Deadline: 4 November 2019
The Open Society Fund Prague and Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation on behalf of a consortium of the Active Citizens Fund has announced an open call for proposals on systemic projects with the focus on Advocacy and watchdog activities Vulnerable groups empowered Civic education and media literacy.
The aim of systemic grants is to focus on acceptance and enforcement of systemic changes especially in topics like role of the civil society organizations, civic activities in watchdog, privatization/politicisation of public posts, political interference into independent public agenda, measures on social inclusion of vulnerable groups and application of their rights, mitigation of poverty and social exclusion on the central level, promotion of gender equality, higher civic participation and awareness of the active citizen role, strengthening of the tools for information verification and detecting misinformation, increased media literacy, and enforcement of law on the Paris Agreement, etc.
The objective of the Active Citizens Fund is to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups:
- Civil society is an essential condition of thriving democracy.
- To fulfil this irreplaceable goal, it is necessary to increase citizens’ active participation in the public life and decision making, to strengthen transparency in public administration, to improve civic awareness and media literacy.
- It is crucial to promote respecting human rights and to give more consideration to the needs of vulnerable groups.
- There is an ongoing challenge of mobilizing and stimulating participation of youth.
- The Active Citizens Fund thus focuses on financial support of citizens’ initiatives, boosting efficient collaboration, education and further development of capacities of the civic sector.
Programme Focus Areas
- Active citizenship
- Human rights
- Social justice
- Gender equality
- To increase capacity and cooperation within the civil society sector;
- To increase the number of partnerships between the civil society sector and public/private sector entities and the ability of the civil society sector to approach inactive or marginalized groups;
- To strengthen civil society advocacy and watchdog role and to increase the participation of citizens in civic activities such as public policy-making and its enforcement;
- To address public in the underserved regions and outside of the civic society activism centers;
- To address the vulnerable groups and minorities including Roma to strengthen their rights with the aim to increase their ability to advocate for their rights and to take into account their specific needs;
- To increase youth participation in civic life.
- The Active Citizens Fund is implemented within the EEA and Norway Grants 2014–2021 and has a total budget of € 15 million, granted by the Donor States of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
- In the Czech Republic, a consortium of the Open Society Fund Prague, Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation and Czech Scouting Institute has been selected and appointed as Fund Operator in an open and competitive tender.
- The total amount designated for grant support is almost € 13 million (more than CZK 300 million).
- Increased citizen participation in civic activities
- Strengthened civil society advocacy and watchdog role:
- Civil society is facing a crisis of political parties as well as attacks on democratic values. They often witness a minimal interest in citizens´ needs in political sphere as well as in the governance. It is necessary to defend public interest and show dissatisfaction with non-transparent and untrustworthy governance to the executive branch of the government. It is vital to support watchdog activities and give feedback to the executive power and their governance.
- To be able to pursue the watchdog role, it is essential to strengthen monitoring of politicians and public institutions decision-making processes on every level of the governance. Civil society organizations need to proceed together to defend public interest, share good practice and to support effective exercise of human rights. All to be able to contribute to systemic change in Czech society.
- The amount of financial support to be distributed– € 2 000,000.
- Vulnerable groups empowered:
- Members of vulnerable groups are often on the edge of mainstream society. Those people are more likely to become a target of hate speech and are often excluded from discussions about their own needs. Vulnerable groups include minority ethnicities, refugees, migrants, LGBTI people, socially and culturally excluded groups, people with lower education or income, poor families or people with disabilities.
- To be able to improve their situation, it is crucial to empower them to communicate needs of their communities and advocate for their rights. Vulnerable groups need to be engaged in the process of their own empowerment and their ability to exercise their rights needs to be strengthened.
- Focus should be put into increasing awareness of their needs, including them into mainstream society, sharing good practices and including vulnerable communities when designing long term solutions.
- The amount of financial support to be distributed– € 500,000.
- Increased support for civic education and media literacy:
- The media world has been undergoing a technological boom; it is full of news that can influence public opinion. Lot of information are spread from wide array of sources and they´re spread regardless of their relevance or truthfulness. Through numerous social networks and websites, information is spread regardless of their relevance or truth. Whether they know it or not, that information influences their opinions Since means of disinformation campaigns are getting more inventive and more money is spent on spreading fake news, the ability to analyse media messages, evaluate whether they are based on facts and understand their intention is becoming one of the most important ability to develop.
- Civic and media education support critical thinking that allows us to make well-informed and responsible choices and have an active participation in public affairs. Critically thinking citizens are crucial for active civil society and promoting democratic principles. They are also less likely to disseminate fake news. It is necessary to increase media literacy in both formal and non-formal education, to include media literacy into school curriculum and to develop a critically thinking attitude among people.
- The amount of financial support to be distributed– € 750,000.
- Increased capacity and sustainability of civil society sector and individual civil society organisations:
- Insufficient and unsystematic funding of the civic sector prevents Czech non-governmental organization from reaching higher impact of their activities. In such conditions, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to focus on the organization’s growth and sustainability. In this sector, they experience lack of systematic and effective cooperation with their supporters which would help us communicate the importance of their activities and develop a positive attitude towards our role among general public.
- To face this issue, they must emphasize their professionalism and necessity of their work for maintaining healthy civil society. Their role is not only to proceed the activities that fulfil original purpose of their organisation but also to confidently defend civil sector as one of the stable pillars of democracy.
- Every applicant is required to invest 5 – 15% of required grant support to organization´s development, including both project promoter and project partner(s), as a part of the project budget.
- It is a registered legal entity in the Czech Republic defined by the Czech law as:
- civic association
- foundation and endowment fund
- organization department of church and religious society
- interest association of legal persons
- It is registered legal entities at least two years prior the submission deadline of the application;
- Religious institutions (except the charities), political parties, social partners or profit-distributing cooperatives (including trade- and professional associations, where the aims and purposes of the association is to further the specific interests of its members only) are not considered NGOs.
- Neither a sole proprietorship (in Czech “OSVČ”) nor a natural person is an eligible project applicant or partner.
- Applicants must be directly responsible for the implementation of the project for which they are seeking a grant, and must not act merely as an intermediary of project activities.
- The focus of organisation shall match programme areas (Active citizenship, Human rights, Social justice, Gender equality, Environment).
Eligible Project Partner
- It is either a public or private entity, commercial, non-commercial or civil society organization established as legal person in the Czech Republic, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or other beneficiary states of the EEA grants (namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia).
- Any international organisation or body or agency.
- Or it is an informal group of at least 3 individuals intended for public interest only. At the same time, it is a voluntary, non-discriminatory group independent of local, regional and central government, public entities, political parties, religious institutions or commercial organisations. An informal group shall be represented by one single person, who signs the project Partnership Agreement on behalf of the group. An informal group cannot be the applicant for the project grant and cannot be direct recipient of the project grant (expenditure related to the involvement of the informal group shall be borne by the project promoter).
How to Apply
Interested applicants can apply via given website.
For more information, please visit https://www.eeagrants.cz/en/programmes/active-citizens/open-calls/2019/first-call-for-proposals-on-strategic-gr-2894