Grants for Projects that support Peaceful Elections

u.s. embassy

Relevent Country: Benin

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support peaceful elections in Benin.
DRL is seeking proposals to support peaceful elections in Benin. DRL’s goal is that Beninese stakeholders prevent and mitigate electoral violence during the 2026 harmonized electoral cycle.

Objective 1: ​Community-based structures mitigate and prevent electoral violence in hotspot locations during the 2026 harmonized elections. 
Community-based structures played a critical role in calming tensions ahead of the 2021 presidential election through dialogues between citizen movements and the government. These structures have also helped mitigate the effects of violent extremism and historically served as interlocuters between citizens and the government during disagreements over development, land ownership, or security. Due to the influence that community-based structures have in Beninese society, these structures should play a central role in efforts to mitigate and prevent electoral violence during the 2026 harmonized polls.
Activities under this objective could include but are not limited to strengthening early warning and response efforts by community-based structures through better identifying hotspots and proactively responding to political violence; informing the electorate about the importance of peaceful elections; strengthening formal and informal security frameworks to clearly delineate electoral violence mitigation roles and responsibilities among relevant stakeholders; holding state agencies, including security organs, accountable for violations to agreed-upon frameworks and human rights; and multi-stakeholder dialogues and consensus building.
Objective 2: Instigators of violence are marginalized in the information environment during the 2026 electoral cycle. 
Disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech played a role in fueling the unprecedented violence that occurred during the 2019 legislative and 2021 presidential elections. The incentive to manipulate the media space will only increase in the lead up to 2026, when more contested seats will be at stake.  Beninese voters deserve a free media environment where they can obtain accurate information about the election, and spoilers’ attempting to instigate violence are marginalized. Electoral stakeholders should implement efforts to dissuade the dissemination of inciting information online that could trigger violence, dissuade voters from participating, or derail the electoral process entirely.
Applicants should develop nuanced and evidence-based solutions to countering both false information and hate speech consistent with free speech principles, with an understanding that this information may also travel through traditional means of communication (e.g., word of mouth, radio, newspaper) and not just through WhatsApp and/or social media.

Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:
  • Opportunities for beneficiaries to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts;
  • Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of programs and participant ownership of project outcomes;
  • Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project, with adjustments made as necessary;
  • Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities;
  • Systematic follow-up with beneficiaries at specific intervals after the completion of activities to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
Funding Information
  • Total Funding Floor: $1,500,000
  • Total Funding Ceiling: $1,500,000
  • Anticipated Number of Awards: 1
  • Period of Performance: 16-24 months
  • Anticipated Time to Award, Pending Availability of Funds: 3-6 months
Eligible Applicants
  • DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.