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Small Grants Program
February 23, 2023

The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce funding is available through the Mission’s annual Small Grants Program.  This program supports the development of Kazakhstani democratic institutions and civil society by competitively awarding small grants to Kazakh nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations, to nonprofit civil society organizations (CSOs), and to independent local media organizations.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit joint proposals with other NGOs based outside of the Astana or Almaty hubs in order to be inclusive of expertise from the various regions of the country.  


The U.S. Mission Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) is pleased to solicit proposals for grants from Kazakh civil society and independent media organizations that focus on one of the two topics specified below.  Applicants should pay close attention to the PDS goals and target audiences described below when developing proposals. 

TOPIC 1: Empowering and bolstering the convening power of Kazakh organizations, influencers, and opinion leaders

Based on recent estimates, there are currently 17,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Kazakhstan.  While acting alone, the impact of NGOs, influencers, and opinion leaders and experts can be limited in scope and can lack any economy of scale.  This request for proposals aims to empower Kazakh organizers, influencers, and opinion leaders that have worked to build an ecosystem of independent voices and supporters in Kazakhstan to become conveners.  This request encourages NGOs, influencers, and opinion leaders to submit proposals that will assist the submitting organizations to lead in their expertise and to become leading voices in both Kazakhstan and in the region, just as Kazakhstan is increasingly seen as the policy leader in the region.  Convening can be in terms of conferences, roundtables, a set of regular gatherings, creation of an innovative online platform, or any other impactful concepts that will achieve a purpose, such as forming a sustained network of experts or a set of deliverables with indicators to define success.  

One factor to consider is a program design that ensures sustainability of the convening power beyond the duration of the federal assistance.  Convening can also be in terms of bringing together relevant actors to act collectively to address common community challenges, including climate issues in the region, cultural and ethnic differences, reconciliation, and resolution through mediation.  The Mission is seeking in particular innovative ways to addressing the problem set arising from multi-ethnic regions of Kazakhstan and in Central Asia.  

Project Goal: To foster a more robust citizen-responsive government with strong democratic institutions through harnessing the convening power of Kazakh NGOs, influencers, and opinion leaders to strengthen civic engagement and further empower citizens of Kazakhstan.

Project Audiences:  Other experts in the field/subject/theme in which the convener is an expert, the general public and especially in multi-ethnic regions as the end beneficiaries.  

Project Objectives (Applicants may choose to address one or more of the objectives below in their proposals):

  1. Facilitate increased networking and collaboration among experts to share resources, expertise, and work together to address common issues of concern. 
  2. Develop organizational capacities of nascent civil society organizations that drive collective action towards common challenges to developing innovative means to network and ensure sustainability of these means.  
  3. Raise awareness of regional community activists, experts, opinion leaders on the necessity and benefits of networking and forming a community of interest to enhance government transparency and responsiveness to citizen needs and to increase awareness and move the needle on solutions-based advocacy including conflict resolution through mediation.

Example activities include but are not limited to: 

  • Designing and establishing a nonprofit platform as a supportive space and active hub to share resources, expertise and further sustained collaboration and dialogue.
  • Implement a series of hybrid or in-person convening initiatives and bring together experts on specific themes to a continued dialogue led by this organization.

TOPIC 2: Advancing Clean Power Capacity and Decarbonizing the Economy 

Kazakhstan is an important player in efforts to address the global climate crisis, including through the expanded deployment of clean energy technologies in the Central Asia region.  Accelerating the use of clean technologies is essential for global sustainability and can be a driver for innovation and economic growth in Kazakhstan.  The U.S. Mission supports 

Kazakhstan’s clean energy transition plans and goal of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to 15% below their 1990 levels by 2030, as well as reaching carbon neutrality by 2060. 

This funding opportunity seeks projects that will advocate for and promote the advancement of clean energy to unlock economic growth and reduce carbon emissions.  The U.S. Mission seeks projects that will expand access to affordable and reliable clean energy, promote regional energy security, and create open, efficient, and transparent energy markets.  Cooperation including cost-sharing among businesses, industries, academia, and the governments is encouraged and can contribute to more effective and innovative solutions to this challenge. 

This funding opportunity aims to engage citizens, academics, opinion leaders, officials, businesses, and industries to produce tangible and lasting outcomes including in positive public opinion changes and increased public awareness of clean energy technologies.   

Project Goal: Increase support for Kazakhstan’s clean energy transition through raising public awareness and expanding adoption of actions aimed at reducing greenhouse and methane emissions.

Project Audiences:      

  • Entrepreneurs and industry practitioners. 
  • Members of energy, mining, agricultural/animal husbandry, and waste industries; public officials.   
  • Civil society activists and researchers.   
  • Media professionals and opinion leaders who can amplify key messages.  

Project Objectives (Applicants may choose to address one or more of the objectives below in their proposals):    

  1. Increase public understanding of the role clean energy plays in mitigating the effects of climate change. 
  2. Create partnerships between civil society and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to develop practical solutions related to energy and the environment.
  3. Increase awareness of clean and green energy entrepreneurship opportunities among professionals in the energy field through workforce education and training.
  4. Cultivate skills specific to the clean energy industry through training programs and educational opportunities for emerging professionals.
  5. Increase government and local stakeholder support for clean energy options through demonstrations of environmental and economic viability and profitability.  

This opportunity will not support: 

  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories 
  • Individual scholarships 
  • Social travel/visits 
    • Projects relating to partisan political activity
    • Charitable or development activities
    • Construction projects
    • Projects that support specific religious activities
    • Fund-raising campaigns
    • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
    • Scientific research or surveys
    • Commercial projects
    • Art or cultural projects
    • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
    • Projects that duplicate existing projects; or
    • Illegal activities.

Length of performance period: 12 months or less  

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000

Type of Funding:  Assistance to Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated programs start date:  August 1, 2023

Application Deadline: All applications must be received by April 16, 2023 (11.59 p.m. Astana time).  

Contact information: 

+7 717 270 2217

+7 717 270 2456

+7 727 250 4858


Please download full grant package and Notice of Funding Opportunity below:

Sam.gov registration is required ONLY in case of receiving Federal Assistance Award.