Joint statement March 24, 2021
Call for Applications: Building Resilience to Disinformation and False Narratives
Small Grants for Outreach and Awareness Raising Initiatives by Civil Society and Media Organizations in Armenia
Issuance Date: March 24, 2021
Application Deadline and Instructions: Applications must be received by Freedom House by 23:59 EST on April 19, 2021. All grant applications must be submitted electronically to [email protected] with “Building Resilience to Disinformation in Armenia” in the subject line.
Freedom House invites applications for funding from locally registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and coalitions based in the Republic of Armenia that seek to raise awareness of disinformation and its effect on democracy. Disinformation – which is distinct from misinformation and fake news – is used to deliberately spread false information to influence public opinion, obscure the truth, and divide society. Through advocacy, education, awareness-raising, and/or training initiatives, proposed projects will aim to promote constructive dialogue on polarizing issues, and foster trust and resilience among key stakeholders, including the national and/or local authorities, local and marginalized communities, civil society, journalists, and others.
The “Building Resilience to Disinformation in Armenia” grants program will serve the following objectives:
- To provide financial support to longer-term public outreach campaigns, dialogue efforts, trainings, public events and discussions, and other activities that seek to raise awareness about building resilience to disinformation among civil society, authorities, marginalized communities, media, and citizens in the Republic of Armenia;
- To provide essential technical support, assistance, and tools for civil society to more effectively advocate in support of democratic values and human rights;
- To support independent media’s efforts, including reporting, rights-focused advocacy campaigns and analysis.
Freedom House will support up to three local organizations with up to $20,000 in funding for each grant, for a project length of 6-12 months. The proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee comprised of Freedom House representatives, Freedom House’s core partner, the Union of Informed Citizens (UIC), and an independent specialized organization or expert. Freedom House’s Armenia team and UIC will work in close cooperation with selected grantees as they implement their initiatives.
Successful projects will meet the following criteria:
- Raise awareness about disinformation, its origins, reasons and effects;
- Promote direct citizen dialogue, trust, and resilience;
- Ensure participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups;
- Engage Armenia’s regional centers and communities in regions;
- Leverage partnerships between civil society organizations, central and municipal officials, independent media and other stakeholders;
- Strengthen public trust in independent Armenian media in the age of disinformation;
- Promote fact-based journalism and constructive opinion exchange;
Priority will be given to organizations and initiatives that see themselves as freedom of expression or media freedom support organizations, or advocates for transparency, accountability, democracy and human rights. In addition, priority will be given to those NGOs developing local- or regional-level activities outside of Yerevan.
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 outreach, education and trust building 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 trust building to increase resilience to disinformation in the Republic of Armenia?
- Partnerships and engagement – does the applicant plan to develop strategic partnerships with the media, civil society organizations, the human rights community, central and local authorities?
- Public outreach – 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 target audiences?
- Inclusiveness, non-discrimination and human rights – does the applicant take into account how political, social and cultural affiliations and identities 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 democracy and human rights?
- Organizational development readiness – does the application clearly demonstrate the capacity to implement the proposed initiative?
Priority will be given to Armenian regional- and local-level initiatives and campaigns outside of Yerevan. Applications should demonstrate an understanding of main organizational and/or campaign needs and a desire to address them with the support of Freedom House.
Only non-commercial organizations, associations, initiatives, and foundations registered and active in the Republic of Armenia 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 May 15, 2021. Freedom House intends to fund projects beginning in mid-May 2021. The distribution of funds will follow entry into an agreement with Freedom House.
APPLICATION SUBMISSION CRITERIA
- Applications will be accepted until the closing date noted above;
- Applications must be submitted electronically in Armenian or English using the provided;
- Budget AND budget notes must be uploaded in the online application using the provided templates by the closing date;
- Incomplete applications will not be considered. Each application requires a complete application proposal form, budget and budget notes.
This initiative is part of Freedom House’s ongoing project, “Advancing Democratic Culture in Armenia.” This project creates spaces for dialogue among civil society, the government, policymakers, journalists, and the public to identify constructive ways to address disinformation and protect democracy and human rights in the Republic of Armenia.
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.