To strengthen the ability of local governments to articulate local democratic governance challenges by establishing intergovernmental and public dialogues; and to support national think tanks and media outlets to identify, consolidate and represent local issues at the national level.
To promote transparency in the use of public advertising resources in Ecuador in the lead up to 2013 elections, the 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.
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, organization will oversee, evaluate and publicize the work of the Assembly and individual assembly members. Similarly, organization will produce legal and political analyses on key legislation, and organize candidate forums with national and provincial legislators that are seeking reelection.
Freedom of Information
To defend and protect journalists and freedom of expression in Ecuador. The grantee will continue to maintain and expand its network of 13 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, this year 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.
To advocate for policies that protect and promote refugee rights in Ecuador in accordance to international standards; and to raise the visibility of human rights defenders, especially refugee advocates before domestic and international audiences to protect their rights and their work. The grantee will engage Ecuadorian civil society organizations, the Ombudsman’s Office and other domestic institutions that are supportive of their human rights agenda. Similarly, the grantee will reach out to international bodies to raise visibility on both the refugee and human rights situation in Ecuador.
To facilitate dialogue among indigenous communities to draft a joint advocacy agenda; and to educate citizens on indigenous and collective rights, and the new indigenous agenda. Focusing on key provisions of the new Constitution, the grantee will facilitate discussions on three important issues for indigenous peoples to define a joint agenda. The grantee and indigenous leaders will conduct trainings and organize public forums to disseminate the agenda among indigenous communities and the public at large.
To raise awareness of human rights issues in Ecuador and foster collaboration among civil society organizations in their defense and promotion. The grantee will organize forums with human rights organizations to exchange information on regional trends and best practices. Additionally, it will conduct in-depth studies on key themes identified during these forums, culminating in four reports and short documentaries. Finally, the grantee will hold public events on human rights to raise awareness and encourage citizen engagement on these issues.
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.
To promote youth engagement and participation in the upcoming electoral process; and to facilitate substantive dialogue between youth and candidates running for public office. The grantee will develop an online platform to encourage discussion on four key democracy themes, which will culminate in four roundtable discussions with candidates, academic experts and civil society leaders. The grantee will also facilitate an exchange with other regional youth initiatives to highlight the role that young people can and should play in politics.
Rule of Law
To strengthen citizen oversight skills to monitor the work and performance of new judicial authorities. The grantee will raise awareness on the importance of citizen oversight of judicial reform, will train citizen monitors, and publish bimonthly reports. Similarly, it will design a citizen complaint mechanism, investigate serious complaints, and direct cases to the proper authorities. The grantee will also create a Transparency and Probity Award, and recognize the work of one judge.
Grant descriptions are from the 2012 NED Annual Report.