In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) is launching a new call for proposals. The purpose of the call is to mobilize civic initiatives in the wider Black Sea region meant to help limit the COVID-19 crisis and counter its negative impact on society, good governance, democracy, rule of law and access to free media.
Projects should be initiated by civil society organizations legally registered in one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine. The involvement of additional partners, especially those from new EU members, is possible and welcomed.
Projects that fall under one or several of the following thematic areas will be especially appreciated:
1. Rapid assistance for vulnerable groups to prevent further spread of the virus.
Eligible actions (non-exhaustive list): training and setup of volunteer-led service networks for general assistance; (self)organized medical student groups supporting medical staff in hospitals; legal counseling; medical advice and mental health support for vulnerable groups; containment measures in rural areas; support communities and vulnerable groups ease back into their daily lives in a post-crisis context; the purchase of consumable and sanitary goods as well as IT&C equipment and services for end beneficiaries.
2. Good governance and accountability of state actors.
Priority will be given to proposals that formulate, improve and monitor COVID-19 related policies with the aim to combat abuse, corruption, fraud and waste.
Eligible actions (non-exhaustive list): formulate social and fiscal policy recommendations; scrutinize official documents and request clarifications regarding ambiguous policies; ensure governmental oversight regarding tenders and use of public funds; identify and adapt governmental best practices; monitor restrictions of human rights; document and report on human rights violations; build strategic partnerships between CSOs, either at a national or regional level; formulate recommendations and support local and central authorities develop aftermath strategies for a swift post-crisis transition.
3. Countering fake news, especially those related to coronavirus.
Priority will be given to proposals taking advantage of new media platforms to neutralize Russian and Chinese propaganda, as well as misinformation, towards susceptible groups.
Eligible actions (non-exhaustive list): monitor and analyze risks of Russian and Chinese involvement in managing the pandemic; document and expose cases of disinformation; monitor political discourse and counter misinformation and hate-speech; creatively use information and communications technology, including new media platforms, to coordinate their efforts and communicate with their target audiences;
4. Adjusting to new conditions.
Priority will be given to proposals that strengthen the capacity of civil society actors to overcome the difficulties generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility to operate during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible actions (non-exhaustive list): investments in IT&C equipment and services to support applicants’ transition to online work; measures to increase fundraising capacity, particularly for grassroots fundraising, to cover unexpected project and organizational costs; purchases of products aimed to lessen the risk of infection, such as sanitary products is allowable for staff, volunteers, partners; transfer of expertise, tools and best practices; coalition building among CSOs and alliance making with other non-state actors, such as media or SMEs.
Proposals should be under USD $25,000. Management costs and administrative costs are cumulatively limited to 25% of the overall award.
Proposals will be received on an ongoing basis starting today, the 27th of March 2020. Project proposals must be sent to the e-mail address: email@example.com.