Iraq 2020

Accountability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

STOP Organization for Monitoring and Development

Supplement $25,000

To promote accountability and rule of law in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The grantee will produce two 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 corruption cases, and produce a final report on its findings and progress.

Advocacy for the Freedom of the Press

Freedom of Information

$45,000

To reinforce legal protections for freedom of the press. The organization will advocate for amendments to the law governing Iraq’s media regulatory body. The organization will also work to raise awareness among the public and social media influencers on the role and responsibilities of this body. In addition, the organization will monitor and document violations against journalists and produce an annual report with its findings and recommendations. The organization will present the report at an annual conference it will implement on the state of media.

Addressing Obstacles to Women’s Participation in the Workplace

DABIN Organization for Democratic Development and Human Rights

$22,000

To support and strengthen women’s participation and representation in public life in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 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.

Advocating for Budget Transparency

Accountability and Governance

$40,000

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 educate peer Iraqi organizations using a guidebook on enhancing budgetary transparency based on existing Iraqi laws that it published last year.

Citizen Engagement through Alternative Media

Freedom of Information

$40,000

To promote and encourage civic participation through alternative media. 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 continue the work of its online observatory highlighting the work of CSOs across the country.

Civic Monitoring of Parliamentary Performance

Accountability and Governance

$90,000

To enhance the transparency and accountability of the parliament. The organization will continue monitoring the parliament and its committees. It will prepare monthly and quarterly reports, organize press conferences and dialogue sessions to publicize its findings, and compile and publish a cumulative annual monitoring report.

Civic Participation

Civic Education

$28,000

To empower youth to participate in civic life and seek solutions to local governance challenges. The organization will train young activists between the ages of 18-35 to better serve their communities. Participants will organize meetings and facilitate forums for interaction between the local government and citizens, in addition to leading advocacy campaigns on local priorities.

Combatting Discrimination against Women in Media

Human Rights

$40,000

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 advocacy meetings with heads of media organizations to raise awareness of discriminatory coverage of women and advocate for gender-sensitive reporting.

Community Radio and Human Rights Journalism

Radio Deng

Supplement $35,000

To strengthen independent media reporting through community radio in Sulaimaniyah. The grantee will continue to develop its Human Rights Journalism Unit, continue publishing its women’s issues newspaper, publish a monthly report 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

Supplement $17,500

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. The grantee will also study the role of women in business and the role of political parties in supporting that effort.

Encouraging New Civic and Political Voices

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$450,000

To support the inclusion of new civic and political voices in Iraq’s reforming electoral landscape. The Institute will leverage the nation’s surge of civic duty to work with nascent civic organizers as they implement responsive advocacy while the country prepares for the next parliamentary elections, expected to be held in summer 2021.

Engaging Civil Society in Electoral Reform

Success Organization for Developing Potential

$56,000

To facilitate civil society engagement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) electoral reform process. The organization will continue to work with its civil society coalition to advocate for comprehensive electoral reform in the KRI by producing a new draft law and engaging with stakeholders including political parties, government officials, experts, Parliamentarians, and civil society.

Engaging Young Women as Community Advocates

Accountability and Governance

$35,000

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

Enhancing Civic Engagement

Civic Education

$25,000

To enhance civic engagement and understanding of civic and human rights. The organization will train emerging local civil society activists on leadership and communications skills, national and international human rights laws and norms, and monitoring and documentation skills. The organization will then support trainee-led initiatives to promote civic and human rights.

Enhancing Civil Society’s Role in Local Public Policy

Democratic Ideas and Values

$30,000

To strengthen civil society’s role in informing public policy. The organization will continue to work with 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 policy reports outlining priorities for improving local service delivery, which it will present to local government officials and the public.

Enhancing Local Governance

Democratic Ideas and Values

Supplement $20,000

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 Local Governance Accountability

Accountability and Governance

$25,000

To enhance local governance accountability and engage wider segments of the population in informing decision-making. The organization will hold a training on the roles of local government departments, meet with local officials of relevant departments, and host a panel discussion to convey citizens’ concerns to decision-makers to help enact policy changes.

Enhancing National Accountability Campaigns

Accountability and Governance

$90,000

To encourage citizen participation in strengthening government performance and improving local governance and to support independent, youth-led media. The organization will support local coordination committees in nine provinces as they lead a national campaign to promote local accountability and responsive governance through civic forums, advocacy coordination meetings, and monitoring public service delivery. Youth groups will also expand programming for an independent FM Radio, which broadcasts in central Iraq and enables youth and civic-minded citizen groups to reach broader audiences.

