ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is Germany’s oldest intermediary organisation for international cultural relations. It promotes a peaceful and enriching coexistence between people and cultures worldwide. ifa supports artistic and cultural exchange in exhibition, dialogue and conference programmes, and it acts as a centre of excellence for international cultural relations. It is part of a global network and relies on sustainable, long-term partnerships.

Types of assistance offered by the organisation:

Temporary relocation 

Target group: human rights defenders*

Operates worldwide 

With the Elisabeth-Selbert-Initiative (ESI), ifa supports activists who are committed to upholding human rights. The initiative provides temporary relocation grants for those who, due to their peaceful commitment to human rights, are threatened with physical and psychological violence, arrest, occupational disqualification, and even murder. These include e.g. ethnic minority groups fighting for land rights, women defending themselves against discrimination and violence, LGBTIQ+ activists campaigning for their right to sexual identity, or journalists exposing cases of corruption.

*The Elisabeth-Selbert-Initiative has no regional or thematic focus in the protection programme for human rights defenders nor is it oriented towards specific professional groups such as journalists or lawyers.

Funding 

Target group: artists

Operates in developing countries and countries with economies in transition

With the Artists’ Contacts programme, the ifa supports the international cooperation of cultural actors. Artists and cultural practitioners from Germany and from transformation or developing countries receive valuable support for projects in contemporary visual arts, architecture, photography, media art and design.

Fellowships 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

With the CCP Fellowships, the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) funds around 100 professionals and committed volunteers from 42 countries each year. During two to three months of practical training in host organisations in Germany or in CCP partner countries, participants deepen their expertise and acquire intercultural skills. In turn, the host organisations benefit from the expertise, regional knowledge and networks of the CCP fellows.

*Please check the list of eligible countries here.

Fellowships 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

Civil society organisations from Germany and from a partner country of the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) are supported by the CCP Synergy programme to work together on a project and create a lasting network. Funding for short stays is provided to employees of the two cooperating organisations. Aims of the cooperation can be the development and the expansion of joint projects, publications or events. The programme encourages the direct exchange between organisations and helps to bring together civil society actors across borders in order for them to learn from each other.

*Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan.

Funding 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

Working together on a project and breaking new grounds: The Cultural Assistant Programme supports organisations of German minorities with cultural, youth or media projects. Through ifa’s grant for junior staff members, an organisation, association or editorial office can benefit from receiving a temporary, additional staff member. In this way, the funding programme for German minorities in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe offers the opportunity to implement extraordinary concepts and project ideas and to further develop their institutions. The duration of the grant is at least six weeks to a maximum of six months.

*Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Fellowships 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

ifa’s Deployment Programme offers organisations of German minorities support in tasks and the opportunity to gain new experiences. Work stays in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and/or in a state of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) last between one and five years. The aim of the Deployment Programme is to convey a modern and vibrant image of Germany and to strengthen local organisations in their cultural bridging function between minority and majority.

*Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Funding 

Target group: artists

Operates in Germany 

The Exhibition Funding Programme supports international exhibition projects in public museums, cultural institutions and galleries abroad. The programme is open to contemporary German artists and artists with at least five years of residency in Germany. Funding is available for solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, participation in an international exhibition project or a biennial abroad.

Fellowships 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

The Job Shadowing Programme enables the employees from organisations of German minorities to spend up to three weeks at a host institution. In so doing, they receive new impulses and insights for their work and gain further professional training. The participants are inspired by the work of the other institution and learn topic-specific best-practice models and working methods.

*Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary and Uzbekistan.

Funding 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates in several countries* 

The Social Media Travel Grant enables people that are active in German minority organisations to take a two-week trip to countries of Eastern Europe or the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Throughout the journey, grant recipients share their experiences with a big community on the Mind_Netz social media platforms. In so doing, they can network with German minorities in other countries and gain further qualifications in the area of social media. Afterwards, these travel reporters can integrate their experience into the work at their German minority organisation. Each year, four travel grants are awarded.

*Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Funding 

Target group: human rights defenders

Operates worldwide 

The zivik Funding programme supports civil society actors worldwide in preventing crises, transforming conflicts, and creating as well as stabilising peaceful social and political systems. The zivik programme is providing funding for international, national or local NGO projects, which are dealing with civil conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts.

Funding 

Target group: artists, journalists, researchers

Operates  in Eastern Europe and in the countries
of the CIS 

ifa supports cultural projects as well as educational, youth and media projects of German minority organisations in Eastern Europe and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). For this reason, together with German minorities and the German Federal Foreign Office, a funding concept was developed.