Regional: MENA 2020

A New Social Contract Post COVID-19

Solidarity Center (SC)

$300,000

To strengthen the capacity of unions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to advocate for a new social contract in their countries, expose gaps in social safety nets created by the COVID-19 pandemic and demand better protections for workers, the Center will convene unions to exchange ideas and connect to the ITUC’s global campaign for a new social contract. The Center will support unions in three countries in activities to identify the needs of workers and propose recommendations.

Arab Barometer

Trustees of Princeton University

$200,000

To promote data- and evidence-based policy and decision making and strengthen polling and data collection capacities of civil society in the MENA region. The project will survey broad attitudes toward democracy and country specific views on local norms, processes, and institutions. It will conduct subsequent outreach and dissemination activities to publicize its results. It will also train local civil society stakeholders in data collection and consult with them on survey findings and the final report.

Arab Network for Human Rights Films

Ma3mal Art Productions

$57,000

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 organization will support a regional network for human rights films by providing expertise and technical assistance on using films as a platform to discuss and advocate for human rights, facilitating cooperation among member organizations and other likeminded groups, and making information, research tools, and resources available to the human rights film community in the region.

Averroes Academy

Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies

$136,800

To enable leaders from the MENA region to engage in economic policy reforms. The grantee will create an e-learning platform, lead two years of an economic policy academy that includes trainings, virtual mentorship, and policy paper production, and produce an annual report on the intersection of economic policy and democratization across the MENA region. A steering committee of civil society, economics, and democracy experts and academy alumni will lead the program to strengthen its quality and relevance.

Citizen Participation and Community Leadership in Closed Societies II

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$350,000

To develop the leadership and relationships skills of activists in closed and closing spaces in countries such as Egypt and the Gulf states, the Institute will conduct online workshops, regional skills-building gatherings, issues-based convening and ongoing individual mentorship. In addition to skills-building, this program highlights the Institute’s commitment to standing in solidarity with activists working in challenging political environments to ensure civil society remains active even in such difficult circumstances.

Civic Space Watch

Al Chabaka Al Arabia

$75,000

To expand opportunities for regional collaboration and strengthen coordinated advocacy to protect and defend civic space. The grantee will maintain and expand its regional Civic Space Watch, which includes an electronic platform for monitoring, documenting and sharing information on shrinking civic space trends from ten MENA countries and use this information to produce an annual report that will contribute to advocacy efforts.

Civil Society Strengthening

Civic Space Institute

$40,000

To support knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices among civil society activists, particularly in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Through online courses, monthly discussions, and regular assignments for civil society leaders, activists, practitioners and academics throughout the MENA region, the grantee will educate participants on standards of good governance in times of crisis and build civic resilience in the face of restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

Community Monitoring and Advocacy

Arab Watch Coalition

$70,000

To strengthen civil society groups’ ability to monitor development projects, contribute to shaping development plans in their countries, and hold their governments accountable. The grantee will provide technical support to its CSO members in eight countries, produce and disseminate information and analysis on the activities and policies of International Finance Institutions (IFIs), facilitate the engagement of its members and partners in the region with IFIs, develop the institutional capacity of the coalition and strengthen collaboration among members.

Countering Hate Speech

MENA Media Monitoring

$80,000

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, in particular media attacks targeting human rights defenders and civil society activists, develop peer-to-peer networks for targets of these attacks, host seminars on guarding against such speech in media, and publish four videos.

Enhancing Policy Sector Capabilities

The Project on Middle East Democracy

$459,200

To strengthen the ability of policy centers in MENA countries to influence public policymaking and advance policy recommendations. The grantee will provide technical and financial assistance to nascent policy centers in five countries, and will continue strengthening the Tunis-based “Citizenship and Prosperity” coalition, which focuses on economic reforms. Tailored, one-on-one capacity building support in the form of consultations, mentorship and training workshops will strengthen the centers’ policy research, writing, and advocacy skills. The grantee will also continue hosting an annual regional conference for partners.