Fostering Responsive Local Governance

Accountability and Governance

$30,000

To strengthen community participation in local decision-making and improve the responsiveness of local authorities. The organization will carry out a training workshop and organize public forums that will bring together elected officials, civil society organizations, academics, students, and other segments of the general public to conduct solutions-oriented dialogue on local governance issues. The organization will establish a website to enhance government transparency and produce a report on local authorities’ actions and decisions.

Human Rights Monitoring

National Center for Human Rights

$25,000

To promote adherence to and institutionalization of good governance through strengthening human rights in public shelters and detention facilities. The organization will monitor, document, and report on human rights violations in public shelters and detention facilities. It will publish quarterly reports and an annual report, and lead training workshops for officers working at detention facilities.

Improving Governance through Civic Engagement

Civic Education

$30,000

To promote civic engagement and improve governance in post-conflict areas. The organization will continue to provide leadership-skills training and mentor local volunteer teams to monitor and document the quality of public service delivery. 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

$50,000

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 information on the legislative calendar, attendance, plenary sessions, and committee work. The grantee will publish monitoring reports and distribute them to stakeholders in Parliament, government entities, NGOs, and the media, and then follow up with stakeholder advocacy.

Measuring Indicators of Democracy

Democratic Ideas and Values

Supplement $35,000

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 and Documenting Hate Speech

Human Rights

$27,000

To monitor and document hate speech especially directed towards minorities. The organization will monitor, document, and publish reports on hate speech in traditional and online media. The organization will conduct public awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns to shed light on the findings and propose solutions to policy makers at the national and local levels.

Monitoring Government Institutions in Halabja

Halwest Organization

$25,000

To promote transparency and accountability of government institutions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq province of Halabja through citizen monitoring. The organization will monitor and evaluate the performance of five government institutions, survey and document citizen concerns, hold training workshops, broadcast four television programs on media outlets, and publish an annual monitoring report with its findings.

Monitoring Government Performance

Accountability and Governance

$55,000

To promote governmental and legislative transparency and accountability. The organization will continue to use its 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 Adherence to the Rule of Law

Eye’s University Organization

$26,000

To promote rule of law and democratic principles within institutions of higher education in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  The organization will monitor and evaluate the adherence to laws by universities and the Ministry of Higher Education. It will also hold a series of roundtable and panel discussions, produce short video clips and radio broadcasts, publish reports, and host forums to present its findings.

Promoting Citizen-Driven Accountable Governance

Aran for Developing Civic Culture

$35,000

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, run a legal clinic on cases of partisan interference, and advocate for the activation of a political parties’ law that limits political interference in governance.

Promoting Civic Engagement

Civic Education

$30,000

To promote and strengthen youth leadership and engagement in public life. The organization will form a youth club to debate and advocate policy changes. It will also promote policy changes aimed at empowering youth and improving public services in Diyala by conveying the perspectives of and priorities of youth to local officials. The organization will develop the leadership and advocacy skills of youth.

Promoting Judicial Independence

Investigator Organization for the Rule of Law

$25,000

To promote judicial independence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) through research and engagement with judges, academics, and legal professionals. The organization will work with experts to produce draft laws aimed at reforming current KRI legislation related to judicial independence, host panel discussions and a conference, and lead an advocacy campaign aimed at adopting the draft laws.

Promoting Local Governance Accountability

Accountability and Governance

$30,000

To promote transparency and accountability of government institutions through citizen monitoring. The organization will monitor and evaluate the performance of government institutions, survey and document citizen concerns, hold training workshops and dialogue sessions, organize media productions, and hold a conference to release the findings if its report.

Promoting Online Media Accuracy and Accountability

Accountability and Governance

$20,000

To promote the accountability and credibility of online media and improve its accuracy and reliability. The organization will lead a workshop on techniques to identify and refute false or inflammatory online material. The organization will monitor social media pages and correct misinformation and disinformation related to upcoming elections to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

Promoting Political Pluralism

Bedil Organization for Debates

$25,000

To promote political pluralism and provide space for issues-based discourse in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The organization will engage citizens in non-partisan public forums that provide a platform for diverse voices to discuss different perspectives on a wide range of social, economic and political priorities. The organization will share recommendations that emerge from the debates with local decision-makers.

