Deadline: 18 May 2020
U.S. Embassy Islamabad invites eligible organizations to submit proposals that provide training to citizen journalists through the award program specified in this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Program activities will take place in the major cities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
The program aims to expand the digital media skills and capacity of citizen journalists, working to build and support an open, democratic, and prosperous society in AJK and GB. The proposals should conceptualize how the training program will equip citizen journalists to fill the gaps in information in areas with poor infrastructure, lack of access to technology and traditional media sources, and limited economies. The program will aim to equip budding citizen journalists with the broad-based journalism skills needed to report accurately and ethically.
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The target audiences of this program are citizen journalists or startups using personal websites, blogs, microblogs, YouTube Channels, or social media.
IO Islamabad’s programs are a key component of U.S. Government Public Diplomacy efforts in Pakistan, creating valuable opportunities for the Mission to engage key audiences, as well as lasting professional, educational, and personal opportunities for Pakistani program participants. Proposals funded under this award will further one or more of the U.S. Mission to Pakistan’s following public diplomacy goals:
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- Strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and Pakistan through shared information, experiences, exchanges, and/or expertise.
- Strengthen civil society and local organizations to build long-term, self-sustaining relationships and linkages between U.S. and Pakistani organizations, including capacity building support for Pakistani organizations.
- Promote community cohesion through positive messages and inclusive perspectives that increase social tolerance and counter extremist narratives.
Project Goal: The project’s goal is to increase the journalistic capacity and opportunities for 20 citizen journalists in AJK and 20 in GB. The grantee will organize at least four training workshops lasting three days each in two cities in AJK and two cities in GB. Workshops should focus on online citizen journalism, including the usage of mobile phones and other available modern tools for production of news content and commentary, investigative journalism, and media ethics. Over the period of twelve months, the grantee will also train citizen journalists on monetizing their skills through new media, including how to launch a digital media outlet, attracting advertisers, and developing a brand and audience. Training activities may be conducted in English and Urdu, depending on citizen journalists’ preference and abilities. Training by American experts should also be included. A reasonable gender balance in the selection of citizen journalists for the workshops is required.
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This project must achieve the above goal through at least three objectives:
- Objective 1: To increase the technical and professional capacity of AJK and GB citizen journalists.
- Objective 2: To create new and strengthen existing networks of Pakistan’s citizen journalists
- Objective 3: Reduce barriers to growth for social media startups and entrepreneurial ventures in the field of digital journalism
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- The award floor is twenty-five thousand dollars $25,000; the award ceiling is one hundred thousand dollars $100,000.00
- All award activities should be completed within 12 months from the award start date.
Participants and Audiences
Each of the four workshops will train a minimum of ten (10) citizen journalists, selected by the grantee and IO Islamabad, based on applications received in response to a public announcement on social media platforms of the grantee and Embassy Islamabad. A total of forty (40) citizen journalists hailing and working from AJK and GB will be involved. Two workshops will be organized in the AJK region, i.e. one in Muzaffarabad and one Mirpur, for citizen journalists based in and working from AJK. Two workshops will be organized in the GB region, i.e. Gilgit and Skardu, for citizen journalists based in and working from GB. The grantee will ensure a reasonable gender balance in the selection of the citizen journalists. The grantee must solicit applications from potential participants with letters of intent noting their area/s of interest, ideas, present work, and journalistic endeavors. Target age for participants is 18 to 30 years, with a maximum age of 45. Participants are subject to final approval by the U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
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- Eligibility is open to international non-profit organizations. Organizations may sub-award or subcontract with other entities, but only one non-profit organization can be the prime recipient of the award. Pakistan government entities are not eligible to apply. For-profit entities are not eligible to be the prime recipient of an award under this NOFO. When sub-awarding or subcontracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
- The applicants must submit proof of their non-profit status with their proposal submission (e.g. proof of 501(c) (3) status, Pakistan NGO license). Applications that do not include proof of non-profit status will not be considered for an award. Individuals are not eligible for an award under this NOFO. U.S.-based or registered organizations should provide proof of registration to operate in Pakistan or have a documented agreement with a partner organization registered to operate in Pakistan.
- The application satisfies all requirements listed in this funding opportunity.
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
- All documents are in English.
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars.
- All pages are numbered.
- All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper.
- All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
- All applicant authorized signatures are provided where indicated on the various, required forms.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325931