Middle East and Northern Africa

Regional: MENA 2018

Academy for Economic Policy Reform

Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies


To enable leaders from the MENA region to engage effectively in economic policy reform issues. The grantee will lead two rounds of an economic policy training academy that includes workshops on policy analysis, development, and advocacy; a virtual mentorship program; and the production of policy papers. The first round will focus on the role of institutions in economic development and the second will focus on the role of civil society and the private sector in the integration of refugees of host countries.

Advocating Electoral Reform

Arab Network for Democratic Elections

Supplement: $29,700

To strengthen civil society organizations’ ability to influence electoral reforms. The grantee will organize and lead two additional weeklong electoral reform missions, including capacity-building seminars, for elections taking place in May 2018 in Tunisia and Iraq. The grantee will produce reports on each mission and provide an assessment outlining recommendations and advocacy strategies for electoral reform.

Advocating Electoral Reform

Arab Network for Democratic Elections


To strengthen civil society organizations’ ability to influence electoral reforms in the MENA region. The grantee will organize and lead a regional conference to facilitate exchange of experiences, share case studies and create a platform to follow-up on specific electoral reform recommendations. Based on those recommendations, the grantee will produce a roadmap to guide electoral reform priorities and strategies.

Arab Network for Human Rights Films

Ma3mal 612 – Think Factory


To broaden public dialogue and debate on human rights through film festivals and to strengthen a regional network that promotes and advocates for human rights. The grantee will support a recently formed regional network for human rights films. The network will provide support and expertise on using films as a platform to discuss and advocate for human rights, facilitate cooperation among member organizations and other likeminded groups, and make information, research tools, and resources available to the human rights film community in the region.

Building Resiliency in Civil Society

Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace


To build institutional and leadership capacities of civil society organizations active in democracy, women’s, and human rights. The grantee will hold training workshops for civil society leaders on participatory leadership, organizational development, strategic planning, and monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the grantee will convene an advanced regional institute to bolster the advocacy skills of past trainees from throughout the region and assist them in developing local and regional campaigns. The grantee will provide ongoing mentorship to participating organizations during and after the workshops.

Citizen Participation and Community Leadership in Closing and Closed Spaces

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To provide deeper engagement and solidarity with citizen activists in closing and closed spaces, and ensure civil society remains active in such circumstances. The institute will work with citizen activists and community leaders in three countries to help them build the skills and relationships for safely navigating challenging political environments. Leadership and skills-building gatherings, online and remote mentoring, and peer-to-peer exchanges will help activists continue their initiatives while positioning them to contribute to a meaningful political process in case of future openings.

Civil Society Academy

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To improve the capabilities of young civil society activists in the region to identify and tackle issues in their home communities, encourage collaboration, and share best practices and lessons learned with peers across the region. The institute will hold multi-national workshops and internships in Morocco, provide grants to alumni to hold local academies in their home countries, and extend seed grants to implement grassroots initiatives in their communities,

Civil Society Strengthening

Civic Space Institute


To strengthen civil society organizations’ institutional capacities and to support knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices among activists, particularly in the area of democratic governance principles for organizations and local governments. The grantee will deliver two eight-week online courses for civil society leaders, activists, practitioners, and academics from throughout the MENA region. In addition, the grantee will conduct in-country workshops and mentor key staff of leading civil society organizations.

Community Monitoring and Advocacy Network

Bank Information Center

Supplement: $3,000

To incubate a regional network of civil society organizations that monitor development projects, contribute to shaping development plans in their countries, and hold their governments accountable. The project will support the institutional development of a new regional coalition and coordinate among members to finalize and begin implementation of its strategic plan.

Constitutional, Legislative, and Policy Observatory

Democratic Transition and Human Rights Support Center


To strengthen a political, cultural and legislative environment supportive of democracy and to contribute to the production of and access to knowledge on democratic transformation, with a focus on marginalized communities. The grantee will engage diverse civic and political actors from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia at both the national and regional levels to review, assess, and make policy recommendations. The grantee will continue to develop its electronic platform on democratic transitions and produce an annual report.

