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Grant Opportunities: The Africa Regional Democracy Fund Program (Cameroon)

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Deadline: 8-Jul-22

The U.S. Embassy in Cameroon is inviting applications for its Africa Regional Democracy Fund Program (ARDF) for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance to strengthen democratic institutions, improve governance, and promote respect for human rights in Cameroon.

The ARDF provides assistance to Cameroonian organizations that seek to implement short-term, highly targeted activities designed to show measurable results.

Program Objectives

  • Promote Accountable, Transparent, and Responsive Governance:
    • Support local civil society entities, including think tanks, academic research, watchdog groups, media associations, journalists, and other civil society actors to advocate for legislative transparency, accountability, and oversight at all levels of government.
    • Provide specialized, technical support to support democratic governance, with a particular focus on legislative oversight.
  • Promote Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:
    • Support the protection, mitigation, and responses to human rights violations and abuses, in particular human rights violations affecting the most vulnerable, by strengthening human rights frameworks, institutions, and oversight.
    • Support to local, and key international, human rights organizations and institutions to promote human rights systems, policies, and protection, with particular focus on women and youth.
    • Strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations; and resident, vendor, or other associations through civic education and citizen participation to advocate for democratic rights and norms that advance public involvement in civic life.
  • Support Democratic Processes and Promotion of Strong Democratic Norms:
    • Support to political processes, such as peace processes and negotiations, which seek long-term democratization and respect for human rights and accountability, with a particular focus on empowering women, youth, and marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Program Categories

  • Civic Education, Citizen Participation, and Public Accountability: 
    • Supports activities that advance citizen engagement to hold governments accountable and to participate in economic, political, governing, and other critical processes aimed at creating more peaceful, democratic, and pluralistic societies.
    • Promotes citizen engagement in local decision-making processes, such as through participatory budgeting processes and public-private dialogue for economic development priorities.
    • Examples of other activities include supporting civil society and citizen advocacy efforts; backing citizen monitoring and oversight initiatives; and strengthening citizen engagement in service delivery.
    • Activities in this category relate to the role of civil society in holding public institutions accountable (watchdog role).
  • Human Rights Systems and Policies and Protection:
    • Supports systems to prevent and address human rights violations through early warning, monitoring, investigating, and reporting.
    • Promotes respect for human rights and support human rights defenders through utilization of national, regional, and international legal systems for human rights protection and enforcement.
    • Harmonizes domestic laws and policies with international human rights standards; promote the adoption and implementation of human rights and labor standards; and
    • Sponsors legal aid and other assistance for victims of human rights violations.  Support the work of National Human Rights Commission(s).
    • Integrates human rights into training for security sector actors, teachers, civil society leaders, journalists, religious leaders, and government officials.

Funding Information

  • Have a funding ceiling of $50,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Are initiated by Cameroonian organizations (excluding the executive branch of the Cameroonian Government).
  • Promote political pluralism, respect for human and civil rights, citizen participation and public accountability.
  • Benefit a large number of people.
  • Include activities, expenditures and timelines that are consistent, reasonable, and within the ability of the organization to implement.
  • Can be completed within one year, without requiring further ARDF assistance; and
  • Respect environmental norms.

For more information, visit https://cm.usembassy.gov/smalls-grants-program/#africa

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