Iraq 2021

Solidarity Center (SC)

Uniting Workers Voices for Change


To enable unions to provide a platform for workers in Iraq to promote their interests and to increase understanding of the 2015 labor law among workers and lawyers to improve enforcement, the Center will support an online training platform for young workers; improve Iraqi unions’ use of social media; support an online portal for reporting legal violations; educate law students on the 2015 labor law; and enable unions to engage publicly on political party social and economic platforms in advance of 2021 elections.


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Strengthening Federal Level Economic Reforms And Decentralization In Iraq


To strengthen the role of the Iraqi private sector and civil society in advocating for private sector-oriented economic policies and improving governance at the provincial and federal levels through public-private dialogue. Historically, the Iraqi private sector has been marginalized in a centralized, state-dominated economy that is heavily dependent on oil revenues and a bloated public sector to create jobs. Through this program, the Center will support a national-level partner to engage the federal government in dialogue to influence its economic agenda in line with private sector priorities, including a focus on decentralization. The Center will also support civil society coalitions led by provincial-level partners to advocate for administrative decentralization to improve service delivery and drive enhance economic development and opportunity at the provincial level.


Halwest Organization

Monitoring Government Institutions in Halabja


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 government institutions, survey and document citizen concerns, hold forum discussions, broadcast television programs on media outlets, and publish an annual monitoring report with its findings. The organization has led several initiatives on improving local institutions in Halabja over the past six years and brings together a team of experienced civil society activists with strong networks in Halabja civil society as well as in the targeted government institutions.


Accountability and Transparency

Strengthening Community-Driven Accountability


To empower youth to participate in civic life and seek solutions to local governance challenges. The organization will train young activists 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 governance priorities. Established by a group of professionals from various backgrounds including university professors and social activists in 2015, the organization has demonstrated a track record in convening active, civic-minded youth with the capacity to engage governmental stakeholders in advocating for improvement in basic services delivery.



Investigative Reporting on Issues of Public Interest


To support and strengthen an independent media organization to provide professional, nonpartisan investigative journalism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The organization will produce and distribute investigative reports on issues such as politics, economy, human rights, accountability and good governance, public health, budgetary transparency, and freedom of speech. These will be broadly circulated to reach key audiences, including being published in full on its website and distributed via social media. Led by a team of experienced journalists, the three-year-old organization is dedicated to producing independent, nonpartisan investigative content in the Kurdish language.


Freedom of Expression

Citizen Engagement through Alternative Media


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 and short video programs. The organization will make its in-house studio accessible to other civil society organizations (CSOs) and community activists for media production. The organization will disseminate all the material on its online platforms. With a five-year track record of video-production and dissemination with NED support, the grantee engages a new generation of youth in civic life.


Accountability and Transparency

Promoting Online Media Accuracy and Accountability


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 possible provincial and national elections in 2021 to protect the integrity of the electoral process. The organization is the leading fact-checking outlet in Iraq with over a million followers on various social media platforms, the grantee has a dedicated and well-trained staff and a network of 200 volunteers who daily monitor the digital space to counter misinformation.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Strengthening Women’s Rights and Political Participation


To strengthen women’s rights and political participation in Wasit province with the approach of elections. The organization will seek to elevate women’s rights and issues in the electoral programs of various political parties and will help women overcome obstacles to civic and political participation in the province by organizing dialogue sessions, hosting a conference to present findings and recommendations, and launching an advocacy campaign. The organization’s women-led leadership has more than a decade of experience in civil society work, particularly in advocacy efforts to engage political parties and other stakeholders to advance women’s rights and political participation and leadership in the province.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Strengthening Women’s Rights and Leadership


To promote women’s rights and empower women leaders. The organization will continue to address the legal inequalities faced by women. It will lead training workshops on enhancing advocacy skills and tactics, support advocacy campaigns and community forums on women’s rights, maintain its citizen journalism unit and legal clinic which offers pro-bono legal guidance to women, and hold an event to present findings from the advocacy campaigns and legal clinic. Led by an experienced staff and board of women civil society leaders and women’s rights advocates, the organization promotes and defends women’s rights through outreach and training programs, advocacy campaigns and its legal clinic work.


Accountability and Transparency

Promoting Good Local Governance


To promote transparency and accountability of government institutions through citizen monitoring and feedback. The organization will monitor and evaluate the performance of local government institutions, survey and document citizen concerns, hold focus groups and dialogue session. The organization will publish an annual report on the state of services and its documentation at the end of the project.


Accountability and Transparency

Enhancing the Role of Civil Society in Policymaking


To enhance and strengthen the role of civil society in policymaking on local governance. The organization will lead an effort to study local governance failures and successes over the past 15 years in addition to the role of civil society in informing policy-making. The organization will also host roundtables, survey experts and stakeholders, draft policy papers, and organize advocacy meetings.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Empowering Women in Public Life and Business


To advance women in the private sector and encourage legislative and executive support for greater women’s engagement in public life. The organization will engage the provincial chamber of commerce and business sectors to advance women’s role and encourage political party support for greater women’s engagement as the next parliamentary elections approach. The organization will write a policy paper, organize workshops and roundtable discussions, establish a database, and publish a report to be shared in advocacy meetings.


