THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS HAS PASSED. THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED ONCE A NEW APPLICATION PERIOD IS OPENED.
Democracy and Human Rights Fund II (DHRF II). The DHR II Program provides assistance through grants to indigenous organizations 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.
Democratization Grants Program: An Overviewof the DHRF Activity
Historically, the Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF) has been one of a variety of programs the U.S. government (USG) has used to support the process of democratization in Africa. The Democracy and Human Rights Fund II Activity (DHRF II) is a subset of Development Assistance and was authorized in May 2000, building upon the foundation laid by previous Democracy and Human Rights Fund projects.
Individual embassies indicated that the vast majority of activities previously funded under DHRF made a significant local impact and strengthened nascent groups that otherwise would not have received financial or organizational support. Consequently, DHRF II will continue to provide grants to indigenous organizations for small, focused, relatively discrete, high-impact, and short-term (one year) democracy-related activities consistent with the priorities of Section 116(e) of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), as amended, and USAID Policy Determination 12 (See Annex M) on Human Rights; i.e. an effective civil society, an independent judiciary, free and fair electoral processes at all levels, and the protection and advocacy of human rights.
Technical assistance will be provided through grants to indigenous organizations (i.e. Africa-based) that will implement small, short-term, highly targeted country-level activities in support of human rights and democratic institutions. Activities will be completed within 12 months of signing the grant agreement; and activities should be designed to show some measurable results with an emphasis on change. However, no funds will be used, directly or indirectly, to influence the outcome of any election in any country.
For FY-2006, Guinea was granted a total budget of USD 75,000 for projects under the Democratization Grants Program.
Goal and Purpose of the DHRF II Activity
Democracy and Governance is the second goal area of USAID’s program in recognition of the crucial need for stable, capable governments and an element in State’s Budget Program Plan. This goal can be partially attained through the DHRF II Activity which reinforces the USG’s foreign policy objective to support human rights and democracy, and which is perceived as a validation of the importance the USG puts on democracy and human rights. Because financial needs extend beyond USAID’s bilateral Democracy and Governance Programs, the small activities funded through DHRF II will provide an effective alternative vehicle for supporting democracies and good governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The DHRF is intended to support activities that promote political pluralism and human and civil rights, rather than longer-term development-oriented activities. DHRF activities should be small, distinct, high-impact, and short-term. DHRF does not fund on-going, multi-year activities or projects of indigenous organizations, even though these may support democracy or promote human rights. Also, it does not fund long-term institutional development of civil or government bodies, even though institutional development is crucial to sustaining democratic development.
DHRF falls under the authority of Section 116(e) of the 1961 FAA (see Annex K), as amended, which clearly states that project activities must “promote civil and political rights.” For the purposes of DHRF, “civil and political rights” are defined by the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (located online at the following web address: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_ccpr.htm). These internationally recognized rights may be enshrined in, or expanded upon, by national statutes. Activities that promote the rule of law or domestic civil and legal rights fall under this category, as well as the right to free religious belief and practice. Any other use of DHRF is prohibited by law.
DHRF falls under the authority of Section 116(e) of the 1961 FAA (see Annex K), as amended, which clearly states that project activities must “promote civil and political rights.” For the purposes of DHRF, “civil and political rights” are defined by the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (located online at the following web address: . These internationally recognized rights may be enshrined in, or expanded upon, by national statutes. Activities that promote the rule of law or domestic civil and legal rights fall under this category, as well as the right to free religious belief and practice. Any other use of DHRF is prohibited by law.
Confusion about project eligibility often exists because many African countries also recognized the rights contained in the United Nations’ International Covenant of Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (located online at: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_cescr.htm) and humanitarian assistance to be “human rights.” However, given U.S. Congressional parameters in Section 116(e) of the FAA, the DHRF is not the appropriate mechanism to fund these kinds of projects. Some activities that support economic, social, and cultural rights may be funded by the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (SSH). If doubt arises concerning any project or project component, posts should consult the AF/RSA and their regional legal advisor (RLA).
Within this goal of promoting civil and political rights, the purpose of DHRF is to provide a mechanism to support and strengthen democratic institutions and civil society, as well as the adoption and adherence to democratic values and practices in African countries. Decisions on what types of activities to fund should be consistent with U.S. human rights policies, and should consider the priorities of each country’s Mission Performance Plan (MPP).