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New Competition: Producing Gender-Sensitive Media Content 

 January 2020

New Grants Competition:

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 Gender-Sensitive Media Coverage Grants Competition.

Internews will support projects that contribute to the Media Program objective of increasing high-quality, engaging content throughout Ukraine, addressing socially-significant issues and problems women and girls face, with a goal to: 

• Increase and improve local coverage of key issues that women and girls face, including obstacles to equality of opportunity, rights and full political participation;

• Help newsrooms to produce gender-sensitive reporting to improve the quality of journalism, the relevance of news and to build a healthier, fair society. 

The Government of Ukraine has stated that gender equality is a priority and has demonstrated this commitment by supporting a robust legal framework to support gender equality and the creation of a National Program on Gender Equality. However, Ukraine still performs poorly in global gender equality rankings — 59th place out of 153 countries in Global Gender Gap Index rankings 2020, including the lack of prioritization of gender equality in national policy and administrative reforms; the non-integration of gender in national statistics, planning, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation of state programs; overt sexism in media, advertising, and by public officials.

Media monitoring conducted by the Volyn Press Club (VPC) and the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) showed that women are underrepresented as experts in both national and regional news media coverage. VPC reported that in February-August 2019, only 29-35 per cent of print and online media attributed comments and expert opinions to women.

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$35,000 for projects of up to six-months’ duration but larger proposals will be considered if concepts, budgets and time-lines are well justified.

Proposed projects may include (but are not limited to) the following illustrative activities:

• Producing balanced professional multimedia content that engages with audiences and seeks to foster effective public debate on gender equality, political and economic participation of women;

• Examining the actual progress of reforms in connection with gender equality and higher political participation of women;

• Covering topics and promoting content that is made with women and girls’ interests in mind in order to help them make informed decisions in daily lives;

• Activities, for example training and mentoring, that increase the numbers of women acting as authoritative sources and experts in news media;

• Activities, for example training and mentoring, to help media learn and integrate into their daily work concepts of gender-sensitive reporting and introduce gender-sensitive policies in newsrooms;

• Activities that tackle skeptical attitudes towards introducing gender parity in newsrooms and news and information coverage;

• Supporting collaboration with independent experts in the field of gender equality and inclusion of international organizations, including UNFPA, UN Women, HeForShe global solidarity movement for gender equality, and other reputable local organizations. 

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 – e-mail 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: write about what impact your project will have and explain how you will show that your project had this impact (e.g. consider what method you will use to track your results; think of what success you will achieve).

D. Content marketing and sales plan: If you are producing or helping to produce media content, explain how you will analyze your target audience, organize sales and marketing around the content/targeted audience, and how you will invest any earnings back into project development.

E. Monitoring and evaluation tools and indicators.

F. Timetable (monthly) that explains project logic and implementation.

G. Partners.

H. Organization background – two paragraphs maximum.

III. Budget – Excel Format – Must Use Attached Template

The budget should describe major expense categories that show clear cost-effectiveness. The suggested cost share should be no less that 10 percent of the requested sum of the grant. 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 English and Ukrainian, marked “USAID-Internews Gender-Sensitive Content” to be submitted no later than February 10, 2020 – 18:00 (Kyiv time). 

Proposals should be sent electronically to

Telephone enquires can be made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 14:00 till 16:00 at this number: (044) 334-5639.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals which do not correspond to MPU’s priority activities and requirements will not be considered.

A jury of independent experts will evaluate all proposals, compile a short list and select the winners. Please, note that only shortlisted and winning applicants will be contacted.

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 cost share is no less that 10 percent of the requested amount.

2. The proposal offers an innovative approach for achieving the Media Program in Ukraine’s priorities.

3. The project can achieve expected results in the referenced period of time.

4. Recommended types of activities make achieving expected results possible.

5. The applicant demonstrates sufficient technical skills, experience and capacity to achieve the proposed activities.

6. The project budget is reasonable and cost effective.