Countering Hate Speech

MENA Media Monitoring


To enhance ethical journalism practices and guard against inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech that undermines democratic ideas and values. The grantee will monitor and campaign against hate speech targeting human rights defenders and civil society activists in the media, develop a five-step advocacy strategy plan to counter this trend, host roundtables on guarding against such speech in media, and publish a biannual journal.

Defending Freedom of Association Phase II

Solidarity Center (SC)


To build the capacity of independent unions to defend and advance their right to freedom of association. The center will develop the capacity of the Palestinian labor movement to establish new union committees in workplaces with women workers, ensure enforcement of the new social security law, and use collective bargaining to improve working conditions in the public sector. The center will also assist unions in Jordan to use ILO processes to defend freedom of association.

Enhancing Constitutional Culture

Arab Association for Constitutional Law


To strengthen expertise on rule of law and constitutional governance and better prepare scholars and practitioners to engage in constitutional reforms; and to stimulate and contribute to national and regional debates on constitutional reforms. The grantee will hold an annual academy for ten constitutional and rule of law scholars, jurists, policy and decision-makers from the MENA region. The grantee will mentor participants before and after the two-week academy as they develop policy papers and lead activities in their home countries to promote their policy recommendations.

Enhancing Policy Sector Capabilities

The Project on Middle East Democracy


To strengthen the ability of policy centers throughout the region to influence public policymaking and advance policy recommendations. The grantee will provide technical and financial assistance to 17 nascent policy centers in five countries. Tailored, one-on-one capacity building support in the form of consultations, mentorship, and training workshops will focus on strengthening the centers’ policy research, writing, and advocacy skills.

Exchanging Experiences in Economic Empowerment and Democratic Governance

Espace Libre de Citoyennete, de Formation, et de Developpement a Mohammedia


To support and strengthen the capacity of an Egyptian NGO working on environmental and cooperative rights in rural communities and share best practices from Morocco; and to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in democratic governance and participatory democracy. The grantee will work with a local partner in another MENA country to provide technical support and hold meetings to assist independent agricultural and fishermen unions. The grantee will also host an academy in Morocco on local governance for regional civil society leaders.

Human Rights Advocacy for Medical Impartiality

European Center for Democracy and Human Rights


To strengthen a regional initiative advocating for medical impartiality in the MENA region. Monitoring and documenting violations in the region will support advocacy efforts to protect medical impartiality. Cultivating relationships with international and regional medical and human rights organizations will mobilize greater support for medical impartiality. Briefing papers and other publications will inform advocacy efforts and the public about medical impartiality.

Islam 21 Civic Education Program

International Forum for Islamic Dialogue


To strengthen a regional civic education network that promotes youth civic participation in the context of Muslim beliefs and culture, and empowers a new generation of social actors that represent values of pluralism and democracy. The grantee will conduct a twelve-month study on the outcomes and impact of its unique civic education program and convene a regional meeting to discuss the findings and suggest strategies for strengthening civic education and youth outreach efforts aimed at fostering ethnic and religious pluralism. The grantee will also offer regular online training programs.

Middle East Forum

OpenDemocracy Limited


To empower and provide a platform for emerging young thought leaders and to stimulate dialogue on critical issues related to democratic development. The grantee will recruit and mentor young emerging writers, thinkers, and leaders from the MENA region to write substantive articles related to democratic development in the region.

New Tactics in Human Rights Advocacy

Center for Victims of Torture


To strengthen MENA regional human rights activists’ ability to develop and lead strategic and tactical advocacy efforts. The grantee will lead a training-of-trainers workshop and mentorship program on implementing strategic advocacy campaigns for human rights activists from the region. In addition, it will conduct a country-specific training for organizations from one MENA country to develop a collective advocacy campaign. A selection of participants will receive modest financial support to implement advocacy campaigns.

Online Platform for Independent Journalism

Daraj Media


To provide and expand the availability of independent and in-depth investigative journalism to Arabic speaking audiences. The organization will produce a series of investigative and policy-oriented videos and articles on radicalization in the Arab world including Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia. The grantee will disseminate this original content on its website and social media pages.

