In response to the challenges posed on Bulgarian society and media landscape, the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) is launching a new call for proposals which aims to strengthen the capacity of Bulgarian CSOs and media actors counter the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on society, free media and rule of law.
Under the current call, BST will support proposals that fall under one of the following thematic areas:
- Advancing independent media. Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals that strengthen media freedom and plurality. Key partnerships between civil society organizations and media organizations is welcome and encouraged. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):
- Combating fake news through factchecking and exposing cases of disinformation
- Increasing access to accurate information through monitoring of state actors and reporting to audiences vulnerable to disinformation
- Improving the quality and reach of journalistic outputs through trainings for media groups and media creators
- Support to vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals that address people disproportionately affected by the virus and the measures to contain it. A special consideration will be given to proposals addressing Roma communities. Other indicative vulnerable groups are: seniors, people with disabilities, LGBTI people, people experiencing homelessness, women, victims of domestic violence, rural and isolated communities, as well as other people experiencing social or economic precarity or inadequate access to basic services or fundamental rights. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):
- legal counseling, including but not limited to labor rights, patient rights, and credit counseling
- medical advice and mental health support for vulnerable groups
- community building and organizing
- support for communities and vulnerable groups to ease back into their daily lives in a post-crisis context
- An award ceiling of $24,999 USD may only be exceeded by exceptional projects. Proposals under $5,000 USD will not be taken into consideration. Management costs (excluding experts) and administrative costs are cumulatively limited to 25 percent of the overall award. The purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and end beneficiaries, as well as needed IT&C equipment and services is allowable.
- The minimum duration of a project is six months and the maximum duration is 12 months.
- Projects should be initiated by civil society organizations legally registered in Bulgaria. Project proposals should limit their geographic scope to Bulgaria. The involvement of transnational partners from new EU member states or the wider Black Sea region is allowed.