Afghanistan 2020

Coordinated Advocacy for Good Governance in Nangahar Province

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To amplify citizen demands for better governance in at-risk communities of eastern Afghanistan, the Institute will facilitate a coordinated advocacy campaign for accountability in Nangahar Province focused on generating reform via collective action. The Institute will convene and support a coalition of civil society groups to design and execute an advocacy campaign against corruption in public health services in their province.

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

Supplement $50,000

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 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 and leadership skills. The organization will conduct leadership training for university students, and help leaders of its 12 existing debate clubs hold a series of debate tournaments in public and private universities in Kabul and the northern provinces of Balkh and Samangan. The grantee will also facilitate networking and collaboration among network members and hold panel discussions on governance, democracy and public policy issues.

Engendering Youth Entrepreneurship

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 42 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.

Enhancing Good Governance in Herat

Supporting Organization for Afghanistan Civil Society


To enhance accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of local government in Herat. The grantee will produce two reports on structural and policy reforms to improve service delivery through the Departments of Education and Municipality. It will also campaign against corruption through street banners, posters, and maintain a phone line for citizens to safely report cases of corruption. The organization will investigate corruption allegations and follow-up with relevant authorities.

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 local madrasas in four eastern provinces to disseminate its civic education curriculum focused on issues of democracy, human rights, Afghan constitution and laws, and peace and pluralism to counter extremist discourse. It will also develop culturally appropriate messages that it will disseminate through local media and community engagement initiatives.

Improving Economic Stability and Governance from the Bottom Up

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To strengthen the voice of the private sector to advocate effectively for the improvement of the business climate in Afghanistan through legislative action; to enhance the capacity of business chambers to serve as a representative business association for Afghan businessmen and women; and to expand public-private dialogue on the local level to improve local governance. The center will establish business and anti-corruption Caucuses in the new Parliament, work with local partners to provide technical assistance to the new business chamber landscape in Afghanistan and continue to expand its public-private dialogue to include improving local governance.

Marefat SA Civic Education TV

Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization


To promote democratic ideas and raise public awareness on citizens’ rights and responsibilities, and to foster pluralism, tolerance and counter extremist narratives. The organization will establish and launch an independent digital TV station, and produce and broadcast a civic education program for university students in Kabul and five major cities across Afghanistan. The organization will also create a digital media platform to enhance the reach and impact of its TV programs.

Parliamentary Watch

Women and Peace Studies Organization


To enhance accountability, transparency, and responsiveness of the Afghan Parliament. The organization will monitor parliamentary sessions, prepare daily and monthly reports on its findings, hold talks between members of parliament and civil society, 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-based and issue-based political discourse and to generate respect for transparency and accountability among politicians, opinion leaders and the general public. The grantee will maintain and develop 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 monthly magazine on local affairs.

Promoting Civic Engagement

Services Organization for Unity and Development (SOUND)

Supplement $50,000

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 (YCG) 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 and civic education programs to promote democratic values in western Herat province. In addition, it will train youth on the basics of citizen journalism and train government employees on public accountability and access to information.

Promoting Civic Responsibility among Community Leaders

Organization for Social, Cultural Awareness and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan


To engender a culture of civic responsibility and engagement among community leaders in eastern Afghanistan. The grantee will hold civic education workshops for community leaders in the four eastern provinces of Khost, Kunar, and Paktia. The grantee will organize public-private dialogues in the three 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 Civic Values through Local Radio

Shahr-ba-Shahr Radio


To strengthen local independent media and promote democratic ideas and civic values. The grantee will produce and broadcast news and civic education programs through its radio station for the citizens of Kabul and four nearby provinces. The organization will also mentor student interns from Kabul and Parwan Universities in radio journalism.

Promoting Democratic Values and Pluralism among Youth

Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization (AELSO)


To promote democratic values and pluralism and counter extremist discourse among youth. The grantee will hold a series of conferences and roundtable discussions at public and private universities in eight major Afghan provinces. It will also produce and disseminate 30,000 brochures and posters at universities, and publish a 200-page booklet, summarizing the project’s key findings and recommending youth-led initiatives to address extremist trends and narratives at universities across the country.

Promoting Inclusive Peace and Democratic Values through Art



To foster collaboration between youth artists and civic activists for collective advocacy efforts to promote democracy, peace and reconciliation. The grantee will establish the Artivists Network for Innovation, a national membership network of artists and activists committed to democratic ideas and values, to strengthen cooperation and amplify advocacy campaigns that use art as a medium. The project will establish and incubate this new network, organize a workshop and networking events for members, lead advocacy initiatives, and facilitate communication and information sharing among members.

Promoting Independent Media and Civic Values

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. It will also mentor journalism students as interns.

Promoting Independent Media and Democratic Values

Afghanistan Organization for Strategic Studies and Research


To promote democratic values and pluralism and counter extremist discourse among youth. The grantee will hold a series of conferences and roundtable discussions at public and private universities in eight major Afghan provinces. It will also produce and disseminate brochures and posters at universities, and publish a booklet summarizing the project’s key findings and recommending youth-led initiatives to address extremist trends and narratives at universities across the country.

