Media Small Grants Program 2022

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 by both local and international actors through local media.  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:

  • promoting freedom of speech and press,
  • fostering government transparency and advocacy, and fighting corruption,
  • informing the public regarding the work and contributions of civil society organizations to the Kyrgyz Republic’s social and economic development, and
  • raising public awareness and participation in efforts to combat climate change and air pollution

Prior activities through this program have included support for projects that:

  • Produced quality journalism and educate journalists on best practices, including investigative work on key issues.
  • Strengthened editorial capacity through technical improvement and expansion of editorial staff, reduce the manipulative impact of fake news through regular monitoring and verification of socially significant and resonant news, and assist Kyrgyz consumers of news to increase their awareness of factual reporting on key issues.
  • Supported the ability of government relations officials to effectively communicate with

Proposed programs should be innovative and clearly demonstrate how they will complement any ongoing programs and avoid duplicating past efforts.  They may include activities that improve upon or expand existing successful projects.  Applicants should pay close attention to the Public Affairs Section’s project goal and target audiences when developing their proposals.

Project Goal:  Strengthen the media environment in the Kyrgyz Republic by increasing journalistic professionalism and sustainability of independent media organizations.

Project Audience(s):

  • Media entities, both traditional and online media;
  • Media managers and professionals;
  • University students specializing in journalism;
  • Social media influencers who are committed to engaging on social issues.

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-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 assigned by SAM.gov, as well as a valid registration on SAM.gov.
  3. Cost sharing or matching is encouraged, but 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;
  • Conferences abroad or individual trips abroad;
  • Charitable or development activities, including direct social services;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Medical, scientific research or surveys;
  • Art or cultural projects;
  • Commercial projects; or
  • 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.

Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2022 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 submission 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.
  • 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 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”.