The Democracy and Human Rights Fund II (DHRF II) 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.
The DHRF II provides grants up to $12,000 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.
Criteria for Funding
Successful proposals will clearly describe how the activities will be managed using internally consistent and reasonable activities and expenditure timelines. They will also identify the anticipated results and demonstrate that they can be completed within 12 months. We encourage applicants to submit ambitious projects designed to change the civic and political rights landscape rather than simply raise awareness. Proposals may address, but are not limited to, human rights, legal and judicial reforms, legislative reforms, civic education, women’s rights, electoral support, and conflict resolution.
Limitations of the DHRF II Fund
Only local organizations can be funded — no NGOs from outside Lesotho may apply.
American taxpayers provide money for DHRF II through USAID. As a result, there are several expenses that are ineligible for funding. These include: use of funds to influence the outcomes of elections; religious activities; refugee programs; personal businesses; police or military projects; recurring expenses of operating an organization; scholarships; office supplies including faxes, copiers and telephones; sports and music equipment; drugs, fertilizers and pesticides; remodeling or renovation due to lack of maintenance; revolving loan fund and seed money; and any form of vehicle or machinery.
We also cannot provide donations, allowances, overhead, or other administrative costs through these grants. These funds cannot be commingled with funds from other donors. The projects must be completed within 12 months. The maximum funding limitation per project is US$12,000.
When to Apply
The application period for the Democracy and Human Rights Fund II grants is now closed. Details will be published as soon as they become available.
To receive more information and an application form for the DHRF II Fund, write to or visit personally:
P.O. Box 333
Maseru 100, Lesotho