Promoting Accountability through Technology

Why Not?

Supplement: $30,000

To strengthen civil society groups’ ability to monitor political processes and promote government accountability using new technology. The grantee will incubate and support the development of three new accountability initiatives and applications by former beneficiaries that address media misinformation and propaganda, tax allocations and government expenditures, and political violence.

Protecting Freedom of Association for Independent Unions

Solidarity Center (SC)


To strengthen the capacity of unions to defend the rights of workers and improve working conditions in multinational corporation supply chains, and to improve the legal environment to protect freedom of association, assembly, and expression for workers and independent unions. The center will work with local partners to carry out capacity building programs for unions and support lawyers to challenge restrictions on freedom of association through the court system.

Protecting Human Rights Defenders

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders


To protect and assist at-risk Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian human rights defenders, and to help sustain their activities through facilitating engagement and coordination with other human rights stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels. The grantee will direct rapid and flexible financial assistance to human rights defenders and provide coordination and coaching services to ensure medium and long-term sustainability of their activities.

Strengthening Investigative Journalism

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)


To expand access to resources and training on investigative journalism in the MENA region; and to strengthen investigative journalism by exposing journalists to best practices in the region. The grantee will develop and launch an online course on digital storytelling for investigative journalists. In addition, the grantee will host three three-month fellowships for journalists to work with experienced investigative journalists on investigative reports or media projects.

Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight over Government

Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption


To enhance parliamentarians’ capacity to exercise oversight over their governments and ensure inclusive and accountable development plans. The grantee will hold three sub-regional workshops for parliamentarians on using tools and mechanisms established by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to follow up on their governments’ development plans, budgets, and self-assessments. The grantee will also develop an Arabic guide on the role of parliaments in overseeing the implementation of the Agenda.

Strengthening Policy Collaboration and Networking

Nawat Network


To strengthen the capacity and regional cooperation of nascent MENA think tanks and to support the development and growth of a regional think tank network. A peer review board will develop quality standards for policy work and improve the quality of policy literature in the region. An annual conference will facilitate the exchange of best practices, networking and collaboration among network members.

Strengthening Policy Debate Federations

International Debate Education Association MENA (IDEA MENA)


To strengthen the ability of national debate federations to influence and contribute to policy and decision-making processes in their countries and communities, and to enhance debate and policymaking skills among youth and engage them in identifying policy solutions to local issues. The grantee will organize two regional workshops to strengthen national debate federations in five countries and support the federations in coordinating public policy debates.

Strengthening Professional Independent Journalism

International Center for Journalists, Inc.


To enhance professional capacity and foster regional networks among professional and citizen journalists through access to media tools, information, and training opportunities. The grantee will lead a ten-month mentorship program for new media start-ups, develop its media entrepreneurship toolkit, produce a new toolkit on media fact-checking, strengthen its alumni network, and maintain and enhance IJNet Arabic through new content, resources, and live chats for media professionals in the MENA region.

Strengthening Social Accountability Networks

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in the Arab World


To strengthen a regional network on social accountability and participatory governance. The grantee will convene member organizations at the national and regional levels to develop a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, assess current members and conduct outreach to identify new members. The project will produce a five-year strategic plan document to guide network priorities and activities.

Supporting Human Rights Activists in Closed Societies

The Gulf and Middle East Association for Civil Society


To raise awareness of human rights violations in the Gulf region. The project will monitor civic and human rights violations, support and strengthen the capacities of a regional network of human rights activists and defenders, coordinate legal assistance to activists, and engage international human rights groups. Project reports and findings will be disseminated through a monthly newsletter and regular press releases and podcasts.

To Strengthen the Capacity of Trade Unions and Worker Rights Associations to Defend and Protect Workers’ Rights for Decent Work

Solidarity Center (SC)


To build the leadership and advocacy skills of unions in Morocco and Tunisia to influence policies to improve the defense and protection of labor rights and promote access to decent work for all workers, including women, youth, people with disabilities, and migrant workers. The SC will also develop the capacity of its Libyan union partner to provide union education to its local leaders.

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