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Media Literacy in the Baltics

Youth Media Grant Application Instructions

Application Deadline: March 31, 2022

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

As part of the Media Literacy in the Baltics Program, IREX will work with media organizations, civil society organizations, and NGOs with a youth focus in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to increase media literacy outcomes among the general public in the Baltic countries by crafting tailored campaigns on social media channels popular among youth where disinformation is often prevalent. Selected organizations will also work with IREX to support blended learning rollout of the “Very Verified” online media literacy course in spaces such as youth clubs, schools, universities, libraries, co-working spaces, and workplaces.


PROGRAM DATES

Required documents due March 31, 2022. Program dates may fluctuate based upon the project’s timeline. The program reserves the right to alter an applicant’s timeline.


Applications Open:
Applications Deadline:
Grant Award Recipients Announced:
Grant Period:

March 3, 2022
March 31, 2022
April 2022
May-December 2022

TECHNICAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The program is open to legal entities (for-profit or nonprofit) in good financial standing based in Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania. At least two project leads must be youth (ages 18-35) and have a background in media and/or communications (work or education experience is acceptable). Two organizations in each country will be selected for a grant based on an open competitive application process.

Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.  

Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to apply.

All reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, which are related to the subgrant program and are in accordance with applicable cost standards (2 CFR 200 Subpart E Cost Principles or the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31 for-profit organizations), may be charged under the subgrant.  

For non-US organizations the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions and 2 CFR 200 Subpart A through E apply.

Issuance of this Request For Applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Media Literacy in the Baltics Program/IREX nor does it commit Media Literacy in the Baltics Program/IREX to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. The application is submitted at the risk of the applicant. All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant's expense.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The applicant / application must meet the following requirements:

  • Be officially registered and working in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including, but not limited to pertinent local laws and status.
  • Be officially registered as a legal entity and working in compliance with all applicable local laws. An applicant can show proof of effort to secure registration.
  • Meet the projects objectives and principles
  • Contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to the projects objectives
  • Applicant is not a debarred organization, 2 CFR§200.214 Suspension and debarment

PROGRAM OVERVIEW 

A recent RAND-led randomized control trial showed short videos and memes with media literacy messaging are effective in reducing engagement with disinformation among partisan audiences in the US. Media Literacy in the Baltics can extrapolate that those who engage with information on a very emotional level benefit from pre-bunking, and that a similar approach could work for audiences in the Baltics. IREX will work with youth-led media organizations to craft tailored campaigns including “manipulation awareness” videos and games and would promote them on social media channels popular among youth where disinformation is often prevalent.

Selected organizations will produce at least two media literacy campaigns. Campaigns should be tested (for example, gathering feedback from the target audience on a sample material) and then rolled out over approximately 3-6 weeks, reaching at least 2,000 people per campaign. Examples of eligible initiatives (other project ideas are also acceptable):  

  • Articles, podcasts, or blogs  
  • Videos
  • Social media campaigns  
  • Fact checking/verification tips and resources
  • Digital media literacy games or quizzes
  • Mini online courses
  • Development of books or board games

In addition, grantees will support the rollout of “Very Verified,” IREX’s online course on media literacy, by organizing blended learning trainings for at least 50 students. The blended learning approach combines participants’ independent course engagement with trainer-facilitated sessions (in person if health conditions allow, otherwise online).  

IREX will provide a training structure and teaching materials for the blended learning sessions. Grantees will also attend a Training of Trainers (ToT) session led by IREX prior to the course launch. Grantees will be responsible for recruiting training participants, arranging in-person training spaces (or online adaptations, if needed), running full blended learning trainings (approximately 5-6 hours, spread over two days as needed), and administering pre- and post-training monitoring and evaluation surveys (provided by IREX). The Very Verified course, all blended learning training materials, and training surveys will be available to grantees in Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, and English.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

A. Project Description REQUIRED

Please go to Part 3 of this form to see the application questions.

B. Budget (Please email kruklis@irex.org to request the budget template and narrative instructions) REQUIRED

All applications must include a completed budget outlining costs of the grant project. All budget information submitted with the application should be in dollars by line item. Applicants should verify that the total dollar amount will not exceed $5,000.  

IREX anticipates awarding a subaward of up to $5,000 USD equivalent in euros for up to 8 months of activities. In no event, will IREX disburse funds in excess of the US Dollar value of this Subgrant. IREX shall not be responsible for fluctuations in the relative values of other currencies, and all foreign exchange and similar risks shall be borne by the Subgrantee.

The budget form must include all projected expenses for the grant activities.

