Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of U.S. Embassy Bishkek administers the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, which gives small grants to non-governmental organizations, academic or research institutions, and other organizations. The Democracy Commission was established in 1994 to enable U.S. Embassy Bishkek to support non-commercial projects to advance democracy and democratic values in Kyrgyzstan, to support development of civil society based on the rule of law, and respect for human rights. The Democracy Commission will award grants on a competitive basis, pending on the availability of funds.

Call for Grant Proposals

U.S. Embassy Bishkek announces the 2019 Fall Round of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program. Complete applications must be received by November 24, 2019.  This program supports the development of Kyrgyzstan’s democratic institutions and civil society by competitively awarding small grants to Kyrgyz nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations, nonprofit civil society organizations (CSOs), and independent local media organizations. State bodies are encouraged to work with NGOs to submit applications. The maximum grant award is $50,000 with the average grant at $30,000 or less.

Priority themes:

  • Social entrepreneurship and business empowerment to marginalized groups, particularly for women, youth and vulnerable population to improve the business climate, advance economic independence, and sustainable development. (commercial activity or specific businesses/startups will not be considered)
  • Free flow of information, development of independent and professional journalism, includes media and journalism training.
  • Promotion of government transparency, citizen understanding of public finance and decision making, includes anti-corruption efforts.
  • Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) through promoting peace and tolerance, creating alternative socio-economic opportunities for groups at risk, possible rehabilitation and reintegration of Kyrgyz returnees, and working with media and social media to promote peaceful discourse
  • Gender-based violence, focus on empowering rural women by educating them about their rights and providing survivors of gender-based violence with the avenues for economic self-sufficiency, includes providing legal support to the victims, as well as raising awareness on GBV
  • Conflict prevention includes activities designed to avert the escalation of a dispute into a violent encounter, through identifying and addressing the root causes and triggers (events that propel a situation into a new level of escalation) of conflict. This may include interethnic tolerance and understanding, and cross-border activities.

Other possible themes:

  • Promotion of a robust civil society that advances the civil rights of all population
  • Strengthening social partnership and dialogue among government and civil society organizations
  • Promoting rule of law and legal reform
  • Inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue; religious freedom (religious activities which advance or inhibit one religion over another, or one interpretation of a religion over another will not be considered).
  • Combatting human trafficking
  • Promoting environmental awareness by creating citizen understanding of sustainable management of ecosystems and natural resources

A complete application consists of:

Applications submitted after the due date, that are incomplete, do not follow the application format or are not submitted on the template provided, will be disqualified. Please send complete application packages to with the subject line “Democracy Commission Proposal”.

Please note, the application form is updated and available with complete instructions at the Embassy’s Democracy Commission page and on the web-site For more information please contact the Democracy Commission Team at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek by email at