Middle East and Northern Africa

Afghanistan 2018

Advancing Investigative Journalism

PAYK Investigative Journalism Center


To engender a culture of accountability through investigative journalism. The grantee will train 30 aspiring journalists and journalism students on the basics of investigative reporting. It will also conduct five investigative reports covering human rights, corruption, constitutional reform, accountability, and free and fair elections. The reports will be published on its website and disseminated further through a partnership with Hasht-e-Subh Daily newspaper. The project will also provide internships for eight students from Kabul University’s journalism school.

Advocacy and Civic Engagement in Ghor Province

Afghanistan Organization Women Arise


To raise awareness of and consolidate support for an increased role for women in community conflict resolution. The program will organize three training sessions explaining and advocating for the implementation of the 1325 National Action Plan; conduct a provincial conference; and publish two issues of its magazine, Solh (Peace), in Ghor province.

Badghis Journalists Association

Badghis Social Journalism Association


To strengthen independent media in Badghis province and to build the capacity of a nascent journalist association. The organization will continue to produce and broadcast a wide range of civic programs including investigative reports on political, economic, and social affairs through its FM radio; train male and female reporters and university students in journalism; and produce a weekly bulletin on local affairs.

Civic Engagement through Women’s Arts

Afghan Youth in New Era Organization


To develop women’s capacity for civic activism through arts and culture and raise awareness of and support women’s rights as citizens of Afghanistan. The group will produce and perform 25 plays on five women’s rights subjects in public and academic venues in Kabul province, paying particular attention to engaging the audiences on the issues highlighted in discussions following each of the performances.

Combating Corruption in Herat

Supporting Organization for Afghanistan Civil Society


To enhance local governance through better accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of Herat local governmental institutions. The organization will campaign through street banners, posters, and radio and TV ads and maintain a phone line for citizens to safely report cases of corruption. Its three advocacy committees will investigate corruption allegations to enhance good governance and produce monthly and quarterly monitoring reports on corruption, quarterly press briefings, and monthly radio talk shows.

Community Dialogue and Youth Leadership

Afghanistan Youth National and Social Organization


To educate Afghan youth in rural Farah and Badghis communities about their political rights and obligations and strengthen dialogue between community leaders and local government. The organization will hold 12 symposiums on good governance and political processes for 360 students and teachers in Farah province, facilitate two town hall meetings, and undertake 10 radio roundtable shows hosting community leaders and state officials.

Continued Support For The Engagement Of Civil Society In The Electoral Reform Process

 National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To strengthen the electoral reform process in Afghanistan. The institute will support the efforts of domestic monitoring groups to engage in electoral reform advocacy and monitor on the implementation of reforms in advance of the October, 2018, parliamentary elections. The institute, working with local partners, will issue monitoring reports on the preparations and conduct of the elections, and work with policy-makers to adopt recommendations.

Empowering Community Leaders

Women and Youths for Peace and Development Organization

Supplement: $15,000

To empower local religious leaders with dispute mediation skills and to enhance cooperation between community leaders and local decision-makers. Project activities include training religious scholars on responsible leadership, rule of law, and conflict resolution. Graduates will then lead awareness-raising seminars for local leaders in four provinces in the northeastern Afghanistan. The grantee will produce TV and radio programs to educate a wider audience on public responsibilities, civic values, and the rule of law.

Empowering Women in Journalism

Afghan Institute for Research and Media Studies


To ensure women journalists’ participation in local media and to strengthen independent media in Herat province. The organization will maintain a media resource center for women; conduct seminars for women journalists on online journalism, photojournalism, investigative reporting, and media advocacy; launch a women exclusive news agency; and organize a conference to assess local media gains and challenges in western Afghanistan.

Empowering Youth in Eastern Afghanistan

Organization for Social, Cultural Awareness and Rehabilitation

Supplement: $30,000

To engender a culture of civic responsibility and engagement among community leaders in eastern Afghanistan. The organization will hold civic education seminars for male and female community leaders in the capitals of three eastern Afghan provinces – Khost, Kunar, and Paktia. The grantee will organize public-private dialogues and help participants present their concerns to the relevant government officials.

