Call for Proposals: Asia-Pacific and Bay of Bengal Media Grants 2018

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EJN, Asia - Pacific

Grants are available to media groups, journalist networks and other environmental information-generating organizations that are working to improve the quantity and quality of environmental news coverage.

DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 18 @ 5PM EST. APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED AFTER THIS TIME WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

OVERVIEW

Our planet is experiencing an acute environmental crisis, and time is running out to limit its impact. According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world only has 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5-degrees Celsius. Temperatures exceeding that amount will produce to more heatwaves and drought, greater sea level rise, flooding and rainfall, research shows.

We’re focused on the Asia-Pacific region because it holds a critical key to our planet’s health and its ability to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate. The region is home to 60 percent of the world’s population and rich pockets of biodiversity. At the same time, its fast-growing economies are taking a huge toll on the environment. Sixty percent of marine plastic waste comes from five Asian countries (China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam). China and India are among the world’s top five greenhouse gas emitters. Indonesia continues to be a hotspot for deforestation, and Mekong countries and Papua New Guinea are fast losing their forests too. Meanwhile, water scarcity in South Asia continues growing, and while the South Pacific countries as a group contribute a negligible amount of global greenhouse gases, they suffer disproportionately from the effects of global warming.

From a policy level, decisions made in the Asia-Pacific region will influence how drastically the global climate will change, whether communities will be more resilient to environmental impacts, how many species go extinct and how much progress toward sustainable development can be achieved.

Yet communities in the Asia-Pacific facing the brunt of environmental and climate change often lack information needed to adapt or pressure their officials to act. In addition, the voices of those who are particularly vulnerable - such as women, youth, indigenous people, ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities - are not always included in mainstream local and international media.

This grant program provides an opportunity for media organizations, civil society organizations and academic institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific to think critically and creatively about how to build local capacity for reporting and information exchange around climate change, natural resource management and the environment.

We’re implementing this round of grants under two separate EJN projects -- the EJN Asia-Pacific project with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Enhancing Climate Justice and Resilience Narratives around the Bay of Bengal project supported by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.

OBJECTIVES

Through the media grants, we aim to strengthen the capacity of local and regional organizations to produce more high-quality stories that cover climate change, the environment and natural resource-management issues.

Proposed activities should be designed to contribute towards at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Improved access among policymakers, communities and individuals to quality socio-environmental news and information;
  • Improved organizational capacity to report on socio-environment issues in an accurate and compelling way;
  • Improved organizational capacity to produce greater quantity and quality of socio-environmental news and information;
  • Reduced exclusion of marginalized groups (defined as women, youth, ethnic minority groups, indigenous people and people with disabilities) in socio-environmental information;
  • Peer and multi-stakeholder engagement around socio-environmental issues.

GRANT AMOUNTS

The grants will be given out in two lots.

  • Lot 1 For groups that implement actions on any environmental topic in the Asia-Pacific region. The typical grant will be for up to US$20,000 and support a one-year project. We are also open to multi-year proposals for a bigger grant amount, but not for longer than two years. Around 10 such grants would be provided in this round. Priority will be given to groups that are locally registered and actions that will be implemented in one or more developing countries.
  • Lot 2 For groups working in the Bay of Bengal region, specifically coastal Bangladesh and eastern India (the coastal areas in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) and focusing specifically on climate resilience and adaptation. These grants will average around US$15,000, although we may accept one for a slightly larger amount. While the average size of these grants is less than for Lot 1, we expect fewer applications for them, and thus your chances of being selected are greater. We aim to award at least 3 grants in this Lot.

Applications for the two lots will be judged simultaneously.

WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES DOES THIS GRANT SUPPORT?

For this round of media grants, we are particularly interested in activities that cover one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Use of innovative approaches and platforms to create and disseminate news and information. Example of activities: Training and mentoring of local journalists to produce data-centered stories; development of online tools that allow local communities to monitor and report on environmental impacts.

  • Capacity and knowledge building among local journalists and other information providers to cover the environment more effectively. Example of activities: Training workshops for journalists on specific environmental or topics such as coal-fired electricity plants and renewable energy, wildlife tracking, special economic zones or technical skills such as data journalism and investigative journalism; development of safety tools for strengthening the safety of journalists working on environmental issues; workshops and tools to support gender-inclusive reporting.

  • Institutional capacity building of organizations that support environmental journalism. Example of activities: Seed grant for establishing a new environmental journalist network; training on financial reporting, inclusive practices and fundraising for staff of organizations.

  • Partnerships among peers or with other environmental stakeholders for environmental reporting. Example of activities: Cross-border investigative reporting projects by journalists from neighboring countries; story creation labs for journalists and researchers to jointly produce evidence-based stories.

While content production is an important aspect of the proposed activities, applications should include some form of networking, knowledge sharing, and/or capacity-building component. Under specific circumstances, we are open to supporting fellowships and travel grants that support specific story ideas or coverage of key events, but these activities should facilitate the building of networks and/or be part of a training process.

Please note that there will be a separate forthcoming story grant opportunity available for individual journalists. In addition, EJN also has a separate fellowship program to support journalists to attend the UN Climate Change Conference in 2019.

CAN THE GRANT BE USED FOR PURCHASING EQUIPMENT?

Yes, although applicants should clearly state how the equipment can contribute to the expected outcomes and outputs. The cost of equipment should also make up a relatively small proportion of the overall budget and not the budget in its entirety.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THIS GRANT?

Regional, national and local media organizations, journalist networks, universities and journalism schools focusing on environmental reporting in the region are welcome to apply. The organizational grants can also be used to support the establishment of environmental journalism networks in places where they don't exist. In such cases, applicants should note their affiliations with existing media organizations, if applicable, or provide detailed plans about how this project would facilitate the creation of a new organization.

Non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations and research institutes will also be considered but only those with strong media and communication programs that are dedicated to support fair and accurate reporting. Please note that we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning. Existing grantees are welcome to apply and the performance on their existing grant will be taken into consideration in the selection.

HOW TO APPLY

  • You will need to first create an account on our website https://www.earthjournalism.net/ or log into an existing one.
  • To register for an account, click on “create an account” below. Once you fill in all the required fields, you can save the application and will receive a confirmation email from the Earth Journalism Network with instructions on how to finalize your submission.
  • To apply, you have to fill in the online application form by clicking on “Apply Now” below.
  • Applicants are required to submit a budget. Please download this form now and build your project budget using it.
  • If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email info.ejn@internews.org.

OTHER INFORMATION

  • Geographical representation will be considered during the selection of grantees.
  • Grantees are expected to give their full cooperation in monitoring and evaluating the results of the projects and are encouraged to submit their own monitoring and evaluation plan along with their application. The final monitoring and evaluation plan will be agreed upon by EJN and each individual grantee.
  • Successful applicants will participate in a monitoring and evaluation process with EJN.  Those selected for the Lot 1 grants will undertake a participatory Organizational Capacity Assessment, as part of the capacity-building component.
  • Projects that can offer or raise co-financing to complement EJN’s support will be favorably viewed. Please indicate co-financing, if any, in the budget.
  • We expect to update applicants on the status of their proposals within a month after the closing of the call.

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