KAZAKHSTAN 2020

Defending Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

Kazakhstan International Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law

$50,000

To promote freedom of peaceful assembly in Kazakhstan. The organization will conduct strategic litigation to support activists facing repression, analyze existing and proposed legislation for compliance with international norms, draft of policy recommendations, and develop a methodology for monitoring violations of the freedom of peaceful assembly. It also will conduct a training program about freedom of peaceful assembly, in Kazakh and Russian, for both civic activists and regional governmental representatives.  

Defending Human Rights

CA Analysis & Research Center Limited

$29,200

To inform Kazakh citizens about their rights and the human rights situation in the country. An informational website with a focus on educating citizens about their rights, raising awareness of human rights violations, and connecting citizens with legal aid will be supported. The site will be published in Russian and Kazakh and will include articles and multimedia content published daily. 

Fostering an Active and Engaged Youth

Democratic Ideas and Values

$65,000

To promote civic engagement among youth in Kazakhstan. The organization will support a multimedia website which will cover current events and political processes in Kazakhstan. To encourage youth civic engagement, the site will discuss current events and the Kazakh political system in a format easily discussed and shared over social media. The site, featuring articles, infographics, illustrations, video, and podcasts, will be published daily in Russian and Kazakh. 

Human Rights Advocacy

Public Foundation “Ar Rukh Khak”

$37,250

To defend human rights in Kazakhstan. The organization will compile, verify, and publicize a comprehensive list of individuals who have been persecuted or imprisoned on political or religious grounds in Kazakhstan. The organization will also monitor the conditions of such prisoners’ detention and assist them with the preparation of complaints and appeals, as needed. In addition, the organization will conduct comparative legislative research and put forward recommendations for legal improvements. The organization will conduct domestic and international advocacy throughout the project period.

Independent News and Commentary

Freedom of Information

$56,000

To provide an independent source of national news and analysis on social media to Russian and Kazakh language audiences. The organization will provide national news coverage and independent analysis and commentary for Russian and Kazakh-language audiences by producing video news programs and other multimedia. The content will provide analysis of current events and significant political and social issues in Kazakhstan through commentary by pro-democracy personalities. It will publish its video programs, infographics, and articles directly to YouTube, Instagram, Telegram, and other social media networks.

Independent Video News Discussion and Commentary

Independent Information Agency Politon

$60,000

To provide an independent source of national news and commentary in video format in Kazakhstan. The organization will produce video discussions and debates about current events. The videos will provide analysis of current events and significant political and social issues in Kazakhstan through commentary by influential pro-democratic analysts and personalities. The organization will broadcast its video programs live on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media networks. Its videos will be shared by a variety of partner organizations with a broad reach in Kazakhstan. 

Promoting and Defending Civil Society

International Legal Initiative Public Foundation

$69,920

To promote fundamental freedoms in Kazakhstan and provide legal assistance to civil society representatives. The organization will monitor potential threats and restrictions to independent civil society activity in the country, produce analytical reports, and provide strategic legal aid. They will also draft reports and actively disseminate information on emerging threats and violations against civil society to international organizations. Finally, the organization will produce videos on national and international human rights, and convene a series of meetings with civil society activists in the regions of Kazakhstan.  

Promoting Civic Engagement

Democratic Ideas and Values

$60,000

To promote public awareness of civic activism and volunteerism in Kazakhstan. The organization will highlight the work of rising activists in a variety of sectors on its website. The site will feature emerging activists addressing key social, civil, and political challenges in Kazakhstan and Eurasia. The grantee will develop a new section of the website that will cover transnational Central Asian water issues, their environmental and social impact, the poor governance that causes them, and the activists who work to address them.

Promoting Free and Fair Elections

Political Processes

$33,700

To promote free and fair elections in Kazakhstan. The organization will expand the capacity and professionalism of activists to conduct advocacy campaigns, particularly regarding electoral issues. The organization will train a core group of election monitoring trainers, help them to establish a new vote monitoring organization and prepare an election monitoring effort in advance of the 2020 parliamentary elections.    

