Promoting Transparency in Government Advertisement
To promote transparency in the use of public advertising resources in Ecuador in the lead up to 2014 local elections. This grantee will monitor the use of public resources on advertising in television, radio and print media and use the data generated to disseminate information on public spending to the media and civil society organizations. The organization hopes to raise awareness among citizens on issues of transparency and oversight to foster an increased demand for accountability.
Promoting Citizen Monitoring of the Legislature
To promote increased transparency and accountability in the National Assembly of Ecuador; and to foster citizen engagement in and oversight of the legislative process, including monitoring legislators’ performance, legislative debate, and the independence of the legislative branch. Working with youth monitors, this organization will oversee, evaluate and publicize the work of the Assembly and individual assembly members. Similarly, the organization will produce legal and political analyses on key legislation, and train legislators on how to use social media to communicate with constituents.
Encouraging Dialogue on Alternative Public Policies
To improve the quality of policy debate in the Ecuadorian legislature and bolster the voice of civil society in the democratic policymaking process. This grantee will analyze bills, hold workshops for legislators, disseminate analyses, and encourage wider debate on policy reform among legislators and civil society. The organization will organize a regional workshop to share best practices among organizations in countries where democracy is most threatened.
Encouraging Youth Leadership, Democratic Values, and Entrepreneurship
To promote democracy, civic participation, free markets, and leadership among youth to improve the economic, political, and institutional environment in Ecuador. The partner organization will educate 50 university students on democracy, free markets, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The students will present business plans, successfully complete three workshop sessions, and implement leadership and entrepreneurship workshops in their communities.
Democratic Ideas and Values
Encouraging Issue-Based Policy Discussions among Local and National Stakeholders
To strengthen the skills of local elected officials in developing and leading issue-based policy dialogues with voters, constituents and national elected officials; and to support national elected officials in the process of incorporating issue-based proposals into policies and legislation that reflect inputs from local stakeholders.
Facilitating Dialogue and Consensus on Democracy
To reduce polarization by promoting democratic debate, pluralistic analysis and consensus-building among actors across the ideological spectrum. This organization will partner with a university to convene diverse group of political, civil society and academic leaders in order to debate current political events, analyze policy alternatives, and build a process of dialogue and consensus that can bridge the political divide in Ecuador.
Freedom of Information
Monitoring Freedom of Expression and the Press in Ecuador
To defend and protect journalists and freedom of expression in Ecuador. The grantee will continue to maintain and expand its network of monitors, increasing the reach and the visibility of its freedom of expression alerts. It will provide training and technical assistance to its regional monitors to increase the quality and accuracy of its alerts. Additionally, the grantee will collaborate with human rights lawyers to litigate strategic freedom of expression cases to strengthen national and international institutional protections for journalists, and raise awareness on freedom of expression violations.
Strengthening Human Rights
To strengthen the capacity of an organization to train, litigate and produce new knowledge on issues of human rights in Ecuador; and to promote debate on international human rights mechanisms and its contributions to democracy. The grantee will bring human rights cases before domestic and international courts, and will complete reports on freedom of expression and the human rights situation in Ecuador. Finally, the organization will organize public events to increase understanding and build support for the Inter-American Human Rights System among local civil society actors.
Protecting and Promoting the Rights of Afro-Ecuadorians
To promote and protect the rights of Afro-Ecuadorians through a culture of non-violence and human rights. The organization will work with young leaders in poor and marginalized neighborhoods to conduct workshops on democracy, human rights, and non-violence; and will integrate young Afro-Ecuadorian leaders in a regional youth network. The organization will continue to organize public events on human rights to raise awareness and encourage citizen engagement on these issues.
Empowering Indigenous Leaders
To strengthen the capacity of indigenous leaders to understand and utilize international human rights mechanisms; and to foster citizen support for international human rights mechanisms and raise awareness on the state’s obligations to respect human rights. The organization will train indigenous leaders on domestic and international human rights mechanisms and provide tailored technical assistance.
Promoting Civil Society Participation in Public Policy Development
To promote and facilitate civil society participation in local public policy formulation and advocacy; and to engage civil society actors across the country in democracy issues. The organization will facilitate dialogue among civil society groups, and strengthen their capacity to participate in local public policy debates. The organization also will advocate for the passage of a local bylaw to recognize and support the contributions of civil society and will share its experiences with other civil society groups in other cities.
Strengthening Civil Society through Increased Transparency and Dialogue
To protect and increase the legitimacy of Ecuadorian civil society organizations by strengthening their transparency and accountability. The grantee will conduct in-depth trainings for civil society leaders to increase transparency levels in their organizations and gain a better understanding of NGO accountability. Additionally, it will implement an extensive communication strategy to facilitate an informed and public debate on the role of civil society in Ecuador. Finally, the grantee will seek to promote dialogue between civil society and relevant government actors through formal and informal meetings.
Rule of Law
Citizen Oversight of the Judiciary
To strengthen the work, independence and visibility of citizen oversight of the judiciary branch; and to advocate for due process and increased judicial transparency. The grantee will institutionalize a citizen platform and help it become an independent and sustainable organization by consolidating its monitoring, analytical and advocacy skills. The platform will develop print and virtual materials to raise its profile and educate citizens on the need to monitor the judiciary and demand greater transparency.
Grant descriptions are from the 2013 NED Annual Report.