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Program Support for Media Small Grants Competition (FY2021)
March 17, 2021

Applications deadline expired on April 20, 2021

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to provide program support for Media Small Grants Program as described under “Program Objectives” below.

The grantee would receive the full amount of the award (through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Embassy) and would issue sub-grants in line with this year’s Program Themes (still to be determined by PAS).

The grantee will work closely with PAS through all stage of implementation of the program:  publicizing the sub-grant competition, collecting submissions, conducting technical reviews, preparing materials for the Embassy’s sub-grant review panel, issuing sub-grants for approved projects, monitoring the progress of sub-grantee activities, and evaluating the impact of their projects.

Program Objectives:

Just as in the U.S., people in Serbia confront disinformation, misinformation, and inaccurate news stories on a daily basis, making it difficult to understand and make sense of the world.  On top of that, news stories of the greatest importance to communities, or ones about disadvantaged groups, sometimes do not make their way into the media.  In addition, in order for Serbia to join the European Union, which is a stated goal of the Government of Serbia, changes and reforms must take place to secure and guarantee freedom of the press in Serbia.

The purpose of the Media Small Grants Program is to fund individual projects that: strengthen the media literacy and critical thinking skills of students, news consumers, and other citizens of Serbia; ensure the free flow of accurate information; support people’s efforts to tell stories of greatest interest to them; support the strengthening of the Serbian press; and educate community members about the importance of a free press in a democratic society like Serbia’s.  At the same time, we are also trying to strengthen the institutional capacity of the sub-grantee to manage and implement projects.

Sub-grantee activities may take any number of forms, including: media workshops, courses, public debates, conferences, role-playing sessions/simulations, TED Talks, hackathons, online projects, public campaigns, podcasts, summer camps, cross-border exchanges, curriculum development, exhibits, or other activities.

As you work on the application, please include estimated costs for monitoring visits to check on sub-grantee projects, including travel and hotel costs.  Build in a budget, too, for evaluating and assessing the sub-grantee projects.  (See below for more details.)  To allow the review committee to make fair comparisons of applications, base your proposal on a hypothetical situation where you will have ten (10) sub-grantees: 4 in Belgrade, 2 in Nis, 2 in Novi Sad, 1 in Novi Pazar, and 1 in Bujanovac.  Include budget items related to evaluating and assessing the sub-grantee projects, as well.

Program Themes:

  • TBD (to be determined).
    Note:  PAS is currently considering the following four themes, but we will confirm with you if you are awarded the Cooperative Agreement:  1) Media Freedom and the Role of the Free Press in a Democracy; 2) Strengthening Digital Platforms and Online Media; 3) Expanding Public Debate; and 4) Diversity of Views.

Information Session:

PAS held a virtual information session on March 31, 2021 at 16:00 (4pm) CET to discuss this funding opportunity and to answer questions from potential applicants. If you happen to miss that online session for any reason, you can view the recording via this link.

For detailed information and documents please follow this link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332165