Call for participation in competition “Countering fake news, disinformation and propaganda in Ukraine”

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1. Background

The present Call for Proposals (CfP) is administered by the UNDP DIA Support project which is an integral part of the UNDP Democratic Governance portfolio. Through this portfolio UNDP assists the government, civil society and the people of Ukraine in advancing democratic policies and practices needed to accelerate progress on sustainable human development. This includes advocating for human rights and gender equality, supporting anti-corruption efforts, promoting the digital transformation agenda, ensuring that all Ukrainian citizens can protect their rights, strengthening parliament, and empowering civil society and youth activists.

Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project is implemented with funding provided by the Government of Sweden and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT). Within this three-year intervention, UNDP assists its government counterparts to select a comprehensive set of services that representatives of vulnerable groups require in their life situations. It also ensures that these services can be delivered in a digitalized or digitally-enhanced, mobile-based form. The MDT provides an in-depth understanding of approaches towards a Human Rights Based Approach in crafting public services for citizen-clients. The Project also works proactively with citizen-clients to enhance their digital skills and their willingness to adopt the solutions offered by new technology.

The DIA Support Project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Government institutions have the knowledge and skills to design and implement policies to digitalise citizen-oriented services in line with principles of the Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming;
  • Client-centred digital service packages are built around life situations in a participatory and gender-responsive manner;
  • Ukrainian women and men learn more about the digital and mobile-based services available to them and will use these services  to meet their needs.

Within this call for proposals, UNDP would like to promote networking between the government and civil society through the engagement of CSOs in tackling fake news, disinformation and propaganda caused by the war in Ukraine.


The primary focus of this call for proposals is to support the joint efforts of national civil society organisations, think tanks to safeguard human rights and counter disinformation, fake news and propaganda in the national crisis situation caused by the war while ensuring further progress towards achieving the SDGs, namely:

·        Proposing effective ways for coordinating civil society initiatives in countering disinformation related to the war in media channels and social media networks;

·        Strengthening the capacity of national and/or regional media newsrooms to respond to the crisis by establishing the effective internal systems or working with information and combatting the dissemination of fake news;

·        Developing and implementing digital solutions/online platforms/websites in order to effectively react to propaganda which is circulated in any types of media including social networks, messengers, online forums etc;

·        Conducting educational and information activities on the up-to-date, proven techniques regarding information management, cybersecurity, cyber hygiene, individual security for vulnerable and the hard-to-reach groups of the Ukrainian population. These activities may also include development and dissemination of guidelines, instructions and infographics related to the abovementioned topics.

·        Assisting Ukrainian authorities at national and regional/local levels in countering disinformation and propaganda, especially within Ukraine’s geographical areas that are massively affected by the military hostilities;


Non-profit organisations, in particular charitable organisations, public associations (including civil society organisations and unions), which are officially registered in Ukraine. The contest does not provide grants to for-profit organisations, political parties, state authorities, local governments, religious communities and private (physical) entities and entrepreneurs.

3.1. Eligible organisations

The parameters that will determine whether a CSO is eligible to be considered for funding by UNDP will be based on the Capacity Assessment Checklist CACHE.

3.2. Geographic location:

UNDP will accept applications from all regions of Ukraine.


I – Preparation of project proposals concepts according to the following structure:

-  purpose, main goals and objectives,

-  preliminary list of measures to achieve the goals,

-  expected results,

-  partners,

-  the implementation timeframe,

-  estimated total budget without details.

Project concepts are to be submitted in an arbitrary form, no more than 2 А4 pages in total.

The deadline for submission of the project proposals concepts is 18 March 2022. The results of the concepts review will be announced by 22 March 2022.

II – Submission of the project proposals

Based on the results of the review and preliminary evaluation of the concepts, the selected organisations will be invited to submit finalized project proposals. The deadline for submission of the project proposals is 28 March 2022.

The winners of the competition will be chosen on the basis of the evaluation results of the project proposals by the Grant Selection Committee.  UNDP will conclude grant agreements with those finalists that will be recommended for funding.


Eligible costs must:

·     be necessary for carrying out project activities;

·     comply with the principles of sound financial management, in particular value for and cost-effectiveness;

·     be properly recorded, identifiable and verifiable, and backed by original supporting documents.

UNDP grant may only be used to cover the following costs:

·     Staff salaries and expert fees;

·     Purchase of consultative services provided that these are essential for project goals and objectives;

·     Consumables and supplies, including minor personal protective equipment;

·     Printing and copying;

·     Utility services;

·     Renting, catering and other services envisaged by the project activities;

·     Travel costs (provided that travel complies with internal UNDP regulations).

The following costs are ineligible:

·     Costs of project proposal preparation;

·     Debts reconciliation;

·     International travel;

·     Reimbursement of expenses related to exchange rate fluctuations;

·     Creation and registration of the organisation;

·     Direct fiscal support to state authorities;

·     Political activity;

·     Religious propaganda;

·     Activities leading to direct or indirect discrimination of any social strata;

·     Projects aimed at gaining profit from activities;

·     Construction or repair work;

·     Purchase of vehicles and / or luxury goods and related services.


The maximum budget of the project proposal should not exceed 10 000 USD.

The maximum timeframe for the project implementation is 6 months.

The contribution from the implementing organisation or from other sources will be considered and will regarded as an advantage for the applicant. This contribution could be made both financially and in non-financial form (for example, remuneration of the personnel of the organisation, provision of its office or equipment for project tasks, etc.).


Concepts of the project proposals are submitted in Ukrainian and sent by e-mail to the addresses: specifying in the subject line, the title of the competition “Countering Fake News and Propaganda in Times of War in Ukraine”.

Contact persons:

·        Oksana Grechko, Digitalisation Policy Specialist, DIA Support project:

·        Anton Aloshyn, Policy and M&E Associate, DIA Support project:


8.1. Assessment procedures

After the deadline for stage II – Submission of the project proposals has passed, UNDP specialists will check the proposals against the criteria. At this stage, the Programme can request additional information from the applicants at its own discretion.

To ensure full transparency and equity of the process, UNDP forms a Grant Selection Committee (GSC) that will appraise the proposals that have made it through the first stage. GSC is a temporary authorized body that is responsible for considering, selecting and recommending proposals for funding. The Grant Selection Committee may decide to request additional independent expert opinion during the selection process.

8.2. Criteria for the assessment of proposals

The proposals shall be assessed by the GSC in accordance to the following criteria:

·        Quality and responsiveness of the project proposal to the broad themes highlighted in item 2 of this CFP;

·        Demonstrated ability of the proposed team to cope with the scope of works described in the project proposal;

·        Demonstrated human rights and gender considerations of the project;

·        Quality of the proposed networks (including scope of partners proposed for implementation and already existing networks linked to the lead applicant).


9.1. Monitoring and evaluation, frameworks for project implementation

The Grantee is responsible for monitoring project implementation and evaluating its results. UNDP will monitor the project through Grantee reports, online consultations, site visits, meetings with project personnel and stakeholders, and participation in project events.

9.2. Reporting

The Grantee shall submit the following reports according to the UNDP format:

·        Brief reports on demand occasionally requested by UNDP in cases when information on Programme implementation is required in-between reporting periods;

·        A Completion report, including a summary of activities and results as well as financial report for total duration of an agreement.