Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

The summary for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the US Mission to Kyrgyzstan, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
Democracy Commission Small Grants Program: The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic is soliciting Statements of Interest for grants from Kyrgyz civil society and independent media organizations that focus on one of the priority areas/themes specified below. Applicants should pay close attention to PDS priority goals, program areas, target audiences, and geographic location when developing their proposals. Statements of Interest, including the short budget proposal, cannot exceed three pages. Proposals which exceed three pages limit will be disqualified from consideration. Support for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) All programs should consider strategies for expanding the pool of individuals/organizations/beneficiaries to afford opportunities for as diverse and inclusive a population as is feasible to bring perspectives based on religion, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, national origin, and age to implementation of the program. Note: A specific goal and objectives for each theme are listed below. Please ensure you pay close attention to each of the goals, objectives, and target audiences when developing your proposal. Priority Themes: 1. Advancing Business Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship The economy of the Kyrgyz Republic relies heavily on external factors, contributing to the country's economic instability in recent decades. The limited economic opportunities and high level of poverty, especially in rural locations, led to mass labor migration, which caused additional socio-economic problems within communities. Previous PDS-funded projects have focused on strengthening entrepreneurship and small business development initiatives by providing beneficiaries with necessary tools and knowledge; increasing the level of financial literacy and business skills; and providing business-related training programs and vocational courses to ensure economic independence and self-sustainability. This funding opportunity seeks to continue to support projects that strengthen the enabling environment for economic growth by addressing specific current challenges: ● high level of poverty in rural locations; ● lack of core competencies and skills needed in the modern workplace; and/or, ● lack of economic opportunities and resources. Project Goal: To strengthen rural entrepreneurship and small business development by increasing knowledge and tools that entrepreneurs and small businesses owners need to make their businesses successful. 2. Promoting Democratic Institutions The Kyrgyz Republic has made democratic gains since its independence; however, democracy in the Kyrgyz Republic continues to face challenges and risks. Independent observers have noted violations of electoral processes; high levels of corruption and low levels of transparency; attempts to impose regulations on NGO/CSOs in a discriminatory manner, persecution of independent media and political repression of freedom of speech; poor public understanding of democratic institutions and legal rights, especially in rural regions; and overall political instability due to social, economic and geographical divisions. Furthermore, while the Kyrgyz NGO sector is vibrant and provides a wide range of educational, social, and legal services, many NGOs lack essential capacities, especially in rural areas, that limit their impact. Previous PDS-funded projects have focused on increasing political participation in decision-making processes, promoting cooperation between local governments and civil society, and strengthening advocacy efforts and raising awareness on universal human rights, especially among vulnerable and marginalized populations. This funding opportunity seeks to promote more inclusive and accountable democracy by addressing specific current challenges: ● limited knowledge of the importance of the rule of law, civic engagement, civil society, and advocacy; ● limited CSO capacity in communication and public relations, digital storytelling and technology skills, especially in rural areas; and/or ● limited cooperation between rural civil society and local government. Project Goal: To strengthen democracy in the Kyrgyz Republic through increased civic engagement of rural youth, increased positive perceptions of the role of civil society and the rule of law at the citizen level, increased collaboration between citizens and government bodies on good governance, and/or increased organizational capacity of rural NGOs. 3. Combatting Gender-Based Violence Combatting Gender-based violence (GBV) is a key sub-theme of promoting the rule of law and gender equality, which are essential to democratic norms. Despite extensive work and assistance to ensure gender equality in the Kyrgyz Republic, GBV remains a widespread issue in the country. Due to many factors, including, but not limited to poverty, economic dependence, traditionalism, patriarchy and gender discrimination, women in particular face different types of violence such as domestic violence, sexual violence, early marriages, sexual harassment, and physical and mental abuse. GBV is disproportionately underreported, ignored, and silenced by the government and society. Previous PDS-funded projects relating to GBV have primarily focused on raising awareness about human and legal rights, providing economic and leadership empowerment programs, strengthening the capacity of relevant bodies to effectively respond to GBV, and assisting with legal counseling to GBV victims. This funding opportunity seeks to build upon previous projects and strengthen the efforts to effectively prevent and respond to gender-based violence by addressing specific current challenges: ● entrenched gender stereotypes and prejudice; ● lack of economic resources and economic vulnerability; and/or, ● normalization and general acceptance of gender-based violence. Project Goal: To strengthen civil society and government capacity to address gender-based violence in the Kyrgyz Republic through preventative measures. 4. Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) A significant number of young adults and teenagers in the Kyrgyz Republic experience challenges with social integration, including lack of educational and economic opportunities, especially in rural areas and new urban settlements around Bishkek. Without a strong sense of purpose, these young people are at risk of drifting into violent extremism, leading to further exclusion by their communities. One significant obstacle to young people's positive engagement in society is a lack of critical thinking skills and ability to filter the information available to them. Previous PDS-funded projects on prevention of violent extremism have primarily focused on promoting tolerance, interethnic dialogue, and socio-economic empowerment of youth through employment partnerships, traineeship programs, and outreach events; increasing skills of positive interaction among youth in the multi-confessional environment of the Kyrgyz Republic; mitigating radicalization among young people through an educational program on media literacy and critical thinking; and working with an interfaith council to promote understanding between people of different faiths to increase acceptance and tolerance. This funding opportunity seeks to build upon previous projects and expand PVE programming in the Kyrgyz Republic through strengthening individual and community resilience and local capacity by addressing specific current challenges: ● lack of sense of belonging to a community, along with low civic participation and proactivity; ● lack of media literacy and critical skills to recognize and reject violent extremist narratives; and/or ● low capacity of local government and civil society actors in PVE and lack of effective collaboration in prevention of radicalization and extremism. Project Goal: To strengthen individual and community resilience among youth in rural regions and new urban communities and build capacity of rural civil society organizations to prevent radicalization through better coordination with key stakeholders, such as youth and government. 5. Countering Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) In 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic formally adopted a national referral mechanism (NRM) to help counter trafficking in persons (TIP.) The NRM established formal policies on victim identification, assistance referral, provision of social services, and protection of victims' personal data, but the government provided very limited training on the NRM to key implementers. Previous PDS-funded projects have primarily focused on prevention of human trafficking through strengthened partnerships with government authorities, regional TIP coordination councils, and NGOs; improved understanding among local authorities and NGOs on the national referral mechanism policies; and raising public awareness on trafficking-related issues and risks of illegal migration through legal rights trainings to ensure safe migration and avoid exploitation abroad. This funding opportunity seeks to build upon previous projects and expand trafficking-in-persons programming in the Kyrgyz Republic by addressing specific current challenges: ● lack of effective standard operating procedures (SOPs) for state bodies including local administrations and local self-governments to implement NRM; ● low capacity of local government officials, including regional TIP coordination council members, as well as NGO representatives, to implement NRM and identify victims based on four identification criteria; and/or ● limited public awareness on trafficking-related issues, risks of illegal migration and the legal rights of migrants. Proposed projects should seek to address at least two of the three challenges above by leveraging local, state, and civil society stakeholders to strengthen interagency coordination in countering the problem of human trafficking; increase the capacity of officials in identification and protection of victims; and raise awareness of vulnerable migrants on their legal rights to ensure safe migration. Project Goal: To reduce trafficking-in-persons in the Kyrgyz Republic by educating and empowering labor migrants and at-risk groups, building capacity of government officials, and improving understanding of TIP issues.
Federal Grant Title: Democracy Commission Small Grants Program
Federal Agency Name: US Mission to Kyrgyzstan (DOS-KGC)
Grant Categories: Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity" for clarification)
Type of Opportunity: Other
Funding Opportunity Number: STATE-BISHKEK-PDS-23-0002
Type of Funding: Grant
CFDA Numbers: 19.900
CFDA Descriptions: Information not provided
Current Application Deadline: March 20th, 2023
Original Application Deadline: March 20th, 2023
Posted Date: January 31st, 2023
Creation Date: January 31st, 2023
Archive Date: April 19th, 2023
Total Program Funding:
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $50,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $10,000
Expected Number of Awards: 20
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Last Updated: January 31st, 2023
Category Explanation
This program supports the development of the country's democratic institutions and civil society by competitively awarding small grants to nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations, to nonprofit civil society organizations (CSOs), and to independent local media organizations in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification.)
Additional Information on Eligibility
The following organizations are eligible to apply:■ Not-for-profit organizations, ■ Civil society/non-governmental organizations, ■ Think tanks, and■ Media organizations. For this announcement, only organizations based in the Kyrgyz Republic are eligible to apply. Organizations unique to the Kyrgyz Republic will be prioritized over local branches of international NGOs/CSOs.
Link to Full Grant Announcement
U.S. Embassy web site
Grant Announcement Contact
PDS Bishkek
Grants team's shared email
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