Middle East and Northern Africa

Iraq 2019

Accountability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

STOP Organization for Monitoring and Development


To promote accountability and rule of law in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will produce biannual reports that assess government officials’ follow through on campaign promises to combat corruption, form a corruption monitoring team to advocate for the resolution of four identified cases, and produce a final report on its findings and progress.

Activating the Leadership Role of Young Iraqi Women

Women’s Academy for Leadership in Iraq


To strengthen young women’s participation and leadership in civic and political life. The grantee will connect a new generation of Iraqi women activists to create a nationwide network that will advocate for women’s political rights. The grantee will lead training workshops in three provinces, assist trainees in leading initiatives, and host a final conference.

Addressing Obstacles to Women’s Leadership

DABIN Organization for Democratic Development and Human Rights


To support and strengthen women’s participation and representation in public life in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Building on survey results that identify challenges facing women public figures in the region, the grantee will hold roundtables to identify recommendations and work with government and political party leaders to advocate for their implementation. The grantee will produce and present an annual report summarizing the outcomes of these proceedings to parliamentarians and government officials.

Advocacy for the Freedom of the Press

Freedom of Information


To reinforce legal protection of freedom of the press and expression. The organization will launch a campaign to advocate for amendments to the Publication Penalty Law and the newly proposed Cybercrimes Law. The organization will also work to raise awareness among the public and social media influencers on the need to change these laws. The organization will monitor and document violations against journalists and produce an annual report detailing them.

Advocating for Budget Transparency

Accountability and Governance


To strengthen governance and civil society oversight of public financial resources. The organization will engage civil society organizations in southern Iraq and organize dialogue sessions to advocate for greater transparency in public finances at the local and federal levels. The organization will publish a guidebook on enhancing budgetary transparency based on existing Iraqi laws and will organize advocacy meetings with government officials to call for the implementation those laws.

Building Civic Life

Civic Education


To strengthen youth leadership and re-engagement in public affairs. The grantee will train emerging civic activists in the province and prepare them to lead local civic initiatives. The project will select, mentor and support ten advocacy campaigns or community initiatives led by beneficiaries to respond to local priorities.

Building Provincial Council Legitimacy

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To support Iraqi provincial councils’ use of participatory governance mechanisms to bolster citizen engagement and perceived legitimacy. The institute will conduct research on perceptions of governance particularly amongst marginalized communities to inform provincial council operations and to aid the design of future programmatic interventions in the provinces of focus. Additionally, the Institute will work closely with provincial councilors to ensure that they maintain a comprehensive understanding of their legal roles and responsibilities with particular attention to provincial budgeting and public revenue management.

Citizen Engagement through Alternative Media

Civic Education


To promote and encourage civic participation through alternative media and the arts. The  organization will lead citizen advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives using alternative media tools including documentaries, short video programs, and cultural exhibitions. The organization will make its in-house studio accessible to other civil society organizations (CSOs) and community activists for media production, and rebuild its online observatory highlighting the work of CSOs across the country.

Civic Monitoring of Parliamentary Performance

Accountability and Governance


To enhance the transparency and accountability of the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR). The organization will continue monitoring the incoming CoR and its 22 committees. It will prepare monthly and quarterly reports, organize press conferences to publicize its findings, and compile and publish a cumulative annual monitoring report.

 Combating Corruption

Accountability and Governance


To expose and combat corruption. The organization will form and train a monitoring team composed of local journalists who will investigate and document local corruption cases, particularly administrative corruption that effects access to public services. The grantee will publish its findings in a print and online newsletter and will hold regular meetings with local authorities to present and advocate action on reported cases.

Combatting Discrimination against Women in Media

Human Rights


To protect and promote women’s rights by educating media professionals on fair coverage of women’s issues in the media. The organization will hold workshops for leading media figures and civil society activists on documenting and analyzing coverage of women’s rights. The organization will conduct a survey on the issue and use its results to engage heads of media establishments in advocacy meetings to urge them to have less discriminatory coverage of women in their programs.

