Middle East and Northern Africa

Afghanistan 2019

Improving Accountability through Access to Information

Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan


To improve public accountability and transparency by strengthening journalists’ and civil society actors’ ability to use the Access to Information Law (AIL). Through a series of trainings and investigative reports, the grantee will build the capacities of 80 journalists and members of civil society organizations in Herat, Helmand, Samangan, Parwan and Laghman provinces to request information from local authorities in accordance with the recently amended AIL and other accountability measures.

Combating Corruption in Herat

Supporting Organization for Afghanistan Civil Society


To enhance local governance through better accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of local governmental institutions in Herat. The organization will campaign against corruption 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, host quarterly press briefings, and produce a monthly radio talk show.

Empowering Women in Journalism

Afghan Institute for Research and Media Studies


To promote 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; maintain a women-led news agency; and organize a conference to assess local media gains and challenges in western Afghanistan.

Empowering Youth Leaders

Women and Youths for Peace and Development Organization


To empower local youth leaders to promote peace and tolerance and to enhance cooperation between community leaders and local decision makers. The organization will train youth leaders on responsible leadership, civic values, the rule of law, and conflict resolution. Graduates will subsequently lead a number of community initiatives. The organization will also produce TV and radio programs to educate a wider audience on civic responsibilities, civic values, and the rule of law.

Engaging Youth in Public Debate

Afghans for Progressive Thinking


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

Engendering Entrepreneurship among Afghan Youth

Tashabos Educational Organization


To instill in Afghan youth an awareness of the values of entrepreneurship, market economics, and democracy. The grantee will oversee the implementation of its high school entrepreneurship curriculum at 43 high schools in several Afghan provinces. The project will train teachers on the delivery of the course curriculum; organize business proposal-writing competitions; and hold two business start-up courses for students.

Fortifying Public Policy Debate

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies


To promote public policy forums in Afghanistan and to inform decision makers on policy perspectives and options. The organization will conduct public opinion polls on peace talks with the Taliban, develop a roadmap for peacebuilding and reconciliation, and present its findings in briefing sessions with senior policy makers and hold five conferences in Afghanistan’s largest cities.

Fostering Pluralism and Dialogue

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. The grantee will work with madrasas to disseminate its civic education curriculum focused on issues of democracy, human rights, peace and pluralism to counter extremist discourse in four provinces. It will also develop culturally appropriate messages that it will disseminate through madrasas and local media initiatives.

Improving Inclusive Economic Stability and Governance

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To expand public-private dialogue on the local level to improve governance, improve the Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s ability to serve as a representative business association for Afghan businesswomen and women entrepreneurs, and identify new approaches for strengthening democratic governance in Afghanistan. The Center will expand its public-private dialogue to include improving local governance, continue to work with local partners to provide technical assistance to the women’s chamber of commerce, and conduct consultative sessions with experts, practitioners, and stakeholders in order to develop new pilot programs.

Independent News and Information in Balkh Province

Radio Azad FM 97.8


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

Parliamentary Watch

Women and Peace Studies Organization


To enhance accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of the Afghan Parliament. The organization will monitor parliamentary sessions, prepare monthly and quarterly reports on its findings, enhance its web presence, host dialogue with MPs, organize quarterly press briefings, appear on radio and TV talk shows to publicize its work, and compile and publish an annual monitoring report.

Political Fact-Checking

PAYK Investigative Journalism Center


To promote a fact and issue-based political discourse and to generate respect for transparency and accountability among politicians, opinion leaders and the public. The grantee will establish a political fact-checking portal that will report on the accuracy and consistency of statements of elected leaders, politicians, and other decision-makers.

Promoting a Public Policy Forum in Herat

Herat Professionals Shura


To promote youth and women’s participation in public life by enhancing their leadership skills and to promote a public policy forum in Herat province. The organization will research democratic development in Afghanistan with a focus on western provinces, 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.

Promoting Civic Engagement

Services Organization for Unity and Development (SOUND)


To promote civic engagement and advocate for youth empowerment and good governance in northern Balkh province. The organization will hold a series of civic and community engagement sessions to promote human rights and political participation and to foster dialogue and collaboration between local leaders and government. In addition, the grantee will strengthen its existing Youth Civic Groups across the province.

Promoting Civic Engagement Through Media

Chekad Television


To support a pro-democracy TV station and to encourage a culture of civic engagement through citizen journalism. The organization will produce and broadcast daily news programs, including investigative reports and civic education programs in an effort to promote citizen journalism and rights awareness in Herat province. In addition, Chekad will provide internships for students from Herat University’s journalism faculty.

