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U.S. Embassy announces Democracy, Human Rights Fund

Feb 9, 2010, 1:44 PM

The United States Embassy in Banjul has announced the opening of its Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF), which is a grant to provide assistance to indigenous civil society organisations or Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) that will implement small, short-term, highly-targeted activities, designed to show measurable results with an emphasis on change in support of human rights and democratic institutions.

According to a statement from the US Embassy, common themes that proposals may cover and encourage include though not limited to, change in civil and political rights; adherence to the rule of law through a legal framework conducive to civil and political rights; free and democratic electoral systems.

Also part of the common themes and proposals include development of democratic principles that promote human rights and result in change, and increase access of women and ethnic groups to judicial and to political processes.

All DHRF funded activities, according to the statement, must have a substantive link to the promotion of democracy or human rights. The statement added that proposals must be generated in the field within the context of a particular country, and are based on specific requests from indigenous organisations, clearly describing how the activities will be managed.

The proposal must also identify the anticipated results, be completed within 12 months and demonstrate that a change in democracy and/or human rights practices or law will occur, or that beneficiaries will receive a new awareness or democratic and/or human rights principles, address civil and political rights (i.e. activities that promote the rule of law or domestic and civil and legal rights; and not to exceed $25, 000.)

The statement further stated that activities such as the use of funds to influence the outcome of elections, training or advice, or support for police, prison or other law enforcement forces, military or any other programme of internal intelligence or surveillance, and building construction do not qualify for the fund. Also activities such as vehicle purchase, long term (more than 12 months) recurring administrative costs such as building or equipment maintenance, rent, office supplies, or administrative salaries, conference or workshops that lack a specific and clear goal do not also qualify for the fund.

In line with this, the U.S. Embassy will be conducting a workshop on Friday February 12, from 9am - l0am on best practices, administrative requirements, and how to officially apply for this grant.