Community Radio and Human Rights Journalism

Radio Deng


To strengthen independent media reporting through community radio in Sulaimaniyah. The grantee will continue to develop its Human Rights Journalism Unit, publish its women’s issues newspaper and monthly reports on local government performance, broaden public outreach through its website, and conduct a human rights reporting competition.

Empowering Women for Political Party Leadership

Strengthening Political Institutions


To advance women’s political party engagement and develop local women party activists’ leadership skills. The program will train women from political parties and women candidates for upcoming provincial elections. The trainings will enable the women party activists to seek stronger representation within their parties including in leadership positions.

Engaging Young Women as Community Advocates

Civic Education


To mobilize young women to advocate for community needs and priorities. The organization will continue to mentor young participants in its Youth Women Forum (YWF), which consists of past volunteers, and expand its outreach to young women in two new districts. The organization will hold public forums on women’s rights and work with YWF members to hold dialogue sessions on public services in the province.

Engaging Civil Society in Electoral Reforms

Success Organization for Developing Potential


To facilitate civil society engagement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) electoral reform process. The organization will form a civil society coalition to monitor and contribute to electoral reform debates. Through meetings with policy makers, a conference, policy papers and media outreach, the grantee and its civil society partners will inform the general public and policy debates on electoral reform.

Enhancing Civil Society’s Role in Local Public Policy

Democratic Ideas and Values


To strengthen civil society’s role in informing public policy. The grantee will form a task force comprised of local representatives from civil society, the Engineers’ Syndicate, the Lawyers’ Syndicate, the Health Care Professionals Syndicate, the Teachers’ Syndicate, and the Chamber of Commerce. The task force will meet regularly and produce a policy report outlining priorities for improving local service delivery which it will present to the next provincial government.

Enhancing Local Governance

Democratic Ideas and Values


To strengthen civil society’s role in informing public policy. The organization will convene professional unions and civil society organizations to produce policy papers aimed at improving governance and public services. The organization will produce a booklet including the policy papers and convene meetings to call for the adoption of the booklet’s recommendations.

Enhancing National Accountability Campaigns

Accountability and Governance


To strengthen citizens’ ability to monitor government performance and coordinate effective advocacy campaigns to improve governance. The organization will support local coordination committees in 14 provinces as they lead a national campaign to promote local accountability and responsive governance. The grantee will organize civic forums and advocacy coordination meetings, monitor public service delivery in the provinces, and produce policy papers.

Enhancing Youth Democratic Participation

Civic Education


To promote youth participation and to strengthen youth leadership and engagement in public life. The organization will train youth on leadership skills, advocacy campaigns, designing community initiatives, democratic culture, and social media skills. They will organize meetings with local government officials to convey the concerns of the youth to decision-makers.

Environmental Policy Advocacy

Accountability and Governance


To strengthen civil society engagement in addressing environmental priorities and improving natural resource management through legislative and executive advocacy. The organization will conduct a survey, organize public seminars, publish policy papers, and meet with government officials to advocate its recommendations. In addition, the organization will convene civil society from across the country to discuss the status of democracy and the role of civil society in strengthening it.

Fostering Political Participation at Universities

Eye’s University Organization


To strengthen university students’ participation in public life within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will advocate for a new student elections law that would foster greater political pluralism on university campuses. The grantee will create a taskforce to lead an advocacy campaign comprised of discussion forums, an annual conference, and video production and dissemination.

Human Rights Monitoring in Sulaimaniyah

National Center for Human Rights


To protect human rights in public shelters and detention facilities in Sulaimaniyah city. The grantee will monitor, document, and report on human rights violations in police stations, adolescent detention facilities, the Juvenile Police Division, the Anti-Domestic Violence Division, and women’s shelters. The grantee will publish its findings in an annual report, follow-up with the Public Prosecution Office on documented cases, and organize advocacy meetings with relevant local and regional authorities.

