DT Institute Partners with The Carter Center to Support Human Rights Defenders in Implementing Local Solutions with ACCELERATE Grants

ATLANTA (March 1, 2024) — DT Institute is partnering with The Carter Center to provide rapid response grants to human rights defenders (HRDs) confronting unprecedented challenges to democracy and fundamental freedoms. The new ACCELERATE funding mechanism will provide HRDs with financial and technical support.

Historically, The Carter Center and DT Institute have both independently supported HRDs as they work in some of the most challenging contexts. Since 2003, The Carter Center has convened the Human Rights Defenders Forum to provide a space for reflection, resilience building, and action planning. In addition, since its inception in 2019, DT Institute has been working with HRDs on public and privately funded programs and grants.

“With the world seeing a worrisome rise in authoritarian sentiments, we are more determined than ever to provide the operational and technical support that HRDs need to confront these trends and promote democratic values,” said Pia Wanek, CEO of DT Institute. “The internet has transformed how people and societies interact positively. However, it has also increased the violation of HRD’s digital rights; social and economic inequality has been increasing across regions or within countries; and climate change has had a profound impact on the ability of HRDs to carry out their work.

At this pivotal time, the two organizations have decided to come together to launch this grants funding mechanism to tackle further issues that HRDs face.

 "We are expanding our support for HRDs by designing a small grants funding mechanism that includes ACCELERATE Programmatic Grants," said Barbara Smith, vice president of Peace Programs at The Carter Center. “With this request for proposals (RFP), the Center and DT Institute seek to resource a select number of HRDs in a pilot phase of the granting mechanism. ACCELERATE Programmatic Grants will channel funding to HRDs implementing locally led solutions that will benefit from project-based resources to start new initiatives, scale existing work, or amplify efforts.

In its pilot phase in 2024, the ACCELERATE funding mechanism will support up to four organizations with grants of up to $50,000.

These programmatic grants are open to partners of The Carter Center and DT Institute who meet the eligibility criteria. Successful projects will benefit from technical advice from either The Carter Center, DT Institute, or both. Through this pilot small grants mechanism, The Carter Center and DT Institute seek to empower HRDs to make meaningful impacts in their local communities. Successful applicants will contribute to a modest Learning Agenda and participate in an emergent Community of Practice.

Link to RFP: ACCELERATE Programmatic Grants for Civil Society Organizations under the Human Rights Defenders Initiative at The Carter Center and DT Institute (PDF).


The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.