AZERBAIJAN 2020

Combatting Corruption in the Agricultural Sector

Accountability and Governance

$34,785

To document instances of corruption in Azerbaijan. Research will be conducted to identify sources of corruption and misuse of public funds. Awareness of the prevalence of corruption will be increased through both domestic and international outreach. The program will increase the availability of information on the scope of these issues and will produce policy recommendations.

Cultural Events

Democratic Ideas and Values

$30,940

To promote free discussion of human rights, social and political issues in Azerbaijan and the world at large.  Documentary films will be screened and discussed in Baku and seven regional cities, if pandemic circumstances allow.  Young filmmakers will be trained in documentary filmmaking, and supported in developing and refining their art, working with mentors to create their own short films.

Defending Property Rights

Rule of Law

$65,000

To defend property rights in Azerbaijan. Information on rights violations will be collected, and legal assistance will be provided to victims of rights abuses. Litigation will be used to pursue legal remedy. The project will raise awareness of relevant national laws and rights violations committed by the state. It will also highlight how corruption among state officials exacerbates and directly results in human rights violations.

Digital Community Engagement

Freedom of Information

$41,736

To increase public awareness of current events and promote civic and political discourse in Azerbaijan. Analytical commentary, in-depth, long-form interviews, and discussions on political, social, economic, and current events will be created. A YouTube channel will be maintained, through which the aforementioned commentary, interviews, and discussions will be widely distributed. 

Engaging Young Scholars in Democracy Research

Democratic Ideas and Values

$68,750

To improve the quality of political and economic discourse in Azerbaijan. A series of research and opinion pieces on topical issues will be produced and published. The project will also develop a community of independent academics and support respect for academic freedom. A website and social media presence will be maintained.

Exposing Corruption in Azerbaijan

Accountability and Governance

$60,950

To increase the availability of information on corruption in Azerbaijan. Investigations will be conducted to establish facts around cases of corruption. The findings on the scope of these issues will be shared in an online format. The failure of the government to operate in a transparent and accountable manner will be highlighted.

Human Rights in Azerbaijani Regions

Human Rights

$46,163

To raise awareness of human rights violations in Azerbaijan. Monitoring will be conducted and legal advice given in five regions of the country. In addition, a series of events on human rights will be held, where participants will discuss the results of monitoring efforts as well as human rights issues in the country.

Human Rights Monitoring

Human Rights

$52,812

To raise awareness about political prisoners and human rights abuses in Azerbaijan. A website will be created to disseminate regularly-updated news and information on these issues, including updated information about ongoing cases and new cases as they appear.  Information will also be published on judges and others complicit in human rights abuses. Regular reports will be written and made available in multiple languages.

Increasing Capacity of Regional Youth

Democratic Ideas and Values

$24,795

To raise awareness of citizens’ rights and to promote discussion and civic engagement in Azerbaijan. A series of discussions of citizens’ rights will be held in five regions covering key topics. A youth resource center providing support and information for volunteers and other active young people will be maintained and operated.

Increasing Lawyers’ Capacity

Rule of Law

$16,114

To improve the quality of human rights litigation in Azerbaijan. Trainings with lawyers will be conducted in Azerbaijani. The organization will create and maintain a website in Azerbaijani that will serve as a resource for lawyers and citizens. Information will be circulated on the website, as well as on social media platforms.

Investigating Transnational Corruption

Accountability and Governance

$36,506

To investigate corrupt activities of Azerbaijani political elites. Corruption and other financial crimes will be uncovered and shared with a wide audience. The harm inflicted on citizens of Azerbaijan by these crimes, as well as the deleterious effects of corruption on the rule of law in established democracies, will be emphasized.

News Aggregator

Freedom of Information

$34,263

To make news and analysis of current events in Azerbaijan available in a systematic, regular way in English for an international audience.  Regular updates summarizing and analyzing the main news themes in Azerbaijan will be published and shared by email.  Quarterly analytical articles and a year-end digest will also be published and distributed.

