Eurasia

Eurasia Regional 2019

Civil Society for Understanding

Democracy Today

 $54,255

To improve the capacity of local residents, particularly women and youth, to work together to lay the groundwork for a sustainable peace in the South Caucasus. The grantee will hold two rounds of its three-day democracy school for young leaders. The organization will also create an online platform for youth to share ideas, and organize a final event for all participants, where they will create a joint report with recommendations for peacebuilding initiatives.

Coda Network

Freedom of Information

 $180,130

To bring together journalists and independent media outlets from throughout Eurasia to create high-quality, narrative journalism, focusing on a set of key themes relating to disinformation.  The partner will use Endowment support to continue publishing a variety of articles, podcasts, and video pieces on disinformation in Eurasia and beyond.  It will also continue building its network of partners, and working with them to produce unique content.

Creating Enabling Environments for Constructive Capital in Eurasia

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

 $285,108

To enhance local stakeholders’ engagement in promoting good governance norms through anti-corruption compliance and corporate governance, address governance challenges posed by corrosive capital, and facilitate cross-regional learning and thought leadership. The center will engage and connect partners in Eurasia to create enabling environments for constructive capital flows. The center will foster creating networks committed to integrity and good governance, and to work with international partners to articulate and highlight the potential benefits of constructive capital.

Data Tools for Civil Society

Journalism Development Network

 $49,965

To improve the ability of regional civil society to utilize data research tools and methods in their work. A series of workshops about conducting research through the organization’s database and various aspects of working with data more generally will be held. Regional and global networks among civil society actors employing new data tools will be fostered.

Defending Human Rights

Human Rights

 $55,303

To improve the capacity of lawyers from the Eurasia region and to enable them to advocate effectively for better protection of human rights in their respective countries. Training and capacity-building resources and support will be provided to lawyers specializing in cases involving human rights issues on an ongoing basis.

Defending Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights

 $154,500

To promote the monitoring and defense of human rights in Eurasia and to enhance the capacity of civil society activists to engage in human rights work. Activities will include training seminars, mentorship, and the publication of human rights reports. In addition, the organization will host internships in its office and conduct advanced human rights training seminars.

Developing Digital Media in Eurasia

Freedom of Information

 $165,466

To provide a compelling alternative to government propaganda narratives while organically disarming state-sponsored disinformation. High-quality, independent, accurate reporting on current events and key political and social issues will be produced and regularly published online in innovative digital formats by independent Russian-language regional media.

Election Observation Training

Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center NGO

 $100,000

To build the capacity of civil society in Eurasia.  As part of this project, the partner will work with local groups to identify active citizens, and work with them to conduct trainings on civic activism and human rights.  Using Endowment funds, the project will train 30 young NGO leaders on human rights, democracy and NGO management.

Enhancing Independent Video Journalism in Eurasia

Freedom of Information

 $78,470

To reduce the influence of the government disinformation and propaganda narratives. The organization will support the production of video content for a foundational independent Russian-language media outlet with a broad digital reach across the Eurasian region, and strengthen the video reporting and production capacities of independent journalists from across the region through training and mentorship. The project will also foster regional and global networks connecting Russian-language journalists with each other and the international media community.

Expanding Access to Information in Eurasia

EurasiaNet Inc.

 $231,154

To increase the availability of objective news and information on developments in Eurasia for local and international audiences. The organization will operate its existing “New Voices,” “Contested Boundaries,” and “Nations in Flux” initiatives, piloted in previous years with Endowment support. These initiatives aim at expanding access to independent information and factual analysis that can disrupt state narratives and bring attention to under-reported ways in which authoritarian states and their allies are advancing their illiberal agenda at the global level.

Innovative Digital Tools for Civil Society

NGO Strengthening

 $166,800

To improve the amount of unbiased, locally relevant information available to the public and to foster the growth of civic activism and engagement by citizens around significant issues impacting their lives. An online platform for use by independent journalists and civic activists will be maintained and information on local developments will regularly be published.

Monitoring Political Developments

Democratic Ideas and Values

 $53,290

To better understand political dynamics in Georgia and Azerbaijan.  The organization will conduct research and discussions on political responses to extremism, and the ongoing economic crisis in Azerbaijan.  The organization will conduct high-level roundtables, desk research, and publish a series of articles summarizing their findings.

Promoting Conflict Transformation

Levan Mikeladze Foundation

 $48,306

To develop a vision for creating conditions for constructive engagement between parties to the conflicts between Georgia and the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The organization will conduct research and prepare policy recommendations to create a new framework of Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian relations. It will also identify ways to shift public discourse on the conflicts. The grantee will consult with various stakeholders and present its recommendations to the Georgian policy community and government officials.

Promoting Democratic Values with Global Technology Companies

Freedom of Information

 $155,357

To connect Eurasian internet experts and activists with technology companies and to promote their collaboration in addressing the accelerating regional crackdown on internet freedom. To foster activists’ ties with the international internet freedom community. . Engagement by a coalition of activists with technology companies as well as these activists’ increased participation in global debates and initiatives aimed at countering intensifying efforts by authoritarian actors to undermine internet freedom will be facilitated.

Promoting Human Rights Education

Human Rights

 $47,469

To raise awareness of human rights issues and democratic values between the ethnic Georgian and Abkhaz populations in Abkhazia. The organization and an Abkhaz partner will coordinate to conduct trainings on human rights and democracy with each population, produce a human rights education radio program, and promote discussion of democracy and human rights between the groups in the region.

Promoting Investigative Journalism in Central Asia

Freedom of Information

 $40,000

To increase the availability of quality investigative journalism covering significant political and social topics in the Central Asia region. Investigative reporting and analytical articles covering political, social, and economic issues in Central Asia will be regularly published online. A network of freelance correspondents will be created to produce reporting on the region.

