Call for Proposals
Globally, environmental factors contribute to 23% of all deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its potential origin in the wildlife trade and the increasing pressure human societies place on natural habitats, further underlines the urgency of humankind to address the environmental crisis and the importance of understanding that the health and well being of humans, animals and their environments are intrinsically linked.
In this round of media grants, we are seeking innovative ideas from journalist networks, media organizations, civil society organizations or academic institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific that would strengthen public awareness of this interconnection and the need for collaborative and multidisciplinary responses to the environmental crisis. Examples of activities that can be supported include, but not limited to:
- Environmental reporting that focuses public attention on the interdependence of the health and well-being of humans, animals, and their environments, covering themes such as climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, wildlife trafficking, natural resources management, and large-scale infrastructure development;
- Cross-sectoral collaborations and knowledge exchange between journalists, other information providers and other key actors in the environment, animal and human health space such as researchers and governmental agencies;
- Partnerships and networks for environmental reporting, such as transboundary reporting projects and content sharing among media outlets based in different countries;
- Institutional capacity building activities that build skills and knowledge on topics, such as but not limited to, financial reporting, monitoring and evaluation, gender inclusion, virtual activities that support environmental reporting under the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This round of grants is awarded as part of the Earth Journalism Network’s Asia-Pacific project, which aims to boost the quantity and quality of environmental and climate coverage in the region and empower at-risk communities by informing them about environmental issues and amplifying their voices in the media. This project has received generous financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Proposed activities should contribute to the following objectives:
- Strengthen the capacity of journalists and media organisations to produce high-quality, factual and engaging public environmental information on the consequences of human impacts on climate and the environment and viable solutions to mitigate and respond to these impacts.
- Increase the quantity of high-quality content and media coverage on key environmental themes to focus public attention on the interdependence of the health and well-being of humans, animals, and their environments.
- Empower women, the poor, youth, indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable groups to address the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation by amplifying their voices in environmental reporting and increasing their access to high-quality, publicly available environmental information
- Help generate positive changes in government policies, businesses environmental standards or consumer habits for a more sustainable way of life.
This grant fund has US$120,000 available for awards this year, which would ideally be shared among six to eight projects. The grant amount can range between US$5,000 to US$20,000 depending on the scope of the proposed activities.
As part of EJN’s support to the grantees, the selected organizations will undertake a participatory Organizational Capacity Assessment. Based on the finding of the assessment, they may receive additional assistance to strengthen their organizational capacity.
Media organizations, journalist networks, universities and journalism institutions focusing on environmental reporting in the Asia and Pacific region are welcome to apply. Civil society organizations, community-based groups and research institutes will also be considered – but only those with strong media and communication components that are dedicated to supporting fair and accurate environmental reporting. Please note that we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning.
For the purpose of this call, we are only accepting applications from low-and-middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We will not accept applications from Central Asian Middle Eastern countries.
Examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:
- Training workshops;
- Development of reporters’ resources and e-learning tools;
- Story grants for journalists;
- Mentoring of journalists;
- Special reporting projects;
- Networking and partnership activities for journalists;
- Development of new storytelling platforms;
- Establishment of a journalist network.
Grants will be awarded competitively by a panel of judges, consisting of Internews staff and experts in environmental reporting. Following a first-round review, potential grantees will be shortlisted. The jury may interview shortlisted applicants to seek further information on the proposed activity. The jury will then reconvene again after the interviews to make a final selection of the grantees.
The jury evaluates all eligible applications in a comparative context and makes funding decisions based on the availability of funds, the program objectives, and the following assessment criteria:
- the overall quality of the proposal;
- the relevance of the proposed project in contributing to the objectives and priorities of this grant program;
- the potential impact of the proposed project, including the quality and effectiveness of the project design;
- the innovativeness of the proposed activities;
- the financial viability and cost-effectiveness of the proposed project;
- the ability of the applicant to carry it out;
- geographical spread of the grantees.
Selected organizations will be invited to participate in a virtual or in-person (public health conditions allowing) Training of Trainers (ToT) activity where they will have the opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and skills, and network with each other and EJN staff. As part of this activity, participants will also receive a sensitivity and awareness training on gender and marginalised groups’ needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can the grant be used to purchase equipment?
A: Applicants can use a portion of the grants to purchase equipment but should clearly state how the equipment will contribute to the expected outcomes and outputs. The cost of equipment should also make up a relatively small proportion of the overall budget.
Q: Will geographical representation will be considered during the selection of grantees?
A: Yes. We hope to award grants to applicants from a range of countries across the region.
Q: Are grantees expected to include monitoring and evaluation in their proposed activity?
A: Grantees are encouraged to submit their own monitoring and evaluation plan along with their application, and budget accordingly for monitoring and evaluation activities. The final monitoring and evaluation plan will be agreed upon by EJN and each grantee. They are also expected to give their full cooperation to EJN for the monitoring and evaluation of the results of the project.
Q: Can applicants offer or raise co-financing for the proposed activity?
A: Yes, please indicate the amount and source of co-financing, if any, in the budget. Co-financing is not required but would be a plus.
Q: Can existing or former EJN grantees apply?
A: Existing or former grantees are eligible to apply. We will take the performance of existing or previous grantees into consideration during the selection.
Q: When will applicants know whether they’ve been selected?
A: We expect to update applicants on the status of their proposals within a month after the closing of the call.
Q: What period can proposed projects cover?
A: Up to 12 months.
How to Apply
1. Fill in the online application form by clicking the “Apply Now” button located on the top right of the page.
2. If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you will need to create an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page.
3. If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later you can click “Save Draft.” To return to your draft, you’ll need to go back to the opportunity and click “Apply Now” again to finalize the application.
4. All applicants are required to submit a budget with the application form. Please download this template now and use it to build your project budget. Guidance on points to consider when building your budget is available here.
5. If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]
The deadline for applications is midnight January 15, 2021, UTC-11. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues. Decisions will be communicated before the end of February, with projects anticipated to start in Q1 2022.
Banner image: A student goes to school wearing a mask to protect him from the smoke that blankets the city of Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan/ Credit: Aulia Erlangga.