News Website

Freedom of Information

$90,000

To support freedom of information in Azerbaijan. Regular news updates from throughout the country will be published, including reporting on political, economic, and social topics online, as well as featured articles from expert contributors on key issues. The readership will also be engaged on social media platforms with livestreamed content and multimedia materials.

Online News Portal

Freedom of Information

Supplement$39,600

To provide fact-based news reporting, analysis and discussions on key issues in Azerbaijani news and society. Discussions, interviews and investigative pieces will be produced on a variety of topics by a network of local reporters for online distribution, which will be shared on a website as well as on social media pages.

Promoting Human Rights and Rule of Law

Human Rights

$37,360

To promote respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and advance the rule of law in Azerbaijan. The project will support the capacity and growth of the independent legal community in Azerbaijan. A series of roundtables and trainings will be held on current legal and human rights issues. Monitoring of legal developments affecting human rights and the rule of law in the country will occur. The failure of the Azerbaijani government to implement reforms promoting democracy and human rights in the country will be highlighted.

Public Opinion Polling

Strengthening Political Institutions

$19,480

To improve understanding of issues in Azerbaijan. Surveys will be conducted on citizens’ opinions on a variety of topics, and results will be aggregated and published online. The organization will share these results with the public and with civil society organizations to help them understand attitudes towards key topics and issues. 

Regional Citizen Engagement

Political Processes

Supplement$15,000

To promote citizen engagement in Azerbaijan. Activists will be trained in 12 regions and regional meetings will be held. Public discussions on citizen issues will be held and resources will be made available on the organization’s website. A website and social media presence will be maintained through which information will be distributed.

Regional Citizen Engagement

NGO Strengthening

$54,050

To promote civic participation in Azerbaijan. Meetings with community members will be held in eight regions. Local activists will attend capacity building trainings and will implement small projects that address local issues. A report on civic engagement in local communities will be written and distributed, and a conference will be held. 

Support for Independent Media in Azerbaijan

Freedom of Information

Supplement$126,083

To support freedom of information in Azerbaijan. News articles, analysis, and commentary will be created by a network of journalists for sharing on the organization’s website and on social media. The pieces will focus on stories not covered by government-controlled media, including economic issues, corruption, human rights violations and social problems.

Supporting Independent Journalism

Freedom of Information

$61,145

To promote improvements in the media environment in Azerbaijan. Youth will be trained and will gain experience, practical skills, and professional contacts. The project outputs will be shared online with a wider audience. The project activities will promote freedom of expression in response to continued restrictions on independent media in the country. 

Supporting Independent Journalism and Democratic Processes

Political Processes

Supplement$17,660

To promote improvements in the media environment and the electoral process in Azerbaijan. Youth will be trained and will gain experience and practical skills. A study will be conducted and discussions organized about elections in the country. The project activities will promote freedom of expression and democratic processes in the country.

Supporting Legal Protection of Human Rights

Human Rights

$60,429

To improve the quality of human rights litigation in Azerbaijan. Trainings and consultations will be conducted, for lawyers, as well as an advocacy event in Strasbourg for European and other international bodies to raise awareness of democracy, rule of law and human rights issues in Azerbaijan among European policy makers. 

Youth Engagement

Civic Education

$48,750

To promote improved understanding of human rights among youth. Seminars and trainings will be conducted for young activists, focusing on human rights and civic engagement. Trainings will be conducted on practical skills, such as project management and public speaking. At the conclusion of the program, small projects will be implemented by participants.

Youth Engagement in Azerbaijan

Democratic Ideas and Values

$64,970

To engage young people in Azerbaijan in discussion of the fundamental principles of democracy. A series of online videos on topics related to democratic governance, freedom of expression, human rights, and civic activism will be produced and shared online. Experts will be invited and will discuss these topics with youth.