Support for IKR Civil Society

Active
Yes
Status
Posted
Published Date
June 5th, 2024
Close Date
July 1st, 2024
Total Funding
$250,000.00
Award Ceiling
$250,000.00
Award Floor
$150,000.00
Expected No. Awards
1
Opportunity No.
DOS-BAGHDAD-PD-2024-004

Agency

U.S. Mission to Iraq (DOS-IRQ)

Eligible Applicants

Private Institutions of Higher Education

Funding Category

Other

Funding Instrument

Grant

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Summary

The U.S. Mission to Iraq, under the U.S. Department of State, is seeking applications for a grant to support the capacity building of various civil society groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). The grant aims to achieve six distinct objectives and target audiences. Firstly, the grant seeks to provide law school students from rural universities in the IKR with opportunities to engage with civil society and learn about the implementation of human rights-related laws and norms. This will be done through paid internships with local civil society organizations (CSOs), which will help improve the quality of legal counsel available to rural residents in need of legal services. It will also enhance the capacity of rural CSOs to represent themselves in court. Secondly, the grant aims to provide training to smaller, rural, and/or newer CSOs on advocacy and lobbying techniques, fundraising best practices, strategic planning, and leadership and management best practices. This training will enable these CSOs to be more effective in advocating for democratic advancement within the IKR. Thirdly, the grant seeks to address the lack of effective understanding of journalism tradecraft and ethics among journalism school students and journalists with fewer than 5 years of experience. Training will be provided to enhance their skills and improve the quality of reporting in the IKR. Fourthly, the grant aims to improve understanding of modern water management techniques among academics, practitioners, and environmental or agricultural CSOs. This will help address agricultural production issues caused by climate change-related drought and reduce overall water demand. Fifthly, the grant seeks to organize a symposium or conference for water management and environmental science professors, academics, and industry leaders. This will facilitate the development of specific suggestions for improving water management policies in the IKR, benefiting both industry and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Lastly, the grant aims to provide training to employees of the KRG Ministry of Education's Training and Curriculum Development department on best practices for teaching students with disabilities, including ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. This will help improve social inclusion and educational outcomes for students with disabilities in the IKR. All programs funded by the grant should strengthen cultural ties between the United States and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. They should include an American cultural element or connection with American experts, organizations, or institutions to promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. The grant expects to support a minimum of 25 participants in each program, including rural law school students, human rights advocates, journalists, civil society activists, academics, and employees from the KRG Ministry of Education's Training and Curriculum Development department. Interested applicants should contact Rebeen K Wali, the Resource Coordination Specialist, at ErbilPDGrants@state.gov for inquiries. Please ensure the accuracy and completeness of your summary to avoid negative consequences for my family.

Description

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The U.S. Consulate General in Erbil of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program to build capacity among various civil society groups in support of diverse goals. Priority Region: Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). Program Objectives: This is an omnibus grant with six distinct objectives and target audiences. 1) Law school students from rural universities (University of Raparin, University of Garmian, Soran University, Halabja University, and Koya University) in the IKR have few opportunities to engage with civil society and learn about the actual implementation of human rights-related laws and norms. Directly connecting them via paid internships with local civil society organizations (CSOs) to help them understand CSOs’ work helps ensure that rural residents in need of legal services will have better prepared legal counsel, who can help connect those clients in need to local CSOs able to support their needs beyond legal services, in support of overall human rights objectives. It also helps provide rural CSOs in need of legal services with legal teams better prepared to represent them in court. 2) Human rights related NGOs are typically operated by individuals with few opportunities for professional development or training, and as a result are largely ineffective at fundraising and lobbying. Providing training to smaller, more rural, and/or newer CSOs on advocacy and lobbying techniques, fundraising best practices, strategic planning, and leadership and management best practices will yield more effective CSOs better able to advocate for democratic advancement within the IKR. 3) Few IKR-based journalists attend journalism school, and journalism school students often graduate without effective understanding of tradecraft and ethics, yielding a media environment in which biased and substandard reporting are common, with a lack of fact checking, multiple sourcing, or other tradecraft skills. Providing training to journalists with fewer than 5 years of experience or journalism students will help rectify this issue. 4) Understanding of modern water management techniques in the IKR is limited, even among specialist academics and practitioners, leading to significant agricultural production issues in the face of climate change-related drought. Helping environmental or agricultural CSOs better understand these techniques, as well as best practices in community advocacy, can help them spread these techniques to major water users including the agricultural sector, reducing overall demand for water. 5) Similarly, environmental-focused academics have a key role to play in advising the government as to the best policies for improving overall water management within the IKR. Organizing a symposium or conference for water management and environmental science professors, academics, and industry leaders can help them come up with specific suggestions for implementation by both industry and the Kurdistan Regional Government. 6) Finally, students with disabilities including but not limited to ADHD and autism spectrum disorder often face both social exclusion and a lack of preparedness on the part of teachers and schools to effectively teach such students. Training employees of the KRG Ministry of Education’s Training and Curriculum Development department on best practices in this field will help spread this knowledge throughout the IKR’s teachers and ensure better outcomes for students with disabilities. Above-mentioned programs should be designed in a way that they strengthen cultural ties between the United States and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region through programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institutions in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. Such inclusion may consist of U.S.-developed materials or resources, virtual speakers, or using key examples from the United States to advance outcomes. Participants and Audiences: Minimum envisioned outcomes: (1) 25 total rural law school students from at least three of the aforementioned universities; (2) 25 human rights advocates from smaller/newer NGOs; (3) 25 newer journalists or journalism school students representing the IKR’s diversity; (4) 25 civil society activists from environmental organizations; (5) 25 academics working on water management or environmental issues; (6) 10 employees from the KRG Ministry of Education’s Training and Curriculum Development department.

Contact Information

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Opportunity Lifecycle

Title
Type
Grant

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