Request for Applications: Emerging Opportunities Grants

Independent Journalism Center - Internews - USAID

Program Overview

1. Project Goal and Description

The Independent Journalism Center (IJC) in partnership with Internews in Moldova announces a rolling grants competition within the framework of the program “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M). In this program, Internews’ activities are funded by an award from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). MEDIA-M is a five-year program (May 2017 – May 2022) aiming at sustaining Moldovan media through a variety of means, including assessment, consultancy, and financial support among others, for improved viability and a new dimension of local media in the country’s democratic development. Emerging Opportunities Grants will be awarded in the first year of this program.

2. Scope of Activities

Specifically, Emerging Opportunities Grants are intended to foster the development or expansion of nascent media platforms and innovative tools providing an informational alternative to the public, particularly those in rural areas, youth, and marginalized groups. These grants will act as help to build the sustainability of recipient outlets/initiatives by investing in their technological capacity, for example, or in their audience engagement efforts. Particularly, they may help recipients reach their target audiences (or new audiences) in new ways, such as through mobile apps, community media platforms, thematic social media feeds, and other channels. The initiatives eligible for support include, but are not limited to:

  • launching web editions and mobile apps,
  • creating vibrant social media feeds featuring multimedia content,
  • producing multiplatform news content,
  • integrating innovative story formats,
  • covering political, economic, and social issues that promote accountability and civic participation in interactive and engaging ways,
  • other innovative sustainable ideas.

3. Grants Information

3.1. Grants amount

The estimated amount to be awarded per applicant under Emerging Opportunities Grants is expected to range from USD 5000 to USD 15000 as the final amount of each awarded grant will be discussed individually with applicants based on project needs and innovation value. The number of award recipients will be determined based on the quality of the offers and the available budget.

3.2. Cost share

All grantees must provide a ten percent cost share. Cost share may include project costs incurred by the applicant from its own funds, or project costs financed with cash, services, or property contributed or donated to the applicant from other sources.

3.3. Project duration and timeline

Projects should be implemented by 31 March 2018 and the awards received by grantees must be consumed within this time period. The expected outcomes, products and services should be available upon project completion. However, it is possible for applicants with big-scale projects to apply for funding part of their projects, provided it comprises deliverables. In this case, applicants should consider this requirement in their applications and make corresponding adjustments to their timelines and expected outcomes, so as to deliver the appropriate results at that stage of their projects.

4. Eligibility Criteria

The grants program is open to all Moldovan media outlets, NGOs, bloggers/vloggers, activists, individuals and other entities who meet the following criteria:

  • Adhere to ethical and professional standards, have good reputation and independent editorial policy (where applicable);
  • Have proven record of successful cooperation with non-governmental organizations and/or civil society activists (where such records are available);
  • Be able to meet all reporting requirements and deadlines;
  • Romanian- and Russian-language teams and individuals can equally apply.

5. Selection Criteria:

Applications will be evaluated by a joint IJC-Internews committee on a range of selection criteria. Each application will receive a score, with a maximum potential score of 100 points, where the technical offer will account for 80 percent of the final score, and the financial offer will account for 20 percent of the final score.

Technical offer evaluation criteria:

  • A creative combination of actors/use of new technology,
  • An implementation plan written in a logical and convincing way,
  • Practical and timed well for each part,
  • Appropriate target audience, promotion and sustainability plans,
  • Preference will be given to applications representing various provinces of the country, ethnic/linguistic minority groups, and the capital that meet strict professional criteria and have the potential to serve as the leading information sources to rural populations, Russian-speaking populations, and youth.

Financial offer evaluation criteria:

  • Reasonable and clear budget allocation, making best use of available resources,
  • • Applicants will be expected to provide a ten percent cost share for media outlets as well as individual projects, and demonstrate how they will dedicate their own resources towards their convergent newsrooms, innovative projects and platforms to support their initiatives.

6. Application Requirements:

Applications should include the following information:

  • A general presentation of the applicant using the application template;
  • The resumes/CVs of team members or individuals;
  • The budget planned for the implementation of the initiative, including salary costs, using the budget template.

7. Terms of Application:

Applications must be submitted by email to Olga Lanovaia, Prorgam Coordinator at IJC, at [email protected], with copies to Cristina Mogildea, [email protected]. All applications submitted will be acknowledged within two work days. Successful respondent(s) will be notified of selection within fourteen working days following the deadline for submission of applications. The application and budget templates are available in the links above or can be obtained over email upon request.

The deadline for application submission is September 11, 2017. Contact person: Olga Lanovaia, program coordinator, tel.: 022 213 652.