In response to the coronavirus 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 coronavirus 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. Under this thematic area, vulnerable groups refer to people disproportionately affected by the virus and measures to contain it such as: seniors, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, women, victims of domestic violence, frontliners, and first responders as well as other people experiencing social or economic precarity or inadequate access to basic services.
The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):
- training and setup of volunteer-led service networks for general assistance (i.e. disbursing food, medicine, etc.)
- (self)organized medical student groups supporting medical staff in hospitals
- legal counseling, including but not limited to labor rights, patient rights, and credit 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
Exceptionally, initiatives led by new, informal groups working at a local or regional level are eligible under the first thematic area. The purchase of consumable and sanitary goods as well as IT&C equipment and services for end beneficiaries is allowable.
2. Good governance and accountability of state actors.Under this thematic area, 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. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list)
- formulate social and fiscal policy recommendations
- 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 the coronavirus. Under this thematic area, 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. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (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. Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals that strengthen the capacity of civil society actors to overcome the difficulties generated by the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility to operate during and after the pandemic. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (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 are 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 $25,000. Management costs and administrative costs are cumulatively limited to 25 percent of the overall award.
Proposals will be received on an ongoing basis starting March 27, 2020. Project proposals must be sent to [email protected] In order to submit a project proposal, organizations must complete the forms below: