Human Rights Support Mechanism


With more than 150 years of collective experience successfully implementing hundreds of human rights projects in over 100 countries, the PROGRESS consortium combines deep substantive expertise with the practical application essential to achieving HRSM’s objectives.

The Human Rights Support Mechanism (HRSM) is a USAID funded, five-year leader with associates (LWA) cooperative agreement (# AID-OAA-A-16-000444) aimed at implementing USAID’s Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) Strategy, specifically objective #3: Protect and promote universally recognized human rights.

HRSM is implemented by the PROGRESS Consortium. PROGRESS provides technical assistance and support to partners and beneficiaries in developing countries around the world to achieve the following objectives:

1 Improve enabling environments for preventing and addressing human rights violations and abuses;

2 Implement effective response actions to mitigate the impact of human rights violations and abuses;

3 Implement effective remedies to human rights violations and abuses;

4 Identify effective approaches for protecting human rights; and

5 Implement rapid response activities to urgent or unforeseen crises.

All projects implemented under HRSM incorporate a technical and/or region-specific Applied Political Economy Analysis (APEA) conducted or directed by Pact. In addition, the Senior Gender and Inclusion Advisor is consulted throughout each project.


Primary partners work collectively with USAID to identify and implement HRSM-wide strategic priorities, develop and implement Associate Awards and rapid response activities, contribute quality evidence to the HRSM learning agenda, and develop and disseminate knowledge products that benefit the wider human rights community.

PROGRESS—Protecting Global Rights through Sustainable Solutions—was deliberately constituted to convene leading practitioners in each of the key substantive disciplines needed to build and strengthen local systems capable of protecting human rights.

Freedom House is the lead implementer for the LWA and manages and coordinates all PROGRESS consortium efforts and overall award implementation. Freedom House also leads activities that support civil society organizations in their efforts to protect and promote human rights as well as efforts to use ICT as a tool to protect rights.

American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) focuses on providing technical legal assistance, training, research, and resources to strengthen formal justice sector institutions so they can more effectively fulfill their critical roles in protecting human rights. When appropriate, ABA ROLI will include civil society actors in its programming.

Internews leads activities that strengthen media’s ability to protect human rights and provides expertise to strengthen media actors’ physical and digital safety and security.

Pact provides expertise and manages subawards to build the organizational capacity of beneficiaries. Pact also leads initiatives to integrate human rights activities into USAID programs in other sectors and provides expertise in political economy analysis.

Search For Common Ground (SFCG) provides expertise in various areas in the context of peace building, reconciliation, and prevention activities. SFCG also provides security sector reform and community-led conflict resolution services and contributes to programming with youth.


Associate partners contribute expertise in specific thematic or technical areas on an as-needed basis for Associate Awards and rapid response activities.

Global Initiatives for Human Rights (GIHR) – Heartland Alliance provides expertise to protect and promote the human rights of LGBTI persons.

The International Center for Not-For-Profit Law provides expertise to strengthen legislation governing CSOs engaged in human rights protection.

Mobility International provides expertise to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

The University of Minnesota’s OpenGlobalRights supports public opinion polling and surveying related to human rights issues.

Videre provides support for video recording and documentation of human rights abuses.

World Organization Against Torture provides assistance to support victims of torture, enforced disappearances, and summary executions.

World Resources Institute provides expertise to ensure the protection of human rights in the context of environmental and sustainable development challenges.


RIWI provides support in the form of online citizen surveys to further leverage USAID resources. PROGRESS also works with a global law firm that provides pro bono assistance for human rights projects.


Registered Users




Job Openings