Promoting Free and Fair Elections

Public fund «Wings of Liberty»

$49,600

To promote accurate, accountable, and transparent elections in Kazakhstan. The organization will train monitors to observe Kazakhstan’s 2020 parliamentary elections, provide legal support to monitors on election day, coordinate election monitoring, and share the results of the monitoring with the public, on social media, and with other activists conducting election related activities. In addition, the organization will establish a meeting space for activists and election observers to convene and coordinate their efforts. 

Promoting Free and Fair Elections

Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan

$39,200

To promote accurate, accountable, and transparent elections in Kazakhstan. The organization will train citizens to monitor elections, develop a national network of election monitors, and observe the upcoming parliamentary elections. The organization will use its extensive national network to train monitors, network the many geographically dispersed groups already engaged in election monitoring, encourage the use of a common methodology among these groups, and monitor elections. 

Promoting Freedom of Association

Rule of Law

$114,066

To strengthen the independence of defense lawyers in Kazakhstan. The organization will support the incubation and development of an active network of defense lawyers who are able to effectively strategize and implement responses that resist infringements on their professional activity. The organization will convene a series of meetings to promote defense lawyers’ networking and joint discussion of shared challenges. They will also conduct study visits to Kazakhstan with international defense lawyers. On the basis of these trips, reports and international advocacy efforts will be advanced.    

Promoting Historical Memory

Kazakh Journalists Club

$33,000

To promote public understanding and debate regarding Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era and recent history. The organization will produce three documentary films exploring periods of political repression during Kazakhstan’s history in the twentieth century. They will screen these films in local theaters and ensure that they are widely disseminated online. Following the film’s production, the organization will organize online and offline events and discussions to engage the public on issues of past repression and historical memory.

Promoting Independent Media

Uralskaya Nedelya

$91,283

To promote access to objective, accurate, and timely information about current affairs and politics and to strengthen independent media in Kazakhstan. The organization will provide breaking news coverage, in-depth analysis of politically sensitive current events, and original investigative reporting. The publication also will produce multimedia content, in Kazakh and in Russian, for its website

Promoting Internet Freedom

Public Foundation “North Kazakhstan Legal Media Center”

$58,900

To monitor internet freedom and advocate for free and secure internet. The organization will train activists, journalists, and bloggers in digital security and online campaigning technique. It will monitor the Internet for sites blocked in Kazakhstan and provide legal assistance to websites that are blocked. Finally, it will provide information to Kazakh citizens about internet freedom, digital rights, and digital security. 

Promoting Public Political Discourse

Democratic Ideas and Values

$41,000

To increase the capacity of Kazakh activists to formulate public policy and to encourage public discussion. The organization will produce policy papers on key issues currently being discussed by civil society and share its policy ideas with the general public. It will bring internationally recognized experts on democratization, the rule of law, or human rights to Kazakhstan to discuss key issues with local activists.  

School of Human Rights

Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan

$64,750

To promote the professional development of young human rights activists in Kazakhstan. The organization will conduct introductory seminars for young human rights activists in six regions of Kazakhstan on the basics of human rights, civic activism, and national and international human rights legislation. The organization will then conduct an advanced training seminar and a school of civic activism. Select participants will implement human rights initiatives and campaigns in their respective regions. 

Strengthening Independent Media

Vlast

$48,267

To strengthen the availability of high quality and innovative media content focusing on developments in the regions of Kazakhstan. The organization will work with independent journalists and media outlets in the regions to produce a series of joint publications and media products that utilize modern storytelling techniques. These media products will be published on the websites of regional media outlets, as well as on the organization’s own site and related social media accounts.

Supporting Independent Media

CA Analysis & Research Center Limited

$45,000

To promote access to objective, accurate, and timely information about current affairs and politics in Kazakhstan. The organization will publish news and original analysis on the political, social, and economic situation in Kazakhstan. The organization’s website, which will be in Russian, will include breaking news updates, investigative reporting, multimedia, and long-form articles. The target audience will be citizens of Kazakhstan and interested people abroad.

Supporting Video Investigations

Public Foundation “Socio-Ecological Fund”

$36,855

To raise public awareness of the linkages between corruption and environmental degradation in Kazakhstan. The organization will contract the production of a series of video investigations into how corruption contributes to environmental degradation. Topics for investigation include air quality, development inside of nationally protected areas, and atomic energy. These investigations will expose corruption’s negative impact on governance and the environment in Kazakhstan. The video investigations will be widely disseminated through social media.