Promoting Investigative Reporting

Accountability and Governance

 $149,990

To improve the professional capacity of civil society in Central Asia to conduct investigative reporting on local and transnational corruption and to strengthen anti-kleptocracy initiatives. The organization will mentor five journalists who completed investigative journalism fellowships under a previous program as they conduct in-depth investigations on cross-border organized crime and corruption in Central Asia. Under this project, at least ten local or regional stories and ten in-depth cross-border investigations will be published.

Promoting the Defense of Human Rights

Human Rights

 $98,200

To strengthen the capacity of human rights and civic activists in Uzbekistan. The organization will conduct a series of training seminars for young activists on the basics of human rights activism, security of human rights defenders, and national and international human rights protection mechanisms. The organization will provide ongoing mentorship for participants, support small human rights initiatives for participants in the program, and assist in writing alternative human rights reports on Uzbekistan.

Protecting Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

 $87,018

To enhance the legal security of journalists and the capacity of lawyers working to defend freedom of expression. The capacity of lawyers to advise and defend their clients successfully will be increased and awareness of these issues will be raised at both the national and international levels.

Protecting Workers’ Rights and Expanding Space for Democracy Phase II

Freedom of Association

 $558,650

To expand the capacity of organizations to promote respect for freedom of association and conduct social policy advocacy, the center will support activities that facilitate organizing, collective bargaining, adherence to labor law, gender empowerment, and strategic planning to ensure observance of international labor rights.

Public Opinion Polling

Caucasus Research Resource Center-Armenia

 $59,940

To improve the ability of policymakers and others in Armenia to gauge public opinion and make fact-based policy decisions. The organization will conduct and publicize their annual Caucasus Barometer survey. The partner will survey a statistically representative sample of Armenians on a variety of subjects, including economics, political attitudes and civic engagement. Following the poll, the organization will work with journalists to publish key findings, post analysis on their website, and make the data available for researchers.

Raising Awareness of and Respect for Worker Rights in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Solidarity Center (SC)

 $190,850

To build the capacity of labor unions in Kyrgyzstan to advocate more effectively on behalf of workers and leverage Kyrgyzstan’s strategic position in the Central Asian region to promote respect for worker rights. The center proposes to work with union and civil society allies to help migrant workers secure their rights abroad and advocate for safe immigration policies with the government of Kyrgyzstan; support worker organizing, particularly among the growing number of young workers; and support monitoring and reporting of violations in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Regional Journalism and Reconciliation

GO Group Media

 $48,000

To provide accurate, engaging reporting about conflicts in the South Caucasus, promoting regional reconciliation and freedom of information. The organization will train young journalists from throughout the South Caucasus to report on conflicts in an ethical, engaging, and sensitive manner. Participants will produce a series of video, photo, and print stories covering the human costs of conflict and other topics.

Scholars’ Network

Center for Social Sciences

 $51,962

To invigorate policy thinking in the transatlantic space, especially among countries in Eurasia that are seeking deeper integration with the West. The organization will continue to develop a network of scholars who will meet in Georgia to discuss issues of democratization. The scholars will produce publications and policy recommendations promoting liberal democratic reforms and continued Euro-Atlantic integration.

Strengthening Rule of Law and Respect for Worker Rights in Eurasia

Rule of Law

$300,000

To strengthen unions’ capacity to deal with pressing issues hindering respect for worker rights and democratic development in Eurasia. The center will develop manuals and host a series of training seminars with partner organizations around the themes of rule of law, enforcement of labor protections, anti-corruption and the particular challenges faced by women workers when migrating for work, as well as continue vital efforts to support workers under threat throughout the region.

Supporting a Network of Independent Journalists

Freedom of Information

 $106,782

To support freedom of information in the Russian-language information space and to increase the capacity of media organizations working throughout the region to create content and implement strategies to maximize their social media presence. The organization will build upon its success in using social media to create video content to be shared on social media and across partner sites.

Supporting Activists at Risk

Human Rights

 $72,683

To provide support to human rights activists at risk. In response to ongoing authoritarian crackdown against civil society actors, activists who have come under pressure will be hosted through a respite and rehabilitation program. This will allow activists to counter potential burnout and to increase the effectiveness of their work upon their return.

Supporting Activists at Risk

Human Rights House – Tbilisi

 $67,000

To provide humanitarian and legal support for human rights activists, journalists, and opposition political party activists who are at risk in their home country. Shelter, medical, and psychological aid will be provided to democrats-at-risk, as well as legal assistance to sustain civil society work for the medium to long term. To help activists adapt, a workshop on NGO legislation in Georgia will be hosted as well as Georgian and English language training.

Supporting Civil Society in Central Asia

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee

 $225,000

To promote civic activism and strengthen the capacity of nongovernmental organizations in Central Asia. The organization will conduct a small grants program for local civic initiatives focusing on human rights, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression. The grantee will prioritize youth NGOs and young activists in order to encourage their participation in decision-making processes, human rights campaigns, and civic life.

Supporting Independent Media

Freedom of Information

 $65,640

To promote access to objective, accurate, and timely information about human rights developments in Central Asia. A network of journalists covering human rights-related issues in Central Asia will be developed. Content will be published to a Central Asia focused news website.

Training Young Journalists

OC Media

 $39,400

To expand access to information about political, social, and cultural life in the South Caucasus and build the capacity of youth journalists in the South Caucasus. With Endowment support, the organization will produce weekly news stories on the South Caucasus. Topics will cover conflict resolution, democracy, minority rights, social issues, and the environment. The organization will also conduct training sessions for young journalists from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

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