Freedom of Information

Monitoring and Documenting Hate Speech


To promote tolerance and respect for diversity in traditional and online media. 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 to counter and limit hate speech online and in traditional media.


DABIN Organization for Democratic Development and Human Rights

Monitoring the Implementation of Social Security Law in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq


To strengthen the implementation of labor laws in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through monitoring and advocacy. Building on survey results that identify challenges workers face in the work place, the project will monitor the implementation of labor law by government institutions, produce two monitoring reports, lead three workshops, and hold a conference to discuss its findings.


Aran for Developing Civic Culture

Promoting Citizen-Driven Accountable Governance


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.


Bedil Organization for Debates

Public Political Forums


To promote political pluralism and provide space for issues-based discourse in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The organization will engage citizens and government officials 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.


Accountability and Transparency

Monitoring the Performance of Women’s Affairs Agency


To promote women’s rights and strengthen accountability. The organization will establish an electronic platform to monitor and document the performance of women’s affairs government agency. The organization will establish an online mechanism to gather citizens’ feedback, publish monthly reports, and publish an annual report detailing the activities of government agencies working on women’s issues.


National Center for Human Rights

Human Rights Monitoring


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, lead a training workshop for officers working at women’s shelters, and organize advocacy campaigns.


Accountability and Transparency

Fostering Responsive Local Governance


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, and other segments of the general public to conduct solutions-oriented dialogue on local governance issues. The organization will conduct sustained advocacy campaigns through meetings with legislators, and decision-makers, and through the media to foster better governance.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Building Capacities of Local Civic Activists and Human Rights Defenders


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.


Women’s Academy for Leadership in Iraq

Strengthening Women’s Leadership in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq


To strengthen young women’s participation and leadership in civic and political life. The organization will create a network of new-generation Iraqi women activists to advocate for women’s political rights. The grantee will lead workshops, assist trainees in conducting advocacy campaigns, and hold a conference on women’s rights.


Radio Deng

Community Radio and Human Rights Journalism


To strengthen independent media reporting through community radio in Sulaimaniyah. The grantee will continue developing its Human Rights Journalism Unit and publishing content related to women’s rights and role in public life. It will broaden public outreach through its website and conduct a human rights reporting competition. In addition, its monthly reports on local government performance and follow-up with government officials will promote government accountability.


Empowering Citizens to Advance Good Governance


To strengthen good governance and amplify citizen-driven advocacy. The organization will form local good governance committees that will conduct community needs assessments and facilitate citizen engagement with local and national officials to present and propose solutions for local governance challenges.


Accountability and Transparency

Promoting Local Governance Accountability


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


Kurdistan for Everyone for Developing Democracy

Local Accountability in Sulaimaniyah


To strengthen the performance and public engagement of Sulaimaniyah’s elected local and national officials. The grantee will monitor the performance of the provincial council and national Parliamentarians, engage with national Parliamentarians, publish annual reports, air radio talk shows, convene civic forums, and continue expanding its outreach through its website.


Brave Youth Organization

Citizen Participation in Constitutional Reform


To stimulate citizen participation and discourse on including human rights and civil liberties protections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) draft constitution. 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 civil liberties protections in the draft constitution.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Supporting Women’s Political Empowerment


To strengthen the role of women in public and political life. The organization will organize training workshops for local women leaders on leadership, communication, advocacy and coalition-building skills. Trainees will form a coalition and conduct advocacy campaigns to address and propose recommendations to remedy the lack of women’s representation in local public office.


Institute of Regional & Intl. Studies; American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Iraq Economic Review


To promote economic reforms and transparency. The grantee will publish reports on the economy of Iraq. It will conduct research and 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.


Accountability and Transparency

Environmental Policy Advocacy


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 on the state of environmental policies and pollution’s impact, organize public seminars to share findings and build coalitions, publish policy papers, and meet with executive and legislative government officials to advocate for its recommendations.


STOP Organization for Monitoring and Development

Promoting Accountability and Rule of Law


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 study on the transparency of the KRI budget process.


Accountability and Transparency

Budget Transparency in Local Public Health Governance


To promote financial transparency in the health sector at the provincial level. The organization will convene experts and civil society organizations to advocate for the disclosure of budgetary allocations and spending as dictated by Iraqi 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.


Measuring Indicators of Democracy


To provide the public and policy-makers with indicators of the status of democracy in Iraq. The organization will publish and disseminate an annual index 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 organization will produce policy papers, organize advocacy meetings, and release the index findings and conclusions at a conference attended by media, policy and decision-makers and civil society leaders.