Improving Governance at the Federal, Provincial and Regional Levels

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To improve private sector engagement in public-private dialogue at the national and regional levels and improve transparency in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s hydrocarbon sectors. The center will support private sector partners to advocate for public policy reforms at the national and regional levels. It will improve the leadership capacities of a cadre of reform-oriented public, private, and civic leaders to develop immediate solutions to Iraq’s governance and economic problems. The center will offer an intensive course on economic policymaking, leadership and strategic communications.

Improving Governance through Civic Engagement in Sinjar

Civic Education


To promote civic engagement and improve governance in post-ISIS areas . The grantee will provide leadership-skills training and mentor local volunteer teams to monitor and document the quality of public service delivery in the district. The teams will publish their findings in reports, which they will present in meetings with local government officials to advocate for better governance.

Legislative Transparency and Public Engagement

Pay Institute For Education & Development


To increase transparency and public engagement with the Regional Parliament in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will continue its parliamentary monitoring program, providing the public with basic information on the legislative calendar, attendance, plenary sessions, and committee work.  The grantee will publish reports and distribute them to stakeholders in Parliament, government entities, NGOs, and the media.

Local Accountability in Sulaimaniyah

Kurdistan for Everyone for Developing Democracy


To monitor and evaluate the performance and to strengthen the public engagement of elected local and national level officials in Sulaimaniyah. The grantee will monitor the performance of the provincial council, engage with national parliamentarians, publish an annual report, air radio talk shows, convene civic forums, and continue expanding its outreach through its website.

Measuring Indicators of Democracy

Democratic Ideas and Values


To provide the public and policy-makers with indicators of the status of democracy in Iraq. The grantee will publish and disseminate an annual report that measures Iraq’s democratic progress and the role of civil society in advancing good governance based on public opinion surveys and expert interviews. The grantee will release the report findings and conclusions at a conference attended by media, policy and decision-makers and civil society leaders.

Monitoring Government Institutions in Halabja

Halwest Organization


To promote transparency and accountability of government institutions in the newly designated province of Halabja through citizen monitoring. The organization will monitor three government departments of Education, Health, and Municipality, which were part of Sulaimaniyah province’s structure prior to the 2015 establishment of Halabja province, in addition to the new provincial government headquarters. The organization will conduct a survey, monitor government institutions, document citizen concerns, hold training workshops, organize radio programs, and produce a final monitoring report.

Monitoring Government Performance

Accountability and Governance


To promote governmental and legislative transparency and accountability. The organization will establish online platforms to monitor the activities and decisions of the Iraqi Parliament and cabinet. The organization will make its data accessible to the public and media. It will also host a conference on using technology to promote good governance and accountability.

Promoting Citizen-Driven Accountable Governance

Aran for Developing Civic Culture


To promote citizen-driven accountable governance. The grantee will continue its campaign to advocate for less partisan interference in the local governments of Erbil, Sulaimaniyah, and Halabja. The grantee will conduct surveys, engage political parties, organize public forums, gather constituency signatures for petitions, and advocate for the activation of a political parties’ law that limits political interference in governance.

Promoting Judicial Independence

Investigator Organization for the Rule of Law


To promote judicial independence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through research and engagement with judges, academics, and legal professionals. The organization will hold roundtable discussions and research, publish, and disseminate a comprehensive policy paper to identify the obstacles to judicial independence. It will also advocate for recommended reforms identified in its research and policy paper.

Promoting Local Government Accountability

Accountability and Governance


To promote accountability of the provincial government. The organization will establish a Community Monitoring Team (CMT) and engage political parties on their programs as they compete for the 2020 provincial elections. The CMT will regularly meet with the provincial council to discuss its work, the organization will monitor the sessions of the newly-elected provincial council and publish reports about its performance and decisions as they relate to citizens’ concerns and electoral promises.

