Call for Grant Proposals “Civil Society Involvement in Countering Disinformation and Media Literacy Development in the Circumstances of War”

Call is announced under the “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine Project”

May 29, 2023
A group of people discussing at the table. A banner with a Japan logo is behind
Photo credit: Andrii Krepkykh / UNDP Ukraine



1. Background

The present Call for Proposals (CfP) is administered jointly by the UNDP “Promotion of Human Security in Ukraine through Responding to the Multidimensional Crisis Caused by the War” Project and by the UNDP Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support Project), which are the parts of the UNDP Democratic Governance portfolio. Through the Democratic Governance 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.

The “Promotion of Human Security in Ukraine through Responding to the Multidimensional Crisis Caused by the War” Project, which is funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP Ukraine, aims at enhancing human security in Ukraine by responding to the multidimensional crisis caused by the war and addressing high vulnerability due to the ongoing war in the country.

The Project is being implemented through 5 main components:

  • Restoration of essential infrastructure and provision of equipment and materials to secure life-line basic services and winterization support;
  • Enhancing capacities of mine action authorities and emergency service responders to protect the civilian population from explosive ordnance and environmental hazards;
  • Enhancing capacities of local authorities to clear debris and dangerous damage structures, as well as collect and safely dispose solid waste;
  • Strengthening government system for crisis management, early recovery, and basic service delivery for vulnerable people;
  • Developing capacities of national and local state and non-state actors to enhance community security, human rights and access to justice for all people, with a focus on IDPs and vulnerable groups.

The project “Promotion of Human Security in Ukraine through Responding to the Multidimensional Crisis Caused by the War” offers vital support to the Ukrainian state in ensuring sustainable, effective, and transparent crisis and emergency coordination, response planning, and service delivery. 

DIA Support Project is implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT). Within the DIA Support Project, UNDP assists its government counterparts, first and foremost MDT, to select wrap-around services that representatives of vulnerable groups face in life situations to enable the delivery of digitalised or digitally-enhanced, mobile-based solutions.

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 know more about the digital and mobile-based services available to them and use these services more to meet their needs. 

The state’s resilience in the face of such crisis as a full-scale invasion highly depends on the development of the government’s and population’s capacity in responding to disinformation and the development of efficient crisis communications. The ability to access accountable and transparent information and to distinguish reliable sources of information from misleading and malicious ones is a crucial skill, particularly in times of war when information can be used to spread falsehoods, create anxiety, panic, and chaos among the population. This skill is essential for individuals to make informed decisions and to stay safe amidst the turbulent environment of war.

Through this CfP, UNDP would like to engage civil society organizations into the response to the crisis situation caused by the war by enhancing populations’ capacity in countering disinformation and developing media literacy skills among the population, with a special focus on vulnerable population groups in Ukraine including IDPs and people living in territories that were recently retaken by the Government of Ukraine.


Lot 1

The primary focus of this Lot is to support the joint efforts of civil society organizations, think tanks and NGOs to enhance populations’ capacity in countering disinformation and developing digital literacy skills among the population with a special focus on vulnerable population groups in Ukraine including IDPs, older people and people living in conflict-affected communities. The proposed activities may be focusing on, but not limited to the following areas:

  1. Awareness Raising Campaigns: Conducting awareness-raising campaigns on digital and media literacy and disinformation through various channels, including social media, TV, radio, billboards, and community events. These campaigns can also include information on how to recognize and report disinformation and hate speech.
  2. Community-Based Fact-Checking: Encouraging community-based fact-checking initiatives that involve volunteers from different communities. These initiatives can focus on verifying the accuracy of news stories and other media content, providing citizens with reliable sources of information, and building trust in media.
  3. Engaging Youth: Developing youth-led media literacy and disinformation countermeasures initiatives, which can include media literacy trainings, discussion panels (clubs), fact-checking initiatives to track and analyze disinformation and hate speech in online platforms. The data collected can be used to create reports and inform policy decisions and media literacy campaigns.
  4. Training for Journalists: Training journalists on media literacy, critical thinking, fact-checking, and disinformation detection with the goal to produce high-quality, fact-based news reporting, and promoting media pluralism and diversity by supporting the creation and distribution of independent media outlets, particularly in underrepresented regions and communities.
  5. Train-the-Trainer Programmes: Conducting train-the-trainer programmes for civil society organizations, community leaders, educators on media literacy, critical thinking, fact-checking, and disinformation detection. This will help build a cadre of trained professionals who can disseminate accurate information and counter disinformation within their respective communities.

