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UNESCO launches second call for partnerships of the Global Media Defence Fund

UNESCO is launching a new Call for Partnerships to support not-for-profit organizations under the Global Media Defence Fund. The initiative aims to join forces with specialized partners in the undertaking or upscaling of projects that bolster journalists’ legal protection and/or enhance media freedom. The indicative global envelope to be distributed under this Call is estimated at USD $1 million.

Until 15 June 2021, UNESCO will receive innovative proposals for the implementation of local, regional and international projects that, in line with international human rights standards, will contribute to enhancing media freedom and bolstering journalists’ legal protection by advancing at least one of the following GMDF Outputs:

  • Output 2: Reinforcing the operationalization of national protection mechanisms and peer support networks to ensure journalists’ rapid access to legal assistance, bolster their defense and enhance their safety, taking into account the gendered nature of the threats they face;
  • Output 3: Supporting investigative journalism that contributes to reduced impunity for crimes against journalists, and enhancing the safety of those conducting this line of work;
  • Output 4: Enhancing structures for fostering strategic litigation in order to protect environments where the legal frameworks are conducive to an independent, free, and pluralistic media ecosystem.

Who is eligible to apply for a grant under the Global Media Defence Fund?

UNESCO will consider partnership proposals from specialized not-for-profit entities who have been active and registered as such for at least two years. Relevant candidate partners include specialized NGOs, media associations, journalists’ unions, human right defenders, lawyers’ associations and pro bono legal aid organizations, rule of law initiatives, investigative journalism networks, foundations, and academic institutions, amongst other not-for-profit organizations.

What is the global budget for this Call and what is the size of the grants that can be requested?

The total indicative amount available for the co-financing of projects under this Call is estimated at USD $1,000,000. This amount will be distributed among the proposals with the highest evaluation score.

Grants requested under this Call for Partnerships must fall between a minimum USD $15,000 and up to a maximum USD $35,000.

How can my organization submit a partnership proposal?

Follow the two steps below

STEP 1. Clik here to download the Terms of Reference of the Call for Partnerships and the application package.

STEP 2. Fill out and submit your partnership proposals and supporting documents to gmdf@unesco.org(link sends e-mail) no later than Tuesday 15 June at 23:59 (CET).

The Global Media Defence Fund is a UNESCO Multi-Partner Trust Fund established within the framework of the Global Campaign for Media Freedom and under the overall umbrella of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, triggered by the initial donations of the United Kingdom and Canada.

Administered by UNESCO, the Fund is a responsive and effective mechanism that support not-for-profit organizations working on the ground at the local, regional, and international level in the undertaking or upscaling of projects that bolster journalists’ legal protection and/or enhance media freedom through investigative journalism or strategic litigation. The Fund’s implementation approach is based on the joint cooperation with specialized implementing partners, selected by UNESCO via annual or biannual Calls for Partnerships.

You can learn more about the Global Media Defence Fund here.

The second Call for Partnerships is possible thanks to the generous donations of Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Serbia, and the United Kingdom.