Exchanging Experiences in Economic Empowerment and Democratic Governance

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

$50,000

To support and strengthen the capacity of a local NGO in the region 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 its partner to provide technical support and hold meetings to assist independent agricultural and fishermen unions; and host an academy in Morocco on local governance for regional civil society leaders.

Fostering Pluralism through Educators Network

Common Space for Enlightened Educators

$100,000

To support a regional platform for educators to amplify counter-extremist narratives rooted in Muslim values and traditions. The grantee will strengthen the impact of educational and cultural initiatives in the region that provide pluralist civic narratives. The grantee will engage educators, expand its network membership, further develop an online platform to facilitate member information-sharing, map regional educational needs and challenges and work with members to increase production and dissemination of educational and cultural materials.

Jordan and Palestine: Independent Unions as Leaders for Change

Solidarity Center (SC)

$750,000

To assist workers in the Middle East and North Africa to work collectively to defend their rights and advocate for their needs through independent unions. The center will train unionists on workplace level representation and internal organizing, who will then train elected workplace level union representatives. The center will also convene a regional meeting for union representatives from MENA countries currently experiencing restrictions against freedom of association to enable them to share their experiences and learn from each other.

New Tactics in Human Rights Advocacy

Center for Victims of Torture

$150,000

To strengthen MENA regional human rights activists’ ability to develop and lead strategic and tactical advocacy efforts. The grantee will hold an annual training-of-trainers workshop and mentorship program on implementing strategic advocacy campaigns for human rights activists from the region and provide modest financial support for the implementation of the most promising campaigns. In addition, it will train Iraqi human rights activists to develop country-specific advocacy campaigns.

North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, & Algeria): Building Worker and Trade Union Power to Influence Sustainable Democratic Change

Solidarity Center (SC)

$1,329,598

To build worker and trade union power in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, the Center will strengthen the labor movements there to influence sustainable democratic change by advancing respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining, contributing to economic and administrative reform processes, advocating for the rights of young people, and in Tunisia, by encouraging public policies that promote the Ratification of ILO Convention 190 on Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work.

Online Academy for Promoting Accountability

NGO Strengthening

$35,000

To strengthen civil society groups’ ability to monitor political processes and media using new technology and to support the development of watchdog groups in the region. The organization will prepare new training content on budget and financial accountability, offer four rounds of its online course on accountability to civil society activists, and facilitate four internships for top trainees.

Online Academy for Promoting Accountability – Civil Society Fellowships

NGO Strengthening

Supplement $26,300

To strengthen civil society groups’ ability to monitor political processes and media using new technology and to support the development of watchdog groups in the region. The organization will prepare new training content on budget and financial accountability, offer its online course on accountability to civil society activists, and facilitate internships for top trainees. It will also provide fellowship opportunities for democrats-at-risk to continue meaningful civic engagement and preserve the capacity and voice of civil society considering increasing threats.

Online Platform for Independent Journalism

Daraj Media

$60,000

To provide and expand the availability of independent and in-depth investigative journalism to Arabic speaking audiences. The grantee will continue to increase the amount of quality, fact-based, independent investigative journalism available to Arabic readers in the Middle East and North Africa. The organization will produce a series of investigative and policy-oriented videos and articles on the legal status of women in the Arab world.

Policy Fellowships

The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

$120,000

To support and amplify the voices of thought leaders from the MENA region on critical issues related to democratic development. The program will host nonresidential fellowships for researchers, scholars, and activists from the region. The fellows will develop their research and writing skills and contribute analyses on issues related to democratic development. The organization will also host a convening of regional human rights lawyers to enhance their skills and contribute to policy discussions on the state of human rights law in the region.

Promoting Accountability through New Media and Technology

Why Not?

$73,200

To strengthen civil society groups’ ability to monitor political processes and promote government accountability using new technology and to support the development of a MENA regional coalition focused on accountability in the public and private sectors. The organization will host a fellowship program, link participants with leading watchdog groups in the Balkans, provide ongoing technical support and consultations to partners in the MENA region, and convene a meeting in Sarajevo for MENA accountability experts.

