection and promotion of democratic values and systems. It will engage civil society and community groups across ethnic and religious lines to ensure that it represents a variety of perspectives.

Seeking Redress for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Centre for Human Rights and Development

$60,000

To raise awareness about and seek redress for victims of human rights violations. The organization will provide legal aid in cases of human rights violations, including rape, torture, and detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), provisions of which are contrary to international human rights standards. In addition, the organization will conduct advocacy and public awareness campaigns supporting a more transparent judicial system and calling for the repeal of the PTA and other policies that infringe on civil liberties and human rights.

Seeking Transitional Justice, Reform, and Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka

The International Working Group on Sri Lanka Ltd.

Supplement$50,000

To support post-war transitional justice, reform, and reconciliation. The organization will coordinate a series of capacity building, strategy, and advocacy related activities in conjunction with Sri Lankan civil society activists to mobilize domestic and international support for meaningful transitional justice efforts.

Strengthening Civil Society Networks for Active Political Participation

Viluthu

Supplement$60,000

To raise awareness of political and social rights, provide a venue for reflection and discussion, and empower participants to take action on issues of concern. The organization will conduct a series of community discussions and learning workshops aimed at engaging youth, including university students, and women’s network leaders on democracy, good governance, and transitional justice. 

Youth Leadership Development and Awareness on Democracy

Alliance Development Trust

$40,000

To promote liberal values among youth leaders. The organization will equip youth with a deeper understanding of democratic principles, basic civics, responsible citizenship, and the rule of law. In turn, trained youth will advocate for a more open, democratic society among their own networks and the broader public. The youth will sponsor community events designed to spur debate and encourage objective analysis of pressing societal concerns.. 

Youth Social Justice Program

Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research

$19,000

To provide secondary school students with the tools and knowledge necessary to strengthen civic and political engagement. The organization will conduct a series of workshops and seminars with students on basic civic education, including systems of government, checks and balances, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, national level policies, and regional and community level practices in an effort to empower youth and encourage open dialogue to advance meaningful policy reform.