Internews’ Media Program in Ukraine (MPU), a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), invites Ukrainian media organizations, media outlets, and civil society organizations to submit project proposals to the Impactful Reporting Competition.
Internews will support projects that contribute to the Media Program objective of increasing high-quality, engaging content throughout Ukraine, particularly in the East and South.
This contest allows media companies to decide what the thematic focus of their content production will be themselves, based on the issues they have ascertained to be most pertinent to the communities and audiences they serve.
The competition will give preference to media companies and content producers proposing partnerships with local activists and civic groups or other types of creative collaborations with different sectors, in order to promote progress in the area of focus. Solutions Journalism is one example of an approach where journalists do not only identify a problem and describe it, but also try to find examples of where solutions have been found elsewhere, or ways to bring decision-makers and citizens together to resolve the issue.
Special consideration will be given to projects and partners in Chernihiv, Dnipro, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Sumy, and Zaporizhzhia regions.
Projects should look for opportunities to address one or more of the following:
· Investigative reporting that gathers evidence of acts that may amount to or contribute to war crimes and crimes against humanity, or other serious violations;
· Topics related to gender equality that Ukrainians would like to be better covered: increased risks faced by women in times of war, protecting themselves and their families; war-related violence against women; problems faced by refugee and IDP women and ways to overcome them; women in conflict: military service, politics, diplomacy, volunteering.
· Ensure coverage of important news and useful information for the public, produced by Ukrainian media, including stories about recently liberated territories;
· Ensure local investigative journalists have the necessary skills to use open data in innovative ways, to produce reporting that holds the government accountable and increase transparency, especially on spending on reconstruction as those efforts start to increase;
· Build collaborations between investigative reporters, media NGOs, non-media civil society organizations, and anti-corruption agencies to deliver impact;
· Strengthen investigative centers and investigative reporting at regional outlets;
· Encourage more journalists to increase their expertise in special areas of interest for the public – e.g. health and pandemic-related disinformation, economic and financial reporting, court reporting and the pursuit of justice etc.;
· Support content produced by and for members of marginalized groups;
· Support cross-regional interventions (such as collaborative reporting, content exchange) that lead to greater partnerships and useful interregional dialogue.
This grants competition is a focused but flexible mechanism that provides opportunities to design innovative, experimental short-term projects. Project selection will be based on applicants’ ability to demonstrate concrete achievements that show impact in the media sector.
The average amount of awarded grants will be around US $25,000 for projects of up to six-months’ duration, but the selection committee will consider larger applications for a longer period if well justified.
Proposed projects may include (but are not limited to) the following illustrative activities:
· Providing stipends to cover travel and production costs for Ukrainian reporting teams and fixers to ensure that independent Ukrainian media outlets can afford to (as safely as possible) reach difficult parts of the country, for example recently liberated territories and areas badly affected by the war;
· Collaborating with Ukrainian investigative reporting teams and civil society organizations to ensure journalists follow international and national guidance on identifying war crimes and crimes against humanity, analyze evidence, and report in ways that promote justice;
· Cross-publishing and content exchange of solutions-oriented and investigative pieces produced by newsrooms from different parts of Ukraine, especially Chernihiv, Dnipro, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kirovohrad, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Sumy and Zaporizhzhia with other parts of the country.
· Production of solutions stories that connect problems and possibilities, report on responses to social problems, have tangible results in life of a particular community, and build trust with media audience;
· Developing hard-hitting investigative stories and data journalism projects covering socially important topics, such as major human rights violations caused by war including acts that may amount to war crimes; those reports should seek balance between the need for investigative reporting and coverage of the impact as a result of investigations;
· Building coalitions to strengthen collaboration among investigative journalists, technologists, civil society organizations, anti-corruption agencies and media companies in order to strengthen the reporting, amplify the content to wider audiences, and be able to effectively follow up on how investigations develop;
· Developing joint cooperation activities between local investigative and/or reporting teams to create joint projects of content production throughout Ukraine;
Grant Proposal Writing Instructions:
All proposals should be submitted in Times New Roman, 12 point, single space. The proposal structure includes the following sections:
I. Cover Page – 1 page
This page should contain the following information:
A. Project Title
B. Brief Project Description. In one paragraph, clearly and concisely summarize your project
C. Organization. Name and contact information – mailing address, e-mail, phone, cell phone and website
D. Project Coordinator. Full name and contact information – e-mail and cell phone
E. An additional contact person who will follow the project’s progress. Full name and contact information – email and cell phone
F. Project Duration (in months)
G. Amount Requested from MPU; in USD
H. Your organization’s cost share contribution (10% of the amount requested from MPU) in USD.
II. Program Description – 5 Pages Maximum
A. Description of project goals and objectives connected to MPU objectives
B. Activities to achieve project goals
C. Expected results, outcomes, outputs and project impact
D. Monitoring and evaluation tools and indicators
E. Timetable (monthly) that explains project logic and implementation
G. Organizational background – two paragraphs maximum
III. Budget – Excel Format – Must Use Attached Template
The budget should describe major expense categories that show clear cost-effectiveness. Justification for each cost (budget line) should be inserted to the right of the tab.
IV. Capacity and Previous Experience in Project Implementation – No More Than One Page:
A. Business or Project Management Experience
B. Previous Grants Received
Internews encourages newly established organizations to submit proposals. If your organization is new to media project implementation, please refer to other relevant projects you have carried out, indicating the competence of primary employees and consultants to be responsible for implementing the proposed project.
Deadline: Project proposals, in both English and Ukrainian, marked “Impactful Reporting” to be submitted no later than December 2, 18:00 (Kyiv time).
Proposals should be sent electronically to UA-MPU@internews.org
Proposals which do not correspond to MPU’s priority activities and requirements will not be considered.
This call is relevant to Objective 1 of USAID’s Media Program in Ukraine, to increase high-quality, engaging content throughout Ukraine, particularly in the East and South.
A jury of independent experts will evaluate all proposals, compile a shortlist and select the winners.
Internews may contact an applicant organization if any additional information regarding the submitted proposal is required.
Please note, the project consideration process can take one calendar month.
All awards are subject to available funding and USAID approval.
Grant Selection Criteria
Each proposal will receive an appropriate number of points according to the following criteria:
1. The proposal offers an innovative approach for achieving the Media Program in Ukraine’s priorities.
2. The project can achieve expected results in the referenced period of time.
3. Recommended types of activities make achieving expected results possible.
4. The applicant demonstrates sufficient technical skills, experience and capacity to implement the proposed activities.
5. The project budget is reasonable and cost effective.
Photo credit: Michal Czyz on Unsplash