Announcement and Call for Applications (English Translation) – Strengthening Civil Society and Media Systems (Sawt) Activity in Jordan

Digital First Program – Cycle 2, Capacity Building, Training, and Grants Program for Digital Media Platforms

About Sawt Activity:

The Strengthening Civil Society and Media Systems (Sawt) Activity is a five-year (2022-2027) Activity implemented by Internews in partnership with Mercy Corps and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). Sawt aims to foster sustained civic engagement in Jordan through civil society and digital media innovations through two main objectives: 1) Good, Trusted Knowledge-Building Resources: Citizens and civil society build knowledge through accessing and engaging critically with accurate and fact-based information and 2) Participation & Advocacy: Citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Jordan effectively participate in civic spaces and advocate for policies through knowledge-based collective action.

Sawt works through two main pillars:

  • Advocacy: Civil society amplifies citizens’ voices through national and local advocacy initiatives.
  • Public Policy: Civil society and digital media have a trusted collective role in the public policymaking processes.

Sawt also works to ensure under-represented voices are included, heard, and can safely access and use knowledge resources, and builds the resilience of partners to operate in a challenging political and legal environment.

Overview of the Training Program:

Sawt announces the opening of the second cycle of the Digital First Program, designed for Jordanian media platforms publishing content digitally. Digital First aims to build the capacity of media platforms to produce content that is relevant to their audiences while leveraging the power of digital platforms. The Program also empowers beneficiaries to use digital platforms in ways that      provide financial revenue diversification, thus improve their sustainability and diversity. Moreover, the program entails two phases:

The first phase spans six to eight months, focusing on delivering both theoretical and practical trainings to representatives of beneficiary media platforms. It encompasses topics and skills that intend to enhance their capacity to produce high-quality, evidence-based, and digitally published content that addresses audiences’ information needs. Additionally, this phase includes strengthening institutional capacities in areas related to technology, governance, strategic planning, and day-to-day media management. Ultimately, the goal is to empower media platforms to enhance their sustainability and ability to generate content that serves public interest. The training sessions will cover a wide range of topics and skills, including:

Digital Publishing ToolsContent Areas and TopicsInstitutional Capacities and Processes
Integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in content production and distribution.

Search Engine Optimization “SEO”.

Content publishing on social media platforms.

Digital and cyber safety and security.
Podcasts and multimedia content production. 

In-depth and Investigative Journalism. Science, Health, Environment, and Climate Journalism.

Solutions and Data Journalism.

Media and Information literacy, and Factchecking.

Human rights-based coverage (operationalizing principles of equality, human rights, and representation of marginalized groups).  
Media Ethics.

Media Laws and Legal Framework.

Financial Management in Media Organizations.

Strategies and Business Models for Media Organizations.

The second phase offers financial support to beneficiaries who have successfully completed the training program to enhance their institutional capabilities, foster their sustainability, and supporting the production and dissemination of professional, reliable content. This is implemented through core grants provided by Sawt, based on its Organization Capacity Assessment (OCA) tool to determine development areas and needs for each media beneficiary.

Eligibility Requirements for Participation in the Second Cycle of the Digital First Program:
  1. The media platform[1] must be operational and legally registered in Jordan.
  2. The media platform must demonstrate financial independence[2]  in terms of funding sources.
  3. The media platform is required to have a digital publishing platform (such as a website, a mobile application, and/or accounts on social media sites) and demonstrate active content publication over the past year.
  4. The media platform should demonstrate a commitment to public interest.
  5. The media platform’s coverage should be oriented towards audiences based in Jordan[3].
  6. The media platform must not have previously participated in the first cycle of the Digital First Program.

Sawt encourages independent, community, and local media platforms that produce content related to youth, women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to apply. Furthermore, media platforms focusing on climate and environmental topics, civic and economic participation, public services, media and information literacy, and fact-checking are highly encouraged to apply for the Program.

Submission of Applications:

Sawt invites media platforms interested in joining the second cycle of the Digital First Program to access and complete the electronic application form via the following link إعلان من مشروع صوت عن الدورة الثانية من برنامج الرقمنة أولاً لمنصات الإعلام الرقمي ([4]

Application Deadline: Sunday, March 24, 2024

For additional information or inquiries regarding the Program design, participation methods, and application process, please reach out to the following email:  [email protected]

[1] For the purposes of this program, a “media platform” means a media organization registered and operating in accordance with Jordanian laws, as well as media initiatives and pages on social media that are active in producing content digitally and are associated with an institution, CSO or company.

[2] For the purposes of this program, the media platform or institution is considered independent if it finances its activities, especially editorial, with non-public resources appropriated by the government, or has a clear institutional policy that separates funding and revenues from editorial work (editorial integrity).

[3]  This includes platforms that publish digitally in other languages, especially English, and focus their content on Jordan and target Jordanian audiences or speakers of languages other than Arabic residing in Jordan.  

[4] The final posted version of the announcement and application form will be fully aligned with the English translation approved by USAID.

Download the Call for Applications in Arabic