Central and Eastern Europe

Belarus 2018

Broadening Understanding of National Security Issues

Freedom of Information

$15,200

To increase access to quality information and analysis on national and regional security issues. Project activities include the production of original analytical materials on, reports of, and translations regarding security sector related issues and events. In addition, the project will broaden the website’s audience through a focus on the regions, as well as increase engagement with security experts throughout Europe and Eurasia. Finally, the program will convene a regional conference on hybrid and information warfare.

Defending Human Rights and Civic Activism

Human Rights

$134,520

To monitor, promote, and defend human rights. The project will track, document, and publicize human rights abuses, as well as provide assistance to victims of human rights abuses. It will also collect and disseminate information on human rights abuses, making the information available to a wider national and international audience.

Developing Civil Society in the Gomel Region

NGO Strengthening

$45,000

To strengthen regional civic initiatives. Coordination meetings will be held to identify local problems and develop joint civic activism and advocacy strategies to address them. The program will also inform and mobilize local citizens to pursue greater government accountability and transparency, and engage in broader debates on improving local governance.

Disseminating Independent Political News

Freedom of Information

$24,840

To provide access to independent political news and information. The project will support a website that informs the public of major issues facing Belarus, including domestic and international developments, local news, and the economy. To broaden its audience and serve as a counterweight to foreign propaganda, the project will continue to develop the site’s content and capacity, create more accessible news formats, and boost its social media presence.

Expanding Access to Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$84,880

To expand freedom of information. The project will publish unique materials on key historical and contemporary figures and political developments, including interviews with well-known figures of international and national importance. The project will distribute these materials, as well as others on international broadcasting, during public events held across the country.

Expanding Freedom of Information and the Internet

Freedom of Information

$34,957

To expand freedom of information and the Internet. The project will maintain and expand an online library of independent publications not readily available in the country. The library will offer objective news, analysis, and information on key national and international developments, making them accessible to domestic and international audiences via its website.

Fostering Free and Fair Elections

Political Processes

$49,400

To foster free and fair elections. Ahead of major parliamentary and presidential contests, the nonpartisan program will carry out informational campaigns to inform and educate citizens about their electoral rights. During the election campaigns, the program will monitor and document violations and inform the public about them in a regular and timely manner.

Fostering Freedom of the Media

Freedom of Information

$43,450

To protect and support independent media. The program will monitor freedom of information, document and publicize information about media violations, and provide assistance to local journalists and media outlets. Through publications, conferences and meetings, it will raise awareness of the monitoring results and the country’s media environment. The program will also advocate on media freedom issues domestically and internationally.

Fostering Independent Culture and Activism

Democratic Ideas and Values

$49,910

To strengthen independent culture, civic activism, and national identity. The project will organize a series of nationwide events, including public lectures, workshops, performances, and discussions, on social and cultural topics. To stimulate local civic engagement, it will conduct an educational seminar and competition for civic initiatives. The project will also maintain and promote a website, which serves as a source of objective information, independent cultural content, and democratic ideas.

Fostering Youth Civic Activism

NGO Strengthening

$20,000

To foster youth activism. The project will conduct a training on strategic communications and media outreach for local civic organizations. It will also recruit and train youth volunteers, and hold an event on volunteerism for regional youth and civic activists. To further facilitate civic engagement, the project will increase its online presence. Finally, it will promote youth activism by distributing promotional materials.

Increasing the Impact of Belarus’ Third Sector

NGO Strengthening

$51,000

To build the capacity of regional civil society groups. The project will hold a series of trainings and workshops to support local activism and initiatives. Other program activities will include a study visit, a meeting for civil society representatives, the production of a manual on grassroots activism, and an exhibition dedicated to raising awareness of human rights.

Increasing the Skills of Independent Journalists

Freedom of Information

$40,000

To increase the professionalism of independent journalists and strengthen the capacity of the sector as a whole. The program will strengthen Belarus’ media sector, support the professional development of journalists, enhance networking among media professionals and NGOs, and reduce their international isolation. Other activities will include a series of public lectures and master classes featuring experts, and practitioners, moderated press conferences and roundtables for NGOs, expert and analytical meetings, and other events.

