CIPE Small Grants for CAMCA Fellows from Central Asia


Application Deadline: May 15, 2022 

Program Duration: May 31, 2022 – September 30, 2022 (4 months) 

Stipend: Up to $3,000 for completing proposed project research, outreach, or activities 


I. Background on CIPE Central Asia program 

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy and a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. CIPE’s key program areas include anti-corruption and governance, business associations and advocacy, democratic governance, access to information, and women’s economic empowerment. Across Central Asia, CIPE has worked for over 20 years with businesses and civil society organizations to foster business cultures of integrity, lead dialogue on reforms to the business environment, and advocate for meaningful changes that enable all citizens to access economic opportunity and participate in democratic processes.

CIPE’s Central Asia programs focus on private sector-led advocacy, business integrity, and good governance. Since 2018, CIPE has implemented and run an association capacity-building program for business associations in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This program builds business associations’ organizational capacity and advocacy skills to effectively represent their members’ interests to governments. Additionally, CIPE supports a regional network of business associations in Central Asia to promote governance norms, trade, and increased intra-regional cooperation. CIPE also works with economic think tanks and independent researchers across Central Asia to analyze governance gaps, capital inflows, investment climate, and trade relations. You can learn more about CIPE’s programs in Central Asia here.

II. Objectives  

As part of the program to promote Constructive Capital, CIPE is engaged in ongoing cooperation with the Rumsfeld Foundation and the Central Asia-Mongolia-Caucasus-Afghanistan (CAMCA) Fellowship Program, which provides emerging leaders an opportunity to engage with top policymakers and business leaders in the US.

Through these small grants, CIPE will support locally owned initiatives developed by these emerging leaders in the public and private sector in Central Asia. These initiatives will bring about inclusive and democratic change, promote constructive capital and mitigate the risks of corrosive capital.

III. Mini-grants eligibility and criteria  

CIPE, together with the Rumsfeld Foundation, is excited to invite current CAMCA Fellows and alumni to apply for a small grant to pursue policy research, advocacy work, civil society outreach, and/or research in Central Asia.

Following are illustrative examples of ideas for mini-grants:

  • Conduct a local, national, or regional project focused on advocacy, raising awareness,  innovative policy research or a combination of these activities that falls under-identified thematic topics (see below), highlights the barriers and opportunities for inclusive democratic transformation, market reforms driven by local thought leaders from the private sector and civil society
  • Both cross-regional learning and networking activities as part of research work (drawing on comparative experience of other more advanced and democratic countries), joint dissemination, and awareness-raising. Joint proposals involving cross-learning and multiple Fellows’ engagement are encouraged
    • A series of activities (in-person or virtual, depending on COVID-19 conditions) that directly contribute to a local, national, or regional conversation. For example, multi-stakeholder workshops or roundtable discussions to develop a platform or position on a proposed government action=
  • The coverage of the following thematic topics is encouraged: (a) to promote a better enabling environment for constructive capital such as good governance reforms and norms, anti-corruption compliance and corporate governance reforms; laying the groundwork for business integrity, and ethical compliance among private sector companies; (b) to support local initiatives to address challenges posed by corrosive capital such as the investments from Russia and China; (c) to support inclusive private sector participation and greater democratic resilience amid external threats such as promoting women in business, youth entrepreneurship, promoting digital economy, digital democratic transformation, tackling the risks of disinformation, strengthening the ecosystem of business support institutions and business collective action through advocacy initiatives as part of public-private dialogue.


To submit a small grants application: 

    • Be a CAMCA Fellow from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), either currently or an alumni.
    • While only Central Asian Fellows are eligible to apply, grants can support joint applications including CAMCA Fellows and alumni from other regions assuming that the main topic/activity will be centered on Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).
  • Small grants applications should be aligned with the missions of CIPE and the Rumsfeld Foundation, respectively.
  • Please submit a document of no more than 500 words describing a potential advocacy or research project that you wish to conduct during the period of May 15- September 30, 2022. Please refer to the guidance under the “required activities” section. You must address the following questions in your response:
  • In which country or countries will you implement your project?
  • What is the goal of your project? What does success and tangible impact look like at the end of your project?
  • In conducting research and advocacy: indicate the objectives, methodology, planned activities, outreach, and expected results. Sources should be hyperlinked rather than footnoted when possible.
  • Describe the different partners or stakeholders you will need to collaborate with to make your project successful. Why would they be motivated to work with you?
  • Other than your time, what would be the expenses associated with this project, if any? Provide estimates in USD.


IV. Supervision and administration 

  • The CAMCA Fellowship organizers will announce small grants among its alumni network
  • CIPE will select successful applications and notify selected winners
  • Deliverables, Thought Leadership, and Communications
  • Submit a final report to CIPE, such as the final version of a policy paper laying out key findings and conclusions or a detailed summary of activities and accomplishments during the program and assessment of impact. Photos, videos, and other multimedia are highly encouraged.
  • Identify and participate in relevant events or conferences (virtually or in-person) throughout the program.
  • Participate in monthly status calls with CIPE and the other Leaders to provide updates on the project.
  • Halfway through the program, participate in an internal brown bag meeting with CIPE staff to provide an overview of the project and share learnings with other small grant recipients.
  • Actively engage during a kick-off meeting with the other Leaders and contribute to ongoing information sharing via a dedicated WhatsApp group and by email.

VI. Small Grant Restrictions 

The following specific costs that are not allowable and may not be supported with award funds, unless specifically authorized by CIPE include those listed below:

  • Entertainment, amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and related costs including meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities.
  • Contributions, or gifts to individuals or organizations
  • Cash prizes or awards
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bad debts and related collections and legal costs
  • Fines or penalties resulting from violations of laws or regulations
  • Advertising and public relations expenses solely to promote the Grantee
  • Goods and services for personal use of employees
  • Interest on borrowed funds
  • Costs of fundraising
  • Purchase of real property (land or buildings), without specific prior approval of CIPE
  • Depreciation or use costs or allowances on equipment or facilities purchased with funds under this grant or previous funding from the U.S. Government
  • Lobbying
  • Airfare or per diem expenses in excess of Grant requirements
  • Compensation to personnel that is not reasonable for the services rendered
  • Contingency reserves
  • Covering losses on other projects

Learn more and apply:

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