Venezuela 2021

Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Engaging Youth in Political Innovation


To empower emerging young leaders to develop innovative solutions for pressing socio-political and humanitarian challenges. Through trainings, networking, mentoring, and small funding, the organization will empower youth to develop projects that address the humanitarian situation, engage citizens in public affairs, and reach out to new sectors and groups. It will also organize virtual forums to engage youth and grassroots leaders and identify potential training participants.


Democratic Governance

Strengthening Networks of Solidarity


To strengthen a nationwide civil society network to document the humanitarian crisis; and to defend the rights of vulnerable populations in domestic and international bodies. The group will help citizens, organizations, and healthcare providers gain access to and channeling of humanitarian aid, and also document the humanitarian crisis, emphasizing its disproportionate effect on vulnerable populations.


Democratic Norms, Ideas and Values

Strengthening Analysis and Awareness about Institutional Fragility and Its Effects


To strengthen the analysis about the causes of institutional fragility, its impact on society, and implications for reconstructing democratic governance. The group will develop indicators that measure state fragility and produce a report with its findings. It will raise awareness about its findings and develop a network of activists and community leaders who will advocate for implementing solutions to the country’s crisis.


Universal Rights

Strengthening and Empowering a Network of Women Leaders


To strengthen the leadership capacity of women in eight states and to contribute to mapping the risks, challenges, and priorities that women face in low-income communities. The group will train women on democratic ideas and values and support them to grow the women’s leadership network. The organization will invite selected leaders to partake in a fellowship program aimed at bringing together female leaders in communities to hold discussions and to monitor and report on the human rights situation.


Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Supporting Democratic Youth Leaders


To enhance the leadership, organizational, and networking capacity of youth to engage in the recovery of democracy; and to foster international solidarity by raising the profiles and voices of youth leaders. In collaboration with other civil society organizations in the region, the group will provide leadership and project management trainings to young leaders and will guide them in implementing democracy assistance programs in their communities.


Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Elevating Youth Voices


To foster a national platform of dialogue, interaction and advocacy among youth to promote engagement, cohesion and solidarity. The organization will consolidate a national forum to map youth groups, plan and coordinate training and advocacy activities, and complete research on comparative democratic transitions. The group will work to elevate the voices and profiles of youth and emerging leaders.


Democratic Governance

Indigenous and Community Leadership Capacity Building and Empowerment


To enhance indigenous leadership and participation in local governance; and to foster political activism, open pluralistic political spaces for political dialogue, and community engagement. The organization will build on previous year’s efforts to develop and deliver a training program in three states, to promote community and indigenous leadership, foster and create new areas for participation and social activism, and support the adoption of community driven initiatives and public policies.


Universal Rights

Circumventing Censorship and Providing Access to Information


To combat disinformation and government censorship by disseminating independent information to citizens and activists. The organization will use non-digital tools such as radio, messaging, and posters in public spaces to disseminate information to citizens in outlying areas of the country. The group will also complete research, publish studies, and conduct advocacy to counter disinformation and overcome censorship.


Universal Rights

Strengthening Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy about Migrants in Colombia


To strengthen human rights documentation about the challenges migrants – especially women and youth – face in the host country and to raise awareness with domestic and international actors. The group will document human rights violations and provide legal support to victims, including referring the cases to organizations that may litigate them in domestic courts. It will produce reports on the main obstacles women and youth face integrating into the host society and raise awareness with local governments, media outlets, and think tanks.


Universal Rights

Defending Workers and Raising Awareness of Labor Rights Violations


To improve domestic and international awareness of violations against workers’ rights, particularly in the public health and education sectors. The organization will support a watchdog network of civil society organizations and unionists to survey labor rights violations in fourteen states and the capital city. It will compile information, analyze trends, publish reports, and conduct advocacy regarding violations of international labor standards. The group will promote its findings by hosting events and producing infographics, case briefs, and audio-visual products.


Democratic Norms, Ideas and Values

Promoting Human Rights Through Creative Audiovisual Tools


To raise awareness and foster greater audiovisual documentation of human rights violations in underserved communities. This program will strengthen the capacity of community members to use audiovisual tools to call attention to human and civil rights issues at the local level. Through cultural tools and human rights workshops, the group will disseminate messages in support of human rights.