Engaging Youth in Public Debate

Afghans for Progressive Thinking


To promote debate forums among Afghan youth and strengthen university students’ debating skills. The grantee will organize Dari-language introductory debate trainings at 15 new public and private universities, hold English language debate trainings for existing clubs, organize four debate tournaments, conduct six training sessions for debate judges, organize one national debate tournament, and establish a community forum for the debate judges.

Engendering Entrepreneurship in Afghan Youth

Tashabos Educational Organization


To instill youth awareness of the values of entrepreneurship, market economics, and democracy. The grantee will facilitate the implementation of an entrepreneurship high school curriculum in 43 high schools in several provinces. The organization will train 43 new teachers in the delivery of course curriculum; organize 40 business proposal-writing competitions with accompanying product exhibitions; and hold two business start-up courses for top students.

Expanding the Space for Independent Media

Khadija Kubra Women Association for Culture


To provide objective news and information to the citizens of Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces. The organization will maintain a media center for women and an internet café, strengthen its radio news channel, conduct a wide range of civic education programs, and host and mentor journalism students as interns.

Fortifying Public Policy Debate

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies


To promote public policy forums and to inform decision makers on policy perspectives and options. The organization will conduct research examining Afghanistan’s parliamentary electoral system. The grantee will study single non-transferable voting, proportional representation, and mixed voting systems, seeking to find out which system better serves Afghanistan’s democratization. It will host two one-day conferences on its report, and hold 10 briefing sessions with senior policy makers on its findings.

Hasht-e Subh Daily – Western Afghanistan

Hasht-e Subh Daily


To strengthen independent journalism and the role of media in government accountability and oversight. The organization will produce, print, and distribute 2,500 copies per day of a local edition of its national daily newspaper in Herat and Farah provinces, and enhance its coverage of local stories and timely political, social, human rights, and legal issues not covered by other papers. In particular, the local edition will raise awareness of human rights and their relationship with Afghan law, and feature investigative reports on public performance that advance the concept of government accountability.

Improving Economic Stability And Governance From The Bottom Up

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To strengthen the role of the private sector in continued democratization efforts. The center will enhance the voice of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises to influence provincial and national economic strategy and policymaking, improve women’s chambers of commerce’s ability to function as representative associations for Afghan businesswomen and women entrepreneurs, and increase the business community’s engagement in the 2018 parliamentary elections. The center will organize public-private dialogues between provincial business associations and national government officials to advocate for the inclusion of recommendations outlined in the Provincial Business Agendas in a national economic strategy.

Independent News and Information in Balkh Province

Radio Azad FM 97.8


To provide independent news and civic education programs for the citizens of Balkh. The organization will operate an independent FM radio news channel, which will feature a wide range of civic programs including investigative reports on political, economic, and social affairs in Balkh province. The grantee will also host and mentor students as interns.

Maintaining a Public Policy Forum and Building Leadership Skills

Herat Professionals Shura


To enhance leadership skills and to promote a public policy forum in Herat province. The organization will research democratic development in Afghanistan, provide leadership trainings for university graduates, conduct workshops on civic concepts and advocacy skills for civil society activists, and publish a daily news bulletin and a bi-monthly magazine on local affairs.

Marefat Community Radio

Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization


To raise public awareness on citizens’ rights and responsibilities and to strengthen public dialogue between local community leaders and government officials on local policies. The organization will produce and broadcast civic education programs through its FM radio news channel and mentor eight journalism faculty students in Western Kabul.

Parliamentary Watch

Women and Peace Studies Organization


To enhance accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of the Parliament. The organization will work with 13 parliamentary committees, prepare monthly and quarterly reports, organize quarterly press briefings, publicize its findings through the media, and compile and publish a cumulative monitoring report.

Promoting Accountability through Visual Art



To use the arts to engage youth and local communities in advocacy on and raise awareness of broad principles of pluralism, tolerance, human rights and democratic governance. Artists will conduct visual arts trainings for high school and university students in Kabul, solicit their design concepts focusing on human rights and democracy themes, select 20 of the best drawings, and paint those concepts as murals in conjunction with the students and the communities on school walls and in public spaces around Kabul.

