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America's Development Foundation
Activities and Programs


ADF has a diverse portfolio of programs in countries around the world that foster civil society, democracy, social and economic development. ADF''s approach focuses on tailoring programs to the needs of its beneficiaries in order to ensure that programs are demand-driven and sustainable. Click on the following links to view examples of ADF''s programs.

Citizen engagement in democratic processes is often achieved through advocacy. ADF is a leader in CSO advocacy training and technical assistance. ADF assistance in advocacy enables CSOs to mobilize citizen participation in decision-making at all levels of society. 

Civic Education
Working in both formal and informal educational settings, ADF provides training, technical assistance, and other resources to enable civil society organizations, professional teacher organizations, PTAs, government institutions, and others to promote understanding of democratic values and processes, including citizens rights and responsibilities.

Civil Society Building and Institutional Development
ADF focuses on strengthening civil society as a sector by building networks and coalitions, increasing contact and collaboration between civil society and other sectors (including government), and improving the legal and regulatory environment impacting civil society development. In assisting the institutional development of civil society organizations, ADF combines formal training with tailored technical assistance services to individual organizations.

Community Mobilization and Development
Community mobilization ensures citizens participation as stakeholders in decision-making processes – in partnership with local government where possible – to work together to develop their communities. ADF works with local citizens to form community groups that expand public involvement. ADF facilitates dialogue and cooperation by bringing together stakeholders for civic dialogue and mobilization on key priority issues.

Electoral Processes
ADF encourages increased citizen participation in electoral processes through support for NGO voter education and get-out-the-vote programs. 

Human Rights
ADF provides technical assistance, training and grants to local human rights organizations in support of human rights education, advocacy, monitoring, documentation and reporting. Human rights education programs are designed to increase understanding and commitment to respect for human rights on the part of both citizens and government.

Rule of Law
ADF assists CSOs (including bar associations) in providing legal services to the needy, increasing access to justice, and promoting the rule of law. ADF’s legal assistance programs encompass a wide range of community-based legal assistance services for the disadvantaged, including women, refugees and displaced persons, victims of human rights abuse, and the poor.

Local Governance
Fruitful collaboration between constituents and their elected leaders is a critical step toward building democracy, but is difficult to realize in countries where political power traditionally has been concentrated in the hands of a few. Through technical assistance and training programs aimed at bringing together government officials and the community at large, ADF builds democratic linkages between citizens’ groups and local government bodies to encourage the equitable distribution of authority and enhance local autonomy. ADF also works to increase the effectiveness of civil society in the fight against corruption.

Refugee Return and Reintegration
Few issues are as complex as the fate of tens of thousands of displaced persons and the need to reintegrate mixed ethnic populations on a peaceful, lasting basis. ADF has been supporting the development of local NGOs capacity to assist the sustainable return and reintegration of refugees and displaced persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia since 1994.

Independent Media
ADF’s work in developing an Independent Media in countries undergoing a democratic transition includes strengthening emerging commercial and public media and emphasizes independent news and public affairs reporting capacities. ADF builds media capacity to provide fair and balanced information in response to public needs while also seeking to establish a legal, regulatory and policy environment that supports an independent media.

Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development
ADF’s SME development activities includes providing training and technical assistance to SMEs, facilitating access to credit, investment and markets, and support for capacity building of SME development agencies, business associations and resource centers.

Local Economic Development
ADF provides municipalities training and technical assistance in developing local economic development strategies and plans leading to increased trade and investment. ADF organizes highly participatory processes in which municipalities and stakeholders work together to develop local economic strategies and plans.

Agriculture Development
ADF assistance in agriculture development is designed to help farmers overcome many constraints to improve their agricultural production, sales and income. ADF has focused on the development and strengthening of hundreds of voluntary, sustainable, profit-oriented farmer associations and cooperatives. ADF assistance includes education and on-farm training for individual farmers, associations, cooperatives, and federations.

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