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Call for Proposals: Asia-Pacific Health-Related Climate Change Story Grants

Published on
04 Jun 2019
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30 June 2019, 05:00 PM, Asia/Bangkok (UTC +07) info.ejn [at]

The more we learn about the impacts of climate change, the more we understand how it is affecting all aspects of society, including human health and well-being.

Having access to clean air and water, secure shelter and sufficient food are the basic needs of life. But rising sea levels and global temperatures and increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather that threatens water supplies and food production, heighten the risk of infectious diseases, malnourishment, respiratory and heat-related illnesses and even mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, climate change is expected to cause around 250,000 additional deaths a year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress between 2030 and 2050. Direct costs tied to health damages could reach between $2 billion to $4 billion a year in the next decade alone.   

Everyone will be affected, but small island states and developing areas along the coasts and in remote mountain regions will be among the most vulnerable to such changes, the WHO says. And it’s these places – many of them in the Asia-Pacific region – that often lack the infrastructure and resources to cope.

Despite the challenges, countries are finding ways to adapt. India is implementing heat action plans aimed at building awareness of the risks of heat waves, mapping high-risk areas and expanding potable drinking water stations. Fiji’s health minister recently emphasized the need for universal health coverage as a way of responding to the problem.

Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), this round of grants from EJN’s Asia-Pacific program aims to support stories that explain to local communities how climate change impacts human health and illustrate how vulnerable communities are adapting.


We’re seeking data-driven or investigative stories in any country or countries within the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular emphasis on how women and other marginalized groups (including youth, indigenous people, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities) are impacted by climate and environmental change.

We encourage stories that report on potential solutions and address how vulnerable communities are responding to challenges. We are also interested in stories that utilize relevant data to illustrate the issue in a compelling and easy-to-understand way.

For the purposes of this grant call, we are accepting applications from South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific region but not Australia or New Zealand. We are also unable to accept applications from Pakistan at this time.


Journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with a track record of reporting on climate change, health and the intersection between the two. We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media – international, national, local and community-based.

For this round of grants, we’re looking for applications from both:

  •       early career journalists with less than 5 years of reporting experience and;
  •       mid-level/senior reporters who have at least 5 years of experience.

Please indicate in the application form (link provided below) which category you are applying for, how you would benefit from this funding and how much support you hope to receive.

Grantees are free to publish or broadcast their stories in their affiliated media as long as EJN and Sida are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely. Freelance reporters should demonstrate a plan for publication or broadcast and are encouraged to provide a letter of interest from an editor.  


EJN expects to award around 10 small grants at an average grant size of US$2,000 each. We will consider awarding a higher grant amount for stories that require more time and resources to produce.  Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided. We expect that stories will be produced with equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies.

We also encourage the use of multimedia and new or unique media platforms to present and share the stories. Applicants with ideas for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for these accompanying elements (i.e. video, photos) and distribution channels in their pitch.

Stories can be produced in any language. But applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language need to also include an English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.

Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from other donors.


  •       Text-based stories: 1,000 to 3,000 words
  •       Photo stories: 10-20 images with descriptive captions and a short 200-400 word introduction
  •       Multimedia package:  Text between 600 to 1,500 words with 2-4 minute video and/or graphics, photos and maps
  •       Broadcast: Video piece around 4-6 minutes in length with a short, roughly 200-word introduction
  •       Audio report/podcast: Feature of up to 20 minutes in length with short text to summarize the audio.


Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals

  •       Timing: We expect the proposed story or stories to be published by 31 December 2019.
  •       Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
  •       Angle: If the story has been covered by mainstream media, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle?
  •       Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and urge action?
  •       Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches and data visualization will be considered a plus.
  •       Feasibility. Can the story be realistically completed within the target time frame? Is the budget realistic?
  •       Diversity: We will take gender and geographical distribution into account when selecting the grantees in addition to the criteria above.


  •       Applicants should follow the link below and complete the form by the listed deadline.
  •       Each application will require a detailed budget proposal. You should follow this link and download and complete the budget formbefore beginning the application since you’ll be asked to attach it.
  •       In addition to answering the questions on the form, we ask that every applicant submit a resume/CV and three samples of your reporting.
  •       For inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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