Collaboration Lab for Bangladeshi Media and Civil Society

Free Press Unlimited

Relevent Country: Bangladesh

The Free Press Unlimited, in collaboration with ARTICLE19 Bangladesh and South Asia, invites Bangladeshi civil society organisations (CSOs) and media to form alliances to apply together for the Collaboration Lab.

The Collaboration Lab is a small grants project for alliances of Bangladeshi media and CSOs and aims to promote collaboration on issues that are important and relevant to Bangladeshi citizens, stimulate the development of innovative solutions and facilitate knowledge exchange and (mutual) learning.

In the 2023 round, they ask alliances to submit a proposal to set up an initiative focused on mutual learning.

In addition to the financial support, the selected alliances will have access to tailor made capacity-building packages that include training and coaching on digital security, gender and inclusion, internal governance, and internal systems and procedures.

Thematic Areas

  • In line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), the proposed initiative should address at least one of the following five thematic areas:
  • Accountability: covering transparency, corruption and illicit finance.
  • Information: covering access to information, freedom of expression, right to information.
  • Inclusion: covering inclusive participation of women and girls, youth, LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities and ethnic minority groups.
  • Digital: covering defending digital and civic spaces, combating disinformation.
  • Safety: covering safety of journalists, violence against women and children, human trafficking and extrajudicial killings.

Why Media and CSOs?

  • CSOs play an essential role in all societies, as they are an important source of information for citizens and decision makers. They monitor policies and actions that impact civilians and promote accountability. They engage in advocacy and offer recommendations for sustainable solutions. They deliver essential services; defend human rights and work to create social change where it is needed.
  • The media can promote transparency and accountability by reporting on current events. It can act as a watchdog by exposing corruption and abuse. Journalists who provide accurate, balanced and timely information that is of public interest and relevance make an essential contribution to informed decision making.

Funding Information

  • A panel of judges will then assess the proposals and select 5 alliances to receive a grant of a maximum of 60,000 EUR.
  • The maximum duration of each sub-grant is one year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Alliances must consist of one media organisation and one CSO. One organisation will apply as the ‘lead’ organisation, responsible for signing the sub grant with Free Press Unlimited and ARTICLE19 and the overall coordination and management of the sub grant. The other organisation will act as the co-applicant.
  • Applicants eligible for financial support must be nonprofit or profit-making entities that can include media outlets, NGOs, CSOs, media development organisations or social enterprises, and must be established and registered in Bangladesh.

What happens if your initiative is selected?

  • Initiatives that are selected by the Selection Committee will be awarded a sub-grant and welcomed to the Collaboration Lab.
  • In the first week of the sub-grant period, all alliances are invited to a joint kick-off workshop in Dhaka. This marks the start of the Collaboration Lab.
  • During the sub-grant period, all organisations follow tailor-made coaching and training sessions.
  • At the end of the year, all participants are invited to share the outcomes of their initiatives at the Collaboration Lab’s annual share fair.
  • Successful alliances are encouraged to submit a second proposal for one of the successive rounds of the Collaboration Lab.