Background and rationale
The Democracy Opportunity Support Fund (DEMOS Fund) is a flagship initiative of the West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS) established with funding support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
Set up as a transnational, civil society-led network in the ECOWAS Region, WADEMOS mobilizes, coordinates, and leverages the resources, opportunities, and collective power of its Members and other pro-democracy civil society organizations, social movements, and activists to defend, promote, and advance democratic values and reform in West Africa, including through engagement with relevant regional bodies and instruments.
With its Secretariat based at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, WADEMOS is governed by an 11-member Steering Committee, an Advisory Council and a General Assembly. For the current period through the end of 2024, the Network’s five strategic priorities are to:
Complementing these strategic goals, the purpose of the DEMOS Fund is to respond to emerging openings and other opportunities, including early warnings, to defend, revive, or reinvigorate democracy in the Region.
The DEMOS Fund supports Network Members’ (and Member-supported) initiatives to address democratic backsliding and respond to timely needed democratic interventions within the sub-region. It specifically aims at:
- Organizational projects from WADEMOS Network Members, recommended organizations or individuals and social groups addressing any of the five strategic priorities of the Network. This is funded under a six (6) months cycle and grants are awarded twice a year.
- Timely-needed sensitive and immediate interventions from WADEMOS Network Members, and working groups in response to the democratic reversals at national level. This may be co-created by WADEMOS and Network Members, and on the recommendation or proposal from Network Members. Applications are opened throughout the year.
The Ceiling for funding is as follows:
- Organizational Projects support: $20,000
- Timely-needed Interventions: $10,000
- Organizational Projects Support: Friday, June 30, 2023.
- Timely-needed Interventions: Applications are open all year round