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Strengthening Independent Media in Sri Lanka

Organisation: U.S. Department of State

Status: Closed

  • Grant
  • Freedom of expression

Funding Size: $750,000

Deadline: 10/04/2023

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    – DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organisations/non-governmental organisations (NGO) and public international organisations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organisations or businesses.
  • Type of funding: Programmatic
  • Target country: Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • Application language: English

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces the Strengthening Independent Media open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for a project that strengthens independent media and expands space for freedom of expression and the public’s right to information in Sri Lanka.

DRL’s goal is that journalists, media outlets, together with civil society actors in Sri Lanka sustainably counter oppressive laws and other challenges so they can conduct fact-based reporting to better inform citizens and to hold power-holders accountable.

To this end, DRL seeks proposals for a program to advance the following objectives:

  • Sri Lankan media and civil society advocate for changes to, and raise awareness on current legislation and policies that impede freedom of expression and right to information;
  • Independent media work with civil society to inform citizens about economic, accountability, and transparency issues that impact their community using the right to information law and other legal mechanisms;
  • Independent media and civil society collaboratively engage in communities to ensure the sustainability of citizen-led movements pressing for change, and
  • Independent media and civil society actors develop resilient and sustainable coalitions.

Illustrative desired outcomes for the Strengthening Independent Media program include:

  • Journalists, independent media, activists, and civil society actors in Sri Lanka adopt new security approaches to ensure their own safety and continue providing reliable information that counters mis- and dis-information.
  • Citizens in Sri Lanka gain access to information that allows them to develop informed opinions on issues that affect their lives and use that information to advocate for accountability and transparency.
  • Dialogues and joint actions among media, civil society, local communities, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen community oversight and accountability of government legislative and policy actions.
  • Media and civil society are able to foster public demand for transparency and government accountability and engage citizens regarding its impact.
  • Media and civil society advocate for proactive disclosure by public institutions.
  • Advocacy by media and civil society groups on strengthening the implementation and use of the right to information law.

Competitive programs will be implemented by, or in close partnership with, local media and civil society organizations. Proposals should clearly outline the division of labor between the prime grantee and partner organizations. Competitive proposals will also assess the needs of Sri Lanka civil society organizations, independent media, and other collectives working in this space and demonstrate an ability to create linkages and collaborative relationships among them.

See here to learn more and apply.

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