Eurasia Regional 2020

Balanced Regional News

OC Media

$59,000

To promote access to independent contextualized information about political, social, and cultural life in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the broader region. The organization will produce weekly news stories and daily newsflashes disseminated through the organization’s website and through social media platforms. Topics will include COVID-19 developments, conflict resolution, democracy, minority rights, social issues, and the environment.

Coda Network

Freedom of Information

$181,467

To raise awareness in the West of authoritarian influence and its impact in Eurasia and beyond. The organization will bring together journalists and independent media outlets to create high quality, narrative journalism focusing on a set of key themes relating to disinformation and authoritarian influence. The organization will continue building its network of partners to enable them to reach a larger audience. 

Promoting Inclusivity in Eurasia

Democratic Ideas and Values

$175,986

To counter the rise of xenophobia and to combat persecution of religious minorities in the Eurasian region. A new network of civil society organizations will be created to collaboratively advocate for more inclusive and pluralistic policies. Research will be conducted on human rights violations against minority populations, and regional and international advocacy missions will be organized.

Countering Transborder Corruption

University of Ulster

$105,350

To strengthen the capacity of civil society to proactively investigate transnational corruption in Uzbekistan, especially through cooperation with international networks. The organization will use open data and digital analytics to strengthen the capacity of civil society to detect, expose, and censure transnational corruption in Uzbekistan, and to more effectively monitor the implementation of anti-corruption laws and decrees. The Initiative will develop a new online platform for investigating transnational corruption in Uzbekistan for use by journalists, researchers, activists, NGOs, and international financial institutions. 

Creating Enabling Environments for Constructive Capital, Phase II

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$529,598

To enhance local stakeholders’ engagement in promoting good governance norms through anti-corruption compliance and corporate governance, address governance challenges such as those 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 networks committed to integrity and good governance, working with domestic and international businesses to articulate and highlight the potential benefits of constructive capital for the region. 

Data Tools for Civil Society

Freedom of Information

$196,812

To improve the ability of investigative journalists and NGOs to utilize data research tools and methods in their work. A program to support and grow the community of civil society actors that are currently using an investigative data platform as well as to further develop and improve the usability of the platform’s data research tools will be conducted. Regional and global networks among civil society actors employing new data tools will be fostered.

Defending Labor Rights in Eurasia

Freedom of Association

$64,000

To strengthen the capacity of trade unions in Eurasia to defend and expand workers’ rights. The Institute will provide necessary infrastructure for improved coordination of actions between trade unions and human rights activists and organizations in the region; assist activists in documenting and disseminating information about labor rights violations; develop informational and educational resources; provide legal expertise for grassroots campaigns; and offer legal defense for labor activists and organizations. 

Developing Digital Media in Eurasia

Freedom of Information

$239,455

To provide a compelling alternative to and thus reduce the influence of propaganda narratives while organically disarming state-sponsored disinformation. High-quality, independent, accurate reporting on current events and key issues will be produced and regularly published in innovative digital formats by an independent Russian-language media outlet with a broad regional audience.

Developing the Capacity of Human Rights Activists

Human Rights

$275,150

To promote the monitoring and defense of human rights in Eurasia and to enhance the capacity of human rights activists to remain engaged in human rights work. Activities will include a series of advanced training seminars for human rights activists and lawyers, online mentorship and in-person internships, and the publication and dissemination of human rights reports. 

Expanding Access to Information

Democratic Ideas and Values

$114,500

To support regional democracy-themed cultural events that will present democratic values and ideas to the public through public discussions and presentations. Young professionals will be provided an opportunity to develop their skills through participation in master-classes, presenting their work to the public, and engaging in discussions of their work. A series of public and private, offline and online events will be organized throughout the region.

Expanding Access to Information in Eurasia

EurasiaNet Inc.

$241,553

To increase the availability of objective news and information on developments in Eurasia for local and international audiences. The grantee will operate its existing “New Voices,” “Contested Boundaries,” and “Nations in Flux” initiatives, piloted in previous years with Endowment support. These initiatives aim to expand 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. 

Fostering Workers’ Rights and Democratic Provision of Public Resources

Freedom of Association

$453,700

To expand the capacity of organizations to protect core worker rights, including freedom of association, and conduct social policy advocacy around quality public services, the organization will support activities that facilitate organizing, collective bargaining, adherence to labor law, gender empowerment, and strategic planning among strategically selected partners in the education and healthcare sectors.

Investigating China’s Influence in Eurasia

Civic Initiative for Democratic & Euro-Atlantic Choice

$126,592

To investigate China’s economic and political influence in Eurasia. The organization will coordinate a network of activists and researchers from Central Asia and the South Caucasus to discuss China’s growing influence in the region. The organization and its partners will conduct research to demonstrate how political elites have benefitted from investment deals. It will highlight how China uses such deals to increase its sharp power in the region and how China’s investments reduced transparency of foreign investment and created conditions conducive to corruption and nepotism. 

Legal Defense

Human Rights

$126,400

To protect fundamental freedoms. Legal defense will be provided to civil society organizations, activists, and others, and strategic litigation will be pursued to oppose laws and practices that deny citizens their fundamental freedoms. Awareness of these issues will be raised and lawyers will be trained to conduct similar work.

Legal Defense – Supplement

Human Rights

Supplement$20,000

To protect fundamental freedoms. Legal defense will be provided to civil society organizations, activists, and others, and strategic litigation will be pursued to oppose laws and practices that deny citizens their fundamental freedoms. Awareness of these issues will be raised through media reporting and lawyers will be trained to conduct similar work.

Monitoring Foreign Economic Influence in Central Asia

Accountability and Governance

$166,735

To promote research on economic development in Central Asia and foster the development of a regional network of civil society able to monitor developments, organize public discussions, and engage in domestic, regional, and international advocacy. Activities will include researching foreign economic investment, publishing analytical reports, creating documentary movies, and organizing a series of meetings and public events. 

Promoting Democratic Reforms

Foreign Policy Centre

$56,500

To empower local civil society and encourage European governments and international institutions to hold Central Asian governments accountable to democratic reform processes and fundamental human rights obligations. The organization will work with domestic and international experts to research and analyze the human rights and governance situation in Central Asia. It will publish a series of reports, and launch an extensive information campaign targeting European governments, the European Union, and multilateral institutions aimed at holding Central Asian governments accountable to their reform and human rights obligations.

Promoting Democratic Reforms

Freedom Now

$156,000

To encourage governments in Eurasia to implement democratic reforms and to adhere to international human rights standards. The organization will work with international and domestic NGOs and experts to map the government narratives inside and outside the project countries and track progress on democratic reforms in the region and in individual countries. The organization will then create and conduct an extensive advocacy campaign targeting European governments, the European Union, and multilateral institutions aimed at holding Eurasian governments accountable to their reform and human rights obligations.

Promoting Eurasian Activists’ Engagement with the Global Internet Freedom Community

Freedom of Information

$148,842

To foster Eurasian activists’ ties with the global internet freedom community and to promote their increased participation in related debates and initiatives. The organization will facilitate the participation of a coalition of activists in various prominent international conferences and meetings, and conduct ongoing monitoring of regional threats to internet freedom alongside related advocacy. The organization will organize an advocacy mission and coordinate an informal fellowship program to connect activists with U.S. technology companies to promote their collaboration in addressing the regional crackdown on internet freedom.

Promoting Human Rights

Human Rights

$98,990

To support local civil society actors to monitor, document and defend human rights in Central Asia. The organization will draw upon and expand its existing network of partners in Central Asia in order to support and strengthen their work and organizational development. They will also collaborate on human rights research, documentation, and organize international advocacy trips. The organization will also support local partners through creative and visual campaigning on human rights issues.  

Promoting Human Rights

International Labor Rights Forum

$100,000

To raise international awareness of systemic human rights abuses in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The organization will publish analytical reports on labor rights abuses, including forced and child labor; coordinate the activities of the Cotton Campaign; and engage with Uzbek, European, and U.N. officials on implementing systemic reform to labor practices in Uzbekistan’s and Turkmenistan’s cotton sectors. 

