Call for applications

Call for applications to support social media monitoring initiatives

ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy within Media Dialogue project implemented with the financial support of European Union is launching a grants programme for supporting media organisations in Kyrgyzstan.

Deadline to submit project proposals under this call is August 16, 2020, at 23:59 (Bishkek time)

Context

Our Media Dialogue project is funded by the European Union through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and runs until late spring 2021 to cover the period around the parliamentary election in October 2020. Its objective is to harness the power of the media in safeguarding conflict-free elections. The Media Dialogue project runs a grant programme that will help improve the media environment in Kyrgyzstan, engender public service value content and support high-quality journalism. It will also encourage grantees to promote media policy reform. Sub-grants will enable media institutions to deliver better advocacy campaigns to raise public awareness of the need to maintain and promote freedom of expression, high quality journalism, access to information and other constituents of a free and democratic media environment.

The project is implemented by a consortium of five organisations: European Partnership for Democracy (project lead), European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA Europe), ARTICLE 19, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Media Policy Institute.

Introduction

Media Dialogue will offer a series of grants to media organisations active in the media space in Kyrgyzstan to monitor hate speech and divisive, inflammatory narratives on social media throughout the upcoming parliamentary election campaign. The grants programme is managed by ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy.

Grant Program Priorities

The overall objective of the Media Dialogue grant programme is to support media organizations and CSOs advocating freedom of speech in performing the role of watchdog, offering an open forum for debate and being a public educator, thereby contributing to ensuring a democratic electoral process.

The specific objective of this call for applications is to support social media monitoring initiatives on the upcoming parliamentary election campaign with a focus on monitoring:

  • instances of hate speech and divisive, inflammatory narratives by main electoral stakeholders (mandatory);
  • adherence to formal and legal rules of political parties’ and candidates’ campaigns on social media (optional);
  • balanced representation of candidates in the social media channels of main media outlets (optional);

The social media channels to be monitored must include those a) owned and/or operated by political parties and candidates competing in the October 2020 parliamentary election and b) those owned or operated by the country’s main public and independent media outlets. Social media channels of other stakeholders in the electoral race may be monitored as well. Applications should include provisions for the changing context caused by COVID-19 with attention paid to how the pandemic may be exploited as a platform for hate speech and inflammatory narratives.

The purpose of this call is to create a structured record, and preferably an accessible database of:

  • instances of hate speech and inflammatory narratives with clear commentary explaining their offensive nature;
  • adherence to formal and legal rules of political parties’ and candidates’ campaigns on social media;
  • candidates’ representation in the social media channels of main media outlets;

This record should be available to the public and the media with the aim of raising awareness of the threat hate speech constitutes in the election context.

In addition to the presentation of monitoring results, applicants encouraged to conduct an event or create a media product based on the obtained data as a result of monitoring and aimed at resolving the identified problems.

The technical criteria and conditions for applications, including a required methodology are appended in a separate annex document. The proposed methodology can address all 3 topics silicified above under the specific objective, or focus just on one or two of them. However, all project proposals must cover instances of hate speech and divisive, inflammatory narratives by main electoral stakeholders.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible entities under this call for proposals are professional associations of journalists or editors, unions and CSOs officially registered in Kyrgyzstan.

Budget and financial criteria

The maximum budget requested under this call of proposals shall not exceed 30,000 euro. Allocations for salaries should be of maximum 35% out of the total requested amount, while overall institutional costs (office rent, salaries, office maintenance costs etc.) should not be more than 50% of the budget. Equipment purchase or rent under this call should not exceed 30% of the budget and might be subject to special provisions in the grant contract and procurement proceedings.

Alternative co-financing sources are encouraged, but not mandatory.

The grant will be offered in several tranches based on project progress. The budget form (attached) offers clear and detailed information about the conditions for spending the funds to be provided through the grants. Project budgets should reflect real costs and be in full correspondence with the activities presented in the proposal.

Project duration and deadline

The project duration should be determined by the applicant, but should not exceed 6 months of implementation, with the main monitoring activities happening in the electoral period i.e. during the month preceding the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The deadline for submission is August 16, 23:59 (Bishkek time).

Application proceedings

To be eligible under this call for proposals, interested organisations should send the completed application and budget forms in English, Russian or Kyrgyz language to cholponbolotbekova@epd.eu.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

DOWNLOAD BUDGET FORM

Apart of application and budget forms, the applicant must attach the social media monitoring methodology that it intends to use within their project.

Uncompleted applications will not be considered.

European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) reserves the right to ask for additional documents shall this be needed for a knowledge-based decision-making regarding grant awarding. At the same time, ALDA can decide not to award any grant in case the quality of the submitted proposals will not correspond to the listed criteria, in case of force majeure situations or in case the European Union will suspend its support to the Media Dialogue project.

Contact information

All the information related to this grant competition should be sent in writing to cholponbolotbekova@epd.eu with the subject “Questions grant competition” before August 9, 2020.

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