Promoting Accountability through Civic Engagement

Accountability and Governance

$24,965

To increase civic engagement in fostering government accountability. The project will maintain, promote and further develop an online portal, which allows for greater citizen participation in addressing pressing civic issues and serves as a forum and resource for public concerns. It will publicize the website and promote advocacy campaigns across the country through public presentations, press briefings, and social media and other promotional advertisements.

Promoting Civic Journalism and Engagement

NGO Strengthening

$37,250

To promote civic engagement and freedom of information. The project will hold introductory and advanced training courses on civic journalism and multimedia content production as well as maintain and further develop an online newspaper and improve its sustainability. It will also organize events that promote civic engagement on local issues.

Promoting Independent Analysis

Democratic Ideas and Values

$34,960

To promote democratic ideas and values. The program will produce and publish regular, original analysis for a website. The analysis will focus on Belarus’ relations with the West, key reform ideas, national and regional political developments, foreign influence, and other important topics. The online resource will also serve as an aggregator of important analytical texts produced by other domestic and foreign analysts.

Promoting Independent Democratic Culture

Democratic Ideas and Values

$36,000

To promote independent democratic culture. The project will produce and disseminate materials promoting an alternative view and assessment of domestic and international developments since the fall of communism. The materials will stimulate discussion about the role of culture and identity in shaping democratic values, and promote active and meaningful civic engagement. The project will promote the materials through a campaign that will culminate with a large public concert.

Promoting Youth Activism through Independent Culture

Democratic Ideas and Values

$39,580

To promote youth activism and independent culture. A series of independent civic activities will take place, including cultural events, meetings and lectures with prominent figures, and youth trainings. Project activities will support independent culture, promote innovative approaches to stimulating youth activism, and facilitate cooperation and collaboration across organizations and sectors.     

Providing Objective Economic Information

Freedom of Information

$29,990

To increase access to independent information. The project will increase citizens’ understanding of the country’s economic situation. It will assist a weekly publication that provides current information on and analysis of key economic issues impacting business and development. Despite the country’s troubled economy, there is little accurate, accessible, and digestible information available either to a broader public or the business community.  

Strengthening and Defending Independent Online Media

Freedom of Information

$47,630

To foster freedom of information and the Internet. Project activities will support and safeguard independent news and information websites by providing secure, reliable hosting and technical support. Trainings and webinars will present information on digital security, legal compliance, sustainable media marketing, and intellectual property laws. The program will also provide consultations for media outlets.

Strengthening Citizen Engagement

Accountability and Governance

$12,000

To strengthen civic engagement and promote government accountability. The project will use a virtual platform to assist civil society and citizens in organizing and carrying out advocacy campaigns. It will also convene roundtable discussions with civil society organizations to identify areas for reform and advocacy, organize a seminar for independent media on advocacy campaigns, and share successful campaign examples at a closing conference. The project will increase public understanding of governance.

Strengthening Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$17,930

To strengthen the capacity of local civil society by engaging activists and citizens in addressing local problems and quality of life issues. Project activities will include surveying the local population to identify pressing issues, publishing the findings, and holding public and online meetings with citizens and experts to discuss them. The project will also organize trainings and workshops to enhance civic activism projects.

Strengthening Public Debate on Reforms

Democratic Ideas and Values

$22,753

To foster public debate on reforms. The project will promote young, pro-reform experts publishing analysis in online forums, and produce a series of articles, reports, and videos on key reform ideas. To reach a broader audience, the program’s online publication will expand its social media presence. Finally, the project will organize a conference and expand reform discourse to the country’s regions.

Supporting a Leading Independent Media Outlet

Freedom of Information

$59,400

To foster independent media and freedom of information. The project will maintain and further develop an online edition that provides timely coverage of key social, political, and economic developments in Belarus and abroad. The independent publication will expand its content and increase its audience by boosting its presence on social media networks.

Supporting an Independent Newspaper

Freedom of Information

$40,000

To support independent media and freedom of information. The project will assist a leading independent publication, which plays an important role in objectively informing citizens about key social, political, civic and economic issues, fostering civic discussion about the impact of political and economic reforms, and raising awareness about independent civic initiatives throughout the country.

Supporting an Independent Online Newspaper

Freedom of Information

$40,140

To support freedom of information. Project activities will include producing a daily online newspaper, which serves as a free source of objective political, economic, and social information. The publication will produce and post about 100 news items each day, including articles and multimedia pieces, with a focus on the activities of civil society. Other domestic and international organizations and media outlets often repost and use the content.

Supporting Civic Engagement

Democratic Ideas and Values

$31,100

To foster civic activism and public engagement. Project activities will include trainings on volunteering and outreach and master classes led by international experts in civic engagement. The program will engage local NGOs, businesses, and government officials to develop new methodologies for strengthening informal civic education, public engagement, and volunteerism. Finally, participants will organize public events to inspire civic engagement around pressing local and national issues.

Supporting Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

$33,000

To enhance independent civic initiatives. The project will assist a network of resource centers that supports regional civil society and publishes a regional bulletin. It will also foster nascent and existing civil society initiatives through trainings and other activities. The network will also serve as a hub and incubator for smaller local organizations.

Supporting Civil Society in the Regions

NGO Strengthening

$38,030

To strengthen civil society and independent media at the local and regional levels. The program will assist regional civil society centers and support and coordinate local civic initiatives, including meetings that bring individuals and communities together. It will also publish and disseminate independent information through online outlets and print bulletins.

Supporting Independent Culture and Civic Activism

Democratic Ideas and Values

$53,520

To foster independent culture, national identity, and civic activism. The program will expand its language and civic education courses across the country. It will implement innovative approaches to language learning through an informal curriculum that fosters youth engagement, national pride, and democratic values. The program will feature guest lectures and performances by independent experts and cultural figures of note.

Supporting Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$195,537

To ensure the continued viability of independent media. The project will provide emergency assistance, including material and technical support, to independent media outlets whose ability to continue publishing is threatened by a challenging environment. It will also improve the sustainability of independent publications and the capacity of smaller media outlets to ensure their continued content production and distribution.

Supporting Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$71,760

To promote freedom of information and the sustainability of independent media. Two independent outlets continue to pursue an innovative viability and audience-growth strategy. While publishing as separate entities, the outlets will share office space and administrative costs, and engage in active and exclusive co-branding, cross-promotion, and content sharing. The program aims to further expand a model for greater sustainability and cooperative development for independent media.

Supporting Independent Online Media

Freedom of Information

$34,450

To foster freedom of information and promote public debate. Project activities will include expanding an interactive blogging and discussion platform to further engage young, educated, urban elites in discussing needed reforms that address the country’s social, political, and economic challenges. The platform will increase its production of quality content and boost its outreach through a more active social media presence to increase the country’s reform-minded community.

Supporting Independent Regional Media

Freedom of Information

$33,000

To promote independent media and freedom of information. An independent outlet will expand its online content and boost its audience and regional outreach through the increased use of social networks. The publication will contribute to greater public understanding by fostering increased debate on politics in the country and the role of local authorities in the regions.

Supporting Local Media and Civic Initiatives

Freedom of Information

$26,670

To support the development of regional civil society and independent media. Three resource centers will continue fostering civic initiatives and informing citizens in a number of regional cities and towns. The network will produce and disseminate information through a variety of means in order to reach a diverse and broad-based audience.

Supporting Regional Urban Initiatives

Democratic Ideas and Values

$14,870

To increase civic engagement and activism in urban centers. The project will publish and disseminate print and online editions of an independent magazine, which fosters discussion on civic space and engagement. To promote public participation around issues highlighted in the publication, the project will organize presentations and roundtables in major urban centers. Urban activism a gateway topic for engaging a broader constituency on local governance issues.

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