Media Small Grants Program 2021

The U.S. Embassy Bishkek Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce funding is available as specified below through the Embassy’s Media Small Grants Program.  This program supports the development of the Kyrgyz Republic’s media and its role in society by competitively awarding small grants to Kyrgyz non-profit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations working in the media sector, and to independent media organizations.  We encourage proposals that include partnerships with relevant government agencies and/or private sector institutions, including traditional and social media.  Awards will be made pending the availability of funds.

PAS invites proposals for programs that support Technical Training and Support for Professional Journalism.  These programs should promote the free flow of information and freedom of expression through support for independent and responsible journalism.  Programs should aim at strengthening capacity and sustainability of media organizations to report with transparency and objectivity, maintain independence, and build sustainability.

BACKGROUND

While media in the Kyrgyz Republic is the most open in the region, few outlets are truly independent and the industry suffers from self-censorship, a lack of professionalism, and financial sustainability issues.  Misinformation and disinformation are regularly disseminated.  Independent media outlets have been subjected to harassment, threats, and unfounded defamation lawsuits by subjects of reporting.

The Media Small Grants Program advances the U.S. Embassy mission goal of supporting a more inclusive and accountable democracy.  It seeks to expand the capabilities of independent media, resulting in increased production of balanced and locally-relevant media products as well as alternative media narratives.  The program also supports the development of the Kyrgyz Republic’s nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and associations working in the media-related areas.  Through local innovative strategies, the program may address policy priorities such as:

  • freedom of speech and press,
  • pluralism of views and the open discussion of current issues,
  • dialogue among community members and authorities,
  • interethnic and interfaith dialogue,
  • fostering government transparency and advocacy,
  • fighting corruption,
  • strengthening regional security and stability,
  • countering transnational threats such as trafficking in persons, violent extremism, and organized crime,
  • strengthening entrepreneurship and small business development initiatives,
  • raising public awareness and participation in efforts to combat climate change and air pollution, and
  • assisting Kyrgyz civil society and the government to strengthen their COVID-19 responses through improved messaging and public awareness campaigns.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The Media Small Grants Program supports the development of the Kyrgyz Republic’s media institutions by competitively awarding small grants to:

  • Kyrgyz Republic-registered non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and associations working in media-related areas; and
  • Kyrgyz Republic-registered independent media organizations.

State bodies are encouraged to work with eligible NGOs and independent media organizations to submit applications.  American or other third country organizations or individuals are not eligible for grants under this program.

  1. Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award.  When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.
  2. In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.  As part of the application process, applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained a DUNS number as the first step towards SAM registration.
  3. Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.
  4. Pre-award costs are generally not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity, but may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  5. This award does not allow:
  • Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research or surveys;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects; or
  • Illegal activities.

For more detailed information on program’s requirements, target audiences, goals and objectives, please see Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) attached.

Application Deadline:  Applications will be accepted until July 13, 2021 at 11:59 PM Bishkek time.  For the purposes of determining if an award is submitted on time, PAS will utilize the time-stamp provided by Grants.gov.  If organizations fail to meet the deadline noted above, their application will be considered ineligible and will not be considered for funding.  If there are still funds available after the Media Small Grants Program selection committee meeting, PAS may publish another Media Small Grants Program NOFO this fiscal year.

Application Submission Process:  There are two application submissions methods available to applicants.  Applicants may submit their application using Submission Method A or Submission Method B outlined below

  • Submission Method A: Submitting all application materials directly to the following email address:  BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov.  Applicants opting to submit applications via email to BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov must include the Funding Opportunity Title and Funding Opportunity Number in the subject line of the email. Note: any files over 10MB will be automatically rejected by the email system.
  • Submission Method B: Submitting all application materials through Grants.gov.  For those opting to apply through Grants.gov, thorough instructions on the application process are available at http://www.grants.gov.  For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 (U.S. toll-free number) or for international callers: 1-606-545-5035.  Technical support may also be available at https://www.grants.gov/support.html or via email at support@grants.gov.  Please note that BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov is unable to assist with technical questions or problems applicants may experience with Grants.gov.

Applications must be submitted in English, but applicants may choose to supplement their proposals with Russian or Kyrgyz versions, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

Applications submitted after the due date, that are incomplete, do not follow the application format or are not submitted on the template provided, will be disqualified.

Please send complete application packages to BishkekProjectProposals@state.gov with the subject line “Media Small Grants Program”.

For more information please contact the Democracy Commission Team at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek by email at PASBishkek@america.gov. (Do not send your applications to this email address).