The Engaging Content Grants competition


The Engaging Content Grants competition

“Cultivating Media Independence Initiative Activity in the Kyrgyz Republic”


Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Deadline for applications: March 14, 2018; 16:00

Open to: Traditional and online media outlets, production houses of the Kyrgyz Republic

Internews in the Kyrgyz Republic, in partnership with FHI360 and with the support of USAID, is pleased to announce the Engaging Content Grants competition.


This competition will fund the production of engaging TV and online video content to increase the volume of locally-produced TV and online content, facilitate a strong media market driven by audience needs, and support a diverse and pluralistic media space in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Successful project proposals will aim to develop creative, innovative content that uses engaging formats to cover issues that both reflect audience interests and are important to the country’s civic, economic, and social development. Content produced in multiple languages, and joint applications that promote partnerships between traditional and online media outlets in different parts of the country, and between media, civil society groups, and private-sector partners are also encouraged.

Any topics meeting the above criteria will be considered, but topics of particular interest for content development include:

  • Gender roles - Content that considers the changing roles of men and women in society and highlights the challenges women and girls face;
  • Youth - Stories that highlight young people’s contribution to their communities and the challenges they face;
  • Portraits of modern Kyrgyzstan – Content that features the diverse cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan and improves viewers understanding of different regions of the country;
  • Legal and regulatory issues - Content that will increase public understanding of legal matters and respect for the rule of law (the functioning of the courts, human rights, law enforcement, traffic safety, etc.);
  • Economics and business - Content devoted to local or national business development, local and national economic issues and analysis, personal finance tips and entrepreneurial best practices geared at enhancing business literacy in the Kyrgyz Republic;
  • Other social issues – Content highlighting environmental, health or other social challenges facing local communities and that have relevance to the country as a whole. 

Content can be produced in various genres and formats, although proposals with online multimedia components will receive preference.

Potential pilots could include innovative and socially significant TV shows, a series of special reports, investigative programs, dramas, soap operas, comedies, talk shows, reality shows, animation, documentary films, and others, and online applicants should aim to use techniques and tools like longreads, timelines, interactive online surveys, infographics, and fact-checking. Internews will not support production of fictional movies, PSAs or musical clips.

All grant recipients will receive mentoring from the Media-K team as they develop their pilots. The Media-K team will also work with grant recipients to track the audience reach of and engagement with supported content.

All TV programs made within the Engaging Content Grants program must be uploaded to the content exchange platform after it airs and/or is posted online (depending on the outlet).

Proposed project duration: No more than 6 months.

Award amount: Up to USD 12,000.

All content produced with grant support will fall under Creative Commons licensing, allowing it to be freely copied and further distributed after programs have been fully completed and aired/presented at a selected media outlet.

Publication submission and evaluation information:

Applications should contain a description of the project with an indicated goal and expected results, action plan, budget, information about past experience, and proposed partnerships. (See the attached application and budget templates).

Applicants need to define the project’s target audience and the broadcast coverage. Applicants (TV broadcasters and online outlets particularly) should describe how audience measurement data and/or research was used to develop the project concept and determine the target audience, and how it will be used to evaluate project impact.

(Applicants who can provide concrete evidence will be prioritized). Please provide links to existing programs if the funding will be used to continue a previous project. Applicants should also submit CVs for the project team as well as a portfolio of previous TV programs or online publications (online links preferred).  

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Social relevance and appeal to significant audience segments;
  • The applicant’s own financial investment in the project – NO LESS than 25% of grant amount;
  • The applicant’s existing project portfolio;
  • Resumes and past experience of the production team;
  • The target audience is determined based on audience measurement data and/or research;
  • The applicant proposes an innovative and creative approach;
  • Content language (multi-language content is a plus);
  • The content represents diverse points of view;
  • The content does not lobby for any political, religious, or corporate/individual interests;
  • The content conforms to the above-mentioned genres;  
  • Content topics and production conform to local legislation of Kyrgyzstan;
  • Content will be produced in multimedia format for online media (preferred);
  • Likelihood that proposed content will generate revenue;
  • Proposed treatment and representation of men, women, and youth within the project.

Partnerships with other media outlets and/or online media must be confirmed by an attached letter indicating the proposed partners’ readiness to provide time slots or web space for the developed content.

Applications and budgets must be submitted in Kyrgyz or Russian languages with “Engaging Content Grants program” in the email subject line.

All applications and corresponding documents are to be sent in electronic format to

[email protected]

If you have questions regarding concepts, please, contact Elima Dzhaparova, Internews Content Production Specialist, by email [email protected], phone + 996 (312) 98-68-80; regarding budget, forms and procedures - Narynbek Sariev, Grant Manager, by email [email protected].