Promoting Awareness of the Access to Information Law and How to Use It

Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan


To build the capacity of journalists and members of civil society in five provinces to use the Access to Information Law to improve public accountability and transparency. NAI will train 100 journalists and members of civil society organizations in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar to use the Access to Information Law to strengthen public sector accountability.

Promoting Civic Engagement

Services Organization for Unity and Development (SOUND)


To promote public awareness of civic and political rights and responsibilities and to strengthen dialogue between local leaders and government. The organization will hold seminars on the upcoming parliamentary, district council and presidential elections, responsible citizenship, good governance, and political processes for young leaders, students and teachers. The grantee will also provide technical support for its seven existing youth civic groups in Balkh province.

Promoting Civic Engagement Through Media

Chekad Television


To support a pro-democracy TV station and to engender a culture of civic engagement through citizen journalism. The organization will produce and broadcast daily news, including investigative reports and 96 hour-long civic education programs promoting citizen journalism and political rights and obligations awareness in Herat province. In addition, it will provide internships for eight male and female students from Herat University’s journalism faculty.

Promoting Democracy through Traditional Forums

PACT Communications


To enhance Afghans’ knowledge of democratic opportunities and roles in civic life and foster a more inclusive media culture in eastern Afghanistan. The grantee will incorporate the teaching of democratic values into an online curriculum of its Jalalabad and Kandahar learning centers; provide practical training in media skills for post-madrasah students; and produce news and drama radio programming addressing local social and political issues.

Shahr-ba-Shahr FM Radio

Shahr-ba-Shahr Radio


To build the capacity of a pro-democracy radio station and to disseminate democratic ideas and civic values. The organization will produce and broadcast news coverage and a wide range of civic education programs through its radio news channel for citizens of Kabul and four nearby provinces. It will also mentor at least eight student interns from Kabul and Parwan universities in radio journalism.

Women’s Participation in Public Policy

Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies

Supplenment: $35,000

To increase women’s engagement in public policy dialogue and strengthen women’s capacity to research and produce political analysis. The organization will publish its annual public policy journal, train female students and professionals on policy research, and engage researchers and academics to contribute to public policy on democratic governance, security, economic, and social issues.

Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Northern Afghanistan

Afghanistan Human Rights Organization


To raise awareness of democratic values, women’s rights and gender equality in Samangan, Jawzjan, and Baghlan provinces. The grantee will continue its women’s rights awareness raising seminars, provide free legal assistance and counsel to victims of gender-based violence. It will also convene six assemblies for community leaders, including provincial and district council members, women NGO leaders, human rights advocates, and ulema  to discuss women’s rights under Afghan law.

Women’s Rights Education in Laghman

Afghan Women Coordination and Promotion Organization


To raise awareness of women’s rights under Afghan law and mobilize female university teachers, local mullahs, and community leaders to advocate for women’s rights and their role in peace building and decision making. The organization will hold a series of informational seminars on women’s rights under the laws of Afghanistan and their compatibility with Islam, targeting teachers, local mullahs, and influential community leaders in six districts of Laghman province.

Women’s Rights & Empowerment

Afghan Women Unity Organization


To promote women’s rights in Herat. The grantee will raise awareness of women’s rights through a series of seminars in rural Herat province; provide free legal assistance and counsel to victims of gender-based violence; and conduct a public forum on women’s conditions and their rights, in an effort to engage local officials, lawyers, religious leaders, and civic activists.

Youth Volunteers Raising Civic and Legal Awareness

Bacha Khan Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution


To instill democratic and pluralistic values among youth and strengthen dialogue and cooperation between youth groups, religious leaders, and local government in the eastern region. The project will continue its curriculum for youth leaders and ulema and educate them on nonviolence, pluralism, and means to combat extremism. The project will facilitate joint presentations of course topics by youth and religious leaders and cooperative dialogue with local government officials.

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