Promoting Transitional Justice Measures

Federation Euro-Mediterraneenne Contre les Disparitions Forcees

$75,000

To promote human rights through transitional justice policies and practices, particularly regarding enforced disappearance. The program will build the capacity of regional civil society organizations in documentation and advocacy, best practices in forensics for evidence collection, and working with victims of human rights abuses.

Reducing Risks to Democracy from Corrosive Capital Flows

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$1,000,000

To counter the malign influence of authoritarian countries in the MENA region on democratic movements and democratic development in the region, the Center will conduct research on legal frameworks, ultimate beneficiary ownership and implementation shortfalls in partnership with civil society organizations and local researchers in three countries to reveal the governance gaps used to undermine democratic norms and provide recommendations to correct them. The project will publicize the study’s results and engage policymakers on improving ownership disclosure, access to information, and competitive procurement.

Strengthening Community Radios

Freedom of Information

$198,000

To strengthen the capacity of independent community media including community radios. The organization will lead a capacity building initiative for a select group of community radios in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria; organize regional exchanges and networking; provide mentorship on content production; and facilitate the creation of a regional network of community radios.

MENA REGIONAL

Strengthening Investigative Journalism

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)

Supplement $47,000

To strengthen investigative journalism by exposing journalists to best practices. The grantee will host four, six-month fellowships for MENA journalists, especially those from closed or in-conflict countries, to work with experienced investigative journalists on investigative reports or media projects. The fellows will attend online workshops, trainings, and an annual conference to learn about new skills, experiences, strategies, and tools for investigative journalism and then produce investigative stories related to COVID-19.

Strengthening Investigative Journalism

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)

Supplement $70,000

To strengthen investigative journalism by exposing journalists to best practices. The grantee will host four, six-month fellowships for MENA journalists, especially those from closed or in-conflict countries, to work with experienced investigative journalists on investigative reports or media projects. The fellows will attend online workshops, trainings, and an annual conference to learn about new skills, experiences, strategies, and tools for investigative journalism and then produce investigative stories related to COVID-19.

Strengthening Policy Collaboration and Networking

Nawat Network

$60,000

To strengthen the capacity of and regional cooperation among nascent MENA think tanks, and to support the development and growth of a regional think tank network. A series of virtual workshops will develop policy institute management, advocacy, and research skills to improve the quality and impact of policy literature emerging from the region. An annual conference will facilitate the exchange of best practices, networking and collaboration among network members.

MENA REGIONAL

Strengthening Professional Independent Journalism

International Center for Journalists, Inc.

$199,600

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 two, ten-month mentorship programs for new media start-ups, further develop its media entrepreneurship toolkit, produce a new toolkit for conflict and crisis reporting and a collaborative journalism toolkit, strengthen its alumni network, and maintain and enhance IJNet Arabic and Persian.

Strengthening Social Accountability Networks

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in the Arab World

$55,000

To strengthen a regional network on social accountability and participatory governance. The grantee will produce a series of seven studies, one in each of its network countries, analyzing legal frameworks for social accountability. The grantee will use these studies to engage with its members in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco and launch national campaigns in each country advocating for legal reforms.

Strengthening the Role of Professional Associations in Reforms

ARI – Centre pour une Initiative Arabe de Réforme

$75,000

To strengthen professional associations’ role in democratic reforms. The organization will conduct a mapping and needs assessment of emerging professional associations taking leadership roles in democracy efforts in Algeria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The project will convene a regional meeting with representatives from professional associations in Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Iraq to exchange experiences and collectively reflect on agendas for steering democratic reforms. The project will also produce policy papers that examine the evolution of and role for these associations in democratic reform.

Strengthening Worker-Driven Independent Unions

Solidarity Center (SC)

$201,000

To restore confidence in the Palestinian labor movement and to expand and strengthen it. The center will support unions to promote an economic platform addressing workers’ needs to improve the inclusion of women and youth and use the media to highlight union victories. To strengthen the independent labor movement in Jordan to advance freedom of association, the center will guide unions in drafting a new law in line with ILO conventions and support a radio program to serve as the public voice of independent unions.