Contest for award of micro-grants to local media outlets in Georgia
within Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project (AI/AU)
15 January, 2021
- General Information
Internews Georgia is implementing a four-year Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project. The project aims to increase citizen access to information about issues of importance in public affairs, strengthen the sustainability of targeted media outlets, and better link local media and the communities they serve. This will be achieved through series of activities aimed at enhancing select media’s understanding of audience needs, better tailoring their content to audience needs, and solidifying media’s financial sustainability.
By means of all its activities in Georgia, the project will improve the quality of media content and financial sustainability of partner media outlets through enhanced understanding of audience needs.
Internews Georgia is launching a competition for media outlets (4) to distribute small grants to support initiatives designed to address the information needs of specific audience segments (such as local, rural audiences, youth, women etc. or in relation to specific demographic criteria e.g. age, income, interests), support innovative solutions that would help target media to improve audience outreach and engagement, quality of content, and financial sustainability. With these grants selected media outlets may develop series of in-depth stories focused on covid impact, immunization, economic challenges, joblessness, work-life balance, underfunding of public services etc. At least one small grant will be aimed at the information needs of women and girls.
On the fourth year of the project (January to September, 2021), Internews Georgia will select four media partners through competitive process, and offer partners consultations and trainings aimed at building skills in audience research, analytics, and data-driven decision-making. A series of online or in-house residencies will involve trained and experienced local audience analytics and web development experts, who will visit outlets for targeted support. These experts will help media partners develop ideas for audience outreach, data-driven content production and monetization. These online or offline consultancies will run from March through September.
Internews Georgia will also offer Cyber Security training to partner media with the help of international or local experts to better understand the digital security risks and protect organizations’ web assets, local networks, staff devices and important accounts (email, social media etc.)
Media outlets can submit more than one proposal for innovative content production, audience interaction or monetization projects to receive grants of 4,500 GB Pounds (issued as an equivalent amount in Georgian national currency) .
Grantees from previous years can also apply.
- Obligations and Responsibilities of Sub-grantees
- Responsible use of a micro-grant to fulfil all activities in the proposal;
- Fill in sub-grantee questionnaire about sub-grantee’s programmatic, financial and grant management practices.
- Periodical (2-3) interim reporting on activities and expenses in an established format and submission of a final report.
- Contents of the Application
The application should include a proposal of activities and products to be fulfilled with the micro-grant and the budget.
- General proposal of initiatives/ activities/products designed to address the information needs of specific audience segments (such as local, rural audiences, youth, women etc. or in relation to specific demographic criteria e.g. age, income, interests), and offer innovative solutions that would help partner media to improve audience outreach, quality of content and financial sustainability. The proposed initiatives should rely on the use of audience analytics and be data-driven.
- Proposed budget should be clear and display reasonable use of resources in relation to activities and products proposed, and not exceed 4,500 GBP.
- Typical costs allowed under this sub-grant are:
- Website re-design costs;
- Content production costs, including content produced for distribution on social media platforms;
- Costs associated with the development of innovative tools (apps, auxiliary services etc.);
- Costs associated with the development of products and tools aimed at improved audience outreach, e.g. mailing lists, newsletters, push notifications, RSS feeds etc.
- Costs associated with the development of tools, products, and content aimed at an increased monetization of digital platforms, e.g. services information, special projects etc.;
- Costs associated with the procurement of audience research data from third parties, e.g. surveys, focus-groups, access to audience research panels etc., as well as organization of own in-house audience research and analytics activities.
- All other types of costs must be discussed and agreed with Internews Georgia in advance.
- Implementation Period
- The implementation period (6-7 months) of the micro-grant will be decided by the Internews Georgia and a media partner based on the proposal and budget. The timeline of an agreement signed with a micro-grantee will not go beyond the end date of the project (30 September 2021).
- Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on:
Proposal evaluation criteria:
- Quality, (novelty/ originality, clarity/coherence, rationality) of the general concept; – maximum 40 points
- Impact and importance of the proposed activities/products – maximum 20 points
- Sustainability (potential to develop/continue proposed activities/products once the funding expires) – maximum 20 points.
Budget evaluation criteria:
- Quality of the budget (coherence / clarity, efficiency of resource use in relation to activities/ products proposed) – maximum 20 points.
Incomplete applications will be rejected.
Winning proposals (no more than one per outlet) will be designated by the project’s Coordinating Council based on a points system shown above.
- Deadline and Submission of Applications:
Internews Georgia’s Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project is implemented with the support of Internews (Audience Understanding and Digital Support Project) and funded by Sweden.