Eurasia Regional 2021

Universal Rights

Promoting Freedom of Expression


To promote freedom of expression, expand access to information about democratic values and human rights, and provoke discussions. Project staff will organize cultural events, with different sessions in different countries, and support aspiring filmmakers. They will host public discussions and offer classes, mentorship, and financial support to young artists who would not receive support from elsewhere.


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Creating Enabling Environments For Constructive Capital In Eurasia – Phase III


To enhance engagement of local stakeholders in the Eurasia region to promote good governance norms through anti-corruption compliance and corporate governance, to support local initiatives to address challenges posed by corrosive capital, to promote a better enabling environment for constructive capital, and to facilitate cross-regional learning and thought leadership. The Center will engage and connect partners in the region, in Europe, and around the world, though training programs, advocacy, and research to create the conditions for rule of law-driven constructive capital flows into the emerging markets of Eurasia. The Center will build upon the previous two project phases to continue fostering networks of business and civil society organizations committed to ethics, integrity, and good governance, working with domestic and international businesses to articulate and highlight the potential benefits of constructive capital and inclusive growth for the region.


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Strengthening And Uniting Nascent Business Organizations (SUNBO) – Phase III


To improve the organizational capacity of nascent business associations across Central Asia to represent their members and advocate reforms. The Center will prepare independent business organizations by making organizational improvements, implementing capacity-building action plans, and organizing mentorship and peer-learning sessions. Concurrently, the Center will provide tailored support on public-private dialogue and advocacy to individual associations demonstrating potential to become leading advocates for democratic reforms. Further, the Center will facilitate intra-regional and cross-regional knowledge-sharing opportunities among partners to leverage differing experiences and skillsets and support an emerging network of business associations in the region. This project will be the third phase of a multi-phase project focused on strengthening the capacity of independent business organizations for advocacy in Central Asia.


Universal Rights

Supporting Activists at Risk


To provide support to human rights activists at risk. In response to ongoing authoritarian crackdown against civil society actors in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, the organization will host activists who come under pressure in their home countries, offering a respite and rehabilitation program. The organization will provide shelter, medical and psychological aid, housing, transport, legal advice and insurance.


Clovek v tisni, o.p.s. (People in Need)

Supporting Emerging Civil Society in the South Caucasus


To enhance the capacity of emerging CSOs in the South Caucasus to engage with their communities and advocate on their behalf. The organization will conduct workshops and provide mentoring for emerging CSOs to help them develop skills and capacities identified as priorities for organizational development. To promote collaboration, the organization will host a series of participant-led barcamps on topics of mutual interest, and host one online event for participants from all three countries. The organization will provide CSOs with support for their own projects.


Coda Media, Inc.

Reporting on Disinformation


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, including investigations, multimedia pieces and a new podcast, 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.


Universal Rights

Investigating Kleptocracy in Eurasian Oil and Gas Sectors


To investigate transnational corruption in the oil and gas sectors of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The organization will work with local civil society, independent media, and international researchers to identify kleptocrats in these countries’ oil and gas sectors, how these countries’ kleptocracies overlap with Russian kleptocracy, and the domestic and international policies and legislation that enable them. The organization will target western policies that enable kleptocracy in all three of these oil and gas producing Eurasian states.


Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy

Strategic Planning for New Parties


To improve the capacity of new and small political parties in Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic to establish a political identity and compete in elections. The partner will build on work in a previous project to help four Georgian political parties or movements to make progress on areas identified for strategic development. It will also work with three new Georgian and four Kyrgyzstani political parties and movements to develop strategic plans and begin their implementation.


Universal Rights

Defending Labor Rights in Central Asia


To strengthen labor activism and organizing in Eurasia. The organization will support labor activists in Eurasia through training, monitoring, network-building, strategic planning, and advocacy in international bodies. The project will address internal and cross-border labor rights problems in Central Asia, such as state repression of independent unions, forced labor, and labor migration. Activities will emphasize lessons from experience in other countries and collaboration for greater influence and impact.


Universal Rights

Promoting Freedom of Religion


To promote freedoms of thought, conscience, and belief in Russia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The organization will monitor violations of freedom of conscience and religion, and publish findings on their website. The organization will also serve as a source of information for governments, international institutions, and human rights organizations who publish on freedom of religion.


Universal Rights

Defending Human Rights and Democracy Activists at Risk


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.


Democratic Governance

Promoting Human Rights


To raise awareness of forced labor practices in the agricultural sectors in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The organization will work with domestic and international civil society to address systemic labor rights abuses by both countries’ governments. The organization will coordinate a public campaign to end forced labor, maintain high-level discussions with the Uzbek government regarding ongoing reforms, coordinate a new civil society effort in Turkmenistan, and educate European and international policymakers about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.


Universal Rights

Promoting Internet Access


To promote free and open access to an interconnected global web, and to increase public awareness and engagement around significant internet access issues. The organization will conduct sophisticated monitoring of internet restrictions, as well as provide reporting and analysis to raise public awareness and engagement with relevant internet freedom issues.