Promoting Civic Responsibility among Community Leaders

Organization for Social, Cultural Awareness and Rehabilitation


To engender a culture of civic responsibility and engagement among community leaders in eastern Afghanistan. The grantee will hold civic education seminars for community leaders in the four eastern provinces of Khost, Kunar, Paktia and Nangarhar. The grantee will organize public-private dialogues in the provinces to provide a platform for civil society actors and youth leaders to engage in advocacy efforts with provincial government officials on pressing needs of their communities.

Promoting Peace and Democratic Values through Art



To engage youth and local communities in advocacy and raise awareness of broad principles of peace and reconciliation, human rights and democratic governance. The project will organize a democracy and peace conference to provide an open platform for youth activists from across Afghanistan to exchange ideas about peace and democracy in the country. It will also paint murals at universities, high schools and other public spaces in five strategic provinces to promote reconciliation, social justice, freedom of expression, and women’s inclusion in the peace process.

Promoting Women’s Rights

Afghan Women Coordination and Promotion Organization


To promote women’s rights under Afghan laws in eastern Laghman and Nangarhar provinces. The organization will train women educators and engage volunteer civic actors to organize a series of civic education and community outreach programs and advocate for women’s participation in civic and political spheres. It will organize an advocacy campaign to increase women’s representation in government positions in eastern Afghanistan.

Promoting Women’s Rights and Participation in Ghor

Afghanistan Organization Women Arise


To raise awareness of and consolidate support for women’s increased role in community decision-making. The program will organize training sessions explaining and advocating for the implementation of the National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security; conduct a provincial conference; and publish two issues of its magazine Solh (Peace) in Ghor province of Afghanistan’s central highlands.

Promoting Women’s Rights through Theater

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 plays on women’s rights subjects in public and academic venues in Kabul province, engaging audiences on the issues highlighted through discussions following each performance.

Promotion of Democratic Values through Debate

Faanoos Magazine


To promote democratic values and foster civic debates among university students. The organization will train university students in debating skills, critical thinking, and essay writing; convene a national essay contest and a debate tournament in seven provinces, lead online debates on topics related to the peace process, good governance, the rule of law, and youth in politics; and create a youth debate association.

Shahr-ba-Shahr FM Radio

Shahr-ba-Shahr Radio


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

Strengthening Independent Media

Etilaat Roz


To strengthen a culture of accountability through investigative journalism. The grantee will conduct investigative reports on issues related to the peace process, human rights, corruption, the rule of law, minority rights and elections. The organization will also profile successful young citizens of Afghanistan to highlight gains made over the past 18 years. Finally, the project will produce short multimedia content pieces on democracy and accountability that will be published in a daily print newspaper, its website, and social media.

Strengthening Independent Media in Badghis

Badghis Social Journalism Association


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

Strengthening Independent Women-Led Media

Khadija Kubra Women Association for Culture


To provide independent news and media content that promotes democratic ideas and values for the citizens of southern Afghanistan, and to build the capacity of an independent media organization. The grantee will maintain a media center for women, conduct training sessions on journalistic skills for women journalism students, strengthen its radio news channel, and produce a series of civic education radio programs. It will also provide internship opportunities for eight students from the journalism faculty of Kandahar University.

Strengthening Youth Leadership through Community Dialogue

Afghanistan Youth National and Social Organization


To promote public participation in local governance and decision-making process. The grantee will educate young Afghan citizens in rural Farah and Badghis communities about their political rights and obligations and strengthen dialogue between community leaders and local government. The grantee will hold symposiums on good governance and political processes for students and teachers, and dialogue assemblies. It will also organize town hall meetings and radio roundtable discussions with community leaders and provincial officials.

Supporting Independent Media

Hasht-e Subh Daily


To strengthen independent journalism and the role of media in government accountability and oversight in Afghanistan. The organization will produce, print, and distribute a local edition of its national daily newspaper in Herat and Farah provinces and enhance its coverage of local stories. The local edition will raise awareness of human rights and legal protections available to Afghan citizens and feature investigative reports on public performance that advance the concept of government accountability.

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 organization will continue its women’s rights awareness raising seminars, provide free legal assistance and counsel to victims of gender-based violence, and convene assemblies for community leaders including provincial and district council members, in addition to women NGO leaders, human rights advocates and religious scholars on women’s rights under Afghan law.

Women’s Participation in Public Policy

Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies


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

Afghan Women Unity Organization


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

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