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Developing an Enabling Environment for Democracy (DEED)


To enhance popular support for democracy and develop democratic leadership among the private sector and civil society. The Center and its local partners will organize consensus-building activities to provide Venezuelan citizens with spaces for democratic dialogue at the local and regional levels. The Center will also monitor and investigate data to provide impartial information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In-country project activities will include developing local public policy proposals, training citizens on democratic processes and values, and investigating the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.


Democratic Governance

Assessing Perceptions of Democracy


To assess the impact of methodologies of government social control in vulnerable communities. The organization will expand the reach of a prior study analyzing how the Venezuelan state co-opts and replaces grassroots community organizations in vulnerable neighborhoods. The group will conduct ten focus groups with citizens from diverse backgrounds and interview state representatives at the community level. The organization will publish and disseminate the results of the investigation with relevant actors in political, academic, civil society, religious and private sector.


Universal Rights

Documenting Closing Civic Space


To strengthen the operational, technical and advocacy capacities of human rights organizations and defenders to denounce freedom of assembly violations in international forums, and foster solidarity and collective action among Venezuelan activists. The organization will convene human rights defenders from across the country to share best practices and improve coordination. It will assist groups to draft reports and participate in the UN Universal Periodic Review. It will also provide microgrants to strengthen the organizational and advocacy capacity of nascent groups.


Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Fostering Democratic Activism


To promote democratic leadership in four states through capacity building activities; and to foster activism and social change by supporting citizen participation strategies and initiatives. The organization will build capacity of youth in four states on topics such as democracy, security, activism, and human rights. Participants in the program will generate 18 pro-democracy advocacy and activism initiatives, which will be amplified through communication campaigns.


Universal Rights

Overcoming Government Censorship and Strengthening Independent Media


To strengthen independent media and overcome government censorship; and to improve outreach to new audiences and ensure the availability of independent, verifiable information. In collaboration with domestic and international partners, the organization will publish a series of articles on various topics of local interest. Project funds will support the costs of online servers to help protect the integrity and availability of the information online.


Universal Rights

Documenting Human Rights Violations


To document crimes against humanity in Venezuela and contribute to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation; and to document human rights violations in Venezuela and contribute to the investigations. The organization will document human rights violations in Venezuela collecting evidence and testimonies. Additionally, the organization will raise awareness about Venezuela’s open cases focusing on CSOs and media.


Universal Rights

Strengthening a Network of Human Rights Defenders


To strengthen the network of activists, educators, and human rights defenders. The group will carry out human rights and holistic security trainings to empower activists to report violations and ensure their safety. The organization will raise awareness about the work it carries out, especially with international actors and human rights bodies.


Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Promoting Civic and Political Participation


To promote civic participation and oversight of local processes through its citizen platform and to foster collaboration between civil society organizations. The group will strengthen its network of community leaders through workshops to oversee political processes and to advocate for solutions to public problems in local communities. The network will develop leaders and mobilize citizens to advocate for the resolution of these problems.


Universal Rights

Strengthening Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy


To strengthen the capacity and resiliency of human rights defenders to document and report violations and to raise international awareness about the worsening situation in the country. Local activists, grassroots leaders, and family members of political prisoners will receive trainings on human rights documentation, due process, resiliency and mental and physical security, and international instruments to protect against threats. The group will raise the visibility of emblematic cases before domestic and international audiences.


Citizen Participation and Inclusion

Promoting Citizen Engagement


To articulate a national coalition of civil society groups and citizens in support of citizen engagement and participation. The organization will set up a broad coalition of experts, civil society organizations and citizens in ten states to advocate and defend a democratic and open participation system in Venezuela.


International Republican Institute (IRI)

Promoting Democratic Citizen Values through Community Initiatives


To support community resilience and increase citizens’ capacity to respond to local problems in Venezuela, IRI will teach community members skills to implement social entrepreneurship project initiatives that lay democratic foundations by promoting values that strengthen economic freedom, social cohesion and independent decision-making. These activities will help community members become problem solvers and increase their independence from the regime, ultimately contributing to the preservation and recovery of democratic spaces in the country, which are fundamental in any democratic transition.


Universal Rights

Expanding Independent News Coverage


To expand independent news coverage for Venezuelans in a closing media landscape. The organization will leverage its current news production capacity on digital media platforms to add reporters and videographers to produce daily reports from states across Venezuela, and longer features highlighting the humanitarian crisis. It will also expand its audience by creating a digital marketing department and upgrading its mobile app.