Universal Rights

Developing Digital Media in Eurasia


To provide a compelling alternative to and thus reduce the influence of Russian state media propaganda narratives. High-quality independent reporting on current events and key issues will be produced and regularly published in popular and innovative digital formats by an independent Russian-language media outlet with a broad regional audience. A program of mentorship and networking will also be carried out to strengthen the independent Russian-language media community.


Democratic Governance

Legal Defense and Independent Journalism


To enable civil society to continue its work despite government pressure. Legal defense will be provided and strategic litigation will be pursued to oppose laws and practices that deny citizens fundamental freedoms. Awareness of relevant issues will be raised and lawyers will be trained to conduct similar work. To increase the amount of high-quality investigative journalism available to the public while providing an independent source of news in compelling digital formats. Investigative journalism and reporting will be regularly published online.


OC Media

Independent News for the Caucasus


To expand access to regional news and analysis in local languages in the Caucasus. The organization will produce weekly news stories and opinion pieces in English and Russian and disseminate them through the organization’s website and social media platforms. It will work with five regional media partners to provide relevant content in Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian, and will conduct tailored journalism trainings for four additional regional media outlets.


Democratic Governance

Curbing Corruption


To promote accountability and increase transparency among Eurasian public officials and to counter the destructive influence of transnational kleptocracy on European democratic institutions and rule of law. The organization will update and improve its English-language database with publicly available information about government officials, their assets and ownership rights abroad. The database will be made available to European stakeholders in order to encourage adherence to anti-corruption and anti-money laundering legislation.


Public Foundation “Socio-Ecological Fund”

Promoting Youth Activism


The organization will maintain its website which highlights youth and civic activism on environmental issues across Central Asia. The organization will award travel stipends to young activists across Central Asia so that they can meet with other young activists and develop their skills. It will also support the activities of a Kazakhstan-focused YouTube channel dedicated to video investigations into state corruption, poor governance, and environmental degradation.


Public Fund “PostSovetistan”

Promoting Political and Economic Analysis in Central Asia


To engage a broad regional audience in policy relevant discussions. The organization will publish an analytical podcast series discussing key regional political, social, and economic challenges in Central Asia. The podcast will feature analysists, activists, economists, and journalists as guests. The podcast will be broken into distinct seasons of three episodes, each season discussing an overarching policy topic or issue. This new organization began its life as part of as Astana-based think tank that focuses on regional challenges and has the expertise to select its guests and produce quality analytical content.


Universal Rights

Promoting Data Journalism


To increase the capacity of Eurasian journalists to conduct, publish, and promote investigations sourced from open data. The organization will select ten teams of data journalists, designers, and programmers to develop cross-border investigations using open data and present them at the LAMPA Conference, the only Russian-language data journalism conference. Six of the teams will receive funding and mentorship to further develop their investigations and publish them in local and international media in Russian and regional languages.


Solidarity Center (SC)

Fostering Workers’ Rights and Democratic Provision of Public Resources – Phase II


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 Center 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. Through these activities, the Center will support organizations in building their capacity to protect fundamental labor rights, build trust in public institutions, promote gender equality and conduct social policy advocacy This project is a follow-on Phase II to the Center’s current project in the region.


Solidarity Center (SC)

Raising Awareness Of And Respect For Worker Rights – Phase III


To improve migrant workers’ access to legal services, to support civil society efforts to advocate on behalf of workers in Central Asia, and to advocate for governments in the region to adhere to international labor rights standards. The Center in phase III of this project will conduct pre-departure rights trainings with migrant workers, provide access to a labor lawyer in a destination country, and conduct research on migration policy to inform advocacy campaigns. The Center will conduct consultative meetings with relevant government, union, employer, and NGO representatives to advocate for policy changes regarding labor migration, labor inspection, gender-based violence, and international labor standards.


Universal Rights

Supporting Civil Society in Central Asia


To strengthen and support nongovernmental organizations in Central Asia and to conduct human rights monitoring and advocacy. The organization will conduct a small grants program for emerging grassroots civic initiatives, providing mentoring and advice. In addition, the organization will use its wide network of contacts to monitor the human rights situation in the region in order to conduct international advocacy.


The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs

Strengthening Partnerships between Activists and Academics


To promote the cross-sharing of skills between academics and activists in Central Asia. This project will create mixed teams of academics and activists working in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and train and mentor them to produce either a policy brief or advocacy campaign on a country-specific theme. Activists will get the chance to learn about research, data, and policy writing, while academics will benefit from the opportunity to apply their work outside of academia.


Truth Hounds Georgia

Promoting Human Rights Through Art


To promote public discussion of human rights challenges through collaborations between activists and artists in Eurasia and Europe. The organization will train, mentor, and support cross-border pairs of activists and artists to create public art projects addressing topics related to human rights, civic activism, or citizen participation. The project aims for activists to use artistic creativity to reach larger audiences and for artists to understand how civic engagement defends their rights.