Freedom House, in collaboration with the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, invites applications for funding and support from local, registered non-governmental organizations and coalitions based in the Republic of Moldova, the Eastern Partnership Region, and the European Union that seek to raise awareness about press freedom, freedom of expression, and independent media in the Republic of Moldova, including among the public, marginalized communities, government, local authorities, and other sectors.
The “Media Freedom Matters” grants program will serve the following objectives:
a. To provide financial support to longer-term advocacy initiatives, public campaigns, and other activities that seek to raise public awareness about freedom of expression and press freedom among the general public in the Republic of Moldova;
b. To provide essential technical support, assistance, and tools to new initiatives or campaigns in order to leverage their impact to strengthen public trust in independent Moldovan media and fact-based journalism in the age of disinformation;
c. To bolster broader regional efforts to encourage Moldovan citizens' active engagement with media, and advocate for a government that is accountable, ensuring equal and impartial access to media distribution services in Moldova.
Freedom House and the Black Sea Trust will select up to three (3) advocacy initiatives for up to $10,000 in funding each. Applications will be considered in the following thematic areas:
- Raise awareness about freedom of expression/free press among the general public in the Republic of Moldova;
- Strengthen public trust in independent Moldovan media in the age of disinformation;
- Promote fact-based journalism and opinion exchange;
- Encourage citizens’ active engagement with the media in Moldova;
- Target the government to ensure its commitment to a free press in the Republic of Moldova.
Initiatives aimed at strengthening the role of media in advancing accountability for corruption, human rights abuses, or other violations that are focused on using, developing, or supporting domestic approaches and processes are encouraged.
Priority will be given to organizations and initiatives that see themselves as media freedom or support organizations, or agents of transparency, accountability, and democratic development. In addition, priority will be given to those initiatives addressing local- or regional-level freedom of expression or press freedom issues.
Selected initiatives will receive a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 months of financial assistance. Freedom House and the Black Sea Trust will support public campaigning, advocacy, and other outreach initiatives that will raise greater public awareness and hold the government and other relevant actors accountable to take concrete steps towards improving respect for press freedom and freedom of expression in the Republic of Moldova.
Applicants have broad latitude to design projects under this call, but applications will also be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Clear vision – does the applicant clearly articulate an advocacy or outreach goal, target groups, and the tools for their initiative?
- Innovativeness – does the applicant propose innovative approaches, including through the use of technology, to distribute its content, engage the public, raise awareness, or advocate for greater respect for freedom of expression and press freedom in the Republic of Moldova?
- Partnerships and engagement – does the applicant plan to develop strategic partnerships with the media, civil society organizations, the human rights community, or government agencies?
- Audience and reach – does the applicant have a regional or local focus, as well as a clear idea of its current and/or desired audience and how to engage and serve the needs of that audience?
- Non-discrimination and human rights – does the applicant take into account how nationality, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/mental abilities and other distinguishing human characteristics are portrayed in the media and articulate strategies for supporting non-discrimination and inclusiveness? Does the project reach marginalized communities or populations? Does their project demonstrate a commitment to and emphasis on human rights?
- Organizational development readiness – does the application clearly demonstrate the capacity to implement the proposed initiative?
Priority will be given to Moldovan regional- and local-level initiatives and campaigns, especially those that focus on Russian-speaking communities within the Republic of Moldova. Applications to this announcement should demonstrate an understanding of main organizational and/or campaign needs and a desire to address them with the support of Freedom House and the Black Sea Trust.
Only non-commercial organizations, associations, initiatives, and foundations active in the Republic of Moldova, the European Union, or the Eastern Partnership are eligible for participation in this program. Individuals and government, quasi-government, or commercial agencies and bodies are not eligible for funding.
The selection decisions will be made by January 31, 2018. Freedom House and BST intend to fund projects beginning in February 2018. Projects may cost up to $10,000. The distribution of funds will follow entry into an agreement with advocacy partners (if any), Freedom House, and the Black Sea Trust.
Application Submission Criteria:
- Applications will be accepted until the closing date noted above;
- Applications must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org in Romanian, Russian, or English using the application form and budget template provided;
- Budgets must be submitted using Excel format and the provided template by the closing date.
This program is a joint effort by Freedom House and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation implemented under the auspices of the Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M) project, with support from Internews, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and others, Freedom House is the oldest non-profit, nongovernmental organization in the United States dedicated to promoting and defending democracy and freedom worldwide. Freedom House supports the global expansion of freedom through its advocacy activities, monitoring, and in-depth research on the state of freedom, and direct support of democratic reformers throughout the world. The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) of the German Marshall Fund promotes regional cooperation and good governance in the Wider Black Sea region; accountable, transparent, and open government; strong effective civic sectors; and independent and professional media. BST does this by supporting civil society from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine.