Call for Proposals: Flexible Support for Platform Accountability

Deadline to apply: May 31, 2022

Internews is excited to announce this opportunity for organizations dedicated to improving the governance and accountability of technology platforms worldwide.

Technology platforms have an enormous and expanding influence over the global and local information ecosystems in which we all live. These platforms offer many clear benefits to the communities who use them—but they also cause and enable substantive harm, while operating with little transparency or accountability to their global users. The Platform Impacts Fund supports work that seeks to understand and document these impacts, hold platform companies accountable for the role they play, and build networks of understanding around these issues.

In this first public call for proposals under the Platform Impacts Fund (PIF), we are seeking to provide flexible, core funding for organizations, researchers, and advocates who have platform accountability as a central element of their work.

While the biggest technology platforms have global footprints of billions of users, the way that these platforms impact different information ecosystems can manifest in highly localized ways. Users in countries that are not priority markets, or who speak minority languages, or come from otherwise marginalized communities may be at once most reliant on the benefits provided by technology platforms and most adversely impacted by the harms they facilitate. These same users are often least able to access accountability mechanisms or have their concerns addressed. The PIF has a global focus, and organizations based outside of America and Europe will be prioritized.

Successful applicants will receive between $10,000 and $30,000 toward ‘core’ or organizational costs which can be spent on staffing, overhead, capacity strengthening, travel, software, hardware, or other expenses. Unlike project-specific funding, these grants are not tied to specific outputs, and are designed to support the overall operations of the recipient organization. This flexible support funding has been identified as both a gap and a priority through stakeholder consultation.

Organizations working on the following issues should apply:

  • Researching and documenting the impacts of global technology platforms, particularly within specific contexts outside of the US and Europe
  • Advocating for specific policy and product reforms
  • Equity of service, including but not limited to content moderation, for non-European or minority language platform users
  • Building networks or forums focusing on platform accountability

Successful applicants would ideally be medium to high capacity CSOs already engaged in the platform accountability, digital rights, and tech governance space. These activities should be central to the organization’s mission, and successful grantees should have expertise and a history of impact relating to platform accountability. Applicants without an extensive history who can demonstrate that their work fills a critical gap relating to platform accountability—for example, an underrepresented community or understudied issue—may also apply.

While these ‘core’ grants are not tied to specific outputs, successful applicants must be able to outline their intended outcomes for the funding period (12 months) and explain how these funds will be used to support and amplify their impact.

The PIF will support targeted research and advocacy efforts through future calls for proposals, and core funding recipients who are open to working with or mentoring future grantees will be prioritized.

The application form can be found HERE. Deadline to apply: May 31, 2022

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity or would like to send confidential details in your application, please contact Zoey Tung Barthelemy.