Promoting Participatory Governance

Accountability and Governance


To strengthen participatory governance and citizen engagement with local government to address community priorities. The organization will administer a survey, convene community meetings, facilitate citizen engagement with government officials, produce reports, and organize a conference to shed light on key community priorities that require the attention of the local government.

Promoting Political Pluralism and Citizen Participation

Brave Youth Organization


To stimulate citizen participation and discourse on governing systems and minority representation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will leverage its region-wide network of contacts with political parties to organize roundtable discussions, meetings, print and distribute its magazine, develop and publish research briefs, and organize a conference to present and advocate for recommendations that promote inclusive governance.

Promoting Rule of Law

Rule of Law


To promote judicial transparency and reform. The organization will continue its court monitoring program and advocacy efforts for judiciary reform. Activities will include monitoring court proceedings, publishing an annual report, and engaging judicial and legislative authorities to advocate for action on judicial reform.

Promoting Youth Civic Engagement in Diyala

Civic Education


To promote youth volunteerism and strengthen youth leadership and engagement in public life. The organization will develop the leadership and advocacy skills of youth. The organization will form three teams to undertake advocacy activities on women’s empowerment, public policy, and volunteerism. It will also promote policy changes aimed at empowering youth and improving public services by conveying the perspectives and priorities of youth to local officials.

Protecting Women’s Rights

Women’s Legal Assistance


To defend and protect women’s rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will monitor courts and other institutions dealing with cases of violence against women, publish an annual report, lead workshops at universities, and lead advocacy campaigns for the effective implementation of existing laws.

Strengthening Civil Society’s Role in Post-Conflict Rebuilding

Civic Education


To strengthen emerging youth volunteer groups and enable them to play a constructive role in reviving civic engagement. The organization will train and mentor youth as they lead community initiatives. The organization will hold training workshops, support the youth groups in carrying out the community initiatives, and act as a link between citizens and the local and national governments.

Strengthening Civil Society’s Role in Supporting Governance Reform

Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE)


To enhance and strengthen the role of civil society in civic engagement and advocating for governance reform in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq (KRI). The grantee will advocate for decentralization in the KRI by publishing a policy paper, producing at least one draft law, writing and distributing a report on decentralization in political party platforms, and holding five seminars.

Strengthening Independent Media in Iraq

Freedom of Information


To strengthen independent media and prepare a new cadre of journalists. The organization will publish its online news website, which provides independent coverage of regional and international news and reports on policy issues, government accountability, and rule of law in Iraq. The organization will also train and mentor young and aspiring journalists on journalistic ethics, investigative journalism, reporting practices, social media journalism, and economic reporting.

Strengthening Minority Political Participation

Political Processes


To advocate for increased political participation of minorities in the national political process. The organization will convene workshops that include researchers and advocates from diverse communities to create a “principles document” on reform and means of enhanced minority political participation. The organization will hold a final conference with decision-makers to publicize its findings and will engage senior stakeholders to advocate for effective political representation of minorities.

Strengthening Women’s Political Participation in Wasit

Democratic Ideas and Values


To empower women’s leadership and strengthen their political participation in Wasit province. The grantee will organize capacity-building workshops for local women leaders on advocacy for women’s political participation. The grantee and its trainees will lead hearing sessions with local officials and stakeholders and hold a conference to present findings and recommendations for strengthening women’s political participation in the province.

Strengthening Women’s Rights and Leadership

Human Rights


To promote women’s rights and empower women leaders. The organization will lead training workshops on monitoring, documentation, advocacy campaigns, lobbying, public mobilization, and international and Iraqi laws pertaining to women’s rights. The organization will also conduct advocacy campaigns and community forums on women’s rights, and present its findings and reform recommendations at a conference.

Strengthening Women’s Role in Legislative Advocacy

Civic Education


To strengthen women’s role in national legislative advocacy and empower a new generation of women civil society leaders. The organization will train women activists on legislative advocacy and civic leadership to lay the foundation for a sustained campaign to mobilize support for adoption of a law that would protect citizens, particularly women, from domestic abuse.

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