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This project aims to strengthen the diversification and innovation of Ethiopian civil society
This project supported by the Civil Society Innovation Fund aims at strengthening the diversification and innovation of Ethiopian civil so-ciety, to ensure a pluralistic and democratic organizational sphere, novel and creative civic activism and the defense of civic and associational rights of Ethiopian citizens.

Following the social, economic, and democratic transformation process in Ethiopia, the legal framework governing civil society has been reviewed in February 2019. A new Proclamation on Civil Society Organizations has hence been adopted, aiming to create an enabling environment for the growth and activity of CSOs. This project intends to support this liberal-minded orientation, at a critical time when ethnic nationalism, the conflict in Tigray, and the political context have put a brutal brake on them.

The Civil Society Innovation Fund (CSIF) fournira un soutien direct et un renforcement des capacités à trois consortiums d'OSC éthiopiennes sélectionnées par le biais d'un processus d'"appel à projets de crise et d'après-crise" (PPCC) et travaillant dans les domaines des droits de l'homme, du genre et des médias sur trois ans. Cette opération complète une subvention directe visant à soutenir la transformation de l'Autorité pour les organisations de la société civile (ACSO). 


The Civil Society Innovation Fund (CSIF) aims to support the development of a more democratic, pluralistic and innovative Ethiopian civil society landscape following the political reforms undertaken by the Ethiopian government since 2018.


Following a call for projects open to Ethiopian CSOs, which included a requirement to apply as a consortium, three consortia were selected namely:

  • Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy CARD
  • Civil Society Research Center CSRC 
  • Lawyers for Human Rights LHR
Aimed results

The project will strengthen and network the local CSOs, especially those working on human rights, gender and media freedom.  It involves 15 CSOs in consortia most of which are established after the 2019 new CSOs proclamation. Other new and emerging CSOs are also targeted to join the formal sector.  The project will cover 7 different regions and two federal cities. 

3 000 000 Euros
Amount of AFD financing
3 000 000 Euros
Total amount of the project
Financing tool
May 2022
Date of the project
Project duration