Lot 2

The projects submitted within this Lot should contribute to improving media literacy and countering disinformation in Ukraine through conducting baseline studies, evaluating existing initiatives, monitoring disinformation, exploring innovative approaches to countering disinformation, and building research capacity. The proposed activities may be focusing on, but not limited to the following areas:

  1. Baseline studies: Conducting baseline studies on media consumption patterns, disinformation, and media literacy among different population groups, including IDPs and people living in territories that were recently retaken by the Government of Ukraine. This will help identify the key challenges and opportunities for media literacy initiatives and guide the design of effective interventions.
  2. Evaluating existing initiatives: Evaluating existing media literacy initiatives to assess their effectiveness, identify best practices, and inform the design of future interventions. This can include assessing the impact of different training programs, awareness-raising campaigns, and community-based initiatives.
  3. Disinformation monitoring and analysis: Conducting ongoing monitoring and analysis of disinformation trends, tactics, and actors in Ukraine. This can include tracking the spread of false narratives and propaganda, identifying the sources of disinformation, and analyzing the impact of disinformation on different population groups.
  4. Innovative media literacy approaches: Exploring and testing innovative approaches to media literacy and disinformation countermeasures, such as gamification, augmented reality, and virtual reality. This can involve conducting pilot studies to test the effectiveness of these approaches and gathering feedback from participants.
  5. Building research capacity: Building the research capacity of civil society organizations, journalists, and academics to conduct research on media literacy and disinformation. This can include providing training on research methods, data analysis, and dissemination of research findings.

Lot 3

The projects submitted to this Lot should contribute to the advancement and promotion of digital accessibility and awareness of these issues. The proposed activities may be focusing on, but are not limited to the following areas:

  1. Evaluation of digital accessibility in certain spheres or geographical regions. This research findings may become the basis for advocacy or awareness-raising campaigns.
  2. Advocacy/awareness Raising Campaigns: digital resources are rarely fully inclusive in Ukraine but at the same time due to war casualties many Ukrainians require inclusive digital resources in the age of fast digitalization where many important aspects of life are digital but not always accessible. Advocacy/awareness raising might be targeted at CSOs, public administrations and local authorities, businesses.
  3. Educational activities aimed at teaching representatives of target organizations (CSOs, authorities, businesses) on how to implement digital inclusion on their websites and other digital resources.

The applying organization may choose to select one or several activities to be implemented within the proposed project.

All relevant events and activities will need to be completed by 15 October 2023, and the maximum co-funding from UNDP shall not exceed 70’000 USD.


Non-profit organizations, in particular charitable organizations, public associations (including civil society organizations and unions) that are officially registered in Ukraine for no less than one year and have experience of project implementation in the proposed priority area. The contest does not provide grants to profit organizations, political parties, state authorities, local governments, religious communities and private (physical) individuals and entrepreneurs.

3.1. Eligible organizations

The parameters that will determine whether an NGO is eligible to be considered for funding by UNDP will be based on the Capacity Assessment Checklist CACHE (Annex 5).

3.2. Specific requirements (per lot):

Lot 1: CSO should have at least 2 projects on countering fakes on its portfolio and at least 5 years of experience in the field.

Lot 2: CSO should have at least 2 projects on communication issues on its portfolio and at least 5 years of experience in the field.

Lot 3: CSO should have at least 2 projects on digitalization on its portfolio and at least 5 years of experience in the field.

3.3. Geographic location:

UNDP will accept applications from all regions of Ukraine.


Stage I –Submission 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.

There is no deadline for submission of the project proposals concepts and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed once a month. The grant competition will be conducted on a rolling basis, with the first round of concepts to be submitted no later than 5 June 2023. 

Stage II – Submission of the project proposals

Based on the results of the review and preliminary evaluation of the concepts, the selected organizations will be invited to submit finalized project proposals. The applying organization will have up to a week to submit the completed project proposal.

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 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 organization;
  • 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 timeframe for the project implementation is 6 months.

The contribution from the implementing organization or from other sources will be considered and will be 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 organization, 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  “Civil society involvement in countering disinformation and media literacy development in the circumstances of war".

Contact persons:

  • Valentyna Aksonova, Communications Analyst, “Promotion of Human Security in Ukraine through Responding to the Multidimensional Crisis Caused by the War“ Project, UNDP:   
  • Mykola Yabchenko, Digital Literacy Specialist, DIA Support Project, UNDP: 


8.1. Assessment procedures

UNDP specialists will review the project concepts submitted for stage I of the competition and select organizations, which will be invited to submit finalized project proposals.

The project proposals submitted for stage II – Submission of the project proposals will be checked against the criteria for the assessment of proposals. 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 opinions 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:

 Summarised form for the technical proposal evaluationMaximum score
1.Quality and responsiveness of the project proposal to the broad themes highlighted in item 2 of this CFP25
2.Specificity, feasibility, and effectiveness of the project’s planned measures25
3.Demonstrated ability of the proposed team to cope with the scope of works described in the project proposal25
4.Relevance of planned costs and required resources relative to the expected results15
5.Quality of the proposed networks (including scope of partners proposed for implementation and already existing networks linked to the lead applicant).10
 Total Score100



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 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 a financial report for a total duration of an agreement.