Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor: Promoting & Protecting Media Freedom (Afghanistan)

U.S. (all)
Up to $750,000
Max Funding Amount

Opportunity Description


The government of Afghanistan is currently in ongoing peace talks with the Taliban, and it will be important to establish the media’s role in reporting on this process while protecting their safety.

DRL’s goal is to promote an independent media, including citizen journalists that can safely and freely report in Afghanistan, while also including women and youth in reporting.  Programs should seek to ensure that journalists are able to operate and report on sensitive topics safely and independently under increasing threats of violence from outside groups.

Desired outcomes of this program are an expanded space for independent media entities to report with transparency and objectivity while maintaining independence, building sustainability, and reducing self-censorship, particularly on sensitive topics such as the Afghanistan Peace Talks, religious tolerance, gender, corruption, conflict, and governance.

Funding Information

  • Funding Floor:  $700,000;
  • Funding Ceiling:  $750,000;
  • Anticipated Number of Awards:  1;
  • Type of Award: Grant;
  • Period of Performance:  18-24 months;
  • Anticipated Time to Award, Pending Availability of Funds:  5 months.

Program Approaches

Program approaches could include:

  • Conduct training on topics such as journalistic skill-building in reporting, writing, editing, and filming; ethical journalism; countering disinformation, and countering harassment in the workplace;
  • Train and support women journalists to build their journalism skills and increase their ability to access reporting opportunities;
  • Increase the public demand for professional and independent news and enable professional journalists to leverage support networks and publication platforms to increase the availability of independent, evidence-based information;
  • Advocate for increased accountability for actors implicated in crimes against journalists, and promote increased media access to information;
  • Increase citizens’ ability to access, identify, and consume non-biased fact-based information;
  • Providing legal assistance to journalists.

Eligible Applicants

  • DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses.  DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.
  • Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process.  Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards.  Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.  The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.
Opportunity Type
Grant/financial award
Opportunity Cycle