Allowable expenses under this grant include:  

  • VAT (for applicants who are subject to VAT)
  • Personnel: organizational staff time (up to 60% of grant funds)
  • Travel: travel costs for training initiatives
  • Supplies: costs related to supplies/materials for activity initiatives, such as publications, communication materials, educational products, personal protective equipment (masks, sanitizers, etc.), training refreshments
  • Contractual: Fees for outside experts (translations, graphic design, etc.) or other external services (e.g., training space)
  • Other Direct Costs: will be considered based on the scope of the project activities

Non-allowable expenses under this grant include:

  • Rent of office space  
  • Equipment with the unit cost of $5,000 and higher
  • Alcohol (other food/drink catering for events is acceptable)
  • Project activities unrelated to media literacy
  • Supplies restricted by 2 CFR § 200.216 - Prohibition on certain telecommunications and video surveillance services or equipment
  • Subgrant funds provided under the terms of this RFA shall not be used to procure goods or services from suppliers that may be identified on the USG consolidated list of debarred, suspended or ineligible subcontractors at http://www.sam.gov/  
  • Any purchases or activities deemed unnecessary to successfully complete the activity, including any subgrantee expenses that are not directly linked to the implementation of the proposed project
  • Previous obligations and/or bad debts
  • Fines and /or penalties
  • And any other costs that are considered unallowable under 2 CFR 200 Subpart E of Costs Principles: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/part-200/subpart-e

C. Resumes/CV REQUIRED

Resumes for the primary youth leads (ages 18-35), as indicated in the application, who will be working on the project should be attached.

D. Gantt Chart (Please email kruklis@irex.org to request a template) REQUIRED

A timeline of proposed activities will be required with the application.

E. Letter of Recommendation REQUIRED 

A letter of support endorsing your project from a professional or academic contact, partner, or client.

SELECTION CRITERIA 

Eligible applications will be reviewed competitively against the following Selection Criteria (scored up to 45 points): 

  • Thoroughness and relevance of applicant’s answers to application questions (5 points) 
  • Strength and feasibility of the project design and timeline (5 points) 
  • Financial soundness, including a clearly described budget with real and necessary costs (5 points) 
  • Organizational experience and qualifications of program leads (5 points)  
  • Letter of recommendation endorsing the program (5 points) 
  • Demonstrated investment in innovation around the proposed activities (5 points) 
  • Responsiveness to an identified need (5 points) 
  • Integration of media literacy (5 points) 
  • Potential impact and reach, including a clearly defined target audience (5 points) 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Programmatic Reports  

All grant recipients will be required to submit program reports on a quarterly basis. The program report will detail the progress and results of the project each quarter and through the end of the program as they relate to the established outcomes and activities as indicated in the project application. In addition to the reports, IREX reserves the right to conduct project site evaluations as deemed necessary. 

Financial Records 

Grantees are expected to keep detailed financial records for at least three years after the end of the project and make them available to IREX upon request. 

Taxes  

Some countries consider a grant from a non-commercial organization to be taxable income.  Grant recipients are responsible for all taxes or bank processing/wiring fees incurred from the receipt of a grant. Bank processing/wiring fees may be included in the project budget. 

Method of Grant Payment  

Recipients of the Project Grants will receive award funds via wire transfer from IREX/Latvia. Grantees will be required to provide full documentation including invoices, bank information, etc. along with the Terms and Conditions.   

IREX reserves the right to verify all of the information indicated in the application.  In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

If you have questions about the grant opportunity or application submission, please contact IREX staff directly at kruklis@irex.org.    

 

Media Literacy in the Baltics

Youth Media Grant Application

Application Deadline: March 31, 2022

Please read the Application Instructions carefully before starting this application. 

1. Institutional Information

Street Address:

Contact information for primary representative:

2. Project Leaders

Please list at least two youth employees (ages 18-35) who would take a lead role in this project. If you have additional collaborators you can include them on an additional page. Project leads should have a background in media and communications (work or education).

Name:
Name:

3. Project Description

Please describe your grant project by answering the following questions.   Please be sure to answer all questions in detail. Please limit your answer to this section of the application to 10 pages.

1. Please describe your organization and introduce the two (or more) youth who will be leading the program. 

  • What is your organization’s mission? What do you do and how do you do it?  
  • What resources does your organization have that will help you implement the project? 
  • What is your social media presence?  
  • What is your background in media and communications (including working or educational experience)? 

2. Please describe two past projects related that your team members have led or supported.  (These do not need to be related to media literacy.) 

3. Please describe your interest in the Media Literacy in the Baltics program. Include the problem(s) or issue(s) you would seek to address through developing and implementing your proposed grant. 

4. Please describe your plan for developing and promoting two media literacy campaigns. 

  • What content will you include in each campaign? 
  • Who will be the target audience? 
  • How will you test the content during the development stage? 
  • How will you disseminate your campaign to a wide audience? 

5. Please describe your plan to hold blended learning trainings (approximately 5-6 hours, spread over two days as needed) of the Very Verified course.  

  • How many trainings will you need to reach the required 50 participants trained? 
  • Who will your target audience be and how do you plan to recruit participants?  
  • What are your plans for in-person training if possible (including COVID-19 precautions), and online as a backup? 
  • Participants are often reluctant to fill in pre- and post-training surveys (to be provided by IREX). How do you propose to increase the response rate of surveys? 

6. Please indicate your readiness to participate in a Training of Trainers (ToT) session and other coordination meetings with IREX as needed. Trainings could be held online or in-person. 

7. What are three results that will show this project has been successful? 

4. Supporting Documents

To request the budget form, narrative instructions, and Gantt chart template, please write kruklis@irex.org

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Application Checklist

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED 

Have you completed the entire application form in English electronically?
Have you made sure your application complies with the allowable and non-allowable expenses under this grant?
COMPLETE GRANT APPLICATION INCLUDING:
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