Promoting Political Pluralism and Citizen Participation

Brave Youth Organization

Supplement $35,000

To stimulate citizen participation and discourse on governing systems and minority representation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). 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 Transparency in the Health Sector

Accountability and Governance

$20,000

To promote financial transparency in the health sector. The organization will convene experts and civil society organizations to advocate for the disclosure of budgetary allocations and spending as dictated by laws. The organization will conduct training workshops, advocacy meetings, and push for the implementation of pertinent laws with a focus on COVID-19 crisis spending.

Protecting Women’s Rights

Women’s Legal Assistance

$40,000

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, conduct workshops, run roundtables, and lead advocacy campaigns for the effective implementation of existing laws.

Security Sector Reform Index

Democratic Ideas and Values

$30,000

To enhance civil society’s role in security sector reform. The organization will convene experts and officials to study and survey the state of the Iraqi security sector and produce an annual Security Sector Reform Index. The organization will convene discussion workshops, present its findings in a conference, and lead advocacy efforts to promote reform recommendations.

Strengthening Civil Society’s Role in Post-Conflict Rebuilding

Civic Education

Supplement $75,000

To strengthen emerging youth volunteer groups in the provinces of Ninewa and Anbar and enable them to play a constructive role in reviving civic engagement. The organization will train and mentor youth from the two provinces as they lead community initiatives. It 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 Elections

Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE)

$30,000

To enhance and strengthen the role of civil society in civic engagement and advocating for governance reform in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. 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

Freedom of Information

$57,500

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 Policy Advocacy at the Federal, Regional, and Provincial Levels

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$595,507

To strengthen policy advocacy at the federal, regional, and provincial levels to enhance transparency and disclosure, promote economic opportunities, and improve revenue sharing in Iraq’s decentralized system, and to improve the capacity of the private sector led coalitions to effectively engage key decision-makers and advocate public policy reforms. The Center will support private sector coalitions to engage public authorities in policy advocacy to implement laws that enhance transparency and improve economic conditions. The Center will also work to improve the capacity of the private sector coalitions by strengthening their internal organization and augmenting their external communications and advocacy skills.

Strengthening Policy Advocacy at the Federal, Regional, and Provincial Levels

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Supplement $20,000

To strengthen policy advocacy at the federal, regional, and provincial levels to enhance transparency and disclosure, promote economic opportunities, and improve revenue sharing in Iraq’s decentralized system, and to improve the capacity of the private sector led coalitions to effectively engage key decision-makers and advocate public policy reforms. The Center will support private sector coalitions to engage public authorities in policy advocacy to implement laws that enhance transparency and improve economic conditions. The Center will also work to improve the capacity of the private sector coalitions by strengthening their internal organization and augmenting their external communications and advocacy skills.

Strengthening Women’s Leadership

Women’s Academy for Leadership in Iraq

$30,000

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 network that will advocate for women’s political rights. The grantee will lead training workshops and assist trainees to conduct advocacy campaigns on women’s rights.

Strengthening Women’s Political Participation

Democratic Ideas and Values

$25,000

To strengthen women’s role in national legislative advocacy and to empower a new generation of women civil society leaders. The organization will produce a study along with recommendations to improve the status of women and enhance their political participation. The organization will then conduct dialogue sessions including women activists, legal experts, civil society leaders, members of parliament, and government officials to present and advocate for amendments to current laws.

Strengthening Women’s Political Participation in Wasit

Human Rights

$20,000

To strengthen women’s leadership and political participation in Wasit province. The organization will help women overcome obstacles to civic and political participation in the province by working with a cadre of trainees in capacity-building workshops, holding hearing sessions, and hosting a final conference to present its findings and recommendations.

Strengthening Women’s Rights and Leadership

Human Rights

$25,000

To promote women’s rights and empower women leaders. The organization will continue to address the legal inequalities faced by women. The organization will lead training workshops, advocacy campaigns and community forums on women’s rights, establish a citizen journalism unit and legal clinic, and hold a final conference to present its findings.

The Iraq Economic Review

The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

$100,000

To promote sound economic policy, knowledge, and transparency and strengthen the advocacy effort for better economic policies. The grantee will publish reports on the economy of Iraq. It will conduct research, interviews, convene experts, and host an economy-focused event during its annual forum. The grantee will disseminate its reports regularly and through briefings with key decision-makers and civil society leaders.