Democracy Commission Small Grants Program


The Embassy of the United States of America in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce the 2013 Summer Round of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.  This program seeks to support the development of Azerbaijan’s democratic institutions and civil society by awarding competitive small project grants.  The grants may not exceed $24,000 and are open only to Azerbaijani nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs), and other nonprofit associations and community groups, as well as independent local media organizations.  Applications must be submitted by June 24, 2013.  

What Type of Projects are Funded?
The competition is open to all well developed and innovative grassroots initiatives aiming to create an open, tolerant, and democratic society, develop pluralistic communities, and foster social responsibility.  The Democracy Commission has chosen to address the following topics within this year’s call for proposals:

  • Building civic responsibility and democratic values;
  • Supporting transparency in public institutions and anti-corruption;
  • Development of  professional media;
  • Building social media capacity to promote participatory democracy;
  • Advancing collective responsibility to protect the environment;
  • Promoting girls’ and women’s rights, education, and empowerment;
  • Developing critical thinking and problem solving among youth;
  • Facilitating conflict resolution and peace building;
  • Promoting religious tolerance and multiculturalism;
  • Educating and advocating for human rights and civil liberties.

Projects NOT funded by the Democracy Commission include:

  •  Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Humanitarian assistance and charity projects;
  • Scientific research projects;
  • Projects with budgets that exceed $24,000 and take more than a year to implement;
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects being implemented by an organization;
  • Projects submitted by for-profit, commercial organizations;
  • Projects that aim to support partisan political activity.

How to Apply?
Qualified organizations may apply to the Democracy Commission no later than June 24, 2013.  Please submit completed application and all supporting documentation to

Upon submission of an application, you will receive an email confirmation. Please click the icons below to download the application form and application guidelines.  Please note that all organizations are encouraged to use the suggested Democracy Commission application form to submit their projects in ENGLISH.  Applications that do not meet minimum standards set forth in application guidelines will not be considered. 




Evaluation Process
U.S. Embassy Baku has formed a review committee consisting of representatives from different U.S. government agencies and experts from international donor organizations to review submitted proposals.  The committee meets to review qualified applications.  Once the application process is over, it will take up to two months for the committee to complete its review process.  Some of the applicants may be invited for an interview during this review process.

Evaluation Criteria
The Democracy Commission will use the following general criteria to evaluate all submitted grant proposals:

  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills, and human resources to implement the project;
  • The organization demonstrates that is has a clear understanding of the underlying issue that the project is aiming to address and is able to articulate it without using excessive generalizations;
  • The organization has identified appropriate beneficiaries or target groups in a way that maximizes project outputs and outcomes, and the project has a clear focus and manageable scope;
  • The project idea and approach is innovative yet proposed project activities are concrete and detailed and supported by a reasonable work plan;
  • The project’s budget is well organized, detailed and reasonable.  There are no budget lines labeled miscellaneous expenses.  Entertainment and alcoholic beverage expenses are not included in the budget.  The budget demonstrates that the organization has devoted time to plan for and assess actual expenses associated with the project instead of providing rough estimates;
  • The organization has clearly articulated how it will assess and measure its own performance throughout the project implementation phase using concrete quantitative and qualitative assessment tools;
  • The project proposal describes clearly the approach that will be used to ensure maximum sustainability of the project’s results after its completion.