Arab Freedom of Association Network
The Arab Freedom of Association Network (AFAN) strengthens the capacity of civil society leaders, human rights activists, media practitioners, academics, and legal experts in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Yemen to address restrictive NGO law initiatives and advance the freedom of association. Use the links below to learn more about the AFAN project and apply for support, or click here to expand all topics.
Peer-to-Peer Fellowship Program
The AFAN Peer-to-Peer Fellowship Program allows a civil society leader to spend up to four weeks working with a host organization in another country in the region. Fellows have the opportunity to share knowledge and experience with civil society leaders in other countries, build practical skills needed to advance civil society law initiatives, gain regional exposure, and build regional coalitions for reform. Learn more and apply here, or read the blogs of previous fellows:
- Khaled al-Shameri, Head of Legal Programs at the National Organization for Community Development (NODS) in Yemen, worked with the Organization for Civic Activities in Lebanon to research solutions to reduce government interference in the establishment of NGOs and improve NGO/government cooperation. Follow Khaled's progress here.
- Yasmine Ibrahim, an Egyptian civil society leader, worked with Land and Human to Advocate Progress in Jordan to learn about how Jordanian NGOs run training courses, seminars, conferences, and workshops. Yasmine hopes to take the lessons she learned back to Egypt to improve the advocacy skills of Egyptian NGOs. Follow Yasmine's progress here.
- Rekar Hussein, an Iraqi Kurdish civil society leader, worked with the Arab NGOs Network for Development in Lebanon to learn more about building coalitions and integrating Iraqi civil society organizations into the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review process. Follow Rekar's progress here.
Grants of up to $1,000 are available for the preparation of research papers on topics relating to the legal environment for civil society and freedom of association. Learn more and apply here, or read the research papers of our recent research grant recipients:
- Saddam Abu Azzam conducted field research and prepared a paper on the right to freedom of association in Jordan. عربي
- Saber Ahmed Nayal drafted an overview of how Egypt has used its penal code to criminalize various aspects of the internationally-protected rights to freedom of association, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of peaceful assembly. عربي
- The Saada Center for Human Development completed a research paper explaining the process by which Iraqi organizations can file lawsuits under the federal Law on Non-Governmental Organizations (Law 12 of 2010). عربي
Small Grant Program
Grants of up to $10,000 are available to fund innovative projects aimed at improving the legal environment for civil society and promoting freedom of association. Learn more and apply here, or read the final reports of recent small grant recipients:
- Ziyad Alawneh organized a coalition of fifteen Jordanian civil society organizations to draft a proposed revision to Jordan's Law on Societies, and will submit his proposal to Jordan's Ministry of Social Development and the Jordanian parliament.
- Ghazi Abdulrahman al-Samey held a series of workshops across Yemen to raise awareness about the importance of civil society; produced, recorded, and broadcast radio programs on freedom of association; produced and distributed copies of a cartoon brochure explaining the importance of civil society; and created a Facebook page about freedom of association in Yemen. عربي
- Shami al-Shami organized conference and workshops in Jenin and Nablus focused on the protection of Palestinian civil society organizations, and formed a legal defense network including volunteer human rights lawyers and activists. عربي
- The Egyptian Union for Liberal Youth will produce two short online films discussing the value and purpose of civil society, and will prepare and publish a research paper for Egyptian organizations on effective advocacy.
- The SAANED Organization for Social Development organized a two-day regional consultation meeting in Amman, Jordan to begin developing tools to enable philanthropic organizations in the Arab world to measure and improve their transparency and accountability. English
YouTube Grant Program
Grants of up to $10,000 are available to fund the creation and recording of a YouTube video addressing any component of civil society, including but not limited to (1) the meaning of civil society and the role of civil society organizations; (2) the legal framework for civil society; (3) sustainability of civil society organizations; (4) good governance and accountability in civil society organizations; and (5) effective, advocacy and public participation. Learn more and apply here.