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Democracy and Human Rights Fund Activity (DHRF)
March 19, 2020


The Democracy and Human Rights Fund Activity (DHRF) is one of a variety of programs used by the U.S. government (USG) to promote and defend civil and political rights, strengthen democratic institutions and civil society, and foster democratic values and practices in the states of Sub-Saharan Africa.  It was authorized in May 2000, building upon the foundation laid by the original Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF).  Embassies have recognized the impact that DHRF and DHRF II activities have made in strengthening nascent civil society groups that lack access to financial or organizational support.

The DHRF II provides grants to indigenous organizations for small, focused, high-impact, and short-term (one year) activities that promote or defend democratic institutions, civil society, an independent judiciary, free and fair electoral processes, freedom of religion, and human rights.  Activities are completed within 12 months of the signing of the grant agreement, and are designed to achieve measurable results.  No funds may be used, directly or indirectly, to influence the outcome of any election in any country.

Goal and Purpose of the DHRF Activity

Civil society is essential to sustainable democracy and good governance. If capable and accountable government agencies are the supply side of democracy and good governance, civil society is the demand side.  It forms a vital link between the clients and the providers of government services, and plays a necessary role in promoting and defending civil and political rights, without which democracy cannot take hold or endure.

The DHRF II allocates grants to small, highly focused, short-term, high-impact activities proposed by dedicated indigenous organizations to promote and defend civil and political rights.  Beyond the direct impact made by the activities it funds, DHRF II builds civil society capacity by supporting organizations that are struggling to establish themselves and would otherwise lack the resources to acquire greater influence in society.

Civil and political rights are defined and elaborated in the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  These internationally recognized rights are also often enshrined or expanded upon in national statutes.  Activities that promote the rule of law, political pluralism, domestic civil and legal rights, or the right to free religious belief and practice fall under this definition. Any other use of the DHRF is prohibited by law.

The DHRF II does not fund on-going, multi-year activities or long-term institutional capacity building.  It does not support development-oriented projects, humanitarian assistance, or the promotion of rights described in the United Nations’ International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights.

Areas of Intervention of the Democracy and Human Rights Fund 698-0541

The projects which could be funded human rights must:

  • be implemented within a period not exceeding one year
  • towards concrete actions
  • touch a significant number of individuals

The areas of intervention are as follows:

  • promotion and defense of the human rights
  • reform and the strengthening of the judicial system
  • support to parliaments
  • civic education
  • promotion and defense of the rights of the women and children
  • support to the electoral process
  • prevention and conflict resolution
  • support for media outlets

Criteria of Selection of Projects to Fund with Democracy of Human Rights Fund 698-0541

The funding request will be reviewed by a human rights Committee of officials at the Embassy of the United States taking into account the below listed selection criteria:

The request shall:

  • follow the format developed for bidders to this Fund and containing full information;
  • demonstrate its relationship with democracy and human rights, highlighting the impact on beneficiaries;
  • present a budget with reasonable costs and a realistic timetable;
  • demonstrate that the bidder has adequate administrative capacity to complete the proposed activities and to provide an accurate accounting of expenses incurred;
  • agree with the priorities set by the Embassy of the United States of America in its annual work Program.

This Fund may not lend itself to fund the following costs:

  • purchase of vehicles;
  • the purchase of the premises or long term rental;
  • support to the police or the army;
  • propaganda;
  • the supervision of political parties;
  • the payment of wages; operating costs in the long term (except those who come to be created);
  • the resumption of funding for the same activity for two consecutive years;
  • the construction or maintenance of buildings;
  • and intercontinental travel.

Presentation of a Funding Application to Democracy and Human Rights Fund 698-0541

The funding request for human rights should follow the format shown below:

I. Details on the organization

  • name of the organization
  • address
  • phone number
  • name and title of the person who is responsible for the management and monitoring of the Project

II.     Description of the organization

  • date of the organization creation
  • place where the bidder or and many branches seat
  • number of members
  • funding indicative
  • presentation of activities already carried out

III.   Presentation of the project

  • objective: what will be the impact of the project?  Who will be the beneficiaries and how much will they be?
  • calendar: starting date, closing date, duration of its implementation and the relationship between this project and other activities undertaken during the same period
  • total cost of the project, cost to be covered by the bidder, cost which will be covered by other sources of financing and the costs for which it seeks funding from the Embassy of the United States of America

IV.    Budget

  • presentation detailed by budget headings

Note: no date limit for receiving requests; they are received continuously.

Useful addresses:

Embassy of the United States of America
Democracy and Human Rights Fund
B.P. 413 N’Djamena, Republic of Chad
E-mail: NdjamenaGrants@state.gov
Phone 235 2251 70009, ext. 4549