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USAID Southern Africa Regional Investigative Journalism Activity

Organisation: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Status: Closed

  • Grant
  • Investigative journalism

Funding Size: Up to $8 million

Deadline: 18/12/2023

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    – Eligibility for this funding opportunity is restricted to local entities in selected countries in the SADC region, excluding Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Type of funding: Programmatic
  • Target countries: Southern Africa
  • Application language: English

The United States Government, represented by United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/ Southern Africa Mission (USAID/SA) invites concept notes that are focused on the Southern Africa Regional Investigative Journalism Activity.

The purpose of the Southern Africa Regional Investigative Journalism Activity is to strengthen the capacity and collaboration among Southern African investigative journalists, editors and their newsrooms to produce investigative reports of local, regional, and global importance on crime and corruption, including its transnational dimensions. The Activity will cultivate a new and diverse cadre of investigative journalists in the region with expanded skills for reporting, editing and reaching audiences, and help them use technology to collaborate across borders, access information, work with data, and produce innovative ways of telling the stories they unearth to the communities most affected.

With the principle of “do no harm” across all interventions, the Activity will enhance the ability of journalists to address and mitigate risks to their safety in a holistic manner, addressing the physical security, digital hygiene, psychosocial well-being, and legal dimensions of safety in an increasingly restrictive, and in some cases outright hostile, environment where journalists and newsrooms often face repercussions for exposing powerful or criminal actors.

This Activity will identify and build out critical investigative journalism capacity and will favor collaborations (cross-border or that bring together diverse expertise) in the Southern Africa region. In countries in the region that have robust or emerging investigative journalism activity and capacity, and where partnerships are in place, the program should level up capacity and collaboration. The Activity will give preference to the production of stories on cross-border issues in the region for local audiences, such as wildlife trafficking, using reporting projects as vehicles for a longer-term sustained effort to develop a pipeline of diverse, emerging investigative reporting talent.

Goal and Objectives

  • The development hypothesis of the Southern Africa Investigative Journalism Activity is as follows: IF locally-led investigative journalism networks’ exposure of crime, corruption, and abuses of power across the region is supported; and IF new and diverse entrants to the field are fostered; and IF investigative journalists’ ability to reach audiences is strengthened; and IF more proactive, comprehensive approaches to safety and security are developed and advanced, THEN investigative journalism will promote greater government accountability and transparency in the region.
  • The Southern Africa Investigative Journalism Activity seeks to achieve the following goals:
    – A preference for collaboration by investigative journalists and newsrooms in the region that pools diverse expertise and skills.
    – Increased availability of and access to engaging, high-quality collaborative investigative reporting by diverse audiences, especially those most affected
    – A robust cadre of investigative journalists and editors participating in collaborative investigative reporting projects, through a program of training, mentoring, and learning by doing.
    – Improved resiliency of the investigative journalism sector and increased integrated, holistic, and proactive approaches to safety and security support.
  • Objective 1: Locally-led investigative journalism newsrooms and networks are supported and strengthened
  • Objective 2: Investigative reporting in Southern Africa is produced and amplified through relevant information channels, reaching broader audiences, to deliver impact and create societal resonance
  • Objective 3: More proactive, comprehensive, and holistic approaches to safety and security for investigative journalists are developed and advanced

Funding Information

  • USAID/SA anticipates supporting one new Cooperative Award of up to $8 million over the course of five (5) years.

Geographic Areas

  • Applicants may propose activities in selected countries in the SADC region. Applicants should propose criteria for country selection, prioritizing countries under USAID’s Regional Development and Cooperation Strategy for Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa). Final country selection will be determined through co-creation between successful applicants and USAID. It is expected that broader collaboration with African and global actors may be required, as investigative reporting projects broaden in their complexity and geographical scope.

See here to learn more and apply.

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