Civitates: RFPs on “Improving the Digital Informative Ecosystem”


Deadline: 30 November 2018

Civitates is seeking proposals to improve the digital information ecosystem.

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Civitates wants to encourage European civil societies to build on knowledge and work across a range of initiatives that can help identify and advocate for targeted responses to specific problems of the current and future digital environment.

It aims to empower and enable civil society to address the way in which democracy is impacted by the fundamental changes in the way information of societal importance is produced, distributed and consumed. These changes are affecting the democratic fabric in Europe by contributing to a corrosive public discourse and undermining EU values.

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Budget Information

Grant amounts may vary depending on the size and scope of the projects. It should be kept in mind that for this first Request for Proposals a budget of 700,000 EUR has been set aside, out of which Civitates expects to fund up to half a dozen initiatives. Co-financing is not a prerequisite or an obstacle for funding. In cases of co-financing Civitates is happy to fund at least 65% of the project costs. The duration of the grants can also vary but should stay within 18 months.

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Application Guidance

  • Civitates welcomes proposals from independent organizations for projects that seek to:
    • Analyse the effect of digitization on the quality of the public discourse in Europe;
    • Expose issues impacting the quality of public discourse and democratic fabric in Europe; or
    • Improve the functioning of the digital information ecosystem (role of e.g. the technology platforms, the digital advertising industry, political actors) and its regulatory environment through advocacy initiatives.
  • Civitates particularly encourages applications from organizations that:
    • Engage in constructive advocacy, broadly shared by a diverse set of actors, and resulting in feasible policy proposals;
    • Partner with other civil society organizations, including those that are already active in this field as well as with those that are (relatively) new to it but understand the importance of the issue;
    • Propose initiatives that think critically about how to solve not just today’s problems of disinformation, but also those of tomorrow.
  • Supported activities could include, but are not limited to:
    • Documenting and exposing the manipulation and corrosion of the public discourse (including through media / investigative journalism);
    • Bringing together different players in a joint effort to improve our digital information ecosystem, including tech companies, newsrooms, research institutes, policy-makers, politicians, governments and civil society organizations;
    • Advocacy campaigns driving a reform agenda for the digital public sphere; or
    • Action-oriented research.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Through this Request for Proposals Civitates funds non-profit non-governmental organizations, which may include civic organizations, associations, independent media, and other similar organizations. Non-governmental organizations are welcome to submit a proposal with a for-profit organization as a partner, however this Request for Proposals does not cover funding to individuals, governmental bodies, or state-supported institutions.
  • Because Civitates wants to better understand commonalities across Europe, funding is provided for projects with a broader (EU) perspective. This does not mean that there is a minimum of a specific number of countries to be included in the proposal however. Great projects that have a potential to be replicated in other parts of Europe could be of interest too.
  • More specifically, Civitates welcomes proposals from organizations:
    • in EU and EFTA countries, with either a national or a pan-European focus, as long as the proposal has pan-European relevance.
    • outside EU and EFTA countries, as long as the proposal has pan-European relevance.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can download the application forms via given website.

For more information, please visit Request for Proposals.

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