Supporting democracy in times of crisis: Annual report 2016

Publication date: 2016

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of EED’s work – not only within our mandatedgeographical reach of the European neighbourhood, but across the globe too.The report first looks back at the year. Chapter One highlights some of the key events that we wereinvolved in throughout 2016, as well as the opportunities given to EED partners to have an effective voice in Brussels and beyond. Indeed, the message of this report is one of solidarity with the committed and often dangerous work of these grantees and partners. The more challenging the environment for our grantees, the more determined we are to support them.Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the distinctive needs and in different contexts. We are active incountries where democratic reforms have yet to consolidate, such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova,as well as in authoritarian regimes, conflict zones, and places where the space of civil society is narrowing. In Chapter Two, we consider this tailored approach and highlight the work of some of thosecourageous individuals through a series of personal narrative stories.In Chapter Three, we take a more in-depth look at the challenges in each of our supported countriesand profile some of the initiatives and results achieved. For example, in repressive environments likeAzerbaijan and Egypt where few other donors are present, EED funding has played a critical role inpreserving civil society and human rights movements. In Ukraine, EED has established itself as one ofthe fastest providers of support in response to the profound changes the country has been witnessingsince the Euromaidan protests. It also outlines some of the important work underway to counterKremlin-driven propaganda and our efforts to strengthen independent Russian language media to bring greater plurality and balance.After more than three years of grant-making, a comprehensive evaluation of EED was carried out in2016 by an external consulting company. Chapter Four provides an overview of its key findings andrecommendations. It highlighted that “significant results have already been realised through fast andflexible grant-making procedures”. Undertaking such an evaluation requires a significant investment oftime and effort. However, it brings valuable learning, pointing to areas of improvement and distilling lessons and best practices which we will seek to take on board as we move into the next cycle of operations.

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