Universal Rights

Holding the Venezuelan Regime Accountable for Human Rights Abuses


To empower victims of human rights violations and raise their voices before international human rights organizations and advocate for more decisive legal and political actions against the state for its gross human rights violations. The organization will bring victims together through a committee to identify the most egregious cases, build solidarity and raise awareness. It will carry out international advocacy trips with victims to present their cases before international human rights bodies and courts.


Universal Rights

Understanding the Political and Institutional Crisis


To foster analysis, reflection, and discussion about the country political and institutional trajectory. The media outlet will produce a series of in-depth publications about the relationship between the progressive loss of rule of law, absence of institutions, and weakening of democratic values on the current humanitarian, economic and migration crises. It will produce a multimedia series that expose the government’s attacks against freedom of expression, the persecution of civil society, and the impact of the humanitarian crisis in neighboring countries.


Democratic Governance

Reporting on the Humanitarian and Migration Crisis


To document and report on human and social rights violations by engaging and training healthcare workers, social scientists and journalists in the use of narrative journalism. The organization will document, write articles, and produce videos and podcasts about the political and humanitarian crisis. It will continue to train and guide its network members and strengthen their ability to collect high-impact stories through personal profiles and multimedia products that shed light on the ongoing crisis.


Universal Rights

Monitoring Human Rights Conditions


To monitor and report on the conditions of vulnerable populations; and to raise domestic and international awareness on human rights violations in the judiciary and penitentiary system. The organization carries out monitoring visits of the judiciary and penitentiary system across the country, documents critical abuses to highlight human rights violations and formulates appropriate recommendations for domestic and international constituencies through institutional reports. The organization also provides firsthand information to international human rights mechanisms and constituencies.


Democratic Norms, Ideas and Values

Promoting Dialogue and Reconciliation


To increase understanding of democratic values and institutions among key constituencies; and to reduce polarization and facilitate dialogues across the ideological spectrum. The group will develop tailored training materials that promote notions of checks and balances, government accountability, and individual rights and responsibilities. In the second phase of the project, the group will pilot a series of dialogues among citizens with diverse views to identify potential avenues of engagement and shared concerns.


Universal Rights

Defending Human Rights in Military Courts


To promote the respect of human rights through case monitoring, documentation, and advocacy; and raise domestic and international attention on the use of the judicial system to persecute and intimidate citizens. The group will collect information on arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and violations to due process, and complete reports on political prisoners. It will provide pro bono legal representation and bring cases to international human rights bodies. It will launch a communications campaign to raise the visibility of political prisoners.


Universal Rights

Defending Freedom of Expression Online


To expose state sponsored disinformation campaigns intended to disrupt, distort, or control public discussions online throughout Venezuela. The group will refine a technology tool that tracks and documents disinformation campaigns on digital platforms, expanding the reach of a monthly newsletter analyzing the content and behavior of automated bot-networks pushing online propaganda. The organization will conduct workshops, host a public event, publish a series of articles in digital media outlets, and produce infographics and short videos for online audiences. The organization will also travel to two international internet freedom conferences to disseminate the findings of its study.


Democratic Governance

Food Security and the Transition to Democracy


To improve the quantity and quality of information on socio-economic indicators; and to foster a network of activists, intellectuals and citizens to facilitate discussions on a democratic transition. The group will carry out regular surveys and expert interviews across the country to map socio-economic indicators, such as public service infrastructure, access to health, schooling and food, and migration patterns. It will organize discussions on the socio-economic situation and its potential impact on a political transition.


Universal Rights

Circumventing Censorship and Informing Citizens


To circumvent government censorship of independent media, allowing citizens to access daily news reports. It will disseminate short daily audio and video reports, a weekly broadcast, and a program summarizing investigations on disinformation. All content produced will be disseminated and posted online.


Universal Rights

Fostering Participation, Activism and Human Rights


To bolster the capacity of youth to monitor and defend human rights through documentation, art, and digital activism; and to empower the diaspora to expose and denounce human rights violations at the international level. The organization will organize symbolic mobilizations to document and raise awareness about human rights violations. Similarly, it will develop documents human rights violations, lead advocacy campaigns and leverage other communication tools to engage citizens in the defense of democracy and human rights promotion in Venezuela.


Democratic Norms, Ideas and Values

Research and Analysis on the State of Democracy


To promote independent political research and analysis on the state of democracy and provide strategic recommendations to defend democratic space in Venezuela. The group will carry out research and opinion polls to monitor the political situation, and will facilitate expert roundtables to analyze results and identify policy recommendations. It will share its analysis with domestic and international actors.