US announces grants to democracy building projects in Vietnam

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The US Embassy in Hanoi has announced a competitive program offering grants up to US$20,000 to Vietnamese organizations that promote democracy, civil rights and government transparency.

The Small Grants Program is open to up to one-year projects by non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations based in Vietnam. Proposals from individuals are ineligible.

It aims to fund projects that advance democratic practices, which include developing civil society, fostering freedom of information and independent media, increasing transparency in government, supporting NGO capacity building, advancing the rule of law and judicial reform, promoting civic education, encouraging conflict resolution, prioritizing human rights, or advocating for equal rights for ethnic minorities or women.

The grants will not cover general operating expenses and long-term infrastructure costs, or travel to international conferences, or food and drink expenses.

But they can be used for short-term salaries and other minor administrative expenses directly linked to implementation of the program, to train trainers, for seminars and workshops, and the publication of materials.

Electronic versions of the proposals are to be sent in English to the embassy's Public Affairs Section via email to pas.culture@gmail.com by June 5. Final selections will be announced in July 2012.

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