Promoting Women’s Leadership

Afghan Women Coordination and Promotion Organization


To enhance women’s leadership skills and promote women’s participation in the public sector in eastern Laghman and Nangarhar provinces. The organization will provide leadership training to a cohort of female university graduates to increase women’s representation in government positions and help them work with civil society activists and organizations to collectively advocate for women’s rights, with a focus on women’s participation in local decision-making processes.

Promoting Women’s Rights in Northern Afghanistan

Afghanistan Human Rights Organization


To promote and advocate for women’s rights and gender equality in the northern provinces of Samangan, Jawzjan, and Baghlan. The organization will continue its civic programs to educate women about their legal rights, 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 leaders on women’s rights under Afghan law.

Promoting Women’s Rights through Theater

Afghan Youth in New Era Organization


To engage women in civic activism through arts and culture and raise awareness of women’s rights as citizens of Afghanistan. The group will produce and perform a series of plays on women’s rights subjects in public and academic venues in Kabul province, and engage audiences on the issues highlighted through discussions following each performance.

Strengthening Independent Media

Etilaat Roz

Supplement $12,800

To support and sustain independent media during the COVID-19 crisis, in light of losses in revenues from newspaper sales and advertisements. The grantee will continue the production of its daily newspaper and timely news coverage on its website. In addition, to counter disinformation and misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will maintain and update a website exclusively dedicated to fact-based coverage of the pandemic.

Strengthening Independent Media

Etilaat Roz


To strengthen a culture of accountability through investigative journalism and to support independent media. The grantee will continue the production of its daily newspaper and timely news coverage. The grantee will also produce investigative reports on issues related to the peace process, human rights, corruption and the rule of law. In addition, it will profile successful young citizens of Afghanistan to highlight gains made over the past 19 years. Finally, the project will produce multimedia content on democratic values.

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 a cohort of 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 female journalism students, strengthen its radio news channel, and produce a series of civic education radio programs.

Strengthening the Professional Skills of Women Journalists

Afghan Women News Agency – AWNA


To enhance women journalists’ participation in local media and to strengthen professional skills of women journalists. The organization will continue to run and improve the capacity of a women-led news agency;  train a cohort of women journalists to bolster their capacity in investigative journalism, reporting on gender issues, and media advocacy; and conduct an essay-writing contest among Afghan women in Kabul on the role of women in the peace process.

Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice

Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization


To strengthen women’s access to justice and representation in the justice sector. The organization will train and prepare women university students from law and sharia faculties in the central provinces of Bamyan and Dikondi to investigate cases of violence against women. A conference will engage legal experts, researchers, academics and other relevant stakeholders on removing legal barriers to women’s access to justice.

Strengthening Youth Leadership through Community Dialogue

Afghanistan Youth National and Social Organization


To promote public participation in local governance and decision-making processes. The grantee will educate young Afghan citizens in rural communities of Farah and Badghis provinces about their political rights and responsibilities and strengthen dialogue between community leaders and local government. The grantee will hold dialogue assemblies and town hall meetings to enable citizens to participate in decision-making at the local level. It will also organize radio roundtable discussions with community leaders and provincial officials.

Supporting and Promoting Madrassa Reforms

The Liaison Office


To support and promote institutional reforms and regulatory oversight of the madrassa system in Afghanistan. The project seeks to lay the foundation for madrassa reforms in Afghanistan through a multi-layered approach that involves comprehensive desk and field research, expert consultations, and mapping and developing a database for registered and unregistered madrassas across the country. The organization, in partnership with three other civil society organizations, will advocate for implementation of its recommended reforms.

Supporting and Promoting Security Sector Reforms

The Institute of War and Peace Studies (IWPS)


To support and promote security sector reforms in Afghanistan. The organization will conduct research and consultations with security sector experts to identify cost-reduction mechanisms and mismanagement and corruption practices within the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and develop recommendations for ANDSF’s economization and fiscal sustainability. The grantee will also examine options for restructuring the ANDSF to integrate reconciled insurgents. It will present its findings to the government and other stakeholders and advocate for implementation of the recommended reforms.

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 continue the local edition of its daily newspaper in western Afghanistan and expand the news coverage and distribution of its newspaper into southern and eastern regions. The grantee will add Pashto language to its news coverage and opinion page, and will create an exclusive webpage to cover the peace process.

Supporting Media Freedom and Access to Information

Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan


To support and defend media freedom and to improve public accountability and transparency by strengthening journalists’ and civil society actors’ ability to use the Access to Information Law (AIL). The grantee will monitor and document restrictions to free media, provide legal assistance to journalists and media institutions, and lead advocacy initiatives to promote a more enabling environment for independent media. It will also lead a series of trainings for journalists on the AIL and work with them to produce investigative reports.

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 journals, 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 and improve women’s access to justice in Herat province. The grantee will provide free legal assistance and counsel to victims of gender-based violence, raise awareness of women’s rights through a series of seminars in Herat’s two rural districts, conduct public forums on the status of women’s rights to engage local officials and stakeholders, and hold advocacy meetings in Herat and Kabul to call for the enforcement of legal protections granted to Afghan women under the Constitution.