Promoting Human Rights Education

Human Rights

$48,829

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 Reporting

Accountability and Governance

$250,000

To improve the professional capacity of journalists in Central Asia to conduct investigative reporting on corruption and transnational kleptocracy. The organization will mentor Central Asian journalists to improve their ability to conduct investigative journalism and to strengthen anti-kleptocracy initiatives. The organization will hire three journalists and mentor an added five reporters as they conduct in-depth investigations on cross-border organized crime and corruption. The organization will produce local and regional stories as well as in-depth, cross-border investigations over the course of the project.

Promoting Youth Activism

Public Foundation “Socio-Ecological Fund”

$46,042

To promote youth activism through raising awareness of human rights and encouraging public participation in decision-making processes in Central Asia. The organization will support youth environmental activists from across the region through consultations, assisting with public environmental campaigns, and conducting a training for young environmentalists. The organization will publish a series of materials on environmental impact assessment procedures in various Central Asian countries, and will provide legal and informational support to citizens on issues related to participation in environmental decision-making.

Providing Support for Activists at Risk

Center for Participation and Development

$91,880

To provide support to human rights activists at risk. In response to the 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.

Raising Awareness of and Respect for Worker Rights Phase II

Freedom of Association

$310,050

To build the capacity of labor unions in Kyrgyzstan to advocate on behalf of workers and to promote respect for worker rights. The organization will work with unions and civil society 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 strengthen advocacy for improvements to labor rights protection mechanisms in the region based on empirical research.

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.

Russian-Language Media Hub

NGO Strengthening

$100,000

To foster networks and build community among independent Russian-language media outlets and journalists from across the Eurasia region, and to improve the leadership and resiliency skills and capacities of Eurasian media and NGO managers. Networking meetings and a leadership program will be carried out, and a community hub will be supported.

Russian-Language YouTube Incubator

Freedom of Information

$195,119

To increase the availability of high-quality independent news and commentary in video format for Russian-language audiences, to foster the development of new independent video media, and to strengthen networks and promote new collaborations among popular Russian-language content creators across the Eurasia region. A mentorship, training and networking program will be carried out and a series of videos by pro-democracy Eurasian personalities will be produced.

Scholars’ Network

Center for Social Sciences

$51,963

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 Democratic Actors and Exposing Disinformation

The Atlantic Council

$146,173

To increase the capacity of democratic actors in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, and to expose disinformation campaigns in Georgia. The organization will conduct two democracy-training seminars in Georgia for democratic actors from across Eurasia. In addition, the organization will monitor, expose, and counter disinformation on social media in Georgia, focusing specifically on disinformation campaigns related to the October 2020 Georgian parliamentary elections.

Strengthening Rule of Law and Respect for Worker Rights in Central Asia

Freedom of Association

$250,000

To promote workers’ rights, the organization will work with union and civil society organization partners to develop online tools that help workers navigate a deteriorating labor rights environment. The organization will provide analyses and recommendations for improving that environment; assess the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and begin preliminary research on migrant issues in Central Asia.

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

NGO Strengthening

$269,800

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 Data Journalism

Freedom of Information

$74,923

To develop a network of trained data professionals in Eurasia who can effectively incorporate sophisticated data analysis and visualization techniques into independent reporting and evidence-based advocacy. The grantee will hold a series of trainings, seminars, and practicums, including an in-residence fellowship, for journalists and civil society activists working in the region.

Supporting Independent Media

Freedom of Information

$70,000

To promote the availability of accurate, independent, and timely information about the human rights situation in Central Asia. The organization will operate a news website and social media accounts where it will cover human-rights related issues from around Central Asia. Endowment funds will support correspondents in Central Asia. The website will collaborate closely with regional and international human rights organizations by reporting on their work and providing them with information.

Training Young Journalists

OC Media

Supplement$10,470

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.

Voices of Central Asia

PaperLab

$48,632

To support the production of accessible media content that promotes open discussion of public policy issues. The organization will develop a series of podcasts that will explore public policy issues from different academic and analytical perspectives utilizing an innovative storytelling format. Policy topics covered by the podcasts will include women’s economic participation, the Post-Soviet generation in Central Asia, traditions and modernity, and issues facing minorities.  During the project period, the organization will produce at least 18 podcast episodes and disseminate them through online platforms.